☆ Saranghaeyo_'s Physical Bow Ranger Resource ☆ WIP ☆ Gear & Gem Link Discussion ☆

Note: I am no longer updating this post as of 10/30/2015 due to real life things. If you are a future reader and there is content past The Awakening, anything higher than 2.x.x, content here may not apply.

Thank you to those who have taken the time to read.




Hello everyone. This post is designed as an attempt to smooth out some of the road bumps that I have noticed with the transition of Physical Crit Bow Rangers from Patch 1.3 to The Awakening Release, or Patch 2.0+




Before I get started I want to introduce myself. I am Saranghaeyo_, and I have been an active player of Path of Exile since mid-February of this year, around the middle of Torment League. My most played class by far is the Ranger, specifically Physical Crit Tornado Shot, which is also the reason that I am writing this post. This build is incredibly popular, and I can attest to a lot of the great guide writers that we have in this sub-forum that it is a very strong and affordable “rags to riches” type of build, that scales well with its Passive Tree and itemization choices.

My Gear as of 10/21/2015




And like I said, this post is much less of a guide than it is a way to take more in-depth looks and analysis towards the engine that drives Physical Crit Tornado Shot. I am not an elite player, I am not part of the 1%, and these are my personal observations. My hope is that you can gather some takeaways from my post that allow you to think more critically.

The way I have set up this post is through a Chapter Progression, where I will be addressing popular topics that I have seen come up in some of the build guides and what my thoughts/conclusions are from putting in roughly 500+ play hours on the Ranger class. If you are having an issue, check the Table of Contents to see what has been discussed and what has not.

Finally, before we begin, I’d like to mention some points, mainly as a disclaimer, but also to set forth expectations of what you will get out of this guide. This is intended for new or intermediate level players of the build, not the advanced players which may not get much out of this. If you are new or just getting into this build, I advise you continuously ask "Why?" you are doing certain things or following certain itemization/gem/tree choices. It will make you a better player.


You will, hopefully as a result of this post:
Spoiler

☆ See the big picture of the Physical Crit Bow Rangers
☆ Have a better understanding of the Path of Exile Skill Trees for Bow Rangers
☆ Progress easier through the campaign and maps with this build
☆ Find the playstyle that is best suited for you
☆ Evaluate the correct Gem Links and itemization for you


You will NOT, as a result of this post:
Spoiler

☆ Find a Mirror of Kalandra from Hillock
☆ Achieve 70K DPS with 5-10 Chaos gear
☆ Want to play another build again





I will be citing points from some of the top writers in this sub-forum, so I’d like to take the chance now to recognize them and give them the credit they deserve:

Ayvi's Tornado Shot Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1416657 (Currently best for 2.0, in my opinion)
Doeboy's Bow Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1235105
Neversink's Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1041989/
RangerJayson Bow Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1095484
LiftingNerdBro's Beginner Bow Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1333752





Find what you want to read up on, and navigate to that section

Spoiler

☆ PREFACE - Big Picture Understanding
==================================================================
☆ CHAPTER 1 - Understanding the Skill Tree for Phys Crit Rangers
1.1 Changes in "The Awakening" Patch 2.0+
1.2 Holistic Tree Analysis
1.3 Pathing Tips, Copy + Paste or Do-It-Yourself
1.4 Bandit Discussion
1.5 Situational and Preference-Based Nodes
==================================================================
☆ CHAPTER 2 - Gearing and Itemization (Bow + Quiver)
2.1 Bow Characteristics and Interactions
2.2 Bow Prefixes and Suffixes
2.3 Light Crafting Talk
2.4 The Quiver
2.5 What about Drillneck?
==================================================================
☆ CHAPTER 3 - Gearing and Itemization (Armor Pieces + Belt)
3.1 Chest Slot Options
3.2 Helm Slot Options
3.3 Gloves Slot Options
3.4 Boots Slot Options
3.5 Belt Slot Options
==================================================================
☆ CHAPTER 4 - Gearing and Itemization (Jewelry, Jewels, Flasks, Offhand)
4.1 Ring Slot Options
4.2 Amulet Slot Options
4.3 Jewel Slot Options
4.4 Flasks Slot Options
4.5 Offhand Slot Options
==================================================================
☆ CHAPTER 5 - Gem Link Discussion
5.1 Building a Main Skill 6L - Tornado Shot Examples
5.2 Gem Swaps
5.3 Other Main Skills + Single Target Options
5.4 Mana Reservation Buffs/Auras and CWDT
5.5 Active Buffs and Utility Skills
==================================================================
☆ APPENDIX A - FAQ Bank - Always WIP
☆ APPENDIX B - Helpful Links and Resources - Always WIP


While reading please keep in mind that everything in Path of Exile is situational or preference based, and that these are my personal observations. Remember, in the end, I am not telling you what to do, you have to make that decision for yourself. I am only a provider of information.






Since you are reading this likely as a supplement to one of the guides previously linked, I will try to be as brief as possible before we dive into the content. At its very core, this Ranger build is one that utilizes the Bow class of weapons, taking advantage of its ranged nature to use an arsenal of potential skills (Tornado Shot, Split Arrow, Lightning Arrow, and others) which are augmented by a Bow's potential to be a high Physical Damage Base and synergy with a Passive Tree balanced around Physical Damage and Critical Strikes, including Power Charge focus on some Trees. The majority of these skills are Area of Effect based, whereas a strong Single Target attack such as Puncture, Frenzy, or a Trap is used to finish the job.

The defenses of this build have, since 1.3, been Evasion based after its development, with some players preferring Armor and the Iron Reflexes Keystone Passive. Notables such as King of the Hill keep the enemy from gap closing, and Critical Strikes refill flasks for long term use. Generally, the build is life-based, although it doesn't have to be.




We will start by looking at Passive Skill Trees, one of the most popular topics of discussion for this build. It is a great way to understand the motivations behind the node choices and the pathing that is often used to construct an end-game, 121 point tree. This is driven by everything from the idea behind the build, the Patch, the Meta, and Itemization choices. Let's begin with The Awakening.

1.1 Awakening Changes
Some of the most important drivers of the 2.0 Patch, extracted from the Patch Notes are shown below:
Spoiler

☆ All existing values of leech have been substantially reduced, including values on existing items.
Warcries are now a category of skill containing the existing Enduring Cry and the new Abyssal/Rallying Cries. Warcries have a shared cooldown.
☆ Ondar's Guile has been renamed Arrow Dancing and now grants 40% more chance to evade projectile attacks but 20% less chance to evade melee attacks.
Frenzy Charges now grant 4% Increased Attack Speed and Cast Speed. They also grant 4% more Damage.
☆ The Bandit Rewards have been adjusted, these now grant: Normal Kraityn: 10% to Elemental Resistances. Normal Alira: 60 to Maximum Mana. Cruel Oak: 16% increased Physical Damage. Cruel Alira: 5% increased Cast Speed
☆ Monster life and damage have been increased at all levels. Path of Exile has been made more challenging in general. Additionally, the power curve of monsters has been readjusted because players receive more tools to enhance their builds early in the game.
Blood Rage now deals physical damage over time rather than chaos, and grants increased attack speed and life leech for the duration of the buff regardless of the state of the player's life. The leech values are now in line with the game-wide rebalance of leech. It now also drains a percentage of physical damage based on Energy Shield, on top of life. It now only has a 25% chance to generate a Frenzy Charge on kill.


A very long list of game-altering changes, some of which we will cover in later chapters. This major content update affected the way that we "used to" Leech/Itemize, allocate Passive Points, and defend ourselves through reliance on Ondar's Guile. But we also gained a powerful ally in a much friendlier Blood Rage and of course, the Frenzy Charge. A lot of the tree has been updated to reflect these changes, which now take advantage of the "More" multiplier on Frenzy Charges, to be covered later.


1.2 Holistic Tree Analysis


What makes a Passive Tree? How do we translate this web into the character that we want?

In most cases, we have to balance our tree around the characteristics of the Build we are playing. In this case, we try to balance around these objectives:



Before we get into the Trees themselves, let's see how these concepts translate, in a general sense, to an example end game tree (Mine, Level 97 Tree with 118 Points):



We get most of our raw damage (Bow Nodes, Physical Damage Nodes) from the Ranger portion of the tree, as well as our defensive Keystone Passive in Phase Acrobatics. Since we do not receive adequate Critical Strike modifiers, this is why we travel to the Shadow Tree to borrow some of their nodes. We also get additional Damage Nodes and Life Regen Nodes from the Duelist nodes as well. Life Nodes are in each section of the tree. With The Awakening, Frenzy Nodes are now mandatory and are scattered amongst the tree. Jewel Sockets are taken as needed.

As most progressions go, raw damage early on is much better to have as opposed to Critical Strike nodes, since we do not have the optimized gear. This is why we begin in the Ranger area of the tree >>> Obtain defenses/survivability >>> Obtain Crit nodes from Shadow area when we have acceptable raw damage >>> Augment end-game defenses and enable Blood Rage with Duelist area.

If you are playing through the game, you will find Physical Crit Bow Ranger Trees to generally move in this manner to accommodate our progression from a white Crude Bow in the Twlight Strand to an end game Harbinger user that is mapping.


1.3 General Pathing Tips, Copy + Paste or Not
In the previous section I showed an image of an end-game tree and the areas of the tree with their respective attributes. Now let's look at some Pathing Tips if you're not quite at 118 points, using some Trees from Neversink's guide. To start, a good Pathing strategy is to set yourself up for options! Having a general feel for when we transition is also a key factor here.

Early on it is absolutely crucial to get *some* damage nodes and survivability in those levels to build a basis for your character. We have absolutely no reason to venture much into the Shadow section or the Duelist section in those early levels. Our goal is to get an appreciable amount of damage support from the Ranger section and grab at least the Acrobatics Keystone as our first line of defense. See the tree below:



This would be an example of a 24 Point tree that has some flexibility. In this case, the user of the tree would be able to travel to the Shadow Area to path up to Quickness, Sniper, and Blood Siphon, or choose to remain in the Ranger Area to path down to the Double Bow Nodes, Herbalism, and Spirit Void. In fact, this sets the plan forth for the next 26 levels, the next 30 levels if you want to pick up the Blood Drinker notable as well.

The best part about following the raw damage + survivability > Critical Strikes > Tankiness/Regen plan is that this is method is applicable all over the tree. At 50 points, this tree now has formed the skeleton for the foreseeable future since the next natural progression is to obtain Crit Nodes. Now look at the 50 Point tree:



Easy plans for the next 20 levels or so.



If you are following someone's Tree progression, this is a very strong way to plan ahead for how many Passive Points you will have, as well as when to get gear upgrades. I would imagine that in this 70 point Tree (as a result of filling out the Crit Nodes), around this time would be when a user would start to transition into a Decimation Base or one with appreciable Base Crit Chance, as well as think about equipping iconic gear to the build like Maligaro's Virtuosity and/or Rat's Nest to start reaching end game.


1.4 Bandit Discussion

In 1.3, Bandit decisions generally were set with an Oak Help in Normal for +40 HP, Oak Help in Cruel for +18% Increased Physical Damage, and either an Alira Help (+1 Power Charge) or Kill All (+1 Passive) in Merciless. This is no longer the case, as the Cruel Oak reward has been diminished, getting cut from +18% Increased Physical Damage >>> +16% Increased Physical Damage.

And of course, the Merciless Reward must be revisited as well. The Frenzy Charge now grants +4% Cast Speed, +4% Attack Speed, and +4% More Damage per charge. It is important to understand the value of the Frenzy Charge, as the "More" modifier behaves differently than the "Increased" modifier. The multiplicative nature of the "More" modifier is a significant boost to damage and helping Kraitlyn in Merciless is now a very strong choice to consider if you can support Frenzy Charges.

Consult the Path of Exile Wiki for these differences:

Spoiler
Percentage modifiers have percentage signs and use the words increased or reduced. They stack additively with other percentage modifiers of the same scope. For example, two global modifiers of 100% increased produces a total of +200% increased (3x).

Multiplicative modifiers have percentage signs and use the words More or Less. They stack multiplicatively with other multiplicative modifiers of the same scope. For example, two global modifiers of 100% More (2x each) produces a total of +300% More (4x).


The remaining choice that is up for debate as well is the decision to Help Oak in Cruel or Kill All. This is, in my opinion, more up to the user as the additional points in the end game generally are devoted towards Jewel Sockets, which we will cover in one of the itemization chapters. Since 16% Increased Physical Damage (or a pseudo equivalent) can be obtained easily on a Jewel (and more), in a vacuum it makes sense to obtain the additional point in order to come a step closer to reaching a Jewel Socket as Passive Points become more scarce in the late game.

If you do not feel you can obtain such Jewels, for example in a temp league, then helping Oak is still a reasonable decision. Keep in mind that eventually it may cost you this to reset your Bandit Reward:

Spoiler
+

For a Book of Reform (Eramir's Favor)


1.5 Situational and Preference Nodes
The Tree(s) that have been shown so far do not contain situational and preference nodes, so this section will review them. I have identified approximately 16 areas which may be of some interest, in no particular order. Refer to the skill tree below; these are all areas where access would be easy to obtain.



Let's review each of these areas. Some may have very short descriptions, as their function is somewhat obvious (such as Jewel Sockets).

1: Jewel Socket that gives +10 Strength in its Path; accessed next to the Frenzy Charge in Duelist Area
2: Jewel Socket that gives +10 Dexterity in its Path; accessed North of the Ranger >>> Duelist Path
3: Master Fletcher; Path East to obtain +42% Increased Damage with Bows and 2% Attack Speed; generic damage cluster but can be used
4: Weathered Hunter; +36% Accuracy, +14% All Resist, and +20 Dexterity. Good option if you are hurting for Resistances
5: Strength and Intelligence Node. Use these to hold you over as you get stats on your gear, and use Respec Points on them later
6: Interesting Jewel Socket that provides 16% Evasion and +10 Dexterity in its Path; Not exactly efficient but can be used
7: Primal Spirit; Good mana sustain for early use and a +40 Stat Node. Two Point cost, however
8: Jewel Socket that gives +10 Dexterity in its Path
9: Survivalist; +48% Evasion, +14% All Resist, and +1 Maximum Cold Resist. Better than #4 in my opinion, good option for lacking Resistances
10: Jewel Socket with +8 Projectile Damage but 3 Point Cost; Still a nice damage increase
11: Piercing Shots; #DrillneckHype users. Path South in the wheel for more efficiency
12: The other Strength and Intelligence Node
13: Profane Chemistry; Nice cluster that provides +12% Increased Maximum Life and some Flask support. Very good in 1.3 but optional in 2.0
14: Shadow starting Physical Damage Nodes
15: Additional Crit Nodes above Assassination
16: Jewel Socket that gives +10 Dexterity in its Path; technically 3 points to access

Giant Circle in the Middle: Lot of options here. This is the new location of Vaal Pact, which can be very useful but in my opinion very hard to align with Blood Rage. But the strength of this node can be very helpful as you advance into higher maps. Also in this area lie an additional Jewel Socket (only efficient if you path here to start with).

The Master of Force wheel offers 40% Increased Physical Damage, and finally, Charisma can be an option for those who still want to stack more than 2 Aura/Buffs. Not completely necessary but is an option. Charisma can be reached from either the Avatar of the Hunt wheel, or from the Ballistic Mastery wheel at the same cost.

Remember, in the end, it's all about what you need, so consider the opportunity cost. If a cluster like the Survivalist cluster allows you to keep wearing a DPS piece (instead of option for a Rare/Resist piece, it's something to consider.






Now we start diving into the gearing and itemization section. I have broken this down into three sections, the Bow/Quiver Section, Armor Slots Section, and the Accessories Section. This Chapter is reserved for the first of those three, which is devoted to arguably is the most important piece of equipment that you will be using: you bow. The multipliers, stats, and interactions from the rest of your equipment as well as the Passive Tree will return benefits based on this base. I will not discuss Chroming you gear here, as I feel that fits in better with the Gem Links section.

2.1 Bow Characteristics and Interactions


This section begins with a diagram of a random Harbinger Bow I found from a map. It is unmodified so we can look at it in a vacuum. There are four important characteristics that each bow base offers.



Where a lot of numbers in Path of Exile, especially the Passive Tree, are worded "Increased <Insert Modifier>" or "More <Insert Modifier>," they are generally altering some type of base number or set of values. In this build's case, the damage modifiers and Critical Strike modifiers that you will receive will be directly interacting with the bow that you use. This may seem obvious, but holds specific important with regards to Critical Strike Chance and why users experience "low DPS." More into this later.

You should note that Critical Strike Chance on your bow is a local; meaning that this is the number that "Global Critical Strike Chance" modifiers will alter. Thus, while a high pDPS Bow is desired, I would almost argue that a high Local Critical Strike Chance is just as important. You cannot augment your Local Critical Strike Chance in any other way than on the bow itself. This is why the Harbinger Bow base is the BiS (Best in Slot) choice for this type of build, as it offers up to +50% Implicit Local Critical Strike Chance. Some bows do not have an Implicit Mod, or have one that does not scale as well as Critical Strike Chance.

When taking into account some Passive Trees that offer a total of almost +400% Global Critical Strike Chance, when looking at a normal bow at 5.0% Chance to Crit, and a Harbinger Base at ~7.5% Chance to Crit, the difference is not even close. You should prioritize Base Damage > Critical Strike Chance > Everything Else when looking at a bow for this build. You do need acceptable levels of Base Damage, since after all you need something to land a Critical Strike to start with.


2.2 Bow Prefixes and Suffixes


Now that a basis has been set, this section will discuss some of the mods that are available on a bow base and which ones are desirable. I will be using this website as part of the discussion, POEAffix:

http://poeaffix.net/2h-bow.html#id

All Rares in Path of Exile can have three prefixes and three suffixes. If you are new the the build, I would advise looking at the above website to understand what can spawn on a bow in terms of mods. This will help you understand not only what a bow can offer in terms of DPS, but also if it can be altered further with the use of the Forsaken Masters Crafting Benches. In a vacuum, glancing over at the prefixes, we desire:

+% Increased Physical Damage (Starts at 40-49% and goes as high as 170-179%)
A "hybrid" style mod of +% Increased Physical Damage and Accuracy (Starts at 15-19% and 3-7 Accuracy and goes as high as 75-79% and 135-169 Accuracy)
Flat Physical Damage (Starts at +2 to 5 and goes as high as +(29-38) to (58-68))

These prefixes do a lot for the base damage of the build. And the higher they get, the more benefits you will receive from "Global" modifiers including your Passive Tree. The remaining mods, % Increased Elemental Damage with Weapons, + to Socketed Gem Levels, and any type of Elemental Damage, can also be okay, but are generally much less desired, as they do not scale well to the build compared to the three prefixes above.

For suffixes, we desire:

+% Increased Attack Speed (Starts at 5-7% and goes as high as 14-16%)
+% Increased Local Critical Strike Chance (Starts at 10-14% and goes as high as 35-38%)
+% Increased Critical Strike Multiplier (Starts at 10-4% and goes as high as 35-38%)

In some cases, an Elemental Resistance can replace Critical Strike Multiplier in some bows, but is not common. The rest of the stats scale poorly and are not needed. An argument, however, can be made for additional Accuracy.

You can calculate bow pDPS with the following:




As a caveat, when assessing bows, be wary of the APS (Attacks Per Second). High APS will inflate the bow's DPS by a good amount, but in practical application, you will attack more often, draining more mana. Harbingers will have 1.20 to 1.35 APS (or higher with t0 Attack Speed), which is a nice place to be in. It's also one of the reasons I have never preferred the unique bow Lioneye's Glare, which I will cover in the budget section.

A bow with these 6 mods is very difficult to obtain and should not be the goal for someone who is starting off in this build. In general, this build performs very well in as high as the mid-map level (Level 75-77 Maps) with a ~300 pDPS Harbinger Bow which is comparatively cheap to an end-game or Mirrored option. These bows on Standard can range from 6-10 Exalted Orbs, even cheaper. This is an example bow that I purchased in trade chat for 5 Exalted Orbs:



It follows all of the guidelines above, with the exception of Critical Strike Multiplier, which we must sacrifice in order to have the Elreon Level 8 Meta Mod. We simply accept lower possible rolls from other Masters' Crafting Benches in order to deterministically select what mods to have.

And of course for those with high-end options, Brood Twine is the new #1 Bow in The Awakening; you can check out pNR's Thread for Mirror Options on it + more Ranger gear.



2.3 Light Crafting Talk

If you don't want to purchase your own bow or are playing self-found, you can craft your own end-game bow, although this method can be very difficult based on your DPS preferences. It is a more tedious process, with its own art behind it, but can be rewarding if you have the spare currency. So if you're feeling like this:



We can try to fix that. That said, I will try to keep this section relatively short since this is not a crafting guide by any means. In my experience, as long as you hit a high tier roll of one of the necessary Prefixes, in most cases, you can use Master Crafting to turn it into a usable bow. Let's use the same example 306 pDPS Bow that I posted earlier. Below is a breakdown of the affixes on this bow:



Three prefixes, three suffixes. As stated prior, the Elreon Level 8 Meta Mod is used so that we make the trade off between trying to roll more affixes by ourselves. Critical Strike Multiplier is the unfortunate victim of that. To start crafting your own bow, you will need:

Spoiler
>>> A base to start with

>>> A few of these

>>> A LOT of these

>>> Maybe some of these, if you prefer

>>> A few of these

>>> A few of these (to reset and start over)


Remember the Item Level of the bow is important. Tyrannical Prefix requires ilvl 73, Flaring requires ilvl 77, and Dictator's/Merciless requires ilvl 83! Hover over your item and press "Alt," it will tell you the ilvl. Orb of Augmentation is not needed for this process, especially if you have access to Level 8 Elreon and 2 Exalted Orbs for his Meta Mod. For Temp Leagues, it is advised that you do use Orbs of Augmentation early on when this isn't an option.

The goal is to Transmute > Alteration your bow until you reach a high tier roll of one of these Prefixes: Tyrannical, Merciless, Flaring, or any acceptable Hybrid Roll. Keep in mind that the Hybrid +% Physical/Accuracy mod is very valuable here, as it cannot be Master Crafted. From there, you can Augment the Bow if you do not have access to Level 8 Elreon, or use a Regal Orb to make it a Rare. If you choose the Regal route and get any suffix, from there you can use Elreon's Meta Mod (Suffix), and craft out the rest of your mods.

Looking at the example bow again,



The user that crafted this bow:

1) Alteration spammed the bow, using Scours and Transmutes to reset the bow when mods are not desired
2) Stopped at a Hybrid Roll or Crit Chance Roll
3) Used a Regal Orb to apply the other mod
4) Elreon Meta Mod
5) Craft out +% Flat Phys, Crit Chance, and Attack Speed


You can do this if you achieve any desirable roll when crafting, so keep an eye out for any Prefixes that can have higher than Master Crafted values. This is also available on POEAffix. I don't feel this is the right place to discuss affix locking with Meta Mods, but can add if there is enough demand for it.


2.4 The Quiver
Of course you will want to pair your Bow with a Quiver. This item slot is somewhat similar to Jewelry in that they can be both offensive and defensive, often being affordable to be towards both ends of the spectrum, especially to your gearing needs. That said, Quivers offer very good DPS boosting stats. Here are the affixes:

http://poeaffix.net/ac-quiver.html

Very similar to the bow layout, damage increasing Prefixes, with Critical Strike Chance and Attack Speed modifiers as Suffixes. Resists are also possible on Quivers, as well as Accuracy.

These base types are also listed below:

http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Quiver

Honestly the only Quiver base that should used in the end game (Rare) is the Spike-Point Arrow Quiver, as like its bow counterpart, also offers a Global Critical Strike Chance modifier as an Implicit mod. You can make the argument for a Broadhead Arrow Quiver that offers the equivalent of a t1 Flat Physical Damage roll, or a Penetrating Arrow Quiver, which can help synergize with skills like Tornado Shot.

Desired prefixes are listed below:

Flat Physical Damage (Starts at +1 to 2 and goes as high as +(4-6) to (9-10))
+ Maximum Life (Starts at +3 to 9 and goes as high as 90 to 99)
% Increased Elemental Damage with Weapons (Starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 37-42%)


Similarly for suffixes, we desire:

+% Increased Attack Speed (Starts at 6-9% and goes as high as 7-12% via Tora Master Craft)
+% Increased Local Critical Strike Chance (Starts at 10-14% and goes as high as 35-38%)
+% Increased Critical Strike Multiplier (Starts at 10-4% and goes as high as 35-38%)

The Quiver can also be a preferable place to replace Increased Weapon Elemental Damage modifier with a type of Leech as well, since both Life Leech and Mana Leech are available as a prefix. These values can go as high as 1.2%. If you have an appreciable amount of Critical Strike Chance already with the Implicit Mod on the Spike-Point Arrow base, you can also settle for any Resistance or even additional Accuracy. I would urge that you do not skimp out on the Critical Strike Multiplier, as this slot is one of few that can receive this mod. Legacy versions that have inferior bases will offer up to 70% Critical Strike Multiplier, which may outweigh the downsides.

The following are examples of what I have used in the past. The Penetrating Arrow Quiver was a mid-game Quiver choice for me, as it offered an appreciable amount of Life, had the trifecta of Critical Strike Chance + Critical Strike Multipler + Increased Elemental Damage with Weapons, as well as a Resist. The base itself can also provide a push with Tornado Shot.



And this is what I use now, a full DPS Spike-Point Arrow Quiver with an amount of Life. In my opinion a 6-mod Quiver such as this is an end-game option for me and difficult to find an upgrade for, although your mileage may vary.





2.5 What about Drillneck?




Probably one of the most asked about item slots that I have yet to see in all of the guide threads. I will keep this section brief, but give you the run down on Drillneck. This Unique Quiver option offers the equivalent of double a t1 Flat Physical Damage Roll, t1 Attack Speed, Evasion that normally cannot be obtained on Quivers, and Master Crafted + Life. It also offers, of course, the Unique modifier:

Projectile Damage increased by Arrow Pierce Chance

I will eventually get around to posting some numbers after I get a hold of a 20/23Q Pierce Gem, but here are some observations to take into consideration when using this Quiver:

1) You will sacrifice (post-Legacy Quivers) up to +68% Global Critical Strike Chance, up to 38% Global Critical Strike Multiplier, and up to 42% Increased Elemental Damage with Weapons upon using this. This means you need to adjust gear or gem links to accommodate this. Since WED and Critical Strike Multiplier are only available on certain gear slots, this can be a tough decision to make.

2) As others have said, you will need to take the top side of the Piercing Shots Notable wheel right above Acrobatics, as well as have at least a high level Pierce Gem, if not 20Q. Otherwise, you will be sacrificing a gem link for an inferior modifier. Yes, this Passive Tree wheel is the only set of Passives that offer increased Pierce Chance. What you give up strictly depends on what your gear provides for you.

3) In terms of early to mid level mapping, especially when I have leveled Physical Bow Characters in the past, the raw projectile damage increase as well as the synergy with Pierce is, in my opinion, unmatched. You can use this from the moment it is available at Level 36 and carry yourself all the way to a fully geared Ranger. That said, once you reach higher level maps, I do feel you start to lack some damage as Critical Strikes become more important to score.

4) There are new gem changes in The Awakening, primarily with Slower Projectiles offering "More" Projectile Damage (compared to "Increased Projectile Damage" on Drillneck with Pierce). Taking into consideration Single Target skills such as Frenzy or Puncture that do not utilize the Pierce Gem and now use Slower Projectiles, you lose synergy with your gear when it comes to single targets, and even your main AOE skill.

The following is a quick damage test I performed with my gear using a hypothetical Tornado Shot gem setup switch. This is hard to evaluate in a vacuum, since it is very gear dependent. However, in generally, the competing gem should be one that modifies or increases Projectile Damage, so natural Slower Projectiles was chosen. This is a GGGGBB Gem setup using Slower Projectiles + my current Quiver (posted in previous section) vs. a 20/20 Pierce + Drillneck.




With Blood Rage, 8 Frenzy Charges, Atziri's Promise, Vaal Haste, Rallying Cry DPS using the first setup:




Replacing Slower Projectiles with a 20/20 Pierce Gem:




I just wasn't really convinced. Especially if you're using a Trap setup and looking to take advantage of Slower Projectiles even more, I would definite err on the side of Slower Projectiles.

That said, these values can dramatically shift with your current gear level. I am using a ~520 pDPS Bow with around 81% Critical Strike Chance, and ~93% with Power Charge on Critical Gem replacing Increased Critical Strikes in my setup. If you are scoring Critical Strikes at a much lower rate, the raw damage aspect of the build can take over, where Pierce and Drillneck can shine.



I will discuss setups with Pierce in the Gem Links Chapter, as well as perform some more damage tests when I have time, primarily with Trap setups, where there may be some potential.





In terms of most builds, intuitively your weapon slots (and sometimes Jewelry) will provide the biggest differences to damage output. While some armor pieces may also augment your DPS, the majority of the pieces covered in this Chapter serve to help your defenses, whether it is through Evasion, Increased Life, or Elemental Resistances. The only real exception for a Physical Crit Bow Ranger is the gloves slot with Maligaro's Virtuosity or Atziri's Acuity, but those options are not set in stone. Keep in mind that I will try to cover all the options that I see as mid-game or end-game options, some I might relegate to the Budget/Alternative Gear Section. As you read this section past the Chest Slot Options, look for Master Craft options, as this will help reach attribute requirements for gear.

3.1 Chest Slot Options


Since we have been using POEAffix a lot in the past 2 sections, we will continue to take advantage of it as a resource. For the Chest Slot, as well as most gear slots, we can either fill this slot with certain useful Uniques, or a Rare with desirable stats. Preferably for this build we need a pure Evasion Chest, although hybrid versions of Evasion/Armor can also be used. I simply do not recommend Evasion/Energy Shield bases, as the ES base is generally too low and we cut it by 50% with the use of the Acrobatics Keystone anyways. We will begin by looking at desirable affixes for Rares.


Desired prefixes are listed below:

Flat Evasion (Starts at +3 to 10 and goes as high as +323 to 400)
+ Maximum Life (Starts at +3 to 9 and goes as high as 110 to 119)
% Increased Evasion (Starts at 11-28% and goes as high as 121-132%)
Hybrid % Increased Evasion/% Stun Recovery (Starts at +6-14%/+6-7% and goes as high as +51-56%/+16-17%)


Similarly for suffixes, we desire:

+% Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance (Each starts at 6-11% and goes as high as 46-48%)
+Dexterity (As necessary, starts at 8-12 and goes as high as 51-55)
+% Chaos Resistance (As necessary, starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 31-35%)


Ideally your set of prefixes will include the increase to Maximum Life and pure % Increased Evasion as a basis, with Flat Evasion as a third mod providing the biggest total boost in conjunction with % Increased Evasion, although the Hybrid mod can also provide a good Evasion increase and shouldn't be overlooked. The primary three Resistances are preferred as the three suffixes, however if you are already capped, Chaos Resistance is a nice bonus to have. Additional Dexterity can also be a viable "last" suffix, as every 10 points provides 20 bonus Accuracy and 2% Increased Evasion.

Find a Chest piece that fits these affixes, and everything except for the Hybrid prefix and the Chaos Resistance suffix can be Master Crafted at a lower tier value. Here is the one that I use as an example:



I do not have Eternal Orbs, or I would shoot for at least a Tier 2 (83-100%) Increased Evasion Roll on here to approach the 2K Evasion Rating threshold. Assassin's Garbs also offer 3% Increased Movement Speed, while Zodiac Leather bases have the highest Evasion potential.

You may also choose to use some Unique chest pieces as well if you can obtain Resistances through your other gear slots. If you plan on using Rat's Nest and Maligaro's or Acuity, you will need to have the bulk of your Resistances on your Chest, Boots, and Belt slots. Some pieces you can consider, especially if they are 5L or better, before you get an end-game Chest piece, in no particular order:




Belly of the Beast offers a nice Life Boost, Elemental Resistances, and 50% Increased Flask Life Recovery rate (underrated mod for Mapping). You do give up a lot of your Evasion, as you stand to gain just over 200 Evasion with this armor as opposed to 2K+ Evasion with a Rare Chest. That said, it is still a solid choice to have. I used this armor quite a lot in 1.3, but with the new acquisition posted above, I have set it aside.




Kaom's Heart (Legacy or Non-Legacy) provides a level of Life increase that cannot be obtained by any other item in the game, at the cost of having to spec heavily towards Strength and giving up a potential 6-Link in your gear. That said, if you're using Tornado Shot as your main skill, it can serve as your Single Target skill as well, removing the need for an additional set of skill Links. I have used this armor before when I have pathed my tree more aggressively, allowing the stats from Kaom's Heart to bridge the defensive gap.




With how "rippy" some off the bosses are in The Awakening, Lightning Coil has, at the very least, seen a comeback in Temporary Leagues while always being a staple in Hardcore. If you are unfamiliar with this armor, while the stats its grants are not impressive on paper, the Physical Damage mitigation through Lightning Damage conversion is very powerful, especially when coupled with the Unique Flask Taste of Hate. The cost here, however, is the adjustment of your gear towards an additional 60 Lightning Resistance.




Greatly buffed in The Awakening is Hyrri's Ire, dropping the granting of Acrobatics so that now the additional Dodge it grants can be paired with the respective Keystone. This armor can grant over 2K Evasion with a high roll. That said, if offers no Explicit Life mod, so you will have to make sure that that the rest of your gear is adjusted accordingly. In a lot of Passive Trees as you approach the end game, this can account to 300-400 raw health lost with bonuses, so keep that in mind.




Somewhat of a controversial armor, I originally wanted to move this to the Budget/Alternative Gearing section, but with its popularity I decided to move it to the main Chest piece discussion. Daresso's Defiance is viewed by many in this subforum to be a high value (and end-game) armor piece; however I am not completely sold on it. The main allure is the generation of Endurance Charges, which coupled with the Cast When Damage Taken and Immortal Call gems can bring back a "1.3 feel" to our defensive offerings.

It is one of the more defensively beneficial hybrid EVA/AR Unique armors available, offering just under 900 Evasion and up to 60 Life. That said, it is important to understand how the Onslaught mechanic is on this chest. You *must* pay attention to the level in which you set your Cast When Damage Taken gem.

If you take a hit while you have Endurance Charges and it does not breach the CWDT threshold, you will simply lose your Endurance Charges and gain Onslaught, reverting back to ZERO Endurance Charges. This means that during combat, small hits will increase your DPS, but continue to reset this armor. The reason I do not use this armor is that the variability of how many Endurance Charges you will have upon breaching your CWDT threshold greatly depends on Overall Evasion and even monster pack type, making it a difficult to manage resource for you. Take care when investing into this armor for end-game use.


3.2 Helm Slot Options
For the majority of Physical Crit Bow Ranger builds, the helm slot is dominated, for the most part, by one Unique choice, Rat's Nest. This helm stands alone at the top in terms of increasing your DPS. Rare helms, however, which follow similar affix rules as Rare Chests, can also be a strong option if you prefer survivability and/or are able to reach a high level of Critical Strike Chance without Rat's Nest.



Rat's Nest offers high Evasion, Attack Speed, Movement Speed, and up to 75% Global Critical Strike Chance on a single piece of gear, making it incredibly efficient towards the goals of this build. It does not offer Life nor Resistances, which will affect gearing in other slots.

The other option is a Rare pure Evasion helm, usually in the base of a Lion Pelt (highest base Evasion). Once again, looking at affixes,


Desired prefixes are listed below:

Flat Evasion (Starts at +3 to 10 and goes as high as +61 to 138)
+ Maximum Life (Starts at +3 to 9 and goes as high as 90 to 99)
% Increased Evasion (Starts at 11-28% and goes as high as 121-132%)
Hybrid % Increased Evasion/% Stun Recovery (Starts at +6-14%/+6-7% and goes as high as +51-56%/+16-17%)
+Level of Minion Gems (Set to +1 or +2)


Similarly for suffixes, we desire:

+% Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance (Each starts at 6-11% and goes as high as 46-48%)
+% Chaos Resistance (As necessary, starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 31-35%)
+Dexterity (As necessary, starts at 8-12 and goes as high as 51-55)
+Intelligence (As necessary, starts at 8-12 and goes as high as 51-55)
+Accuracy (As necessary, starts at 5-15 and goes as high as 321-400)


There are some more affixes available for a Rare Helm than the Rare Chest option, which I will discuss. The Reanimator's/Summoner's prefix, granting +1/+2 to Minion Gems level, can be a useful prefix since we intend to use a Golem as a buff. It is not necessary, however if you do have this mod, you would look to socket your Golem and its Support Gems into here. Rare Helms also offer Additional Accuracy as well as Intelligence, something that is greatly needed for this build in order to use Blue Gems. Keep in mind that you can also Master Craft up to 30 Strength to meet attribute requirements.

Here are some examples of Helms that I own, one with +2 Minion Gems and three of the major Elemental Resistances, and one with only Evasion (somewhat low roll) and three Tier 1 Resistances including Chaos Resistance. Either one is okay, although I prefer the latter since *some* Chaos Resistance can be beneficial. Keep in mind that at the time I was testing a setup with Power Charge on Critical AND Increased Critical Strikes, so I did not need the additional Global Critical Strike Chance from Rat's Nest.





At the highest gear level option, Mirrored Lion Pelts can reach 1K+ Evasion Rating.

1K Pretzel Eating Team.

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Last edited by _Saranghaeyo_ on Oct 30, 2015, 2:15:27 AM
3.3 Gloves Slot Options

Very similar to the Helm Slot Option, the Gloves Slot Option is another gear piece that is often seen as a DPS option rather than defensive, mainly due to the availability of Maligaro's Virtuosity and Atziri's Acuity. Another option can be the Rampage Unique Shadows and Dust, now more obtainable as more Jack in the Box Divination Card Sets are turned in. All three of these gloves offer Increased Critical Strike Chance, with Maligaro's Virtuosity as well as Shadows and Dust offering additional Critical Strike Multiplier.

Maligaro's Virtuosity does the most upfront for DPS with a much higher Increased Critical Strike Chance and Attack Speed, while Shadows and Dust offers Mana Leech and the chance for Rampage Buffs as you kill more monsters, making it a very good option for mapping. Both have similar Evasion values.



That said, Atziri's Acuity is queen (hue) here. Whereas towards the end game you'll eventually want Instant Leech with a Vaal Pact effect, Atziri's Acuity offers this Keystone without the "No Life Regen" drawback and allows it to apply to Mana Leech as well. It also comes with up to 75 Life and 80 Intelligence, making it vital in survivability and hitting attribute requirements.



It really is hard to compete with the Queen herself.




Rare Evasion Gloves are not out of the question if you prefer. Once again, similar rules to most Rare Evasion armor pieces. Like the Rare Evasion Helm, there will be affixes specific to Gloves.

Desired prefixes are listed below:

Flat Evasion (Starts at +3 to 10 and goes as high as +51 to 80 via Haku Master Craft)
+ Maximum Life (Starts at +3 to 9 and goes as high as 80 to 89)
% Increased Evasion (Starts at 11-28% and goes as high as 121-132%)
Hybrid % Increased Evasion/% Stun Recovery (Starts at +6-14%/+6-7% and goes as high as +51-56%/+16-17%)
Life Leech (Available from 0.2% to 0.4%)
Mana Leech (Available from 0.2% to 0.4%)
Flat Physical Damage (Starts at 1/2 and goes as high as 4/6 to 9/10)


Similarly for suffixes, we desire:

+% Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance (Each starts at 6-11% and goes as high as 46-48%)
+% Chaos Resistance (As necessary, starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 31-35%)
+Dexterity (As necessary, starts at 8-12 and goes as high as 51-55)
+Strength (As necessary, starts at 8-12 and goes as high as 51-55)
+Accuracy (As necessary, starts at 5-15 and goes as high as 321-400)
%Increased Attack Speed (Starts at 5-7% and goes as high as 14-16%)


There are a larger pool of mods to draw from, which actually makes Rare Evasion Gloves very flexible in terms of offense or defense. Shown below is a pair of defensive Slink Gloves (highest base) that I have. They have three Resistances, a high Evasion Rating, and Life.



Offensive versions of a Rare would include a Flat Physical Damage prefix as well as an %Increased Attack Speed suffix. Also remember that if you have an open suffix, you can Master Craft up to 30 Strength.


3.4 Boots Slot Options
The last armor piece that is in this type of family are the Boots Slot Option. This slot has a couple of choices that I think warrant some consideration as end-game, and I'll start with the Uniques before venturing into the Rares, in no particular order.



Very popular in The Awakening and for good reason, Blood Dance is a very strong DPS choice in junction with Frenzy Charges and even Blood Rage itself. It is a Frenzy Charge generator in itself and also offers Life Regeneration per Frenzy Charge, offsetting the Degen from Blood Rage. As you'll reach 6+ Charges in some trees, the Increased Damage against Targets with Low Life can really shine.



A much more defensive option, Atziri's Step comes with a rare Explicit mod of %Spell Dodge in addition to a high Evasion Rating and up to 75 Life. I own two pairs, one Corrupted with +1 Frenzy Charge, and the other Corrupted with 4% Chance to Dodge Attacks as well. These make a great option if you're planning on fighting Atziri often, and can also serve you well in maps.



Untested for me as I have yet to find these in Warbands, but if you're willing to lose some Evasion and have Resistances elsewhere, Brinerot Whalers seem quite popular at the moment. This pair of boots offers %Increased Physical Damage and %Increased Projectile Damage, mods specific to only these Boots, and protects you from Shocking Ground.


One more round with affixes on Rare Boots.

Desired prefixes are listed below:

Flat Evasion (Starts at +3 to 10 and goes as high as +51 to 80 via Haku Master Craft)
+ Maximum Life (Starts at +3 to 9 and goes as high as 80 to 89)
% Increased Evasion (Starts at 11-28% and goes as high as 121-132%)
Hybrid % Increased Evasion/% Stun Recovery (Starts at +6-14%/+6-7% and goes as high as +51-56%/+16-17%)
%Increased Movement Speed (IMPORTANT! Starts at 10% and goes as high as 30%)


Similarly for suffixes, we desire:

+% Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance (Each starts at 6-11% and goes as high as 46-48%)
+% Chaos Resistance (As necessary, starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 31-35%)
+Dexterity (As necessary, starts at 8-12 and goes as high as 51-55)


I really want to stress Movement Speed here. Always look for 20%+ Movement Speed when evaluating Rare Boots. The faster you move, the faster you move out of harm's way, and the faster you can move on to the next pack of monsters. The rest of the mods follow the general Rare Evasion armor piece rules. Once again, this is a slot where if you have an open suffix, you can obtain up to 30 Strength via Master Craft. My current pair of Slink Boots (highest base) is shown below:



At the highest gear level option, Mirrored Slink Boots can reach 500+ Evasion Rating.


3.5 Belt Slot Options
As we transition out of the Evasion armor pieces, we start to move on to the accessories. The reason I've included the Belt Slot here instead of the other accessories such as Jewelry, Flasks, and Jewels is because they follow a very similar defensive pattern so it seems natural to discuss it here. In general you will seek a Rare Rustic Sash, Leather Belt, or perhaps Heavy Belt base here.

Reviewing the affixes,


Desired prefixes are listed below:

Flat Armor (Starts at +3 to 10 and goes as high as +401 to 460)
+ Maximum Life (Starts at +3 to 9 and goes as high as 90 to 99)
% Increased Elemental Damage with Weapons (Starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 37-42%)


And for suffixes, we desire:

+% Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance (Each starts at 6-11% and goes as high as 46-48%)
+% Chaos Resistance (As necessary, starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 31-35%)
+Strength (As necessary, starts at 8-12 and goes as high as 51-55)


Maximum Life, Weapon Elemental Damage, and any of the three primary Elemental Resistances can be Master Crafted at lower tiers if necessary. The Belt slot is also a potential place to pick up a Strength roll if necessary, but must spawn on the Belt as an Explicit Mod. Some times if you have Resistances elsewhere, it may be necessary to achieve attribute requirements.

Look for high Life and WED values as those can be incredibly valuable. Select Rustic Sash bases if you want a small damage boost, or a Leather Belt base if you want more Life. Also, one important note about affixes as well, if you have an open prefix, you can look to craft 1-5% Movement Speed with a Level 7 Tora! Some example belts are listed below.




My current Belt. I selected a Leather Belt base for more Life, but this has three Resistances, an "okay" Life value, and Tier 2 Weapon Elemental Damage. I also selected it because it can have the Level 7 Tora Master Craft that grants Increased Movement Speed.




A good DPS Rustic Sash with Tier 0 Weapon Elemental Damage, high Life and three Resistances. The Armor is almost negligible with Acrobatics, however, making this a pseudo 5-mod Belt for this build.



Two Belts with Life, WED, two Resistances and a Strength Roll. Each had a Master Craft for the Level 7 Tora Mod as well. These were used in the past by me to have enough Strength to wear a chest piece such as Kaom's Heart. Any of these Belts can be viable for the build; just remember these slots are there to fill defensive (and sometimes offensive requirements).


You may also look to use a Physical variant of Doryani's Invitation. This Unique Heavy Belt offers %Increased Physical Damage as well as Life Leech, at the same time having Strength and three Resistances. It can be a very good mid-game or even end-game option, especially if you make the sacrifice for lack of Life on this gear piece.






The remaining pieces of gear left for discussion will be the loose ends we need to tie up before moving on to the last (main) Chapter. These are your accessories slot, the Jewelry, Flasks, Jewels, and Off-hand. Similar to Armor Slots, these pieces can range from offensive options to defensive options, to everything in between based on what you prefer. We'll review affix rolls for Amulets and Rings, go through a Jewel breakthrough, and quickly move into Flasks and a potential Off-hand Choice.

4.1 Ring Slot Options
Two Rings available, with many bases. For this build the optimal base is of course the Diamond Ring, which offers an Implicit 15-30% Increased Global Critical Strike Chance. That said, out of the other options available, you may either select a Coral Ring or a Resistance Base to cap your defenses in the event that you are Crit Capped without needing Rings or in the early stages of gearing. Unset Rings can also be very interesting if you are looking to temporarily house a curse like Assassin's Mark or keep your Golem gem in there. Look for the following affixes:


Desired Prefixes:

Flat Physical Damage (Starts at +1/2 and goes as high as +6 to 9 / +13 to 15)
+ Maximum Life (Starts at +3 to 9 and goes as high as 70 to 79)
%Increased Elemental Damage with Weapons (Starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 37-42%)
Life Leech (As necessary, starts at 0.2-0.4% and goes as high as 1-1.2%)


Desired Suffixes:

+% Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance (Each starts at 6-11% and goes as high as 46-48%)
+% Chaos Resistance (As necessary, starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 31-35%)
+% All Elemental Resistances (Starts at 3-5% and goes as high as 15-16%)
+Accuracy (As necessary, starts at 5-15 and goes as high as 321-400)
+Strength or Intelligence (As necessary, starts at +8-12 for both and goes as high as +51-55)
%Increased Attack Speed (One tier, 5-7%)


As all rares are, it is another large pool of affixes to choose from. In general, I prefer my Rings to start with a Flat Physical Damage roll and Life roll, although in some cases I will settle for some additional utility. If you have an open prefix, you can also spend 1 Exalted Orb for a 5-20% Increased Evasion roll from a Level 7 Elreon. Example Rings that I have used, or am using now:



Currently in use. Has a pool of BiS affixes, however with varying tiers of rolls. The Flat Physical Damage is only tier 2, and the life roll is very low here, but the rest of the ring offers Tier 1 Weapon Elemental Damage, Tier 1 Accuracy, and a combined 67 total resistances, so I can justify its use. The Ring slot is an excellent slot to pick up an Accuracy Roll as well, which you'll generally want at least one piece of gear to provide.




Ring that I have used in the past. The base is unfortunately not ideal and the Mana roll only helps marginally (especially when multiple traps need to be laid before a boss fight). That said, it is still a solid 5-stat ring, providing a high Flat Physical Damage and Weapon Elemental Roll, combined with 84 total resistances. Another reason I found this ring to be a fine option was the fact that I could either save stat points or use Kaom's Heart in junction with it.




One of the rings I use in the other slot. I played around with a Haku Metamod for this ring, taking a cheap 5c Ring and isolating Tier 1 Flat Physical Damage and Tier 1 Life, and is a self crafted defensive option while also filling in the last bit of resistances that I need to cap. Its cousin, the damage version, also exists in my options:




Keep in mind that Master Crafting can be very useful here, especially with how expensive good 5 or 6 mod rings can be (or even Mirrored options). Especially if you find good 2-3 mod rings, you can fill in the rest of the needed stats as you see fit. I personally do not find any of the Unique Options to be end-game. I suppose there can be marginal uses for items such as Le Heup of All, Ming's Heart, Mutewind Seal, or The Taming. For leveling, however, Thief's Torment can be very helpful.



4.2 Amulet Slot Options
With how Amulet bases are, this Jewelry slot can assist you in hitting attribute requirements. While there are marginal benefits with Jade Amulet Bases or any hybrid stat base with Dexterity, the best options come from the Onyx, Agate, Amber, or Lapis bases. Critical Strike modifiers are available here (one of the few gear slots that have this), as well as stats, Weapon Elemental Damage, or Resistances. Affix breakdown:

Desired prefixes:

Flat Physical Damage (Starts at +1/2 and goes as high as +11 to 15 / +22 to 26)
+ Maximum Life (Starts at +3 to 9 and goes as high as 80 to 89)
%Increased Elemental Damage with Weapons (Starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 37-42%)
Life Leech (As necessary, starts at 0.2-0.4% and goes as high as 1-1.2%)
%Increased Evasion (As necessary, starts at 2-4% and goes as high as 20-22%)


Desired Suffixes:

%Increased Global Critical Strike Chance (Starts at 10-14% and goes as high as 35-38%)
%Increased Critical Strike Multiplier (Non-Legacy, starts at 10-14% and goes as high as 35-38%)
+% Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance (Each starts at 6-11% and goes as high as 46-48%)
+% Chaos Resistance (As necessary, starts at 5-10% and goes as high as 31-35%)
+% All Elemental Resistances (Starts at 3-5% and goes as high as 15-16%)
+Accuracy (As necessary, starts at 5-15 and goes as high as 321-400)
+Strength or Intelligence (As necessary, starts at +8-12 for both and goes as high as +51-55)


Similar to the Rings, look for Flat Physical Damage and Life but value them closely to Critical Strike modifiers. You can Master Craft up to 32% Global Critical Strike Chance as well, so open suffixes are always valuable. Other Master Craft options are 5-20% Increased Evasion from Level 7 Elreon or 1-5% Movement Speed from Level 7 Tora. Overall getting these four core mods can be difficult/expensive, so if your budget is limited, settle for what you can get out of these core attributes. Example amulets:




Cheap base, and I just filled in the mods with Bench Crafting. I have no intentions of using anything Mirrored on my characters, so at the moment, before I find a good base to settle on, I'll just have to use this. A Mirrored Amulet such as Vengeance Collar would be one of the best you can get.




Another amulet that I have used in the past when I was a huge fan of using Kaom's Heart (and prior to the Life Leech value nerfs, RIP). While this amulet doesn't quite stack up that well, it provided stats, Weapon Elemental Damage, and both Critical Strike modifiers, in addition to a Tier 1 Resistance and Life Leech.


Similar to the Rings section, I also do not find any of the Unique Amulets to be helpful here. A Rare here is your best bet.


4.3 Jewel Slot Options
Without a doubt, as you put Passive Points in, there will be access to Jewel Sockets on the way. As discussed in the first Chapter, I highlighted various Jewel Sockets that are well within the path of the average Physical Crit Bow Ranger Passive Tree. Most of these Jewels require at least an additional Node to reach, basically having a value of 2 Passive Points per Jewel that you invest. In this case you will have to weigh the trade-off. Jewels with two useful stats are nice but do not always warrant the trade-off, Jewels with three useful stats generally do, Jewels with four useful stats definitely do.

For the Jewel base in this build, you'll very likely go with a Viridian Jewel base, which not only offers generic damage and attack speed modifiers, but also Bow-specific versions of those. That said, the Cobalt/Crimson can offer at the least a nice 2-3 mod option.


Desired prefixes:

%Increased Physical Damage with Bows (14-16%)
%Increased Physical Damage (14-16%)
%Increased Attack Speed with Bows (6-8%)
%Increased Maximum Life (5-7%)


Desired Suffixes:

%Increased Projectile Damage (10-12%)
%Increased Damage (8-10%)
%Increased Projectile Speed (6-8%)
%Increased Attack Speed (3-5%)
Hybrid %Increased Accuracy / %Increased Global Critical Strike Chance (6 to 10% / 6 to 10%)
%Increased Global Critical Strike Chance (8 to 12%)
%Increased Critical Strike Multiplier (6 to 8%)


Also included in the suffixes are where you can pick up additional Resistances or Attributes as you need. I personally do not think it's efficient to do so here, however if these mods are packaged with three desired affixes, it's still worth it. Some example Jewels that I use:



Mostly offensive options here, and 4-mod. I don't think much regarding the Attack Speed Jewel (Dragon Joy), and if it did not have the hybrid Critical Strike Chance then I would have even shelved it for something better. I find Attack Speed to be the weakest "relevant" affix. Everything else in terms of damage or Critical Strike modifier is beneficial in a blanket sense. This is what more of my Jewels should look like for the end-game:



Damage, Critical Strike modifier (Multiplier), and Increased Maximum Life. Life seems to be the premium affix on these Jewels, so these can be very expensive overall. If you're going to min/max, however, this would be the combination of affixes to go. If you cannot afford a 4-mod Jewel, look for cheaper options like this one:



This was part of the original batch of Jewels I was crafting at the beginning of The Awakening. 2-mod Jewel with Resistance as a third mod. Not quite worth Exalting, but not quite worth throwing away. Look for these types to get some cheap introductory Jewel Sockets. That said, if you aren't getting at least two useful mods and a marginally used third mod, don't path to Jewel Sockets if you don't have to, and save some currency.



4.4 Flasks Slot Options
One of the last parts of the gearing Chapters. You'll always have 5 Flasks as a default, but of course nothing stops you from carrying "sideboard" flasks around as the situation sees fit. At the minimum, you'll want at least one Freeze Removal (of Heat) Flask and at least one Bleed Removal (Staunching) Flask. I also prefer a Quicksilver Flask. The rest is up to you. Quality them as soon as you can! It makes a world of difference. My current Flask Setup, which should look like many others':



Select Divine Life Flasks for the Bleed Removal option, since you will want to pair it with Instant Recovery, which always comes at the cost of reducing the total amount gained. Divine Life Flasks offer the most life gained when this penalty is applied. Any other healing you would want Eternal Life Flask bases for higher amount recovered over the course of a regular Flask effect. Look for the Surgeon's prefix (Charge recovered per Critical Strike) in that case to synergize with your Critical Strikes.

In the above set I have opted for damage options, Atziri's Promise and Taste of Hate. Atziri's Promise is a very cheap flask even in temporary leagues, and in my opinion is always worth picking up. Taste of Hate, on the other hand, is very rare and expensive, however well worth it once you obtain it. Other options you may explore:




A Jade Flask base will increase your Evasion rating by default. This one is coupled with %Increased Evasion as well as the Surgeon's prefix.




Ignite and Shock removal flasks with their respective element, also with the Surgeon's Prefix. These can be quite nice especially in maps where you are familiar with the boss damage, or even just with Shocked Ground effects or large AOE fire areas (cough Atziri). I don't include a Freeze removal version (Sapphire Flask) since I already have an option in my default flask setup, and Taste of Hate as well.




A nice all around Flask that I tend to use in "No Regen" style maps or when I need the Curse Removal. This is also a much better option if you don't have Atziri's Acuity, as sometimes you'll have a gap in your mana pool when mapping, and this helps bridge it quite nicely.




You may also consider a Granite Flask for additional Armor. Even if we suffer the penalty with the Acrobatics keystone, you will still gain a considerable amount of physical damage reduction during its effect. On my character I jump from 4% to 28% when I use the flask above. Another consideration is a second Bleed Removal Flask, which is useful against, say, the Trio in the Apex of Sacrifice. The last is Rumi's Concoction, but once again remember that its benefits are severely reduced with Acrobatics.


4.5 Off-hand Slot Options
Originally this would have a lot more important when Enlighten still granted more experience for gems, however I want to touch up briefly here on Off-hand options. You'll always want to keep some other gem options in your off-hand so that you can level those as you progress. If anything, it'll be a passive income generator as you can sell the gems. Early on I prefer to have two random one-handed weapons to level copies of your main skill gems so that when you flip them with the Gemcutter's Prism recipe, you won't immediately lose a pile of damage. All of your gems benefit from Quality, so I rarely keep any at a plain Level 20.

That said, when you begin mapping more often and progressing past the mid-game, you'll want one of these:



I've had this one for a long time, and they are available as soon as your Haku reaches Master Level 4. These weapons will help level Enlighten, Enhance, and Empower much quicker, which not only can benefit your build in some ways (at least Enlighten and Enhance) should you have the extra gem slots, but also sell for quite a good amount upon a Level 4 Corruption. So keep this in mind. The effect is now also the same with two one-handers from Haku of the save variety. The highest roll is 6%.






With all the gear in place, this is where the gem links can start to take place. You can honestly play Physical Crit Bow Rangers with a variety of skills, and I will try to discuss some of the more popular choices that are available. After that we can look at the buff and utility options, and I'll end with a short discussion on Chroming gear to be able to fit them in and adapt the gems for what you want to be doing. Please keep in mind that playstyle and farming areas will have an impact on how you color your gear. You don't want to bring a mapping knife to an Atziri gunfight (figuratively).

5.1 Building your 6L Main Skill
Your primary skill will offer some type of Area of Effect clear and generally be the skill that you want to allocate into a 5 or 6 Link as soon as possible. I have identified potential Main Skill candidates as Tornado Shot (high popularity), Split Arrow (recent popularity with The Awakening), Lightning Arrow (effective but not as popular), and Ice Shot (rarely used, still has Physical Damage synergy).

Before we start the discussion please refer to the Spoiler below about Tooltip DPS across these different skills:

Spoiler
It means absolutely nothing when comparing across different skills. Each skill "behaves" differently, so do not let Tooltip DPS be what makes your decision. It is much better to run identical white maps/zones to see for yourself and determine how each skill performs + adheres to your style.


There are multiple factors to consider when piecing together a multiple-link configuration for your main skill. What kind of mobs will you be fighting? How much physical base damage (and thus leech) do you want? What do the map mods look like? What does your Passive Tree look like? What is the "behavior" of your skill (spam attacks or a "one-shot" AOE)? In short, you have to think about all of these things.



We can build the link configuration by looking at the base skill >>> attack modifiers >>> critical strike modifiers >>> utility modifiers. We can start this section with building Tornado Shot from the ground up; I will then move on to other skill variations.



Still one of the more popular choices at the moment for Bow Rangers. This one is the most recognizable. Fire an arrow which, at its end, generates projectiles in all different directions. As a single arrow, it's not impressive, but combined with multiple arrows, it becomes a very strong AOE choice (and single target in a lot of situations). So the base skill and starting point for Tornado Shot would be:



OR



Now we look at how we can augment attack modifiers. These take priority, in my opinion, over critical strike modifiers since you want some amount of base damage to land a critical strike with in the first place. So consider these:



Tornado Shot is tied to the base damage of your bow, so the Physical Projectile Attack Damage Support Gem is a very strong damage modifier. The Faster Attacks Support Gem, on the other hand, simply increases the amount of shots fired. If you're set on Physical Damage, the former gem (PPAD) definitely holds priority. Faster Attacks can be beneficial for a Harbinger Bow base, but for anything faster (think Lioneye's Glare), you may want to skip this gem. Too much APS may not only have issues offsetting the damage you could potential gain from another Gem, but may also hinder your performance as it also drains mana very rapidly, especially without Atziri's Acuity.

That said, we want to start with a 4L or 3L with these:



OR



OR




==============================================================

Elemental attack modifiers are also available. We will build some elemental focused 6L setups below. I find these types of setups to be great for map mob clearing, but keep in mind most bosses (including Atziri) have high elemental resistances, so it's not optimal for fast boss kills or entering the Apex of Sacrifice or the Alluring Abyss. For these gems, you will need at least 109 STR or 109 INT, so prepare your gear for it or settle for a lower level of the associate gem.



We have the option of gaining extra elemental damage with these gems. The Physical to Lightning Support Gem converts a portion of our physical damage to Lightning Damage, and adds more Lightning Damage on top. The Added Fire Damage Support Gem doesn't convert any damage, but adds a higher rate of Fire Damage based on our physical damage. You can increase all sources of elemental damage with the Weapon Elemental Damage Support Gem, which augments not only the Support Gem in the link, but also buffs such as Herald of Ash or Hatred. Note how both of these elemental gems scale from physical attack damage. Thus, it is popular to have the following configurations on top of our base (PPAD can be replaced with Faster Attacks):



OR



OR (If short on links, 4L Example)



Pairing the WED Gem with these configurations can be very strong, so if you can use a GGGBR or GGGRR setup, I would recommend the trinity of PPAD and WED with either elemental damage gem. The Lightning setup is more susceptible to having low levels of leech (since physical damage is converted) but offers the Shock Status Ailment for 50% more damage to shocked enemies, whereas the Fire setup is a little more stable since we do not lose base physical damage. You can use the Faster Attacks Support Gem in either case for a balanced attack that offers physical and elemental damage, which also conveniently can be an example 6L setup as well.



OR



OR (If short on links, 5L Example)



==============================================================

Critical Strike modifiers are discussed a bit below. We can do the same and build some Critical Strike focused 6L setups (which using our base would result in heavy physical damage). These can be beneficial if you do not have an appreciable level of Critical Strike Chance, which means smoothing out flask recharges, afflicting status ailments, and taking advantage of Passive Tree choices (King of the Hill).

The one thing to remember with the following set of gems is that they can always be beneficial because we are Critical Strike based. With scoring Critical Strikes more related to INT, these gems are all blue and require 109 INT. Once again, you may prepare your gear, or settle for lower level versions of these.



We have the option of increasing the Critical Strike Chance of the base skill, which is highly important, and/or adding Critical Strike Multiplier into the mix. Critical Strike Multiplier, as stated prior, is a somewhat rare stat especially if you aren't using Maligaro's Virtuosity. If you have an appreciable level of Critical Strike Chance, a Level 20, 20% Quality Increased Critical Damage gem is the perfect compliment, offering +79% Critical Strike Multiplier.

Comparing the Power Charge on Critical Support Gem to Increased Critical Strikes, it's very simple. If you do not have a 4th Power Charge available or higher, use Increased Critical Strikes. You will gain 50% Global Critical Strike Chance per Power Charge, so there is no reason to use PCoC if you can't go over three charges. Similar to the previous part, we can construct some 5L examples, where PPAD and Faster Attacks can be interchanged.

☆ Keep in mind that if you do not want to generate Power Charges with your main 6L, that you can always opt for a Curse on Hit setup, which will be discussed later. ☆



OR



OR (If short on links, 4L Example)



In the first example, we assume that we are using 4+ Power Charges. Otherwise, we would select the second setup. This type of configuration, without any elemental conversion combined with Critical Strike modifiers, will have a high physical damage output, which coincidentally scales with both of the most popular buffs used in this build. Again using GGGGBB as a base, we can create these example 6L configurations:



OR



OR (If low on Links, 5L Example)



For me personally, I am using a bow with Master Crafted % Increased Critical Strike Chance (total 8.75% base Critical Strike Chance), so I need to take Merciless Alira for +1 Power Charges and use the Power Charge on Critical gem in order to reach ~92.5% Critical Strike Chance with Tornado Shot. Your own mileage will vary based on what the rest of your gear looks like. For example, in certain scenarios, maybe if you have strong Legacy Critical Strike Multiplier gear (Amulet and/or Quiver), you can even do this:



Enter a zone and see what your Critical Strike Chance is with your main skill so you can make these adjustments.

==============================================================

The Elemental modifiers Critical Strike modifiers can be combined together if you wish. In each of the previous sections, the gems were more green focused (up to 4 green gems used), but these configurations with at least three off colors can be used if you have the Chromatic Orbs and supporting gear to do so. Popular configurations are GGGBBR and GGGRRB. I personally have not seen that many GGGBBB or GGGRRR setups (at least not the latter without some type of Blood Magic involved, which I do not recommend).

In these GGGxxx setups, looking back in the first section, you'll be using the PPAD gem and Faster Attacks gem interchangeably, which I will go into in the following section. This will provide the flexibility to use gems of other colors. Here are some example GGGBBR setups:



OR



In the first setup, we drop one of the green support gems in favor of creating a 6L setup that incorporates both the Physical to Lightning and WED gems for a large elemental damage spike, while using Power Charge on Critical to keep up charges. This setup, without PPAD, deals considerably less physical damage, but offers a high Critical Strike rate and both forms of damage. You'll leech less, but be much safer against physical reflect. Similarly, in the second setup, we go back to the PPAD gem to synergize with the Added Fire Damage gem, but use the last two BB slots for better augmentation of Critical Strike modifiers.

We can also create a variation of the first setup in the GGGBRR form as well:



The same concept, but this time we go back to PPAD, Added Fire, and WED for an attack that tilts more in favor of strong physical damage (but still offers elemental damage), while still using Power Charge on Critical to maintain charges.

If you already have a high Critical Strike Chance, then replace one of the Critical Strike Chance gems with the Increased Critical Damage gem. Examples:



OR





5.2 Gem Swaps and Alternatives
No 6L combination is set in stone. These can be adjusted as you see fit for the area you are farming or to better fit your gear. About to enter a Physical Reflect map? PPAD has to go. Same for Elemental Reflect maps where you want to cut your WED gem and maybe even support gems like Physical to Lightning.

==============================================================

Your gear may also determine how you set up your gem links. For example, if you are a Drillneck user, then you will undoubtedly want to take the Pierce Gem over another green support gem in your setup. Here is one of the example setups without Drillneck:



In this case, you may want to incorporate Pierce in the setup over Faster Attacks, or even re-chrome and use a GGGGGB setup.



OR



OR




==============================================================

Likewise, here are some gem considerations you may want to consider:

Physical Reflect Maps Example



OUT

IN


Elemental Reflect Maps Example



OUT

IN

==============================================================

Dangerous Map Mods (Must keep distance)



OUT

IN

==============================================================

For maps that are out of the norm/difficult, your gem links and Flask selection will go a long ways in improving your performance and returns. In each of the above scenarios we either adjusted a gem link, or used a utility gem of some type (Life Leech and Faster Projectiles) to change how Tornado Shot interacts. You can also consider the Additional Accuracy gem as well.

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Last edited by _Saranghaeyo_ on Oct 21, 2015, 12:43:18 AM
5.3 Other Main Skills + Single Target (LONG SECTION)
From the first section, you can apply the gem link building concept to any other main skill or Single Target choice. The only thing you have to consider is skill "behavior," ie., Lightning Arrow behaves differently from Tornado Shot. The other popular options:

==============================================================

Split Arrow /// AOE




A much more popular skill with The Awakening. Split Arrow already offers additional arrows with gem level, so the use of a support gem such as Greater Multiple Projectiles is not needed here. Instead, because Split Arrow lacks the small Area of Effect that Tornado Shot supplies, we can pull more value out of this skill with the use of the Chain Support Gem. Thus, instead of:



We instead use:



Which fits very well into all of the previously discussed gem setups. If you do not want to use Chain, then you can run this as your base:



From testing and gameplay, I personally prefer to use the Chain Support Gem, but there are some players that do not need/like it, especially if they have a strong Single Target source of damage. Chain has horrible synergy with Pierce in general, so do not use these in combination with each other. Thus, example 6L setups:



OR



OR



In each of these examples, Split Arrow is used with different support gems, focusing on high physical damage, fast elemental attacks, and a setup assuming the use of Drillneck.


==============================================================

Lightning Arrow /// AOE


Like Tornado Shot and Split Arrow, Lightning Arrow also offers a strong AOE clear, especially with the ability for the skill to hit 3 more close-by enemies. However, Lightning Arrow comes pre-packaged with a physical to lightning damage conversion rate, which makes associate support gem picking different. The one main benefit to using this as a main skill is that on critical strikes, we apply the Shocked Status Ailment, dealing more damage to enemies.

As previously discussed, elemental conversion benefits greatly from the Physical Projectile Attack Damage gem as well as the Weapon Elemental Damage gem, so we will be using both of these in this case. I do not recommend Faster Attacks as you lose mana very rapidly with this skill (higher base cost and less physical damage to leech from). It also acts more as a "one-shot" type skill that you fire into a pack rather than Tornado Shot where you can fire multiple volleys into a pack and pick up the stragglers. Thus, you will have:



Combined with:



As a starting basis. The other gem links are up to available links and color availability. Lightning Arrow, with its AOE nature, is very strong with the Chain Support Gem, and while it is not necessary, it is highly recommended. Select the remaining support gem from how your stats look. Example 6L setups:



OR



If you have a high physical damage base on your bow, you can may also elect to use a GGGBBR setup, like the following:



OR



As stated previously, if you have a high enough Critical Strike Multiplier, stack up on Critical Strike Chance instead.



You may consider some gems such as the Innverate Support Gem. I have not tested these, but it can theoretically work.


==============================================================

Ice Shot /// AOE




Ice Shot acts very similar to Lightning Arrow in its "one-shot" type of behavior. It creates a cone-shaped explosion that can trigger multiple times depending on how many targets it hits. It is not as popular atm, most likely from its high base mana cost, which skyrockets when multiple support gems are linked to it. That said, for this skill, this is where the Pierce gem can be used if you prefer. Thus, you have two base options when using this skill:



OR



As it is also an elemental conversion skill, Ice Shot will benefit greatly from the Physical Projectile Attack Damage gem, as well as Weapon Elemental Damage. Similar to the Lightning Arrow setups where we look for more one-shot behavior (due to high mana cost as well), consider these 6L's. We utilize Slower Projectiles here as well.



OR



OR



The first setup offers more focused damage with a single cone explosion that uses Pierce to trigger more explosions as it hits more targets. The second setup is structured similarly to Lightning Arrow, which take advantage of GMP, Chain, and PPAD + WED for more damage, while using the last gem link for more Critical Strike modifiers. I felt the third setup with Increased Area of Effect performed well, especially if you have high Critical Strike Chance already. Again, I have not tested it, but you can consider Hypothermia or Ice Bite as another gem link choice.


==============================================================

Frenzy /// SINGLE TARGET




Frenzy has become very popular in The Awakening as one of the two Single Target skills of choice. While the aforementioned skills have very strong AOE, with the exception of Tornado Shot, the rest of these skills have diminished performances against Single Targets. Frenzy scales off base attack damage, so for this build physical scaling modifiers provide the largest benefit to it.

You can choose a pure physical version of Frenzy, but as all skills here you may choose to add Elemental Damages or Critical Strike modifiers to it. At the very least, I would start with:



And go from there. Example 6L setups:



OR



OR



In each of these setups we use Slower Projectiles for harder hits. The Faster Attacks Support Gem in the first 6L we can use for building up Frenzy Charges faster and delivering more Critical Strikes, and a version with some Elemental Damage is in the second 6L. If you can get up to the target's face, the "More" bonus from Point Blank's projectile starting travel location is another modifier you can take advantage of.

For Utility Frenzy with Curse on Hit, we will look at it in a later section.


==============================================================

Puncture & Puncture Trap /// SINGLE TARGET




For manual fire Single Target skills you may also elect to use Puncture. This skill has similar attack damage scaling as Frenzy, but also adds in a nice Damage Over Time bleed, especially if the target is moving. If you are going to use a manual fire Puncture, you can also trigger King of the Hill and take advantage of the "additional 50% bleed" with the knockback. The other option is a setup with Puncture Trap, using Slower Projectiles and the newly introduced Trap and Mind Damage.

The one difference between Puncture and Frenzy is that Puncture is purely Physical Damage focused, especially with the bleed. This means that you do not need (nor want) Elemental Damage scaling in the links. Example 6L configurations:



OR



OR




As you can see, no red gems in these configurations. The first two 6L configurations are for manually firing Puncture, either from a general distance or a more "in your face" approach with Point Blank. The Puncture Trap meta changed a bit in The Awakening with the use of "More" multipliers, leading to a GGGGGG setup with both Slower Projectiles + Trap and Mine Damage.

Use manual puncture against mobile bosses, and Puncture-Trap against the opposite. In the Apex, for example, you'll definitely want to use Puncture-Trap, as with the multipliers it can take out a clone, reflect-proof, in a set of 3 charges (or less).

If you want to use a Critical Strike modifier of some type, you can elect to travel two Passive Points south of King of the Hill in order to get the Point Blank Keystone Passive, which does not stack with the Support Gem, but allows you to replace it with something else. Example 6L w/ Point Blank Passive:



For a larger damage boost.




5.4 Reserved Auras/Buffs and CWDT
Mana Reservation Auras and Buffs are used to supplement offenses (generally) and sometimes defenses. Please note that the Reduced Mana Support Gem no longer works with mana reservation. The most popular offensive Aura/Buff configuration that is used in The Awakening is Hatred (50% Reserve) and Herald of Ash (25% Reserve). Both of these scale off of Physical Damage, which fit perfectly into the build, with Hatred offering additional Cold Damage based off of Physical Damage, and Herald of Ash doing the same as well as providing Overkill Ignite damage.



You may also elect to go into defensive options as well:



Here, Grace (50% Reserve) offers a huge Evasion boost while Arctic Armour (25% Reserve) increases defenses while standing still as well as a path of chilled ground to get away from enemies easier.

The other two Elemental Heralds may also offer a good damage boost:



Previously in 1.3 it was possible to squeeze another Herald on top of Hatred and Herald of Ash, but that is not as ideal in The Awakening as you would have to jump through too many hoops to do so. That said, if you want to substitute either for Herald of Ash, it is possible. Herald of Ice will provide an AOE Shatter, while the added damage from Herald of Thunder can also apply the Shocked Status Ailment (not the damage from the thunderbolts that rain down). Both of these buffs are also very good for Curse on Hit options should you choose to do so. If you use Herald of Thunder, note that the Level 20 Intelligence Requirement is 155 INT, which heavily constrains your gear options. Settling for a Level 11 / 20Q Herald of Thunder is possible.

In general, as long as you are operating on 75% Mana Reserved, you can use the combination that fits you. For example, for Hardcore Leagues I would recommend Grace and Arctic Armour, or at the least Grace and Herald of Ash, for safer gameplay. Enlighten is the only gem that will reduce mana reservation amounts; it is not necessary, but can improve your Quality of Life by allowing you lay all your trap charges easier and provide some flexibility on your mana base.



==============================================================

Cast When Damage Taken setups have changed drastically since the introduction of The Awakening. Enduring Cry no longer works with CWDT, so we cannot rely on the traditional RRRR setup with CWDT + Immortal Call + Enduring Cry and Increased Duration.

That said, a 0-Charge Immortal Call still provides 0.4 Seconds of Physical Damage invulnerability, which combined with leech and Vaal Pact/Acuity will be able to save your health pool and fill back up.



To select the level of your CWDT, it will depend on your health pool (and how often you want it to trigger). I set mine at 1/5 of my health pool or around that, which is a comfortable amount for me. I also only have enough Strength to support a CWDT around that level.

Since Enduring Cry is no longer used in the last link, you can use either a high-level gem (that will not trigger from CWDT; Vaal Skills also fall in this category) such as a Level 20 Blood Rage or a low-level Curse. You can even use a manual cast Enduring Cry if you wish, if the socket color will allow. Example Curses or skills you may use (disregard the levels):



Standard curses to use in these setups. Warlord's Mark is also possible as it will grant you additional leech on hit for cursed enemies. Phase Run is a very strong option as it provides a large boost of mobility and less visibility to enemies, which consuming Frenzy Charges that the build naturally generates anyways.



5.5 Active Buffs and Utility Skills
The last part of the Gem Links Chapter. These skills can be cast at any time to be refreshed, and offer various bonuses. Blood Rage provides a huge damage boost with attack speed and Frenzy Charge generation, while the new Golems in The Awakening provide further offensive bonuses. We also have access to Vaal Skills and Warcries.

If anything I would say that Blood Rage and a Golem should start off these Actives, either:



OR



Ice Golem provides more Critical Strike Chance and Accuracy, while Flame Golem provides a raw damage boost. Use the latter if you have an appreciable amount of Critical Strike Chance, and the former if you need to raise that level.

Other optional skills are:



Enduring Cry still has synergy with Immortal Call, but if you want to use it, you have to manually cast it. That said, it can be useful if your goal is to be more defensive in nature. It also regenerates a small amount of life over its duration. On the other hand, Rallying Cry provides a large damage boost, scaling off of nearby enemies. The extra bonus of this skill is that it also provides a little mana regeneration as well. From Ayvi's build guide, if you are using Enlighten to help your mana pool reserve, and Rallying Cry, it can make gameplay very smooth especially when using Traps.

Lastly, Vaal Haste and Vaal Grace provide short bursts of offense or defense; interchange these if you need to shift your defenses or your offenses. Just make sure if you can slot these gems with an Increased Duration, that you do it.



==============================================================

We have already discussed Phase Run as a CWDT option, but you may also elect to use it for Mobility as well, since it offers a high movement speed boost. The clone Arrow skills can also offer additional utility, either providing Mobility (Blink Arrow) or a distraction to take aggro off of you (Mirror Arrow):



I wouldn't recommend Mirror Arrow 100% of the time, but Blink Arrow is a must. Either one of these skills synergizes well with:



Either greatly speeding up the attack animation or keeping the clones around for longer.

==============================================================

The final Utility Skill setup is the Curse on Hit setup. If you do not like Power Charge on Critical, consider linking a Curse on Hit setup with Assassin's Mark, which will increase the chance that an enemy takes a Critical Strike, as well as the amount of damage they take from one. You will also get Power Charges from slain enemies.

You can apply these Curses with a 3-Link or 4-Link configuration, with an attack OR buff:



OR



OR



OR



Any of these options work well, with the buff version sometimes offering smoother gameplay since the Curse application is a passive action rather than something like a Split Arrow setup where you have to manually attack with it. Herald of Thunder or Herald of Ice are both options to apply these Curses; one has raining thunderbolts, the other has an AOE explosion upon a slain enemy. The best part is that the Curse on Hit Support Gem does not have a higher mana multiplier, keeping your reserve costs the same.

==============================================================

See my example gear, or gear in other threads for how to slot these into your gear. At the moment I am not using a Curse on Hit setup, opting for these Utility Gems:



You can configure these any way you like based on the available sockets, links, and colors on your gear.





WIP; Will answer as post takes shape




Ayvi's Tornado Shot Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1416657
Doeboy's Bow Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1235105
Neversink's Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1041989/
RangerJayson Bow Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1095484
LiftingNerdBro's Beginner Bow Guide: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1333752

POE Affix: http://poeaffix.net/
Vorici Chromatic Calculator: http://siveran.github.io/calc.html



9/2/2015 - Introduction, Table of Contents, Chapter 1 Posted
9/9/2015 - Gear Updated, Chapter 2 Posted
9/16/2015 - Chapter 3 Posted
9/19/2015 - Chapter 4 Posted
9/27/2015 - Chapter 5, Sections 1, 2, and part of 3 Posted
10/17/2015 - Gear Updated, Chapter 5, Sections 3, 4, and 5 Posted
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Last edited by _Saranghaeyo_ on Oct 17, 2015, 1:56:26 PM
nice.
tho I think you and others missed +15% all resist and 36% increased evasion in 2 nodes next to that frenzy charge node south of duelist start, east of blood golem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those nodes, they are not out of the way, they are strong(er) than most other alternatives. They should be considered especially for cheap builds that will struggle with resists if they don't get lucky with big resist items, or get lucky and have rat's nest or maligaro's drop etc. Heck, I have resists everywhere and still had to take both good resist clusters, but they also got me a ton of evasion.

I am sorry, I just like to build more tanky and play a bit safer. That will change after lvl 92/3, I might stop caring if I die or not :D
"Path of Exile be a online Action RPG set up in tha dark fantasy ghetto of Wraeclast. Well shiiiit..."
- Uzicorn, for teh children.
Last edited by Ludak021 on Sep 3, 2015, 12:29:51 AM
Until about a year ago, Evasion characters did not exist on the Ranger side of things. I and a few others popularized the Evasion meta for Ranger back when every single Ranger was IR. Looked at month and race infographic and decided to prove Evasion could work for end game, and it did :P
IGN : Ericaa
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My Rain of Arrows Evasion build guide! https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/791798
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"
Ludak021 wrote:
nice.
tho I think you and others missed +15% all resist and 36% increased evasion in 2 nodes next to that frenzy charge node south of duelist start, east of blood golem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those nodes, they are not out of the way, they are strong(er) than most other alternatives. They should be considered especially for cheap builds that will struggle with resists if they don't get lucky with big resist items, or get lucky and have rat's nest or maligaro's drop etc. Heck, I have resists everywhere and still had to take both good resist clusters, but they also got me a ton of evasion.

I am sorry, I just like to build more tanky and play a bit safer. That will change after lvl 92/3, I might stop caring if I die o.r not :D


How_older_players_see_tree's_resis


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Burn all the orbs!
Last edited by skuadak on Sep 3, 2015, 1:27:03 AM
Added to resources section of build list.

This is the kind of posts I wanted to do in 1.2 (well, almost did it but was too late as 1.3 was coming and I was to lazy to update :p).
btw, Oak cruel 1.3 was 18%, not 24%.


edit: fixed oak from 20 to 18%
Ranger builds list: /917964
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If the witches watching watches watch the same watch while you watch which witch watches which watch, they switch watches; then, the watch switching witches watch which watch you watch.
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Last edited by Panini_aux_olives on Sep 8, 2015, 1:30:31 PM
Nice guide! I strongly suggest AngryCustard's Poor Mans Guide to Bows (https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1386577/page/1) for the Resources and Links section.
Last edited by lussiano on Sep 3, 2015, 10:28:28 AM
"
lussiano wrote:
Nice guide! I strongly suggest AngryCustard's Poor Mans Guide to Bows (https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1386577/page/1) for the Resources and Links section.

I don't know what to think about his guide actually. He gives some strange tips. I would not recommend it tbh.
Updates! Added in Chapter 2 (Bows and Quivers) and split it up with the Armor discussion, as the planning for these sections went a little haywire. I also did include my current gear in the opening post. Slowly but surely finding time to write...


"
Added to resources section of build list.

This is the kind of posts I wanted to do in 1.2 (well, almost did it but was too late as 1.3 was coming and I was to lazy to update :p).
btw, Oak cruel 1.3 was 18%, not 24%.


edit: fixed oak from 20 to 18%


Thanks for that, for some reason I went full Rustic Sash values and did that. It has been fixed! Hopefully I have enough time with work to squeeze in some writing time.


"
Ludak021 wrote:
nice.
tho I think you and others missed +15% all resist and 36% increased evasion in 2 nodes next to that frenzy charge node south of duelist start, east of blood golem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those nodes, they are not out of the way, they are strong(er) than most other alternatives. They should be considered especially for cheap builds that will struggle with resists if they don't get lucky with big resist items, or get lucky and have rat's nest or maligaro's drop etc. Heck, I have resists everywhere and still had to take both good resist clusters, but they also got me a ton of evasion.

I am sorry, I just like to build more tanky and play a bit safer. That will change after lvl 92/3, I might stop caring if I die or not :D


I can understand that. They are indeed some useful nodes and I may add that in once I get the first version of everything written. Building tanky is very understandable though.


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linkstatic wrote:
Until about a year ago, Evasion characters did not exist on the Ranger side of things. I and a few others popularized the Evasion meta for Ranger back when every single Ranger was IR. Looked at month and race infographic and decided to prove Evasion could work for end game, and it did :P


Ahh, I did not know this. Very good information; I have slightly adjusted the Preface. 1.3 is when I originally started playing so I did not have access to anything prior.


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lussiano wrote:
Nice guide! I strongly suggest AngryCustard's Poor Mans Guide to Bows (https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1386577/page/1) for the Resources and Links section.


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dEus__ wrote:
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lussiano wrote:
Nice guide! I strongly suggest AngryCustard's Poor Mans Guide to Bows (https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1386577/page/1) for the Resources and Links section.

I don't know what to think about his guide actually. He gives some strange tips. I would not recommend it tbh.


I did read the guide and while it is entertaining it is not a guide that I have used in the past. The guides listed in this post are guides that I have either personally used or (in Lifting's case) are guides that friends I play with frequently have used in the past. At the moment I am not looking to overload the resources section if I can help it, mainly just using it as a bibliography.

Thanks everyone for the comments.
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