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Arcane Hunter

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Difficulty: PotD v5.0.0.0040

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Class: Hunter (Blackjacket + Arcane Archer)

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Race: Hearth Orlan

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Background: White that Wends, Mystic

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Stats (char creation, no Berath's Blessings):

MIG: 10

CON: 7

DEX: 18

PER: 21

INT: 18

RES: 3

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Active Skill: Acana (!) 

Passive Skill: Metaphysics ®

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Weapon Proficiencies:

 

Arquebus ®

Hunting Bow (!)

Dagger ®

War Bow (!)

Mace ®

Flail ®

Saber ®

Battle Axe ®

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Abilities ( r=recommended, !=important)

note: You don't have to get the skills in the order they are listed. Some of the Abilities such as (Quick Switch or Beast's Claw) won't help you until later in the game.

 

PL1

Fighter

Disciplined Barrage (!)

Arms Bearer 

Ranger

Companion Bear ®

Wounding Shot

Marked Prey

Resilient Companion ® 

 

PL2

Fighter

Fighter Stances ® 

Confident Aim ® 

Two-Handed Style 

Ranger

Marksman ® 

Protective Companion 

 

PL3

Fighter

Disciplined Strike (!)

Penetrating Strike ® 

Ranger

Accurate Wounding Shot ® 

Evasive Roll or Charge (!)

 

PL4

Fighter

Vigorous Defense® 

Quick Switch (!)

Weapon Specialization ® 

Ranger

Hunter's Claw ® 

Stalker's Link  

 

PL5

Fighter

Armored Grace (!)

Conqueror Stance ® 

Unbending 

Ranger

Driving Flight (!)

 

PL6

Fighter

Clear Out (!)

Improved Critical

Ranger

Beast's Claw ® 

Survival of the Fittest ®

 

PL7

Fighter 

(if you don't take Arms Bearer you can take Weapon Mastery here but I like the flexibility of having 4 weapons choices)

Ranger

 

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Items (*=additional enchantments; !=important, r=recommended):
 

Weapon set 1: Magistrate's Cudgel + Sun and Moon ®

Weapon set 2: Scordeo’s Edge (Blade Cascade*!, Strategic Shot*!) (!), Slayer’s Claw (!) 

Weapon set 3: Frostseeker(!)(!)

Weapon set 4:Essence Interrupter(Thermal Conduit, Soul Diplomacy) (!) / Vielpiercer(Weightless Draw!, Disruptive Arrow®) ®

 

Chest: Miscreant's Leather / Devil of Caroc Breast Plate / Gipon Prudensco ®

Helmet: Heaven's Cacophony (!)

Amulet: Strand of Favor 

Cloak: Shroud of the Phantasm (!)

Gloves: Firethrower's Gloves/ Left Hand of the Obscured ® 

Ring: Ring of Clenched Muscle (!)

Ring: Ring of Prosperity’s Fortune (!)

Belt: Gwyn's Bridal Garter 

Boots: Rakhan Field Boots (!)

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Basic Goals:

 

This build has a surprisingly easy start considering it is somewhat of a glass cannon cannon and has several huge power spikes along the way. In the very early game Blackjacket and Ranger have a few tricks that can make life much easier for you than it would be for most characters. As a Blackjacket you can take advantage of the Arquebus Weapon Modal and start combat with a well aimed Wounding Shot before switching to a Hunting Bow with Rapid Shot. If needed you can always switch to a Dagger with Modal and Shield (a great time to use scrolls) to survive a dangerous situation. This combined with having an extra Tank from the Ranger Companion means you should be able to cruise through your first fights. Also don't forget to use scrolls (you have the Arcana for it!) in my opinion some of the first fights are among the most difficult all game and a well timed scroll can tip the tide in your favor. The first power spike comes from getting Essence Interrupter. This is probably the best Hunting Bow in the game and will get you through Port Maje no problem and is useful vs enemies that are weak to Electricity all game (just be sure to focus down far away enemies E.g Spellcasters/Ranged, first so the Summons don't attack you). It isn't cheap but if you do some pickpocketing around Port Maje you can afford it before even having a real fight. Before long you will get access to Imbue: Web. This isn't the most game changing ability but at this time in the game you will cast it with about 15 bonus Accuracy (10 from Arcane Archer Arcana bonus and 5 from Fighter stance) not to mention your high perception, this WILL hit most enemies you encounter at this stage giving you the opportunity to focus down enemies one at a time. Opening combat like this makes things easy. Your next big power spike comes from Frostseeker. You have slowly been stacking Accuracy and Hit to Crit buffs and Frostseeker will Crit ALL the time! After grabbing Frostseeker go buy Heaven's Cacophony and once per Rest you can cast Avenging Storm and absolutely shred through mobs. This may only come once per rest but soon you can cast Avenging Storm scrolls and don't have to plan on resting nearly as much. The next thing to look forward to is level 13 where you get Armored Grace and Driving Flight, your electric ice storms are now almost twice as effective. Now would be a good time to pickup Magistrate's Cudgel, Sun and Moon and Veilpiercer. Getting the Cudgel is a little tricky but there is more than enough ways to stack Resolve temporarily (Cloak of Poverty +5, Pet +2, Rings +2, Amulet, +2, Boots +1, Resting +2, Berath's Blessing +2 ). Magistrate's Cudgel gives you a random bonus of +1 Armor, +1 Penetration or -20% Recovery when you first engage an enemy and instantly kills lower level Kith on Crit. Combine this with its Weapon Modal,a Flail using the Modal and Clear Out ( later No Quarter) and you can open combat with a Buff for yourself and great Debuff  (-25 Reflex, -1Armor) to a group of enemies, making them extra Vulnerable to your elemental storm and then quickly Evasive Roll to safety. Veilpiercer won't be your main damage dealer but it can be very useful against bosses or high level spell casters and being able to swap it in and out with no penalty is incredibly useful. Disruptive Arrow is especially useful vs Mega Bosses. Your next goal should be to pick up Shroud of the Phantasm. This gives you another once per rest "god mode". Living Illusions summons 4 copies of your character including your weapons and buffs! The most hilarious part is it also summons a copy of your Companion Animal so not only do your enemies have to deal with the heavens erupting with ice and lightning but also 5 hungry bears come charging as well! Around now you can switch from using Imbue Web to Imbue Eora. This packs everyone nicely together to make your elemental storm all the more effective. Make sure to give your companions immunity to Pull effects if they are going to use Melee. Next you should be able to pick up Rakhan Field Boots and  Scodeo's Edge. You can combine these to start combat jumping in to a group of enemies, doing a Full Attack to each one, potentially using Clear Out to do even more Primary Attacks before Evasive Rolling to safety. You should easily get between 5 and 10 Primary Attacks in, which increases your ranged Accuracy between 15-30 and has a 20-40% chance to cast Blade Cascade. Blade Cascade is insane especially when you can instantly switch to a bow. With all your Intelligence you should have time for a Priest to throw on a Salvation of Time to keep it going. The last three things you should work towards is Ooblit, Slayer's Claw and Ring of Clenched Muscle. Ooblit increases your beneficial effects by 3 seconds which is great since your most powerful abilities (Blade Cascade, Living Illusions) have a fairly short duration. 3 seconds might not seem like much but its actually really really good its a 60% increase on blade cascade and 30% on Living Illusions. Slayer's Claw is great because after getting a priest to cast Champion's Boon on you, you will now Interrupt on Crits even from range and it also gives you access to another No Quarter style attack which significantly increases your chances of triggering Blade Cascade. Ring of Clenched Muscle turns you into an absolute Affliction king. You hit so many enemies so quickly it doesn't take long before they all have all tier 1 Afflictions. If things still aren't easy enough for you make sure to "prep" with Hunter's Claw/Beast's Claw before your bigger fights. The best way to do this is to use two one handed weapons including Sun and Moon. This will get you 3 stacks per use saving you some time. A Blunderbus used to work better for this but I think it got fixed. Another weapon that can be fun in certain situations is Lover's Embrace. Attacking from stealth and using No Quarter from your boots you can do an area of effect permanent Raw Damage over time attack and have a good chance of giving yourself Frenzy before Evasive Rolling to safety. 

 

Miscellaneous Thoughts:


Once you get Brilliant having access to both Penetrating Strike and Accurate Wounding Shot becomes very useful because you can rotate between them since your Resources replenish fairly slowly. You also never need marked for the hunt. Marking is only really useful vs hard to kill bosses. You will Crit most enemies easy enough without it and far too often the Mark moves to a Tank when you should be focusing on something squishier. Vigorous Defense and Unbending don't have the longest duration but most of your best buffs aren't too long and you want to use Salvation of Time to extend all your buffs anyways. Anyways you should have enough Intelligence and fire power that it is rare things expire before the fight is over. You don't have the highest deflection but Vigorous Defense and Hunter's Claw can get you over 120 of each type of Defense.


This Build is fully viable the whole game but it does get a bit silly towards the end. I had fun with it but sometimes it feels a bit like cheating. The biggest weakness is the need for an optimized party to really take advantage of the builds strength. You need a Priest for Salvation of Time, some way to access Brilliant because of how quickly you can go through Resources, a good Tank especially early game because you can be quite squishy and a reliable source of healing. You can solo as well but you have to rely on a lot of cheese in the early game and vs mega bosses. 

I hope you have as much fun testing this as I had making it. I feel like Blackjackets and Arcane Archers don't usually get that much love around here but they offer so much versatility and really encourage you to use more weapons and scrolls than you normally would.

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