Hunter's Rapid Shot and Ranged Basic Attacks in General

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I am playing around with a Hunter at the moment and am trying to come up with ways to make Rapid shot and the hunter's ranged basic attacks very powerful. So far I have multiclassed fighter for the battle fury stance (can't use a ranged stance with this power) and I have checked out using combustion whetstones and the fire dragonstone augment with a weapon that deals fire damage. I have bow focus, a +4 weapon, 7 dex mod, and bracers of archery. I also have +26 to hit vs AC and grazing shot incase i ever do miss a ranged basic.

Is there anyway to make my ranged basic attack better? Or a way to use another classes at will as a ranged basic attack? Like using Twin Strike as an at will or eldricht blast.

EDIT: I have been looking, is there any way to crit on a 19-20 with a hand crossbow?
MC Seeker instead of Fighter, take the Primal Eye feat. Bow Mastery grants expanded crit range for hand crossbows.
Would Waistband of the Grappler increase my damage rolls with my ranged basic? The wording reads "You gain +5 Power bonus to damage rolls and to grab attempts, but take -2 penalty to attack rolls." It may be rules lawyering but it doesn't say "you gain a +5 power bonus to damage rolls with grab attacks and to grab attempts." It does not specify that the damage increase is limited to grab attacks.
Would Waistband of the Grappler increase my damage rolls with my ranged basic? The wording reads "You gain +5 Power bonus to damage rolls and to grab attempts, but take -2 penalty to attack rolls." It may be rules lawyering but it doesn't say "you gain a +5 power bonus to damage rolls with grab attacks and to grab attempts." It does not specify that the damage increase is limited to grab attacks.



Yeah, it works with all damage rolls.

The -2 penalty makes it somewhat weaker, but unless you're doing an average of 50 points a shot, it'll be higher DPR.  However, watch out for the fact that it's a power bonus; it might conflict with damage bonuses granted by your leader.


The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
+5 damage is totally not worth -2 to hit (unless you're already hitting on better than a 2, which to be fair, a Hunter very well might be).

Ways to improve RBAs: Primal Eye.  Be a Half-Elf and take Biting Swarm as your dilettante.  Take Defending Dabbler.  Use a Mindiron superior crossbow and Psychic Lock.

Read the guide, basically.  See my sig.
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, Eagle Eye Goggles if you don't have them already.

+1 on MC seeker + Primal Eye.
At paragon, the best RBA you can obtain is adept dilettante biting swarm or grappling spirits on a revenant dex/con half elf hunter lyrandar wind-rider with primal eye.

Con vs AC, 1[W]+CON+CON+DEX+mods.

The only downside is the restriction to lightning weapons (the upside is that both lightning weapons and thunderbolt weapons have pretty fantastic dailies anyway), meaning it can't be combined with the mindiron / psychic lock / defending dabbler / biting swarm trick.  But -4 is still decent, and slide 1 + slow isn't bad either.  If your DM is willing to rule that it's incredibly dumb that the slow from grappling spirits only lasts until the end of the monster's turn, and make it last until the end of your next turn instead, then it can be combined with world serpent's grasp and vicious advantage to great effect.

Edit: it should of course be mentioned that this is the best RBA you can obtain on a *hunter*.  The best RBA period would be much the same thing on a slayer chassis, but there's no way to get it both rapid or clever shots and one of the seeker at-wills.  I'd probably take rapid shot before the seeker at-will on a slayer, so that would make his RBA 1[W]+DEX+DEX+DEX+CON+mods 
At paragon, the best RBA you can obtain is adept dilettante biting swarm or grappling spirits on a revenant dex/con half elf hunter lyrandar wind-rider with primal eye.

...

Edit: it should of course be mentioned that this is the best RBA you can obtain on a *hunter*.  The best RBA period would be much the same thing on a slayer chassis, but there's no way to get it both rapid or clever shots and one of the seeker at-wills.  I'd probably take rapid shot before the seeker at-will on a slayer, so that would make his RBA 1[W]+DEX+DEX+DEX+CON+mods 

Ok, I really need to see how this works. Could you post a sample build of this, or PM it to me? I have the general idea of all the feats/multiclasses/items involved but I'd love to see it on paper.

 Ok, I really need to see how this works. Could you post a sample build of this, or PM it to me? I have the general idea of all the feats/multiclasses/items involved but I'd love to see it on paper.




I'd be happy to post it...but are you referring to the hunter or the slayer?


Honestly? Both. But the slayer if you only want to do one.
This is the hunter, at level 12. His RBA is +22 vs AC, 1d10+22 lightning damage, slide 1, slow+prevent shifting.  His stances add +1/+2 vs enemies not adjacent to other enemies, +2 attack vs large creatures, or +4 init / +2 to attack on first round of combat. 

Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======


Stormbolt, level 12
Revenant, Hunter, Lyrandar Wind-Rider
Archery Style Option: Crossbow Hunter
Ranger Wilderness Knacks Option: Mountain Guide (Ranger)
Ranger Wilderness Knacks Option: Ambush Expertise (Ranger)
Level 4 Wilderness Knack Option: Beast Empathy (Ranger)
Level 8 Wilderness Knack Option: Watchful Rest (Ranger)
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf
Lyrandar Airship Sailor (+2 to Perception)


 FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 20, DEX 20, INT 11, WIS 16, CHA 9


 STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 15, DEX 15, INT 10, WIS 15, CHA 8


AC: 26 Fort: 24 Ref: 24 Will: 21
HP: 87 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 21


TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +16, Dungeoneering +14, Nature +14, Perception +16, Stealth +16


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +6, Athletics +7, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Endurance +13, Heal +9, History +6, Insight +9, Intimidate +7, Religion +6, Streetwise +5, Thievery +11


POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Revenant Utility: Dark Reaping
Ranger Utility: Aspect of the Pouncing Lynx
Ranger Utility: Aspect of the Dancing Serpent
Ranger Attack: Disruptive Shot
Ranger Attack: Aimed Shot
Ranger Attack: Clever Shot
Ranger Attack: Rapid Shot
Ranger Utility: Aspect of the Lone Wolf
Seeker Attack 1: Grappling Spirits
Ranger Utility 2: Invigorating Stride
Ranger Attack 3: Disruptive Strike
Ranger Utility 5: Reactive Shift
Perception Utility 6: Guided Shot
Ranger Utility 10: Hunter's Thorn Trap
Lyrandar Wind-Rider Attack 11: Wind Burst
Lyrandar Wind-Rider Utility 12: Zephyr Wings


FEATS
Crossbow Expertise
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Superior crossbow)
Level 2: Half-Elf Soul
Level 4: Adept Dilettante
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Crossbow)
Level 10: Mark of Storm
Level 11: Versatile Master
Level 11: Reserve Maneuver
Level 12: Primal Eye


ITEMS
Lightning Superior crossbow +2 x1
Eagle Eye Goggles (paragon tier) x1
Bracers of the Perfect Shot (heroic tier) x1
Gauntlets of Blood (heroic tier) x1
Cloak of Distortion +2 x1
Shipboard Leather Armor +3 x1
Adventurer's Kit
Crossbow Bolt
====== End ======

 

The slayer is the same thing, but dilettantes a ranger at-will and then takes archery mastery to trade it for rapid shot.   He'd also need to take crossbow expertise and either speed loader or suck it up and eat the minor actions for loading.  Or use a bow and lose some accuracy.  Hunters are lucky in that they get both for free as class features.  And pretty much all of the slayer utilities (and power strikes), as well as the fighter options for trading away the paragon path implement power (+11 vs fort, 3d6+5 damage? no thanks.) are all entirely useless for a ranged build.  But the trade-off is dealing an extra DEX in damage, plus access to the slayer stances, which are more damage-focused than hunters'.

Here's the slayer. Note that even without speed-loader, and taking zero non-build-necessary feats, he can't take archery mastery to finish off the concept until level 14.  His RBA is +24 vs AC, 1d10+32 slide 1.  His stances either make that +25 vs AC or 1d10+35, or let him shift 6 after shooting. Note that unlike the hunter, his attacks will provoke OAs. 
Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======


Baas Degcrin, level 14
Revenant, Slayer, Lyrandar Wind-Rider
Slayer Weapon Specialization Option: Rapid Quarterstaff
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf
Detective (Detective Benefit)


 FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 22, DEX 22, INT 12, WIS 14, CHA 9


 STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 16, DEX 16, INT 11, WIS 13, CHA 8


 AC: 23 Fort: 25 Ref: 23 Will: 19
HP: 115 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 28


 TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +20, Insight +15, Nature +14, Perception +15


 UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +13, Arcana +8, Athletics +7, Bluff +6, Diplomacy +6, Dungeoneering +9, Heal +9, History +8, Intimidate +8, Religion +8, Stealth +13, Streetwise +6, Thievery +13


 POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Revenant Utility: Dark Reaping
Multiple Class Attack: Power Strike
Fighter Utility: Battle Wrath
Fighter Utility: Mobile Blade
Fighter Utility: Poised Assault
Seeker Feature: Inevitable Shot
Ranger Attack: Rapid Shot
Ranger Attack 1: Twin Strike
Seeker Attack 1: Biting Swarm
Fighter Utility 2: Who's Next?
Fighter Utility 6: Unbreakable
Fighter Utility 10: Clearheaded
Lyrandar Wind-Rider Attack 11: Wind Burst
Lyrandar Wind-Rider Utility 12: Zephyr Wings 


FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Superior crossbow)
Level 2: Crossbow Expertise
Level 4: Half-Elf Soul
Level 6: Primal Sharpshooter
Level 8: Mark of Storm
Level 10: Weapon Focus (Crossbow)
Level 11: Primal Eye
Level 12: Versatile Master
Level 14: Archery Mastery 


 ITEMS
Lightning Superior crossbow +2 x1
Bracers of the Perfect Shot (heroic tier) x1
Eagle Eye Goggles (paragon tier) x1


====== End ======


Wow. That's impressive! Hate to be the terrifying newb but could you show where each of the bonuses to hit and to damage come from?
Hunter:

Atk:
+6 half-level
+1 weapon talent
+2 enhancement
+3 proficiency
+2 expertise
+5 ability (con)
+2 CA
+2 item (eagle eye)
+1 Lyrandar

24 w/ CA, 22 w/o, 22 w/CA+Rapid, 20 w/o CA+Rapid

Dmg:
1d10 [W]
+2 enhancement
+2 item
+5 ability
+5 Lyrandar
+5 Primal Eye
+1 weapon mastery
+2 weapon focus

1d10+22

Similar process for the Slayer.

D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Sure.  On the hunter, the attack bonus breakdown is:
+22 total
+5 Con modifier (adept diletante made grappling spirits con based rather than wis based)
+6 half of level
+3 Proficiency Bonus from Superior Crossbow
+2 Enhancement Bonus from Lightning Superior Crossbow +2
+2 Feat Bonus from Crossbow Expertise
+1 Bonus from Weapon Talent (Hunter Feature)
+2 Item Bonus from Eagle Eye Goggles (Paragon)
+1 Bonus when using a lightning power from Storm Adept (Lyrandar Wind-Rider level 11 Feature)

and the damage breakdown is
+22 total
+5 Con modifier (adept diletante made grappling spirits con based rather than wis based)
+5 Con modifier when using a lightning power from Storm Adept (Lyrandar Wind-Rider level 11 Feature)
+5 Dex modifier added to RBAs via Primal Eye (seeker paragon feat)
+2 Enhancement Bonus from Lightning Superior Crossbow +2
+2 Item Bonus from Bracers of the Perfect Shot (heroic)
+2 Feat Bonus from Weapon Focus (Crossbow)
+1 Bonus from Weapon Mastery (Hunter Feature at level 5)

For the Slayer, the attack breakdown is
+24 total
+6 Dex Modifier (he's just using a basic RBA so it's dex based)
+7 Half of Level
+3 Proficiency Bonus Superior Crossbow
+2 Enhancement Bonus from Lightning Superior Crossbow +2
+2 Feat Bonus from Crossbow Expertise
+2 Item Bonus from Eagle Eye Goggles (Paragon)
+1 Bonus from Weapon Talent (Slayer Feature) 
+1 Bonus when using a lightning power from Storm Adept (Lyrandar Wind-Rider level 11 Feature)

and the damage breakdown is 
+32 total
+6 Dex Modifier (dex-based RBA)
+8 Dex Modifier + 2 from Mighty Slayer (Slayer Feature at level 5)
+6 Con Modifier when using a lightning power from Storm Adept (Lyrandar Wind-Rider level 11 Feature)
+6 Dex Modifier added to RBAs via Primal Eye (Seeker Paragon Feat)
+2 Enhancement Bonus
+2 Item Bonus from Bracers of the Perfect Shot (heroic)
+2 Feat Bonus from Weapon Focus (Crossbow)

I tried to mitigate the damage difference between the two by giving the slayer the same items as the hunter, despite the level difference, but the stat bump at 14 puts him solidly ahead, since he's adding 4 stat mods to his basic attacks.  At equal-levels, the accuracy should be identical (pending stance choice) the slayer damage should be higher than the hunter damage by DEX+1/3/5 (slayer bonus increases at 5, 15, 25) (again, that's before stance choice enters into the damage).

My personal opinion is that the extra damage isn't worth everything you give up in order to be a one-trick pony.  Even if it's a pretty neat trick.  On the hunter, though, RBA optimization can give you second-to-none accuracy, middle-of-the-pack striker damage, and more than double the effect of your at-will control (as well as adding control to rapid shot, which doesn't start with anything but damage).
Ok, that's fantastic. Thank you for spelling out where all the bonuses come from and why you picked each feat and such.

A few questions, though - you picked Superior Crossbow instead of Greatbow because the +1 proficiency is more important than the +1 average damage, right? And you picked Revenant because of Dark Reaping and the extra survivability? Why do you have two level 11 feats, though, and what does Reserve Maneuver add to the build?
The two L11 feats is due to retraining.  Once you're L11, you can actually retrain a heroic-tier feat to a paragon-tier feat.  You'll note that there's a lack of a L6 feat - it got retrained.

Reserve Maneuver lets you substitute your paragon path L11 encounter power for something actually useful.  As an Implement power, it's fundamentally pretty damn useless for you.  Replacing it with basically any Ranger level 1 through 7 power is quite strong.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Ok, that's fantastic. Thank you for spelling out where all the bonuses come from and why you picked each feat and such.

A few questions, though - you picked Superior Crossbow instead of Greatbow because the +1 proficiency is more important than the +1 average damage, right? And you picked Revenant because of Dark Reaping and the extra survivability? Why do you have two level 11 feats, though, and what does Reserve Maneuver add to the build?



Because a hunter is primarily a controller, and because none of the ranger level 1-7 abilities count as RBAs (which we've optimized out the wazzoo already), I picked up Disruptive Strike via Reserve Maneuver, to replace the useless level 11 implement encounter power from Lyrandar Wind-Rider.  As an out-of-turn immediate interrupt that (extremely likely, since you can wait for the attack roll and then look and see if it would) turns an enemy hit into a miss, it's a fantastic controllery/leadery power.  Particularly since, with mark of storm and a lightning weapon, your slide will quite likely nullify the attack even if your wisdom modifier isn't high enough to lower it to a miss.  And your wisdom will be low, since you're dex/con.  

I picked Superior Crossbow over Greatbow because hunters get crossbow expertise and speed loader for free as a class feature if they pick crossbow style.  And Crossbow Expertise is better than Bow Expertise, because it essentially mimics the effects of Aimed Shot, only for all of your attacks.  Also, this essentially doubles up on the accuracy vs damage choice, and accuracy is always more important than damage. 

I picked revenant because it's one of two races that can dilettante, and it's the only dex/con race.  And since I add both of those at least once to my RBA, i want them both as high as possible.  Half Elf Soul lets you use EITHER your Dilettante power OR Dark Reaping, so this build does not have access to Dark Reaping.  As a side-perk, if you're in an Eberron campaign, unless your DM is not allowing any of the undead races, he should have no problem with a Revenant Half-Elf member (former member?) of House Lyrandar.  
Rules Compendium page 90: "Unless instructed otherwise, you cannot replace powers that your character gained from a paragon path or epic destiny."
Rules Compendium page 90: "Unless instructed otherwise, you cannot replace powers that your character gained from a paragon path or epic destiny."



I am pretty sure that's just talking about like...when you level up and pick a power to replace (and every DM i've played with agrees).  But yes, i should have mentioned it.  Either way, the build hardly depends on it.
Rules Compendium page 90: "Unless instructed otherwise, you cannot replace powers that your character gained from a paragon path or epic destiny."



Which is in the section on replacing powers gained by levels.  This rule does not apply to Reserve Maneuver:

Benefit: Choose an encounter attack power from your class. The power must be your level or lower and one that you don’t already have. When you regain the use of your powers at the end of any rest, you can gain the use of the chosen power instead of regaining the use of an encounter attack power of the same level or higher.

You do exactly what the feat says, and the PP L11 is "an encounter attack power of the same level or higher."  You are not, in fact, replacing it.  You still have the PP power, you can still choose to recover it at the end of any rest.  You just now have an option (that you will take every time) of recovering the Reserve Maneuver-specified power.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
What book is the Archery Mastery feat in? And what does it do?
What book is the Archery Mastery feat in? And what does it do?



Dragon 400, in the Essentials Character Hybrid and Multiclass Options Playtest article.

It allows you to swap a level 1 ranger at-will power for one of the at-will hunter attacks (Aimed Shot, Clever Shot, or Rapid Shot). 
Rules Compendium page 90: "Unless instructed otherwise, you cannot replace powers that your character gained from a paragon path or epic destiny."



Which is in the section on replacing powers gained by levels.  This rule does not apply to Reserve Maneuver:

Benefit: Choose an encounter attack power from your class. The power must be your level or lower and one that you don’t already have. When you regain the use of your powers at the end of any rest, you can gain the use of the chosen power instead of regaining the use of an encounter attack power of the same level or higher.

You do exactly what the feat says, and the PP L11 is "an encounter attack power of the same level or higher."  You are not, in fact, replacing it.  You still have the PP power, you can still choose to recover it at the end of any rest.  You just now have an option (that you will take every time) of recovering the Reserve Maneuver-specified power.

Er it said replace a power from your class, would that by RAW mean you can not replace your paragon path powers?
Er it said replace a power from your class, would that by RAW mean you can not replace your paragon path powers?



Read it again; the "power from your class" refers to the new optional power you can prepare.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Er it said replace a power from your class, would that by RAW mean you can not replace your paragon path powers?



Read it again; the "power from your class" refers to the new optional power you can prepare.

got  you!
thanks
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