Thrill of the Hunt: The Ranger's Handbook

1506 posts / 0 new
Last post
Thrill of the Hunt: The Ranger's Handbook



n551900644_2742960_2781674.jpg



A skilled ranger can glance at the mud on your boots and tell where you last camped. -Firebrand Ranger, Invasion


So you guys are the ones who want to learn to hunt, eh? Well, let me tell ya it's gonna be a long trip, and not all of you are gonna make it! The ones that do are gonna learn to hit so hard, they'll scare themselves! After all, the best defense IS a killer offense! But none of you're gonna learn any of that before I toughen your hides up! Don't worry; when I'm done with you, you'll be among the best the world has ever seen at what you do! Still interested? I thought so. Now, as I was saying...


Selling Points: Why You Would Want To Play A Ranger



Right now, there are a whole bunch of other classes in this game (especially Strikers), so every class needs to have a niche they can fill in order to be a worthy choice. Allow me to elaborate on what makes Rangers worthy picks:

Rangers hit very hard - When it comes to single-target damage, you are the master of your domain. To boot, Rangers don't have to choose between a high consistent offense and the ability to conjure up huge amounts of damage on a moment's notice: you get lots of both. If you like nothing more than laying the smack down on your opponent, this is your class.

Rangers are self-reliant - Another cool aspect about Rangers is that they have offensive and defensive features that don't require allies to assist them. As long as you're not knee-deep in enemies like a Defender would usually be, you can pretty much take care of yourself, which is a nice skill to have.

Rangers are always on the offensive - Rangers have one of the greatest power selections geared toward breaking the mold in terms of when you can attack and why. If you like to constantly roll your d20 to attack your opponent again and again (even on their turns), you're in the right place.


This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:


Red - Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Purple - Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Black - OK. You could do worse than pick this.
Blue - Good stuff. You probably want this.
Sky Blue - You want this. Period.
Gold - Why haven't you taken this yet? A defining choice for a build, or even the whole class.


This Handbook covers the following sources:


AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
BoVD - Book of Vile Darkness
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DMA 2009 - Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
DN XXX - Dungeon Magazine, issue XXX
DP - Divine Power
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
DSG - Dungeon Survival Guide
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
HotEC
- Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
HotFK
- Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
HotFw - Heroes of the Feywild
MM - Monster Manual
MM 2 - Monster Manual 2
MME - Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP 2 - Martial Power 2
NCS - Neverwinter Campaign Setting
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHR: DB - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHR: TF - Player's Handbook Races: Tieflings
PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHH 2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
PrP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power
SAC - Seekers of the Ashen Crown Adventure Module

Glossary

AP - Action point.

BBEG - Big bad evil guy.

Burst/Nova/Spike Damage - Generally understood to mean the highest amount of damage a character can inflict in the space of a single round. Usually, calculations for this allow 1 round of setup before the actual damage.

CA - Combat advantage.

DPR - Damage per round, which is generally meant to mean the character's expected damage value using At-Will powers against a standard enemy of the same level (eloquently described by Adslahnit as the Official CharOp Inanimate Block of TofuTM).

ED - Epic destiny.

HP - Hit points.

HQ - Hunter's Quarry.

LX - Level X.

MAD - Multiple attribute dependency, which is defined as needing 3 or more ability scores for a given build.

MBA - Melee basic attack.

MC - Multiclass or multiclassing.

NAD - Non-AC defense.

OA - Opportunity attack.
 
PP - Paragon path.

RBA - Ranged basic attack.

SAD - Single attribute dependency, which is defined as a build that really only needs 1 ability score.

THP - Temporary hit points.





Props to:


Everyone posting

NOTE: This is a general advice Handbook, and as such may come off as addressing the topic of Ranger building a bit broadly. If you want information on specific builds, the Ranger's Build Handbook might have what you're looking for. If you're looking for advice on the Essentials Ranger builds (the Hunter and the Scout), I recommend thespaceinvader's Hunter's Handbook or my Scout's Handbook, respectively.
Power Source and Role: Your Place in the Hunt

Your power source is Martial, and your role is Striker. Martial characters are already predisposed toward aspects associated with the Striker role (such as hitting harder than other classes that share the same role), and Strikers further that tendency, since they're supposed to be the damage-heavy guys that bring the monsters down. Put those together, and it's not a big surprise that you are considered to be the most damaging Striker in the game. That being said, your job entails more than just hitting people hard. Here's a breakdown on how well you do at each aspect traditionally associated with the Striker role:

Burst/Nova/Spike Damage - This is usually defined as the maximum amount of damage you can come up with on short notice, and you're great at it, thanks in large part to your Daily and Encounter powers allowing you to attack more times per Standard Action or even attack outside your Standard Action altogether. A Beastmaster gives some of the bonuses available to you up, so they're only good at it.

Damage Per Round (DPR) - You're one of the best in the business at dealing consistent damage to your target. This stems in large part from the fact that you're making multiple attacks per round, which gives you a greater chance of connecting as well as a higher damage ceiling, should they all connect. Beastmasters are a bit behind on the punch each attack will carry, so they're just good at this.

Debilitating Effects - Another way to approach the "put down a single target" goal of the Striker is by making your target so unable to do anything it's like he's not there. You have some pretty nice status effects as riders on your powers, but overall this really isn't your forte.

Survivability - One of the key aspects of a successful Striker is how well he can handle it when enemies come after him. Given that Melee Rangers receive extra HP or AC for free, Ranged Rangers get a hefty bonus to AC against OA's, Beastmasters have a whole other HP source (and the Ranged Beastmasters never even have to leave the edge of their weapon's normal range to be effective), and that you have a plethora of interrupts at your fingertips to mitigate or negate enemy attacks, you're actually pretty good at staying upright.

Targeting Capacity - The fact that your Striker bonus damage feature only affects the closest target, plus that a lot of the bonus damage abilities that make you the king of damage force Melee characters to fight without allies and Ranged ones to get in close means your targeting capacity is average overall, even with your pretty nice suite of mobility-oriented powers. If you're heavily into stealth, can consistently get the drop on your opponent, or you use a Beast companion as a homing beacon with hit points, you're probably better at this.

Secondary Role Effectiveness

Controller - There are a few powers that will let you control the positioning and the actions taken by your enemies on the battlefield, but they are not that common outside of Archers, who get enough to consider this a secondary role.

Defender - If you're a Melee Ranger, you have the ability to step in for a Defender and hold the line, at least for a while. Your high damage should help you cut into the number of threats quickly. Additionally, some of you can build to make this a bit easier by either working with a Beast companion or selecting an array of choices that will make your character tougher.

Leader - You have a small collection of Utility powers that can at least let you perform some emergency Leading if need be, including some healing and movement enabling. Not your forte at all, but at least you're not terrible at it.



Baseline Mechanics: Profile of the Hunt

You have the dubious honor of belonging to the so-called "V-class" group (along with the Cleric, the Paladin, and the Warlock), which is a group of classes whose builds have different primary ability scores, but the same secondary ability score. This means that you have to choose between having access to the depth and breadth of the power list, or enjoying strong rider effects on those same powers. Which of these two options you should choose depends on your build, though the latter will win out most of the time.

Your baseline mechanics are otherwise largely unremarkable compared to others of your role, except for the impressive amount of weapons you're proficient with out of the box, though you do have an interesting bonus accuracy mechanic in Prime Shot or Running Attack.

Game Mechanics

Hit Points - 12 + Con score at level 1, and 5 each level thereafter. You get the standard-fare HP for your role, which lets you take a hit or two.

Healing Surges - 6 + Con modifier. Again, standard fare for your role, but it's ameliorated a bit by the fact that you will usually have some build points to dedicate to your Constitution.

Defense Bonuses - +1 to Fortitude and Reflex. This is nice in that it covers two defenses, and one of them will be low in most Ranger builds.

Proficiencies

Armor - You get up to Hide armor, and no shields. This means that offense will be your bread and butter, because the defense sure isn't anything to write home about.

Weapons - All Simple + all Military for melee and ranged weapons is about as good as it gets for weapon proficiencies, which you share only with the Fighter.



Class Features

Hunter's Quarry - Extra damage for targeting your nearest foe for the whole encounter, at the cost of a minor action. While not as damaging or as flexible as some other features, it does have an advantage in that it's a fire-and-forget deal, and that the Ranger's multiple attacks make it easier to land the extra damage.

Bonus Features

Unless you're a Beastmaster (hint: don't be a Beastmaster), you get to pick one of these features. They cater to different styles of Rangers, so evaluate and pick the one that suits you best.

Prime Shot (PHB) - The "stand and fight" class feature, it hands out a bonus to Ranged attacks when you are closest to the target. The feat support makes the bonus quite substantial, and even allows you to apply it to Melee attacks. It may seem marginal at the beginning of your career, but it will count for a substantial portion of your damage later on.

Running Attack (MP 2) - This feature hands out an attack bonus when you move and hit. While it seems nice on paper because it can apply to Melee Rangers in Heroic Tier and because it has solid feat support, the fact of the matter is that the power selection for it is not the top-notch stuff. Because of that, I rank it lower.


Ranger Fighting Style

Archery Style (PHB) - At this point, the only real reason to pick this Fighting Style is because the Battlefield Archer Paragon Path requires it, because Hunter Style offers everything it has and more. Fortunately for it, Battlefield Archer is one of the premier picks for a Ranged Ranger, so that does count for a lot.

Beast Mastery (MP) - I'll be blunt; this path has some major issues. The first one is that you give up what eventually turns into a major damage feature in Prime Shot, which costs you damage potential. Next, you pick up a companion that is a space-eater at best and an outright liability at worst - his damage starts out poor and virtually doesn't scale. Third, the powers that use this concept are very poorly executed, and thus actively detract from what makes the Ranger great. If you run a campaign based mainly in the Heroic tier, you'll dodge some of these pitfalls and thus can consider this path to be better, though not quite good - otherwise, treat is as the terrible option that it is.

Hunter Style (MP 2) - This style offers plenty of awesome features: drawing and sheathing weapons just because you can is pretty cool, and a whopping +4 to AC for provoking OA's for using Ranged attacks is nice to have, too.

Marauder Style (MP 2) - This style hands out more speed and defense for dual-wielding, which basically makes it the mobility-oriented counterpart to Two-Blade Style. No oversized dual-wielding means a bit less damage overall and you lose access to some of the heavyweight Paragon Paths, but it's not a bad choice at all.

Two-Blade Style (PHB) - This path gives you some more durability in the form of Toughness, and it also allows you to dual-wield one-handed weapons, which is a great recipe for what is one of the most damaging character builds in the game, if not the most damaging character build outright.




Skills: Talent for the Hunt

You actually get a solid amount of skills (5 in total), which puts you in a pretty select club of guys who are great in and out of combat. You only get full choice for 4 of those skills, but that's OK: you want to pick up at least one of the two alternatives they're forcing on you anyway.

Class Skills

Acrobatics - A very useful skill, that can combine well with Athletics to make you one of the slipperiest characters in the business. Usually better for Archers because of their focus on Dexterity.

Athletics - As mentioned above, this combines with Acrobatics to make you almost immune to any movement-related business your DM may have for you. Extra sweet for Melee Rangers because of the stat it uses.

Dungeoneering - You have to pick either this or Nature, but you won't get complaints from me; all Rangers depend on Wisdom to some degree, and a monster Knowledge-type skill is always appreciated.

Endurance - Most of you may not have the Constitution to have this at a sky-high level. Still, folks who have a racial bonus to the skill may consider it, and you'd better take this if you don't plan on taking Heal.

Heal - A very sweet skill to deal with everything from first aid to disease, and it keys off an important attribute to you. A good choice.

Nature - You have to pick this or Dungeoneering, though both of those skills are so useful, that it's no big deal (a Knowledge-type skill is always nice to have). You may even want to pick them both.

Perception - This may be the most generally useful skill in the game, and the way your character is built guarantees you a respectable Wisdom at the very least. Don't leave home without it.

Stealth - Another useful skill, it also keys off Dexterity, making it preferable for Archers over Melee Rangers, though they can also use it.


Recommended Non-Class Skills

Insight - Its reliance on Wisdom makes you able to stack up some decent numbers on it, and it helps make you a complete character by giving you something to do on a social skill challenge.

Thievery - Opening locks, picking pockets, and disabling traps is a pretty good skill to have, and it's easy to grab (just take the Rogue Multiclass feat, for example).
Ability Scores: Mettle of the Hunt

Your choice of ability scores will vary depending on your specific build, but these guidelines hold true for just about every Ranger out there.

Strength - This is your main stat if you are a Melee Ranger or if you're a Balanced Ranger that plans on doing substantial Melee work, and you should boost it every chance you get. If you are a Ranged Ranger, however, you can afford to dump this pretty low.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-18, before racial adjustments.

Constitution - Adds HP and healing surges, which are always good to have. Axes require some Constitution investment. Hammers require even more dedication to it, and certain Archer builds like it, too. You likely can't afford a top-notch score here, but this should be the stop for all your leftover build points.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-14, before racial adjustments.

Dexterity - Regardless of the Ranger build you're going for, you need at least a solid starting score here. Only Heavy Armor Melee Rangers can afford anything but a top-notch score in this stat (and even then, they don't want it to be low). If you're not one of them, keep it high and boost it every chance you get.
Recommended Starting Score: 13-18, before racial adjustments.

Intelligence - One of your designated dump stats. It has a redundant function with Dexterity on the defensive side of the ball, grants you a bonus to skills you will (hopefully) never have to use, and it aids no weapon group. The only use for it is MC, which requires a smidgen of dedication; otherwise, avoid it.
Recommended Starting Score: 8-10, before racial adjustments.

Wisdom - Buffs all your secondary effects, and helps your Will defense from going down the tubes. Very important for all types of Rangers, though Ranged Rangers can typically afford to dedicate more stat boosts to it than Melee ones can, and can thus live with a lower starting score.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-16, before racial adjustments.

Charisma - Useless for fighting, it boosts the same defense as Wisdom, and sees no use in your skills. Pretty useless to you overall, and arguably a step ahead of Intelligence when determining the Ranger's ultimate dump stat, though some rare builds might want to put a little investment here.
Recommended Starting Score: 8-10, before racial adjustments.


Races: Born To Hunt

Before getting into detailed descriptions of the races, here's the short list of what I'd pick if I were making a Ranger right now:

Melee Ranger - Genasi, Half-Orc, Longtooth Shifter.
Ranged Ranger - Elf, Revenant.


Races - Player's Handbook

Dragonborn - +2 Strength is good for Melee Rangers, +2 Charisma is pretty worthless, as are the skill bonuses. However, the racial power makes up for it somewhat by giving you something to do at a distance. Overall, a good choice for Melee, though it is horrible for Ranged.

Dwarf - The mobility is lacking, which will become an issue when you can get Scale Armor to have speed 6, and its calling card (second wind is a minor) is effectively covered by one of your own Utility powers. Still, potential bonuses to Strength and Constitution with the ability to stay upright and its support can't be all bad.

Eladrin - +2 Dex is good for most Rangers, +2 Int is an uber-waste, but the +1 class skills and teleport are nifty. They make statistically strong Ranged Rangers, and they have a lot of support to go Melee, and that does count for something.

Elf - Fantastic stat bonuses for a Ranged Ranger in Dexterity and Wisdom, and they're not bad for a Melee Ranger, either. The higher speed and reroll ability only sweeten the deal. A prime Ranger candidate.

Half-Elf - +2 to Constitution and Wisdom is solid as far as secondaries go, though it faces a bit of an issue in that its prime ability to redeem itself for classes its ability scores don't line up for (Dilettante) is kind of useless for a Ranger. A decent choice, but not great.

Halfling - The limited weapon options hurt, but the +2 to Dex and Con, as well as abilities to raise your AC compensate for it. Last but not least, your racial support is nice, so you should consider the little folk for Ranged Rangers (they're pretty iffy as Melee Rangers).

Human - A very nice choice. +1 to all NAD's is a nice defensive boost, the bonus feat is always a great boon for the rather feat-starved Ranger, and a bonus skill always helps. A third At-Will is really not that necessary for a Ranger, but Heroic Effort is very nice to have. A very strong choice overall.

Tiefling - Mediocre attribute bonuses, average skill bonuses at best, and though Infernal Wrath is a Striker-oriented ability, it keys off stats you have no interest in. *sigh* It has some positive points in its racial support and the like, but it's still not a good choice.


Races - Player's Handbook 2

Deva - +2 Int is bleah, +2 Wis is nice, and so is the power, but not much else. I'd rather have the Elf if I wanted an emergency boost for a single roll.

Gnome - Having a Dexterity bonus has done a lot to salvage the race, but it's still not a #1 pick by any stretch of the imagination.

Goliath - +2 Str, +2 Wis and some sweet resistance to all damage make you an awesome Melee Ranger candidate.

Half-Orc - +2 Str and +2 Dex means you're great at any Ranger you want to be (especially Melee), and the racial power packs even more damage, which is right up your alley. About as good as it gets for the Ranger class.

Shifter, Longtooth - +2 Strength and +2 Wisdom is godly for Melee Rangers, and even decent for Ranged ones. Regen and damage bonus while bloodied is icing on the cake. A great choice.

Shifter, Razorclaw - With bonuses to Dexterity and Wisdom, this race makes a strong case for a Ranged Ranger. Additionally, the shifting ability is mobility heaven (too bad it's only while bloodied...). A bit overshadowed by the Elf, but still top-tier.


Races - Player's Handbook 3

Githzerai - Though similar to Elves with regards to their attribute bonuses, they trade in some of that shifty elusiveness for some straight-up toughness, making them more appealing to Rangers willing to take a risk, and better at Melee overall.

Minotaur - With the advent of its latest (and most official) write-up, the Minotaur gets the same stat boosts as the Longtooth Shifter if you choose, making him a super awesome Melee Ranger. You get an additional healing surge as icing. Too bad the racial power is pretty useless since it's so hard to actually hit something with it...

Shardmind - Simply not meant to be Rangers statistically, since the best they can do is buff Wisdom, and only Wisdom (Int and Cha are pretty useless to you, after all).

Wilden - Whoa. This makes a very strong case for a Ranged Ranger, especially with Aspect of the Hunter, which can help you shift toward or away from an enemy and hand you a hefty damage bonus to boot.


Races - Other Rulebooks

Bladeling (MOTP) - A decent pick for either type of Ranger, this race sports a strong Melee power in Razor Storm, as well as bonuses to Dexterity and Wisdom. A good choice overall, but it doesn't get the top rating because a lot of other races have the same stats and are better supported.

Changeling (EPG) - Though +2 to Charisma does you little good, +2 Dexterity is very useful, and the other abilities can come in handy if you dip into the Rogue class. A solid pick overall, but much better suited to another style of character.

Drow (FRPG) - +2 Dex, +2 Wis, and CA-oriented powers make a strong case for a Ranged Ranger, though not so much for a Melee Ranger (sorry, Drizzt fans, but he's not the most optimized Ranger out there).

Genasi (FRPG) - +2 Str is great for Melee, +2 Int... not so much. However, elemental support is so downright fantastic, that having non-ideal ability scores simply does not matter. A dominant pick.

Goblin (DSG) - You get the prime stats, but you also get held back a bit because of your size. You could do worse for an Archer, though.

Gold Dwarf (NCS) - Normal Dwarves get better bonuses.

Hamadryad (HotFw) - Not much in the way of prime stats, though the powers are nice and useful.

Kalashtar (EPG) - +2 to Wisdom is solid, but +2 to Charisma is absolutely useless, and its abilities seem to be more Leader-oriented than anything else. Not the line of work for them.

Kobold (DSG) - Small Gnolls. Small is not the greatest thing to be as a Ranger, though, and the mass shift is meh at best. Decent archers, not much else.

Llewyrr Elf (NCS)
- Marginal improvement over the standard Eladrin. Better than nothing, I guess.

Moon Elf (NCS) - Not a whole lot different from the base Eladrin, if you ask me.

Mul (DSCS) - Bonuses to Strength and Constitution, and access to either Dwarf or Human racial support make this a pretty darn good Melee Ranger race.

Pixie (HotFw) - Being Tiny is rough for your damage potential, though having Dexterity means you at least won't embarrass yourself as an Archer.

Revenant (HoS) - Solidly placed stats in Dexterity and Constitution, and it has some potential in that it can mooch off another race's goodies. Not a bad idea.

Satyr (HotFw) - The ability to generate your own CA and having Dexterity are useful things to have as an Archer.

Shade (HoS) - Free Stealth, decently applicable racials are the good news. Losing a surge for no good reason stings, though.

Shield Dwarf (NCS) - You get alternate proficiencies, which make no difference as compared to a normal Dwarf.

Sun Elf (NCS) - Having free implement proficiency can actually prove to be handy, depending on what you choose to multiclass into.

Svirfneblin (DSG) - A surprisingly strong (literally) choice for a Melee Ranger, though its small size and lack of foot speed does hold it back a bit.

Thri-Kreen (DSCS) - Its ability scores can fit virtually any Ranger build, it has a higher-than-average base speed, and it throws in a minor action attack as icing. One of the best races you can pick.

Vryloka (HoS) - Lifeblood is a high-quality target transition power, and you have Strength or Dexterity, depending on your needs (a very good thing). Though Charisma as a second bump and Blood Dependency are not all that good, this is still a pretty solid Ranger race.

Warforged (EPG) - These guys are tough as nails, have a Strength bonus, and a bunch of useful racial abilities. A very strong pick for a Melee Ranger.

Wild Elf (NCS) - I can't say shifting your speed is as good as a re-roll to hit, though you can't be too bad off by picking an Elf to be a Ranged Ranger.

Wood Elf (NCS) - ...Whoa. Perception for Initiative checks? Absolutely amazing benefit, and it grants allies an initiative bonus as well. I'd say this is the Elf subtype of choice in a default setting, though its luster fades a bit if you have a Warlord in the party.


Races - Dragon Magazine

Gnoll (D 367) - Dexterity and Constitution are good bonuses to have, and that high speed and charging bonuses make you a "shoot first, ask questions later" kind of Ranger. Overall, very solid, especially after the Dragon article, which actually makes charging a good idea if you're Melee.

Hengeyokai (D 404) - It has the prime stats for an Archer, as well as a selection of skill bonuses, depending on your taste. Pretty nice choice.

Shadar-Kai (D 372) - About the same as Elves, but with teleportation instead of re-rolls. Still a pretty good deal if you ask me.


Races - Monster Manuals

Bugbear (MM) - +2 Strength, oversized, and "sneak attack" make a fantastic case, and +2 Dexterity only sweetens the deal. A fantastic choice for any Ranger style.

Bullywug (MM 2) - Swampwalk looks promising, the stat bonuses are all right, and the Rancid Air aura is interesting (if conditional). Could be good, with some support.

Doppelganger (MM) - All of the negative aspects of the Tiefling... none of the positive ones. Avoid like the plague.

Duergar (MM 2) - It's the Dwarf... minus some of the toughness, the ability to get a Strength bonus, and all the great racial support. Skip.

Githyanki (MM) - Meh. +2 Con is OK, +2 Int is a waste, +2 initiative is nice, but I'm just not sold.

Hobgoblin (MM) - These guys are about the same as Half-Elves, sans the beauty that is Dilettante, so they're a pretty bad idea for Rangers overall.

Kenku (MM 2) - A solid choice, but they are obviously better suited to be Rogues.

Orc (MM) - Another good Melee candidate, he has the same stat allotment as the Goliath, and has a self-healing ability. Nice.



Backgrounds and Themes: Flavor of the Hunt


In this section, I'll be discussing which backgrounds and themes would benefit a Ranger the most. Since there is a wide selection of them, I'll be sticking to the ones which are Black or better.

Recommended Backgrounds

Akanul (FRPG) - A minor resistance to common types of elemental damage is actually a fairly nice pick.

Auspicious Birth/Born Under a Bad Sign (D 366) - The vast majority of Rangers won't be investing heavily in Constitution, so getting HP for what amounts to no investment is a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Chessenta (FRPG) - A minor benefit when you AP. Since it applies to both attack and damage rolls, you can potentially get pretty good mileage out of it.

Detective/Missing Master (D 366) - The important part here is that it opens access to taking Insight as a class skill, which in turn allows for some nice Skill powers to be taken.


Recommended Themes

Bloodsworn (DSG) - A bit conditional, but an Encounter re-roll is pretty good stuff.

Elemental Initiate (HotEC) - You get a counter-swing against an enemy who misses you, and a couple of nice peripheral benefits, including access to a ki focus and a Will bump. Nice to have.

Fey Beast Tamer (HotFw) - If you're really into having a companion, this is a better way to do it than having the Beastmaster path.

Infernal Prince (D 406) - If you see yourself doing a lot of fire attacks, this theme will serve you very well, provided it's legal where you play.

Ironwrought (HotEC) - It offers extra damage and another chance to crit, and it can even buff your attack sequence at higher levels. Not bad.

Noble Adept (DSCS) - Adding a bonus to an attack after the roll can help keep an attack chain going.

Primordial Adept (HotEC) - If you like cold damage, this theme will get you an advance on making it worthwhile. It loses steam rather quickly, but it's still not a terrible choice, given that you get +2 damage for free.

Sarifal Feywarden (D 405) - A one-shot dose of vulnerability can turn out to be quite the effective damage boost, though you need to have elemental damage to make it work.

Sohei (D 404) - It gives you an attack you can use as a minor action. Nothing more need be said.

Tuathan (HotFw) - While its shapechanging abilities may or may not be useful, there's no denying that a couple of its power-swaps are.

Underdark Outcast (DSG) - Conditional effects, but they can be of some use.

Windlord (HotEC) - The default power isn't all that, but it offers a couple of nice powers you can swap for.

Yakuza (D 404) - Not much aligns with you as far as the features go, but the power-swaps are simply too good to be ignored.
At-Will Powers: The Fundamentals of the Hunt

Since the Ranger is a V-class, I've taken the liberty of separating the powers based on how they can be used, whether it's with Strength, Dexterity, both, or with a Beast.

This section basically boils down to what your second At-Will is, since in the vast majority of the cases, your first At-Will should be Twin Strike. If it's not, be warned that there is basically no Ranger build that doesn't give up a significant portion of their At-Will damage by not taking that power.


Strength-Based:



Hit and Run (PHB) - A Melee Basic Attack that makes the first square of your move action not provoke. Rather underwhelming overall, since most Melee Rangers like to plant themselves next to an enemy and unload a ton of attacks on them, rather than running away.

Marauder's Rush (MP 2) - Basically an MBA with extra damage you can use on a charge. While most Rangers aren't known for being particularly charge-happy, this provides a solid second option for Melee Rangers when a move action isn't enough to reach a given target.

Shield of Blades (PHH 2) - A Melee Basic Attack that hands out +2 to AC is rather odd on a Ranger, but you never know; it might just get you out of a pinch.

Throw and Stab (MP 2) - So... you get another two-attack At-Will, with a slightly more bizarre sequence. This power took quite the blow to the jaw from errata, as it can no longer perform the focus-fire function a Ranger is typically looking for. That said, it can be useful for spreading the love around when that's the way to go, minion-blasting, or just moving around. A potentially sweet second option, though it is limited a bit by requiring a thrown weapon.


Dexterity-Based:



Fading Strike (MP 2) - This At-Will is very interesting in that it can be used in Melee or Ranged, yet always key off of Dexterity. It also offers a bigger shifting distance than Nimble Strike. The problem is that it fails to accomplish what Nimble Strike does so well for pure Archers, which is disengage before attacking, so it has a different niche, which is to take an actual Melee weapon and hit someone with it. With that in mind, it can be a nice tool in the arsenal of a Melee Ranger that favors Dexterity.

Hunter's Teamwork (PHH 1) - A vanilla Ranged attack that offers you CA if the target is surrounded by allies. This is strictly worse than Careful Attack, because the bonus to hit is conditional and it's not like getting Combat Advantage is impossible as a Ranged character (ever heard of Distant Advantage? Cunning Stalker? Frost? I could go on).

Nimble Strike (PHB) - A great power to disengage from a pesky Melee opponent, this power will make sure you never stay in Melee for too long. A strong pick for pure Archers.

Warning Shot (D 383) - A Ranged attack that has Control-oriented implications if the target moves where you designate. It's a potentially very damaging power overall (as it can deal a little more damage than Twin Strike if the condition is met), but you can bet it won't be triggered all that often, and its immediate action trigger means you'd have to choose between it or all of the great Archer powers with the same trigger.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Careful Attack (PHB) - Errata has brought a lovely new gift for what once was the Ranger's most maligned At-Will: an ability modifier in damage. Now, this attack offers an untyped +2 to hit over a basic attack, which actually makes it worth looking at.



Twin Strike (PHB) - The foundation of the Ranger throne as kings of damage, this power allows you to apply all your static damage bonuses twice, which gets even more powerful as time goes on. There is no real reason to not use this power, frankly.


Beast Powers:



Circling Strike (MP) - You can draw many parallels from this power to the Warlord's Wolf Pack Tactics... except that it only applies to your Beast. Given the fix to Careful Attack, this lost some shine.

Predator Strike (MP) - This power starts off pretty well compared to most other at-wills, but it loses a lot of steam later on in your career, since the Beast's damage scales very poorly compared to that of a character. Not recommended, unless you're playing a Level 1 one-shot campaign.
Powers - Heroic Tier: The First Hunt

Just a reminder: because the Ranger is a V-class, the powers have been separated into the following categories for your convenience:
    •    Strength-based
    •    Dexterity-based
    •    Strength- or Dexterity- based
    •    Beast powers


Level 1, Encounter



Dual-wielders typically like Off-Hand Strike here. Archers will usually pick between Fox's Cunning and Two-Fanged Strike.

Level 1 Encounter List


Strength-based:



Dire Wolverine Strike (PHB) - A vanilla close burst attack. Not what you should be doing with yoru character.



Hurling Charge (MP 2) - Though it requires a thrown weapon attack, the ability to lay down a charge in tandem with another attack is certainly appealing for a Ranger.

Off-Hand Strike (MP) - The more attacks you can make, the more damage you'll do. The premier pick at this level.



Plant to the Hilt (D 377) - Two swings, and a slide which depends on how you did with the attack. A solid power.

Precise Assault (MP 2) - This power is basically Hit and Run fused with Careful Attack, with a free move action and more weapon damage. Two wrongs don't make a right.


Dexterity-based:



Hindering Shot (D 383) - Swing + slow. Am I supposed to be impressed?

Hunter's Pounce (MP 2) - Another one of those odd Dexterity-based Melee attacks. Rather underwhelming overall.

Rapid Volley
(MP) - I see absolutely no reason to take this power, considering that Two-Fanged Strike is in this list.



Singular Strike
(MP) - So vanilla, it hurts my eyes.



Skirmish Shot (MP 2) - The move action does not make up for the profoundly generic nature of this power.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Evasive Strike (PHB) - A souped-up version of Nimble Strike that can be used in Melee, it offers a bit more damage and a much bigger shift. Not enough for me to consider it to be worthy of the slot, though.



Fox's Cunning (PHB) - A pretty nice counter-attack that takes place outside of your turn, it even comes with an attack bonus attached to make sure it lands. However, Archers who stay back (like Beast Archers often do) probably won't like it as much.



Two-Fanged Strike
(PHB) - Basically a more damaging Twin Strike. A strong choice overall, though it's quickly outclassed by additional attacks as you level up.


Beast Powers:



Enclose the Prey (MP) - A slightly stronger version of Circling Strike. Not really worth your time.

Feral Ambush (MP 2) - A generic Beast power that rewards you for flanking with it, which you should be doing all the time. Pathetic.

Ferocious Insight (D 387) - A single attack Beast power that lets you chase after your opponent as an immediate. Who cares?

Hunting-Partner Strike (MP) - Apart from the shift, this is superior to Enclose the Prey in almost every way. That's not saying much, though.



Synchronizing Strike (MP) - Multiattacking with your Beast, and your attack will hit Reflex. Not bad.



Level 1, Daily



Jaws of the Wolf seems to be a safe bet for a Melee Ranger. This isn't a good level for Archers, with Skirmishing Stance and Sure Shot standing out among a weak field.

Level 1 Daily List


Strength-based:



Isolation Strike (MP 2) - So... you get a spread-the-love attack that pushes if you don't attack your Quarry? Um... how about not?

Jaws of the Wolf (PHB) - Very strong damage for when you get it. You'll probably be one-shotting standard opponents with this power through the first half of Heroic Tier.



Off-Hand Parry (MP) - With Jaws of the Wolf being available here, you would be mad to pick this power, which is just plain weak even without the comparison.

Sudden Strike (PHB) - This trades some of the raw damage that Jaws of the Wolf has for a bit of mobility and weakening the opponent. It could be worse.


Dexterity-based:



Commanding Confrontation (MP 2) - Don't be fooled by the Ranged entry attack: this power is made for Melee Rangers to rack up some meaty damage bonuses against a given Quarry target. That said, the round you spend setting this up cuts into the power's stock.

Guardian Arrow (D 383) - Lets you play Defender for a bit. Unimpressive on its own, better with a Defender aura to force the enemy's hand.

Split the Tree (PHB) - It splits the damage between two targets, and it doesn't even give you free rein on that. Not the worst thing on this list, though, which is representative of the problem Archers face at this level.



Sure Shot (MP 2) - Arguably the best choice on a bad list, it features a reroll on the attack as well as on the damage rolls to make it very unlikely for the dice to ruin your day. That said, it's worth noting that it scales terribly..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">, and thus should be the first one gone at L15.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Boar Assault (MP) - The THP don't make up for the pathetic damage dealt. No.

Hunt's End (MP) - The only thing worth noting is the conditionally expanded crit range, and any goodwill that generated is undone by its conditional targeting. Nah.



Hunter's Bear Trap (PHB) - The damage is low, but at least it imposes ongoing damage and a slow. Not terrible for Archers.

Scything Blow (MP 2) - You get to use a Twin Strike that knocks prone against two targets. I'd rather have focus firing, but double attacking two targets hardly makes for an incompetent power.

Skirmishing Stance (MP 2) - Some nice buffs for continually moving about (too bad the damage bonus only applies to 1 attack...). Obviously better on Ranged Rangers than Melee ones, though they probably appreciate the +2 AC a bit more.


Beast Powers:



Distracting Team (MP 2) - It's a double-tap, and it gets replenished if you pop someone with it. You could do worse than this.

Driving the Quarry (MP) - This looks more like an Encounter power than a Daily.

 Not a good Encounter power, either.

Partnered Savaging (MP) - This power will be doing comparable damage to Jaws of the Wolf for Beastmasters in the early going, which is about as good as it's ever going to get for Beast Rangers.

Seismic Strike (D 387) - The damage is just plain pitiful, but having an At-Will way to knock the opponent prone as a minor action (even if it is through the rather uninspiring medium of the Beast's attack) works well with too many things for this to be truly bad, though it's not exactly good.



Level 2, Utility



The overall power suite is rather average, but Begin the Hunt and Invigorating Stride stands out as a good, universal options. My suggestion is to take one first (preferably the latter), and then revisit this list to get the other.

Level 2 Utility List

Archer's Stairway (D 383) - This power has a nice, action-movie sort of feel to it. Its effect is entirely campaign-dependent, though.

Avian Grace (D 392) - Long jumps will take quite a while to beat your normal speed, rarely will you be able to fly, and it's a Daily. Pass.

Begin the Hunt (MP 2) - While it is only once per day, the ability to attach a Quarry effect and get +2 to hit baked offers the gift of great synergy.

Bending Branch (D 377) - You're not as likely to be the target of a forced movement effect as your Defender, but here's a nasty counter for it if you are.

Bridge of Roots (HotFK) - Basically a zone that lets you ignore terrain effects within it. That can certainly be useful, if not quite universally so.

Crucial Advice (PHB) - A reroll for a skill with a +Wisdom bonus will be appreciated by anyone, and you do have a decent skill set. Solid enough.



Entangling Roots (HotFK) - Disallowing charges and imposing difficult terrain on your enemies in a zone can certainly make you harder to approach, provided you stay in there. Good for those of you who like to shoot from a safe distance.

Equestrian Maneuver (D 392) - Very conditional - when are you going to encounter 1-wide corridors? When will squeezing trump dismounting? Not seeing the applications.

Feline Escape (D 392) - A quality defensive interrupt power, and a very good selling point for the Cat companion.

Ferret an Opening (MP) - The only use I see for this power is preserving your CA after moving out of a flanking position to allow someone else to enter it. Yeah... no.

Fox Shift (MP) - A rather weak benefit, with a conditional trigger. Pass.



Hearten the Beast (MP) - Spending a standard action to give a virtual non-combatant a save? Heck no.



Hunter's Privilege (MP) - +3 untyped damage for winning initiative? Not bad.

Invigorating Stride (MP 2) - Not only is this a nice shifting power, it allows you to second wind and attack in the same turn, every encounter. Either effect would have been good on its own, but together they're great.

Oak Skin (HotFK) - Resist all equal to your Wisdom for one fight per day. This degree of damage prevention is sweet, though a bit dependent on how high your Wisdom modifier actually is.

Pack Alertness (MP) - A rather situational scouting power. Better if you have the right companion.

Path of the Monkey (D 392) - How often is +4 to Acrobatics and climb speed really going to come up in combat? Not enough to justify this, especially as a Daily.

Ranger's Agility (HotFK) - The ability to shift 2 at-will for one fight a day can help generate some charge space, and a speed bonus isn't worthless, but it won't be what the average Ranger is looking for.

Reptilian Perseverance (D 392) - Not much reason to take this given the existence of Bending Branch.

Safe Passage (HotFK) - A whole-party speed buff, with the ability to ignore difficult terrain as icing. Dependant on the encounter, but could potentially be useful.

Slither's Stride (D 392) - Shifting 2 as a move is not quite as helpful to Rangers at it is to other Strikers, but a mobility edge like this is welcome at almost every party.

Stalker's Mist (HotFK) - A zone that heavily obscures your opponent's line of sight while leaving your allies' intact that you can move around is pretty darn good, actually.

Tenacity of the Tusked (D 392) - Shave off a good chunk of damage when you get hit, and can even negate secondary effects of the attack if you drop it to 0. That's worth a look if you ask me.

Terrain Advantage (MP 2) - A very nice bonus to defenses when you occupy difficult terrain. Not too sure how often that's gonna happen, though. Better for Elves because they  don't have to sacrifice extra squares to get in and out.

Unbalancing Parry (PHB) - A bit conditional (your AC isn't exactly at tank-level), but the effect is pretty good, and it doesn't cost you an action.

Ursine Brutality (D 392) - A push effect on every attack, which can be solid.

Web Trick (D 392) - Being at At-Will makes it easier to land in an opportune moment, but then you look at what you gave up for it (a L2 Utility) and when this comes up (not that often), and you see why it's not quite something to throw a parade over.

Wolf Trip (D 392) - Whoa. This can either result in a lost action for your opponent, or getting stuck prone near you. Either way, it's a great add-on for Wolf Beastmasters.

Yield Ground (PHB) - A pretty nice pick for all Rangers, it offers defense and out-of-turn mobility, but you do have to eat a hit to actually get it off.



Level 3, Encounter



Archers will likely look to pick up Disruptive Strike at this level. While this power is usable by Melee Rangers, the prime pick here is Ruffling Sting for even more minor-action damage.

Level 3 Encounter List


Strength-based:



Avenging Charge (MP 2) - And the Barbarian officially goes green with envy. Not quite as awesome as Disruptive Strike's debuff or Ruffling Sting's on-demand damage, but reasonably close to either.

Confusion of Blades (D 377) - While the effect of the power is probably something you shouldn't look to maximize, this is still a double-tap, so it can't be all bad.

Leonine Surge (MP) - Knocking prone and extra damage is obviously good if both attacks, but the disadvantage should you miss twice gives me a bit of pause. Still solid, though.



Ruffling Sting (MP) - Swing + CA for your next swing, as a minor action. The effect feels a bit underwhelming, but its on-demand nova muscle more than makes up for it.



Sustaining Strike (MP 2) - Essentially, it's a Two-Fanged Strike that doesn't get expended on minions (and lends you a +2 to hit, to boot). Solid enough.

Upending Throw (MP 2) - Knocking prone on Ranged attacks is nice, especially if you play to engage in Melee soon afterwards. Being a single attack knocks it down a couple of pegs, though.


Dexterity-based:



Covering Volley (D 383) - A single-attack AoE with the damage of a Ranged Basic Attack?! Not. Interested. EVER.

Parting Strike (MP 2) - Another of the Melee Weapon Dexterity attack series, it's nice for a hit-and-run, but not much else (and Rangers are really more of a stand-and-bang class anyway).

Scattering Volley (MP) - This family of attacks is still terrible (and will be for quite a while).

Stalking Strike (MP 2) - While hitting and hiding is fun, this seems like it would be more at home on a Rogue than on you.

Thwarting Shot (MP) - A weapon attack against Fortitude that slows and debuffs... meh.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Cut and Run (PHB) - This power is equal parts Hit and Run and Twin Strike. It's a fairly decent power, but there are better things available here.

Disruptive Strike (PHB) - An attack outside my turn that has a sure-fire trigger, can be used in Ranged as well as Melee, and makes the opponent's attack against me or an ally miss in addition to dealing damage? Super awesome.

Shadow Wasp Strike (PHB) - A vanilla attack against Reflex, which can only be used against your quarry. Garbage.



Thundertusk Boar Strike (PHB) - A mighty push effect after two decent swings. This is pretty sweet for Archers; you can probably consider it Blue if you do a lot of Ranged fighting.




Beast Powers:



Beast Latch (MP) - Swing + slow, and allows your Beast to follow your quarry around. Not what you should be doing with your actions.


Encircle the Prey (MP 2) - Essentially Paired Predators, trading in some damage for sliding and shifting. A solid choice overall.

Paired Predators (MP) - About as much damage as a Beast power is going to deal at this level, which makes it the tool of choice for them



Level 5, Daily



Melee Rangers get a nice selection of powers here, highlighted by the versatile Frenzied Skirmish. Ranged Rangers' best bet is probably Spitting-Cobra Stance, though Flying Steel is arguably just as good.

Level 5 Daily List


Strength-based: 


 
Bloody Throw (MP 2) - Two swings, and a thrown weapon attack for somebody else. Solid enough.

Frenzied Skirmish
(PHB) - While the damage isn't jaw-dropping (by your standards), the ability to move your speed without provoking, then lay on Ranger damage with a daze + slow aftereffect combo makes it a thoroughly impressive total package.

Snarling Wolf Stance (MP 2) - While this power looks amazing at first glance, it does have some drawbacks in that it doesn't provide damage right away, and it costs a minor action, which are hard to come by on a Melee Ranger. If you can get past that, though, this can be quite good.

Two-Wolf Pounce (PHB) - 3 attacks, though the last one hits a different target, and some solid movement. Not bad at all.

Wounded Beast (MP 2) - The fact that you can use it when you get bloodied is very nice, and it heals you to boot. That said, the competition here is rather stiff.


Dexterity-based:




Close-Combat Shot
(MP) - A marginally more damaging version of what Spitting Cobra Stance can do at better range, and more times per encounter than this power. Unimpressive.



Excruciating Shot (PHB) - A hard shot, with a (save ends) debuff. Decent.



Flying Steel (D 383) - Though it looks impressive at first glance, it has a couple of caveats in that the enemy can get cover by hiding behind one of its allies, and you're gonna have to move around to keep the effect alive. Still, if you can around that restriction, this can be a good, steady source of damage.

Hunter's Confrontation (MP 2) - A ranged smack that allows you to knock prone every time you hit the target with a Melee attack. Not terrible, but not that great either.
 
Splintering Shot (PHB) - Not as strong a debuff as Excruciating Shot, but more damage on a miss and the debuff is truly permanent, not just (save ends). I like this one a little better.



Tag the Prey (MP) - Weak damage, and the Quarry condition is just inane. Pass.

Tracing Shot (MP 2) - So... you get a lesser (and less stackable) bonus than L1's Commanding Confrontation, and for roughly the same attack damage? Nah...
 

Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Adaptive Assault (MP) - Two swings, with a (save ends) debuff or some ongoing damage attached (both if you hit the same target). Solid.

Blinding Assault (DSG) - The effect is OK, but it doesn't make up for the fact that this power does the same damage as a basic attack. No.

Rattle the Senses (DSG) - Dazing (save ends) is nice, attacking only once isn't. Maybe this power's niche benefits may come up at some time or another - it doesn't make them any less niche.

Spitting Cobra Stance (MP) - Even with the errata limiting this to an immediate reaction, this trigger is still feasible, and it'll help you pile on some nice extra damage throughout an encounter. I like this a bit more than Flying Steel, but they're pretty close in power level.




Beast Powers:



Beastly Protector (D 387) - It requires you to be bloodied, it's a single action Beast attack on your turn, and all it does is provide a mild disincentive for enemies attacking you. Not a great idea.

Bloodied Frenzy (MP) - A bit conditional, but it's a decent attack outside your turn that immobilizes.



Coordinated Charge (MP 2) - A charge from you and your Beast companion, with a free Quarry attached. Could be worse.

Lacerating Maul (MP) - This is marginally above Hunter's Bear Trap. Pass.



Predatory Charge (D 381) - A nice double charge for you and your Beast companion. Likely the power of choice at this level for a pure Beastmaster.



Level 6, Utility



While this level does have a couple of nice powers in Death Threat and Weave Through the Fray, my suggestion is to go back to L2 and grab whichever of Begin the Hunt or Invigorating Stride you don't already have. You will likely have another look at this list later on, though, so I'll point out that Death Threat and Weave Through the Fray are nice powers to have.

Level 6 Utility List

Arrow of the Savior (D 383) - Flavor gold, but how often does this situation really come up?

Battle Runner (MP) - A bit of extra mobility in combat. Meh.

Boundless Energy (MP) - I don't think Endurance is THAT important...



Clever Teamwork (MP 2) - Big shift for your companion, but a normal one for you. Meh.

Death Threat (D 377) - It gets you free CA and saves you a minor action once every encounter, and that's pretty cool. It can also combine with L10's Resume the Hunt to give you a great kick-start on getting your second target down, which makes this better if you have the above mentioned power.

Defensive Posture (MP) - Your pet's version of the Shield spell. Who cares if they attack it and not you, though? Certainly not me.

Evade Ambush (PHB) - Not being surprised is nice, but as a Daily, this is not that good...

Harrying Hunter Stance (D 384) - +2 to Quarry damage for flanking with your Beast and not needing to flank with your Beast for CA are decent benefits, though they are available elsewhere.

Healing Herbs (MP 2) - One of the few ally-healing powers on your list, it's pretty meager considering it's a Daily and it has no range.

Healing Lore (HotFK) - Minor action healing at range 5 that can affect you or an ally? Heck yes.

Invigorate the Beast (MP) - Just heal it after the fight.

Leaf Wall (HotFK) - While it seems kind of weird on what is a dedicated Striker, this is basically a zone you can use to hem your opponent in, and get free combat advantage to boot. A pretty sweet choice, though it's not exactly the easiest power to use.


Off-Hand Defense (MP 2) - +1 AC for a Stance is rather underwhelming (you can forget about the +2 AC; you want to attack with both your weapons).

Serpentine Dodge
(MP) - One of the stronger shifting powers in the Ranger's arsenal to allow you to slip by a crowd and target the enemy you want, it even packs a defense bonus on top of it. Nice to have.

Skilled Companion (PHB) - Congratulations; you are officially an advice machine - you should charge 5 copper for it. Solid enough.


Stealthy Escape (MP 2) - Rerolling Stealth checks with a bonus is nice, especially when you have a chance of not expending it. I'm not the biggest fan of its being a Daily, but it's still solid.

Step of Morning Mist (HotFK) - Yeah, it's a Daily, but a teleportation effect with a huge bonus to defenses is worth something on a Ranger.

Thorn Ward (HotFK)
- A movable zone for a pinch of autodamage if an enemy ends its turn within it. It's all right, I guess.

Weave Through the Fray (PHB) - This power might force the enemy to charge or not attack at all, and the right positioning will put you just out of his reach, all but disabling an attack.
 A nice defensive pick.



Level 7, Encounter



Biting Volley for Ranged and Lashing Leaves for Melee are the definitive picks at this level, especially the former.

Level 7 Encounter List


Strength-based:



Assess and Strike (MP 2) - This power is very similar to Claws of the Griffon, except it trades a touch of the damage for accuracy. Personally, I want the extra damage.

Claws of the Griffon (PHB) - This power packs some hefty damage, so it's a nice choice.



Deceptive Steel (D 384) - I'm not sure how many times a Ranger will OA per encounter, but it should come up at least once per fight, and this is a beautiful follow-up for when you do. The only thing that keeps it from the higher echelon of powers at this level is that you can't really pick who's getting the double whammy.

Jackal Ploy (MP) - Hits Reflex, rolls twice, and has a decent effect, but you only deal damage once...



Lashing Leaves (D 377) - Two swings, compounded by a nasty Wisdom-based damage buff for the entire party (get your inner Leader on). Much better than any dual-wielder power here if you ask me, especially if you pump Wisdom aggressively.

Sweeping Whirlwind (PHB) - Another close burst, but this one pushes some and knocks folk prone. Nice control, but that's not what you're looking for.



Surprising Throw (MP 2) - Essentially a slightly more damaging Ranged basic attack, with the option of gaining CA a little more easily than normal. Awful.

Toppling Rush (MP 2) - A solidly damaging single shot attack that lets you move your speed and knock someone down. Meh.

Twofold Flinch (MP) - Not that bad an effect, but it doesn't deal any actual damage...
 why is this not a Utility power?


Dexterity-based:



Biting Volley (MP) - 18+ crits and hitting Reflex make this a premium attack for Archers.

Finishing Cut (MP 2) - A vanilla attack that gets bigger if your target is bloodied or prone. Considering that double attack powers bring more muscle, the only real perk I can say this power has is that it's a Dexterity-based Melee attack.

Hunter's Shot (MP) - Vanilla attack that's rather reliable (roll v. AC and Reflex once each, take the one that hits).

 Rather similar to Hawk's Talon overall, and that's not a compliment.

Pinning Shot (D 383) - A Ranged Basic that immobilizes the target and an adjacent enemy. I love immobilization on Archers, but that love is tempered by the pathetic damage this deals.

Spikes of the Manticore (PHB) - Allows for some strong Ranged damage, but I prefer the greatly increased critical rate and accuracy of Biting Volley over 1d10-1d12 damage on one of the two attacks.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Hawk's Talon (PHB) - Unless your Wisdom is in the stratosphere, this power is more than likely a waste, and even then its damage cap is pretty limited.




Beast Powers:



Beast Rush (MP) - Not much more useful than Synchronized Strike, but not bad.



Fetch (MP 2) - Awesome name; the power itself is kind of lame, though.

Harried Quarry (MP) - A meh setup buff. It's not very appealing IMHO.





Level 9, Daily



Attacks on the Run is the power of choice for everyone, though it faces some competition as far as Ranged Rangers go in the form of Jarring Salvo and Springback Shot.

Level 9 Daily List


Strength-based:



Caging Strike (MP) - A swing with some ongoing damage. I'd gladly trade ongoing 5 for Slow, and that makes your L1 Daily, Hunter's Bear Trap. Avoid.

Dire Bear Maul (D 375) - While this power is a bit tricky to use at full steam (you're going to need a high Fortitude and a high Reflex to be able to milk it for what it's worth, and not being able to otherwise attack can limit your options), this can help you lock up and butcher a given target while allowing little chance of escape. An actual option for Melee Rangers.

Furious Fling (MP 2) - Free Quarry, and a solid Ranged attack with a little ongoing damage tacked on. Ugh.

Shocking Assault (MP 2) - You get a solidly damaging charge that immobilizes. It's too bad that you're not charge-happy...

Swirling Leaves of Steel (PHB) - Not your job, and even if it were this is a bad power.


Dexterity-based:



Close Quarters Shot (PHB) - A solidly damaging shot, but not much else. Pales in comparison to Attacks on the Run.



Invigorating Confrontation (MP 2) - 5 + Wis modifier in THP is a decent benefit for your Melee attacks, but having to toss a Ranged attack (essentially waste a turn for the Melee Rangers who can actually take advantage of the effect) for it makes it less appealing.

Jarring Salvo (MP) - 3 Ranged hits (with no modifier), all of them push and attack Fortitude. A pretty good choice, actually. If you don't want Attacks on the Run, you should probably pick this instead.



Murderous Aim (D 384) - Brutal 2 on your Quarry damage doesn't amount to much, and that's in the occasions it comes up.

Spray of Arrows (PHB) - Again, AoE, which is not your job.

Springback Shot (MP 2) - An immediate interrupt shot that negates an enemy attack (unless the enemy has Reach 3+), and substitutes it with one of your own, plus a guaranteed immobilize effect. Genuinely competitive with Attacks on the Run.

Thousand Arrow Awareness (D 383) - A pretty bad entry attack, and an effect that feels like a weaker version of Spitting Arrow Stance. Meh.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Attacks on the Run (PHB) - The dominating choice for Rangers in general. Stop what you're doing; behold your beautiful bride.

Marked for Death (MP 2) - Two dice of extra Quarry damage is a solid buff to get, and it can be used by all stripes of Rangers. I'm not too crazy about the opening attack, though.

Passing Ambush (MP) - Bleah. Too conditional to be taken seriously, and around half the damage of Attacks on the Run (since it only makes one attack). Avoid like the plague.



Ranger's Recovery (MP) - A decent recycling power, it offers you the option of more damage or recovering an Encounter power (hint: you should usually take the power). You're probably doing the same damage with less actions if you take a double-tap instead.


Beast Powers:



Bounding Beast (MP 2) - Spreads out two Beast-only attacks. Unimpressive at best.

Menacing Cry (MP) - A low-damage AoE that immobilizes. Who died and made you a Controller?

Shepherding Slice (D 387) - A decent shift followed by a weak attack, and the ability to slide the enemy as an At-Will minor for the rest of the encounter, provided you hit with a Beast attack. While this can have a bit of potential shenanigans, it's a lot of work for little returns compared to other powers here.



Level 10, Utility



This level actually has a pretty crowded field, with lots of good, solid powers you can take. Ranged Rangers will probably favor Defensive Volley or Hunter's Thorn Trap, whereas Melee ones will probably be looking at Blood of the Fallen or Resume the Hunt. That said, there are a couple of other nice powers (such as Root Gate) that anyone can use here, too.

Level 10 Utility List

Agile Escape (MP 2) - If mobility denial makes you unhappy, this is a very solid power to have.

Blood of the Fallen (D 377) - It's healing that doesn't consume surges or actions, and you get it for doing your job. A very good use of your Utility power slot.

Companion Emplacement (MP) - It's not that much better than a normal move action in actual effect, but it comes out as a minor, and lets you move your companion around with little risk of retribution, which is a fairly good deal, especially if you're riding your Beast.



Defensive Volley (D 383) - An ally damage-prevention power that you can use every Encounter. That's pretty sweet.

Expeditious Stride (PHB) - One turn of big movement; better for Archers, but nothing special.

Eyes of the Owl (HotFK) - Why not just illuminate the place, instead of relying on darkvision?

Hunter's Thorn Trap (HotFK) - I'm a bit leery of any power that relies on suspension of disbelief from your DM in order to work. That said, this can be a decent tool for a Ranged Ranger looking to stave off an enemy's pursuit, or a Melee one trying to keep a slippery opponent down.

Hunting Party (MP) - Good to know someone has your back when you miss, eh?

 Think of it as a compensation damage bonus for missing, except that the method of delivery is through your allies. That said, its utility is limited for most Rangers, who will like to fight solo pretty soon.

Open the Range (PHB) - The effect is simply not worth being a Daily.



Padfoot Advance (MP 2) - Some very stealthy flavor, if only for a turn.

Prime Shift (MP) - This stance allows you to dance around the target of your Prime Shot. Would be nice if it were as part of your attack, but as it is? Meh.


Quick Recovery (MP) - This power could potentially get rid of your Beast's negative stat effects before they really come into play.

 Not really sure I should care that much, though.

Resume the Hunt (MP 2) - You get to move your speed after a kill, with the entry square being OA-free, and then you get a bonus to all defenses. A great way for a Melee Ranger to get close to his next victim in a hurry, especially when combined with Death Threat at L6.

Root Gate
(HotFK) - This can effectively fast-forward your party's movement across a battlefield, while allowing you to bypass zones, annoying terrain, and the like. That's actually pretty good if you ask me, and it's great if your DM likes placing enemies far away from you, or has weird terrain (bridges, chasms, that sort of thing).

Shed the Mark (MP) - At-will respite against an annoying battlefield condition. Kind of corner-case, but hey, it's At-Will.


Undaunted Stride (PHB) - Ignoring difficult terrain could provide a decent tactical advantage.

Verdant Flames (HotFK)
- A zone for free combat advantage that last all fight long without a need for sustaining (you can also move it around if you have to), and it even brings a bit of auto-damage with it. That's pretty cool, especially for Archers, since CA is usually harder to come by for them.

Weathered Resilience (MP 2) - There's a power that does this with less strings attached at lower level. That said, having two of them allows you to have the effect on for two fights a day, which can be big.
Powers - Paragon Tier: The Great Hunt

Just a reminder: because the Ranger is a V-class, the powers have been separated into the following categories for your convenience:
    •    Strength-based
    •    Dexterity-based
    •    Strength- or Dexterity- based
    •    Beast powers


Level 13, Encounter



Off-Hand Diversion is the order of the day for Melee Rangers at this level. Ranged Rangers pick up a very useful tool in Pinning Strike.

Level 13 Encounter List


Strength-based:



Armor Splinter
(PHB) - Two swings that slap on an AC debuff that can go from inconsequential to absolutely devastating, depending on your Wisdom. Good stuff for Wisdom-based Melee Rangers.

Bloodlust Strike (MP) - A conditional attack, and multiattacks are likely dealing a whole heck of a lot more damage at this point. I'll pass.

Nimble Defense (PHB) - Armor Splinter's defensive counterpart, its outlook is lost on a class as offensively oriented as the Ranger, especially when it only buffs AC.

Off-Hand Diversion (MP) - Dual-wielding Rangers in general should consider this a prime pick; the more attacks you can squeeze off in one turn, the better, especially when it comes with free combat advantage for your whole party.

Quick Throw (MP 2) - The most damaging minor action attack on the Ranger's list... but you can't focus-fire with it, and it's on a Ranged weapon (seriously?!). Somewhat better for certain types of characters, but not my first pick for any Ranger build.

Storm in the Trees (D 377) - Though not as focus fire-oriented as some other picks, this does attack 3 times as an Encounter power...

Strength of Earth (D 381) - A move, then you swing against Reflex and knock prone. Meh.


Dexterity-based:



Answer with Steel (MP 2) - A "don't get close" sort of power with a Melee weapon. Nice to have, since it gets you away from the trigger.

Hammering Volley (MP) - Though still bad, at least this member of the "Volley" family has a decent debuff for Archers attached.

Knockdown Shot (PHB) - Conditional targeting and being a single-shooter undoes all the goodwill hititng Reflex and knocking prone earned it.

Thread the Needle (MP 2) - While a bit odd in its outlook (only Hunters would seriously consider a Dexterity-based attack that shoots and then engages the enemy in Melee), it does have some respectable damage if you complete the sequence. A bit too conditional for my taste, though.

Warding Shot (D 383) - Some OK control ability in this power. I don't like the bland entry hit, though.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Pinning Strike (PHB) - Immobilizing is gold for Archers, especially on a double-tap. Their prime pick.


Beast Powers:



Herd the Prey
(MP) - This doesn't even have the damage to justify it as a L1 Encounter power choice, and that's what you're about, being a Ranger. Avoid like the plague.

Knockdown Pounce (MP) - Allows your Beast to shift a lot, and a knockdown attack. Unimpressive.

Ravaging Tide (MP 2) - A single attack Beast power with some lame automatic damage. Very bad.



Level 15, Daily



Melee Rangers pick up Blade Cascade. End of story. As for Ranged, Confounding Arrows is very, very good, almost to the level of the former.

Level 15 Daily List


Strength-based:



Barreling the Fish (MP 2) - Even though its critical hit rate is nothing short of epic, it's only one attack per target. Not strong enough to be a Daily.

Blade Cascade (PHB) - Even with the errata limiting it to 5 attacks, this is still the premier pick for any dual-wielding Ranger; it's just too good to pass up.

Questing Blades (D 384) - A decent hit, and the ability to hit the lowest of 3 defenses. While this will likely up your hit rate dramatically, I can't really justify a single hit power with Blade Cascade doing rounds at this level.

Steeling Flurry (MP) - A rather vanilla multiattack AoE. Could be worse (at least it attacks each target twice...).

Stunning Steel (PHB) - Hits Fortitude for some weak damage (for a Daily), and stuns (save ends) if both attacks hit. It would probably receive a LOT more attention if it weren't at the same level Blade Cascade is...


Dexterity-based:



Armor-Piercing Shot (MP) - It hits Reflex and it's Reliable, but so is a Rogue L1 Daily that carries the same weapon damage multiplier (granted, that attack is Melee, but 14 levels of difference should have netted you more than just a range increase). Garbage.

Bleeding Wounds (PHB) - A triple shooter that hands out a progressively larger amount of ongoing damage. It's pretty good, but Confounding Arrows is just plain better.

Confounding Arrows (PHB) - Three hits that will deal more damage than Bleeding Wounds in the round you shoot, and they STUN (I repeat: They STUN). Not a contest, really.

Overwhelming Confrontation (MP 2) - Another power in the "Ranged buffs Melee" lines, the dazing effect is nice, though you likely will not use the stun all that often (if you want stun in Melee, there's a power on the Melee list that does it better).

Tracking Shot (MP) - +Wis on your next attack is a very underwhelming buff for a Daily at this levels. Slap it on as a (save ends) debuff or something so it at least attempts to attract my attention...

Tracking the Target (D 383) - Punishes enemies for clustering. Who do you think you are, a Wizard?

Trick Shot (MP 2) - Spread-out fire with unreliable (and unimpressive) effects? Not my cup of tea.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Arterial Strike (MP) - Thoroughly unimpressive, and only Reliability and an aftereffect save it from being a detriment to your character, considering what's available.

Deadly Nightshade (MP 2) - While still very underwhelming, this power at least slaps on a debuff with its ongoing damage. Not enough to save it from the cellar, though.

Reactive Shot (MP 2) - Kill things before combat even starts! Sweet (and a great RP power, too).


Beast Powers:



Aligned Strike (D 387) - A beast attack + a Ranger attack is strictly inferior to two Ranger attacks (and at this level you get one that lets you make 5), and this power doesn't even let you hit the same target twice. Trash.

Blood Frenzy (MP) - A buff for your companion after a decent swing from you. The Beast is still doing terrible damage after this buffs, and in the meantime you only attacked once. Awful.

Fearsome Beast (MP 2) - Turning your Beast into a Defender-lite is a good way to get the bang for your buck on the additional HP source. Still, the entry attack is trash.

Scent of Fear (MP) - This is your first taste of what Beastmasters get to do all the time at Epic; minor action Beast attacks. If you take it (and I wouldn't), retrain it out quickly during Epic tier, as it will become useless the second you pick up the Quick Beast Command feat.



Level 16, Utility



This is the big blind spot in your Utility power selection - most of these powers are uninspiring to outright mediocre, and even the standouts (Howling Winds for everybody, Ranger's Parry for Melee, and Wary Shooter for Ranged) are squarely in the "good, but not great" category. I would actually have a look at an earlier list if I were you (L6's Death Threat looks mighty good at this point in time).

Level 16 Utility List

Back on Target (D 383) - A reroll with a bonus for an ally is good, but being a Daily and limited to Ranged attacks makes it just OK.

Blade and Bow (MP 2) - Your Ranged buffs your Melee, and vice versa. Rare is the build that can actually take advantage of both Ranged (Dex), Melee (Str), and this power (Wis).

Curving Shot (MP) - A Daily reroll for an At-Will attack power? I would have to say this power is very underwhelming (have you seen the Barbarian's Combat Surge and the Warlock's Dark One's Own Luck at L6?!).

Embrace the Wild (HotFK) - An all-fight-long buff for you or an ally, though its utility varies depending on the fight.

Evade the Blow (PHB) - This is awesome to use against creatures that look to keep you at the edge of their reach, and for Archers to disengage from Melee. This conditionality keeps me from being able to truly recommend it, though.

Howling Winds (HotFK) - Free action sliding for a whole fight? This is a potential gold mine for a Ranged Ranger, and it can even be decent for a Melee who has the Wisdom (and minor actions) for it.

Iron Endurance (HotFK)
- Your healing surge value + 10 is a lot of THP to be had, though its being a Daily is kind of limiting.

Longstrider (PHB) - Though somewhat obsoleted by a Skill power that has everything this offers and more, it's still an option (though not a good one) for those who choose not to train Athletics.

Mirror of Steel (D 377) - It doesn't protect you from AoE's, eats up your Stance slot, and only provides a +1 to all defenses? Pass.

Momentary Respite (PHB) - A collection of decent benefits. Being a Daily and costing a Standard action is just too high a price for them, though.

Pack Stealth (MP) - It allows you to hide in normal cover/concealment v. total cover/concealment, and to boot, it lets you bring your Beast along. Solid enough.

Ranger's Parry (MP 2) - +4 to AC and Reflex is a nice defensive buff, and 10 THP is a nice cherry on top. While not as potentially awesome as Evade the Blow, it works much more often.

Shared Healing (MP) - Some healing for the Beastie and for you. Decent.

Stalker's Senses (MP) - Another underwhelming stance.

Tree Runner (MP 2) - Don't know how often you have to actually run up trees, but this is awesome for when you do.

Vengeful Oath (MP 2) - The trigger is kind of awkward (sometimes, you LIKE being bloodied, and other times, you're too busy to want to disengage), but the effect is strong enough to make it a choice.

Wall of Earth (HotFK) - A large wall you can use to hem people in, as well as knock them prone, and it can make some difficult terrain should you fail to sustain. Not your typical cup of tea, but not exactly a bad thing, either.

Wary Shooter (MP) - Look for Prime Shot with impunity while this effect lasts.

Wolfjaw Blows (D 375) - A nice and mean Stance power, this can help set up Headsman's Chop and other prone shenanigans with you or other party members, or just plain help out your allies by letting them all share in the combat advantage you had over an enemy. A nice pick.

Word of Warning (HotFK) - A solid bonus to your party's initiative (though it won't stack with things like a Warlord's Combat Leader or a Battle Harness), and free CA for the first round of a fight. Solid.



Level 17, Encounter



If you're Melee, Untamed Outburst is the power for you. Ranged characters favor the awesome triple-shooter Pounding Barrage or the immediate-application negate + respond Duck and Draw.

Level 17 Encounter List


Strength-based:



Canopy of Blades (D 377) - The damage is lame (just a little more than a Twin Strike), but the hefty bonus to all defenses makes up for it. This is not that bad an idea.

Cheetah's Rake (PHB) - A close burst attack that knocks prone and immobilizes. You're not a "spread the love" kind of guy, so it's not that great for you.

Reproving Strike (MP 2) - The whole "vengeance" fluff angle is decent, but a Standard Action single-strike power just doesn't cut the mustard for a Ranger at this level.

Two-Weapon Eviscerate (PHB) - Two hits, one target; if you hit, more damage, and weakening. It's pretty nice, but there are meatier options to be had here.

Untamed Outburst (MP) - Two stronger-than-average attacks that come with a bonus to hit and some dazing if both hit. The power of choice for dual-wielders.

Wolverine Claw Strike (MP 2) - Don't spread out your damage when you can focus fire. Strictly worse than L13's Nimble Defense IMHO, since the AC buff and single-target damage are lacking compared to it.


Dexterity-based:



Arrow of Vengeance (PHB) - An out-of-turn attack that's easy to trigger, and it comes with an attack bonus.

Duck and Draw (MP 2) - This power allows to get close in Melee, then retreat when attacked while leaving a parting gift attack. If you like getting your Prime Shot bonuses, this is a great power for you.

Entrapping Arrows (D 383) - While the entry damage is piddly, you do get a very strong control buff (you basically play Fighter for a turn). Not what I'd be looking to do with my Ranger.

Pounding Barrage (MP) - Three shots, with extra damage and immobilization thrown in if more than one hits. This power is awesome.

Suppressing Shots (MP 2) - Needless to say, I'm not a fan of the initial attack (though it does immobilize...). However, the zone it creates is decent. Being so weak as an initial offering and relying on enemy participation to get better is a deal-breaker for me, though.

Triple Shot (PHB) - This power has been made obsolete by Pounding Barrage (read: DON'T TAKE THIS POWER RIGHT NOW), BUT you might want to consider it later on; one of the latter Encounter power lineups (L27) is missing a triple shooter, and though this is bland, it's better than nothing...


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Blow-Through Assault (MP) - It's a souped-up version of the Fighter's Cleave. The problems are that it's (a) not what you're looking for in a power and (b) not that strong anyway.


Beast Powers:



Blade and Fang (MP) - This is conditionally weaker than L3's Paired Predators. What it's doing all the way up here at L17, I have no idea...

Hounding Beast (MP) - Your Beast follows the enemy around. Whatever.

Lights Out (D 387) - Two blinding attacks bring something that are rare in the Ranger list (status effects), but the inability to focus fire and the fact that it has a Beast attack included hold it back.

Swooping Raptor (D 384) - For some Beasts, it's marginally better than Paired Predators at L3. For others, it's about the same. Skip this one.



Level 19, Daily



Melee folks get the brutal Cruel Cage of Steel to round out their nova arsenal. Ranged Rangers who like some control can check out Surprising Arrow Stance, though if you're looking for more damage muscle you're probably better off looking to pick up another of the previous list of Dailies (Bleeding Wounds or Reactive Shot will likely do the trick).

Level 19 Daily List


Strength-based:



Cruel Cage of Steel (PHB) - Another fantastic dual-wielder power, this lays a serious hurting on your opponent, and it carries an accuracy bonus along with a lethal cocktail of status effects. For Two-Blade Rangers, the L19 power list ends here.

Driving Offensive (MP) - Weaker than Cruel Cage of Steel, but daze (save ends) is nothing to sneeze at.

Ringing the Bell (MP 2) - Ongoing damage and a daze is nice, but a single-attack power when Cruel Cage of Steel is up for grabs? Not. Gonna. Happen.

Threefold Assault (MP) - This power is interesting because it's made for Thrown Weapon Rangers, who don't have many powers designed specifically for them. With the proper context in mind, it's actually a pretty decent power.

Wounding Whirlwind (PHB) - Multiattacking AoE with ongoing damage tacked on. It's all right (for an area attack).


Dexterity-based:



Barbed Arrows (MP 2) - Spreads out two attacks, and the debuff is lacking. Not what you're looking for.

Dead Stop (MP) - A pretty conditional trigger, but everything else is good (who doesn't like to stop charges?).

Frantic Assault (MP 2) - Basically a better version of L1's Commanding Confrontation, since the "damage buff" is a bit higher and it hits enemies in an area around you. Still, wasting a round in order to get the buff is harsh.

Great Ram Arrow (PHB) - Decent damage, and a push effect that can go from low to huge, depending on your Strength. Best for Balanced builds, but the fact that it's a single attack holds it back.

Surprising Arrow Stance (D 383) - Spitting-Cobra Stance's bigger, meaner brother, it packs a bit more damage per hit along with a Fighter-esque mobility-stuffing after-effect. It can produce a few extra attacks and provides a decent measure of control, but not all Archers are in the market for that.

Two-in-One Shot (PHB) - While it has some nice accuracy on the second attack if you hit with the first, this power offers little in additional punch (and actually less of that than Attacks on the Run). Serviceable enough.

Unrestrained Aggression (MP 2) - Big area attack that hands you a free action Quarry and some lame damage. Can I have the free Quarry and put it on another Daily instead?


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Claim the Prize (MP) - Not worth your time, as are all Daily powers that only attack once as a standard action during your turn at this point as a Ranger.


Beast Powers:



Crippling Spiral (MP 2) - Finally, a Beast power that's actually decent! Negating fly speed while double attacking and allowing your companion to shift has potential if you ask me. A bit niche (thrown weapon Beastmasters?), but still worth using.

Ferocious Roar (MP) - Haven't we gone over this already? This time, it's arguably more egregious to select this power, considering how poorly Beast damage scales compared to Ranger damage.

Gnawing Assault (MP) - Another level, another terrible Beast power.
Powers - Epic Tier: The Unending Hunt

Just a reminder: because the Ranger is a V-class, the powers have been separated into the following categories for your convenience:
    •    Strength-based
    •    Dexterity-based
    •    Strength- or Dexterity- based
    •    Beast powers


Level 22, Utility



Your Utility power capstone power list is very strong; there are a lot of good powers, and even though none of them truly stands out, that's because the difference in power level for most is pretty minimal. That said, I am most partial to Master of the Hunt for its raw damage boost and to Adamant Recovery for its universal Revive button.

Level 22 Utility List

Adamant Recovery (MP) - A good "emergency" button to have in your back pocket. Goes a long way towards making you more self-sufficient.

Daunting Agility (MP 2) - Shifting your speed with an Athletics bonus attached can be useful, though it is rather overdue.

Fade from Sight (MP 2) - A decent Stealth-related Utility. Not at the level of Forest Ghost, but it can be used more frequently.

Fleet Hunter's Stance (D 384) - Shifting 1 square after every multiple attack power essentially guarantees 1 extra shift per turn, and it can even help you maneuver about to avoid wasting actions because you burned your minor actions and killed an enemy. Very solid.

Fleet of Foot (MP 2) - Not provoking OA's for moving is nice to have, as is not granting CA while running. Pretty cool.

Forest Ghost (PHB) - Given the proper setup, this means encounter-long invisibility, which will make you almost impossible to hurt, which makes Archers in particular salivate over it.

Hit the Dirt (PHB) - A decent "get out of the way" power.

Hunt the Herd (MP) - Not that great, but if you have a lot of Close Bursts, you should pick it. However, the fact that you can take advantage of this power makes me question your previous selections.

Master of the Hunt (PHB) - Depending on your Wisdom, this can go from worthless to godly, but it tends toward the latter.

Preternatural Senses (MP) - Blindsight can get you out of a lot of jams, and your Stance slot is not as occupied as, say, a Fighter's. Consider it.

Selfless Sacrifice (MP) - The effect is not strong enough to be a Daily. Skip.

Safe Stride (PHB) - A no-strings-attached Encounter movement power that allows you to shift a distance that can go from pitiful to large, depending on your build.

Sharpen the Senses (MP 2) - Detecting invisible creatures is sweet, as is the Perception bonus.

Speed of the Zephyr (HotFK) - Not really sure you need this much speed, but if you think you do, here it is.

Stepping Through the Veil (HotFK) - A sweet power for the Ranged Rangers in the audience, it rewards your ability to stay away from enemies by making you invisible.

Tested Analysis (MP 2) - You get a marginally stronger version of the Correcting Aim feat. Solid, but it faces very stiff competition.

Veil of Winter (HotFK) - A movable zone that straight-up blocks line of sight for your enemies while not affecting your allies in the slightest is potentially worth having.

Verdant Silence (D 377) - The only issue I have with this power is its requiring a healing surge (don't know if you noticed, but you don't have many to spare...).

Wild Dash (MP) - A shift by your beast outside your turn that can avoid an attack or block an enemy's step. Solid.

Wrath of Root and Soil (HotFK) - While the difficult terrain this zone creates affects friends and foes, which is kind of a bummer, this can be a nasty "keep-away" tool for an Archer that doesn't want to be engaged, since it can restrain anyone foolish enough to end its turn in the zone and makes the terrain more difficult to traverse. That said, fliers are unaffected by it.



Level 23, Encounter



Melee Rangers love their minor action attacks, so Nonchalant Collapse is the natural choice. Ranged Rangers get another awesome triple shooter in Manticore's Volley.

Level 23 Encounter List


Strength-based: 



Avalanche of Fury (MP 2) - While generic in that it's damage and nothing else, the fact that you don't expend it until both attacks connect is worth something.

Blade Ward (PHB) - A watered-down, Melee-only version of Disruptive Strike. Not terrible, but not impressive, either.

Cloak of Thorns (PHB) - Two debuffing swings, and a "Don't you dare attack me" sort of aftereffect. It's good on you, but it would be something fearsome if you could somehow compel the opponent to actually attack you and suffer the beating in wait for it.

Crashing Blades (D 377) - This is strictly weaker than L17's Untamed Outburst. Garbage.

Nonchalant Collapse (MP) - A minor action swing against Fortitude that knocks prone. Awesome, especially because it lets you squeeze in some more 'oomph' on nova turn.

Ricochet Throw (MP 2) - While the thematics of the power are very cool, the mechanics themselves do not impress.


Dexterity-based:



Dangerous Friends (D 383) - Again, punishment for clustering. Not impressive.

Dazing Volley (MP) - The first member of the "Volley" family to not abysmally suck, due mainly to dazing and the solid weapon damage dice. Still not what you should be looking for, though.

Flickering Blades (MP 2) - Another Dexterity-based Melee attack. Spreading out the damage is not what you're looking for, though.

Hammer Shot (PHB) - A big weapon damage attack against Fortitude, and a LONG push effect. Its problem lies in that it's just one hit.

Hobbling Shot (MP) - This is about equivalent with Hammer Shot (hitting AC is not quite the same as hitting Fortitude, but immobilizing is better than pushing, most of the time). I'd take my chances targeting AC, if I were to pick one, but I really don't recommend either.

Manticore's Volley (PHB) - Some potentially Daily-esque damage. The dominating choice for Archers in an otherwise unremarkable level for them.

Windwalk Strike (MP 2) - Spreads out the damage, which is the cardinal sin of playing a Ranger.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Wolf Howl Strike (MP 2) - Essentially a "charge" that allows you to have CA if you were hidden if you're Melee, or a move-and-shoot (with the same CA benefit) if Ranged. Unimpressive.


Beast Powers:



Chase Down (MP) - Swing + slide. A theme that is far too common among Beast powers, and not significant enough for you to care.

Overwhelming Fury (MP) - A decent enough power, by Beastmaster standards.



Level 25, Daily



At this level, Melee Rangers will likely gravitate toward Circling Cascade, though some might choose to stick to what they have. Unfortunately for Ranged Rangers, they don't even have that choice: nothing in this list is really worth having. Easily the most underwhelming Ranger Daily level.

Level 25 Daily List


Strength-based:



Circling Cascade (MP 2) - Another triple-hitting power for the Melee Ranger's collection. It also offers some solid shifting and dazing if you land the whole sequence. While good, it's not quite as good as L19's Cruel Cage of Steel, and that may give some Rangers pause.


Dexterity-based:




Deadly Sidestep (MP 2) - Hits outside your turn for good damage, dazing, sliding, and it knocks prone to boot. Potentially devastating, though being Dex-based and Melee makes it a bit weird.

Incapacitating Confrontation (MP 2) - Another "Ranged buffs Melee" power, weakening can pack some decent defensive kick, but I think you likely are sacrificing a bit too much to get it.

Pinning Arrow Rain (D 383) - An AoE that can immobilize with solid damage, or restrain with better damage if you hit the target twice. A bit Controller-ish for my taste, and you don't get the good effect unless you hit twice.

Pulverizing Shot (MP 2) - To put it simply, a trap. The lack of static bonuses that key off damage rolls (which this doesn't have) means that your Twin Strike can probably outdamage this power, improved critical rate be damned.

True-Eye Shot (MP) - The whole "Ranged sight" bit is unnecessary; your weapon's range will be likely as long as your line of sight, and a standard-action, single-shooting power that is saddled with an attack penalty is utter crap.

Unstoppable Arrows (PHB) - Again, AoE is NOT your job, especially if it's just a generic one.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Ambusher's Reaping (MP) - A solid shot vs. two foes, with a conditional trigger. Eh.

Bloodstorm (PHB) - Strictly inferior to L9's Attacks on the Run in almost every way. Do not take this.

Ranger's Resurgence (MP) - Only offering one attack means that the best it can do is be on par with good Dailies, not beat them. Pass.

Tiger's Reflex (PHB) - Glorious, if and only if you can force opponents to attack you. Best if you can attract attention consistently via positioning or any marking power you can pick up. It's much better on a dedicated Defender, though.


Beast Powers:



Aid the Beast (MP 2) - While this power does run off Ranged weapons, it's Strength-friendly, and free attacks from the Beast as a minor action plus free attacks from you as a minor action means you can actually put up a little damage this encounter. It doesn't get much more niche than a Ranged weapon Beastmaster, though.

Fearsome Roar (D 387) - It hits Will, but a single Beast attack is terrible for a Daily. It has a daze and opens up an AoE option as well, but these are things the average Ranger quite simply does not care about.

Primal Rampage (MP) - A double-tap that can be used on a charge, and packs debuffs. A good choice for Beastmasters.

Pursuit of the Wild Hunt (MP) - You turn your Beast into a Fighter. Combine with an actual Defender for some chuckles.

Thunderfury Charge (D 381) - A charge from you, then your Beast companion gets a piece of whoever was in your way. Meh.

Vengeful Fangs Stance (D 384) - Arguably the capstone of the Beastmaster powers, this buffs your companion to the point where he will likely be making a slight damage contribution during the combat (le gasp!). Not the worst thing you could pick.



Level 27, Encounter



Death Rend is the dominant choice power for Melee Rangers. Ranged Rangers get a sweet out-of-turn attack in Lightning Shot.

Level 27 Encounter List


Strength-based:



Death Rend (PHB) - The dual-wielding Ranger Encounter power capstone. A must if you're using that combat style.

Seeking Roots (D 377) - Strictly inferior to Death Rend.

Skewering Shot (MP 2) - Unimpressive by itself, but throw in an allied forced movement specialist and the damage that this power can put out will be a bit better.

Steel Breeze (MP 2) - Again, it spreads out your damage, but slapping on a daze effect on 3 separate enemies can do nice things for your party.

Unstable Gash (MP) - A Controller-ish power, it offers more damage if the target attacks. Meh.

Wandering Tornado (PHB) - About comparable with the Fighter's Cruel Reaper (less damage, but much more shifting distance). This is about the only multiattacking AoE Encounter power you get, so it's not the worst choice you can make at this level (but it sure isn't the best).


Dexterity-based:



Hail of Arrows (PHB) - At this point in your career, you probably won't be in encounters with tons of weak creatures as often as you will be in ones with a few tough ones, so this won't do much. If you face armies of minions on anything above a semi-regular basis, this power is  pretty great.

Interrupting Volley (D 383) - Basically, this is a vanilla Ranged attack with Disruptive Strike as an aftereffect. If the initial attack was better, this would be rated higher. As it is, I'd just keep Disruptive Strike.

Lightning Shot (PHB) - An easy-to-trigger, out-of-turn attack with solid damage. The offensive bent to its trigger is a plus in its favor.

Rolling Fire (MP 2) - The last of the Dexterity-based Melee attacks, it once again spreads out your damage, but at least hands you a free shift to compensate. Not really what you're looking for, though.


Beast Powers:



Beastly Vise (MP) - Immobilization is good, as it means another round of flanking with no effort from you, but there's just no excuse for a standard-action, single-attack power at this point in your career.

Catch and Drop (MP) - So vanilla, it's sleep-inducing.

Two-Beast Strike (MP 2) - Some decent damage for a Beast power, and you get to keep it if the Beast's attack misses. Solid enough.



Level 29, Daily



Capstone time! Ranged Rangers get a bona fide monstrous power in Five-Missile Dance here. The pickings are slimmer for Melee Rangers - while Follow-Up Blow, Weave a Web of Steel, and Ultimate Confrontation are good, they each have their flaws, and I wouldn't say any of them is a slam dunk.

Level 29 Daily List


Strength-based:



Culling Out (MP 2) - A charge for decent damage with a "drag" effect. Not at the power level a capstone should be.

Follow-Up Blow (PHB) - With the latest errata, this stance is actually rather average, since the free attack is at a penalty, and you can only generate one at a time. You can take it if you like, but it's nothing special any more.

Gauntlet of Steel (MP 2) - A "hit as you go" power. Solid, but compare it to the competition and you'll see why it's lacking.

Suffering's End (MP) - Conditional big damage single attack that is strong on a miss, which is its only saving grace.

Twin-Strike Tornado (MP) - A large-radius AoE that only attacks once. NO.

Weave a Web of Steel (PHB) - An absolutely brutal counter move, this power basically negates your opponent's attack and substitutes it with two attacks of your own. That's good to have if you ask me.


Dexterity-based:



Five-Missile Dance (MP) - The Ranged Ranger's long-overdue answer to the Melee Ranger's Blade Cascade. A proper captsone power, and one that you would be nuts to miss out on.

Imprisoning Arrows (D 383) - A decent power that can rack up a couple of extra attacks against a target as the fight wears on. Not being able to force the target to trigger this and having a lame initial attack are major strikes against it, though.

Three-in-One Shot (PHB) - While it definitely doesn't pack the power of Five-Missile Dance (which is the power you should take), this offers some solid, reliable damage if the first attack hits. Not all that terrible.

True Arrow (MP 2) - A single attack at L29? What were they thinking?!

Ultimate Confrontation (MP 2) - Don't be fooled by the fact that this is a Ranged Weapon attack; this power is made for Melee Rangers to set up a big, bad nova turn. It can quite possibly add silly amounts of damage to a concentrated turn of offense (provided you can string a few hits together), and as such is a good power for Melee Rangers.


Strength- or Dexterity-based:



Huntmaster's Bloodbath (MP) - Don't do this to yourself.


Beast Powers:



Brutal Tempest (MP 2) - By the gods, is this bad. Less range and much less damage than Twin-Strike Tornado, which is already Red. I may have to invent a new rating below it just to quantify how bad this power really is.

Huntmaster's Mauling (MP) - A decent 1-2 punch with the Beast. Just not up to par with what the other powers have to offer.
Skill Powers: The Cunning Hunt


Skill powers here have been categorized into whether the skill is a class skill for your not. Within these categories, they have been split up into levels. You'll mostly be hunting for Skill powers for your most lackluster Utility level (L6): your power selection is pretty solid from then on.


Class Skill Powers



Acrobatics Powers


Level 2:



Agile Recovery (PHB 3) - Forever changes standing up to a Minor Action. Pretty cool.


Level 6:



Dodge Step (PHB 3) - The trigger goes off too late for you to avoid a hit. Unimpressive.

Graceful Maneuver (PHB 3) - A decent repositioning ability, though half your speed is not all that much.

Perfect Balance (PHB 3) - It provides a small speed advantage while traversing narrow or difficult terrain, and doesn't require checks. Meh.

Timely Dodge (DSG) - It lets you get out of your opponent's way, but an ally might take the fall for you. Solid, but flawed.

Tumbling Dodge (PHB 3) - An example of a power that gets better as time goes on. Right now, you're likely getting a +2 bonus to all defenses at best (which is still good), whereas later on you'd be looking at +4 or so. Nice.


Level 10:



Drop and Roll (PHB 3) - How often does this really come up? Not enough to occupy a Utility slot in my experience.

Familiar Footing (DSG) - Difficult terrain protection for an encounter. Solid.

Rapid Escape (PHB 3) - The definitive answer to being grabbed; it allows you to escape as a Minor Action, grants you CA if you do escape, AND it’s an At-Will. It faces stiff competition and grabbing ain’t exactly the most common status effect under sun and moon, but this is awesome when it does come up.


Level 16:



Reflexive Dodge (PHB 3) - A solid DR ability, that comes with a shift attached.


Athletics Powers


Level 2:



Bounding Leap (PHB 3) - A power that subs your move action for a jump that carries a bonus. Unless you optimize your Athletics check or roll very well, this is only worth it later on in your career when you can reliably clear an Athletics check equal to your speed + 1 (DC 30 for speed 5, DC 35 for speed 6, and a whopping DC 40 for speed 7). At least it’s useful out of combat...

Scrambling Climb (PHB 3) - It's a great movement Utility if you have to climb up stuff a lot. The question is, will you? Not in most campaigns.

Talented Athletics (D 392)
- Never truly failing hard at Athletics can be a decent safety net. Solid enough.


Level 6:



Crushing Escape (DSG) - How many times do you try to escape a grab? If you're not running into monsters that are in a grappling mood at least some of the time, that's dead weight.

Kord's Force (D 392) - If you need to make some Strength checks, this is a way to get a big boost on them.

Mighty Sprint (PHB 3) - Speed +4 is nice. Ignoring difficult terrain is also nice. An Athletics bonus for whatever stunt you may want to pull off along the way is just gravy. This is a pretty nice pick.

Sudden Leap (PHB 3) - Essentially, this is flanking without provoking OA's, no matter how big your opponent is, once per encounter. It can see use for some Rangers.


Level 10:



Incredible Stride (PHB 3) - Whoa. +4 speed for the encounter is a big buff, and it obsoletes Longstrider for any who trained Athletics. A very nice choice.

Strength Against Strength (D 392) - Planning for a miss? Get a slide or a prone? Ugh.


Dungeoneering Powers


Level 2:



Deep Shadows (PHB 3) - Only really worth it for Str/Wis Rangers (they either don't train Stealth, or don't have enough Dexterity to make it really worthwhile), and even then it only works once per encounter. Serviceable, but not a prime choice.

Otherworldly Lore (PHB 3) - Though conditional (not only do you have to encounter an aberrant creature, you have to nail the check), it DOES hand out +4 to hit essentially for free...

Stay Back (DSG) - About as conditional as you can possibly get. Carrying a light source? Really?


Level 6:



Dungeoneer's Guidance (DSG) - Bail your opponent out of a bad check. Solid.

Eyes of the Deep Delver (PHB 3) - Blindsight for a turn, just because you can. Usually, one turn is all you need.

Stonecunning (PHB 3) - There is no reason your Dungeoneering should beat your Perception by enough of a margin as to justify taking this power.


Level 10:



Insane Logic (DSG) - Ignore resistances on an aberrant creature? Can't say that this will blow an encounter open.

Ripples in the Air (DSG) - Tremorsense is real nice to have, though having to sustain it is a bit annoying.

Spider Dodge (D 389) - A rather conditional power, but it's great when it does work.

Trap Sense (PHB 3) - A sweet trap-redirection ability, it’s rather conditional, which is what holds it back against pretty stiff competition.


Level 16:



Practiced Mental Defense (D 385) - Keeping allies from getting stunned or dominated is nice to have, though dazed isn't a massive improvement and this is a Daily (which means this power has its limitations).


Endurance Powers


Level 2:



Endure Pain (PHB 3) - This would be better if you had more emphasis on your Constitution score, but as it is, it’s unimpressive for most Rangers.

Examplar of Valor (D 392) - A couple of nice effects, but a Daily that only triggers off of Fear effects? Too conditional for my taste.

Grit and Spittle (D 385) - Though burning up a healing surge hurts, granting yourself mass saves has got to count for something, especially at a level this low.

Invigorating Presence (PHB 3) - Some mass THP when you second wind, but the vast majority of Rangers won't be using second wind as a standard (which this power requires). No.


Level 6:



Internal Reserves (D 392) - +4 to a save is nice, but as a Daily? Come on.

Third Wind (PHB 3) - A poor man's version of Healing Lore. Nope.

Walk it Off (PHB 3) - Having a chance to negate ongoing damage before it happens is nice, but rarely will you see ongoing damage that is lethal enough to be a serious concern.


Level 10:



Enter the Crucible (DSG) - Resist 10 all as a minor? Who cares if it costs you a surge? You'll probably save it back easily.

Reactive Surge (PHB 3) - Healing in response to getting Bloodied? And it's there every encounter? Very nice.

Steeled Against It (D 392) - A bit of resistance against the types you get hit with, which can be decent since it's encounter-long, but nothing to go crazy over.


Level 16:



Diehard (PHB 3) - Being dazed sure beats being dead.


Heal Powers


Level 2:



Healer’s Gift (PHB 3) - Burn a Utility slot for a very marginal improvement over First Aid? No. Gods, no.

Iron Resurgence (DSG) - Not exactly efficient and the range is bad, but it at least gives you a good access to healing.


Level 6:



Delay Poison (PHB 3) - Certainly better in campaigns where poisons are more prevalent and lethal and/or an enemy attacks only using poison damage, but usually ongoing 5-10 damage won't kill you.

Physician's Care (PHB 3) - Healing is nice, but not as a standard action.

Swift Recovery (PHB 3) - A poor man's version of Healing Lore. Nope.


Level 10:



Time Out (PHB 3) - This is nice if you have a Dwarf or Warden ally, and can be better if you have both; otherwise, the times it comes up are few and far between (very hit-or-miss, this one).


Level 16:



Miraculous Treatment (PHB 3) - Again, healing is awesome, but not if it sacrifices your ability to attack.


Nature Powers


Level 2:



Mounted Coordination (PHB 3) - If it were a turn-long buff, I'd be all for it, but as it is it's pretty marginal.

Nature Sense (PHB 3) - Some builds can milk a Nature check subbing for initiative, and a hefty defensive boost to start the combat makes it pretty decent.


Level 6:



Natural Terrain Understanding (D 385) - Though Leader-y in theme, +2 to all defenses and a free shift 2 for allies is greatly appreciated, especially on a per-encounter basis.

Path of the Bounding Stag (PHB 3) - Obviously better if you spend a lot of time in forests aboveground; but I can't predict where your campaign will take you, and in most terrains this will be useless.

Practiced Rider (PHB 3) - About as campaign-dependent as they come, but hey, it’s an At-Will!


Level 10:



Spot the Path (PHB 3) - Party-wide difficult terrain ignoring is sweet.


Level 16:



Nightshade Draught (D 385) - Anything that keeps you from dropping dead is appreciated on a Ranger, especially when it allows you to operate at full efficiency (just remember to heal ASAP).


Perception Powers


Level 2:



Far Sight (PHB 3) - There are like a million ways to get this minor buff as a Ranger, but having it once per encounter on-demand will do ‘till you get Point Blank Shot.


Level 6:



Foil Ambush (DSG) - A rather marginal benefit, given that you're not stopping your allies from being surprised and all you're getting is a minor shift. Meh.

Guided Shot (PHB 3) - Essentially an after-you-roll attack buff vs. the great majority of enemies for an ally. Solid enough.

Trapfinding (PHB 3) - A solid Utility power for those Archers who MC'd Rogue and picked up Thievery.

Warning of Peril (PHB 3) - Your Passive Perception officially covers a huge area. A great scouting aid outside of combat, though marginal in it.


Level 10:



Focused Sight (PHB 3) - Far Sight's big brother, it also works on Melee powers and superior cover/concealment. Serviceable, as it lasts two turns.

Perfect Sight (PHB 3) - The only reason you should take this power is if you couldn't train Dungeoneering, since they have one that's strictly better at a lower level.

Spot Weakness (PHB 3) - A decent bonus to your next damage roll. Average overall.

Uncanny Instincts (PHB 3) - The same thought process that applies to Nature Sense applies here; this can outstrip your default initiative in some builds, and you get to bring an ally along for the ride.


Stealth Powers


Level 2:



Elude Senses (DSG) - One turn of respite from the tougher methods to avoid as a Stealth artist is actually pretty nice.

Obscured Avoidance (PHB 3) - You get At-Will mark avoidance, sans the conditional requirement, later, so this has less luster for you than for most others.


Level 6:



Concealed Shift (PHB 3) - Shift you when you’re missed if you have cover/concealment. Meh.

Shrouding Gloom (PHB 3) - A bit of action economy for your Stealth checks. Can be useful if you're scurrying from cover to cover or need a do-over on your last Stealth check.


Level 10:



Crowd Cover (PHB 3) - A pretty cool way to mess with enemy Ranged combatants, but it has its limitations (only works against ranged attacks, cover only provides +2 to all defenses). That said, it can be pretty cool if it does work.

Immersed in Darkness (DSG) - Turning concealment into a turn of actual invisibility should have an application or two, if you're planning to go back out into the open.

Persistent Tail (PHB 3) - A decent power to keep yourself out of sight. Great out-of-combat utility for this one.


Level 16:



Deepening Gloom (PHB 3) - This is a nice one; making yourself invisible to the target instantly slaps on a hefty penalty for his attack, and given that this is an interrupt, it could potentially negate a hit.



Recommended Non-Class Skill Powers



I’m only going to talk about the powers whose parent skills are recommended, so that limits it somewhat.

Insight Powers


Level 2:



Anticipate Maneuver (PHB 3) - You need to roll, but Combat Advantage as a Minor Action is pretty solid.

Calculated Acumen (DSG) - CA as a minor with range 10 is nice - knowing the vulnerabilities really is just a gravy benefit.

Damning Secret (D 389) - Subbing Intimidate out for Insight is a net plus for a class that typically dumps Charisma as hard as Rangers tend to do.


Level 6:



Conceal Psyche (DSG) - One of the few ways to shrug off (save ends) dominate at these low levels, and it can give you a bump to your Will defense, too.

Empathic Read (PHB 3) - A great way for you (usually the party radar) to save the party face from himself.

Insightful Counter (PHB 3) - A decent way to avoid granting CA, but that's not really the scariest thing that can happen to you.

Prescient Maneuver (PHB 3) - Get your inner Avenger on. This is basically Melee-only (and not your style), though.


Level 10:



Insightful Comment (PHB 3) - Though of limited use in combat, this is a 1-turn mega-buff for everyone out of it, which can swing a skill challange.

Prescient Defense (PHB 3) - A solid defense bump when you need it the most. Pretty nice to have.


Level 16:



Despana's Stratagem (DSG) - Being a Daily really limits its use, but not provoking nor granting CA for a turn can have a couple of nice uses. That said, this is a rather high-level power, and I expect more from those.

Insightful Riposte (PHB 3) - Now this is a nice power! +3 will turn quite a few misses into hits, and that's always a good thing, especially when you get it every encounter.


Thievery Powers


Level 2:



Fast Hands (PHB 3) - Some sweet quick-swapping benefts for anyone who’ll train in the skill. Could be useful.

Lock Tap (PHB 3) - Action economy on Thievery checks can be useful in certain situations, but I don't think those situations are all that common outside of combat, and you shouldn't be popping locks open in most fights anyway.

Quick Palm (PHB 3) - Again, action economy on a Thievery check, but for something you're more likely to need to do fast.


Level 6:



Hasty Retreat (PHB 3) - A decent emergency shift away, it could get you out of the range of a few traps' triggers, especially ones like poison needles in doorknobs and the like.

Quick Switch (PHB 3) - Though the effect doesn't cover all that much space, it could help you introduce your enemy to your Defender without an OA for either of you, which is nice.

Stolen Defense (PHB 3) - This is Anticipate Maneuver... Leader edition. You could just flank, you know.


Level 10:



Disruptive Stunt (PHB 3) - An attack debuff as part of an opportunity-free move action through an adjacent enemy's space. The movement likely won't be all that earthshaking, but a repositioning power with a free debuff can be decent.
Recommended Feats: Preparing for the Hunt

The emphasis here is on 'recommended' feats: I won't be talking about feats that are rated lower than Black, because they're likely just not a good idea for your character or an outright trap. Overall, you have certain priorities when it comes to feats, which are described as follows:

1. Damage bonuses - You are a damage-oriented Striker first and foremost, and every damage bonus you pick up is at least doubled, because of your multiple attack capacity. Stuff like extra attacks and improved critical hit rate fall within this category.

2. Accuracy bonuses - Of course, all the damage in the world won't help you if your hit rate is in the gutter, so you need some accuracy bonuses to get your damage across, even if they're conditional ones, as long as the condition can be met regularly (like the Prime Shot enhancers or the Prime Punisher feat).

3. Defense bonuses - Rangers in general like getting up close and personal with their enemies, so a modicum of defense is a necessity in order to ensure you survive to deal their damage. This mainly focuses on your AC, which is most likely to be targeted in the frontline, but don't neglect the other 3 (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will, commonly referred to as non-AC defenses or NAD's).

4. Power recovery - Recovering powers allows you to string together some crazy attack chains as well as letting you pull off more stunts throughout the encounter, so they're a pretty good choice once your baseline abilities are squared away.

5. Miscellaneous - Once you've taken care of the 4 above points, you can pretty much grab whatever you want, if you have the room. Archers particularly prize any mobility-denial feats you can get your hands on, whereas Melee Rangers are more partial to improving your ability to position yourself.

Class Feats


Heroic Tier:



Agile Running Attack (MP 2) - Ignoring difficult terrain while moving about is nice to have, but not really a necessity.

Beast Protector (MP) - Your Beast could potentially net you a cheap attack or two with this feat, which is nice.

Beast Rider (D 384) - While it's certainly not a must-have for every Beastmaster ever, there are certain things that can be pulled off thanks to this feat that are actually quite nice.

Flank on The Run (MP 2) - Manuever into flanking position, essentially at will. Decent.

Hobbling Strike (MP 2) - Slowing on an Archer means your Melee opponents will likely never get close enough to engage you, and that is nice to have, especially when you only give up 1 die of Hunter's Quarry damage to do it. A cool trick to keep in your back pocket.

Lethal Hunter (PHB) - This feat is not out of this world, but hey, extra damage is always good. It shines a little brighter in Paragon and Epic than it does at Heroic.

Manticore's Fury (MP 2) - If you're gonna go for a Balanced Ranger, this is the feat for you.

Martial Freedom (MP) - A strong bonus to fight off annoying status effects. Solid enough.

Predatory Action (MP) - One round of double Quarry damage. Not really worth the slot until around Paragon or Epic, though.

Scion of Onat (D 387) - The skill training is nice to have (even if most won't use Streetwise for much), but the real cool part is the ability to heal your Beast when you are healed.

Staggering Strike (MP 2) - If you're willing to trade some damage for control, this will give you some pushing for your arsenal.


Paragon Tier:



Bleeding Precision (MP) - An untyped ongoing 5 damage (or +5 to your ongoing damage) is never a bad rider effect to have on your Dailies, though the fact that you can never impose more than ongoing 5 is a bit of a downer.

Called Shot (D 368) - One of the major reasons why keeping Prime Shot as an Archer is worth it, and it’s pretty good for Melee Rangers, too, thanks to Prime Punisher.

Deft Blade (MP 2) - If you want accuracy on your basic attacks, hitting Reflex is a nice way to get it.

Distracting Companion (MP) - Under the right circumstances, this can be -2 to hit forever against your opponent. Debuffs for doing your job as a Beastmaster Ranger? That's cool.

Flanking Beast Master (D 387) - Rather feat intensive, but +1 extra to hit when flanking is hard to pass up.

Impaling Spear (MP 2) - Hitting Reflex can add accuracy to your basic attacks, and it can even serve as a way to make charging work on a Ranger.

Poisonous Beast (MP 2) - Hooray for poison damage. That said, you still shouldn't look to attack with your Beast until Epic.

Prime Punisher (D 373) - Melee Rangers, behold: A use for your Prime Shot class feature! And an incentive to pick up the Prime Shot feats. A Melee Ranger with the full tree can be busting out +2 to hit, +5 to damage quite easily on enemies not adjacent to any other party member, making you a high-quality finisher.

Prime Quarry (MP) - +2 to hit from Prime Shot makes it a pretty sizable bonus, and definitely worth going after.

Protective Beast (MP) - A bonus to AC when sitting next to your Beast (or on it). Could be worse.

Retreat Technique (MP 2) - Essentially every attack you make gets Hit and Run's rider. Decent.


Epic Tier:



Expert Skirmisher (MP 2) - A must for the Running Rangers in the audience.

Improved Prime Shot (MP) - It's Prime Quarry... sans the Quarry condition. A solid use of your retraining feature.

Martial Mastery (MP) - Last I checked, power recovery was kind of good. Pretty nuts for any character, especially one that can attack as many times as you can (Archers recover their triple shooters and immediate action shots, Two-Blade Rangers recover their minor action attacks, you get the idea...).

Martial Resolve (MP) - A very good way to help yourself out of certain conditions. If you have Martial Freedom, you're probably going to retrain it into this.

Prime Hunter (MP) - While similar to the Prime Punisher feat tree at first glance, keeping allies and enemies away from your intended target makes it harder to guarantee this bonus. That said, it can be decent if you or your allies have a mechanism to make that happen.

Quick Beast Command (MP) - If you have minor actions to burn, this feat will help you do it. A nice boost to the damage contributed by a Beastmaster, and the reason Beasts are of any use.

Rending Tempest (MP) - This feat adds extra weapon damage after using a dual-wielder power, which can snowball quite impressively on a nova turn. As such, nova Rangers should consider this feat a very high prioirty.

Resilient Beast (MP 2) - Makes your Beast more able to stand and soak hits for you.

Slashing Storm (MP 2) - Your Wisdom in automatic damage all around you for hitting with a melee attack? Tasty.


General Feats


Heroic Tier:



Axe Expertise (HotFL) - A re-roll to a damage die can always come in handy, though you're mainly here for the scaling bonus to hit.

Blindfighting Warrior (HotFK) - Helps you compensate against effect that rob you of your sight, which can be nice to have, if a bit encounter-dependent.

Bow Expertise (HotFL) - A scaling bonus to hit, and some neat extra damage against isolated opponents, too.

Crossbow Expertise (HotFL) - Ignoring cover is pretty nice on someone who spends quality time in the back rank.

Cunning Stalker (HotFK) - CA when you have isolation against your target. Not the easiest thing to make happen, but it's amazing if you can do it.

Distant Advantage (PHB 2) - A nice feat for Archers in Heroic Tier. Somewhat overshadowed by the Frost Weapon combo after Heroic, though.

Flail Expertise (MME) - While the effect is rather conditional on a class like the Ranger, a scaling bonus to hit is not much to complain about.

Grounding Shot (PHB 3) - This prevents people from messing with your shots by dropping prone, and it's pretty nice if you have allies that like knocking people prone, like Polearm Fighters.

Headsman's Chop (PHB 3) - A hefty damage bonus against prone enemies, it'll get a whole lot better should you find a way to consistently knock enemies down and keep them down.

Heavy Blade Expertise (HotFL) - Great attack bonus scaling, and a bonus to OA's as some icing.

Improved Defenses (HotFL) - A nice, scaling bonus to your NAD's. Something that I highly recommend you grab.

Improved Initiative (PHB) - Helps you go first, which is always good to get your damage and the like across. Doesn't stack with Quick Draw.

Light Blade Expertise (HotFL) - A scaling accuracy bonus, and some extra damage if you have CA. Excellent.

Master at Arms (HotFL) - A +1 to hit per tier increases your base competence by a lot, and action economy on your drawing isn't half bad either.

Nimble Blade (PHB) - If you like Light Blades, you want this feat.

Power Attack (PHB) - Use with caution; you might want a bit of insurance before you jeopardize a hit. Probably not worth the gamble until Epic, if then.



Quick Draw (PHB) - A sweet feat for Balanced Rangers (Str/Dex), as it allows them to bypass some of the detriments of their weapon style, and nets you some initiative bonuses while you're at it (doesn't stack with Improved Initiative, though). A strong pick, though most Hunters won't have to worry about it: they get it by default.



Resilient Focus (HotFL) - +2 to all saving throws can be pretty useful.

Silvery Glow (D 386) - While it makes you worship a specific Deity and is worthless without Permafrost, this actually provides a little extra damage over Weapon Focus, which is excellent for a Ranger.

Skill Power (PHB 3) - A nice way to expand your Utility repertoire, and keep a useful power in your back pocket.

Speed Loader (PHB 2) - Makes Crossbows a lot more appealing.

Spring Step (PHB 3) - Prevents people from knocking you prone, then hovering 1 square outside your reach, forcing you to crawl and attack.

Superior Fortitude (HotFL) - A scaling bonus to Fortitude, and it throws in some resist all against ongoing damage as a bonus. That's pretty sweet.

Superior Reflexes (HotFL) - Gets you free combat advantage on the first turn of every fight, as well as a scaling bonus to Reflex. Pretty nice for everyone, and just about every Ranger should meet the pre-requisites.

Superior Will (HotFL) - A big bonus to Will, and a better chance to shake off dazing and stunning. This one if tempting even if you're patching your NADs with Improved Defenses.

Timely Respite (PHB 2) - A free saving throw when you second wind can be pretty darned cool.

Toughness (PHB) - More HP is nice to have. Two-Blade Rangers get this for free, so they don't have to worry about it. Marauders likely want it.

Two-Weapon Fighting (PHB) - It provides a bit of extra damage, and it opens up access to some nice feats as well.

Vicious Advantage (PHB 3) - A nice way to expand your probabilities of getting CA, especially if you took a feat like Hobbling Strike.

Weapon Focus (PHB) - Damage bonus, which is absolutely golden for a Striker, especially when you can potentially get the bonus twice in one turn.

Weapon Proficiency (PHB) - Most Rangers will pick this feat up, as Bastard Swords, Craghammers, Double Swords, Greatbows, Superior Crossbows, Triple-headed Flails, and Waraxes all require it.

Wintertouched (PHB) - Useless until you pick up Lasting Frost, but mighty when you do. Best when retrained into or picked up right at the end of Heroic Tier.

World Serpent's Grasp (HotFK) - While it will likely have little synergy with the Ranger by default, this rocks with Hobbling Strike, since it can turn your Twin Strike into an At-Will prone.


Paragon Tier:



Agile Opportunist (PHB 2) - A nice feat to work with your Leader if he can slide you around the battlefield regularly.

Armor Specialization (PHB) - Scale Armor Specialization is pretty good, but Hide and Plate Armor Specialization are just OK. Still, more AC never hurt anybody.

Critical Targeting (D 387) - A neat encounter-long bonus to damage on a crit. Pretty cool.

Danger Sense (PHB) - Rerolling initiative every time can help save you from those bad rolls.

Deadly Axe (PHB) - A spiffy extra-damage feat for Axe wielders. You may want to pick this up at Epic, though; it doesn't do all that much without the 10% critical rate.

Fiery Blood (HotEC) - If you're bringing fire, this is a heck of a feat to have.

Heavy Blade Opportunity (PHB) - It allows you to punish enemy tactics (by using your Twin Strike instead of a Melee Basic on a OA), which is nice to have, but not mind-blowing.

Icy Heart (HotEC) - Extra cold damage, and a nice effect if you happen to take said damage.

Lasting Frost (PHB) - This feat grants you permanent CA and +5 damage if you combine it with Wintertouched and a Frost weapon; cold resistance is a hurdle, but it can be overcome.

Light Blade Precision (PHB) - A bit conditional, but extra damage is always welcome on a Ranger, especially a Light Blade wielder.

Lightning Soul (HotEC) - This is a good feat for all the lightning wielders in the audience.

Repel Charge (PHB 3) - This is a very nasty way to severely hamper opposing chargers. Extra brutal if you face another party of PC's with a charger (such as a Barbarian or even a fellow Ranger that uses Marauder's Rush) in the lineup.

Reserve Maneuver (PHB 2) - Versatility notwithstanding, this feat also allows you to swap out a lackluster Paragon Path power for something a touch more... palatable.

Scimitar Dance (PHB) - Scimitars are sub-par weapons, but if your Dexterity is high, this can help make up some of their deficiencies.

Steady Shooter (PHB) - +3 to crossbow damage for standing still. A decent investment for Crossbow users, though most Ranged Rangers won't exploit it to the fullest since they're moving around to get that even bigger Prime Shot damage bonus (via Called Shot) instead.

Thunder's Rumble (HotEC) - Not the most commonly used damage type, but this feat is a nice incentive for it.

Two-Weapon Opening
(PHB 2) - A major factor in why Two-Weapon Fighting is even worth mentioning. Free hits on a crit? Yes, please.

Unfailing Courage (D 377) - Healing on an AP is a good deal if you ask me.


Epic Tier:



Axe/Bludgeon/Flail/Heavy Blade/Light Blade/Pick/Spear Mastery (PHB) - Whatever your weapon may be, now's the time to pick up the mastery feat. Improved criticals result in a very healthy effective damage bonus thanks to the fact that you attack twice. This feat is a very important component in a lot of builds.

Bow Mastery (PHB 2) - Lets Bow and Crossbow users get in on the 10% crit rate fun.

Epic Fortitude/Epic Reflexes/Epic Will (PHB 2) - Now this is what I call defense-boosting. If you have the room for them, this is the best way you can keep yourself from getting hammered by certain types of attacks.

Epic Resurgence (PHB) - A pretty sweet power recovery feat, especially for a multiattacker like you.

Long Step (PHB 3) - A solid feat for most, and vital for any Ranger that likes to charge.

Superior Initiative (PHB 3) - A nice upgrade for Improved Initiative. Prime real estate for retraining into.

Triumphant Attack (PHB) - Encounter-long debuffs on a critical is very sweet, especially for someone who attacks as much as you do, but your available feat slots are few and far between.

Unfettered Stride (PHB) - Ignoring difficult terrain permanently is never a bad thing to have.


Racial Feats


Dragonborn

Heroic Tier



Bolstering Breath (PHR: DB) - Making your Dragon Breath ally-friendly is something to consider as a front-liner.

Draconic Hunter (PHR: DB) - A great self-setup buff from your Dragon Breath is nice to have.

Dragonborn Frenzy (PHB) - Damage bonus while bloodied. Nice to have around.


Glorious Victory (PHR: DB) - A free heal when you drop an opponent once per encounter. Sweet.

Hurl Breath (PHR: DB) - Ranged AoE capability on a Melee Ranger can be decent as an opener.


Paragon Tier



Corrosive Breath (PHR: DB) - An AC debuff for your racial power can serve you well.

Dragonbreath Warrior (MP) - Some solid element-based damage for using a good racial power every encounter? I could pay a feat for that.


Frost Breath (PHR: DB) - Mass slowing can be nice to have.


Epic Tier



Dissolving Breath (PHR: DB) - A penalty to all defenses when you use your racial power can be sweet.

Draconic Restoration (PHR: DB) - Getting your Dragon Breath back on a second wind is pretty solid.

Draconic Triumph (PHR: DB) - Getting Dragon Breath back on a kill is awesome.


Drow


Heroic Tier



Clutch of Darkness (FRPG) - Puts a little more range behind your racial abilities.



Darkfire Targeting (MP) - A nice damage bonus for using a good racial power.

Ruthless Hunter (FRPG) - Hand Crossbows are officially an option for you.


Paragon Tier



Darkhunter (MP) - Since it allows you to do Quarry damage more than once per round, this is sweet for those Rangers who have close burst powers (but that’s not that good an idea).

Merciless Killer (FRPG) - A very sizable bonus to damage against bloodied targets that grant you CA.


Dwarf


Heroic Tier



Dodge Giants (PHB) - After a certain point in time, almost everything you will be fighting will be Large or higher, so it's a +1 untyped bonus to AC and Reflex after that, which is decent.

Dwarven Weapon Training
(PHB) - Pick this before Weapon Focus, and retrain it out at Epic tier (unless you're using a Superior weapon, in which case you just pick Weapon Focus up at Epic).



Resilience of Stone (MP 2) - Make it even harder for them to drop you.


Paragon Tier



Dwarven Durability (PHB) - This feat is not as strong for you as it is for other classes because of your lower reliance on Constitution, but two surges and a boost to surge value doesn't suck.


Epic Tier



Stoneheart Warrior (MP) - Free action second wind is made of WIN.


Eladrin


Heroic Tier



Eladrin Soldier (PHB) - Pick this before Weapon Focus, and retrain it out at Epic tier (unless you're using a Superior weapon, in which case you just pick Weapon Focus up at Epic). Not as good as Dwarven Weapon Training because Longswords and Spears aren't exactly prime Ranger weapons.


Epic Tier



Feywild Warrior (MP) - This allows you to flit about the battlefield while busting out Dailies. Pretty cool.


Elf


Heroic Tier



Brutal Accuracy (MP) - A bit of extra damage on your Elven Accuracy reroll. Solid.


Paragon Tier



Hunter's Advantage (MP) - A conditional bonus to your Hunter's Quarry damage, though you can meet said condition pretty easily with stuff like Frost Weapons.

Running Shot (PHB) - A rather good mobility booster, if you combine it with some other goodies at this tier (such as Uncanny Dodge) so you essentially have no penalty for running through the battlefield.


Epic Tier



Hawkeye Warrior (MP) - A free +1 to hit all fight long for using a good racial power? Nice.


Genasi


Heroic Tier



Firepulse Master (D 367) - Makes a good racial power even better.

Extra Manifestation (FRPG) - Adds versatility to your racial arsenal.

Primordial Surge (D 367) - Considering that the Ranger style you favor is a close-range combatant, this is a huge amount of THP to have available, especially early on in your career. A very good grab.


Paragon Tier



Shocking Flame (FRPG) - Free elemental damage, and this one scales! Never leave home without it; I wouldn't (you should be manifesting one of the two types favored by this feat 24/7 anyway).


Epic Tier



Double Manifestation (FRPG) - Versatility meets power. Win.

Elemental Warrior (MP) - A decent power recovery feat.


Githzerai


Heroic Tier



Githzerai Blade Master (D 378) - This feat is arguably even better than Eladrin Soldier or Dwarven Weapon Training, because the damage scales and the weapons made available to you are more up the Melee Ranger's alley.


Paragon Tier



Githzerai Mobility (D 378) - A hefty bonus to all defenses against OA's will help keep you safe while you move about or if you shoot someone in Melee.

Iron Hands (PHB 3) - Free damage for using a defensive racial power? I'm in.

Tempered Iron Mind
(D 378) - Gets you what you need, when you need it, which is always helpful.


Epic Tier



Adamantine Mind (PHB 3) - Buffs your racial power. Solid.


Gnoll


Paragon Tier



Fierce Charge (D 367) - A solid feat to buff your racial Encounter power.


Epic Tier



Brutal Charge (D 367) - This makes things very interesting 1/encounter (charging Death Rend, you say? Interesting...).


Goliath


Heroic Tier



Fearless Seeker (MP 2) - Counter your quarry's attack with some sweet resistance. Nice.

Markings of the Blessed (PHB 2) - Rerolling a save is never bad.

Markings of the Victor (PHB 2) - Rerolling an attack every encounter? Sweet!


Paragon Tier



Unyielding Stone (PHB 2) - A nice jump in THP when you use your racial power that can make you pretty tough to bring down.


Epic Tier



Ancient Stone (PHB 2) - Another way to make yourself even tougher.


Half-Elf


Paragon Tier



Versatile Master
(PHB 2) - Whoa. Half-Elves just got a MAJOR boost. No reason to ever skip out on this feat, ever.


Half-Orc


Heroic Tier



Anger Unleashed (PHB 2) - An attack bonus for getting bloodied is never bad.

Thirst for Battle (PHB 2) - +3 initiative, and a healing surge. Decent.


Paragon Tier



Strength from Pain (PHB 2) - Big damage for a turn when you're bloodied (or two turns if you bloody yourself). Nice.

Unrelenting Assault (PHB 2) - Damage on a miss is nothing to sneeze at.


Epic Tier



Ferocious Critical
(PHB 2) - A very powerful feat for a multi-attacker like the Ranger, it offers a sweet accuracy and damage bonus when you get lucky.


Halfling


Heroic Tier



Halfling Short Bow Hunter (D 381) - A nice way to compensate for the Shortbow's weaker punch.

Lost in the Crowd (PHB) - You never want this feat to trigger if you're an Archer, but you'll be grateful you had it if it does. If you're Melee, this feat is a sweet way to keep yourself up and running.

Lucky Skirmisher (MP) - Allows you to run away easier. Solid for an Archer.

Nimble Dodge (MP 2) - Turns up the awesome meter on your racial power way, way up.

Prime Beast Strike (D 381) - +1 to hit and damage for you or your Beast for being closest (now would be a good time to invest in a Raptor Companion...). This is about as close as a Beastmaster gets to Prime Shot.


Paragon Tier



Underfoot (PHB) - Pretty useful to you in your quest to get next to the enemy you want to drop.


Epic Tier



Fortune's Warrior (MP) - CA is not that hard to get right now, but hey, it's free.


Human


Heroic Tier



Action Surge (PHB) - A hefty self-buff for Humans, it brings you a lot of accuracy right when you need it the most.



Stubborn Survivor (FRPG) - Saving throw bonuses are good (and hard to find), so more fuel for playing human (and for burning your AP's).

Twilight Training (MP 2) - I'm not sure how often having low-light vision comes up in the average game, but this is fairly important for being a dungeon-delving scouting character.


Paragon Tier



Action Recovery (PHB) - Could prove useful.


Epic Tier



Timely Revival (MP) - A powerful way to keep yourself on your feet, and to actually use your second wind for a change.


Minotaur


Heroic Tier



Bloodied Ferocity (PHB 3) - Lashing out when you get bloodied is an awesome benefit.

Goring Shove (PHB 3) - Combined with Opportunity Gore, this wreaks havoc on enemy tactics.

Opportunity Gore (D 369) - Makes Minos serious mobility stoppers. A nice pickup for your party dynamics and for doubling as a Defender when the situation warrants it. Bear in mind this feat will likely have an expiration date, though, as Goring Charge's accuracy scaling is terrible.


Paragon Tier



Beast Within (PHB 3) - +1 to hit AND damage while bloodied is sweet.

Vicious Ferocity (PHB 3) - Combined with Bloodied Ferocity, this is a powerful benefit, essentially netting you a free Twin Strike when you get bloodied up.


Epic Tier



Mythic Senses (PHB 3) - This feat lives up to its name in a big way. It can result in a gigantic initiative bonus for you.

Uncanny Scent (PHB 3) - Strictly better than Blind-Fight for you. Sweet.


Revenant


Heroic Tier



Reaper’s Quarry (D 376) - A solid benefit for your racial power. Too bad it keys off Constitution...


Shadar-Kai


Heroic Tier



Bloodthirsty Hunter
(DMA 2009) - Saving actions is always nice.

Life on the Edge (DMA 2009) - I consider this a bit better than Action Surge, since you get almost the same bonus to hit and some damage out of the deal. Good stuff.


Paragon Tier



Reactive Jaunt (DMA 2009) - Get yourself out of a jam ASAP. Nice.


Shifter


Heroic Tier



Sturdy Shifter (EPG) - A nice batch of THP's when you shift is a pretty good benefit.

Wild Senses (PHB 2) - Reroll tracking checks, and +3 initiative. Decent.


Paragon Tier



Beasthide Shifting (PHB 2) - A little damage resistance while shifting. Nice, especially combined with the regeneration if you're a Longtooth.

Cliffwalk Shifting (PHB 2) - Increases your movement options, which is always nice to have.


Warforged


Heroic Tier



Warforged Tactics
(EPG) - The conditions for it are easy to fulfill, and it hands out a hit bonus. No reason why you shouldn't have this feat if you're a 'forged in Heroic Tier, BUT be sure to retrain it out for Prime Punisher once you hit Paragon Tier, because Prime Punisher is almost strictly better thanks to the feat support for Prime Shot.


Wilden


Epic Tier



Burden of Vision (PHB 3) - A decent benefit for using a great racial power.

Secret of Enduring Vigor (PHB 3) - Picking yourself up off the floor is a good skill to have.



Combat Style Feats

The Combat Style feats are an interesting brand of feats in that their purpose is to improve specific powers. In your case, you'll mostly be looking to improve Twin Strike, though some other select buffs are worth looking at. The At-Will powers improved by the feat will be noted in the case of the Arena feats and the Technique feats from Dragon 373, as well as for the Lesser Style feats in MP 2.


Arena Feats



Catspaw Style (Predator Strike) (D 368) - An at-will that can knock prone? Certainly worth the Charisma investment.

Draji Palatial Practice (Circling Strike) (DSCS) - It requires you to somehow train Intimidate, but slapping on a penalty to hit as part of an At-Will is worth the work.

Exotic Fighting Style (Twin Strike) (D 368) - This is a nice shifting benefit for double weapon users (mostly Beastmasters or Marauders, but you'll find the occasional Two-Blade Ranger wielding a Spiked Chain).

Swift Blade Style (Twin Strike) (D 368) - A very nice pickup for Light Blade dual-wielders (or even dagger-tossers), and yet another reason to pick up Two-Weapon Fighting.

Trickster's Blade Style (Nimble Strike) (D 368) - This allows you to play all sorts of cool positioning games along with your party Defender.
 Nice.

True Arrow Style (Careful Attack) (D 368) - Now that Careful Attack is an At-Will that's actually worth using, this has a pretty strong benefit, though it might not see that much play (Careful Attack won't miss much on an Archer).

Turathi Assault Style (Twin Strike) (D 368) - It's a nice little boost for your Twin Strike. Unfortunately, it either requires a rather high score in what is a dump stat for you, or a sub-optimal race.


Technique Feats (D 373)



Bloodhound Style (Careful Attack) - An At-Will slow when combined with Permafrost. Channel your inner Defender with this power.

Cruel Cut Style (Predator Strike) - You trade in the extra damage for ongoing damage. Unless the enemy has a way of evading said ongoing damage, this is always a winning deal, because you'll deal the damage at least once, and then have the chance to do it more than once.

Impending Doom Style (Twin Strike) - Requires Intimidate training as an entry fee, but an attack debuff from the most damaging at-will in the game is a pretty nice benefit.

Lolthdark Style (Twin Strike) - Essentially a Drow racial feat as well as a Technique Style feat, but the benefit is very good, as you lose none of the benefits of your Cloud of Darkness while maintaining your mobility.

Vigilante Justice (Circling Strike) - A decent extra damage benefit if you got hit, which is likely to happen if you continue to pincer your opponent.


Combat Style Feats (MP 2)


..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
Arkhosian Fang Style (Bastard Sword, Broadsword, or Greatsword)

Arkosian Fang Student (Marauder's Rush) - +2 to hit against Bloodied enemies can be very useful if you plan on using and abusing the Marauder's Rush, and it keys off a weapon you're likely to actually use (the Bastard Sword). Nice.

Arkhosian Fang Duelist - A spiffy bonus to hit if you miss an attack with an Encounter power, and you can use certain powers instead of an MBA while charging. The last part is just OK, because only one of those powers is really worth taking (and that would be Death Rend, all the way up at L27).


Desert Moon Style (Heavy Blades with High Crit)

Desert Moon Student (Careful Attack) - Given that Careful Attack is actually worth a damn right now, a free shift 2 after the hit is a very formidable tool, especially for Balanced Rangers.

Desert Moon Skirmisher - A decent shift as an immediate reaction if you are missed, plus a bonus with a really bad list of power. You're here mostly for the benefit of the feat itself.


Harrowing Swarm Style (Bows and Crossbows)

Harrowing Swarm Student (Nimble Strike) - A -2 penalty to hit makes this At-Will a bit more appealing (and better at its job, which is to get you out of Melee unscathed).

Harrowing Swarm Scout - Now this is nice: not provoking OA's for shooting in Melee is sweet for Prime Shot Rangers. Too bad the power list is so lame...


Hunting Spear Style (Spears)

Hunting Spear Style (Fading Strike) - At-Will slowing is a Defender-y sort of thing, though a Hybrid Archer can certainly turn it to his advantage by slowing the opponent when he gets too close, then continuing his Ranged assault.

Hunting Spear Skirmisher - The power list for it is just OK, but the benefit is very good: +2 to damage against creatures larger than you will see loads of play, especially after Heroic isdone.


Ironstar Style (Flails and Maces)

Ironstar Student (Marauder's Rush) - Essentially a more conditional, but more stackable, version of Rattling for this At-Will. I can roll with that.


Kulkor Battlearm Style (Versatile Axes, Hammers, and Maces)

Kulkor Battlearm Student (Hit and Run) - A solid damage bonus, but you won't be using this At-Will all that often anyway. That said, it's worth noting that it qualifies you for a nice Paragon Path if you MC Fighter.


Leaf Runner Style (Hand Crossbow, Repeating Crossbow, Shortbow, Shuriken, and Sling)

Leaf Runner Student (Nimble Strike) - +1 to speed gets you out of the Melee jams that force you to whip out Nimble Strike even faster.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
Mountain Thunder Style (One-Handed Flails, Hammers, and Maces)

Mountain Thunder Student (Marauder's Rush) - Having an already sturdy power hit a NAD can only increase its stock. A pretty nice feat.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
Reaving Axe Style (One-Handed Axes)

Reaving Axe Student (Marauder's Rush) - This feat has a marginal benefit, but the real reason why we're here is the feat that follows it.

Reaving Axe Slayer - Wow, this feat is good. It lets you poach some of the Ranged Ranger's Immediate Action shots (you will need a thrown weapon, though), and hands you a sold benefit on a critical. Nice.



Exotic Weapon Feats

As the name implies, these feats give you capacities beyond and above those a normal Weapon Proficiency feat would grant you (including scaling powers you can swap yours for), but they also burn up your Multiclass slot, so choose carefully.

Bola Training (D 368) - Your damage will take a nasty hit, but you can make a dual-Bola wielding Archer that can immobilize At-Will with this, which will make it hell for Melee enemies to get adjacent to you. Pretty solid.

Spiked Chain Training (DMA 2009) - If you're going to pick up any of these feats as a Melee character, this is the first one you should be looking at. 2d4 damage is the most a Light Blade will deal in this game, and while the powers aren't all that appealing to swap in for, that's the case with virtually all the exotic weapons. If your build has the Dexterity for Light Blades and it doesn't require Multiclassing, take this feat.


Dragonmark Feats (EPG)

Dragonmark feats are different from other Heroic Tier feats in that you: (a) can only have one of them at a time, and (b) they usually come with an associated race, which I will be noting. Note that the feat doesn't actually force you to be of that race, so if your DM agrees, you can take this feat while being a member of another race.

Mark of Detection (Half-Elf) - Re-rolling Perception checks and sensing auras make you an awesome scout, plus you get some spying rituals. However, the Paragon support is just not up your alley.

Mark of Finding (Human or Half-Orc) - The benefit is not all that impressive (good for maintaining your Prime Shot bonus, plus some ritual casting, but that's it), but the Paragon Path it offers access to is a pretty good one.

Mark of Handling (Human) - You get a sweet bonus for your Beast (+2 speed and +1 AC is nice to have), the benefit of Mounted Combat, and access to the best Beastmaster path in the business. Most Beastmasters will want this feat.

Mark of Storm (Half-Elf) - The benefit is awesome for Archers who are willing to wield a Lightning weapon in order to take advantage of it (they combine to form a better version of Forceful with actual critical hit bonus damage, and it can be used on a Crossbow), and if you take an unconventional (aka Dex/Con) focus, you can take advantage of the Paragon Path's support as well. Nice.
Paragon Paths: Masters of the Hunt

Rangers are blessed with a pretty good selection of Paragon Paths, many of whom have an offensive outlook, which is what you should be looking for. If you're looking for Paragon Paths that other classes have to offer, the Multiclass section is where you'll find them.

Ranger Paragon Paths

Arena Champion (D 368) - A nice revival feature and a decent AP benefit, but that's where the fun ends for this Path. The attack powers suck (basically augments to your Melee Basic Attack), and the attack buff feature is not worth burning a Standard Action for it (who uses total defense with any kind of regularity?). Rangers are also not truly able to exploit the freebie attacks from feinting this path offers. Not a bad Path, but not a good match.

Avalanche Hurler (MP) - Thrown Weapon Rangers aren't the stereotypical Ranger, but this path is a pretty decent incentive to make one. A die size increase while throwing leans you in favor of Ranged over Melee, but the whole point behind the path is versatility. The powers aren't the greatest thing since sliced bread, but Quick-Draw Trick is cool (and it's always available).

Battlefield Archer (PHB) - A mighty Paragon Path for any Archer, this offers an attack bonus for your whole party, the ability to Quarry multiple targets, and what amounts to an Action Point every encounter with its Utility power. The attack powers are also decent, especially the Encounter one. Basically the only reason to select Archery Style.

Beast Stalker (PHB) - If the Battlefield Archer is a credit to the Archery Style, this is an insult. The AP feature is basically the only thing worth a damn about this Path.

Blade Dancer (MP) - This path is interesting in that it takes a defensive outlook (which is kind of weird considering the very offensive bent of the Ranger). It also prefers Heavy Blades and/or Light Blades. The features are pretty solid, though, as are the powers, with a mindblowingly good Encounter attack power as the highlight. A very good path, and certainly excellent for the right Ranger.

Darkstrider (MP 2) - This path likes getting the drop on enemies and whacking them hard. To that end, you get bonuses to damage when they're not looking and blindsight. This is only a real option for Ranged Rangers because of the MAD it would afflict a Melee character with, and it's extra tasty for a Beastmaster Archer who can stand still and shoot while hiding. A bit of a niche path, but still very effective with the proper setup.

Feral Spirit (MP) - The universal Beastmaster Paragon Path, it suffers from many of the weakness that plague the build itself. The features are uninspired, the powers are weak, and nothing really balances that out to an extent where it's worth making this an option.

Giantslayer (MP) - Considering that most enemies will be Large or larger, this PP's additional effects will actually see plenty of play, so I'd put that worry to rest. That being said, the features are unimpressive, unless you're getting grabbed all the time
 and you love to provoke OA's. The Daily power stuns, but that's about the end for you. It's OK overall.

Harrowing Swarm Archer (MP 2) - A Paragon Path that keys off of ongoing damage. This is kind of feat-intensive (you need Bleeding Precision and Harrowing Swarm Student in additional to the usual bells and whistles an Archer carries), but it has potential, especially if you have a bit of luck and can keep the effects on without having to put too much investment into failed saves.

Herald of Madness (D 394) - As the name (and fluff) implies, this Path is all over the place. I don't consider it to be much of a fit on a Ranger, though.

High Forest Scout (FRPG) - A lackluster Ranged PP, compared to what is available.

 To be honest, it feels like a rough draft of the Sylvan Archer, and it might have been just that.

Horizon Walker (MP) - Though this PP may have been part of the Apocalypse Twins combo once upon a time, it's not that hot for actual Rangers (Standard Action single attack powers and conditional features? WHY?!).

Huntmaster (MP 2) - I'm not the biggest fan of the Hunting Spear style, but it can't be denied that the features for L11 are rock-solid (+2 to hit vs. your Quarry, and +1/2 level to damage on an AP). Everything else about the path is pretty mediocre IMHO, though, unless you feel like subbing in for your Defender and slapping on a perma-mark on your Quarry. This Path is a heck of a lot better on Hybrid Ranger|Defenders than it is for pure Rangers.

Impilturan Demonslayer (FRPG) - Though they only work at maximum effect against demons (and boy, are they awesome against them), this PP's abilities are very solid against everyone. Unfortunately, demons aren't a bread-and-butter enemy in most campaigns, at least not until Epic Tier.



Lone Wolf (MP 2) - This Paragon Path focuses on making you a better 1-on-1 Fighter. The major perk is the +2 to hit against enemies you isolate, though a feature to help you do that and a decent shifting power aren't bad either (the attack powers kind of suck, though).

Ocular Adept (D 394) - A sweet Daily power keeps this Path from being too weak, but even then most of the material in it just doesn't jive with what the average Ranger is attempting to achieve.

Pack Runner (MP) - Decent overall abilities and powers for Wolf Beastmasters, though it loses a bit of utility at Epic, when you can and should be spending your minor actions on free Beast attacks instead of shifting about for +1 to hit.

Pathfinder (PHB) - This Paragon Path injects some Defender into your Ranger, handing him a very strong and permanent source of THP and some powers that involve stickiness and staying upright. It also provides a sweet action advantage benefit on an AP, which can be used for nova muscle if you so choose. It doesn't outright say that it helps you deal more damage, but its features add up such that you end up doing more damage. Highly recommended.



Reaving Axe Savant (MP 2) - This path basically centers around imposing conditions and taking advantage of them, such as prone, immobilized, and the like. Status effects aren't exactly your forte, so this PP is not all that, and the style doesn't key off your favored attribute.

Ruthless Punisher (MP) - Since humanoid foes are common, specializing in them is not off-base. The fact that it offers a Wisdom-based boost to your damage and your ongoing damage as well as some very solid powers make this a very strong Paragon Path, and it's definitely the Path of choice for Bleeder builds.

Sharpshooter (MP) - A free RBA when you begin your AP sequence is a formidable (and rare) feature among Ranged-heavy Paragon Paths, but one of its great tricks (combining with Beast Protector to give you a chance at OAs at range) is no more. Still good thanks to the AP feature and a decent self-buff Utility, but nothing to slobber over.

Shinaelestran Guardian (MP 2) - It has two very good features at Level 11, but the L16 one is very underwhelming. It also has one awesome Utility power and some decent attack powers. I think it's solid, but it lacks the one defining thing that would make you want to take it IMHO.

Stormwarden (PHB) - One of the heavyweights in the DPR business, the Stormwarden has two automatic damage class features and a strong stance power to dish out consistently high damage. The attack powers are nothing special (multitargeting...), but they're not bad, and the Daily at least attacks twice in that close burst.



Snow Tiger (MP 2) - This is a path focused wielding light weapons, such as Daggers and Kukri. The AP benefit is cool, and some decent powers to boot. Not a bad path at all.

Wildcat Stalker (MP) - This Paragon Path is about as conditional as they come; the only feature that is fairly universal is at Level 16. The powers are similarly mediocre. To boot, the Beast you have to pick to use this path blows, too. Not a good pick.

Wyrm Hunter (D 369) - The features are conditional to Dragons (duh), and the powers aren’t multiattacks. Lame overall.


Racial Paragon Paths

Here, I'll be marking the race that corresponds to the Path along with the source. We'll only be concerning ourselves with the recommended Paragon Paths here, that is to say, those rated Black or higher. If it's not on the list and it's in my sources, it's not a good idea.

Adroit Explorer (Human - PHB 2) - This Paragon Path offers 2 big features that Rangers would be interested in - the first is a reload of a very good or even great Encounter power, the next is more Action Points to be going nova more often (or even burn them both in a super-nova type of turn).

Blade Banshee (Eladrin - MP) - The features are nice overall (+Wis to damage ftw!). The powers all require a Longsword (boo), but they're pretty solid. The outlook of the Path's powers (AoE's, status effects) is more suited to a Controller or a Defender than it is for a Striker, though.

Blade of Cendriane (Eladrin - MOTP) - Surprise! Another Eladrin Ranger Paragon Path. The teleporting focus makes it better for a Swordmage than it is for you, though you get some use out of it since you have Fey Step and can you dual-wield Longswords (plus, every power the Path provides has the Teleportation keyword).

Bloodfury Hunter (Shifter - MP 2) - A Shifter Paragon Path with some serious power-ups for the Shifting power (with Longtooth Shifting, you get +2 to hit and your Wis+2 to damage). You also get your Wisdom again on an AP. The attack powers are pretty lame, but it's still a pretty cool Path overall. Just make sure you get bloodied a lot.

Bloodfury Savage (Half-Orc - PHB 2) - The stat synergy is awesome (Str and Dex ftw), the features are nothing to write home about (speed, rerolling Intimidate checks, and resist all?), but the powers offer plenty of damage bonuses (too bad, because they're only single-swing attacks...). Average overall IMHO.

Mithral Arm (Dragonborn - D 385) - The Dragonborn's version of the Adroit Explorer, it also has a nice suite of power recovery toys, as well as some healing and defense to round it out. A pretty good pick.

Sylvan Archer (Elf - MP) - While this class-race specific path has some features and powers that are pretty cool (including one that amounts to a second use of Disruptive Strike), some of them stink up the place (negating cover on an AP and +2 to Perception? Really?). Not as good as Battlefield Archer or Sharpshooter because of that, but a good choice overall.



Dragonmarked Paragon Paths (EPG)

Again, we will only concern ourselves with Paths that would make you an effective Ranger. I also note the expected (note: not required) race for the Path, as well as the Dragonmark Feat you have to take to gain access.

Lyrandar Wind-Rider (Half-Elf, Mark of Storm) - The powers are at best marginally useful to you (you'd need Implements and a Dex/Con Archer build to make them truly worthwhile), but +1 to hit and +Con to damage for dealing lightning damage is one heck of an incentive, plus a Utility power that grants flight can certainly be useful.

Tharashk Wayfinder (Half-Orc, Mark of Finding) - While I'm not a fan of the Encounter attack power, the rest of the Paragon Path is a solid fit for an Archer Ranger who is dedicated to not letting enemies get too close. The free Combat Advantage lets you pick an enchantment other than Frost, and the Daily can be a solid setup for a nova.

Vadalis Griffonmaster (Human, Mark of Handling) - Easily the best Beastmaster-oriented Paragon Path out there. The Vadalis-bred Griffon is an awesome companion (and a mount) that can FLY and take you with it, while featuring a great array of attack, defense, and HP, and the path's powers are pretty good (though I'm not too keen on the Daily attack power, and the L16 feature is plain).



Epic Destinies: Legends of the Hunt

Ranger Epic Destinies

As is the norm, we'll only talk about Epic Destinies worth having (Black or higher) here.

Beastlord (MP) - This path is one of the few perks Beastmaster Rangers get to enjoy, with effective immortality as a capstone if you play it smart.



Champion of Prophecy (EPG) - Pretty similar to Demigod, but with an emphasis on milestones. Not quite as good IMHO, but that's a high standard to meet.

Chosen (FRPG) - Pretty similar to Demigod overall, and can be even better if you find a Utility power you like more than Divine Regeneration.

Darklord (D 372) - So... you wanna be the Grim Reaper? All things aside, this is a pretty strong ED. I don't like the lack of ability score boosts, and rituals will likely be covered by another party member, but reviving people you drop has potential.

Deadly Trickster (PHB) - This is a nice choice for Archers and other Dexterity-based Rangers, especially because of the rerolls.

 Not burning a power when you roll 18+ is sweet, too.

Demigod (PHB) - Still arguably the best Epic Destiny for any character, and you are no exception, especially if you're not in heavy armor.



Destined Scion (HotFK) - Another off-shoot from the Demigod tree, a straight-up attack and save bonus along with the two ability score bonuses make it a strong choice.

Eternal Seeker (PHB) - The mix-and-matching part is very appealing, and it only gets better as more material is released. Right now, it's looking very impressive overall.


Free Soul (D 376) - A decent slippery ED for Revenants.

Godhunter (MP) - Since most of the capstone enemies you will be facing at Epic tier will be higher level than you, these features are very strong.

Harper of Legend (D 367) - Not a bad choice for an ED, but there are better candidates.

Heir of Siberys (D 388) - A branch off the Demigod ED tree, this one offers a variety of effects to choose from as a Utility power. The powers for Finding, Handling, Scribing, and Shadow look particularly promising for a Ranger.

Hordemaster (DSCS) - An interesting spin on the classic Demigod Epic Destiny, this one has some nice Leader-y flavor and powers you could use to good effect.

Indomitable Champion (HotFL) - Essentially an expansion of the Demigod chassis, this ED offers some hefty extra HP and a bonus to NAD's, in addition to some neat defensive abilities and the traditional double stat boost.

Keeper of the Everflow (HoS) - A quality ED, it gives an ability score bump along with a variety of effects you can mix-and-match to fit the situation (and there's a good straight standby effect you can rock, too).

Legendary Sovereign (MP 2) - This is an ED better suited for Paladins and Warlords than you, but you can still make use of it. It has a solid revival feature, and Sword of Kings is very nice to have.

Martial Archetype (MP) - Really conditional entry pre-requisites, but you get some nice stuff out of it if you're looking to diversify what you can accomplish with the Martial power source.

 It actually has a couple of tricks you can pull with it (mostly mixing Rogue and Ranger minor action attacks) that make it quite formidable.

Prince of Hell (D 372) - Decent offensive and movement powers (teleportation with free damage? Tasty...). Not the worst idea, though the attribute bonus is garbage for you.

Punisher of the Gods
(D 372) - It can only target one opponent, but that's mostly what you're about anyway, and it does grant you the actions to beat that enemy senseless in short order.

Prison of the Winds (D 371) - This is a Ranged Ranger Epic Destiny, but man is it a good one. It meshes extremely well with Archers (especially ones that pick Constitution over Wisdom) with attribute boosts and powers that let you play your "move-and-shoot game" with impunity. Nice.

Raven Knight (D 380) - While I would only recommend this option for Ranged Rangers, I recommend it very strongly. The attribute bonuses match up well with them, the abilities are arguably better than Demigod (at least on the offensive end), and their Daily power is a sweet damage-buffing rider. An excellent choice.

Reborn Champion
(D 365) - If it weren't for the fact that this doesn't provide you with the increased competence ability score buffs bring, it would be very competitive with Demigod, Chosen, and the rest of the big boys. As it is, it's good, but just too backloaded.

Star-Favored Champion (MP 2) - The features are pretty solid, especially the automatic 20 on any save, and the "basic attack as a minor if you miss" one. Sign of Hope is very underwhelming, though.
Equipment and Companions: Tools of the Hunt

Here, I'll be talking about what weapon types, what armor types, and what Beast Companion work best for you. Magic gear is in the next post.


Weapon Groups: Elements of the Hunt



Axes - The members of this weapon group deal good damage, and their feats only require a mediocre Con investment, which frees up your stat points to travel elsewhere. To boot, they're also available as Ranged weapons, which means you get a two-for-one with the weapon-specific feats.

Recommended Axes

Battleaxe (PHB) - Good damage (1d10), and you don't have to buy proficiency in it. Solid.

Double Axe (AV) - While it doesn't offer more damage over the Battleaxe, it does give you extra AC, and you only have to buy enchantments for one weapon.

Handaxe (PHB) - The damage is rather piddly, but being Heavy Thrown and Off-Hand makes up for some of it.

Waraxe (AV) - Why yes, I would love to be able to wield a d12 in one hand, thank you.


Bows - The default weapon group for an Archer. While the Superior Crossbow does give you roughly equal damage in a vacuum, the Crossbow costs you an extra feat, and doesn't have an extra damage Expertise feat, so the Bow wins out once all the variables are considered. That, and it also has the option of going for control through some of its properties.

Recommended Bows

Greatbow (PHB) - Big damage, and very big range. Nice.

Longbow (PHB) - The best weapon for Ranged Rangers barring Weapon Proficiency.

Shortbow (PHB) - Small Archers really have no choice in this regard, but some of them have racial support to compensate. Additionally, this weapon is likely the one of choice if a Ranger wants to MC Rogue and is not an Elf. That said, I still don't think it's as good as the above two.


Crossbows - The other default weapon group for an Archer. They're pretty comparable to Bows as far as damage goes, and some of them also have the option of opening up some nice multiclass options for a Ranged Ranger.

Recommended Crossbows

Hand Crossbow (PHB) - While it seems like a Thrown Weapon with more range at first glance, it does have the feat support to make it a very palatable option, especially if you MC into Rogue.

Superior Crossbow (AV) - Bastard Sword stats on a Ranged weapon are very nice to have, though the loading time will require another feat to fix.


Flails - Some very decent damage, right on par with Heavy Blades for one-handed weapons and with Hammers for the Heavy Flail. The Dex investment required for Weapon Mastery is a bit too high for some Two-Blade Rangers and the feat support blows for a Striker, but some of the powers you can mooch off other classes (namely, the Fighter's Rain of Blows) make this a nice pick.

Recommended Flails

Alhulak (DSCS) - A high proficiency bonus, and decent damage. A pretty good weapon to have, considering it's feat-free.

Cahulaks (DSCS) - While the stats certainly aren't the best, this is a very versatile weapon.

Flail (PHB) - Similar to a Warhammer or a Battleaxe overall. Serviceable enough.

Triple-Headed Flail (AV) - Statistically identical to a Bastard Sword, its only flaw is that Weapon Mastery will be a bit too Dexterity-intensive for Rangers who like Wisdom over Dexterity.


Hammers - Deals a load of damage, even a little on a miss if you spend a feat, and give you more toughness due to their higher Con needs. Requires devotion to Con as a secondary stat, which means they are only accessible to a fringe of Two-Blade Ranger builds.

Recommended Hammers

Craghammer (AV) - 1d10 brutal 2 averages out to almost the same thing as 1d12, so this is a decent choice.

Throwing Hammer (PHB) - Heavy Thrown is nice to have for Melee Rangers, as is miss damage, so this is very decent.


Heavy Blades - Their (usually) high proficiency bonus means a better hit rate, which means more chances for you to deal your damage. Weapon Mastery also requires a minimal Dexterity investment, which makes all Melee Rangers happy. They also have some decent feat support, should you have the room.

Recommended Heavy Blades

Bastard Sword (PHB) - The best weapon most builds can grab, and it's quite worth the feat.

Broadsword (AV) - About equivalent to the Battleaxe. Good at first, but outclassed by the Longsword later.

Drow Long Knife (EPG) - If you're going for a Thrown weapon, you're looking at the best stats of the bunch.

Longsword (PHB) - The classic Heavy Blade, it's actually a pretty good weapon for a Ranger.


Light Blades - If you pump Dexterity all the way up, this is your weapon of choice because of its great feat support. Beastmaster Rangers especially like these if they decide to go into Melee with two weapons, and thrown weapon specialists like them (Daggers in particular) because of their versatility and accuracy.

Recommended Light Blades

Dagger (PHB) - The quintessential Light Blade. Don't underestimate its low damage die: its versatility can be a great boon to a Ranger, and you'll also find that most good Ranger powers don't rely that heavily on the damage dice.

Double Sword (AV) - Decent damage, an AC bonus, and some cash saved by only counting as one weapon for the purpose of buying enchantments.

Katar (PHB) - Essentially a Short Sword with high crit. Not quite as good as its cousin the Rapier because it costs a feat, but it's a good upgrade over the Short Sword if you have one of those to spare.

Rapier (PHB) - This Light Blade is not off-hand, but that's not a problem for Two-Blade Rangers, and it does pack plenty of punch.

Short Sword (PHB) - While unimpressive at first glance, you'll find that some builds can use it to great effect.

Spiked Chain (PHB) - While this may seem like it's in the wrong section, Spiked Chain Training makes this the most damaging Light Blade in the game, as well as a Double Weapon with Reach. A very powerful tool in the hands of a Ranger.


Maces - Not much in the way of support you can use.

Picks
- No real support yet. So put it down.

Polearms
- Considering your focus on Wisdom, a Beastmaster Ranger using a Polearm to punish enemy tactics is not really that out of the question as far as stats are concerned. Unfortunately, this approach will likely require Paragon Multiclassing into a class such as Fighter, so it pigeon-holes you quite a bit, and removes the possibility of dual-wielding to boot. Not worth it IMHO.

Slings - While the damage and the range as compared to the big-boy Ranged weapons takes a hit (and not having access to the Bracers of Archery really, really hurts), being able to use a shield while attacking at Range and its Expertise feat make this more worthwhile, and it meshes fairly well with Rogue MC.

Recommended Slings

Dejada (DSCS) - Solid damage, average range, but being one-handed is what makes this respectable.


Spears - Control is not really most Ranger builds' shtick (some Beastmasters can dabble in it). It is a pretty decent weapon choice if you want a thrown weapon specialist.

Recommended Spears

Gythka (DSCS) - Basically a Double Trident with an AC bonus attached for a feat. Not a bad choice.

Javelin (PHB) - Big range, and mediocre damage for its proficiency bonus, but it's at least better than the Handaxe and Throwing Hammer. 

Tratnyr (PHB) - The range of the Javelin and the damage of the Trident, combined into a harmonious whole.

Trident (AV) - The versatility of throwing or attacking is nice, even if the range is disappointing. As a plus, it doesn't require a feat.


Staffs - While there is feat support to make this option not a waste of time, that support will take feats you're probably better off spending somewhere else.


Armor: Preservers of the Hunt



Cloth
- No real reason to wear this over the other two varieties of Light Armor. Stay far, far away.

Leather - This has some nice properties that you can't get anywhere else, and can be nice if you're not a fan of the skill check penalty Hide carries. Still, I like every point of AC I can get my mitts on.

Hide
- The light armor with the highest AC, and that does count for a lot. Add in the fact that Armor Specialization deals with its only flaw in the skill check penalty, and I'd be hard-pressed to recommend anything else for most Rangers.

Chain - If you're venturing into Heavy Armor territory, it means your Dexterity is too low to keep you upright in light armor. This is a decent choice for only requiring a feat, but having a speed penalty and a check penalty is not my idea of optimal armor.

Scale
- Now THIS is more like it! It has more AC than Chain and no skill check penalty, and the Armor Specialization feat even eliminates the speed penalty. If you're going for a Heavy Armor Ranger, this is your calling.

Plate
- You can't beat this base AC value in heavy armor. Unfortunately, it also comes saddled with a hefty skill penalty, as well as the customary Heavy Armor speed penalty. To boot, it also requires a heavy feat investment and some ability score pigeonholing. Not for the majority of you.

Shields
- Don't know if you noticed, but most of the Ranger builds require both of your hands to be occupied with weapons, tossing shields out the window. To boot, you're not proficient in them anyway. Conclusion: Not a good idea.


Beast Companions: Brothers in the Hunt



Bear (MP) - Though slow, this companion has a veritable truckload of HP, which means he will be hard to take down, as well as being among the hardest-hitting of companions. His attack bonus is positively awful, though it can work as the tough, physical counterpart to an Archer, as it can absorb more attacks than most of its fellows.

Boar
(MP) - Boars are fairly vanilla companions, with the only perk being +2 damage while charging, which is just not gonna happen too often. Only Dwarves should consider this as an option (because of the racial support available), though the Boar does have the advantage of getting a damage bonus on most of the better Beastmaster powers. Overall, though, avoid.

Cat
(MP) - It has more speed than most companions, which is a solid tactical advantage, but nothing jumps out to say, "Pick me!" It feels like a slightly weaker version of the Wolf overall, which basically says "pick the Wolf instead".

Horse (D 392) - This companion's huge move speed and mount capability says it all; this makes for an excellent counterpart to an Archer, who (understandably) doesn't want to be all that close, especially since he won't have Prime Shot.

Lizard (MP) - This guy has the best AC among the companions, which is good, and he also has a +2 bonus to hit on opportunity attacks. The only real flaw is that its Will defense is a bit low, but I can live with that.

Raptor
(MP) - Though weak combatants (their HP is dead last among the companions, and the Strength-based Beast powers are wasted on them), they are great to have because of their high accuracy, and their ability to fly means that you can Quarry any enemy you want using them as a starting point. A nice pick if you're not in need of a wall.

Serpent (MP) - Solid all-around defenses, and a bonus to damage on OA's. Not bad, though I feel that what really makes it vaiable is the feat support (poison damage is good, though it does cost a feat).

Simian (D 392) - While the attributes for it are kind of weak all-around, it provides a bit of action economy, which can count for a lot on a Ranger, who is typically action-strapped.

Spider (MP) - The climb speed is a big-time conditional tactical advantage, but nothing else is a big deal about this companion (the poison damage burns a feat, and the Serpent gets it, too).

Vadalis-Bred Griffon
(EPG) - This is a special case in that it requires you to take a Paragon Path in order to select this beast companion, but it's easily the best companion, and that counts for something.

Wolf (MP) - The most damaging Heroic Tier companion with Combat Advantage (which is easy as pie to get as a Beastmaster), it also sports a high move speed and decent defenses. A strong choice.
 Magic Equipment: Implements of the Hunt

As is the norm for sections in this Handbook, if the piece of magic equipment isn't rated Black or higher, I won't be talking about it (especially important because this game has a colossal amount of equipment available).

Armor

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the armor with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 2+



Dwarven Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (PHB) - Healing as a free action that doesn't spend a surge, and a bonus to Endurance checks as a bonus? OK!


Repulsion Armor (Cloth, Leather) (AV) - Keeps folk away from you. This is awesome enough to make Archers want to stay in Leather just to use it.



Screaming Armor (Hide, Scale, Plate) (AV) - A free bonus to Intimidate, and a nifty debuffing power (with range, no less). A solid choice
.


Level 3+



Armor of Exploits (Any) (AV) - Lets you make interesting combinations with allies who share your attack stat, or simply load an Encounter power for an extra use. Pretty cool.



Defensive Armor (Any) (PHB 3) - This property features a solid Daily defense-booster, which becomes meatier with power points (it's better if you have access to those).

Predator’s Hide (Hide) (AV 2) - Free defense for using your Hunter’s Quarry. Awesome, especially since Twin Strike gives you 2 chances to hit your Quarry (while the bonus obviously won't stack with itself, 2 chances to hit increases your chances of getting the effect across).


Level 4+



Battle Harness (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (D 368) - An initiative bonus is never bad (even if it doesn’t stack with a Warlord’s buff), and Quick Draw for free doesn’t hurt either. A pretty good choice.

Time Link Armor (Chain) (AV 2) - Initiative bonuses and a Daily do-over on a check. Could be worse.

Verve Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - This armor basically says, "I get up from being down," once per day.




Level 5+



Agile Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (AV) - Only usable by Heavy Armor wearers, and not really worth it until Paragon Tier, but good enough during Epic that it’s worth mentioning.



Shadowdance Armor (Cloth, Leather) (SAC) - This property is a real incentive for Archers to stay in Leather. Not provoking any OA's on Ranged attacks means you can get in your Quarry's face and shoot (easiest way to get your Prime Shot ever).


Level 7+



Shipboard Armor (Leather) (AV 2) - The property is solid, but the reason I mention this armor is because it's part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set.


Level 8+



Bloodiron Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - Extra AC against the target you're beating up sounds good to me.




Level 10+



Lifeblood Armor (Hide) (PHB 2) - If I’m reading this right, this grants you free HP just for using a short rest (which you will do; you want your Encounter powers back). Whoa.



Level 14+



Armor of Dark Deeds (Leather, Hide) (AV 2) - CA and concealment is a great combination to have.

Displacer Armor (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (AV) - A fantastic property, but it burns up a Magic Item Daily and only works for one turn. Still decent, though.




Level 15+



Trollskin Armor (Hide, Scale) (PHB) - Regen is always a nice thing to have in your back pocket, but its steep cost puts a ceiling on how awesome it can be.




Level 18+



Driftmetal Armor (Chain, Scale) (MOTP) - A smidge of elemental resistance, and an easy-to-use power that hands out an attack penalty. Solid.


Level 19+



Great Cat Armor
(Hide) (AV 2) - More mobility is a welcome addition to a Ranger's arsenal, especially if you like to charge.


Weapons

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the weapon with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 2+



Duelist's Bow (Bow) (AV 2) - Good for bowmen who like to face off against ranged attackers. Great synergy with Twin Strike and the Impending Doom Style feat.

Dwarven Thrower (Axe, Hammer) (D 385) - A very cool enhancement, it can let you toss those huge Waraxes and Craghammers you favor even farther than a Handaxe or Throwing Hammer, and it even has a useful power attached. Even better for some thrown weapon Rangers.

Entrapping (Bow, Crossbow) (AV 2) - Conditional benefit (only on a critical), but Restrained is some serious mobility control.


Farbond Spellblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - If you like Melee combat with Heavy Blades, behold what is perhaps the most palatable option for your Ranged backup: it's cheap, it has solid range, and benefits from most of your feats. If you're a thrown weapon specialist, you likely consider this weapon amazing, or completely unnecessary.

Prime Shot Weapon (Any Ranged) (AV) - Some nice extra damage for getting your Prime Shot bonus.

Rebounding (Any Ranged) (AV 2) - Redirecting a miss as an Encounter power is a solid power to have.

Vicious (Any) (PHB) - Pretty basic, but d12 crit dice are nice to have.


Level 3+



Blood Fury (Axe, Heavy Blade) (AV 2) - A good weapon to take advantage of any effects you may have while Bloodied by inducing the state for a couple of rounds per Encounter, it also sports a hefty critical rate when you're banged up.

Carnage (Axe, Heavy Blade, Mace) (DSCS) - If you're in the gambling mood, this weapon can provide a very respectable damage bonus (which you can get more reliably if the weapon die is smaller or if you have multiple dice).

Frost (Any) (PHB) - Combines with Wintertouched and Lasting Frost for eternal combat advantage and +5 damage. Better than ever, thanks to other items helping it beat cold resistance.


Inescapable (Any) (AV) - Buffs your attack bonus after a miss, up to a certain point. Solid for Heroic Tier Archers (the enchantments just aren't all that 'till Paragon).

Luckblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Rerolls, which are great to have in your back pocket (you never know...).

Paired (Any One-Handed Melee) (AV) - Some pretty good economy for your weapons if you dual-wield, thus solving a major problem for Melee Rangers (budget). You should prioritize the clams you spend on weapons, though (you ARE a Striker, are you not?), but this is still a good choice if feats and/or items are tight in your campaign.

Quick (Any) (AV) - Free basic attacks are fun, especially at Heroic, but this is quickly outclassed by other weapons.

Rhythm Blade (Light Blade) (AV 2) - Shores up your defenses some more if you have Two-Weapon Defense, which is never bad. This is part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set, so picking one or more items from that set makes this go up in value.

Subtle (Any Melee) (AV) - Extra damage with combat advantage is always a nice thing to have around.

Swiftshot (Crossbow) (AV) - This used to be a powerful enchantment for Crossbow users, but with Speed Loader and the errata reducing the free attack to a Daily, it no longer carries the spice it once did. Still interesting, though.


Level 4+



Battlecrazed (Axe, Heavy Blade) (AV) - Some hefty extra damage while you’re bloodied, and its power makes you “bloodied” for 2 turns. If you're looking for explosive bursts of damage from your weapon, look no further.

Firewind Blade (Heavy Blade) (HotEC) - If you can slap fire damage on your powers without taking up the magic weapon slot, this is about as good a weapon as the game has to offer.

Harmony Blade (Heavy Blade) (AV 2) - You essentially get Two-Weapon Opening for free (at Heroic, no less), plus Twin Strike packs a pretty mean debuff if both attacks hit. This is also part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set, so picking one or more items from that set makes this go up even higher in value.

Master’s Blade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - Good effects all around. You may want to pick this up a bit later in your career, though (you don’t get good Stances as quickly as, say, a Fighter).

Rending (Axe) (AV) - This turns an Axe critical into something genuinely fearsome.


Screaming Bow (Bow) (AV 2) - A quality way for a Bow user to get on the Mark of Storm gravy train.

Shielding Blade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (D 391) - A shield bonus to AC can be useful to you.


Level 5+



Flaming (Any) (PHB) - This weapon is OK by itself, but it's better for Tieflings, thanks to Hellfire Blood and the rest of their racial support.


Lightning (Any) (PHB) - Makes Rangers who took the Mark of Storm feat very, very happy (obviously better for them).

Weapon of Speed (Any Ranged or Thrown) (MME) - Free attacks as an Encounter power? Don't mind if I do.


Level 7+



Infighting Blade (Light Blade, One-Handed Axe) - A nice power to have if you're surrounded, especially if you wield two of them. Not the kind of power you want to have to exploit, though. It's also part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set, which makes it look better if you already have pieces of that set.


Level 8+



Dread (Any) (AV) - Slaps out defensive penalties like it's nobody's business.
 Great for setting yourself up for something big, but it'd be nicer if someone did this for you.

Tyrant's (Any Melee) (AV) - Not worth much until you have a nova sequence power that can knock prone, but once you do, this item will produce literally ridiculous amounts of damage.


Level 9+



Kamesti Crossbow (Crossbow) (AV 2) - Retains a missed power, and eliminates the long range penalty. Decent. It's also part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set, which makes it look better if you already have pieces of that set.


Level 10+



Supreme Skirmisher’s Bow (Bow) (AV 2) - This can combo well with powers that grant you free basic attacks, as well as with Spitting Cobra Stance and its equivalents.


Level 12+



Jagged (Axe, Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Improved criticals are very nice to have on a Ranger.



Level 13+



Bloodiron (Any) (AV) - Your criticals are so nice, they damage twice.

Thunderbolt (Any Ranged) (AV) - A more palatable alternative to Lightning Weapons for Ranged Rangers who wish to abuse the synergies with Mark of Storm and Lyrandar Wind-Rider.

Withering (Any Melee) (AV)
- Given that you make a lot of attacks and that they're almost always against AC, making it progressively easier to land your hits against your opponents is pretty darn awesome.


Level 14+



Battlemaster's (Any) (AV) - An extra go with an Encounter power for an Item Daily? I'm in.


Level 15+



Chill Wind (Heavy Blade) (D 386) - The gold cost is pretty steep, but this is basically a better version of Frost. Great, if you can afford it.

Radiant (Any) (AV) - This lets you play nice with Divine classes, and smacks undead around pretty well. Too bad it’s so expensive...



Level 16+



Forceful (Bow) (AV) - So... you don't get any extra damage on crits (boo), BUT you get a dirt-cheap weapon that pushe enemies back every time it hits, which is pretty nice. Combine with some push-enhancers, and you will wreak havoc with enemy positioning. The enchantment for any Ranger who likes some control with their damage.


Arms

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 2



Bracers of Enforced Regret (AV 2) - Basically only worth mentioning because they're part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set (their benefit IMHO is way too conditional to see real use).


Level 4



Counterstrike Guards (L4/14) (AV) - A decent item, it grants you more attacks as a reaction to your oppponent attacking you. The upgraded version 
is light-years better, as it allows you to do it every encounter.


Level 5



Quickhit Braces (L5/15/25) (AV) - Some decent damage, but only if both attacks hit. Better if you’re getting an item bonus to damage from another source (like Radiant Weapons).



Level 6



Bracers of Archery (L6/16/26) (AV) - No real reason to not wear them if you’re a Ranged Ranger.

Iron Armbands of Power (L6/16/26) (AV) - No real reason to not wear them if you’re a Melee Ranger.


Level 10



Barrage Bracers (AV 2) - A bonus to attack rolls when you score a hit. Nice enough.


Level 15



Rhino Bracers (L15) (AV 2) - Twin Strike on a charge? Interesting...


Level 19



Trollhide Braces (L19/29) (AV) - Regeneration is always a solid defensive choice.


Feet

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 2



Acrobat Boots (AV) - Cheap, and they let you stand up as a minor action (a very useful property). Somewhat diminished in value because of the At-Will skill power that lets you do the same thing, though.


Level 7



Boots of the Fencing Master (AV) - Rewards you for moving around. What's not to like?


Level 8



Boarding Boots (AV 2) - This basically lets you "charge" with an At-Will once per day, which is pretty cool for a Melee Ranger. It's also part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set, which makes it look better if you already have pieces of that set.

Boots of Quickness (L8/18/28) (AV) - A decent boost to your Reflex defense.




Level 9



Boots of Eagerness (AV) - Pretty cheap, and they pack a pretty nice mobility-advantage power.


Level 10



Boots of Sand and Sea (AV) - This is a cheap speed boost that also allows you to swim if you're in light armor. Not bad.




Level 12



Battlestrider Greaves (PHB) - The cheapest speed boost available for heavy armor users.


Shadowdancer's Boots (AV 2) - A speed boost for light armor wearers that gets better in darkness is OK, and it's also part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set.


Level 16



Survivor’s Boots (AV 2) - Yeah, they require you to be bloodied, but after that, you can pretty much do whatever you want in combat. Glorious for Archers.


Level 18



Planestrider Boots (MOTP) - Encounter teleportation. Need I say more?


Level 22



Boots of Speed (AV) - +2 to speed and a decent power.




Level 24



Boots of Caiphon (AV 2) - They sap your HP, but it’s probably less damage than you would take for eating an OA, especially at these levels, and you ARE moving with a minor action...

Zephyr Boots (AV) - A fly speed. Must I really discuss this further?


Level 25



Sandals of Avandra
(AV) - Expensive, but they allow you to move around quite a bit on an At-Will basis.


Level 28



Boots of Teleportation
(AV) - Get them if you can afford them. That is all.


Hands

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 3



Gloves of Piercing (PHB) - Real cheap, and they should punch through most resistance to your attacks if they're not element-based.


Level 4



Gauntlets of Blood (AV 2) - A sweet damage bonus against Bloodied enemies, this is probably your default Hands choice if you don't have something specific in mind.


Level 5



Gloves of Recovery (AV 2) - A consolation attack after a miss is nice (especially after a Twin Strike; the consolation attack may deal more damage than the original). This is part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set, so picking one or more items from that set makes this go up in value.


Level 8



Gauntlets of the Ram (PHB) - Anything that allows you to push more is sweet for an Archer packing a Forceful Bow.




Level 10



Antipathy Gloves (AV) - A decent ability for Ranged users that do not want to be engaged in Melee.



Dwarven Throwers
(AV) - This allows you to make a basic attack with your main weapon at range once per encounter. Pretty cool.



Strikebacks (AV) - Though the bonus to Opportunity Attacks likely won't see that much play on you, the free Melee Basic Attack every encounter when you get hit will. A most excellent choice for Melee Rangers.


Level 11 



Gloves of Ice (L11/21) (AV 2) - More damage for your cold attacks, or punch through cold resistance. Glorious, especially with Frost Weapons.

Shadowdancer's Gloves
(AV 2) - If your Stealth skill is good, +1d6 damage is a nice benefit to have. Being part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set doesn't hurt, either.


Level 13



Gloves of Missile Deflection (AV) - Some solid resistance against Ranged attacks. Archers get targeted with them more than Melee Rangers, so they appreciate this a bit more.



Level 18



Gauntlets of Destruction
(PHB) - Rerolling all 1's on Melee damage roll can certainly add up to be a very nice effective damage bonus.


Head

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 2



Eagle Eye Goggles (L2/12/22) (AV) - A scaling attack bonus to Ranged Basic Attacks is a pretty nice benefit to have.


Level 4



Casque of Tactics (L4/14/24) (AV) - An initiative bonus is good for anyone, and swapping initiative who anyone who rolled high once per day is nice too.




Level 6



Horned Helm (L6/16/26) (PHB) - If you have any sort of charging focus, this item is for you.


Level 8



Coif of Mindiron (L8/18/28) (AV) - Protects against an increasing array of mental conditions (albeit only against Will) as an encounter power. Sexy.




Level 9



Helm of Battle (L9/19/29) (PHB) - Initiative bonuses for everyone!




Level 10



Shadowdancer's Mask (AV 2) - A do-over for a Stealth check is very useful for certain types of Rangers. Being part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set certainly helps the cause a bit.


Level 14



Circlet of Arkhosia (L14/24) (PHR: DB) - Making saves at the beginning and end of your turn against certain annoying mental conditions is surely worth a look.

Crown of the Brilliant Sun (AV 2) - Being able to translate elemental damage to radiant damage can prove to be useful, especially as a Genasi.

Helm of Able Defense (AV 2) - A bonus to Will, and a bump to all defenses until you get hit is pretty good if you ask me.


Level 15



Carcanet of Psychic Schism (AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.


Level 21



Coif of Focus (AV) - Comes by later in your career and its use eats up a precious surge, but negating Daze or Stun is good stuff.


Level 22



Helm of Ghostly Defense (PHB) - Helps you take the sting off your opponent’s hits, and smidge of necrotic resistance to boot.


Level 23



Eye of Awareness (AV) - A decent bonus to Will defense, and a huge initiative boost on top of that.


Neck

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the weapon with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 2+



Badge of the Berserker (AV 2) - Makes charging a heck of a lot safer.

Cloak of Resistance (PHB) - Decent resistance for a turn.


Level 3+



Baffling Cape (AV 2) - It's on this list because it's part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set, since I don't think the power is any good.


Level 4+



Cloak of Distortion (AV) - Forces your enemies to get in close enough for you to engage them if you're Melee, and provide an eternal artillery v. artillery advantage if you're Ranged.




Level 8+



Pavise Charm (AV 2) - The only reason I mention this is because of the Kamestiri Uniform item set; pinning yourself down as a Striker is a big no-no.

Steadfast Amulet
(AV) - This prevents daze or stun. 'Nuff said.




Level 9+



Amulet of False Life (PHB) - Your healing surge value in THP is a sweet ability, even if it's a Daily.



Shadowdancer's Cloak (AV 2) - Lets you squeeze in one more potshot against an unsuspecting opponent. This is also part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set.


Level 10+



Periapt of Cascading Health
(D 369) - Ends one effect per encounter, no questions asked. Win.



Level 13+



Amulet of Scales
(D 365) - Scaling, immediate-application, encounter-long resistance to a keyword (which includes Arcane, Weapon, and the like, by the way) is nice.


Level 14+



Flamewrath Cape (AV) - Offers a nice damage boost, as well as disincentive for enemies attacking you. Only for one turn, though.

Timeless Locket (AV 2) - A very tasty bonus to initiative checks that should stack with just about every buff you can have for it. The only downer is that (post-errata) you can't attack with the standard action the Daily power generates.


Level 15+



Brooch of Vitality
(AV) - More HP is NICE, especially the Epic Tier versions.



Cloak of Displacement
(AV) - A nice bonus to AC and Reflex until you get hit, and a pretty cool power. Worth a look, especially for Archers.

Necklace of Fireballs (AV) - Defense that packs some decent offense.



Torc of Power Preservation
(AV) - It retains Encounter powers when you use them. Need I really say more?


Level 30



Scarab of Invulnerability (PHB) - Makes you immune to everything for a round. Sure, it's a Level 30 item, but you will enjoy the short amount of time you'll have it.


Rings

Remember, you can have two of these, so look out for Rings that either work well together or work well in doubles.


Level 13



Ring of Giants (D 378) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage, and push 2 + prone on any primal attack power you may power-swap for can come in handy.


Level 14



Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords (PHB) - +1 healing surge is a pretty solid benefit.



Ring of Fury (D 366) - When you're bloodied, you let it be known.

 My issue with it is mainly that the trigger is hard to control.


Level 16



War Ring (AV) - Adds a little more 'oomph' into your criticals.


Level 20



Ring of Action Reversal (AV 2) - A hefty bonus to initiative checks, and a sweet benefit should you miss with an Encounter power.


Level 21



Ring of Heroic Insight (AV) - Allows you to buff yourself pretty well once per day.




Level 22



Blink Ring (AV) - Teleportation is nice to have as a Striker.




Level 23



Greater Ring of Invisibility (AV 2) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. Wow.


Level 24



Golden Ring of Teros
(AV 2) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.


Level 26



Ring of Guarded Will (AV 2) - A nice bump to Will defense.


Level 27



Ring of the Phoenix
(AV) - A pretty sweet revival ability.

Shadow Band
(AV) - You can't really argue against +2 to all defenses as a static property...




Level 29



Ring of Free Time (AV 2) - Expensive, but the action potential with this and all those minor action attack powers Two-Blade Rangers have (or the Beast’s Melee Basic Attacks) is just nuts, and everyone appreciates having extra actions to work with. And it packs resist all 5. Can't go wrong with this.


Level 30



Dauntless Champion’s Ring
(AV 2) - Power recovery is good, though the price tag on this is steep.


Waist

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 8



Belt of Lucky Strikes (D 365) - A free attack after you miss is a solid benefit.

Belt of Vim (L8/18/28) (AV) - Reinforces what could be your strongest defense or your weakest one, depending on your combat style.




Level 10



Diamond Cincture (L10/20/30) (AV 2) - Easy-to-access healing, and a bonus a to Fortitude. Nice.


Level 11



Healer's Sash (L11/21) (AV) - Anything that allows you to heal your allies is at least worth mentioning, even post-errata.



Level 18



Belt of Mountain Endurance (D 365) - Glorious for Melee Rangers. +Str to surge value and an AP benefit, all in one package.


Level 19



Belt of Breaching (AV 2) - Healing and teleportation as you transition from kill to kill. That's definitely worth something on a Ranger.


Level 23



Belt of Vitality (AV) - Gets you up when you're down, and boosts Fortitude. Could be worse...


Level 25



Belt of Titan Strength (PHB) - A strong Melee buff for one turn, and strong skill bonuses.




Level 28



Sash of Regeneration (L28) (AV 2) - Having regeneration while bloodied is a nice benefit.


Miscellaneous

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section that doesn't follow that progression is available.


Ammunition:




Level 3+



Firestorm Arrow
(AV 2) - Lays down some heavy fire (pun intended). Lets you play focus fire and crowd control simultaneously.

Freezing Arrow
(AV 2) - Extra damage AND slowing? Very nice.

Lightning Arrow (AV 2) - Extra damage is awesome, though this one is a bit behind the other magical ammunition after the errata.

Surprise Bullet (AV 2) - Free CA is a pretty nice benefit to have.


Level 10+



Dual Arrow (D 373) - REROLLS, you say?! Now this is what I'm taling about!



Dragonshard Augments:




Level 2



Eberron Shard of Lightning
(L2/12/22) (EPG) - A great incentive to wield Lightning weapons.

Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Incentive for wielding Flaming weapons.

Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold
(L2/12/22) (EPG) - Yet another reason to like Frost weapons.


Level 3



Siberys Shard of Radiance
(L3/13/23) (EPG) - Another selling point for the Radiant weapon.


Wondrous Items:




Level 5



Power Jewel
(AV) - A pain-free way to recharge a low-level Encounter power, which is nice to have... until you retrain all of them away.


Level 9



Backlash Tattoo
(AV 2) - A free basic attack every encounter is a nice revenge sort of ability.

Elven Chain Shirt (L9/19/29) (MME) - Slotless AC bonuses? Don't mind if I do...

Endless Quiver (AV 2) - Endless ammo for Archers is pretty nice, especially in a campaign where it's counted. To boot, it's part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set.


Level 10



Salve of Power (AV) - Post-errata, this trades a surge for another Encounter power, which is a pretty good deal for most Strikers.


Level 11



Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381) - Gives you more chances to roll the number you really need.


Level 12



Foe Stone (AV) - Cheap, and it pinpoints your opponent’s weakest defense at will. Somebody in the party has to have this; why not you?

Stone of Earth (AV 2) - A very nice reroll for Melee Rangers (not missing on that Blade Cascade is awesome).

Stone of Flame (AV 2) - Fire lovers want one of these around.

Stone of Light (AV 2) - If you're into Radiant damage, having a do-over in your back pocket sounds like a good idea to me.

Stone of Spirit (AV 2) - If you're partaking in Psychic attack support, a reroll is good stuff.

Stone of Storms (AV 2) - If lightning and thunder are your elements of choice, this is good to have.

Stone of Wind (AV 2) - A do-over on a Ranged attack is a nice thing to have.


Level 16



Solitaire (Aquamarine)
(AV) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.


Level 18



Horreb Ritual Cube
(DN 170) - A slotless +2 to saves? Why wouldn't you have this?


Level 21



Solitaire (Cerulean) (AV) - Expensive, but getting rid of (save ends) effects this easily should be.


Level 26



Solitaire (Violet) (AV) - Free AP’s after a crit are awesome, but the price tag is very hefty.
Multiclassing: How Others Hunt

Here are some notes on useful things your Ranger may want to pick up from other classes, such as feats, powers, Paragon Paths, and the occasional Epic Destiny. As is the norm, Black or higher synergies only here.

As for hybrids? My advice is they're usually not worth it for a Ranger concept; your abilities are very well suited to what you do, and the other classes don't really offer all that much (especially in power selection). That said, Cleric, Swordmage, and Rogue can make for some interesting Hybrid combos.


Any Divine Class



While not an actual multiclass, it does recollect the options you get by taking any Divine Multiclass feat.

Feats

Radiant Hunter (Heroic Tier - D 371) - While it may not be that significant by itself, this can allow you to take advantage of the Morninglord's feature without having to fork over the gold for those oh-so-expensive Radiant weapons.


Paragon Paths

Morninglord (FRPG) - A prime path indeed, this can combine with Radiant weapons or the Radiant Hunter feat for an effective +10 to damage to all your (and your allies') hits. The Path powers are of limited use at best, but that's not too steep a price IMHO.



Any Primal Class



While not a multiclass per se, this category is here to collect all the options available to you by taking any of the primal Multiclass Feats.

Feats

Reckless Charge (Heroic Tier - PrP) - An extra +1 to hit while charging is greatly appreciated by some Rangers.

Second Skin (Epic Tier - PrP) - It's a better bonus than Armor Specialization (Hide), but it's also more Constitution-intensive. It's probably not enough to keep you in Hide if you're focusing heavily on Constitution, though.


Epic Destinies

Reincarnate Champion
(PrP) - Do you like someone else's racial support, but are turned off at the lame synergy the race itself has with your class? Look no further than this Epic Destiny to patch that up. Not quite at the level of Demigod IMHO, but still a very cool choice.



Any Psionic Class


Not an actual multiclass, but it does collect options available to you by taking any Multiclass feat belonging to a psionic class.

Epic Destinies

Master of Moments (PsP) - This Epic Destiny offers huge helpings of additional actions to the traditionally action-starved Ranger, making you potentially much more dangerous.



Assassin



You'll find little to entice you in the attack powers here: the main draw of the MC is the ability to use a Ki Focus for your weapon attacks, which in turn can result in a significant advantage for your item economy later on.

Entry Feats

Shadow Initiate (D 382) - A great draw for the ability to use Ki Foci and, it brings a nice little extra damage spike once per encounter in the two free shrouds.



Avenger



This is an interesting Multiclass option; you won't find much in the attack powers, but the Utilities are very solid and the entry feat itself is awesome.

Entry Feats

Disciple of Divine Wrath (PHB 2) - Though you get no choice in the skill you get with this feat (and Religion keys off a dumpstat), the true meat of this feat lies in the fact that if you isolate your enemy (which is what you want to do as a Melee Ranger in order to use Prime Punisher), you get 2 turns of automatic rerolls. That's crazy good.


Powers

Enduring Spirit (L2, Utility - DP) - +4 to all defenses, just when you need it most. Not a bad pick.

Aspect of Agility (L6, Utility - PHB 2) - You get a solid shift and a defensive buff as the cherry on top. Nice.



Barbarian



Another Multiclass option that is very appealing, it grants Melee Rangers access to a fellow multi-attacker's power suite, and that is very promising.

Entry Feats

Berserker's Fury (PHB 2) - A free +2 to damage for a whole encounter in addition to the free skill? All right!


Powers

Storm of Blades (L13, Encounter - PHB 2) - You essentially get Blade Cascade Lite, every encounter. Awesome.

Hurricane of Blades (L27, Encounter - PHB 2) - This power alone justifies MCing into this class.



Bravo



Another MC option with a good entry benefit, though I'm not exactly wowed by the rest of it.

Entry Feats

Bravo (D 373) - +2 to hit and +2 to damage for two turns can be a respectable self-buff, though its costing a minor action can conflict with what is a rather action-starved class.



Cleric



A surprisingly powerful MC option, this can actually offer a couple of options for the right kind of Ranger, especially those looking to spend much of their time in heavy armor.

Entry Feats

Divine Healer (DP) - The feat itself won't blow you away - what will do that is the fact that you can swap Healer's Lore for the vastly superior Battle Cleric's Lore. Great AC, here we come!

Initiate of the Faith (PHB) - While Religion is not all that hot as far as skill training is concerned, an emergency healing power is welcome on a Ranger.


Feats

Radiant Advantage (Epic Tier - DP) - While it does come in late, this presents a very viable alternative to the Permafrost combo on a Ranger, especially one focusing on Melee and Ranged combat simultaneously.


Powers

Cloak of Courage (L16, Utility - DP) - A large amount of temps for your entire party. While rather lackluster in combat, it's amazing when used out of combat (my recommendation is just after every short rest). Someone in your party should have this, and it's not like our L16 Utilities are much to write home about.


Paragon Paths

Tactical Warpriest (PHB) - A pretty neat path, it offers a meaty nova buff as the prime incentive, but a bump to AC and some decent powers don't hurt, either.



Fighter



This Multiclass path is pretty awesome for Melee Rangers, because of the very offensively-oriented Paragon Paths and other goodies you can swap for.

Entry Feats

Battle Awareness (MP) - A free skill, and an additional attack once per encounter? That's a great deal for a Multiclass feat.

Cyclone Warrior (MP 2) - Some big damage for one round per encounter for the Light Armor Melee Rangers in the audience, plus a free skill. I'd take that feat.

Student of the Sword (PHB) - A +1 bonus to hit with a certain style of weapon and a mark after the attack is nifty (as is the free skill), but it's just not as good as the other feats.


Powers

Rain of Blows (L3, Encounter - PHB) - If you like Flails, Light Blades, or Spears, this power is the first triple-hitter you'll get in a long time. While it's not that much better than Twin Strike out of the gate, give it time to grow and you won't be disappointed.

Rain of Steel (L5, Daily - PHB) - If you're looking to boost your DPR value for an entire encounter, this will help.

Reaper's Stance (L25, Daily - PHB) - Essentially the same as Rain of Steel, with ongoing 10 damage tacked on. Even sweeter.


Paragon Paths

Doomguard Marauder (MOTP) - This path's ability to punch through resistances and its very strong AP damage boost make this a promising choice for those builds who rely heavily on elemental damage, especially ones like Genasi.

Kensei (PHB) - While the powers are lackluster for you overall (especially the frankly terrible Masterstroke, which is essentially Careful Attack as an Encounter power), a +1 untyped bonus to hit and +4 to damage are excellent features for a Melee Ranger, regardless of the weapon wielded.

Kulkor Arms Master (MP 2) - This Paragon Path is going to require you to jump through a couple of hoops in order to use it effectively, but the extra damage generate is worth your while.

Shock Trooper (MP) - If you like this path, you're likely a Melee Ranger who happens to wield off-hand weapons. It has some very nice perks, including a brutal 3-hit Encounter power, an increase in weapon damage dice, and your Dexterity in damage when you have CA. A nice choice, if a bit niche.


Epic Destinies

Eternal Defender (MP) - Despite the name, this is a Striker Epic Destiny through and through; every aspect of it focuses on your Melee offense. Not quite as good as Demigod for Melee Rangers, but a very viable choice.



Rogue



This multiclass option is a pretty decent choice for Rangers, though not quite as sweet as Fighter is because of the restricted weapon selection (it's also rather markedly more open to Melee Rangers than it is for Ranged Rangers). There are some nice goodies you can pick up here, though.

Entry Feats

Sneak of Shadows (PHB) - You get Thievery (which is a good skill for Archers, since they most definitely have the Dexterity for it), and you get an Encounter version of Sneak Attack. Not bad at all.


Feats

Deadeye Slinger (Heroic Tier - MP 2) - If you're a Sling user, this makes your weapon choice look a heck of a lot better.

Prime Slayer (Paragon Tier - MP) - While it is also an Elf racial feat, it effectively hands out +2 damage to your Prime Shot on Ranged attakcs. Nice to have on an Archer.

Slaying Action (Heroic Tier - MP) - Sneak Attack out-damages your Hunter's Quarry pretty handily, so getting an extra dose of it on nova turn is a solid benefit.

Treetop Sniper (Heroic Tier - MP 2) - Do you like the Rogue's power selection, but can't bear to part ways with your beloved Greatbow? Well, then here's the feat for you (if you're an Elf, that is).

Two-Fisted Shooter (Heroic Tier - MP) - If you were planning on dual-wielding Hand Crossbows, there's no question that you want this feat.


Powers

Tumble (L2, Utility - PHB) - An on-demand shift for your speed. Bear in mind you need Acrobatics training for it.

Ignoble Escape (L6, Utility - PHB) - Lets you shift your speed, and ditch some marks while you're at it. Nice enough.

Snap Shot (L7, Encounter - MP) - With the right weapon, you get a minor action attack on a Ranged Ranger by picking up this power, and how is that a bad thing?

Hide in Plain Sight (L16, Utility - PHB) - Permanent invisibility, as long as you stay still. Great for keeping yourself from being targeted effectively.

Tumbling Strike (L17, Encounter - D 381) - So... this deals more weapon damage than any of your minor action smacks, AND you get to shift your speed too?! This is about as good a power as you can get.



Swordmage



While it's not the most intuitive choice, and it will require you to plunk down a couple of points (or a racial stat bump) in Intelligence, this MC option has a nice amount of goodies available to you.

Entry Feats

Blade Initiate (FRPG) - While Swordmage Warding is nowhere near as formidable when your off hand is occupied, you need this feat to access the other things this MC path has to offer, and it's not like +1 AC for an entire encounter is detrimental.


Feats

Eladrin Swordmage Advance (Paragon Tier - AP) - Essentially, this turns your racial power into those minor action attack swings we're all so fond of. Nice to have.


Powers

Borrowed Confidence (L16, Utility - AP) - In a word, amazing. With as many attacks as you make, getting a turn's worth of re-rolls every single fight goes a long, long way.

Quicksilver Blade (L25, Daily - FRPG) - Minor action attacks for an entire encounter? I can think of many worse things to get with a power-swap Daily.


Paragon Paths

Malec-Keth Janissary (MOTP) - Let's not mince words here - you're here for the elemental damage on all your attacks. I can think of many nice things you can do with such a boon.
Tactics: Code Of The Hunt

After some analysis and playtesting, I believe that the following guidelines are key to playing a successful Ranger.


1. Know how you hunt the best.



The first step to playing a successful Ranger is identifiying what it is the class does the best. In general, the Ranger is very good at what is termed as an alpha strike or a nova. This basically means you run in and put out a ton of damage before your opponent can react, thus ensuring you have a marked advantage going forward. This is typically accomplished by loading up on a ton of multiattacking powers, as well as powers that allow you to attack outside of your Standard Action, and unleashing them upon one foe until he dies. This should be the primary strategy of every Ranger, as removing threats before they can act is the most effective benefit a Striker can provide a party with.

Next, the Ranger is also very good at sustained damage, which is what you'll be resorting to once you've expended most of your attack powers and are reduced to whittling down your foes with your At-Wills. This is a reminder that once you've gotten some nova capability, you should pay attention to what your character will be capable of in the rounds after that.


2. Seek and destroy.



Next, we're going to talk about the various ways to go about engaging and putting down your foes. There are two main schools of thought on this issue, corresponding to Melee and Ranged Rangers.

Melee Ranger - The name of the game is simple here - find a way to get adjacent, and pump out attacks until the opponent dies. Once that's done, move on to the next target. Given that you likely won't have the benefit of reach or range, this means that investment in items or powers to aid your initial approach as well as the transition between targets will be time well spent.

Ranged Ranger - This style has two main divides, and they diverge based on whether you picked a Beast Companion or not (and yes, a Melee Beastmaster is at a sufficient disadvantage as compared to a normal Melee Ranger that he will not be mentioned). If you have the Beast, you're probably going to want to hang back a bit, use the companion as a damage sponge/dedicated flanker/Quarry beacon, and let the opponents try and come to you as you pelt them with arrows. Otherwise (doubly so if you add the Prime Shot feats to the mix), you'll be looking to hover about in the "medium" range (which I define as 5-10 squares away for this purpose), with the occasional foray into close range to get your bonuses.


3. Make yourself as hard to kill as possible.



Though taking out your targets is your primary concern, you shouldn't neglect your defense, since your HP and surges are usually average and you will find that your high damage output brings you prime (and usually unwanted) attention from your enemies. The following two suggestions help out a lot when attempting to make yourself harder to kill, in the order they are presented:

Defend yourself - They can't hurt you if they can't hit you, so high defenses go a long way in keeping you up and running without drawing time and resources away from the rest of the party. This has a caveat in that there is a limit to how much offense you should sacrifice; you are a primarily offensive character, and that is what your selections should be geared to, for the most part. After that has been taken care of, invest in your defense.

Positioning is key - If an opponent can't reach or see you, he can't hit you. You are a Striker, so mobility comes more easily to you than to most creatures, ally and monster alike; use that fact to your advantage. Maneuver about the battlefield, avoiding hazards and situations where you would find it difficult to slip out without a fight, unless that fight involves taking out your chosen prey. If you do get banged up (not every plan is 100% effective, after all), at least try to situate yourself so that aiding you will not hamper the rest of the party too much.


4. Be aware of your allies.



You're more of an independent unit that most characters, but don't think you're a one-man show; the other people in your group have useful abilities, too. Defenders can watch your back and hit pretty hard, Leaders can heal your wounds and help you hit harder, and Controllers can keep enemy heat off you and the rest of the party. Use these abilities to the party's advantage whenever it is possible; if that means moving around (and possibly drawing an OA) so the Fighter can lock someone down or the Wizard can lay down the AoE stun law, so be it; you're all in this together, after all. Also, if you help them, they have to help you tear something apart later.

All this being said, don't make the mistake of believing that the rest of the party is your personal squad of minions, ready to do whatever you suggest at a whim just because you said so; such has been the downfall of many an arrogant Striker.


5. Apply force judiciously.



Having a good understanding of a given tactical situation can save your party more time and HP than any damage combo you (or anyone else) can cook up. Learn when to stick to your guns and fight conservative, and when to gamble more resources to end the encounter faster. You don't necessarily need ALL your Dailies to take out the BBEG, after all, but you probably will need SOME of them. By the nature of the class, you're more of a gambler, so don't be afraid to bust out a high-damage power if the fight looks like it's turning into a grind; you might just end it quickly.


6. Balance specialization with versatility.



A Ranger is pretty diverse class; he can go from a front-line Melee character to an Archer who avoids the very concept of close combat unless absolutely necessary, so plan your power selection according to the style of combat you will be using the most. However, beware of the dangers of over-specialization; your enemies can and will exploit any holes you have in your game.
Sample Builds (Melee): Champions of the Hunt

Coming soon...

The Trailblazer
Sample Builds (Ranged): Enforcers of the Hunt

Coming soon...
Tips & Tricks: Advice for the Hunt


Combo 1: One-on-One Fighting



Piece 1: Prime Shot (Ranger Bonus Feature, PHB)
Piece 2: Prime Punisher (Ranger Paragon Tier Feat, D 373)
Piece 3: Prime Quarry (Ranger Paragon Tier Feat, MP)
Piece 4: Called Shot (Ranger Paragon Tier Feat, D 368)
Piece 5 (optional): Cunning Stalker (Heroic Tier Feat, HotFk)
Piece 6 (optional, replaces Piece 3): Improved Prime Shot (Ranger Epic Tier Feat, MP)

Sequence:
Move Action - Walk up to an enemy none of your allies have engaged.
Minor Action - Use Hunter's Quarry on that enemy (only necessary if you don't have Piece 6).
Standard Action - Attack.

Description: A combination that is not readily apparent at first glance, this combination gives Melee Rangers a strong reason to go for combat alone: it offers +2 to hit and +5 to damage versus the +2 to hit flanking's Combat Advantage would give you. To boot, it stacks with Frostcheese's eternal Combat Advantage to make you formidable indeed. Some of the optional pieces come highly recommended, since Cunning Stalker nets you combat advantage under slightly tighter (but still viable) circumstances, and Improved Prime Shot eliminates the need for Hunter's Quarry.


Combo 2: Permafrost



Piece 1: Wintertouched (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 2: Lasting Frost (Paragon Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 3: Frost Weapon (Weapon Property, Any Weapon, PHB)
Piece 4 (optional): Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (Dragonshard Augment, EPG)
Piece 5 (optional): Gloves of Ice (Hands Slot Item, AV 2)
Piece 6 (optional): Silvery Glow (Heroic Tier Feat, D 386)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Frost Weapon (turns all damage dealt by the weapon into cold damage, adds the Cold keyword to the attack).

Description: A nice and straightforward combo, Lasting Frost will combine with Frost Weapons to add cold vulnerability 5 to each hit, and Wintertouched gives you combat advantage as the cherry on top. This combo lasts so long as you keep hitting, and can be further enhanced by the optional pieces (which add more cold damage).


Combo 3: Superstorm



Piece 1: Deadly Draw (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB 3)
Piece 2: Mark of Storm (Heroic Tier Feat, EPG)
Piece 3: Lightning Weapon (Weapon Property, Any Weapon, PHB)
Piece 4 (optional): Eberron Shard of Lightning (Dragonshard Augment, EPG)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Lightning Weapon (turns all damage dealt by the weapon into lightning damage, adds the Lightning keyword to the attack).

Description: A rather interesting Melee combination, this involves using Mark of Storm and a Lightning weapon to constantly slide an enemy adjacent to you, which will in turn trigger Deadly Draw and hand you a permanent source of combat advantage, provided you keep hitting. The optional piece offers you some nice extra damage.


Combo 4: Mind Games



Piece 1: Githyanki Silver Weapon (Weapon Property, Heavy Blade, MOTP)
Piece 2: Psychic Lock (Paragon Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 3 (optional): Headband of Intellect (Head Slot Item, AV)
Piece 4 (optional, replaces Piece 1): Mindiron Weapon (Weapn Property, Crossbow, AV)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Githyanki Silver Weapon (turns all damage dealt by the weapon into psychic damage, adds the Psychic keyword to the attack).

Description: A neat elemental combo, this uses the Githyanki Silver Weapon and the Psychic Lock feat to hand out a -2 to hit debuff on the next attack roll of anyone hit by the weapon. Piece 3 also provides a nice attack bonus to make this all more accurate. Using Piece 4 allows you to perform this combo as a Ranged combatant.


Combo 5: The Crippler



Piece 1: Twin Strike (At-Will Attack Power, PHB)
Piece 2: Hobbling Strike (Heroic Tier Feat, MP 2)
Piece 3: Vicious Advantage (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB 3)
Piece 4 (optional): World Serpent's Grasp (Heroic Tier Feat, HotFK)
Piece 5 (optional): Grounding Shot (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB 3)

Sequence:
Standard Action - Twin Strike (use Hobbling Strike to lose one die of Quarry damage in order to slow the target).

Description: Another eternal-Combat Advantage combo, this will give you two chances to apply a slowing effect, which of course has its own benefits apart from giving you CA (though it does cost some damage). The optional pieces give you a chance to knock your opponent prone should both attacks hit, as well as keeping Ranged users from unintentionally applying penalties to themselves.
So are you going to get the MP2 fighting styles in there soon?

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Soon as I get the book or the Compendium loads 'em up, yeah.
I strongly believe that certain synergies, such as that of the Frost Weapon, Gloves of Ice, the Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold, Lasting Frost, and Wintertouched; that of Prime Punisher, Called Shot, and Prime Quarry; and, with Martial Power 2, that of Throw and Stab, Marauder's Rush, a Badge of the Berserker, and Boots of Adept Charging, deserve to be delineated in their own section, perhaps one called "Option Packages." They are not quite full-fledged build archetypes, and are instead add-ons to certain types of builds. Rather than educate readers on, say, the "Frostcheese" combination across the Feats section and the Equipment section in disunited lines, you could instead refer them to the Option Packages section.
I agree.  I had no problem understanding why someone would take Wintertouched and Lasting Frost together with a Frost Weapon, but I'll admit I was a little thrown off by some of the later feat trees like:
Prime Punisher --> Called Shot --> Prime Quarry
Superior Weapon Proficiency (Spiked Chain) --> Two Weapon Fighting --> Swift Blade Style --> Two-Weapon Opening --> Two-Weapon Ambush

TWF in particular seemed like a really poor feat to select until I saw Swift Blade Style.
Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them. -- Robertson Davies
Evasive Strike is listed as a Dexterity power, when it's actually a Strength or Dex power.
OK, so I should reserve some space for sample combinations (kind of a "Tips & Tricks" section). I can do that.

@boolean: Thanks.


Just wanted to remind people who've placed courtesy posts that I need them gone.
Done and done, sir. ;)
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Good men, all of you.

Now, I'd like to mention that I will be posting ratings on Martial Power 2 as soon as I can get my claws on the thing.
Just wanted to mention; all sections of the Handbook's new format have been finalized.

I'm still working on incorporating Adslahnit's suggestion: I'm thinking of a "Tips & Tricks" section would be appropriate. Additionally, I'm also considering adding an improved version of the sample builds, but not so detailed as to overshadow an actual build thread.

I'd love to read anyone's opinions on this, whether via post or PM.
 The improved version of the sample builds sounds good, particularly if you tie it with Asslahnit's suggestion and in each build explain how the different elements synergize with each other to give the build its effectiveness, and what other options exist for the same build.

 As an aside, what do you folks make of the Huntmaster level 20 Daily? Its [3]W+Str+immobilize and the second sentence of the hit line says: "During your next turn, you can use  this power against the target again." So as long as you don't miss (1/2 damage when you do) you can just keep using it over and over again, and since the path gives you a +2 bonus to attack rolls vs your quarry it seems to me like it has potential.
Unappealing, to be honest. Twin Strike out-damages a 3[W] attack in its sleep.

Well, boys, good news: I finally have a copy of Martial Power 2 to call my own, so expect reviews in the near future! So far, I'm liking some of the powers, but the Paragon Paths mostly make me shake my head in disappointment.
The Shifter one makes me happy. It's like Pit Fighter, with bad powers, and +2 to hit.

Except when not bloodied, then it's just nothing.

That Shifter PP could probably work for a nova round with battlecrazed weapons, and since the +Wis to attacks on an AP isn't limited to Standard Actions, you would basically be trading half your level in damage for your standard actions for +2 to hit (I wonder how it would compare to LDB's Pitfighter build, nova-wise). Other than that though, it's not that great (the fact that the +wis isn't always on hurts it a lot)

Anxious to know your take on all the new options (I'll be reviewing them myself today, but your insight when it comes to rangers is beyond me Tongue out)

I re-rated the class features. Powers coming soon!

I just wanted to say that your section "Power Source and Role: Your Place in the Hunt" is a fantastic, short read thats great for any beginner looking to learn more about what makes their class tick. All guides should include such a clear and concise section.

While there are indeed some pretty good options for rangers in this book (Circling Cascade, for example, finally gives melee rangers a decent option for a level 25 daily), they seem to be cutting back on the rangers multiattacking capabilities. The only minor action attack for rangers is Quick Throw, and that one doesn't allow for any focus fire, which is disappointing.

Also, aren't powers like Aid the Beast (which would stack with Quick Beast Command) enough to get it into a baseline rating, at least if you went for the Vadalis PP?

Question about reading powers.  When a power has Target: One or two creatures.  If you choose to target only one creature do you get to make two attacks against and have a chance to hit twice? For example the new Level 1 Daily Isolation Strike.
 
In the Player's Handbook powers that had the option of targeting one or two creatures, included the words two attacks in the attack line to make it clear that you got to attack twice even if you choose to attack only one creature. Example Level 7 Encounter Claws of the Griffon/

I think that regardless of if you attack one or two creatures you get to make two attacks but I would like to be sure that I am reading the powers correct.
Looking at that power (Isolation Strike), I would say that you don't get to make two attacks against the same creature. 
Looking at that power (Isolation Strike), I would say that you don't get to make two attacks against the same creature. 



Well if that is correct then that really hurts a lot of the new Ranger exploits, IMHO.  I prefer for my ranger to focus on his query multi-target power don't interest me, however multi-shots on the same target is the ranger's bread and butter.

Either way I wish WotC would have written the exploits to be less ambiguous.
It has to do with a change they made in how they write multiple attack powers. Notice that now every attack power gets an "Effect: Repeat this attack X times", or a line for every attack, whereas before they crammed everything into one line, which is actually more ambiguous. Trouble is, they changed the format and told no one.

And no, Sn0wm4n, the nifty Beast Utilities and feats are not enough to keep Beast Mastery from being Purple. As it turns out, Prime Shot and Running Attack are cool, and to boot, the attack powers simply do not function as intended. That's grounds for putting them at the bottom of the effectiveness totem pole if you ask me.
It should be noted that the Marauder Fighting Style is superior in most respects to the Two-Blade Fighting Style for a ranger who intends on wielding off-hand weapons, such as a ranger/rogue/Daggermaster. Additionally, the Hunter Fighting style can be used by a longtooth shifter ranger to sheathe her main weapon(s) as a free action, draw out a Blood Fury Weapon as a free action, activate it using a minor action, invoke her Longtooth Shifting as a minor action, sheathe it as a free action, and then draw her main weapon(s) using a free action; this gives some use to a melee ranger, at least.

Also, this video should prove quite inspirational for one who intends on creating a two-weapon ranger. Halfway through, the demonstrator's fighting style switches to two blades akimbo, and a series of deft, peerless maneuvers are showcased.
It's too bad really, since a beast companion used to be such an iconic part of the ranger in previous editions. Ah well, I always did enjoy the dual-wielding aspect more anyway (still, it's a pity they made beastmasters that bad...)

Adslahnit, I guess you could say that the demonstrator's prowess has left me...speechless.

Edit: post corrected. Thanks to Ryan_king for noticing it. 
It's too bad really, since a beast companion used to be such an iconic part of the ranger in previous editions. Ah well, I always did enjoy the dual-wielding aspect more anyway (still, it's a pity they made it that bad...)

Adslahnit, I guess you could say that the demonstrator's prowess has left me...speechless.



how did they make duel-wielding bad.  do you mean outside rangers trying to duel wield?