Harrying Your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook

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Harrying Your Prey the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook

 

 

 

Hunters: Our arrows shall blot out the sun.  Fancy fighting blind?

 

 

So, you want to be a Hunter?  Spend your life in the wilderness, tracking game, running down beasts and men alike?  You'll want to listen close and learn well, young one.  The life of a Hunter can be hard, but the rewards are great.

 

 

Selling points: why you would want to play a Hunter

 

 

Weapon-using controllers aren't common, and those there are, are poorly supported.  Playing a Hunter lets you access broad support from both Martial and Primal sources, as well as that available to your parent class, the hugely-well-supported Ranger.

 

 

Accuracy: like many of the Essentials classes, the Hunter is extremely accurate.  Built-in Expertise, Weapon Talent, and +3 proficiency weapons allow you to hit often, with a number of your at-will stances boosting this even further.  With the right options and combat situations, you could be hitting on a natural 2.  And no-one likes missing.

 

 

Single-target control: your at-will control options are all single-target save for Rapid Shot which is good for minion-clearance and not a lot else.  As a single target controller, you're very strong, but the downside is that out of the box, your multi-target and battlefield control is weak.  But against single targets, you're solid.  You can slow, slide and knock prone at-will from first level, and your encounter power dazes or immobilises, and slows on a miss.  A number of utilities can net you a little more mass-control, but you'll never be a Wizard or Invoker.

 

 

Damage: perhaps unsurprisingly, as a class based on the Ranger you're not bad at putting down damage to single targets, and picking the right options can get you miss effects on your at-will attacks for more.  You'll never be a primary striker, due to your complete lack, out of the box, of anything over 1[W] in damage, but your single-target damage is not to be discounted for its reliability.

 

 

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.
Green -  A difficult option to rate - mostly flavour, usually.  Particularly used for non-optional choices, class features etc.

 

 

This Handbook covers the following sources:

 

 

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AP - Arcane Power

 

 

AV - Adventurer's Vault

 

 

AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2

 

 

D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX

 

 

DMA 2009 - Dragon Magazine Annual 2009

 

 

DP - Divine Power

 

 

DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting

 

 

FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide

 

 

HotFK - Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms

 

 

HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands

 

 

HoS - Heroes of Shadow

 

 

MM - Monster Manual

 

 

MM 2 - Monster Manual 2

 

 

MOTP - Manual of the Planes

 

 

MP - Martial Power

 

 

MP 2 - Martial Power 2

 

 

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:

 

 

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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 Tofu™.

 

 

E-class - Refers to the class design for Martial characters introduced in the Essentials product line, which usually focuses on basic attacks and has limited options for Encounter or Daily resources.

 

 

ED - Epic destiny.

 

 

HP - Hit points.

 

 

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.

 

 

UEONT - Until End Of Next Turn

 

 

 

 

References:

 

 

 

 

Major credits to LordDuskBlade, from whose excellent Ranger's guide I am appropriating a LOT of relevant material.  Thanks LDB.

 

 

 

Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Power Source and Role: Powering your Pursuit


You fill a position long since left empty, that of Martial Controller, though you also draw on the Primal power source.  You also fill a rare position of ranged weapon-using controller, previously only occupied by the Seeker.  As a Controller your primary job is to annoy your enemies - inhibiting their movement and attacks, frustrating their tactics and controlling their position.  You're also good at sweeping up minions.  Your secondary role, without a doubt, is Striker.  You're built from a Striker base, most of your powers are single-target, and you can put out a respectable and reliable, if not vast, amount of damage to those targets.  You're weaker at what most will see as the traditional Controller role - area effects and large-scale battlefield control.

Burst/Nova/Spike Damage - Not your forte.  You don't have any dailies, you have one encounter power (albeit with multiple uses at higher levels) which is still only 1[W], and very few minor and off-turn attacks will be available to you without heavy investment or very specific choices.

Damage Per Round (DPR) - You're solid at this, but not the best.  High accuracy and good support makes this blue, but you need to pay some attention to it to keep it that way.

Debilitating Effects - At-will slow, prone and slide, encounter immobilise or daze, with slowing on miss, later pushing or splash damage, and blinding also enter the equation.  This is just blue out of the box, due to the fact that, unlike most controllers, it's mostly single-target.  Improves with feat and item support, plus particular racial and weapon choices can really enhance this area, so it doesn't take much to push it up to light blue.

Survivability - You have low HP and relatively low defences.  You do your work at range, almost exclusively.  You gain protection against OAs and a number of mobility features as you level, but this will never be your strong suit.  See those big scary melee monsters over there?  Stay.  Away.

Targeting Capacity - If it's in range, you can attack it.  If you attack it, you stand a very good chance of hitting it.  You will usually be able to put down the effects you need to, when you need to.  The only slight irritant is that your one at-will multi-attack is not an area attack at all, but a strange pseudo-area attack with all the penalties and more, and none of the benefits.

Secondary Role Effectiveness:


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Striker - You're built off a Ranger base, and mostly single-target.  Striking could be argued to be a second primary - although your damage will never be up with primary strikers, you keep key enemies out of the fight, and that's what striking is about.

Defender - You're never going to hold the line in melee, but single-target control is arguably one of a defender's roles.  If you can keep a powerful mob from attacking your allies, you could be argued to be defending - specific builds can even pick up a means of marking.  But you're never going to go the whole way and start taking hits for your friends.

Leader - curiously, you do have at least one leader power in Healing Lore, the level 6 Utility.  But quite why you'd take it in favour of an area-burst zone control power, I'm not sure.  Leader is not something you're ever going to be good at.



Baseline Mechanics: How the Hunter works


Like many E-class characters, you rely almost exclusively on a single stat - DEX.  WIS is your secondary, but you don't need a lot of it (indeed, picking the right powers, it's not even a necessary secondary, beyond at least one point of modifier), meaning you can spread your stats around to give yourself a little extra toughness, and arrange for feat qualification at appropriate points without worrying.

You're a pretty standard Controller otherwise in terms of baseline mechanics, save for a good set of weapon proficiencies.  It's almost a shame, really, that you're only ever likely to use one of two primary weapon types to any great extent.

I'll deal with class features in a separate post, since like many E-class characters, you get quite a lot of them, and choices of them later in your career.

Game Mechanics


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Hit Points - 12 + Con score at level 1, and 5 each level thereafter. Standard for your role, and you can afford to bump CON a little to raise it.  But you'd be better picking one of the backgrounds that let you use DEX instead.

Healing Surges - 6 + CON modifier.  Again, standard for your role.  Again, you can afford the build points in CON to raise it.

Defense Bonuses - +1 to Fortitude and Reflex. A nice set of additional defences.  Your FORT is likely to be your lowest, too.  Your REFLEX really didn't need the attention, but this is inherited from your base class.

Proficiencies


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Armor - You get up to Leather armor, and no shields.  You're squishy, live with it.  You won't find it hard to qualify for better, though, and you COULD use one-handed crossbows and a Light Shield.  There's a very competitive PP (D394, Ocular Adept) which frees your hands to carry defence-boosting shields and magic weapons, too.

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 (and Slayer and Knight), Scout,  and your base class.  Again, it almost seems a shame you're only ever likely to use bows or crossbows.




Skills: Talent for the Hunt


NB: This section is copied almost verbatim from LDB's Ranger's guide.  You get the same choices, and mostly the same stats.  Can't go wrong following a master.

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


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Acrobatics - A very useful skill, that can combine well with Athletics to make you one of the slipperiest characters in the business.  You'll always be good at this regardless of whether you train it thanks to your Dexterity, but you have to be trained for certain tricks, so this is a difficult pick to argue against.

Athletics - As mentioned above, this combines with Acrobatics to make you almost immune to any movement-related business your DM may have for you.  You have some class features and utilities that mesh with climbing, so this is a solid choice.  Blue because it doesn't key off a primary.

Dungeoneering - You have to pick either this or Nature, but you won't get complaints from me; you'll probably be boosting Wisdom a good deal anyway, and knowledge is useful.  Dungeoneering, in particular, jives with the flavour of Ocular Adept.

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, but one you may want to retrain when you get to the stage when you can stabilise the dying without a check (DC 15).

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.  Note that multiclassing to Seeker is a very competitive option, and it provides Nature training - of the two Dungeoneering is probably the better to train at the start.

Perception - This may be the best 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.  You'll be very good at it.


Recommended Non-Class Skills


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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).  Keys off your primary.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Ability Scores: Stats of the Stalker


Dexterity is your primary ability.  Start with a post-racial 20 and boost it at every opportunity.  Wisdom is your secondary ability, but has few calls on it, so you don't need it to be hugely high.  Balance out the rest of your abilities to ensure feat qualification and good defences later.  A good starting array is 12, 12, 18, 8, 12, 10 with bonuses to DEX and WIS, or put 14 in WIS if you have a bonus elsewhere.

Strength: You're not going to be using it except in niche cases, so for most this is a tertiary stat.  But worth keeping reasonably high for feat qualification.  Note that your powers will all work with Heavy Thrown weapons, so some more esoteric builds might work with Strength as a primary.  This guide is not written with them in mind, though.
Recommended start: 10-14 before racial adjustments.

Constitution: Again, a tertiary stat useful for feat qualification and ameliorating your squishiness.
Recommended start: 10-14 before racial adjustments.

Dexterity: Undisputed primary stat for almost all builds due to your reliance on RBAs, not to mention the fact that your Encounter power keys off it.  Start with an 18 and pick a race with +DEX.  It will only help.
Recommended start: 18 before racial adjustments.

Intelligence: With your Dexterity, totally unnecessary.  You might conceivably want it for some feat qualification, but it's doubtful.  Dump it.
Recommended start: 8-12 before racial adjustments.

Wisdom: Secondary stat, albeit not that well-used.  Used by one of your class features, Reactive Shift L5, but every other use is optional - for this power you'll want at least a +1 mod here, if not a +2, but you don't really need more unless threatening reach or auras are a common problem.  Keep it reasonably high.  Some niche Half-Elf builds will use this as a dual primary.
Recommended start: 12-14 before racial adjustments.

Charisma: Your other dump stat.  You're not a social animal, unless you want to be for feat qualification.
Recommended start: 8-12 before racial adjustments.

Races: The Lucky Few


Since Dexterity is such an important stat to Hunters, a race has to work very hard to get above black if it does not get +DEX in its racial bumps.  You can manage without it, particularly if you have Wisdom, but really, you need that Dexterity, with only one exception.  Some races stand out enough to be very nearly gold here, and those three should be the first that you look at.

The best races (or, in other words, the ones that get +2DEX/+2WIS), in some sort of vague order of goodness:
Elf
Githzerai
Drow
Shadar-kai
Wilden
Razorclaw Shifter
Thri-kreen
Bladeling

Also worthy of special mention is the Half-Elf (or Revenant/Half-Elf Soul).  It's not even black if you use only the Essentials options, but it climbs to blue or sky-blue using the right Dilettante choices.  These can provide very, very strong builds as detailed later, with much greater control coming from one of the many at-will options from other classes which can be used as RBAs.  The slight downside is MAD, because your Dilettante abilities will work off either CON, WIS or CHA, whilst your Encounter power (and possibly your PP powers as well) will work off DEX.

After the release of essentialised flex-stats for all the player races (well, except the Gnoll, poor Gnoll), two ratings have changed.  Goliaths have gone up to black, whilst Shadar-Kai have joined the elite who have both DEX/WIS and good feats, and are now top tier.

Races - Player's Handbook


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Dragonborn - Extra CON is nice, extra surge value is nice.  But no DEX and no WIS?  No thanks.

Dwarf - Bonuses to WIS and CON make Dwarves black - minor-action 2nd Wind is less useful than for many classes thanks to Invigorating Stride at L2.  You could do worse, but you could do a lot better.

Eladrin - +DEX alone makes them blue, but they lack a good secondary ability bump.  Extra mobility is nice, particularly with the feat support, as is +1 Will, but overall, you could do better.  They are, however, particularly good for thrown spear users.

Elf - Perhaps unsurprsingly, the quintessential Archer Ranger is among the strongest candidates for a Hunter, too.  What's not to like?  Close to gold, along with Githzerai and Drow.

Half-Elf - The only race to make it past black without +DEX - they get up to light blue depending on what you do with Dilettante.  Dilettante lets you sample from other ranged-weapon RBAs to dramatically enhance your control.  Seeker is where you'll want to look, since you need weapon-based RBAs, and they have the only ones you can use without multiclassing to get a weapliment, and even then, it's iffy whether RAW would allow you to use them with Expert Archery.  More on Dilettante options below:
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Grappling Spirits (target slowed/can't shift until end of its next turn) and Biting Swarm (target and adjacent enemies -2 to hit) can both be used as RBAs, and therefore play nicely with your Expert Archer powers.  This can make Rapid Shot good - especially Biting Swarm, which gives you the potential for an ally-friendly burst 2 full of enemies taking a hit penalty).  You'll probably want to keep WIS high if you do go this route, since you may well not end up using DEX for any of your at-wills.  Guardian Harrier might also be considered for the thrown-weapon users amongst you, but its effects aren't as useful.  You could pick a Revenant to get the same effects and still have +DEX, but then you lose the WIS bump which helps your accuracy for the powers.  It's a toss-up.

If you can persuade your DM that 'ranged basic attack with a weapon' includes 'implement RBA using a weapon as an implement' then your options increase a bit (note that, as discussed later on in the thread, CS supports this interpretation).  Almost all of these options are Arcane or Divine, so worship Sehanine and grab Moonbow Dedicate(must worship Sehanine and use shortbow), or MC Sorcerer or Swordmage (Monk or Assassin might also work, depending on how you interpret their implements) to use a thrown weapon, or anyone with Staves if you're not too concerned about MID.  The poor stat synergy for everything apart from Avenging Shackles and Divine Bolts makes this less appealing, however (though you can of course pick Adept Dilettante, but beware that this limits your implement choices severely), but Avenging Shackles requires OoE, which you can only get 1/Enc, for 1 turn, from MCing, and getting Divine Bolts is very complicated.  The difficulties noted above make Seeker an overall MUCH more attractive option, and makes it impossible to rate any of these more than black.  Pick something from:
Avenger(WIS) Avenging Shackles (Radiant, vs Will, slows if OoE target)
Invoker(WIS) Divine Bolts (Lightning, vs Reflex, two creatures, only works with Power of Skill, so you'll have to persuade your DM to let you worship both Sehanine  AND Corellon (or add Skill domain to Sehanine), or use a weapliment gained from multiclassing for this power - VERY nice for Clever and Aimed Shot, but how it might interact with Rapid Shot is a little unclear - You can only target creatures in the burst, but if there were more than one, could you attack each one twice with this power?  CS interpretation is no - the targetting information from Rapid Shot overrides the normal target line from Divine Bolts.  Or Sun Strike (Radiant, vs Reflex, Slide 1, doesn't require any other tricks to qualify, except the Weaplement), or Avenging Light (Radiant, vs Fortitude, deals extra damage if a bloodied ally is adjacent)
Psion (INT) Kinetic Trawl unaugmented (Force, vs Reflex, pull 1, can't be used with moonbow Dedicate, can only be used with Staffs if you also want Adept Dilettante) or Mind Thrust unaugmented (Psychic, vs Will)
Sorcerer(CHA): Dragonfrost (Cold, vs Reflex, push 1) or Acid Orb (Acid, vs Reflex)
Warlock(CHA/CON): Eldritch Blast (vs Reflex, CHA or CON) or Eldritch Bolt (Force, vs Reflex, CHA)
Wizard (INT): Magic Missile (Force, autodamage, no hit, so no good for Clever Shot; and Aimed Shot is pretty much invalidated - but improves Rapid Shot quite a lot for minion clearance),


Halfling - Limited weapon options hurt you badly here.  No Greatbow, no Superior Crossbow.  No Longbow, no Crossbow.  You're basically stuck with Shortbow or Hand Crossbow, which sucks for your DPR, unless you want to go for something more exotic, which can work.  Hand Crossbow means you can have a Light Shield or Shielding/Master's Blade Wrist Razors in the off-hand though, which just keeps them in blue if you're not concerned about your damage potential.  The Halfling Short Bow Hunter feat is gold for you if you do chose this, and brings your weapon selection up to par with the normal minimum for Bow Hunters.  Still nothing Superior, though.

Human - As with most of the E-classes, your lack of need for a strong secondary makes this a very solid choice.  Extra defences really help you, heroic effort is solid, but you're probably better off with the bonus at-will.  Pick up Twin Strike.  It outperforms Rapid Shot in many, if not most, circumstances, unless your DM is kind enough to regularly cluster more than two enemies inside a burst 1 range. Can just edge down into blue if you need a big spread of stats for feat qualification.

Tiefling - There's nothing to sell this race to you, really.


Races - Player's Handbook 2


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Deva - Solid racials and +WIS make this black, but it's not enough to push it higher.

Gnome - Halfling, but without the good stat bumps and feat support.  Slightly better for the new score bumps from D397, but the lack of a +3 proficiency weapon still hurts, and there are still far, far better races.

Goliath - Extra Will will never hurt you, but other than that there's little to recommend here.  Goliaths should not be in the back line wielding bows.  Better with +WIS, but still not brilliant.

Half-Orc - +DEX alone makes this blue, but the rest of the support lends itself far more to a melee character.  You could do worse, but you could definitely do better.  CON is a better secondary bump than STR, but it's still not enough to push the race higher.

Shifter, Longtooth - +WIS is OK, but there's little else here for you.  If you want to be a Shifter, be a Razorclaw.

Shifter, Razorclaw - Perfect stat bumps for you, and mobility when you most need it, but the lack of support really hurts.  As such, only makes blue.



Races - Player's Handbook 3


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Githzerai - Perfect stats and a solid bump to your otherwise iffy toughness.  Add extra initiative, shifting after second wind (and free action second wind with massive mobility at Epic with the right feats) and a racial bonus to saves against the worst conditions.  Close to gold, along with Elf and Drow.

Minotaur - +WIS, good.  Extra surge good.  Everything else is melee.  No.

Shardmind - +WIS is the only thing they have to sell.  No.

Wilden - Perfect stats, shoring up your weaker defences, choice of three solid encounter powers and useful skill bonuses.  Not a lot more you could want, except better feat support.


Races - Other Rulebooks


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Bladeling (MOTP) - Perfect stats, but poor support and a melee encounter power.  Only blue, since there are much better options.

Changeling (EPG) - +DEX is blue, but the rest isn't so useful, so only just.  Changelings really lend themselves to social skills, and CHA is a dump stat.  You could make it work, but you're probably better off looking elsewhere.

Drow (FRPG) - A very strong pick with perfect stats, reasonable skill bonuses and a nice controllery encounter power in Darkfire, or basically giving you Hidden each encounter with Cloud of Darkness.  Getting the Drow Long Knife easily also makes them potentially strong for thrown builds, as they have a lot of support for hand crossbows (meaning that expertise doesn't go to waste), and the DLK is the only heavy blade you can throw without specific enchantments is a very useful tool for those builds.  A top option, close to gold along with Elf and Githzerai.

Genasi (FRPG) - You can have a lot of fun with elemental manifestations, but other than that, there's nothing to sell them to you.  No better after their essentialisation.

Kalashtar (EPG) - +WIS is good.  Nothing much else to see here, even after essentialisation.

Mul (DSCS) - See Dwarf, but the encounter power is more useful in light of Invigorating Stride, and you can get a few extra, very handy, feats.  Still black, though, for lack of DEX.

Shade (HoS) - The penalty to your number of surges is simply not worth the rest.  Shame, because free Stealth training is a nice benefit for you, as is Darkvision, and some of the racial utilities aren't awful (indeed, some of them are very nice powers).  But the surge penalty, poor second stat bumps, and unbelievably useless racial power leave these guys languishing at purple.  Just play a Drow or Shadar-kai, they're better all-round.

Thri-Kreen (DSCS) - More suited to close combat with its encounter power - but if you do want to mix it up in melee before you get to Paragon and can take a PP that enables it one way or another, this is a very good option, since you can swap weapons as a minor.  Awful feat support though.  Four feats only, although they're all pretty useful.

Vryloka (HoS) - Something of a rollercoaster race.  The power is very nice, the surge penalty is not.  The skill bonuses are among the best, Living Dead has some potential rules issues.  The main drag of the race is that the secondary ability bump is in the wrong place.  The racial utilities are pretty nice, but not special enough to merit light blue.  Only the 22nd level power Crimson Death is really tempting, allowing you to hand out ongoing damage like candy with Rapid Shot.

Warforged (EPG) - No.  Warforged are not made to be Hunters.  Something about robots in the wilderness just doesn't work.  There's the stat issues, too...  Being able to bolt crossbows onto your shoulders/arms is a plus for this race which might edge them up towards black.


Races - Dragon Magazine


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Gnoll (D 367) - DEX/CON is solid for you, though WIS would be a better second bump.  Most of the support is melee oriented though.  You could do better.

Revenant (D 376/HoS) - Solid stats and you can poach other races' support.  Good choice, particularly if you want to annoy your DM by being a good deal harder to put down than you look.  Half-elf soul is a particularly nice choice to get those Seeker weapon RBAs, but the lack of a WIS bump hurts that option a bit, requiring you to spend another feat getting the accuracy back.  No change from essentialisation.  The Heroes of Shadow updates made the Revenant even stronger when below 0, in combination with Superior Will.  Still a VERY good choice, particularly in light of the fact that Past Soul doesn't appear to remove the prvious racial Soul feats, so Dilettante is still an option.

Shadar-Kai (D 372) - About the same as Eladrin, though the shorter range on the teleportation racial power is less useful.  DEX/WIS after essentialisation, so these guys join the near-gold elite thanks to very solid racial support.



Races - Monster Manuals:


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Bugbear (MM) - +DEX is good, +STR could be better.  Oversized in addition to the racial power is good for adding a bit of extra damage, but not ideal for a controller.  A reasonable pick for a more strikery focus, if your DM lets you take monster races.

Bullywug (MM 2) - Very situational.  Good stat bumps make it blue, lack of support and no racial encounter power drops it to black again.  A terrain walk is nice if you see the terrain type a lot, but useless if not, and the aura requires you to be close to your targets, which you shouldn't be.

Doppelganger (MM) - No.  Just no.  Play a Changeling.

Duergar (MM 2) - Be a dwarf except weaker, with less support, and you can shoot bits of your beard.  Blaaaah.

Githyanki (MM) - +2 initiative is nice, everything else is not.  No.

Goblin (MM) - Just reflavour a Halfling.  They have the same stat bumps, more feat support, and you can pick up similar free shifts from your stances anyway.  Plus, being small sucks.

Hobgoblin (MM) - Extra initiative and an immediate interrupt autosave are promising, but the stats are in the wrong place.  Look elsewhere.

Kenku (MM 2) - +DEX is good, but you're not likely to be flanking or bluffing, so the racials are more-or-less useless.  Look elsewhere.

Kobold (MM) - Shift as a minor is good, but as for the goblin, you can pick up similar (indeed, better) effects from your stances.  Not perfect stat bumps either.  +DEX gets it blue, small knocks it back down to black.

Orc (MM) - Self-healing is a plus, everything else is useless.  Look elsewhere.  Reflavour a half-orc if you simply must have WAAAAGH.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Class Features: the Secrets of the Trapper's Trade


Overall, the Hunter has some nice front-loaded features, but the goodness tails off a little through Paragon, and quite a lot through Epic, leaving it feeling a little flat towards the end.  No absolutely dire options, though, albeit Rapid Shot comes close.

Archery Style:


Pick a type of bow.  You get that Expertise feat.  Crossbow also gets you load free for all crossbows, so essentially gives you Speed Loader as well.  You also get a number of extra effects through your career based on the choice you make here.
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Crossbow Hunter: A bit of extra accuracy from ignoring cover from the Expertise.  Some extra single-target control as you level.  The only way you have to get a +3 proficiency bow.  Of the two options, I rate Crossbow Hunter more highly, because it essentialy gets you two bonus feats, enhances your control and lets you use the Superior Crossbow, load free.
Bow Hunter: A bit of extra damage to isolated targets from the Expertise.  Some extra splash damage as you level really enhances your Disruptive Shot.


Expert Archer powers:


These are your at-will powers, and they're pretty nice to have.  You get miss effects for them if you take the Peerless Hunter PP.
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Aimed Shot: Quite situational - as high as purple for Bow Hunters or thrown weapon users who face cover and concealment a lot.  Lower for Crossbow Hunters who already ignore cover thanks to their Expertise - and how often are your enemies totally concealed anyway (particularly given that after L27, you can't be Blinded)?  You're almost always better off with Clever Shot.
Clever Shot: Your at-will control option.  You're likely to be using this most turns, particularly if you've run out of Disruptive Shots.  Slows (save ends), slides 2 or knocks prone.  Very useful.  Excellent feat support on top.
Rapid Shot: Your only multi-attack until you choose a PP.  It's a shame it's a little crappy.  Effectively a burst 1 except lacking the cover- and concealment-ignoring benefits, and with a built-in penalty to hit (albeit this can be ameliorated using stances).  Not party-friendly.  Minion clearance only, unless you have some way to get control built into your RBA (Half-Elf/Revenant Half-Elf Soul Dilettante for a Seeker at-will, probably, or weapon enchantments), in which case it becomes more attractiveTwin Strike is better in most situations, for the Humans amongst you.  It does use your RBA, which is a plus since you'll almost certainly be tweaking the heck out of it even without Dilettante.  Note that, if you can mitigate or not worry about the attack penalty, and tweak out even a basic RBA with enough damage and potential effects, this can provide solid soft control - you might not be hitting the enemy with it, but it'll certainly persuade the mobs, once they've seen it happen once, not to cluster up, making it easier for the group to focus fire.


Other Class Features:


There are a bunch of other goodies available to you, about which you get no choice.  Most of them are solid, but you career stands to get perhaps a little more boring as you head into Epic due to the lack of variety.
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Disruptive Shot: Your standard E-class encounter power.  Immobilise and daze are strong conditions, and slowed UEONT & half damage on a miss is a solid effect, and good for your DPR.  More uses as you level, gains some additional effects at L13 - Blinded UEONT is added to the list of possible conditions, and you get some extras based on your choice of weapon (and probably intended to be based on your Archery Style choice - I've suggested an erratum to that effect) - Crossbow gives you push 3, Bow gives you WIS mod automatic splash damage, making this potentially much more useful than Rapid Shot.  A solid power, more about control than damage.  Doesn't use your RBA, so you thrown weapon types might want to keep a mundane bow/crossbow around for this, with enough magic ammunition for the number of DSs you get per day.
Extra uses: L3 & L7.  Also at L11 if you choose Peerless Hunter as your PP.

Hunter Weapon Talent: +1 untyped to all weapon attacks.  Yes please.  Note that this also includes melee attacks should you ever be caught short.

Hunter Weapon Mastery: +1 untyped to all weapon damage rolls per tier at L5, L15 and L25.  Again, yes please.  Again, note that this includes melee attacks.  But damage isn't your job unless you're concentrating on striking, so less obviously useful than Weapon Talent

Reactive Shift: L5 Encounter Utility.  Free shift up to your WIS mod when an enemy ends its turn adjacent.  Shame you'll have already taken any damage by then.  You can get better powers from your utilities.

Close Combat Archery: L9 feature.  Never provoke OAs for ranged attacks.  Handy to have, particularly if you want to move into melee.

Peerless Perception: L23 feature.  Roll twice for Perception checks.  Nice, but some more attack-related options might have been better.

Resolute Hunter: L27 feature.  Cannot be Blinded.  OK, pretty handy.

Epic Accuracy: L29 feature.  Extra range on all your ranged weapons.  Stackable with Far Shot and has synergy with Distant Shot or Seeking Falcon stance(you don't need both), should you so wish.  Makes Greatbow Hunters totally and utterly untouchable on big enough fields , and other Hunters almost as much so, but most useful for thrown weapon builds.  A reasonable capstone.


Aspects of the Wild: The Stalker's Stances


You gain two Aspects of the Wild at L1, and one more at L7 and L17 for a total of 4 throughout your career.  Pouncing Lynx is the most useful, and the only one I'm rating gold, but there are a lot of good options here.
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Cunning Fox: Half damage from attacks against you on your turn, plus free shift 2 after making a melee or ranged attack.  OK, but not great, since you never provoke for ranged attacks after level 9 anyway, and Pouncing Lynx is better against movement-related OAs, as is Pack Wolf.  Certain monsters will make this more useful, but it's very situational.  If you do take it, you'd be wise to retrain after level 9.  Worth noting if you feel like getting dice thrown at you by your DM that you can use this to shift 2 after each attack from Rapid Shot, potentially letting you shift EIGHTEEN in one turn if there are 9 creatures in a burst 1 (or even more if they fly - all highly unlikely, of course) - note also that this does apply to OAs you make.

Dancing Serpent: The conditions for the bonus are easy to meet, and you can use this to dodge outside of a piece of cover, have your turn, and dodge back in to maintain Stealth if that's your bag.  Very useful, close to gold.

Lone Wolf: Bonus to attack vs bloodied, and locate hidden bloodied enemies.  The former condition is easy to meet and the bonus is big.  The latter is a little more situational, but very useful if it does come up.  Very solid.

Lurking Spider: Tier-scaling damage bonus with CA (but damage really isn't your main job), and bonuses to some useful skill checks.  Nice synergy with the Moutain Guide knack, but not hugely useful on its own.  You could do worse, and it's definitely a good pick it if you find yourself climbing a lot, particularly if the rest of the party are less skilled in this area.  Similarly, you can do a lot with Stealth, so that extra +2 is competitive.  With your Dex, though, you'll never exactly be bad at hiding.

Pack Wolf: OA protection when moving away from allies, attack and tier-scaling damage bonuses based on the number of allies adjacent to the target.  OK, particularly against targets in a big melee.  A bit party-dependent though.

Pouncing Lynx: +4 Initiative (stacks with Improved Initiative), +2 to attack rolls in the first turn.  WIS mod defences against OAs from moving is just icing.  Probably the best of the Aspects of the Wild for the Hunter.  You'll need to make sure you tell your DM you're assuming this stance if you think a combat might be coming up though - or work out with him to assume you're always in this stance out of combat unless you specify otherwise.  With one of the many feats getting you CA (probably Superior Reflexes), it's likely that only a 1 will let you miss on the first turn.  And you'll probably be going first.  This one is a must.

Regal Lion: Big accuracy and solid defence boost against Large+ creatures.  A good pick for a later choice, but depending on the campaign and party, there might be better ones.

Seeking Falcon: Ignoring the Long Range penalty is a good thing to have, and could save you a valuable feat slot, particularly if you're building for thrown weapons rather than bows/crossbows.  Extra speed is handy, and extra perception never goes amiss.  Reasonably strong choice, but most of you can do better.


Wilderness Knacks: The Trapper's Tricks:


These are extra bonuses with some applications in combat, but mostly in skill challenges and role play.  There are some odd elements to them, and I'd give the feature as a whole a green rating.  You get two at L1, one each at L4 and L8 for a total of four out of the five options throughout your career.
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Ambush Expertise: Boost the party's stealth checks.  Useful for skill challenges, and other sneaky party members.

Beast Empathy: Walk with the animals, talk with the animals, grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals.  Very situational.  The intimidate bonus is nice, but your intimidate skill is likely to suck, so you're probably not likely to be scaring any bloodied enemies off anyway, +2 or no +2.  The role-playing bonuses could be useful, and are very flavourful - and in the right campaign, with a forgiving DM, have a lot to offer you.  But stronger picks exist.

Mountain Guide: Help the party climb.  Nice synergy with Aspect of the Lurking Spider, and a worthwhile pick if you wind up climbing a lotNot much use if you don't, obviously, or if the party as a whole is good at it.

Watchful Rest: No penalty to perception whilst sleeping for the whole party.  Usefulness varies depending on the likelihood you'll be attacked during an Extended Rest, so it goes from light blue all the way down to red depending on your campaign.

Wilderness Tracker: A minor increase in what you can do with Perception, DC set by the DM.  Could be useful, but like most of these choices, flavourful but very situational.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Utility Powers: the Poacher's Prowess


You gain utilities at all the normal levels - some of them are a bit more leader-y than you might expect, with various ally buffs and a minor-action heal available.  But the real goodies for your control are various zone powers.  You also have access to all of the Ranger's utilities and class skill powers, but I'll tend to pick out only the choices that are competetive with your Hunter-specific utilities, to avoid massive splurges of red.  If you're less concerned about your control options, there are a lot of mobility and self-reliance improving powers available.  Unfortunately, almost all of the Hunter-specific powers are Dailies, and therefore area control options remain very limited, which is a bit of a drag.  You can also poach the Scout's utilities, since they go into the general Ranger pool for their level.

The major things to avoid, in general, are stances, because you already have plenty, and you can only use one at a time (unless you get a Master's Blade somehow, but even then, you're likely better off combining two of your at-will stances).

Level 2:


Prime pick for your here is the Ranger utility, Invigorating Stride.  Extra shifts are likely to be most useful to you when you need to spend your Second Wind, can be extended by feats and/or racial support, and it's a key power to downgrade from a standard action.  You do have some control options here too, but you'll be better off picking them up later.
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Hunter:
Bridge of Roots: Enable movement over hindering, difficult and impassable terrain for your allies.  Very situational.  There are better picks at this level.
Entangling Roots: Creates a zone of difficult terrain for enemies which they cannot charge across.  Good for guarding your squishies, and if you can slow an enemy in the zone's central square, they're pretty much stuffed.  Not being movable makes it far less useful, though.  Good for blocking choke points.
Stalker's Mist: Creates a heavily obscured zone, blocking enemies LoS.  Very useful for stealth effects, particularly in combination with Hidden Sniper and the Shadowdancer's Garb item set.  Movable to stay with the group.  A prime pick for level 6, but Invigorating Stride beats it at level 2.

Ranger:
Archer's Stairway: If you and your party climb a lot, between this, Mountain Guide and Lurking Spider, you shouldn't really struggle with it.  But there are better picks.
Invigorating Stride: Free long-distance shift when you're most likely to need it, and you can downgrade second wind to a move action into the bargain.  And it's an Encounter power?  Yes please.  Probably your best pick at this level.
Safe Passage: Boost to speed and mobility for the whole party.  But it's still tough to beat Invigorating Stride.

Skill:
Agile Recovery: Standing as a minor is a very nice effect, particularly at-will, but there are better options here.  This is well worth picking up if you take the Skill Power feat though.

Level 6:


Best option is probably Thorn Ward, but you might want to go back to level 2 and pick up Entangling Roots or Stalker's Mist instead, or pick one of the Ranger or skill powers at this level.  There's no clear-cut winnner, and a lot of good choices.
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Hunter:
Healing Lore: Um... I'm not entirely sure what this power is doing here.  It's much more suited to a leader.  It's a very good power, save for being a daily, but you're a controller, not a leader.  There are better things for you to be doing.
Leaf Wall: Makes a wall.  Out of leaves.  Gives partial concealment whilst IN the wall, though not, as written, when it's between you and the enemy, and causes enemies in or adjacent to grant CA.  Not too bad, but you can do better.
Thorn Ward: Party-friendly auto-damage zone.  Uses WIS.  Movable.  But only has its effect if the enemy finishes there, so unless you combine it with one of your other attacks (prone enemy, move or cast zone on top, allies stand 1 square away to avoid it charging, for instance), it stands a good chance of not doing anything. 

Ranger:
Arrow of the Savior: If you need it, you'll be glad you have it, but it's probably too situational otherwise.  Nice flavour, though.
Clever Teamwork: You and allies in a burst 5 shift 1 as a move action.  Can get the party out of a tight spot, set up the battlefield, or get you on the way to the enemy in big encounters.
Evade Ambush: Negate surprise as a daily.  You'll want a high WIS mod for this one, as you get to apply it to one ally per point of your mod.
Serpentine Dodge: If you're really in trouble, get yourself out of it, pronto.  Good power.
Step of Morning Mist: Teleport as a move action, get big defence boost (which doesn't stack with your stances).  Meh, you have better options.
Weave through the Fray: What Reactive Shift should have been.  Indeed, the only difference is that this is an interrupt to an enemy moving adjacent, rather than a reaction to an enemy finishing its turn.

Skill:
Deliverance of Faith: The Paladin's Virtue power.  You need to get Religion from somewhere for it, which might be tough for you, but if you can do so, it's a handy thing to have.
Natural Terrain Understanding: Battlefield reorganisation is something you're sorely lacking in, and this is per-encounter, and easy for you to qualify for.
Third Wind: Second Wind, again, once a day?  Very nice in a pinch.
Walk it Off: Save against ongoing damage before it happens.  Good pick.


Level 10:


Hunter's Thorn Trap stands out as a controlling Encounter power, albeit it can only work against one enemy.  There are a few other useful powers also available, but again you might want to check back with lower levels.
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Hunter:
Eyes of the Owl: Darkvision and +2 Perception for the party for an encounter per day.  If you're likely to be in the dark, take sunrods.  Meh.  The Perception bonus is nice, I guess.
Hunter's Thorn Trap: Would be gold if the zone were bigger, and you have to trust your DM not to metagame around it.  But those minor issues aside, this is a very nice power.  Use it to block off enemies from charging you, or close off avenues of advance for melee mobs.  Uses WIS.  You can pick up a similar, and similarly nice, power from Peerless Hunter, your E-class PP - and it has a nice synergy with this power, since it can slide enemies into it.  Note that even if your DM does metagame around it, you have an at-will slide, you can up creatures into it yourself.
Verdant Flames: Thorn Ward with a bit more damage, plus CA and Stealth penalties for enemies.  Not bad, but better options exist at this level.

Ranger:
Defensive Volley: Reduce damage to an ally as an immediate reaction per encounter.  Good power.
Resume the Hunt: Free action move for dropping enemies.  Works with minions.  Not bad.
Root Gate: Very handy in the right situation.  Useless otherwise.  Could be worth your attention.  Worth bearing in mind that for maximum distance on the teleport, you already need to be halfway to the target, because it's a close burst power.

Skill:
Reactive Surge: Spend a surge as a reaction to being bloodied per encounter.  Unless you like staying bloodied, which you might, this is a very handy power to have.


Level 16:


Howling Winds and Wall of Earth are both good control powers, and as usual, there's plenty more to be had from Ranger and skill powers.
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Hunter:
Embrace the Wild: Similar to Eyes of the Owl, but with broader, more useful effects.  The negative is that it's single target.  You're not a leader, you can do better.
Howling Winds: Slide an enemy in a burst 10 WIS mod squares as a free action each turn for an encounter.  Very solid power.
Wall of Earth: Create a big hunk of blocking terrain, and knock prone anyone in its squares when you do so.  Sustainable, with lasting effects once it's done.  Not ally-friendly.  More difficult to work with than some powers, but there's a lot you can do with blocking, damage-proof terrain.

Ranger:
Iron Endurance: Big THP padding once per day.  OK, but you're probably better off with some control.  Note that the level 6 Religion Skill power Deliverance of Faith does this per-encounter, albeit with 10 fewer HP.  If you want this type of ability, that's more likely to be a good place to look, and some of you might even be getting Religion trained from an MC feat.
Word of Warning: More-or-less guarantee that the party will get the drop on the mobs, once per day.  Power bonus, so doesn't stack with Pouncing Lynx, but it's a bigger bonus.  You still want to start in Pouncing Lynx though.

Skill:
Diehard: Stay conscious when below 0, albeit Dazed.  Use the action to Invigorating Stride or Healing Lore, then carry on with your turn.  Great stuff.
Nightshade Draught: Same as Diehard, except you get full actions, but autofail death saves.  Heal, quickly, and use carefully.  Diehard is probably better overall.


Level 22:


Wrath of Root and Soil is your best option here.  It's basically Entangling Roots (L2), but better.
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Hunter:
Veil of Winter: Zone that blocks enemies' LoS.  Meh.  Movable.
Wrath of Root and Soil: Big zone that almost completely locks down movement.  Movable.  Annoyingly the difficult terrain is not party-friendly.  Otherwise good.

Ranger:
Adamant Recovery: Immediate interrupt to prevent unconsciousness is good.
Hit the Dirt: get out of an area or close attack once per day.  Nice.
Safe Stride: Encounter minor-action multi-square shift.  Good choice.
Sharpen the Senses: See the invisible.  Nice.
Speed of the Zephyr: MASSIVE boost to speed for an encounter.  Very solid, but control should be your focus - you don't struggle this much for mobility, especially not as a daily.
Stepping through the Veil: You are invisible until next turn if you end without any enemies next to you for an encounter.
Verdant Silence: Spend a surge to autosave against all save-ends effects on you.  Not bad, shame it's a daily.


Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Feats: The Archer's Aptitudes


There are a number of very competitive feats to enhance your control available.  You avoid the accuracy feat tax most characters suffer with your Archery Style class feature (unless you're using thrown weapons), which reduces the pressure on your feat selection a little bit, though.  Your priority will probably be a Superior weapon (Greatbow or Superior Crossbow), and enhancing your defences will also be very useful.  I won't be talking about anything rated lower than black here, except to occasionally mention things which are outright traps.  Your priorities will be:

Control enhancement: You are a controller, and don't you forget it.  There's a reasonable amount available in this category.  If you can find a way to mark, that could also be very useful, since marking melee mobs from a distance is a very handy thing to do.
Improved defences: You're very squishy.  You want not to be.  Shoring up Will and Fortitude will be important, and grabbing Hide will also be useful once you have been able to put enough into STR and CON to qualify.  As a Primal character, Hide is a good armour type to be in by Epic.  This also takes into account improving your mobility and Stealth, since avoiding attacks is better than relying on them missing.
Accuracy increases: You'll never struggle to hit, but increasing your accuracy in niche cases, particularly against prone targets, is useful, as is getting yourself CA regularly.  You should be able to get many if not most of your attacks to hit on a natural 2 if you tweak this enough.
Damage increases: The best control is deadness, after all.  This will be a higher priority for those focussing on the striker role.  Adding miss damage to your RBA at paragon is particularly nice for your DPR given how much you'll be using it, as are other RBA enhancements in general.
Regaining powers: You dont have many powers to regain, so you get a lot of value out of using them again.  There may be debate about how encounter power ecovery works with Disruptive Shot though.

Class Feats:


You don't get a huge amount of value out of Ranger feats, since most of them require class features you don't get access to.  But here are the few that you might find useful:
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Heroic:
Agile Stand: It's a trap.  Spring Step allows this to work with Agile Recovery, if you took it.
Camouflage: Given how useful Stealth can be to you, this is quite a big boost to get.
Swift Footwork: you can pick up Encounter shifting powers, indeed, you have to have at least one.  Making them better can't hurt.
Paragon:
Elusive Movement: Feat bonus to AC and Reflex for moving about.  Shouldn't be too hard to meet the conditions.  But equally, you'll probably pick up feat bonuses to both AC and Reflex from elsewhere.
Preternatural Senses: Worth a mention because Perception is so useful, but don't forget to retrain it after level 23 if you do take it.

Epic:
Surprise Action: Very useful if you're often able to surprise your enemies, but that condition can sometimes be a bit difficult to fulfil.


Power Source Feats:


Unlike your base class, you get access to two power sources, which goes some way to make up for the dearth of useful class-specific feats.
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Heroic:
Ambush Tactics: useful for the strikers amongst you, particularly given the likelihood that you'll be going first.
Deft Footwork: It'll be some time before most of you can make good use of OAs, so you might as well use the opportunity to escape instead.  All you Peerless Hunters and Ocular Adepts should retrain this at level 16 if you did take it.
Draw First Blood: See Ambush Tactics.  Pick up both if you want.
Martial Alacrity: If you don't take Improved Initiative (and given your likelihood of going first, you may not feel the need) then this might be worth considering.
Precision Ambush Style: Good for humans who want to strike and took Twin Strike, but it's quite a big investment for quite a niche situation.
Precision Throw: Gold for Heavy Thrown weapon users to reduce MAD, pointless for anyone else.
Redoubled Efforts: You can spend second wind easily using Invigorating Stride, and +2 attack will make you even less likely to miss a key shot.  But with your accuracy, this will only likely be relevant to certain builds.
Staggering Smash: I only mention it because you have to be careful: Disruptive Shot (and indeed, all your other attacks, unless you're a Half-Elf Seeker Dilettante) does NOT have the Primal keyword, so this won't apply.  It's a trap.

Paragon:
Nothing to see here.

Epic:
Martial Mastery: More Disruptive Shooting.  Can't hurt, particularly if you grabbed a Martial PP.
Martial Resolve: Requires Endurance.  Make a save vs most status effects at the beginning and end of your turn - increasing the number of conditions granted by Superior Will, which you'll likely have anyway, but may think about retraining.
Primal Resurgence: Your Hunter utilities are all Primal.  Good stuff.


General Feats:


This is where most of your feats are likely to come from.  Choose wisely.
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Heroic:
Armor Proficiency: You'll probably want to pick up Hide when you can afford it.  Not much point in getting anything else.
Distant Advantage: Why wouldn't you want CA when your target is flanked?
Disciple of Death: No-one likes failing death saves.  Note that unlike attack rolls, death saves have their 'crit' effect on totals, not absolute dice rolls - so this lets you spend a surge on a 15+.
Disciple of the Wild: Invigorating Stride lets you Second Wind as a move action; this lets you move further.  Definitely can't hurt.
Durable: Number of surges is an area where you'll be weakest.  Make it hurt less.  In the unlikely event that you're a Dwarf or Mul, retrain for Dwarven Durability at Paragon.
Expertise: Thrown users will want to take the relevant one for their chosen weapon type, as might anyone who chooses to try to mix it up in meleeEveryone else can ignore them, you get the relevant one free.
Great Fortitude/Iron Will/Lightning Reflexes: Pad your NADs if you can't afford the Superior NAD feats.  A trap if you can.
Grounding Shot: A lot of your enemies are going to be spending time flat on their backs.  Having this can't hurt.
Headsman's Chop: Surprisingly, not limited to melee attacks.  So works with Drow Long Knives and any Farbond Spellblade Heavy Blade for you heavy thrown users.  As usual, useless for everyone else.
Hidden Sniper: CA with partial concealment.  It's not a difficult condition to fulfil, and CA is always useful for you.
Improved Defenses: Tier-scaling bonus to all NADs.  Not to be sniffed at.
Improved Initiative: Less vital than for many classes - with your DEX and Pouncing Lynx stance, you may feel you don't need this.  But if you do get it, you'll be going first, a lot.  Retrain for Superior version at Epic.
Melee training: DEX, duh.  Only if you're wanting to spend time in melee, which some of you might.  WIS might be necessary for certain builds, but most of you don't need this.
Nimble Blade: Good for the Light Thrown users amongst you.  Pretty useless for everyone else.
Resilient Focus: Your feat bonus to saves.
Shield Proficiency (Light): If you have a reason to get a shield, this will be the one.  And there are some good reasons - you can wield one with a Hand Crossbow, or with the Ocular Adept PP's L16 feature.  Fighter MC offers some additional control with shields, to give you a reason other than defence to get one.
Speed Loader: It's a TRAP.
Spring Step: If you're proned a lot, grab this for extra mobility.
Stoneroot's Endurance: Pretty solid.  Save against crits.
Superior Fortitude: Worth taking (or retraining from Great Fortitude) when you can get it, since your Fort is likely to be your lowest defence.
Superior Reflexes: Make your reflex utterly unhittable, and set yourself up for various types of first-turn nova.  You'll qualify, without the slightest problem.
Superior Will: You should qualify, and the extra saves will come in very handy.  You may want to retrain for Martial Resolve at Epic if you have Endurance.
Timely Respite:  You should be second winding most encounters with Invigorating Stride.  Why not save when you do?
Toughness:  Pick it up if you didn't take Auspicious Birth or Born Under a Bad Sign backgrounds.  Maybe even if you did.  You don't want to be squishy.
Vicious Advantage: CA is always nice (though perhaps less so for you than some, as you don't have features that rely on it, or particularly need the accuracy), and you have at-will slows.  Like World Serpent's Grasp, this gets worse for you as your career progresses and mobs get more likely to end conditions before your turn comes round again.  But well worth taking for members of your party who like CA.
Weapon Focus: The threat of high damage gives you a decent amount of soft control with Rapid Shot.  This is one place you can obtain that threat.
Weapon Proficiency: Superior Crossbow, Greatbow, or your choice of thrown weapon.  Few of you won't be taking a Weapon Proficiency feat of some sort.
Wintertouched: Your Frost Cheese as standard.
World Serpent's Grasp: Gets less useful for you specifically as you level and mobs start being able to shake off the effects it needs at the ends of their turns (but still remains good for APs, so probably don't get rid of it entirely).  Useful regardless.  Mentioned more because you should be persuading the rest of your party to take it ASAP - you have an at-will slowing attack and a multi-use encounter immoblise attack.  Your enemies should virtually all be on the floor, most of the time.

Paragon:
Armor Specialization: Your feat bonus to AC, unless you have another available.  Retrain for Second Skin at Epic if you took Hide and have the CON.
Danger Sense: Once more: you will be going first.
Defensive Advantage: Become less squishy.  Good if you work to get CA a lot.
Deft Blade: Light thrown users, look here for a solid accuracy boost.
Distant Shot: May or may not be a trap depending on whether you took Seeking Falcon stance.  Best for thrown users.
Fleet Footed: Could be useful if you can spare the space - but bear in mind that MCing monk and taking Fluid Motion gets you a bigger bonus.
Grazing Shot: You won't be missing much, so it'll really annoy you when you do.  Make it hurt a little less with this.  Doesn't work on minions, though.
Lasting Frost: Your Frost Cheese as standard.
Psychic Lock: You can apply some fairly hefty penalties to hit with the right build (Half-Elf Biting Swarm Dilettante, Defending Dabbler: -6 to hit allies, -4 to hit you.  At will) and using a Mindiron Bow or Crossbow, and -2 to hit isn't bad even for those without the right build.  If you've no way to get psychic damage, this is useless, however - similarly, the -2 to hit is only on the first roll, so against mobs with bursts, blasts and multi-attacks, it's less useful.
Reserve Maneuver: Grab some Ranger encounter powers instead of poor PP powers.  Particularly valuable for the strikers amongst you.  Note that as Disruptive Shot doesn't have a level, this DOES NOT work for uses of that power, though I'd be inclined to talk it over with your DM and see if you can't work something out.
Secret Stride: Moving around at full pelt whilst Stealthed can be pretty useful for you if there's a lot for you to hide behind.
Shield Mastery: Your Fort is likely to be weak, and you can sometimes find reasons to have shields - but you might be better off with the shield-NADs feats offered by Fighter MC if you go that way.
Unfailing Courage: Extra healing on AP.  Nice.

Epic:
Bow Mastery: It doesn't have any stat requirements.  Why wouldn't you?  Well, you might be a thrown user.  Why ELSE wouldn't you?
Other Weapon Mastery: Thrown weapon users should get the relevant one if they can afford it.
Deft Aim: Hit Reflex with all your bow/crossbow attacks.  You thought you were accurate before?  Think again.  You can may want to retrain other accuracy boosters you had before.  Doesn't work on Disruptive Shot or your PP powers unfortunately.
Epic Recovery: Second wind twice/encounter if you can afford 19 CON.  You probably can't, but it's worth mentioning all the same.
Epic Resurgence: Power recovery is never bad, and you make more attack rolls than most thanks to Rapid Shot.
Long Step: You can pick up a lot of shifts through your career.  Make them bigger.
Superior Initiative: Retrain Improved Initiative if you took it.  Take this if you didn't.  You want to keep going first, right?
Second Skin: Requires 17 CON, but you'll want it if you can afford it.  Retrain Armor Specialization (Hide).
Unfettered Stride: Ignore difficult terrain.  Never bad.


Racial Feats:


I'm going to be mostly look at the recommended races (those with a blue or light blue rating), and ignoring the less optimal.  Look at the Ranger Guide for the rest.
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Bladeling
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Improved Razor Storm: well, if you're playing one, you might as well.


Drow
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Heroic:
Clutch of Darkness: Boost range on your Lolthtouched power.  Worth doing.
Drow Fighting Style: Light Blade/Hand Crossbow builds could use this, at least before level 9, when they should retrain.
Ruthless Hunter: Make that Hand Crossbow a little more attractive.
Xen'Drik Weapon Training: Heavy Thrown users, look here - Drow is probably the best race for you because of this feat, as Drow Long Knife is probably your most flexible weapon option.

Paragon:
Merciless Killer: Big bonus to damage, and plays nicely with Lone Wolf stance.

Epic:
Darkfire Warrior: If you're swimming in feats and using Darkfire, this is good.
Lothblessed: See above.


Eladrin
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Heroic:
Eladrin Soldier: Spear users, this makes Eladrin among your best options.
Feral Fey Step: Bug out when you're bloodied, whether or not you've used Fey Step this encounter.  Very nice.
Fey Escape: Bug out when grabbed, immobilised or restrained.  Good for you.

Paragon:
Fey Death: Enhances your mobility even more.
Reactive Fey Step: No forced movement.  OK.


Elf
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Heroic:
Elven Precision OR Wild Elf Luck: With your accuracy, you almost certainly don't need both, so decide whether you like certainty or randomness.  Getting one is a good idea, though.

Paragon:
Martial Accuracy: Roll twice for Elven Accuracy.  You may want to retrain for this from Elven Precision or Wild Elf Luck.
Running Shot: Boosts mobility healthily.  Worth having.

Epic:
Hawkeye Warrior: Use Elven Accuracy early.  Get even more accurate.


Githzerai
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Heroic:
Alhahn's Mindful Relocation: Dramatically enhance your movement with Invigorating Stride - may or may not stack with Disciple of the Wild.
Dakshai's Mind-Body Union: Adds an arguably more useful second option for your racial power, especially later in your career.
Githzerai Blade Master: Of very specific use, for Ocular Adepts at L16, who want to start really making a melee impact.  For everyone else, don't bother.
Iron Retreat: Shift away after using Iron Mind.  Solid.  gets better in combination with later feats, so you may prefer to retrain into it to make the appropriate combo at Paragon or Epic.
Miryath's First Strike: You can do a lot to ruin a DM's day with a first-turn damage spike, this is another feat that adds to it.

Paragon:
Githzaerai Healer: You do have access to one solid healing power, and adding a save against the worst effects to it is good, but this is perhaps a bit niche to spend a feat on.
Githzerai Mobility: At first glance, looks useful, until you remember you have stances that do the same thing, and no longer provoke for ranged attacks anyway.  Trap.
Shared Danger Sense: Boost party initiative.  Always good.
Tempered Iron Mind: Free-action iron mind triggerable on a miss seems a little iffy at first, but combined with Peerless Reaction (Epic) and Iron Retreat (Paragon), allows you to second wind and shift to as a free action when an enemy attempts an attack on you.  The shift a bit more each time you're hit UEONT.  Add Long Step for even more fun.

Epic:
Adamantine Mind: Boosts your racial.  Worth having.
Peerless Reaction: With Tempered Iron Mind and Iron Retreat - Free Action Second Wind.  With plenty of mobility available.  Might be time to retrain Invigorating Stride.


Half-Elf
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See also: Human and Elf.
Heroic:
Adept Dilettante: If you're using the weapliment trick to get implement powers, you'll probably need this one to pick your accuracy back up, since most of your usual tricks won't work.
Defending Dabbler: Marking melee mobs at range is a great way to ruin your DM's day, especially when your likely Dilettante power, Biting Swarm, adds a further -2 to hit.
Group Insight: Party boost to initiative and insight.  Quite small, though.

Paragon:
Versatile Master: Take it at level 11, and never look back.  Your Expert Archer powers just got SO much better.


Half-Orc
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Heroic:
Anger Unleashed: Being bloodied is good for you Half-Orc types already.  Make it better.
Primal Resilience: Adds a little more to the padding you get when bloodied.  Worth it if you have a spare slot.
Savage Assault: Makes a key target easier for the party to hit.

Paragon:
Strength from Pain: Remember what i said about being bloodied?  Here's a bit more goodness.
Unrelenting Assault: Natural 1 on a key attack?  No worries.


Human
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Heroic:
Action Surge: You don't want to miss your AP attack, do you?

Paragon:
Action Recovery: Save, save, save.  Action points were already good for you, make them even better.

Epic:
Timely Revival: Makes going below 0 significantly less painful.  Worth taking Discple of Death to add to the chance you'll trigger a surge if you've already spent second wind.  Which I would hope you would have based on the ease with which you can.


Revenant
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Note: there's a lot Revenants can do with regards to exploiting dying and death saves.  It's worth looking at the Ghost with the Most guide to get the best out of your character from that point of view.  I'm not going to go into it here.
Heroic:
Half-Elf Soul: Then, see Half-Elf.


Shadar-kai
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Heroic:
Doom of Jiksidur: Another way to get enemies prone, particularly useful with Rapid Shot.
Ghostly Wind: Insubstantial is useful.  Particularly useful if you can persuade your DM it has synergy with the feat above.  But that might be unlikely.
Life on the Edge: Like the Human's Action Surge, only better.

Paragon:
Reactive Jaunt: Bug out when you get hit.  Handy.

Epic:
Deathless Warrior: Reduce damage that would take you under 0.  A chance to remain standing when in most danger is very useful, particularly with Reactive Jaunt or one of your other mobility powers.


Shifter
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Heroic:
Sturdy Shifter: Padding when you're bloodied.  Good stuff.
Wild Senses: you'll probably want this rather than Improved Initiative.

Paragon:
Cliffwalk Shifting: Synergy with Mountain Guide is good, but you do have to be bloodied to use it which is bad.


Thri-kreen
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Heroic:
Flailing Claws: Reliable for your minor-action encounter power is good given how notoriously bad they are at scaling on accuracy.

Paragon:
Sturdy Plating: Resist 2 all when bloodied.  Not bad, but the resistance is small.

Wilden
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Heroic:
Burden of Rejuvenation: You're not a leader, but it's reasonably likely you'll see allies go down, and surgeless healing is NEVER to be sniffed at.
Gift of the Tress: Racial power allows ally to shift.

Paragon:
Burden of Liberty: Pull an ally out of trouble with your racial power.
Clinging Vines: Synergy with Mountain Guide.


Exotic Weapon Training:


There are a couple of exotic weapons you might be able to get some benefit from.  Specifically:
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Bola Training: if you don't care about doing damage, this gives you immobilise on everything.
Net Training: Slow UEONT on all hits.  You will probably qualify anyway, since you'll be aiming to get hide.  The big downside is the pitiful range you get on your net, but there are ways to ameliorate that, and it goes well with thrown weapon/melee dabbler builds.

Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Paragon Paths, Epic Destinies and multiclassing: Paragon Poachers


Paragon Paths:


Again, I'm going to be quite selective, because most of the PPs available to you by default (and there are quite a lot of them) are pretty much useless to you due to relying on class features you don't have.  The standouts are your E-class PP, Peerless Hunter, which is custom-designed to be good for you, and is; Ocular Adept (D394) which provides a lot of flexibility attached to very cool flavour and solid powers; and the Seeker's PPs, both of which offer useful effects.  Also, Adroit Explorer for anyone who can qualify as human, which might well be quite a few of you given the competitiveness of the race.  Unfortunately, most of the prime Ranger PPs are unavailable to you either because they rely on Quarry for their features, or because they rely on Ranger fighting styles which you have no way to access.  Even with multiclassing the options are fairly slim, because of the comparatively few classes which rely on bows and crossbows the way you do.  Luckily, the few options you have are mostly very good.

Hunter PPs:
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Ocular Adept:Brilliant flavour and a very solid set of powers and abilities make this a very, very competitive pick.
The AP feature gets you an additional RBA if you make a ranged attack which is solid.  It's particularly nice for the Dilettantes, though it's useless vs Solos/lone monsters, because it has to have a different target.
- The 11th level feature is perhaps a little mundane for you, since you load free on crossbows anyway, unless your DM is the type to bean-count your ammunition, and hasn't dropped you an Endless Quiver yet.  It also may or may not cause you to be unable to load magical ammunition (but you can end it as a minor if that's your bag) - but it does enable the use of the encounter power, so it's advisable to keep your weapon as a spiriteye until you've at least used that.
- But it's the level 16 feature that makes this PP stand out - you no longer have to hold your bow/crossbow to wield it, you can instead make it into a Spiriteye and let it float serenely above your head.  You're not limited to the number of Spiriteyes you can make, either, so you could conceivably have various low-level weapons which have static features, defensive enchantments, useful daily powers and the like floating above your head at all times, and be considered to wield all of them.  And keep your hands free for a shield and melee weapon (given the 20th level power and your love of stances, a Master's Blade would be a good pick).  Some useful weapons which you might want to float above your head are in the spoiler:
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Defensive (2+): Item bonus to Second Winds defences.  Cheap and Common.  Get a +1 at least, if not a +2, then no need for Parry Gauntlets if you were using them.
Prime Shot (2+): Its property is a static tier-scaling + to damage if you're closest to the target - but interpretations will differ as to whether it applies when you're not actively shooting with the weapon.  RAW is a little unclear, and using it is cheesy as heck.
Battlemaster's (14+): Expensive, yes.  But a daily to regain an Encounter power is handy.
Demonbane (9+): If you're in a campaign with lots of them, static resist all to their damage is nice.  Situationally useful.
Devilblind (7+): Similar to Devilblind really.  Situational.
Dragonslayer (9+): Again, situationally useful, but a very big resist against a relatively common attack.  And the Daily might even be useful, at quite low enhancements.
Forbidding (14+): Like most of these, situational and quite expensive, but in the right campaign, a godsend.
Healing (14+): Daily surgeless healing power.  Nice.
Legendary (25+): Hellish expensive, but at high epic an extra standard action if you crit is a very nice bonus.
Raider's Crossbow (5+): Expensive for its enhancement, but its utility is in Surprise Rounds, where it gives you an additional +2 to hit, so you can afford for it to be 2 enhancements lower than your level.  Situational, but common and will be relatively cheap, so worth most characters getting if they have some spare GP.
Inevitable Bow (12+): Gives you the Seeker's Inevitable Shot power.  Probably again, for most of you.  Doesn't have to be used with THIS weapon, so you can keep it at minimum enhancement.
Inspiring  (3+): Daily damage boost for adjacent allies.  Works off enhancement bonus, but this isn't that expensive.  Not the best choice.
Retributive Bow (13+): Daily get-out-of-jail-free card, and a free RBA into the bargain.  Not bad.
Retributive Weapon (4+): Daily Imm. Reaction RBA against a mob hitting you, which pushes it away.  Nice.  And cheap as chips, because you never need it above +1 enh.
Rovikar's (8+): Daily interrupt that changes a miss to a hit.  Annoyingly reliant on stats that aren't primaries, but the goodness here is that it's from a group item set, so whilst you normally wouldn't make much use of the set at all, this could get you in on some of the goodness if your allies like it.
Striker's (14+): The Implements of Argent are a decent group set, and the bonuses are very nice.  The power's not bad either.

Overall, the amount of cheese/abuse of this feature that is possible is low due to the fairly limited number of enchants that give static bonuses and/or dailies which don't rely on actually attacking with the weapon.  And a lot of them are expensive.  But grabbing at least a Raider's Crossbow and Defensive Bow/Crossbow is a good idea, especially given that they're both Common.

- Then we come to a solid Encounter power with a big mobility boost (fly 6 as a move action this turn) and a utility which gives you a (fairly low) fly speed UEONT.  The 20th level Stance is the icing on the cake, letting you make minor-action RBAs for an entire encounter (again, better for the Dilettantes than for anyone else). 
- Overall, there's a lot to sell this, and plenty of room for cheese or abuse of it.  But even if you don't do anything cheesy with it, it's still a good choice, unless you use thrown weapons, and even then there's some mileage to be gained from it.  Worth noting that the preview article has Spiriteyes which worked for any ranged weapon, not just bows/crossbows as in the compiled edition, which opened up even more cheesing possibilities with the enchantments that are available on daggers, handaxes and throwing hammers.  So DMs, keep an eye on your players.  Worth noting also that you probably have to end the Spiriteye effect in order to use magical ammunition - I'm awaiting clarification from CS regarding this point.

Peerless Hunter: Your E-class PP.
- The AP feature's pretty pedestrian (rerolls would be brilliant if you weren't already so accurate.  Still, natural 1s do happen.  Make sure you AP at the start of your turn, so you get the benefit for both attacks).
- It shines with miss effects for Aimed and Clever Shot, and removing the -2 to hit for Rapid Shot (all instead of a unique Encounter attack power), as well as an additional DS.
- The utility is an additional Encounter trap power; and RBAs as opportunity attacks (of dubious benefit to many builds, who may well want to use the Deft Footwork feat to GTFO if they're close enough to make an OA anyway, but good for the melee dabblers and throwing types)
- You also get permanent CA against critters close by on ranged attacks at level 20, making it very attractive for melee dabblers and thrown weapon users in particular.  But no Daily power.
- Overall, this is a solid choice, but feels a bit pedestrian next to the range of options you can get from a pre-E path.


Other Ranger PPs:
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Avalanche Hurler: A reasonable choice for the thrown weapon users.  Garbage for everyone else.
- AP feature is an additional RBA with no limit on targetting.  11th feature is great, making the often-small-diced weapons you'll be using much bigger - but it's brilliant for a Dwarven Thrower/Hungry/Farbond Spellblade weapon with already-huge dice - 2d8 brutal 1, anyone?  16th feature is pretty good, gets you a bit further from the action, particularly if you like big weapons with short ranges.
- Encounter is pretty solid, 2[W]+2 mods, with a free shift.
- Utility is pretty situational, as most thrown weapon users will have their weapon in hand most of the time (though it becomes more useful when you start needing to whip out a Hand Crossbow to get the most out of Disruptive Shot).
- Daily is a decent multi-attack.  Downside of both attack powers is MAD.  They have strength requirements to use them in melee, and add strength mod.
- Overall, a solid striker-focussed path, but won't enhance your control at all.

Darkstrider: Not bad for the stealthy amongst you.  Again, pretty striker-focussed.  The Utility will let you do MASSIVE damage with Rapid Shot, since you potentially will be adding 1d6 from Shadowdancer's Gloves plus another 3+WIS from the 11th feature to each attack.  Free Hidden with no prerequisites for Concealment etc just for standing next to something is STRONG.

Sharpshooter: Not awful for an almost-pure-striker path.  The encounter power is useful for those who like getting up-close and personal, though, and it gives you some protection if you're in trouble in a melee.  The Utility dramatically boosts accuracy and damage 1/enc.  The 11th features are solid, but the 16th one is a complete waste, relying as it does on Quarry.  The daily does BIG damage (2[W]+3[W]+4[W]) but it has to be against three separate targets.  You have better options, overall.


Racial and general PPs:

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Adroit Explorer
(Human): A very, very strong option for most if not all classes, and Hunter is no exception.  Picking up a nice Ranger Encounter attack power to add to you crop (look them up in LDB's guide, but Disruptive Strike is a good place to start) is a good beginning, and it only gets better from there.  Well worth thinking about for those who have access to it.
Half-Elf Polymath (Half-Elf): Dilettanting twice is the key point of this PP (16th feature).  Giving some real at-will options is very, very nice.  Two extra skills are not to be sniffed at either.  The Encounter is OK, giving you some very solid damage, but the utility is really a bit useless - what with you probably having at least 8 trained skills by the time you get hold of it, it's quite likely that you'll have trained pretty much everything you're likely to need.   The Daily is pretty useless to you as well, unfortunately, since it's quite unlikely any of your allies will have at-will powers which have any synergy with yours, and it's a stance.

Traveler's Harlequin: The worst part of this PP for you is qualifying for it in the first place - you need Bluff training, which is hard for you to come by.  You'll need either CHA 13 (boosting a useless dump stat) for one of the many MC options that let you train it (Sly Dodge might be best, because Rogue is a good class for you to MC), or the spend an extra feat for Bluff training and get an MC separately.  You could also MC Battlemind (CON 13, you should have no trouble) but the extra you get for it isn't really worth bothering with anyway, so the only advantage is really saving a feat and/or saving the stat points.  This is a bit of a catch-22 for you, and you also have to worship an Eberron god, which might be problematic for some.  However, if you do manage to qualify, the benefits are great.  You get a bonus MC feat, and a bunch of reroll options with the features.  The Encounter power offers some nice battlefield control (although it's a close burst, so you'd need to be in the thick of things to use it), the utility lets you masquerade as someone else.  But where it really shines is the daily, which you can pick from ANY PP, anywhere.  This gives you a huge range of options, which I might go into more detail about below when I have the time.

Twilight Guardian (Elf):  AP feature gives an attack reroll, which is nice.  11th feature is a bit meh, especially for crossbow hunters16th feature is solid, completely ignore difficult terrain, and the utility more-or-less gives you Hidden if you have the Stealth, but is a Daily.  The attack powers are the real key here, though - encounter Restrain, and daily ally-friendly restraining blast 3/zone.  Good stuff, albeit a bit close-range for your taste.



Multiclassing and Multiclass PPs:


Because of your focus on ranged attacks, there aren't nearly as many good options for you as there are for your parent class.  Seeker is a prime option to get the Primal Eye feat for off-strikers and additional soft control.  The Ocular Adept PP, or hand crossbow/thrown weapon use can make Fighter quite attractive, because Hindering Shield allows you to stack your control with Clever Shot.  You Half-Elves may well want to pick up Adept Dilettante if you didn't take a Seeker power, otherwise MAD will set in (and the normal entry feat too, because that will likely be one of the only ways to get you the weapliment you'll need).  I'll be putting the suggested entry feat in the entry for the class, in most cases.

Due to the relative lack of good options, I'm not going to split up the spoiler:
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Any Divine class - any relevant entry feat
Opens up the Morninglord PP if you worship Amaunator.  Good if your party swings the radiant way.  Also useful for people wanting to use Dilettante to cheese out Divine Bolts with Power of Skill if you worship Corellon, since Weapon of Evil undone is usable as a Holy Symbol.  Cleric is probably the most useful of the MC options here.

Assassin - Shadow Initiate
Allows you to use Ki Foci, which is useful if you wind up with lots of gear, as some of you Ocular Adepts could well do.  Shrouds give you a bit of extra striker damage too.

Fighter - Wrathful Warrior
For all you Ocular Adepts, and anyone using a Hand Crossbow: pick up Light Shield proficiency, then Hindering Shield for stacking control.  Whilst there are several entry feats for Fighter, this is the most defensive option, and all of the others are melee-related, which you almost certainly want to avoid.  It's also one of the least stat-intensive.  Picking up a Rhythm Blade enchantment to your Wrist Razors or melee weapon is a good idea here to maximise the bonus from Encouraging/Stout Shield.  Thrown weapon users might be able to get some mileage out of the various Polearm tricks available to Fighters, but it'll be feat-intensive, and I'm not going to go into any major detail about it.

Recommended feats:
Encouraging Shield: Shore up your Will with your shield bonus.
Hindering Shield: Slow until the start of your next turn when you apply forced movement with any attack - useful for punishment stacking.
Stout Shield: Shore up your Fortitude with your shield bonus.

Recommended Paragon Paths:
Polearm Master: Thrown spear users might be able to get some mileage out of this PP.

Monk - Monastic Disciple
Useful primarily because it gets you Monk implements, which (though it can be a little iffy as to the interpretation) are ki foci and any weapon with which you are proficient.  Meaning you can use it to get that key Dilettante weapliment if you went that way.

Recommended feat:
Fluid Motion:
If you want a permanent speed boost, this might be the way to go, since it's bigger than any other feat bonus to speed by L11.

Rogue - Sneak of Shadows
Thievery is a good skill to have, so's a per-encounter Sneak Attack.  This is a good course for Hand Crossbow users to pursue, particularly.  If you need Bluff training for Traveler's Harlequin PP, boost CHA and pick Sly Dodge as your entry feat instead.  There are a lot of PPs you can make some use of here, too, including a couple of distinct standouts.

Recommended feats:
Blade and Buckler Duelist: Increasing your shield bonus is a great thing to have.
Treetop Sniper: for you Elven Bow Hunters to actually make use of the entry feat.
Two-Fisted Shooter: Hand Crossbow users will like this one.

Recommended Paragon Paths:
Cloaked Sniper: Maintaining Hidden at-will with the Utility with any concealment is wildly strong when you take into account Hidden Sniper and Armour of Dark Deeds.  Sneak of Shadows means the 11th feature isn't a total waste (heck, RAW you may even get to double-dip), but the 16th one is sadly useless...  The attacks are solid and even provide some additional control.  You could definitely do worse.
Verdant Stalker: Again, a strong stealth-focussed path, where Sneak of Shadows means one of the feautres isn't a waste.  Unfortunately, the weapon limitations on the powers are.  Very good for the Hand Crossbow users, less useful for the rest.  And the Utility seems a little weird - Invisible is good, but you'll probably be making a Stealth check in that situation...  The Daily is NICE, though - a big, friendly 4[W] burst.


Seeker - Primal Sharpshooter
Doesn't add a lot to your options, unfortunately, as the Seeker is a notoriously lacklustre class, b ut what it does add closes in on gold.  But gets you an additional encounter power which is likely usable with your Expert Archer powers, and opens a few useful feats.  Note that this give you Nature training, so if you're going to go this way, your limited skill training choice should be Dungeoneering.

Recommended Feats:
Inevitable Volley: You won't miss much, but when you do, it can actually be better than hitting.  Particularly good if you have one of the Seeker's RBAs.  Especially if it's your Dilettante power.
Primal Eye (Paragon): Gives you a striker feature on all your at-wills.  Good for you off-strikers, and serves to make Rapid Shot a lot more threatening overall for some nice soft control.  Close to gold.

Recommended Paragon Path:
Crimson Hunter: A quite striker-ish PP - enhances your accuracy, which you don't really need but is always nice to have, gives you a speed bonus on AP, and expanded crit on RBAs, which might save you Bow Mastery if you're not too concerned about your Encounter and Daily powers.  The encounter power adds vulnerability and is usable as an RBA, the daily is reliable, which is good.  Overall, you can do a lot worse than this.
Seven Fates Archer: Actually pretty competitive with Peerless Hunter and Ocular Adept.  A solid AP feature which immobilises and causes CA granting UEONT, Peerless Hunter's OA feature, and a good set of control-oriented powers makes this a nice pick.  The 11th feature brings it down a little though, it's kind of dull.


Epic Destinies:


I've copied most of this section from LDB's Ranger guide, making sure to remove any you don't qualify for - overall the assessment of them is much the same, and EDs aren't my strong suit, so any help with this section will be appreciated.
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Champion of Prophecy (EPG) - OK, but the lack of Daily attack powers makes it a little iffy for you - the only one you're likely to have is your PP one.

Chosen (FRPG) - Pretty similar to Demigod overall, and can be even better if you find a Utility power you like more than Divine Regeneration.  Requires a Divine MC, and has a melee-based feature.  Not brilliant, but solid.

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 some crazy potential.  It adds a lot to your stealth options when you go below 0, too, and the 30th feature is great fun.

Dark Wanderer (MP) - Though the fluff is made of win, the powers and features are a bit below other ED's. The features that hurt enemies at a level below yours won't come up much during Epic, though recovering a Daily power just because is cool.  Dark Road is a potentially story-breaking feature, so do use it with care.  It'll truly annoy your DM if he's got a whole long travel-driven story planned, and you walk straight through it.

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.

  I'd argue that Destined Scion is probably a little better.

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. Unfortunately, the 21st feature is useless to you, because you don't get class encounter or daily powers as you level.  But the rest is still excellent, so it's still a competitive pick.

Free Soul (D 376) - A decent slippery ED for Revenants.  And of course, the lack of a 'stand up again' feature probably won't concern them too much.

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.  Pretty useless otherwise, though.

Harbinger of Doom (PHB 2) - Another solid, but not spectacular ED. Nothing really jumps out at you from this one.

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.

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.

 The thing is, IMHO there's not all that much you'd want to grab to justify Paragon Multiclassing.

Planeshaper (D 372) - Doubling up on your PP Encounter power is always good for you, given how sparse you Encounters are anyway.  The extra bits and pieces are pretty nice, too.  The only downside is the useless stat bump.

Primal Avatar (PHB 2) - It can be a bit of a weak-seeming ED, because it lacks true ability bumps and the features are a little weak.  But the L26 utility is pretty nice for you.  You can't use Dailies (so you lose out on your PP daily, any daily utilities and all magic item powers) for an encounter, but instead you can fly, hover, and you gain insubstantial and phasing.  It's a solid addition to your arsenal.

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 - the Devil Legionnaires have the potential to add a solid amount of melee control, too.

Prison of the Winds (D 371) - This is a very solid ranged control-oriented ED, particularly for Half-Elf Soul Revenants, but the rest of you can make good use of it nonetheless.  It's a very competitive pick for all Hunters.

Punisher of the Gods (D 372) - While powerful, this Epic Destiny is a consistent headache for the designers, receiving multiple versions of errata. I can't give it a top ranking in its current incarnation, especially because I don't think it will remain constant either.

Raven Knight (D 380) - I recommend this option strongly. The attribute bonuses match up reasonably well, particularly if you've boosted WIS to acceptable levels for the powers that use it already, and the abilities and utiliy are very nice. 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 Destined Scion, Chosen, and the rest of the big boys. As it is, it's good, but just a step behind.

Redeemed Drow (D 367) - Though it is essentially a racial ED, it's a pretty solid one, with power recovery (though giving up the racial kind of stings), and some nice toughness-oriented features.

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.

Storm Sovereign (D 372) - Decent enough, but a Constitution bonus only - the features have the potnetial to add a reasonable amount of control, though.

Winter Sovereign (D 372) - If you're a Fey character that likes Permafrost (think Elven Archer or the like), this is likely a cool ED for you. If you like (save ends) effects, it gets a little better. Solid overall.  The 24th effect will be of limited use for you, but everything else serves to enhance your control if you are a Permafrost character.

Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Weapons and Armour: The Trapper's Tools


Weapons:


Greatbow or Superior Crossbow.  Take your pick.

Actually, it's not quite that simple, there are some slightly deeper things to consider.  But the likelihood is that most of you will wind up using one of those two weapons.  Here's some more detail about the best weapon and armour types for you:

Bows:
You can't get +3 proficiency from this choice, and though there are some nice control-oriented enchantments, you lose out on some control from your powers.  Bows are a solid choice for you.
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Greatbow: Best damage, best range.  You'll probably be wanting this one.
Longbow: If you feel you can't afford the feat for Greatbow proficiency, you'll probably use this.
Shortbow: Unlikely, barring two niche situations: firstly, Small characters, who will have to use this if they want to be Bow Hunters.  Secondly, Dilettantes who are picking Arcane or Divine powers, who will want these to combine with Moonbow Dedicate.  Otherwise, trap.


Crossbows:
The only way you can access a +3 proficiency primary weapon without going down the thrown route.  Luckily, it's a good one.  You lose out on some enchantments, but gain a bit of extra control as you level.
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Crossbow: See Longbow, above.  If you don't want a Superior Crossbow, you'll likely wind up with one of these.
Hand Crossbow: Not as hopeless as it first might seem, even for Medium characters - you can shore up your defences with a Light Shield, or carry a backup melee/thrown weapon and there's a lot of feat support, particularly for Rogues and Drow.
Repeating Crossbow: Since we load free anyway, this is a trap.
Superior Crossbow: The best option for most Hunters.  +3 proficiency, big damage, big range...  You can't go wrong with one of these.


Light Thrown:
You can pick up a bit of control with the Bola, and there are a lot of pure-ranged options available with a little extra damage, but your best option here is probably a Dagger.  The good thing about this category is that plenty of weapons exist with good enchantments.
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Bola: In and of itself, not a bad choice.  Better when you combine it with Bola Training for hefty additional control, albeit at the cost of damage.
Chatkcha: You get proficiency out of the box, and the range isn't bad, but there are better options.
Dagger: +3 proficiency will help you to hit.  The damage is pathetic, but that's ameliorated by various enchantments which can help with your control.
Shuriken: Range and proficiency are its only benefits.  Daggers are better in almost all cases.
Talenta Boomerang: Ties the Shuriken for best range you'll get on a Light Thrown weapon.
Xen'drik Boomerang: Trap.  The only Hunters even likely to have proficiency are Drow who take Xen'drik weapon training, for whom it mght conceivably be better than a Drow Long Knife when used alongside a Hand Crossbow (early on, due to Drow Fighting Style, but not after level 9), but it's highly unlikely.
Widow's Knife: Identical to the Dagger.


Heavy Thrown:
Your have quite a lot of options here, with a wide range of enchantments and superior weapons available.  Standouts are the Drow Long Knife, Tratnyr, Net and possibly Cahulaks.  You might be able to sample some of the excellent Polearm control support with the right choices, too.
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Cahulaks: The only Reach weapon which is throwable unenchanted.  Pathetic range, but there are some nice flail enchantments and not awful support (though it lacks an E-Expertise feat).
Drow Long Knife: The only Heavy Blade which is throwable unenchanted.  This means you can use it with any of the many useful Blade enchantments, unlike any of the other Heavy Thrown weapons.  +3 proficiency, off-hand (so you can dual wield if that's your bag) and Heavy Blade support make this very competitive.
Gythka: Defensive, double weapon, benefitting from Spear support, which isn't awful.  Certainly a solid option for you.
Handaxe: Axe support is reasonable, but there are better weapons.
Javelin: Ties the Tratnyr and Hungry enchantment for best range you're able to get with Heavy Thrown, but otherwise unimpressive.  If you're concerned about range and don't want to spend a feat for Superior (or an enchantment for Hungry), this is your choice.
Net: Pathetic range, but Net Training makes it a very viable option, and range can be increased.  Flails aren't awful in terms of support, either, save for the aforementioned lack of Expertise.
Throwing Hammer: Hammers have pretty good support, particularly Bludgeon Expertise, which enhances all your pushes and slides, which should be many.  You could do worse, but a Dwarven Thrower enchantment (see below) on a regular hammer is probably better for you.
Tratnyr: Good range, good damage, versatile spear.  You could do a lot worse.
Trident: Inferior to the Tratnyr, and the range makes the Javelin a much better choice if you're not spending a feat for Superior.  Trap.

Also worth noting are three specific enchantments.  Generally, when using these, grab the highest damage and/or proficiency you can, unless otherwise noted:
Dwarven Thrower (2+): Any Axe or Hammer.  Makes the weapon into a Heavy Thrown, range 6/12, with a daily doing pitiful extra damage (for a daily) to a Large+ creature.  get a Gouge or Mordenkrad (probably the latter, due to Hammer support) for the highest possible [W] a Hunter can have.  Halberds and Trikals can benefit from Polearm support and get this enchantment.
Farbond Spellblade (2+): Any Heavy or Light Blade.  Makes the weapon Heavy Thrown, range 5/10, plus some extra goodies for Arcane spells which certain very niche builds might benefit from.  But chucking your Bastard Sword/Fullblade at the enemy is the main goodness of this.  You get +3 proficiency from using Blade rather than Hammer, but that's the only real plus of this route.  Hammer is better, except for one point: Glaives can have this enchantment and benefit from polearm support.  And Heavy Blades benefit from Headsman's Chop, even at range, and your enemies will be prone, a lot.
Hungry (2+): Any Spear.  Best range of the three enchantments at 10/20, and an Encounter power that Immobilises (save ends, but you can't get your weapon back until it does) make this potentially the best of the three.  Get it on a Gouge for massive damage, or a Greatspear or Zadatl for polearm support and Reach.  But you might just want to carry a backup weapon in case that save is a long time coming.


Melee weapons:
With the above exceptions, it's really not worth burning feats to get Superior melee weapons.  There are, however, a couple of key standout melee weapons that can be of use to you, mainly those that keep the hand free for loading:
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Gauntlet Axe: Defensive.  Axe enchantments, and counts as a Light Shield.  The exact rules of this weapon seem unclear and may be errated, so watch this space for more.
Spiked Gauntlet: Not much use except for carrying static enchantments.
Talid: Identical to the Spiked Gauntlet.
Wrist Razors: Occupy your Arms slot, but useful nonetheless - they leave the hand free, but are a Light Blade for enchantment purposes - put Shielding Blade on them for a bit of an AC boost, or, more importantly, Master's Blade for an encounter's worth of doubled-up stances per day.  Keep another Arms slot item handy (see below), and switch them over when you've used the daily power.


Armour:


It's a fairly simple choice for you, really.  Stay in Leather, or pay a feat to get Hide.
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Cloth: There's no reason for you to wear this.
Leather: Not perfect, but if you feel that the cost of Hide is too high, keep it.  It'll do.
Hide: Your best choice.  Particularly if you can afford CON 17 to get Second Skin at Epic.
Heavy Armour (Chain, Scale, Plate): Generally, don't bother.  With your DEX you're better in light, and the penalties and feat cost for the good stuff are too high.  But certain niche builds might benefit from Chain or even Scale, so don't discount the possibility entirely.

Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Magic Items and Weapon Enchantments: The Stalker's Stuff


Your focus will be enhanced control, enhanced durability, and enhancing your RBA, primarily, for most builds.  Some thrown builds might also want to enhance the range of their weapons, too, since that can be a bit low.

Weapons:


I'm going to use the following notation for any specific enchantments (note that I'm ignoring several weapon categories entirely, as they're more-or-less useless to you).  Absence of notation indicates any weapon at all:
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A - Axe
B - Bow
C - Crossbow
F - Flail
H - Hammer
HB - Heavy Blade
LB - Light Blade
M - any Melee
R - any Ranged
S - Spear
T - any Thrown

As weapons do have a standard progression, like most handbook writers, and the devs, I'm going to use the L+ notification to specify the minimum level from which you can obtain the item.  Unfortunately, the number of options you have are pretty limited due to having bows and crossbows as primary weapons.  Your options are a lot broader if you chuck stuff rather than shooting it.
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1+:
Challenge-Seeking Weapon (M): Extra damage vs targets at full HP isn't bad for you, given the likelihood you'll be going first.  Could help with that first-round nova, if you're optimising for it.  But overall, not worth keeping long-term.
Distance Weapon (R): Enhances range, dramatically for the worst weapons, but costs you critical effects.  Possibly useful for Nets and Cahulaks (keep a backup weapon handy for longer range still), probably not worth it for anything else.  Common.

2+:
Aftershock: Knocks adjacent enemies prone on crit.  You stand a slightly better chance of critting than most thanks to all the attack rolls for Rapid Shot, so you might get some mileage out of this early on.
Defensive: Enhances Second Wind and Total Defence.  Cheap and Common, could be worth putting onto a Wrist Razors if you don't have anything better to do, or floating above your head if you're an Ocular Adept at L16+.
Duelist's Bow (B): Applies penalties to hit for ranged attackers.  You can stack some fairly impressive penalties this way with certain Dilettante builds, and it might be useful to you, at least until you get hold of Mindiron, which works on any enemy in combination with Psychic Lock.
Dwarven Thrower (A, H): See Heavy Thrown in the Weapons section, above.  Note, only blue for thrown builds, useless for everyone else.
Entrapping (B, C): Restrain UEONT on crit.  Solid effect, and as mentioned, you roll a few more dice than most, so you have more chances to crit.
Farbond Spellblade (HB, LB): See Heavy Thrown in the Weapons section, above.  Note, only blue for thrown builds, useless for everyone else.
Howling Songbow (B, C): The implement property is useless to you unless you MC Bard and pick a Bard PP, which is unlikely, but the other property gives splash damage vs. enemies granting cover to your target.  Since Crossbow Hunters ignore the penalties from cover anyway, this amounts to free splash damage, which is never to be sniffed at.
Hungry (S): See Heavy Thrown in the Weapons section, above.  Note, only blue for thrown builds, useless for everyone else.
Rebounding (R): Free RBA for a miss.  Makes missing less painful in the unlikely event that you do it.  Not bad.
Relentless (F, H): Trap.  Staggering has an additional effect.
Staggering (A, F, H, HB): Knocks prone on crit, enhances your forced movement.  Not too shabby.

3+:
Armbow: About the only thing making Warforged even close to black.  Not viable for anyone who's not a Living Construct.
Flail of Winds (F): Enhance forced movement with your Net or Cahulaks.  Common.
Frost: Your Frost Cheese as standard.
Quick: Daily free-action RBA.  Not too bad.  Better for the Dilettantes.
Rhythm Blade (LB): Increase your shield bonus.  Good for Ocular adepts or Light Thrown, garbage for anyone else.
Swiftshot (C): Trap.  We already load free.  The Daily power can be obtained from a Quick weapon anyway.
Targeting (B, C): Solid choice - causes CA granting on crit, and a daily that allows for rerolls for everyone for a round, including you.  Has the potential to aid in setting up a mighty nova round vs the BBEG.  Roll out the action points, everyone.

4+:
Master's Blade (HB, LB): The property is basically useless aside from Ocular Adepts at 16+ or other melee dabblers.  The Daily is why you're here - doubling up on stances is NICE for you.  Put it on a Wrist Razors, and swap out for another Arms slot item when you've used the power.  Most of you won't need it above this level, except Light/Heavy Thrown, for whom it might be attractive, and Ocular Adepts at 16+, who might want it as a melee weapon.
Screaming Bow (B): All your attacks will deal Thunder damage, since very few builds will have typed damage without items.  Deafened is a wierd effect, though.  The Daily's not bad to drop on the BBEG.  Some feats play nice with Thunder, too, particularly Mark of Storm.
Shielding Blade (HB, LB): Another pick for your Wrist Razors if you feel your AC is a little low.  Again, the AC bonus doesn't improve beyond this, so you only really need this level.  Common.
Sunblade (HB): Only viable for Drow Long Knife wielders, but Radiant is a very exploitable damage type.  Worth considering for that small subset of the Hunter population.
Unraveling (B, S): Trap for anyone apart from Seeker Dilettantes, but grants them some nice mobility.  Worth considering.

5+:
Flaming: Not that you're likely to be one, but this is good for Tieflings.  Fire can sometimes be useful, too.
Lightning: Plays nice, like the Screaming Bow, with Mark of Storm.
Raider's Crossbow (C): Have some extra fun in surprise rounds.  Pretty meh otherwise.  Common.

7+:
Boltshard Crossbow (C): The Daily is a close blast 3 of RBAs, which is nice in a pinch for the Dilettantes.  You can probably do better though.
Homing (B, C): Trap.  Use Aimed Shot, if you're not already a Crossbow Hunter.
Quenchquiver (B, C): Get one if you are underwater a lot, or possibly if you're fighting Fire creatures a lot.  Otherwise, ignore it.

8+
Cunning (M): One of the few ways you have to inflict save penalties.
Determined (T): If you were using a Distance weapon to enhance your throwing range, get one of these instead.
Dread: Solid debuffing on crit.  Pretty good.
Jolting Guard (M): Encounter Weaken on an enemy missing you isn't bad.
Tyrant's (M): Not so much for you, but persuade your party strikers to get them.  After all, your enemies will be prone a lot.

9+:
Crashing (A, H): Can be used as Heavy Thrown.  Slightly lower range than Dwarven Thrower, but some more useful effects and a better Daily.  It's a toss-up for you.
Kamesti Crossbow (C): Useful daily power allowing you to retain a missed power.  No long range penalty.  And in a set providing reasonable extra bonuses with the Endless Quiver and some other useful items.  Good stuff for you.
Shoulderbow (C): The only other thing making Warforged even close to worth looking at.
Lightning Strike Bow (Longbow, Shortbow): If you're a Lightning Weapon user using one of those two weapons, this is slightly better than your current weapon.  Otherwise, ignore it.
Weapon of Evil Undone: Not much use for anyone apart from a Dilettante who took a Divine power.  But for them, closes on gold, because they can MC Avenger or Paladin for Holy Symbol proficiency, then use the Evil Undone weapon as a symbol, and their Divine power with Expert Archery.  Cue Divine Bolts + Power of Skill + Clever Shot = TWO targets.  Beautiful.

12+:
Jagged (A, HB, LB): Expanded crit and ongoing damage on crit isn't bad for those who can make use of this.

13+:
Thunderbolt Weapon
(R): Possibly a better option than a Lightning Weapon (extra RBA as a Daily vs burst 2 2d6 damage as a daily), if you're using one of those, mostly due to the price.  You should probably consider trading, if you are.

14+:
Mindiron (B, C): Psychic Lock.  Attack penalty stacking for Dilettantes, plus hit against Will once per encounter.  Pretty nice.

15+:
Chill Wind (HB): Drow Long Knife Frost Cheese users only need apply.  For them, it's better than Frost.  For anyone else, ignore it.
Radiant: Non-thrown radiant damage option, finally.  Good for the radiant party member, not really worth it for anyone else.

16+:
Forceful Bow (B): Adds push one to all your attacks.  Control stacker.

Armour:


Available types will again be denoted by letters.  C - Cloth, L - Leather, H - Hide, Ch - Chain, S - Scale, P - Plate.  You'll likely not want higher than Hide though, apart from some particularly unusual builds.
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2+:
Awakening (H, Ch): Extra Will when bloodied isn't bad, nor's negating Surprise once per day.
Dwarven (Ch, S, P): Daily surgeless healing.  Good if you're into Chain.
Repulsion (C, L): Play keep-away for an encounter per day.  You'll get hit less.  With this, you might not need to worry quite so much about qualifying for hide ASAP.
Veteran's (Any): Solid AP bonus.  Common.

3+:
Armor of Exploits (Any): Poach a martial power from an ally, or simply get another use of Disruptive Shot or your PP power (assuming it's Martial) per day.
Armor of Sudden Recovery (C, L): Ongoing damage isn't exactly uncommon, so getting a bonus to saves against it and a chance for potentially significant regeneration for an encounter per day is really pretty good if you don't want to pay the extra feat for Hide.
Breaching (Any): Jump through walls.  Screw with your DM.  Better for melee than for ranged, but could get you out of a scrape.
Defensive (Any): Negate a hit once per day.  Better if you can get your hands on a Power Point.
Eladrin (Ch): Good for those with slightly less DEX who want to pay a feat for some extra AC, but don't want to lose skills and speed.  Better if they happen to be an Eladrin, or have some other reason to have teleports.
Sylvan (C, L, H): Scaling item bonus to Athletics and Stealth is pretty good for you.  Common.

4+:
Anakore (L, H, S): Bonus to saves against restrained and immobilised, and against grabs.  Not bad if you find yourself in those situations a lot.  Common.
Armor of Durability (H, Ch, S, P): Scaling item bonus to Healing Surge value is not bad.  Common.
Battle Harness (C, L, H): Free action to draw a weapon will be nice for some builds, particularly melee dabblers and various sorts of implement-using Dilettante for whom it is better, and a scaling power bonus to initiative isn't bad either (note that this is a POWER bonus to init, not an item bonus, and DOES NOT stack with Pouncing Lynx stance.  So if you are using this armour, retraining Pouncing Lynx is probably a good idea once you've got it up to +3 or +4 enhancement).  Certainly a competitive pick, even for people not fitting the earlier conditions.
Black Iron (S, P): Tier-scaling resist Fire and Necrotic is useful, they're some of the most common damage types in the game.  Shame about the feat investment needed, though.
Genasi Soul (L, H): The Genasi have a whole bunch of nice racials.  Poach one.  Windsoul is particularly useful for you.

5+:
Deathcut (L, H): Resist Necrotic and Posion.  Kick back a bit of damage in return for a melee hit once a day (sadly, depends on your CHA mod).  Not awful if you're in a campaign where those damage types are common.
Piecemeal (Ch, S): The armour types and power would seem a bit blah, but then you realise it's an Encounter hit negation, not a Daily, which makes it a bit more attractive.
Shared Suffering (Any): Kick back some ongoing damage onto the enemy as an Encounter power.  Make him pay.

7+:
Shipboard (L): Shame it's not available in Hide really.  Not falling prone when you save to avoid forced movement into hindering terrain is a nice property, but being part of the Kamestiri Uniform set is what sells this over other choices.

8+:
Elven Battle (L, H): Big item bonus to saves vs slowed and immobilised is handy, and the Encounter power isn't too bad.

14+:
Armor of Dark Deeds (L, H): Combine with Superior Reflexes and Hidden Sniper for permanent CA.  Add in Dancing Serpent Stance, Stealth training, and a chunk of Blocking terrain, and you should be able to swing permanent Hidden.  Very powerful combination, this is close to gold.

15+:
Trollskin (H, S): Regeneration is an excellent power to have.

19+:
Great Cat (H): Adds to your shifts, and gives you a big daily shift.  Particularly nice with Dancing Serpent stance.

Arms:


There's no predefined progression, so I'll just use item levels.  That being said, it's a pretty easy choice for you.  Enchanted Wrist Razors for extra AC or an encounter's worth of double stances per day (See Weapons); or Bracers of Archery/the Perfect Shot.  A few of you might want some other choices, particularly if your chosen weapon provides an item bonus to damage, but it's somewhat unlikely.
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3:
Bracers of the Perfect Shot (3, 13, 23): For those of you not using Bows/Crossbows, your item bonus to RBA damage.

6:
Bracers of Archery (6, 16, 26): For those of you who are, your item bonus to all damage.  Even if you do choose to get a Master's Blade Wrist Razors, you should keep this or the BoPS around so you can switch out when you've used the Daily in your Wrist Razors.

Feet:


There's a bit more of a choice here.  Plenty of goodies, and no real standouts.  From here on in, since your selections, with a few exceptions I've removed, are pretty much the same as the base Ranger's, I've copied this section from LDB's wonderful guide.
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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 shifting around. What's not to like, particularly given how much some builds will be shifting?

Level 8
Boarding Boots (AV 2) - Big mobility increase once per day on the daily - effectively allowing you to double move and still attack.  The difficult terrain ignoring property is pretty useless, though, unless you spend a lot of time on board ship.  It's also part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set, which makes it look better if you already have pieces of that set, which you might well.
Boots of Quickness (L8/18/28) (AV) - A decent boost to your Reflex defense.  Not that it's likely to be low, or anything.

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.  That's not likely to be many of you, but you might be slower than the rest.
Shadowdancer's Boots (AV 2) - A speed boost for light armor wearers that gets better in darkness is OK, and the set it's a part of is a solid one for the stealth-focussed amongst you.

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...

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:


Much as for feet, I'm going to poach this section from LDB, since the recommendations are more-or-less the same.
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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 8
Gauntlets of the Ram (PHB) - Anything that allows you to push more is sweet fora Bow Hunter packing a Forceful Bow, or for Crossbow Hunters after level 13.

Level 10
Antipathy Gloves (AV) - Play keep-away with the enemy.  Essentialy lets you stay closer to the baddies without getting charged.  Particularly good for the thrown users.

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.  Especially nice when combined with Armor of Dark Deeds, Hidden Sniper, and a bit of blocking terrain to hide behind.

Level 13
Gloves of Missile Deflection (AV) - Some solid resistance against Ranged attacks.

Head:


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Level 2
Eagle Eye Goggles (L2/12/22) (AV) - Wear these, with all your other bonuses, you should be pretty close, by now, to hitting on a natural 2 on all your at-wills.

Level 4
Casque of Tactics (L4/14/24) (AV) - An initiative bonus is good for anyone, and swapping initiative with anyone who rolled high once per day is nice too.

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 Hunters. Being part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set certainly helps the cause a bit, for particularly stealth-focussed builds.

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.  But you'll probably be better off just taking Superior Will.

Level 15
Carcanet of Psychic Schism (AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.  The untyped bonus to Will is pretty nice, too.

Level 21
Coif of Focus (AV) - Comes by later in your career, and burns up a Magic Item Daily, but negating Daze or Stun is awesome.

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:


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Level 2+
Cloak of Resistance (PHB) - Decent resistance for a turn.

Level 3+
Safewing Amulet (PHB) - Never wind up prone after a fall, and reduce damage from them.  Could reduce or remove your need to train Acrobatics.  Common.

Level 4+
Cloak of Distortion (AV) - Forces your enemies into an eternal artillery v. artillery competition.

Level 8+
Pavise Charm (AV 2) - The only reason I mention this is because of the Kamestiri Uniform item set.  Standing still isn't something many of you are likely to want to do.
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.  Particularly nice against Solos.

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) - Decent item bonus to initiative, but there's not a lot you can do with your standard actions that isn't attacking.  Not brilliant.

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.
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?  Not usable with Disruptive Shot, though.

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.
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Level 13
Ring of Giants (D 378) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage, and push 2 + prone on any primal attack power.  Particularly nice for the Seeker Dilettantes, or anyone with a Primal PP.

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 15:
Premonition Ring
(AV) - Item bonus to Initiative and Perception is solid, and the Daily that more than negates Surprise is VERY nice to have in your back pocket in the unlikely event that you're ambushed.

Level 16
Ring of Protection (PHB) - Generic defensive item. Useful, though it's about as exciting as watching grass grow.
War Ring (AV) - Adds a little more 'oomph' into your criticals.

Level 18
Bone Ring of Better Fortune (AV) - Since this halves all necrotic damage, it can potentially be better than a lot of resistance.
Ring of Ramming (AV) - Hands you a bit more 'oomph' on those pushes should you use a Forceful Bow/Punishing Quarrel.

Level 19
Grace Ring of Prowess (AV 2) - A solid power that lets you rev up for +2 to hit before teeing off.

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.

Level 23
Greater Ring of Invisibility (AV 2) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. Wow.  Particularly nice with Hidden Sniper.

Level 24
Golden Ring of Teros (AV 2) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.

Level 27
Avandra’s Ring (AV 2) - Ignoring difficult terrain is pretty cool. Too bad it shows up so late...
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 28
Ring of Elemental Mastery (MOTP) - Allows you to shave some elemental resistance off your opponent, or flat-out ignore it after a milestone. Solid, especially for people looking to abuse the Frostcheese combo.

Level 29
Ring of Free Time (AV 2) - Expensive, but you can do quite a lot with your minor actions by now. And it packs resist all 5. Can't go wrong with this.  Particularly nice if you want to stack some of those control-but-no-damage and damage-but-no-control zones on top of each other.

Level 30
Dauntless Champion’s Ring (AV 2) - Power recovery is good, though the price tag on this is steep.
Nullifying Ring (AV) - A capstone defensive item. Pretty nuts... if you can foot the bill.

Waist:


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Level 8
Belt of Vim (L8/18/28) (AV) - Reinforces what is probably your weakest defence, depending on your combat style.  Common

Level 10
Diamond Cincture (L10/20/30) (AV 2) - Easy-to-access healing, and a bonus a to Fortitude. Nice.
Shielding Girdle (AV) - A nice Daily AC buff.

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 15
Belt of Giant Strength (PHB) - A meh offensive Daily buff, particularly for you, but a pretty cool bonus to skills.
Girdle of the Umber Hulk (L15/25) (AV) - A solid burrow power, and a boost to Fortitude.

Level 19
Belt of Breaching (AV 2) - Healing and teleportation as you transition from kill to kill. That's definitely worth something.

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) - The Melee buff is probably useless to you.  The strong skill bonuses are not.

Level 28
Sash of Regeneration (L28) (AV 2) - Having regeneration while bloodied is a nice benefit.

Miscellaneous and Wondrous:


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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.
Spider Bolt (AV 2) - Burst slows.  Not ally friendly, sadly, but otherwise pretty good.  Use them with Rapid Shot.

Level 8+
Bolt of Clumsiness (AV 2): Lock down shifting mobs.
Dispelling Bolt (AV 2): Nix any zones put down by enemy Controllers and Leaders.

Level 10+
Dual Arrow (D 373) - REROLLS, you say?! Now this is what I'm taling about!  Using these, even at a few enchantment levels below yours, the Bow Hunters among you should be more-or-less the most accurate characters in the game, bar none.

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 10
Salve of Power (AV) - Post-errata, this trades a surge for an Encounter power.

Level 9
Backlash Tattoo (AV 2) - A free basic attack every encounter is a nice revenge sort of ability.
Endless Quiver (AV 2) - Endless ammo for all you ammunition users. Do I really need to explain why that is good? To boot, it's part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set.  Note, the endless ammunition thing makes it less appealing for Ocular Adepts.

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?

Level 16
Solitaire (Aquamarine) (AV) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.

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.



Arms:
There's no predefined progression, so I'll just use item levels.  That being said, it's a pretty easy choice for you.  Enchanted Wrist Razors for extra AC or an encounter's worth of double stances per day (See Weapons); or Bracers of Archery/the Perfect Shot.  A few of you might want some other choices, particularly if your chosen weapon provides an item bonus to damage, but it's somewhat unlikely.
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3:
Bracers of the Perfect Shot (3, 13, 23): For those of you not using Bows/Crossbows, your item bonus to RBA damage.

6:
Bracers of Archery (6, 16, 26): For those of you who are, your item bonus to all damage.  Even if you do choose to get a Master's Blade Wrist Razors, you should keep this or the BoPS around so you can switch out when you've used the Daily in your Wrist Razors.


Feet:
There's a bit more of a choice here.  Plenty of goodies, and no real standouts.  From here on in, since your selections, with a few exceptions I've removed, are pretty much the same as the base Ranger's, I've copied this section from LDB's wonderful guide.
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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 shifting around. What's not to like, particularly given how much some builds will be shifting?

Level 8
Boarding Boots (AV 2) - Big mobility increase once per day on the daily - effectively allowing you to double move and still attack.  The difficult terrain ignoring property is pretty useless, though, unless you spend a lot of time on board ship.  It's also part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set, which makes it look better if you already have pieces of that set, which you might well.
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 the set it's a part of is a solid one for the stealth-focussed amongst you.

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...

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:
Much as for feet, I'm going to poach this section from LDB, since the recommendations are more-or-less the same.
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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 8
Gauntlets of the Ram (PHB) - Anything that allows you to push more is sweet fora Bow Hunter packing a Forceful Bow, or for Crossbow Hunters after level 13.

Level 10
Antipathy Gloves (AV) - Play keep-away with the enemy.  Essentialy lets you stay closer to the baddies without getting charged.  Particularly good for the thrown users.

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.  Especially nice when combined with Armor of Dark Deeds, Hidden Sniper, and a bit of blocking terrain to hide behind.

Level 13
Gloves of Missile Deflection (AV) - Some solid resistance against Ranged attacks.


Head:
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Level 2
Eagle Eye Goggles (L2/12/22) (AV) - Wear these, with all your other bonuses, you should be pretty close, by now, to hitting on a natural 2 on all your at-wills.

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 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 Hunters. Being part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set certainly helps the cause a bit, for particularly stealth-focussed builds..

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.  But you'll probably be better off just taking Superior Will.

Level 15
Carcanet of Psychic Schism (AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.  The untyped bonus to Will is pretty nice, too.

Level 21
Coif of Focus (AV) - Comes by later in your career, and burns up a Magic Item Daily, but negating Daze or Stun is awesome.

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:
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Level 2+
Cloak of Resistance (PHB) - Decent resistance for a turn.

Level 3+
Safewing Amulet (PHB) - Never wind up prone after a fall, and reduce damage from them.  Could reduce or remove your need to train Acrobatics.

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.  Standing still isn't something many of you are likely to want to do.
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) - Decent item bonus to initiative, but there's not a lot you can do with your standard actions that isn't attacking.  Not brilliant.

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.
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.
Show

Level 13
Ring of Giants (D 378) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage, and push 2 + prone on any primal attack power.  Particularly nice for the Seeker Dilettantes, or anyone with a Primal PP.

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
Ring of Protection (PHB) - Generic defensive item. Useful, though it's about as exciting as watching grass grow.
War Ring (AV) - Adds a little more 'oomph' into your criticals.

Level 18


Bone Ring of Better Fortune (AV) - Since this halves all necrotic damage, it can potentially be better than a lot of resistance.
Ring of Ramming (AV) - Hands you a bit more 'oomph' on those pushes should you use a Forceful Bow Punishing Quarrel.

Level 19
Grace Ring of Prowess (AV 2) - A solid power that lets you rev up for +2 to hit before teeing off.

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.

Level 23
Greater Ring of Invisibility (AV 2) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. Wow.  Particularly nice with Hidden Sniper.

Level 24
Golden Ring of Teros (AV 2) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.

Level 27
Avandra’s Ring (AV 2) - Ignoring difficult terrain is pretty cool. Too bad it shows up so late...
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 28
Ring of Elemental Mastery (MOTP) - Allows you to shave some elemental resistance off your opponent, or flat-out ignore it after a milestone. Solid, especially for people looking to abuse the Frostcheese combo.

Level 29
Ring of Free Time (AV 2) - Expensive, but you can do quite a lot with your minor actions by now. 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.
Nullifying Ring (AV) - A capstone defensive item. Pretty nuts... if you can foot the bill.


Waist:
Level 8
Belt of Vim (L8/18/28) (AV) - Reinforces what is probably your weakest defence, depending on your combat style.  Common

Level 10
Diamond Cincture (L10/20/30) (AV 2) - Easy-to-access healing, and a bonus a to Fortitude. Nice.
Shielding Girdle (AV) - A nice Daily AC buff.

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 15
Belt of Giant Strength (PHB) - A meh offensive Daily buff, particularly for you, but a pretty cool bonus to skills.
Girdle of the Umber Hulk (L15/25) (AV) - A solid burrow power, and a boost to Fortitude.

Level 19
Belt of Breaching (AV 2) - Healing and teleportation as you transition from kill to kill. That's definitely worth something.

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.
[/spoiler]

Miscellaneous and Wondrous:
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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.
Spider Bolt (AV 2) - Burst slows.  Not ally friendly, sadly, but otherwise pretty good.  Use them with Rapid Shot.

Level 8+
Bolt of Clumsiness (AV 2): Lock down shifting mobs.
Dispelling Bolt (AV 2): Nix any zones put down by enemy Controllers and Leaders.

Level 10+
Dual Arrow (D 373) - REROLLS, you say?! Now this is what I'm taling about!  Using these, even at a few enchantment levels below yours, the Bow Hunters among you should be more-or-less the most accurate characters in the game, bar none.


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 10
Salve of Power (AV) - Post-errata, this trades a surge for an Encounter power.

Level 9
Backlash Tattoo (AV 2) - A free basic attack every encounter is a nice revenge sort of ability.
Endless Quiver (AV 2) - Endless ammo for Archers. Do I really need to explain why that is good? To boot, it's part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set.  Note, the endless ammunition thing makes it less appealing for Ocular Adepts.

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).

Level 16
Solitaire (Aquamarine) (AV) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.

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.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Builds, Play-style Advice, Tips and Tricks:


Tips and Tricks:


Perma-concealment, perma-CA


This is a strong combination - giving you a permanent +2 to hit and a permanent -2 to be hit.
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It consists of: Superior Reflexes (or another way to gain CA), Armor of Dark Deeds (grants concealment UEONT when you attack with CA) and Hidden Sniper (gives CA on ranged attacks when you have concealment).  Thus amounting to permanent partial concealment as long as you keep attacking (and why, really, would you want to stop?).  Note that Armor of Dark Deeds doesn't come up until level 14, so this one doesn't really come into its own until then.  If you can maintain Hidden or Partial Concealment in any other way, Hidden Sniper will maintain your CA, so you can make it work with a little care until the armour makes it easier.  This also means you can skip out on Wintertouched if you want to do some Frost Cheesing.


Invisible Sniper


Permanent Hidden with low enough enemy perception, and a piece of blocking terrain appropriately placed to Hide behind.
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This is very simple, really.  Pick Stealth as a trained skill (you ought to be anyway), and Aspect of the Dancing Serpent as one of your level 1 stances.  Add Hidden Sniper if you have some means to maintain Concealment in open terrain - probably Armor of Dark Deeds.  Find a piece of blocking terrain that grants you Superior Cover versus all enemies, and from which you can move 1 square and hit all your targets (or make your own with Wall of Earth after level 16, or Stalker's Mist as early as 2).  The blocking terrain/obscured zone should let you Hide; then each turn, you shift out to your firing position, fire (with CA, because you're Hidden or Concealed and took Hidden Sniper), take any minor action you might need (possibly sustaining Wall of Earth), then use the free end-of-turn shift to duck back behind the blocking terrain, at which point you can then make a new Stealth check to become Hidden again.  Gets better at Epic tier when Long Step lets you shift 2 with Dancing Serpent, making it a little more difficult for enemies to guess your location.


Can't touch this!


Applying massive to-hit penalties (up to -6), in burst, on every hit - at-will at level 11, encounter up until then.
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The combination consists of: Half-Elf Dilettante picking Biting Swarms as his Dilettante power.  This gives -2 to hit for the target and all adjacent enemies.  It stacks with Defending Dabbler, which marks the target, giving a further -2 to hit against your allies (and you really, really shouldn't be anywhere nearby if you're going to try this trick - preferably, you should be Hidden from the target).  Then, add either a Duelist's Bow (2+, -2 to hit for ranged attacks) or a Mindiron Weapon and the feat Psychic Lock (14+, Paragon, -2 to next attack roll).  The final component is Versatile Master, which makes your dilettante power at-will.  Add it all together, and that's -6 to hit for the target, -2 to hit for his adjacent friends.  Even without Biting Swarm, half-elves can get this to -4 with Defending Dabbler.  It makes Half-Elves undeniably attractive as a race, particularly in light of the fact that a Hunter's accuracy doesn't suffer much from the MAD required to balance DEX and WIS.

Sample Builds:


I'm going to use a template based on the easily-legible one from the original Character Builder to present these builds.  It makes life simpler, at least until a copy/paste export feature is put back into the OCB.

The E-Hunter


Your standard Hunter from L1 to L30, using only options from HotFL and HotFK.  It's not particularly interesting, but it's functional and accurate.  The bad thing about trying to make an Essentials-only weapon-using ranged character is the lack of decent feats.  I was scraping the barrel, really, to find things which improved the character in specific ways, rather than being 'just useful, I guess'.  I've not bothered with magic items on this build, either.  At-level magic +X is about the best we can get out of Essentials, sadly.
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E-Hunter, level 30
Drow, Hunter, Peerless Hunter, Destined Scion
Hunter Archery Style: Crossbow Hunter Style
Level 1 Wilderness Knack: Ambush Expertise
Level 1 Wilderness Knack: Mountain Guide
Level 4 Wilderness Knack: Watchful Rest
Level 8 Wilderness Knack: Wilderness Tracker
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Wisdom)
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Dexterity)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 16, Dex 30, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 12.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.

AC: 35 Fort: 33 Reflex: 40 Will: 34
HP: 173 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 48

TRAINED SKILLS
Dungeoneering +25, Stealth +32, Endurance +23, Acrobatics +32, Perception +27

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +15, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Heal +20, History +15, Insight +20, Intimidate +18, Nature +22, Religion +15, Streetwise +16, Thievery +25, Athletics +20

FEATS
Level 1: Superior Reflexes
Level 2: World Serpent's Grasp
Level 4: Disciple of the Wild
Level 6: Stoneroot's Endurance
Level 8: Superior Will
Level 10: Swift Recovery
Level 11: Disciple of Death
Level 12: Hidden Sniper
Level 14: Stormhawk's Vengeance
Level 16: Wasteland Wanderer
Level 18: Resilient Focus
Level 20: Wilderness Skirmisher
Level 21: Superior Fortitude
Level 22: Cold Adaptation
Level 24: Heat Adaptation
Level 26: Eager Advance
Level 28: Tenacious Resolve
Level 30: Disciple of Stone

POWERS
Lolthtouched: Cloud of Darkness
Aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Pouncing Lynx
Aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Dancing Serpent
Aspect of the wild 7: Aspect of the Regal Lion
Aspect of the wild 17: Aspect of the Lurking Spider
Level 2 Utility Power: Entangling Roots
Level 6 Utility Power: Thorn Ward
Level 10 Utility Power: Hunter's Thorn Trap
Level 16 Utility Power: Howling Winds
Level 22 Utility Power: Wrath of Root and Soil

Damn bugs *slap*


A Hunter utilising all of the tips and tricks above.  He's able to guarantee CA and at least Partial Concealment right from the first turn of every encounter, apply, -6 to hit on every attack, and remain Hidden pretty much all the time with even a little terrain advantage.  And he'll hit on a 2with all his at-wills, since they're all hitting Reflex.  Tasty.
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Damn Bugs *slap*, level 30
Half-Elf, Hunter, Seven Fates Archer, Destined Scion
Hunter Archery Style: Crossbow Hunter Style
Level 1 Wilderness Knack: Ambush Expertise
Level 1 Wilderness Knack: Mountain Guide
Level 4 Wilderness Knack: Beast Empathy
Level 8 Wilderness Knack: Wilderness Tracker
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Dexterity)
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Wisdom)
Half-Elf Power Selection: Dilettante
Background: Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 16, Dex 26, Int 12, Wis 28, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 8.

AC: 43 Fort: 44 Reflex: 44 Will: 44
HP: 205 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 51

TRAINED SKILLS
Dungeoneering +29, Perception +29, Athletics +23, Stealth +29, Acrobatics +27, Nature +29

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +17, Endurance +17, Heal +24, History +16, Insight +26, Intimidate +15, Religion +16, Streetwise +15, Thievery +24

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Superior crossbow)
Level 2: Defending Dabbler
Level 4: Primal Sharpshooter
Level 6: Superior Reflexes
Level 8: Superior Will (retrained to Hidden Sniper at Level 12)
Level 10: Stoneroot's Endurance (retrained to Armor Proficiency: Hide at Level 11)
Level 11: Versatile Master
Level 12: Primal Eye
Level 14: Psychic Lock
Level 16: Superior Will
Level 18: Disciple of the Wild
Level 20: Grazing Shot
Level 21: Deft Aim
Level 22: Bow Mastery
Level 24: Long Step
Level 26: Superior Fortitude
Level 28: Timely Revival
Level 30: Primal Resurgence

POWERS
Dilettante: Biting Swarm
Primal Sharpshooter: Grappling Spirits
Aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Pouncing Lynx
Aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Dancing Serpent
Aspect of the wild 7: Aspect of the Regal Lion
Aspect of the wild 17: Aspect of the Lurking Spider
Level 2 Utility Power: Invigorating Stride
Level 6 Utility Power: Entangling Roots
Level 10 Utility Power: Hunter's Thorn Trap
Level 16 Utility Power: Howling Winds
Level 22 Utility Power: Wrath of Root and Soil

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Climber's Kit, Crowbar, Glass Cutter, Thieves' Tools, Footpads, Bottle of Wine, Mindiron Superior crossbow +6, Master's Blade Wrist Razors +1, Voidhide of Dark Deeds +6, Bracers of Archery (heroic tier), Shadowdancer's Gloves (paragon tier), Shadowdancer's Boots (paragon tier), Eagle Eye Goggles (epic tier), Brooch of Vitality +6, Diamond Cincture (epic tier), Ring of the Phoenix (epic tier), Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Endless Quiver (heroic tier)


Avalanche


A Heavy Thrown Hunter with a fairly major secondary in Striker.  Starts with a base of Mul, for Dwarven Weapons Training, alongside durability and a very handy Encounter power, but +DEX races would work just as well, if not better.  Takes Avalanche Hurler to increase his damage further.  His RBA is doing 2d8 Brutal 1+DEX+DEX(Primal Eye+2(DWT)+1(Hunter Weapon mastery)+2(ENH, will increase to 3 with an at-level weapon) for an average of 26 damage on Clever Shot.  Not too shabby, and it should be further boostable with later choices.  He'll pick up a Hand Crossbow later on to make use of Punishing Quarrel on Disruptive Shot if he feels the need - and changing weapons is no problem with Avalanche Hurler's utility.  He's not even TOO shabby in  melee.
Show

level 11
Avalanche, Mul, Hunter, Avalanche Hurler
Hunter Archery Style: Crossbow Hunter Style
Level 1 Wilderness Knack: Ambush Expertise
Level 1 Wilderness Knack: Mountain Guide
Level 4 Wilderness Knack: Wilderness Tracker
Level 8 Wilderness Knack: Beast Empathy
Born of Two Races (Dwarf)
Background: Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 16, Dex 20, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 11.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.


AC: 26 Fort: 23 Reflex: 24 Will: 24
HP: 82 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 20

TRAINED SKILLS
Dungeoneering +13, Acrobatics +14, Stealth +17, Endurance +14, Perception +13, Nature +13

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +4, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Heal +8, History +4, Insight +8, Intimidate +5, Religion +4, Streetwise +7, Thievery +9, Athletics +6

FEATS
Level 1: Dwarven Weapon Training
Level 2: Bludgeon Expertise
Level 4: Precision Throw
Level 6: Primal Sharpshooter
Level 8: Armor Proficiency: Hide
Level 10: Quick Draw (retrained to Primal Eye at Level 11)
Level 11: Superior Will

POWERS
Primal Sharpshooter: Grappling Spirits
Hunter aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Seeking Falcon
Hunter aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Pouncing Lynx
Level 2 Utility Power: Invigorating Stride
Level 6 Utility Power: Stalker's Mist
Hunter aspect of the wild 7: Aspect of the Dancing Serpent
Level 10 Utility Power: Hunter's Thorn Trap

ITEMS
Veteran's Earthhide Armor +3 (10), Elven Cloak +3 (11), Shielding Blade Wrist Razors +1, Crashing Mordenkrad +2 (9)

Covergirl


A build supplied by Yargon.
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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Covergirl, level 16
Drow, Hunter, Traveler's Harlequin
Hunter Archery Style: Crossbow Hunter Style
Level 1 Wilderness Knacks: Watchful Rest
Level 1 Wilderness Knacks: Mountain Guide
Level 4 Wilderness Knack: Ambush Expertise
Level 8 Wilderness Knack: Wilderness Tracker
Background: Con Artist (Con Artist Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 9, Con 12, Dex 24, Int 11, Wis 20, Cha 11.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10.


AC: 31 Fort: 24 Reflex: 32 Will: 27
HP: 99 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 24

TRAINED SKILLS
Dungeoneering +18, Bluff +14, Acrobatics +20, Stealth +22, Perception +20, Thievery +21, Nature +18

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +8, Diplomacy +8, Endurance +9, Heal +13, History +8, Insight +13, Intimidate +10, Religion +8, Streetwise +8, Athletics +7

FEATS
Traveler's Harlequin: Primal Sharpshooter
Level 1: Ruthless Hunter
Level 2: Sneak of Shadows
Level 4: Improved Defenses
Level 6: Two-Fisted Shooter
Level 8: Hidden Sniper (retrained to Wintertouched at Level 12)
Level 10: Improved Initiative
Level 11: Primal Eye
Level 12: Lasting Frost
Level 14: Merciless Killer
Level 16: Shadowborn

POWERS
Lolthtouched: Cloud of Darkness
Primal Sharpshooter: Biting Swarm
Hunter aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Pouncing Lynx
Hunter aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Cunning Fox
Hunter aspect of the wild 1: Aspect of the Dancing Serpent
Level 2 Utility Power: Bridge of Roots
Level 6 Utility Power: Weave Through the Fray
Level 10 Utility Power: Defensive Volley
Level 16 Utility Power: Howling Winds

ITEMS
Boltshard Crossbow Superior crossbow +2 (-1), Ornament of Alertness +2, Eagle Eye Goggles (heroic tier), Adventurer's Kit, Crossbow Bolts (100), Rapier, Frost Hand Crossbow +2, Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (heroic tier) (2), Frost Hand Crossbow +3, Rhythm Blade Wrist Razors +1, Battle Harness Drowmesh +3, Bracers of the Perfect Shot (paragon tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Things goign for this build:


  • She uses a frost, high crit, hand crossbow, her RBA is doing 1d8 damage + 22 (+26 cold), +27 vs bloodied target (+31 cold), or +37 Vuln:Cold (using cold) , or +42 if both (using cold)

  • Able to add +3d6 1/turn, with SA, in her off hand, and a Rhythm Blade Wrist Razors

  • She has +24 to hit at level 16, +26 with CA, which she can get after her first shot with Wintercheese, against one target

  • Fast +22 init base, with +4 for Aspect of the Pouncing Lynx, and +2 untyped for starting in dim light or worse

  • Darkvision, unlimited range



All at level 16!

Other interesting builds:


EBola Hunter, an Essentials Bola Hunter, by ibixat
This build sacrifices damage for heavy control using the Bola, as well as some of the tricks and tips shown above.
The Dwarf Hater, by Herid_Fel
A Heavy Thrown build.
More to come, watch this space.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
And one for luck.  Should be enough.  Post away.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Four skills that are gold?!?!?!  I'd advise against throwing around the gold rating that much.  It signifies something that is pretty much mandatory, and unless you're a class that automatically gets a skill (i.e. Arcana for Wizards), it shouldn't be gold.  IMO even skills required for a certain out of combat role (i.e. Perception and Stealth are gold for a party scout) shouldn't be marked as such in a handbook, because (for example) not every Hunter will be filling the role of party scout. 

I also wouldn't rate defender as black for secondary role.  Yes, you can keep a monster from attacking your allies, but that's not only a defender thing.  Action denial is a controller thing, even if it does mean you're "defending" your allies (defending NOT being used in the sense of a defender's game mechanics).  A defender is better described as a more specialized controller that uses hard or soft control to make themselves "sticky," with the end goal of funneling enemy attacks onto themselves (since they can take it better than their allies). 

Note that controllers can also funnel damage; for example, a controller can immobilize/daze/restrain/prone an enemy next to an off-tank that is otherwise not sticky.  Sometimes they'll even turn themselves into the meatshield if they're the least injured or have the most surges, but this generally happens very rarely (Druids can do this more often than other controllers since they're tougher).  When it does happen, it's because the controller is considering the entire battlefield, looking for any opportunities to outright deny enemy attacks, or if that's not possible, mitigate them (which may include soft control, de-buffs, or funneling damage onto an ally best equipped to take it).

Defenders can really only force/encourage enemies to attack themselves; a controller has more options, as they can make anyone sticky.  In order to be a secondary defender though, a class has to be able to step into the specialized shoes of the defender, and that specialty is getting themselves hit in the face.  Sure, any controller can make themselves sticky, but that doesn't mean that they're equipped to handle that much damage (with the exception of the Druid, and possibly a Staff Wizard).  The Hunter is simply too squishy to be able to act as a defender with any regularity, but most importantly, they gimp themselves if they force enemies adjacent to them because they're ranged attackers and would provoke OAs.  The last thing a Hunter wants is to get surrounded.  I'd rate them red.


Here's a possible (if anything, comedic) picture.

I'll find a more serious one shortly.
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
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My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
I reccommend bumping all of your skill colors down one.

Your kinda deflating what it means to be gold.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Duly noted.  I inherited most of the golds from the Ranger guide - I'll tone that down, and bear it in mind as I go on.  As for defender, I'll drop the rating, but I'd still argue you can fill in for some, but definitely not all, of the role.

I'll also fiddle with the colours.  Finding one in the default palette would be useful, but I can always find-and-replace if it's still iffy.  Stats and races going up.

EDIT: that's me for tonight.  I'll get the rest of what I have written up tomorrow.  Made the edits as suggested by the way.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Also, you mention in your intro (under 'single-target control) that the encounter power, which I'm assuming is distruptive shot, stuns on a miss rather than slowing on a miss.

It's a small mistake, but one that could confuse peopleTongue out.
Good to see this up and running. I'll be awaiting its completion, so I can link it to the Ranger's Handbook.

I would also advise against rating any races Gold. If you're using the same rating paradigm as I am (and it seems you are), Gold means "not taking this means not taking the most optimal route". In the case of the Hunter, there are some small variations, but virtually any race with a Dexterity bonus will give you the same results, so a Gold race shouldn't really exist.

I do stand by some of the skills having that rating, though. You are forced to pick between Dungeoneering and Nature, so it's pretty rational to rate that Gold in my mind. And, to be blunt, a Hunter without Perception is doing it wrong.
Yeah, +1 on the not rating any races gold.  Especially since Wisdom isn't particularly crucial to a Hunter.  The only time I'd recommend sticking with a race that gets both primary and secondary stat bonuses is if the secondary stat determines AC, for example, and even then it's less important for ranged classes.  The best example I can think of is the Warden, who really wants a bonus in Str and either Con or Wis. 

Again, gold means virtually everyone will pick this because it's so obviously optimal that you're shooting yourself in the foot by not taking it (like one of the Expertise feats). 
Races, don't just look at a races stat distribution, granted all the +2 DEX/WIS races are better than black, but look at feat support.

For instance you should perhaps work off that everything is average, and only rate it higher if it adds something to the build. rating it gold only if in not only adds something, but by not taking it you'd be doing your character a disservice.

e.g Drow, I would rate high, they have good stat distribution (+2 Dex/Wis), have some good feat support for the hand crossbow, etc..

 
The Hunter is simply too squishy to be able to act as a defender with any regularity, but most importantly, they gimp themselves if they force enemies adjacent to them because they're ranged attackers and would provoke OAs.  The last thing a Hunter wants is to get surrounded.  I'd rate them red.



From level 8 on, hunters don't provoke with ranged attacks, so that isn't such a big deal at least...
I really look forward to this!  Throughout my experience with 4e, I was never really interested in rangers at all.  But, I read the Hunter preview and loved the class.  Then again, I'm a fan of crossbows and the Hunter gave free expertise and speed loader at 1st level, so that made me happy to save 2 feats.  

A few simple things to toss out.  Obviously, half-elves with access to Seeker at-wills is awesome for hunters.  Serene Archery from the Sehanine article lets you use Wis for RBA attack/damage roll, so there's some stat flexibility there, though that's a situational thing for races who have a Wis bonus, but not Dex (cough half-elves).  And even then, you'll want Dex high anyway for AC/Ref/Init.  Boltshard Crossbow from AV2 has a pretty nifty daily power that lets you make an RBA against everything in a blast 3/5/7 and a push 2 added in higher tiers. 
The Hunter is simply too squishy to be able to act as a defender with any regularity, but most importantly, they gimp themselves if they force enemies adjacent to them because they're ranged attackers and would provoke OAs.  The last thing a Hunter wants is to get surrounded.  I'd rate them red.



From level 8 on, hunters don't provoke with ranged attacks, so that isn't such a big deal at least...



One niche build that comes to mind is Revenant or Half-Elf builds can use Defending Dabbler to mark with their bonus At-Will (come paragon and Versatile Master).
The Hunter is simply too squishy to be able to act as a defender with any regularity, but most importantly, they gimp themselves if they force enemies adjacent to them because they're ranged attackers and would provoke OAs.  The last thing a Hunter wants is to get surrounded.  I'd rate them red.



From level 8 on, hunters don't provoke with ranged attacks, so that isn't such a big deal at least...



One niche build that comes to mind is Revenant or Half-Elf builds can use Defending Dabbler to mark with their bonus At-Will (come paragon and Versatile Master).



Interesting...now just to find ways to add punishment onto that and we might have something serious going on. There is that one plaguescarred feat I know that adds a point of damage and some healing for mark violation...There is that one type of magical ammunition that marks and has built in punishment, but that would get pretty expensive to use regularly...With a weapon RBA dilettante you can even mark using your other at-wills because they all involve you using your RBA so you can mark while using any of them with defending dabbler...


Interesting...now just to find ways to add punishment onto that and we might have something serious going on. There is that one plaguescarred feat I know that adds a point of damage and some healing for mark violation...There is that one type of magical ammunition that marks and has built in punishment, but that would get pretty expensive to use regularly...With a weapon RBA dilettante you can even mark using your other at-wills because they all involve you using your RBA so you can mark while using any of them with defending dabbler...



Spellscarred Invigoration. One point of fire and necrotic damage, you regain 1 hit point. If you have Student of the Plague, you regain hp equal to your Con modifier. Not amazing, but if you have some ways to add on other penalties with your mark, it could probably garner a build. It's still going to be secondary defender material, but it could be fun.
Better, I think, is to not worry about mark enforcement, and look at Defending Dabbler as a way to apply an attack debuff to enemies who can't easily target you.
Better, I think, is to not worry about mark enforcement, and look at Defending Dabbler as a way to apply an attack debuff to enemies who can't easily target you.



I discovered one way to get to near full-defender status.....Half-Elf Hunter/MC Fighter/Knight Protector, with Grappling Spirits dilettante...you stand behind a melee ally and shoot the enemy on the opposite side with grappling spirits using aimed/clever/rapid shot, and when you hit the enemy is slowed and can't shift and marked by you...the enemy can either move past your ally provoking an OA to get to you, or attack your ally in which case you can slide them one square as an interrupt thanks to the 11th level feature. Of course the path powers and 16th level feature are pretty useless. MC Rogue/Rakish Swashbuckler would let you give your allies CA via marking which could be nice too.
Better, I think, is to not worry about mark enforcement, and look at Defending Dabbler as a way to apply an attack debuff to enemies who can't easily target you.



Agreed.

Biting Swarm Dilettante, Mindiron Superior Crossbow + Psychic Lock, Defensive Dabbler...

your target is now -6 to hit. I'm not really worried about mark punishment in the slightest. Frankly, I'd rather use the free action shift 1 from Aspect of the Dancing Serpent to slide behind a pillar and hide, thereby leaving my target completely boned.


This, of course, assumes I could be bothered to deviate from the Human Crossbow + Seeker/Primal Eye + Steady Shooter build I'm already in love with.
I could be wrong, but Warforged could use *some* love based only on the fact they can wield a 2 handed crossbow with one hand, leaving the other able to wield a bow. That ought to be worth a higher ranking than Goliaths or other such guys, since you gain a large measure of survivability.
The Smithy Knew He'd Lost His Groove When Scalding Sparks Left His Chin Too Smooth Dwarvenshave
Knight Protector is a bad idea, (Reach, which is increasingly common on melee monsters past level 11, invalidates the one good thing it has going for it) though even without it you've described a pretty desirable situation. The monster's best choice is attacking the person you want it to attack with a -2 penalty.

EDIT: Double ninja'd!
Yay I can finally stop polluting Auspex's thread with all the hunter stuff that runs through my mind!
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
Yay I can finally stop polluting Auspex's thread with all the hunter stuff that runs through my mind!



hahaha, no worries! you're welcome anywhere, sir. You have a great attitude, and contribute very well.
@thespaceinvader

For skills, Acrobatics definitely should not be gold. Especially after lvl 8, it's not. I wouldn't put it higher than blue, personally as I feel that the uses for acrobatics are fairly limited- one of the main ones is to get away from grabs, which after lvl 8... isn't a huge deal anyways thanks to not provoking OAs. Of all of the dex based skills, this is the one I am least apt to train in.

On that same note, stealth should be higher than blue- I consider it on par with perception for bow rangers (which I often consider gold for a wis primary or secondary class). Like Auspex alluded to earlier, you can use the free shift from Aspect of the Dancing Serpent to maybe get yourself into total cover/concealment and get stealth checks off with it. It's also incredibly useful out of combat for scouting, getting surprise rounds, and stealing from your enemies :D

As for the "Debilitating Effects" you have as sky blue... I find kind of wonky. I wouldn't put hunters over blue, even with pretty moderate optimization as they're just not quite designed for it. The best situation would probably be a half-elf grapplingspirits/biting swarm with their mind-iron crossbow but even then I'd say if you give hunters the same rating for this as wizards, invokers and even laser clerics have there is an obvious discrepency.

I would suggest cleaning up your discription of Dexterity under the attributes section as well. Insisting they start with a post-racial 20 (which locks out non-dex races), and neglecting a feat like serene archery which will let you use wisdom in place of dex feels a bit closed off. Mention that it's light blue for those who go the serene archery route and still need dex for disrupting strike and AC. Half-Elves especially have little use for such high dex. In the same way, I would suggest making Wisdom as low as Blue, mentioning the caveat of Half-Elves and maybe those who opt for Serene Archery being Gold. The pre-racial adjustment, imo should also be 14-16 or at least 12-16 as having a 16/16 spread between dex and wisdom definitely is not bad.

For races, Half-Elves clearly need to be mentioned as a sky-blue race and in your list of best options (honestly, it is THE best option, hands down for someone who wants a controller). Course with so many half-elf, cheesy builds running rampant it is easy to devalue them on a matter of personal taste. If any race should be gold, this is the one. No reason for the namby pamby pure bloods to be above them :P and for that matter, no race should be gold. I'd reserve gold ratings for powers and feats alone.

I really hope you've reserved enough space for PP's, ED's, feats, and powers. I remember when alien had to redo his entire druid handbook largely because of that... it feels like it was only a few months ago... Anyhow I look forward to seeing this guide develop! Laughing
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
As far as attributes go, I definitely stand behind the fact that the great majority of Hunters, regardless of race, should have a pre-racial 18 in Dexterity. There's no real reason not to, with Dilettante shenanigans being the exception that validates the rule.

That said, it's kind of hard to back up Sky Blue for Half-Elves, when the Revenant Half-Elf beats it at its own game. I would have the Revenant ranked higher, personally.
Actually the Revenant Half-Elf fails at that game because Grappling Spirits and Biting Swarm are wis based, which half-elves get a bonus to and revenants do not, and there is no way to make it dex based. That, and it's another feat for a weapon based (and therfore often feat starved) class.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
Actually the Revenant Half-Elf fails at that game because Grappling Spirits and Biting Swarm are wis based, which half-elves get a bonus to and revenants do not, and there is no way to make it dex based. That, and it's another feat for a weapon based (and therfore often feat starved) class.



Adept Dilettante makes them Con-based, which is good enough for a Revenant. 16 in Dex/Con pre-racials, and you're good to go. Sets you back a few feats, but my forays into Hunter building have shown me that they have plenty of room, since you get so much for free already.

That also sets you up nicely for Lyrandar Wind-Rider awesomesauce, if you have access to it.
Actually the Revenant Half-Elf fails at that game because Grappling Spirits and Biting Swarm are wis based, which half-elves get a bonus to and revenants do not, and there is no way to make it dex based. That, and it's another feat for a weapon based (and therfore often feat starved) class.



Adept Dilettante makes them Con-based, which is good enough for a Revenant. 16 in Dex/Con pre-racials, and you're good to go. Sets you back a few feats, but my forays into Hunter building have shown me that they have plenty of room, since you get so much for free already.

That also sets you up nicely for Lyrandar Wind-Rider awesomesauce, if you have access to it.



Fair Enough. It's 2 feats that wouldn't be spent otherwise in return for 1 in AC/reflex and some fort, and making their lowest defense lower. I wouldn't necessarily say they "beat them at their game", but I'd certainly agree to equal footing.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
They're also markedly better at Heroic (which is why I say they beat them at their own game - they make the setup less painful), when you HAVE to rely on your Dexterity to work. Part of the Hunter perks is being accurate; it's hard to be really accurate with a 16 starting prime stat for an entire tier of play, especially when the alternative (a non-Dilettante race) is probably rocking a 20.
Serene Archery, bro. That said, feats have a cost and your broader point still stands.
To which you could take Serene Archery until you reach lvl 11 making their accuracy even again :P
Though, admittedly, this will only work for those who wield bows.

Edit: Ninja'd >.<
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
To which you could take Serene Archery until you reach lvl 11 making their accuracy even again :P
Though, admittedly, this will only work for those who wield bows.


Accuracy still isn't ever even, truth be told. If you're stuck with bows (which I forgot) you're stuck with a +2 proficiency bonus, AND while you can attack with WIS through all tiers, you still can't add your WIS to AC. You can't get starting WIS higher than 18 and still have okay AC, so that's another point behind.

LDB prefers bows as it is :P Though I've always been more drawn to crossbows as well. Really, though, your will is the defense you'll want the highest as it is and I see neglecting that so heavily as problematic if you go Revenant. You're already losing a potential point of will by having eagle eye goggles, and Hunters get a bonus to fort and reflex. Once the arrows become cheap enough, you'll want to use +2 dual arrows all the time anyways (probably keeping it within 3 enhancement bonuses of where you should be). The "suffering" is quite minor in Heroic, and in my mind even negligible as there are ways around it. It's one of few half-elf class build that operates perfectly strong throughout heroic to epic.

Hunters will have pretty good defenses for a ranged character regardless if you manage to get Davros Elden's Defensive Step (with Aspect of the Dancing Serpent, this is basically a permanent boost), and perma-concealment once you get to +3 armor (or take perma-frost) through Hidden Sniper.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---