need input on a darkstrider ranger|rogue

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 11
Elf, Ranger|Rogue, Darkstrider
Choose Terrain Type: Level 5 Outlaw Feature (Hills and Mountains)
Hybrid Ranger: Hybrid Ranger Fortitude
Hybrid Talent: Rogue Tactics (Hybrid)
Rogue Tactics (Hybrid): Cunning Sneak (Hybrid)
Elf Subrace: Wood Elf
Select option: Sense Threat
Select option: Wood Elf Reactive Stealth
Background: Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 11, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 19, Cha 12.

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


AC: 21 Fort: 16 Reflex: 22 Will: 19
HP: 85 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 21

TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +16, Athletics +10, Bluff +11, Dungeoneering +14, Perception +16, Stealth +16

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +4, Diplomacy +6, Endurance +5, Heal +9, History +4, Insight +9, Intimidate +8, Nature +11, Religion +4, Streetwise +8, Thievery +11

FEATS
Level 1: Treetop Sniper
Level 2: Bow Expertise
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
Level 6: Ghostwalker Style
Level 8: Backstabber

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Twin Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Deft Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: King's Castle
Hybrid daily 1: Sure Shot
Hybrid utility 2: Invigorating Stride
Hybrid encounter 3: Disruptive Strike
Hybrid daily 5: Bloodbath
Hybrid utility 6: Out of Sight
Hybrid encounter 7: Snap Shot
Hybrid daily 9: Attacks on the Run
Hybrid utility 10: Persistent Tail

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this is the chasis i'm working with after checking out renzhe's rogue handbook. i'm short a couple feats (suggestions are welcome), and i had a few questions:

1. is treetop sniper worth it vs. the standard crossbow approach?
2. what are some pretty standard ways to get perma-invis? i get the idea of cunning sneak builds, but i don't think i personally have enough knowledge on the whole to pull it off or do it justice just yet.
3. can someone expound on why ghostwalker is so good?
4. would a straight rogue mc ranger pull this off better than hybriding?
5. outlaw vs. unseelie agent? are there other options i should be considering over them?
Hybrid Rogue is suboptimal per default, since Sneak Attack only applies to Rogue powers when hybriding. I'd rather go Rogue MC Ranger or Ranger MC Rogue and swap all that's good for the concept (Hide in Plain Sight for Ranger + MC Rogue and Multi-/minor action attacks in Rogue + MC Ranger'S case for example). The hiding/invisibility rules are rather complicated, so you maybe want to read this first:
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
Look up the Shoot to Thrill build. It's a Ranger MC Rogue and it does just about everything you'd want it to do. The advantages that a Hybrid would have are: A) the ability to not waste feats on power swaps and B) you can take Bloodbath at level 5. Now, whether that's worth it to you or not, I can't say. But you can put together a nice nova sequence and eek out a bit more damage with it than Shoot to Thrill. Granted, the game isn't all about big numbers, but it is, in my mind, an advantage.

Also, you should be using a Greatbow. Rolling d12s all day is cool.

Unseelie Agent is ultimately a trap option. It gets you the equivalent of a magic weapon at level 1, but it's usefulness goes away at level 2. Personally, I like the Cipher theme. It's most useful with an Adroit Explorer, but it has a useful mobility feature (granted you have to lose initiative, but it'll still let you reposition yourself. Combine with some stealth feats or utilities and you can start the encounter hidden). This is especially useful for a Darkstrider.
Hybrid Rogue is suboptimal per default, since Sneak Attack only applies to Rogue powers when hybriding. I'd rather go Rogue MC Ranger or Ranger MC Rogue and swap all that's good for the concept (Hide in Plain Sight for Ranger + MC Rogue and Multi-/minor action attacks in Rogue + MC Ranger'S case for example). The hiding/invisibility rules are rather complicated, so you maybe want to read this first:
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...


thanks, my main worry was that if i had options like twin strike, it would kind of defeat the purpose of being a cunning sneak and vice versa.

i checked out that thread, mellored's mr. cellophane one, and even the old sniper rogue one in addition to renzhe's han shot first; i think i'm just having difficulty putting it all together just right.

Look up the Shoot to Thrill build. It's a Ranger MC Rogue and it does just about everything you'd want it to do. The advantages that a Hybrid would have are: A) the ability to not waste feats on power swaps and B) you can take Bloodbath at level 5. Now, whether that's worth it to you or not, I can't say. But you can put together a nice nova sequence and eek out a bit more damage with it than Shoot to Thrill. Granted, the game isn't all about big numbers, but it is, in my mind, an advantage.

Also, you should be using a Greatbow. Rolling d12s all day is cool.

Unseelie Agent is ultimately a trap option. It gets you the equivalent of a magic weapon at level 1, but it's usefulness goes away at level 2. Personally, I like the Cipher theme. It's most useful with an Adroit Explorer, but it has a useful mobility feature (granted you have to lose initiative, but it'll still let you reposition yourself. Combine with some stealth feats or utilities and you can start the encounter hidden). This is especially useful for a Darkstrider.



i'll look into it. i'm vaguely familiar with it (as far as heroic goes), but i wasn't actually aware that it was mc rogue.

i considered greatbow, but i figured i'd hold off; i actually have little experience building up characters beyond level 11, but i heard that strikers in particular were feat-starved, so i didn't know if i could justify using a feat to go from d10 to d12, especially if i went to a mc chassis and needed the feats for power swaps.

cipher! i totally forgot about it, but it makes perfect sense. i knew there had to be something better out there.

thanks a lot you two. i'll revise the build and post it. if anyone else has any more input, it would be appreciated.
Hi Digeverystripe -

I've been playing one of these builds and having some fun. My version of the build is a Half-elf Rogue multiclassing into Ranger. My answers to your original questions will be based on this build.

1. is treetop sniper worth it vs. the standard crossbow approach?
Yes. I went with Treetop Sniper and Weapon Proficiency Greatbow as my first two feets. Since your proposed build is an Elf, Greatbow would likely be a lower priority.

2. what are some pretty standard ways to get perma-invis? i get the idea of cunning sneak builds, but i don't think i personally have enough knowledge on the whole to pull it off or do it justice just yet.
Not to over-rules-lawyer you, but with Cunning Sneak, you are looking for perma-partial concealment or perma-partial cover, which gives you the opportunity to become hidden (which is what I think you meant by perma-invis). Perma-partial concealment is the one I built for, since it may be easier to obtain. Since you are building your character at Level 11, Armor of Dark Deeds is likely what you should look for to obtain your concealment.

3. can someone expound on why ghostwalker is so good?
Both in your build (as a hybrid) and in my build (as a Half-Elf Versatile Master who takes Twin Strike as their at-will at Level 11), the Rogue at-will Deft Strike is unlikely to be used much once you have full Twin Strike. What you were trying to obtain with Ghostwalker was an extra move action . . . which can be very good. You can accomplish this with Improved Cunning Sneak, Superior Implement Training (Fluid Ki Focus) Ghostwalker (Deft Strike) and Risky Shift as your feats for Levels 4, 6 and 8. To trigger Cunning Sneak, you have to move after your attack at least three squares. However, when you do, you have the opportunity to become hidden if you meet the criteria. Being hidden, however, doesn't mean that bad guys don't know the last square at which you were last seen. They can just attack that square. If you don't want bad guys to know where you are, you have to move, hide and then move again. Ghostwalker is part of a series of feats described above that would allow you to do that. If you don't care about being targeted by bad guys with a -5 to hit, Ghostwalker is unlikely to be worth your feat slot as a ranged character. If you want to keep Ghostwalker, consider Improved Cunning Sneak and Risky Shift to pull off the effect I describe above.

Note: Changes were made to this post because Superior Implement properties "affect only implement powers, even if an implement can be used to make weapon attacks." Therefore, the benefits of Superior Implement Training (Fluid Ki Focus) do not work with weapon attacks.

4. would a straight rogue mc ranger pull this off better than hybriding?
Probably. At least, that's what I did. But you haven't exactly said what "this" is. If "this" is being a Darkstrider, then yes, I believe so. Darkstrider is an "extra damage" paragon path (via Darkstrider Edge). I presume, then, that you are trying to optimize damage through becoming hidden. I chose to change to a half-elf to make all of this stuff work without problems, but also sacrificed +1 to hit for the entirety of my adventuring career (18 starting Dex, without a racial bonus).

Note:  Because of Changes to this post, the benefits of being a half-elf may be overstated. It requires a more thorough evaluation of how frequently the concept will use Twin Strike (Ranger at-will power obtainted through Versatile Master) vs. Deft Strike (Rogue at-will power enhanced by Ghostwalker). Finding an alternate means to get a minor-action or free action move from ranged attacks would move the balance towards Twin Strike.

5. outlaw vs. unseelie agent? are there other options i should be considering over them?
I went with Elemental Initiate to be able to use a Ki Focus. The Ki focus: a) allows me to take Fluid Ki Focus as a superior implement (shift as minor action after hitting); b) allows me to use a Shadow Master Ki Focus (extra damage when hitting); c) allows me to switch between ranged and melee weapons without over-investment (since the Ki Focus works with both).

Good luck with your build! 

J.A. Hammann
www.GoblinFern.com