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What are "best" talents to get for melee ranger who dual wield? Funny enough ranger is probably one of few cases when its a bit hard to get all nice stuff at once

Out of abilities melee ranger would want rather small pool of must have skills:

  • Swift aim - for speed boost
  • Stalker link
  • Takedown
  • Vengeful grief

Everything else on odd levels is pretty much flavour

On talent side however it is kinda harder. We have talents that boost 4 pet

  • Visious companion
  • Merciless companion
  • Resilient companion
  • Brutal takedown

Then there is basic melee setup for dualwilding

  • Weapon focus of choise
  • Two weapon style
  • Vulnerable attack
  • Savage attack

Then on top of that you would kinda really want

  • Swift and Steady - to fix acc penalty from Swift aim
  • Veteran's recovery - to boost survivability

And optional niceness which is kinda easy to let go

  • Bloody slaughter
  • Apprentice sneak attack

However problem is that you can only get 8 talents in game...

So how would properly optimized dual wield ranger talent setup look like?

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Abilities

Predator's Sense: it's very good because the base dmg of the Animal Companion scales with level and +50% then leads to attacks that hit like trucks, ripping through DR with ease - if I use my AC for damage it's a must-have imo. Very convenient if you use a wounding weapon such as Tidefall or Drawn in Spring - or if you have party members who deal DoT constantly anyway (Rogue with Deep Wounds for example or a Druid etc.).

Stunning Shots! It's named "shots" for some reason - but it works with melee weapons nontheless and is very good with fast melee weapons such as daggers, rapiers, hatchets and so on, stunlocking enemies completely. 

 

Talents
I personally wouldn't pick Vulnerable Attack as long as I'm not able to reach 0 recovery. Because most of times it would be detrimental for dps then. An Animal Companion and a wounding weapon will take care of high DR enemies well enough most of times. But as soon as you can reach 0 recovery despite using Vulnerable Attack - for example with the help of dual wielding + two weapopn style, durgan steel etc. - then of course it's a nice pick.

Savage Attack: it's a bit counterproductive with Stunning Shots, especially if you also pick Swift Aim. IIRC the AC maluses of both will stack. Maybe Swift and Steady would be a better pick if one has to choose. If they don't stack their ACC maluses (not 100% sure anymore, maybe Swift Aim supresses Savage Attack's ACC malus) then it's a good pick imo. 

Bloody Slaughter is really bad in PoE since it only applies to enemies with 10% health left. Most enemies will die with the next strike anyway, Bloody Slaughter or not. And Bloody Slaughter doesn't even guarantee anything - it's just an added chance to deal a bit more crit damage. It's a little bit better with fast, light weapons which don't do very high dmg per hit - but still bad imo.  

Apprentice's Sneak Attack: you will flank a lot with your AC so this is a reliable way to gain additional dmg without any drawback. I would pick it.

Veteran's Recovery: can help with the sturdyness, I like it in the early(ish) game. Later it doesn't make a lot of difference because it doesn't scale so well. Maybe retrain out of it at higher levels.

When using Bittercut one wants Spirit of Decay, if using Firebrand then Scion of Flame. Pretty niche, but then the effect is good enough to pick them over something else.

 

Attributes

When using Wounding Shot and/or a wounding weapon then low INT raises dps because the amount of wounding dmg doesn't increase with longer duration but is only stretched thin over time. In that case maxed MIG is also benefical because wounding scales with MIG. 

Because of Stunning Shots I would want high DEX. Because of Swift Aim (and eventually Savage Attack) I woud want high PER. Both are also very benefical if you use a weapon that has prone or stun on crit until you get Stunning Shots.

 

Items

I guess my personal dual wielding melee Ranger would use durganized Ravenwing + Drawn in Spring, durganized Wayfarer's Hide and Gauntlets of Swift Action. And stuff that raises MIG bc of wounding. Then I could achieve 0 recovery even with Vulnerable Attack on and always have Predator's Sense unlocked, too. Drawn in Spring with good MIG is the best dps weapon in the game anyway so this is a nice synergy. Comes rather late though, but maybe one could make a beeline for it (never tried)? This weapon setup is fast enough to stunlock enemies - and the crush+slash+wounding setup will have no problems with DR, also because Rending (mace) and Vulnerable Attack stack to 8 DR bypass and woundign bypasses DR completely anyway. "Coordinated" is a nice enchantment on a weapon for a Ranger because he will flank with his AC most of times anyway and the +4 ACC and +25% dmg are nice bonuses then. Cladhaliath with Marking + Coordinated would be even cooler imo, especially for a Ranger - but it's in a different weapon focus group than Drawn in Spring and I wouldn't want to give that one up.

 

Addendum:

Thorny Roots is a cool ability/talent combo imo. It's not melee of course, but 5/rest and fast cast means that you can spam it in tight encounters in a very short amount of time, killing weak/low health enemies on the spot and immobilize the rest for a long time. In addition the dmg is fixed (15 pierce + 15 slash): fixed dmg in PoE only has to overcome 1/4 of enemies' DR (same with Priest's Iconic Projection and Ranger's AC's own Brutal Takedown) which helps against high DR targets, too. 

Aspirant's Mark is pretty good on an okay-INT Ranger if you don't have a Druid. Rangers have naturally high ACC so using this to debuff deflection and reflex even further is benefical. It's a like a mini spell mastery because it's 1/encouter.

 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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On 3/10/2022 at 9:29 AM, Boeroer said:

Savage Attack: it's a bit counterproductive with Stunning Shots, especially if you also pick Swift Aim. IIRC the AC maluses of both will stack. Maybe Swift and Steady would be a better pick if one has to choose. If they don't stack their ACC maluses (not 100% sure anymore, maybe Swift Aim supresses Savage Attack's ACC malus) then it's a good pick imo. 

yeah Swift Aim and Savage attack penalties stucks, thats why I put Swift and stead as must have talent.

Forgot about bloody slaughter - got accostomed to PoE2 version xD

On 3/10/2022 at 9:29 AM, Boeroer said:

I guess my personal dual wielding melee Ranger would use durganized Ravenwing + Drawn in Spring, durganized Wayfarer's Hide and Gauntlets of Swift Action. And stuff that raises MIG bc of wounding.

I personally though about +speed rapier and march steel dagger. So I will be able to hit 0 recovery even when wearing sanguine plate. Frenzy is very nice effect. Also has bonus point of enemies not very liking to attack plated char. Loosing wounding does hurt though

On 3/10/2022 at 9:29 AM, Boeroer said:

Talents

So it look like talent build should be something like this

  • 2 lvl Resilient Companion
  • 4 lvl Swift and Steady
  • 6 lvl Merciless companion
  • 8 lvl Two weapon style
  • 10 lvl Weapon focus: Noble
  • 12 lvl Visious companion
  • 14 Vulnerable attack
  • 16 Apprentice sneak attack

Skipping brutal takedown and savage attack?

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Sword of Daenysis + March Steel Dagger are nice for reaching 0 recovery a lot sooner. But Frenzy doesn't stack with Swift Strikes - and I think a few points DR aren't very impactful after the early game.

For the same reason I almost never took Resilient Companion. AR is really important in Deadfire, but DR isn't that much in PoE imo. 

Brutal Takedown and Takedown in general are fun - but I could do without them. I could also do without Savage Attack though... 🤷‍♂️ On the other hand Rapier and Dagger have +5 ACC which would help to counter Savage Attack's ACC malus... hm...

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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8 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Sword of Daenysis + March Steel Dagger are nice for reaching 0 recovery a lot sooner. But Frenzy doesn't stack with Swift Strikes - and I think a few points DR aren't very impactful after the early game.

True, speed bonus from frenzy do not stacks with swift aim, however +4 might do stacks with items. So if you first triggetr frenzy, then unload wounding shot - you get more damage

10 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

For the same reason I almost never took Resilient Companion. AR is really important in Deadfire, but DR isn't that much in PoE imo. 

Early on it is actually pretty nice for pet survival. Also ai prefer to first target low DR targets so boosting DR makes pet less attractive target

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