Following build is designed to guide you through your first playthrough, or simply offer you a decent and reliable Core build if you are on Free to Play account. Core builds are not advised to use later in game due to superiority of elite specializations.
Ranger is a powerful Core profession orientated around keeping your enemies at the distance when needed with your Longbow, and punishing them in mid and melee range with Axes when forced to.
This build offers solid damage and self-applied boons such as Might, Fury, Swiftness, Quickness, and Stability, it also has a lot of the fundamentals that lead to the end-game build Power Soulbeast, which should be next on your path to unlocking strong build.
This build combines lots of passive damage increases from traits with high damage skills from Longbow and Axe/Axe. It also has Might, Fury, and Quickness generation for itself, three out of four key offensive boons in the game.
Your Longbow is a long-ranged weapon focused on keeping and damaging enemies at a distance.
Your two hardest-hitting skills on your Longbow are Barrage and Rapid Fire. Try to use them at the max range to maximize the usage of your Farsighted and Lead the Wind traits. Take note that Barrage will get interrupted if you move during its cast.
If an enemy is closing in, you can keep them at the distance with Point-Blank Shot. If you continue to find yourself cornered, use Hunter's Shot to Stealth yourself and reposition.
Axes are mid-range to melee-range weapons.
Splitblade and Whirling Defense are your highest damage skills in the Axe/Axe weapon set, while Splitblade is a ranged skill, it’s actually most effective when used in close range where all projectiles will be able to hit your target.
Whirling Defense while a very strong damage skill, it cannot be used whilst moving and will also be canceled by moving, dodging, or using another skill. Keep in mind whether you think you have enough time to complete the cast of this skill before using it. Try to use Path of Scars before casting Whirling Defense to Crowd Control your target, giving yourself more time to finish the cast.
It is important to know that Path of Scars won’t pull your enemy if you’ll cast it inside the enemy hitbox, you should always target past the enemy instead.
Winter's Bite is a great defensive tool as it applies Weakness that can be permanently kept on an enemy as long as you cast it off-cooldown. Having Weakness on an enemy in melee range can significantly reduce the damage you take.
Most of your skills will serve to increase your damage rather than offering any utility.
Your heal skill "We Heal As One!" not only heals but also copies any boons you have to your pet and vice versa. If you are not in danger, you can use it offensively when you have lots of boons on yourself (ideally, shortly after switching from Longbow to Axe/Axe and engaging in mid or close-range combat).
Signet of the Wild passively gives you and your pet ferocity (an increase to critical strike damage). The active effect can be used to Immobilize nearby enemies. However, it’s not recommended to do so as when you use a signet you loose the passive effect which in this case massively reduces your outgoing damage. If you find yourself in a situation where you need Immobilize, consider taking the Entangle elite skill instead.
"Sic 'Em!" will increase you and your pet’s movement speed and damage, try to use it when your pet is already close to the target to not waste the damage increase.
Since this build is designed to be your entry point to Guild Wars 2 world, let’s start with the basics, if you haven’t checked the guides below, give them a read to make yourself familiar with game basics.
Don’t try to invest in Runes and Sigils before you acquire proper level-80 Exotic gear with Berserker’s stats as transferring upgrades is not possible without destroying the item, and retrieving them during the process has a small chance with most salvage kits.
From drops, crafting and level-up rewards pick items with Power, and on later levels supplemented by Precision and Ferocity.