L4wlight Posted March 20, 2016 Share Posted March 20, 2016 (edited) The Storm & Plague Caller is a slight variation of the good ol' Stormcaller Ranger.Thanks to WM II the Ranger Class has yet another great soulbound weapon to (ab)use and toy aroung with - the Twin Sting.And yet again it's a 5th level druid spell proc, which makes it so good for rangers:A freakin' 25% chance (!) to cast Plague of Insects on Hit or Critical Hit... Come on! I'm completely honest here. The weapon proc is "only" a modified version of the druid spell and is "only" single target (would be overpowered otherwise), but you can spread it to quite a few targets thanks to Driving Flight and it typically procs really fast.So forget about Persistence (o.k. not completely...)! Self-sustaining Predator's Sense (thanks to the RAW damage DoT of Plague of Insects) and Merciless Companion (thanks to the Sickening debuff) for your pet is now easier than ever before.The Spellbind of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion once per rest is the cherry on top of the cake and I better don't mention the huge improvment in the already great interrupting potential of the class. Even if your party members help you out by keeping Predator's Sense active through various DoT effects (which logically diminishes the use of Twin Sting a lot), inflicting Plague of Insects with Twin Sting and then switching on Stormcaller is always a damage gain - at least for single target damage on very sturdy or healthy targets.The reason why I see this build only as a slight variation of the plain Stormcaller Ranger is quite simple: we use Twin Sting only to set up our pet's damage, i.e. covering as many foes as possible with Plague of Insects, and then switch on Stormcaller for - most of the time - the rest of the fight (Plague of Insects has a base duration of whopping 30 seconds!).This build concentrates on...1) maximising the damage and uptime of our pet,2) maximising the amount of Stormcaller procs and3) disabling and interrupting our foes.Race, Pet and Background Race: Wood ElfThis build focuses on ranged attacks and Distant Advantage is golden for that! Another decent race worth mentioning is the Boreal Dwarf, but we'd loose 2 points of DEX this way.Pet: WolfThe wolf is probably the best pet for dealing damage, due to it's inherend high basic damage. Another pet woth mentioning is the Stag, which is great for AoE damage. In Parties which make frequent use of Combusting Wounds the stags Carnage Attack can be quite devastating, but I prefer the high single target damage of the wolf.Heritage: Deadfire ArchipelagoRule Number One: You can't have enough DEX with a Stormcaller Ranger!Background: Explorer or SlaveWe mainly choose them for the Surival skill point. Whether you take Explorer or Slave is dependent on which skill you want to push besides Survival. Personally, I'm for Explorer here, because Lore is great for every main character, as it opens quite some dialogue options. Attribute ScoresMin/ Maxed Build:MIG: 21 (18 base, +3 Girdle of Maegfolc Might) [+1 Gift from the Machine]CON: 3DEX: 26 (18 base, +1 Wood Elf, +1 Deadfire Archipelago, +3 Ring of Thorns, +3 Caed Nua resting bonus) [+1 Effigy's Resentment: Devil of Caroc, +1 Skaen's Boon]PER: 21 (18 base, +1 Wood Elf, +2 Helmet Of Darksee)INT: 17 (15 base, +2 enchanted armor)RES: 3More robust approach: MIG: 16 (13 base, +3 Girdle of Maegfolc Might) [+1 Gift from the Machine]CON: 8DEX: 26 (18 base, +1 Wood Elf, +1 Deadfire Archipelago, +3 Ring of Thorns, +3 Caed Nua resting bonus) [+1 Effigy's Resentment: Devil of Caroc, +1 Skaen's Boon]PER: 21 (18 base, +1 Wood Elf, +2 Helmet Of Darksee)INT: 17 (15 base, +2 enchanted armor)RES: 3Notes: THE most important Attribute for this build is DEX. This is due to the fact that we want to hit as fast as possible with Stormcaller to get as many Returning Storm Bolt procs as possible. PER is also important. One of our core approaches is to interrupt and disable our foes! INT is very handy in this build. It affects the stun duration of both Stunning Shots and Returning Storm Bolt. If this Ranger is your main character: Effigy's Resentment: Devil of Caroc (+1 DEX) is pretty good, because it gives +1 DR bypass too. Abilities (a=auto, !=important, ®=recommended) Distant Advantage (a)Wounding Shot ®Predator's Sense (!)Stalker's Link ®Driving Flight (!)Swift Aim ®Stunning Shots (!)Twinned Arrows (!)Defesive Bond (or Play Dead or Heal Companion or Revive Companion) Notes: Whether, or whether not, you repec out of Swift Aim is really a matter of play style and taste. I like to keep it, because I want to keep the phases in which I use Twin Sting as short as possible. If you hate too much micromanagement, I'd highly recommend to get rid of it at level 13. Talents (!=important, ®=recommended) Resilient Companion (!)Vicious Companion (!)Merciless Companion (!)Marksman ®Weapon Focus Peasant ®For the last three talent points, feel free to choose from the following pool:Heart of the StormApprentice Sneak AttackOutlander's FrenzyInterrupting Blows(Penetrating Shots)Notes: In my opinion there is not much room for Penetrating Shot in a Stormcaller build, because it slows down the proc rate of Returning Storm quite a bit. Another reason is that Rangers are already pretty talent starved. If you beg to differ, feel free to use it anyway. The same build can be used for Sagani. Recommended Progression1st level: Wounding Shot We take it mainly to activate Predator's Sense, especially early on. Later we have (Persistence and) Twin Sting for that and the use of the two Wounding Shots dimishes, but keep in mind that the two Wounding Shots keep beeing usefull for mid-fight target switches! Generally, once you unlocked the Plague of Insects proc of Twin Sting, respeccing into Marked Prey is a valid option, but I'd opt against it. 2nd level: Resilient Companion The pet delivers a big chunk our DPS (this holds true for all Ranger builds), so we are naturally interested in keeping it alive. It's important to understand that most of the pet's survivability comes from it's DR, which thankfully scales with your level (9 base, then 2 DR every 3 levels after). This talent further increases the pet's DR by 3 (plus 1 DR every 3 levels after). All in all, your pet will have 12 DR at level 2 and up to 27 DR at level 16. Not too shabby. Especially in the beginning, your foes will struggle to deal with that plate armor like DR and thus we take this talent as soon as possible. So with only one talent point, we get a decent enough off-tank and flanker. 3rd level: Predator's Sense Even considered that the true power of this build lies in the (ab)use of Stormcaller, the offensive potential of the pet shouldn't be ignored by any ranger. Especially in the beginning, when your ranger doesn't own both soulbound weapons and the proper key talents und abilities to make them shine, your pet will be the main damage contributor. That doesn't mean that the pet becomes weak later on. The pet is an important source of damage through the whole game. The main problem is the activation of this passive ability. Early on we are limited to two Wounding Shots. Before you own Twin Sting and Stormcaller, Persistence is your best friend - both damage wise and for preparing the enemy for your pet. Of course, depending on your party composition, you'll have no problem at all with keeping it active. (Notable Equip: Rotfinger Gloves) 4th level: Vicious Companion The first third of the game is all about the pet. We are in a very comfortable position here. Our pet carries us until we have our end-game weapons. Vicious Companion is a bit more reliable than Merciless Companion at this stage of the game. 15% more pet damage and 3 DR bypass more or less equals 30% more pet damage. 5th level: Stalker's Link Let's work a bit on our accuracy. Rangers are here once again in a very comfortable position, because we can use an ability to improve our accuracy and therefore we can afford to delay talents like Weapon Focus and Marksman. Vicious Aim would do the trick even better, but in order to get the most out of Stormcaller, we take Swift Aim at level 9 instead, until we get access to Twinned Arrows at level 13. 6th level: Merciless Companion Now it's time to finish the work on our pet. The pet will deal the maximum possible amount of damge now.7th level: Driving Flight Now it's time to prepare for Stormcaller and double our damage output against two or more targets. Our main approach here is to improve the proc rate of Stormcaller's Returning Storm Bolts on per attack (!) basis, and we basically double (!) it with this nice passive ability. It also helps us to spread Plague of Insects on more than one target. 8th level: Marksman or Weapon Focus or Heart of the Storm or Apprentice Sneak Attack or Outlander's Frenzy or Interrupting Blows Weapon Focus > Marksman ACC wise. Marksman is more versatile. Heart of Storm affects the damage of Returning Storm and hopefully the damage of Stormcaller itself soon too. Outlander's Frenzy could save you from becoming addicted to Potion of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion. Interrupting Blow is always nice on a high PER character, even more with Driving Flight.9th level: Swift Aim We are running out of meaningful alternatives anyway and it improves the proc rate of Stormcaller even further. Our main approach here is to improve the proc rate of Stormcaller's Returning Storm Bolts (until we get Twinned Arrows) on per hit (!) basis. Later on, it even shortens the amount of time we need to land Plague of Insects with Twin Sting. You are free to respec out of it at level 13, because it does not stack with Twinned Arrows. If you use Twin Sting a lot (like me), you can even keep it. You just have to switch between the two modal abilities like you do with the two weapons. 10th level: Marksman or Weapon Focus or Heart of the Storm or Apprentice Sneak Attack or Outlander's Frenzy or Interrupting Blows 11th level: Stunning shot A great addition to our CC arsenal, but keep in mind that in order to make Stunning Shot work, you have to attack the same target as your pet. So coordinate your attacks accordingly. Superior to Takedown and Master's Call in almost every single way. 12th level: Marksman or Weapon Focus or Heart of the Storm or Apprentice Sneak Attack or Outlander's Frenzy or Interrupting Blows13th level: Twinned Arrows Now the fun begins. Once again we double (!) the proc rate of Returning Storm per attack (and Stunning Shots too of course).14th level: Marksman or Weapon Focus or Heart of the Storm or Apprentice Sneak Attack or Outlander's Frenzy or Interrupting Blows15th Level: Defesive Bond or Play Dead or Heal Companion or Revive Companion Doesn't really matter. Choose what complements your play style the most.16th level: Marksman or Weapon Focus or Heart of the Storm or Apprentice Sneak Attack or Outlander's Frenzy or Interrupting BlowsEquipment (! = important, ® = recommended): Weapon 1: Stormcaller (!)Weapon 2: Twin Sting (!)Head: Helmet of DarkseeNeck: Stalker's Torc ®Armor: Clothing (Durgan Refinded, Pierce Proofed, Intelligence +2)Belt: Girdle of Maegfolc Might (or Sentinel's Girdle or Broad Belt of Power)Rings: Ring of Thorns ® & Ring of ProtectionHands: Gauntlets of Swift Action (!) (or Gauntlets of Accuracy or Rotfinger Gloves)Boots: Glanfathan Stalking Boots ® (or Boots of Speed or Greenstained Boots) Notes: I never felt the need for it, but Coil of Resourcefulness smoothens the switching between Stormcaller and Twin Sting quite a lot. It is also a good item, if your ranger is the mechanic guy of the party and you like using traps, which thematically fits rater nice into the rangers niche. Helmet of Darksee is nice because nobody else uses it typically. Durgan Refined Angio's Gambeson is also worth mentioning (Deleterious Alacrity of Motion once per rest), but I'd switch it out for clothes after the spellbind is exhausted. Rotfinger Gloves are a nice tool for activating Predator's Sense. Edited March 21, 2016 by L4wlight 14 SHARKNADO Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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