Racial Arcane Archer Divine Theorybuild
- 1 Racial Arcane Archer Divine Theorybuild
- 1.1 Basic Arcane Archer Template Information
- 1.2 Racial Comparison
- 1.3 Arcane Archer Gear
- 1.4 Sources of Doubleshot
- 1.5 Bypassing Fortification
- 1.6 Advice from Natsira
- 1.7 Advice From Pianoforte
Racial Arcane Archer Divine Theorybuild
- My note about the build in play: Arcane Archer Theorybuild Gone Live Leveling Notes.
Basic Arcane Archer Template Information
For the theory build I'm using the Cleric class. The idea is that a Half-Elf Cleric can get some Bow Strength from the Ranger Dilettante feat, Arcane Archer from their racial enhancement tree, can spend 35 points in Arcane Archer to get all the heroic cores and two T5's, and still have leftover enhancements for at least the Radiant Burst. Worshiping the Silver Flame gives long bow proficiency and a few +1 enhancement bonuses as you level. If you play into epics you get all the cores and the capstone by level 25 by shifting 41 points into the AA tree.
Before unlocking your elemental imbue you don't use a bow. You use a repeater (half elf Artificer Dilettante). Once you swap to using a bow, start with either the Silver Longbow (more average damage) or Serpentbranch (two augment slots). Eventually you'll upgrade to the Bow of Sinew and then Pinion.
The entire plan can also apply to a Favored Soul except you want the Archon instead of the Burst, which means the AP will be very tight. It could also work for a paladin with a full set of archery feats (Holy Sword is awesome on a bow). In the case of either Cleric or Favored Soul the idea is to not completely gimp spell casting.
I'm experimenting with ways that casting and bow use can work in tandem. Fear arrows are a nice imbue to lower the saves on mobs before casting death spells like Slay Living and Destruction. However, Slay Living requires that the mob be at close range and Fear causes them to run away. If you can Fear them and paralyze them (such as with a lootgen Paralyze bow), they die easily. Implosion is nice when surrounded by melees. I'm sure there are some other synergies I'll find over time (and other kinks to work out), but in general, the pairing of bows and magic can work.
- Arcane Archer unlocked in helf is 10 ap and 4 ap to buy (14 ap total). Top of the tree for Ranger Dilettante is 20 ap and gives up to +8 strength bonus to bow attacks. For Aerenal Grace it's also 20 ap and gives Dexterity to Damage on bow attacks.
- Arcane Archer capstone is 41 ap. It's only available in epic levels.
- Radiant Burst is 11 ap.
- If you're only going for a heroic build, you need 30 points in the tree to unlock the T5, plus 2 ap for Slayer Arrows and 2 ap for maximum Improved Elemental Arrows. Aligned Arrows are the best core you can buy and are available at level 15. This means you only need to spend 34 points in the tree for heroic AA.
66 of 80 ap spent, 71 if you max Ranger Dilettante.
Since it's very hard to spend AP in any class trees, I've fallen back on the Harper Tree and spend my points on getting extra Ranged Power. If I weren't doing that I would spend 8 ap to get Mighty Turning and the Radiant Burst.
Don't bother trying to use Divine Might as an Enhancement bonus to Strength. You'll be struggling with too many stats and gear slots to get Charisma high enough to pay. This makes wearing your heroic and epic Gianthold gloves hard for heals. In heroic levels, you can always use a Cannith crafted strength item. In epic levels, you can toss a +7 Strength augment in the epic gloves colorless slot. You want to try to avoid using an epic Shamanic Fetish, as that breaks the Planar Conflux set. You want a fully upgraded Pinion (and want the Conflux bonus) in epic level as that's the strongest bow for this build.
Past Life Feats:
- 3 ranger will give +6 to ranged damage.
- 3 monk will give an additional stacking +3 to damage (including ranged).
- 3 paladin will give +15 stacking Healing Amplification.
- 3 cleric will give +6 boosts to Turn Undead and +3 to Conjuration DCs.
- 3 Primal Sphere lives 9% stacking Doubleshot
Racial Past Life feats to unlock racial AP makes this build much easier. 4-5 ap will cut the 10 racial ap to unlock the tree in half.
Most Relevant Racial Past Lives:
- 3 Aasimar (+1 Heal, +1 Wisdom, 1 AP)
- 3 Human (+1 Haggle, +1 Wisdom, 1 AP)
- 3 Tiefling (+1 Spellcraft, +1 Charisma, 1 AP)
- 3 Dragonborn (+1 Spellcraft, +1 Charisma, 1 AP)
- 3 Half-Elf (+1 Diplomacy, +1 Charisma, 1 AP)
After this you have to decide for yourself what you might want. Are you going to be a Dex build or a Str build? You'll want to do your ranger lives before these so you can still use bows each life.
- 1-Point Blank Shot (+ Dilettante)
- 3-Rapid Shot
- 12-IC - Ranged
- 15-Precise Shot
- 18-Improved Precise Shot
- 21-Combat Archery
- 24-Overwhelming Critical
- 26-Quicken or Precision
- 27-Blinding Speed
As you can see, on an archer you only have room for two heroic caster feats (Maximize and Quicken) and one has to be delayed to Epic levels.
These should be pretty straight forward. The core archery feats are Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, and Manyshot. The next three most useful feats are Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot, and Improved Critical. On a 7-feat build your last feat should probably be something that boosts casting. I chose Maximize as it will be useful for whatever SLAs I have in both heroic and epic levels.
Manyshot needs a BAB of +6, Dex 17, and PBS/RS. Rapid Shot needs Dex 13. +3 tomes apply at level 11 (meaning 12 is the soonest a cleric could take Manyshot if they're depending on a tome for Dexterity). If adding at least 2 points with a tome, you can get Manyshot at level 9 by starting with a 15 Dexterity.
Precise Shot needs Point Blank Shot. Improved Precise Shot needs Precise Shot + Dexterity 19. Starting Dexterity needs to be calculated based on tomes and the 19 target.
Improved Critical has a BAB of +8.
Combat Archery requires Dexterity 21. I start with a 15 Dexterity and apply a +6 tome.
Twists of Fate
Your epic feats should complement the Twists you take.
- If you have enough points to unlock it, I suggest taking the Twist of Fate: Draconic Heritage. This gives you +30 spellpower in the color of one dragon. I use blue for Electric spellpower, since I depend on shock arrows.
- Rejuvination Cocoon is always good. It's good enough for epic healing.
- Pin is great crowd control for a ranged character.
- Spellcraft. Adds to Fire, Acid, Cold, Shock, and Force spellpower.
- Heal. Adds to Positive and Negative spellpower.
- UMD. Useful on any build.
My first thought is to put all level-ups into Wisdom on a divine. My first three lives I haven't had many issues with hitting targets, but I've spent very little time in epic levels. I don't how much Dexterity an endgame Archer needs.
This build would be best as either a True Reincarnation after you spent a lot of time grinding good heroic and epic gear, with the majority of epic destinies unlocked, or as an Epic Reincarnation after the same. It would benefit from maximum available spellpoints (good Wizardry items, greensteel Con Op), good spellpower (heroic and epic Gianthold gloves, Holy Symbol of Lolth from 21-23, Lantern Ring, elemental accessories). I'd also want a +3 Wisdom Planar Focus to bond with Pinion.
Endgame Radiance would come from a Lantern Ring. With the Lantern Ring and the Gloves of Immortality all you need is Impulse augment for Force damage (blade barrier and Force arrows), or just skip it and use Potency. If you skip Impulse then you can slot a damage augment in Pinion. An epic version of Iron Beads gives Electrical spell power, as would an epic Darkstorm Helm.
Some other choice epic gear: If you could get them, I'd go for the Halcyon Boots from Fall of Truth. With +8 Dexterity, Striding 30%, a yellow slot (and a colorless slot for +2 Insightful Dexterity), and Potency +80, there's a lot to like. The Tablecloth would take care of Charisma and Spell Focus Mastery (+2 to all casting DCs). The Sage's Locket +5 evocation necklace from Friends in Low Places (heroic and epic) would boost a cleric's main damage school.
With Potency on your boots, the Tablecloth on your back, the Lantern Ring on one finger, and the Sage's Locket around your neck, you could afford Flawless Black Dragon armor, or Shadowscale that's DPS-oriented.
The various racial choices for Arcane Archers each have their strengths and weaknesses.
- Sun elves are a somewhat poor choice, from a pure numbers standpoint, as they get no bonuses to damage. They are able to get extra fire spellpower which is useful for elemental arrows. While not specific to archery, they get racial enhancements to Turn Undead, which can be useful for unlocking Arcane Archer, and as a supplemental attack.
- Half Elves are my favorite class. They embody my personal gaming philosophy of flexibility over specialization. With the Ranger Dilettante feat, they can add up to 8 points of Strength bonus to each damage roll. If you don't like Ranger Dilettante or don't want to build for Strength, Sneak Attack dice from Rogue Dilettante is also a nice damage-boosting option. If you choose "elvish" core and tree options, each point spent increases the range of Point Blank Shot.
- Aerenal elves are the best choice for specializing as a racial archer. The top of their racial weapon line is Aeranal Grace, which allows them to apply their Dexterity bonus to each damage roll. If you're already building to use Dexterity for damage, this also puts the Combat Archery feat within reach. Each point spent in the racial tree increases the range of Point Blank Shot.
- The new Falconry Tree is very useful for divine archers (Wisdom for damage). If you're not worried about stacking either Strength or Dexterity then you can instead get the bare minimums you need for each feat and then build for Wisdom. If you have access to Falconry then all the arcane archer races are viable.
Arcane Archer Gear
Before TRing into this build you want to farm:
- House Deneith Favor and get your two quivers (long and wide).
- Silver Longbow. It binds on equip but isn't particularly rare. If you can't farm it, they're usually available in the plat Auction House. It has an expanded critical range and a red slot and is going to be your core bow for several levels.
- Bow of Sinew. From the Missing chain. This bow is Bound to Account and thus may be swapped between characters. This bow is amazing. It has an expanded critical range and a x4 critical multiplier, plus does Aligned damage. This plus AA imbues is your DR-breaker for heroic content (and even early epics).
- Pinion. From Caught in the Web. If you want to run this build in epics you should make sure to farm one up before you start the TR grind. The raid is only run rarely and the bow is very shy about dropping. You don't want to grind out 15+ past lives only to miss getting the bow and then feel like you wasted all that time. If you get the chance, fully upgrade it with the Purple Dragon Knights to get the red augment slot.
Some other nice gear to have:
- Petrifying Warbow. Made from combining two weapons plus a Mark from the second Lordsmarch chain. Binds to character on Equip, and doesn't have an augment slot. This bow is a little tricky to farm, so you may want to save it for a long-term AA toon. The vorpal petrification proc freezes mobs in place, and the bow also has crippling (50% slow) on crits.
- Serpentbranch. From Delera's end reward list. This bow is Bound to Account and thus may be swapped between characters. It has two augment slots, one red and one purple, and does 1d6 poison damage on every hit. Many mobs are vulnerable to poison, including many kinds of undead.
- Triple Positive greensteel bow. For undead.
- Thornlord, heroic version (+4 damage, 1.5 damage dice). This bow binds on equip and is very rare, so you may want to save it for a long-term AA toon.
- Dynamistic Quiver. From The Devil's Gambit. Doubleshot and Ranged Power. Try to farm both the heroic and epic versions, but the quivers do have VERY low drop rates so it's good to have a fallback option (like a Quiver of Poison) while you're working on it. Both quivers are Bound to Account and thus may be swapped between characters.
- Quiver of Poison. From Gianthold. It's worth farming both a heroic Elite and epic Hard or Elite version. Binds to character.
- Wind Howler Bracers. They give a bonus to ranged attacks and have a sonic proc on vorpal strikes (reported in the forums as 5d6+30 with no save).
- Bracers of Wind. You can make multiple tiers of this, and get electrical spell power, Blur, and some dodge for defense. It's very nice if you're planning on using Shock arrows. Electrical damage is one of the least resisted elemental attacks.
- The Blood Stone. From Sands of Menechtarun wilderness area. This trinket gives +6 seeker. Seeker helps in confirming critical hits and critical hit damage. This stone is unbound and can often be found in the plat AH.
- Venom Set from the Red Fens. Has a poison proc on vorpal (2d6 Con damage) and reduces threat. Constitution damage is nice because they lose hit points each time it ticks. Very few heroic mobs (even red-names) are immune to poison.
- Shimmering Arrowhead. This ML: 18 trinket is pretty easy to farm in the Shavarath Quest "Weapons Shipment". It cripples targets on vorpal ranged strikes.
- Epic Elemental Bow of Earth. This ML: 20 bow from the Cannith Challenges is a solid item to use from level 20 to 23. When fully upgraded it has two augment slots, one red and one colorless.
Cannith-Craftable Bows for creatures immune to crits:
- +X acid/electric/frost (burst) of greater elemental bane
- +X (vicious of) greater construct bane
- +X acid (burst) of greater undead bane
A low-level smiter, disruptor, and banisher are useful.
Sources of Doubleshot
Here are some sources of stacking doubleshot that don't require specific classes or epic destinies. They are available to any class/race combination.
- 10% = Level 28 Epic Destiny Feat Doubleshot
- 9% = Epic Past Life Feat Doubleshot x3
- 8% = Skirmisher's Bracers ml:26 or Epic Quiver of Alacrity ML: 20
This is 27% total.
- 25% = the Precision feat
- 15% = Grim Precision T3 Shadowdancer twist
- 10% = Black Dragonscale Armor Armor-Piercing
- 5% = Trapsmith’s Workshop ship buff
This is 50% total
You can get an additional 35% Armor Piercing on a Thunderforged weapon.
Advice from Natsira
My TR buddy Natsira gave me some advice on playing an AA. I have a tendency to let builds marinate for a while, and then when Natsira plays something, it motivates me to try it on my own. It happened with my pure cleric Warpriest build (he played a Warpriest Favored Soul) and then with my AA Theorybuild (he played an AA Ranger). While it doesn't say it here, he also pointed out that I wanted Manyshot before 12th level.
manyshot use it as often as you can, get your str high for more dps from str bow, i took sniper shot and slayer arrow use it in manyshot to max dps
also haste/dmg boosts are cool and improved precision shot to hit multiple enemies with any shot + paralyzing arrows = win you can get them in line paralyze and use arrow of slaying on all enemies in line i did that a lot
against undead it sucks...
Advice From Pianoforte
The Zen archery feat (usable by any class) allows an archer to use Wisdom to hit. Prereqs: Wis 13 and BAB 1.
Consider splashing 2 fighter (instead of 2 rogue) and taking Zen Archery and Precision as free fighter feats.