PVE Ranger Build: Critical Beastmaster

This is a build I used when levelling my Sylvari Ranger in Guild Wars 2, though it can be applied to any race. The aim of this build is to buff your pet to incredibly high stats and quickly stack might on your pet. This build does not rely on condition damage to kill even though you will be applying many stacks of bleeding as a side effect of this build. Note that while this build is very effective in PVE, it has limited effectiveness in WvW, dungeons and PVP for reasons I will explain later.

  • Pet selection

Felines (jaguar, lynx) or drakes (any). Felines have high innate Precision and high critical proc rate. drakes have high vitality and toughness needed for tanking.

  • Trait distribution

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10 Marksmanship (traits: I)

30 Skirmishing (traits: I, V, VII)

30 Beastmastery (traits (II, VII*, XII)

* : Beastmastery VII can be swapped with one of the other traits if you are not using drakes, felines, devourers or sharks.

  • Trait explanation

30 Beastmastery gives +300 to ALL of your pets stats, making your pet a high-powered, critical-dealing, tanking juggernaut. Trait II (Master’s Bond) gives your pet additional stat boosts everytime you or your pet kill a mob and stacks up to 25 times. Do note that this stat bonus resets on switching pets, going underwater or on land or pet death, which will happen a lot in PVP, WvW and dungeons. Therefore, this build is best used in PVE. Trait VII (Rending Attacks) adds side damage in the form of bleeding everytime your pet does a critical hit, which happens a lot with max Beastmastery and max Master’s Bond. Furthermore, felines have very high innate Precision and critical almost 60% of the time even without these bonuses. Trait XII (Natural Healing) gives your pet a source of regeneration and while does nothing for its damage dealing potential, it helps to keep your pet alive when tanking multiple mobs.

30 Skirmishing gives you 300 Precision (for critical proc rate) and +30% critical damage. Trait I (Pet’s Prowess) buffs your pet’s critical damage, adding to its overall dps. Trait V (Companion’s Might) lets you apply might to your pet everytime you land a critical hit. Your gear should be focused on precision and critical chance to make sure you land as many critical hits as possible to stack might on your pet. Trait VII (Carniverous Appetite) lets your pet drain life on critical hits, adding to its tanking potential.

10 Marksmanship lets you pick trait I (Steady Focus), which increases your damage while your endurance is full. Try to avoid dodge rolling as much as possible.

  • Weapon selection

Shortbow: has many condition-applying skills and very fast fire rate. More attacks equal more critical hits, which leads to more might on your pet, more bleeding and overal more dps.

Sword: has very fast attack rate (same effect as shortbow) with some evasion skills that don’t use up endurance.

Warhorn: needed for Call of the Wild which grants Fury (=20% critical chance), Might and Swiftness for 15 seconds. Self-explanatory.

  • Utility skills

Quickening Zephyr: increases your action speed (includes skill usage and auto-attack) for 6 seconds. Use it when opening a fight.

Signet of Stone: its passive ability grants toughness to you and your pet. Upon activation, your pet takes no damage for a few seconds, which can ultimately save your pet from death.

Signet of the Wild: its passive ability grants you and your pet regeneration.

  • Elite skill

Rampage as One: You and your pet gain fury, stability and swiftness upon activation. While in effect, whenever you or your pet attack, you grant each other might. Very useful for soloing veterans and skill challenges.

  • Gear selection

You should be using berserker gear (power, precision, critical damage) to further improve yoru critical proc rate and slightly increase your dps. For runes, I use Superior Rune of the Ranger. Alternatively, use Superior Rune of Divinity for more survivabiltiy but they are more expensive. Use Superior Sigil of Accuracy (+5% critical chance) on your main weapons and Superior Sigil of Earth for longer bleeding duration.

  • Playstyle

Open a fight with Crippling Shot from your Shortbow. while your pet moves to attack and draw aggro, you should flank the mob to stack bleeding from your auto-attack. The idea is to stand still behind the mob and fire away. Yes, this is a very lazy playstyle. 😛 Do not swap pets as the Master’s Bond will reset. Do not dodge roll unless absolutely necessary as you will lose the damage bonus from Steady Focus. Activate your pet’s skill (F2) whenever possible. Jaguar’s pet skill, Stalk, gives it stealth for 6 seconds. While in stealth, all attacks are automatic critical hits!

When attempting to solo skill challenges, use Call of the Wild from your warhorn and activate the skill challenge. Immediately use your sword’s Hornet Sting to dodge back out of the mob’s range. Switch to shortbow and use Crippling Shot. Activate Rampage as One and Quickening Zephyr and use all your skills not on cooldown. Hopefully the mob will have his back turned but if not, flank him. With two sources of regeneration (Natural Healing, Signet of the Wild) and the ability to drain life on critical hits, your pet should be capable of tanking any mob short of champions.

  • Conclusion

This is a very easy build to play and a good start for people new to Guild Wars 2. It may be a bit boring to some veteran players as you hardly need to move around or swap pets, but it is effective in killing mobs quickly through buffed critical hits and bleeding. Word of caution, do not let your pet die. If your pet is in danger, activate Signet of Stone and use a healing skill (I didn’t specify which because they’re all somewhat equal in effectiveness). This build relies mostly on your pet’s damage output so dead pet equals no damage.

Hope you enjoy this build.

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