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This is going to be my second solo potd run (and hopefully the first complete one), I didn't plan much, just wanted to try a cipher and among the martial multiclasses, melee ranger is something I really wanted to give it a go, so here I am.

Tbh I didn't even have a general plan, maybe heavy armor+spears/clubs/morning stars for the ability of lowering enemy fort/will for cipher spells? Cipher self-buffs are ok but I guess arcane is a must to keep animal companion alive. Any advice would be appreciated!

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I really like stalker, and soul blade would make a great pair with it. You'll have sky-high ACC, and your AC will make you a bit tankier, and you can buff your AC and debuff enemies, making it a plausible solo build. You could go with heavy armor or the Devil of Caroc breastplate (if it's available in your game) or ultimately the contender's armor with maxed athletics. If you're playing with a party, any weapons would be fine, but for ciphers in general Grave Calling and the Seeker's Fang are always great. If going solo, I'd recommend getting monastic unarmed training and equipping Tuotilo's Palm in your offhand. For the main hand, Griffin's Blade is ideal for your main hand. With it, you'll crit a lot, and when you do, you'll debuff foes by dazing them, which will improve your survivability since dazed foes will underpen and thus do little damage. With the bear companion (with extra AR) you'll both be very sturdy.  Its loyal companion enchantment is also great for rangers. You won't need arcane magic to keep your AC alive, but naturally you can bring along a wizard if you're traveling in a party.

Edited by dgray62
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I don't see much synergy for this combo and I doubt you will go very far solo, especially on potd. Melees and casters are opposites and you can't play both well. Without very high AR and some sort of healing you won't be able to tank effectively, neither you or your pet. For solo melee I would consider to pair the stalker with a paladin (kind wayfarer or steel garrote) or a monk (FF or nalpazka). If you want to play a cipher ranger solo it's better to consider a ranged dps version using the pet as a distraction and lots of CC and kiting.

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15 hours ago, Kaylon said:

I don't see much synergy for this combo and I doubt you will go very far solo, especially on potd. Melees and casters are opposites and you can't play both well. Without very high AR and some sort of healing you won't be able to tank effectively, neither you or your pet. For solo melee I would consider to pair the stalker with a paladin (kind wayfarer or steel garrote) or a monk (FF or nalpazka). If you want to play a cipher ranger solo it's better to consider a ranged dps version using the pet as a distraction and lots of CC and kiting.

my first solo try was a street fighter/kind wayfarer, it was pretty tanky but I did struggle on high AR targets even with the help of potions, not impossible but also kind of boring so I wondered if I can make use of things like borrowed instinct, body attunement and hammering thoughts, then compensate the lack of sustainability with potions and scrolls.

 

I eventually went with trickster soul blade though, animal companion was more of a liability when I actually tried it.

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2 hours ago, yorname said:

I wondered if I can make use of things like borrowed instinct, body attunement and hammering thoughts, then compensate the lack of sustainability with potions and scrolls.

Not really, these buffs have pretty short durations and you will have a hard time to keep them up (also casting can be easily be interrupted in melee).

Melee builds, in general, are simple to play and maybe don't have much variety, but they also require tactics and careful planning to overcome harder battles. 

If you look for more melee variety you should play a Forbidden Fist - many different play styles and unlimited resources.

 

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