Arcane Archer, The Swiss Army Knife Edit
This build focuses on using a class that can effectively use both physical and magical damage variations to great effect. You will not hit CONSISTENTLY hard in physical or magic, but instead trade it off for having small extreme bursts of each. This class is meant to see what the target is weak to then exploit it to the fullest extent. There is a lot of variation in this build (making it either better for single play or party play), so keep that in mind while reading this guide. I will do my best to indicate various differences and options available for this expansive hybrid build.
This is an interestingly build as it can benefit in a variety of ways from most races which could even depend on how it is played in the long run.
The elves have a lot of great perks for this build. Elegant's +2 Finesse helps with overall bow/crossbow main weapon you will be using. The Corpse Eater grants free skills, and the fresh sacrifice is again another great addition. The extra AP along with increased damage over 3 turns can really let you dish out some pain from the backlines where your Constitution debuff should not be a problem.
A strong race that synergizes well with the class. Your special flame ability adds extra fire utility, albeit at an expensive cost of 2 AP for only a short distance linear AoE. The +2 Intelligence helps to make sure your spells can keep up to date with the rest of your damage output. Spellsong is, again, a playstyle or situational buff.
The humans are alright at this build. The extra wits and crit chance help to get intiative early on, and the encourage buff is a strong way to begin or end a turn if you have good AP management. Not much else to say, they accomplish some extra "Nice" tings about the build with wits, but overall no strong synergies with the class.
Not too useful for this build all in all. A +2 strength buff is fantastic on other builds, and their petrify is nice but the range is relatively short. You will be further back most of the time, but it does come in handy. If a target gets too close you can petrify them and move away, or give an extra turn for a party member to deal with the problem. The +1 sneak can be useful, but nothing too important.
Starting Stat Allocation Edit
A few primary attributes should be paid attention to. Finesse, Intelligence, some memory, and some Wits later on.
|Primary Attribute Point||Starting Suggested Value|
Let's talk about the wide range here on starting value. If you're lucky you'll manage to pull a 14-11 set of stats and then the rest will be 10. So why does this one have such a large variety of stats? Well it depends on what you would like to focus on. More on the magical side or more on the range side? If you start with a Lizard it may be better to use your Bow skills as backup, but if you start as an Elf it would be a better idea to make use of a couple spells and instead use elemental arrows as the kick. This will become more apparant which you should choose as I get further into the guide.
Abilities and Talents Edit
So this build has a lot of variety. I'm going to do my best to break it down into two major variations and go from there.
Variation 1: Arcane Focus Edit
This is for players who start with higher intelligence and intend on mainly using more spells and such than the use of the bow. E.G. Lizard with 13 int Start.
- One Pyro/Geo/Aero *Choose one here, you can expand later on if you like*
- One Huntsman
- One Scoundrel
So let's go over the choices here really quick, and why you are so spread out. The Huntsman level one helps significantly with height bonuses which you should be trying for along with giving you access to huntsman skills. The Scoundrel is there to allow you to buy or grab Adrenaline really early in the game. In fact first purchase should probably be adrenaline (50GP); it's a very useful skill keep that keeps you able to do a lot of work in one turn.
IMPORTANT: The choice of Elemental Mastery Edit
TL;DR = Pyro OR Geo suggested for Combo usage early on. Aero for later game.
This applies to both variation builds, but especially in the Arcane Focus setup. Your starting choice should be something that has a lot of in-class or early game combos and synergy. For this reason I highly recommend Pyro or Geo. Aero is great, and while it may have a lot of effective stuns you will rarely be able to use them after knocking out an opponents magic armor. In this game Magic Armor when on a character prevents CC from happening. So you need to be able to burst through their magic armor with a spell or two, THEN cast your CC spells.
Pyro and Geo are good starting tools because you can often find ways to combo them early on. Pyro naturally does strong damage enough to break through armor and cause burning, which can then combo with another fire spell spontaneous combustion to create strong bursts of damage. Even more so with fire arrows which are relatively cheap to come by and acquire. Geo works in a similar manner by providing some oil surfaces with fossil strike, or poison with contamination which when combined with fire arrows makes for some nasty explosions.
Variation 2: Archer Focus Edit
Another variation which focuses more so on the use of the archer aspect. Instead of spells being the normal use of your AP points you will focus on using elemental arrows instead, with the use of magic being a combo finisher. E.G. Spontaneous Combustion to burst the DoT of burning your fire arrow just applied. Along with this many of your spells should focus on only using one or two AP so that when you have more than that it can be used on elemental arrows or raw damage output.
- One Pyro/Geo *Choose one here, you can add more variation later*
- One Huntsman
- One Scoundrel
Back to choices: Similar to the above. Pyro has better early on combo capability while geo can better set stuff up for the entire team. The level one huntsman is used for height advantage and access to the skills which you will dip into as you go. Scoundrel for Adrenaline because Adrenaline is useful on most builds if they have room, it helps to give you more AP which is always helpful in those tight turns or when you're front-loading a ton of damage
Civil Abilities Edit
I suggest Loremaster for this build. Loremaster allows you to examine your enemy targets (right click -> examine) and check for weaknesses to rely to your party or other online teammates. It also allows you to choose best options when dealing elemental or physical damage to them.
Now this is where your build will begin to differentiate vastly depending on if you are doing group play, your playstyle, and the usage of the character in the group. I'll do my best to sort this into an information filled, yet comprehensive, guide on the best fit for you and your party.
Starting Talent Edit
- Warlord - This is a good starting talent if you intend this character to be one of your death dealers. As a death dealer they are pretty adept at this role because they have access to both physical and magical damage at almost all times. 2-3 characters all close to death, but far apart AND some have magical armor while others still have physical? Let this build with warlord clear them up, by making use of the weak point/no armor factor of a close to death enemy they can chain these together to kill targets and end with a CC or hard hitting damage.
- Arrow Recovery - Recommended to get early on for most builds. Especially archer focus builds. Your elemental arrows define your options and keeping several around at all times is necessary. The uniqueness of this class and how it works in battle is based upon being able to answer and exploit all weaknesses. That means saving as much money on those expensive arrows as possible.
- All Skilled Up / Bigger and Better - I normally put these together because they have a similar purpose. They allow hybrid builds to spend a talent to help keep their abilities from slacking too much compared to pure builds. Overall both are pretty useful and self-explainatory. Take these when you feel you're not too interested in the other talents, or at the beginning of the game when you need a stat boost.
- Far Out Man - A talent useful for both classes, though more so for the Arcane focus. Extends range of spells and scrolls by 2M. Not much else to say, take it if you like to heavily outrange, but remember there are other talents that could be more helpful in the long run.
- Elemental Ranger - While I wouldn't suggest taking this first, it is a useful one to take. When you do have to take shots having an extra elemental added could be of use especially considering it fits the idea of the build. That being said it often sounds better than it is. To have fire added on you would need to be standing in fire. To have water added in you will need to be standing in water, which could get you stunned if it gets hit with electricity, and also cause wet to your target that you may trying to set on fire. It's a bit of a wild card that takes getting used to.
- Hothead - Are you good at not getting hit? Really hate missing shots and want more crit chance? There's a talent for that. Thing is you can't always be sure the enemy will not target you, but if you play your cards well and play in a party that works well together as a team... Then this is a fantastic skill that has long term benefits. I wouldn't suggest it as a first pick up, but it's a definite pickup for those with good party composition.
Honorable Mentions / Options Edit
Duck Duck Goose - Allows you to evade attacks of opportunity if people get close. Though I'd suggest having cloak and dagger or tactical retreat instead. You will be pushed for memory slots so keep this talent in mind.
Savage Sortilege - While a nice talent that grants 50% of your crit chance to critting for magic spells, overall it's not as useful as some of the other talents. Still, if a person were to focus enough on magic it could be helpful. That being said you will also need to invest in wits or other items to create decent crit chances in the first place. I have another build this works well in, but that will be for another time. I'd suggest staying away from it in this build and instead focus on versatility.
Starting skills Edit
Again this has a lot of variation, but I will give a few sample builds and explainations of how they combo well by themselves and in a group.
Variation 1: Arcane Focus (Pyro) Edit
- Searing Daggers
- Spontaneous Combustion
- Marskman Fang/Ricochet
This build makes use of a fantastic early game combo. Searing Daggers has a small AoE able to hit 2-3 people if they are close enough together setting targets on fire, breaking through mage armor, or setting oil alight as well. Then depending on the amount of turns still left on the burning OR necrofire Spontaneous Combustion gets bonus burst damage. Fire arrows, Oil on fire, or searing daggers can all apply burning debuff which the Spont Combustion skill combos off of.
The choice between ricochet and marksman fang comes down to a couple things. Ricochet is better if you want this arcane archer to simply be dealing as much damage as possible per turn, you don't care in what form, while Marksman fang has better utility overall. It's a linear damage that goes through armor. So incase your arcane focus doesn't finish them off and your spells are on cooldown you still have a physical damage option to kill them off even if you've left their physical armor alone.
Variation 2: Huntsman Focus (Pyro) Edit
- Spontaneous Combustion
- Adrenaline OR Marksman Fang
So this build starts off with fewer and weaker engrained combos, BUT grows very quickly into a very scary force. Early on you will have to make heavy use of arrow recovery and using things like elemental arrows on targets with armor, or allowing your friends to kill armor targets if you run out of magic arrows until level 3-4. In the beginning focus on helping your team as much as possible while stockpiling elemental arrows, and focus on upgrading your huntsman/ranged abilities.
After level 3-4 you will have access to things like tactical retreat and cloak and dagger for battlefield positioning, then making use of elemental arrows, adrenaline, and combo finishers like spontaneous combustion or marksman fang to kill off and do massive damage to targets. Most importantly keep an eye on the "examine" tab of your enemies with loremaster. It will give you a good idea of how to deal with your opponents. Adrenaline makes sure you can spend a whole turn dropping a priority target or aiding the team with elemental CC (freezing arrows) or physical CC (knockdown arrows). Remember that your arcane side with a huntsman focus is about finishers and combo beginners/enders. Focus on small one AP spells like ignition, combustion, burn my eyes (to clear blind), and other "quick cast" spells to augment your character's combat prowess, or to enhance the effect of your elemental arrows.
Skills To Get (Variation and Choice) Edit
To preface this next section remember that the Arcane Archer has a lot of variation in the builds. Just like how in combat it focuses on being a master at everything, speciliazing in none, the type of elemental spells you get will be based upon your party composition and synergies. Understand that to be a good Arcane Archer you must work to synergize with your group above all else.
Pyrokinetic Spells Edit
- Burn My Eyes - A great spell for both variations. Especially the archer variation. Burn my eyes clears blindness and increases stats for one action point. Depending on how well you manage your AP it may be an opening spell or a spell kept to clear blindness just in case. Can be used to help your party members as well.
- Searing Daggers - I highly suggest this for all builds with pyro. While it is expensive on 2 AP when used on people standing in oil or other lightable surfaces it technically procs more than the 3 daggers because of the burning and explosive damage it can cause. Not only that the small AoE has potential when combo'd with people who have teleport in your party.
- Spontaneous Combustion - In my opinion this is one skill that you should NOT pass up if you have pyro using this build. It's a fantastic combo skill for only 1 AP. It can be used even if people are not on fire, but the burst it provides when people are on fire is worth it. Especially considering how often that can happen. On top of that it's a pretty decent AoE.
- Fireball - Strong but expensive in AP fire spell. Get it if you're arcane/pyro focus, and maybe if you've got extra slots as a Huntsman focus. Strong utility, good damage, nice AoE. Harsh on the AP so use wisely.
- Ignition - A great fire spell. However, in party play remember this applies to all surfaces. Be very careful with this spell because it can often turn a fight you're winning into a fight you just lost. Exceptionally powerful, yet volatile, the pinnacle of a fire mage's thought process.
- Haste - Useful spell, but depending on your race may be less useful. Most fights will not last long enough for this to take effect except on higher difficulties. Which are currently not out to test. Decent spell, but often adrenaline will get you far enough to kill stuff in a couple turns.
Geomancer Spells Edit
- Magical Poison Dart - Pretty good starting Geo spell. Straight up damage, but little utility. Grab if you're a geomancer with extra memory space.
- Fossil Strike - If you plan on doing party play with people who use fire, or you plan to multi-element later down the line with fire grab this. It's a strong skill that can setup some hard hitting explosions.
- Contamination - A good skill similar to Pyro's ignition. This one applies to blood, water, and cloud surfaces. Use it to combo into strong explosions with your team or with yourself using fire arrows/pyro spells. Again similar warning to ignition, be careful not to screw your team over with this. It can cause misery if you do not think ahead and do not possess high battlefield/environmental awareness.
- Impalement - A strong skill and a personal favorite. Does a good amount of earth damage in a decent AoE and if the enemy has no physical armor it cripples them preventing them to move. In group play this can be a pretty devasting ability, and it also leaves behind an oil puddle so you can chain from that.
With just 4 AP in one round you can impale a group of people leaving behind an oil puddle and crippling anyone with no armor. Then use ignition to light that oil on fire causing damage and burning debuff to anyone without magic armor. Then finish with a combustion combo to ignite any of those fire debuffs into a large burst damage in that AoE.
In Conclusion Edit
This build is fantastic for solo and group play. Most importantly though in a group it heavily depends on how well you synergize with your group. Focus your elemental choices, spells, and arrows on comboing well with your teammates. Communicate to them the weaknesses of your target with your loremaster skill and Right click -> Examine on targets. You will be the foundation for any truly powerful group. Take your time to think, consider your options, combo hard, and make smart plays to see how this class can shine.