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Core Ranger
August 2022

Open World
Dps

Armor

Illustrious Visage icon Superior Rune of the Pack icon
Berserker's HelmSuperior Rune of the Pack
Illustrious Shoulderguard icon Superior Rune of the Pack icon
Berserker's ShouldersSuperior Rune of the Pack
Illustrious Guise icon Superior Rune of the Pack icon
Berserker's ChestSuperior Rune of the Pack
Illustrious Grips icon Superior Rune of the Pack icon
Berserker's GlovesSuperior Rune of the Pack
Illustrious Leggings icon Superior Rune of the Pack icon
Berserker's LegsSuperior Rune of the Pack
Illustrious Striders icon Superior Rune of the Pack icon
Berserker's BootsSuperior Rune of the Pack

Weapons & Sigils

Longbow icon Superior Sigil of Force icon Superior Sigil of Accuracy icon
Berserker's LongbowSuperior Sigil of Force Superior Sigil of Accuracy
Axe icon Superior Sigil of Force icon
Berserker's AxeSuperior Sigil of Force
Axe icon Superior Sigil of Accuracy icon
Berserker's AxeSuperior Sigil of Accuracy

Trinkets

Quiver of a Thousand Arrows icon
Berserker's Backpiece
Black Ice Earring icon
Berserker's Accessory
Asgeir's Talisman icon
Berserker's Accessory
Asgeir's Amulet icon
Berserker's Amulet
Black Ice Band icon
Berserker's Ring
Mistborn Band icon
Berserker's Ring

Utility Skills

Pets

Juvenile River Drake icon Juvenile Jungle Stalker icon
River Drake Jungle Stalker
copied

Example engage combo

Start with Jungle Stalker using Mighty Roar and swap to River Drake before engaging in combat.

  1. "Strength of the Pack!"
  2. Barrage
  3. "Sic 'Em!"
  4. Rapid Fire

Mid to close-range fight

Start with Jungle Stalker using Mighty Roar and swap to River Drake before engaging in combat.

  1. "Strength of the Pack!"
  2. "Sic 'Em!"
  3. Splitblade
  4. Winter's Bite
  5. Path of Scars
  6. Whirling Defense

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.

Build Fundamentals

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.

Weapons

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.

Skills

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).

Quickening Zephyr is an instant cast ability that breaks you out of Crowd Control effects and gives you a few seconds of Quickness. You can use it offensively during an attack that will benefit most from Quickness such as Rapid Fire, Barrage, or Whirling Defense, but remember that Quickening Zephyr is your only stun break, use it wisely.

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.

Finally, your elite skill "Strength of the Pack!" grants you and your pet Might generation on hit, Fury, Swiftness, and 10 stacks of Stability. Due to Might being generated on hit, this skill will be best utilized when used just before some multi-hit attacks like Rapid Fire, Barrage, or Whirling Defense. If you are facing an enemy with Crowd Control effects, you might want to use it as a defensive tool for Stability.

Note: If you want a bit more convenience, your pet F2 skills can be set to auto-cast (similarly to your auto attack) by using Ctrl + Right Click.

Crowd Control

Gearing tips

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.

Unlocking skills and pets

If you’re looking up this build as you’re leveling through the wide world of Tyria we recommend unlocking Signet of the Wild and "Sic 'Em!" first, then Quickening Zephyr.

Unlocking "Strength of the Pack!" can be delayed at the cost of unlocking your first specialization first if you are getting close to level 21.

The first specialization at level 21 should be Marksmanship as it offers the most useful traits in early levels. At level 45 get Skirmishing and finally at level 71 unlock Beastmastery.

The River Drake can be selected as a starter pet if you are a human. It also can be found in:

  • the very southeast area of Diessa Plateau
  • along the river of Kessex Hills
  • near Lake Bounty in Gendarran Fields
  • around Firth of Revanion or Mentecki Pass in Bloodtide Coast

The Jungle Stalker can be selected as a pet starter pet if you chose an Asura, Charr, Human or Sylvari character. They can also be found in:

  • Sandycove Beach and Willowalk Groves in Celadon Forest
  • The Stychs in Mount Maelstrom

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