Best Ranged Basic Attack (excluding Elementalist)

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Hello! I am building a party with a bunch of enabling leaders. We want one striker with a really strong basic attack that we can all take advantage of. Additionally, however, we would appreciate if this striker could throw down a little control on their own turn. We will be starting in heroic tier and likely ending the campaign at 20th level.

So, best striker with an amazing ranged basic attack plus some off-control. Suggestions?



I was thinking about potentially making use of the warlock, but I feel like there might be better options. I am not terribly interested in the Elementalist because they aren't versatile enough, but if someone could suggest a way to give them a little more control I might be willing to change my mind.

Thanks for any suggestions!
Maybe Ranger|Seeker? They can be built with a pretty solid RBA, especially in paragon, and have a few decent control options. Warlock is certainly an option but with enabling leaders, I'd have a difficult time going for Eldritch Blast rather than Eldritch Strike. Hunter is another option, it's technically not a striker, but they still do solid damage, though their lack of multi-target control is a bit disappointing.
I think Seeker can optimize their ranged basic attack REALLY well.  They get a lot of flack for mostly having soft control options like slow and imobilize, so as a controller they aren't great at stopping masses-- but they are a controller and can help a lot.  And they can do striker level damage.  I would seriously consider it.
I'm interested in this too.  My group has four members besides myself who have all made ranged characters (2 rangers, crossbow artificer, and a laser cleric).  I want to see if they would be interested in making a group like you guys are-- see if someone wants to play an Eagle Shaman, Skirmish Warlord, and maybe a Seeker.  We're still forming up, so nothing is set in stone.
You're describing a Warlock, but you'd probably be better off with a Ranger.
A Seeker can do as much or more damage on RBA's than a ranger.  Plus they have a ton of soft control powers and can't be pinned down in melee.
You could think about an executioner hybrid.  +1d8 per tier on basic attacks(once per turn) can't hurt, as long as you are following the restrictions.  Hybrid it with seeker as long as you use a one handed weapon(javelin, drow throwing knife(absolutely amazing with staggering enchant), hand axe, etc) or a short bow.

Or you can get daggers and do executioner warlock and use eldritch blast and get both the +1d8 from executioner and the curse damage as well. 
A ranger would definitely be a better striker. Add in some seeker and you would also gain some additional control and some cool basic attacks. The paragon feat that lets you add dex in to basic attacks again is pretty broken too.

We are debating letting the striker focus on control during his own turn though and then have the leaders focus on doing basic attacks for dps during their turns though, which I think would still leave the warlock as a viable alternative.

Taking that concept even farther, we were debating making an Eladrin Wizard|Warlock. The feat Gifted Death Dealer adds his int to Eldritch Blast damage rolls, giving him a pretty powerful basic attack. Plus he is, you know, a wizard.
The requirement of a strong basic attack is what changes things.  Rangers are one of the best, if not the best, strikers there is.  However, they do not have the best RBA.  There is a thread that is about basic attacks that you should look at.

The link is here.

That link should answer most of your questions. 
Basically, play a Ranger, then MC Seeker and take the feat Primal Eye.

If you want a REALLY good RBA at the expense of EVERYTHING ELSE, play a Slayer, DEX primary, and do the same thing.  You'll suck at all the other stuff, but your RBA will pierce mountains.
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.
Warlock can get CON/INT to RBA more times than Slayer can get DEX though, so bit of a tossup there.
Weapon support generally >  implement support though.
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.
Eladrin Warlock/Swordmage MC Seeker
-Gifted Death Dealer = +int to eldritch blast
-Primal Eye = +str to eldritch blast
-Intelligent Blademaster = +int(again) instead of str to eldritch blast

So far: 1d10+curse+cha+int+int+mods

I know I am missing some.  And at epic radiant one gives +int mod again if you have CA.        
Elf Slayer with Greatbow for 1d12+dex+dex+dex+5+mods - and since we're on 'at all costs', add Traveller's Harlequin to get Sneak Attack and Curse and Quarry 1/enc each, too.  It's probably about balanced, but the Warlock will also be good at other things, which makes it pretty much inherently better.
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.
I personally like the Invoker for granted RBAs.  Power of Skill: Divine Bolts for a 2 target RBA.  Throw in half-elf(Song of Serendipity) and Master of Stories to hand out extra bonuses to the rest of the party as well for each target hit.  Mark of Storm -> Lyrandar Windrider for extra damage and accuracy.
Ours is a world where people don't know what they want, and are willing to go through hell to get it. -Don Marquis
You can add Con/Int to Eldritch Blast 6 times on top of hitting 3 Vulns for another 30 iirc. It's even arguable that Slayer has more effects to add on, since Curse is superfuncrazy.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
So, best striker with an amazing ranged basic attack plus some off-control. Suggestions?



Needs CA setup, but Rogue is very much in the running here.
Elemental'Lock pushes Warlock ahead of anyone else. Namely Vul 5/10/15 + Firewind.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
FWB only works on melee attacks, doesn't it?
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.
"Whenever you hit one or more targets with a fire power using this weapon, one enemy adjacent to you takes fire damage equal to 1 + the weapon’s enhancement bonus."

 
Almost.
My memory sucks at the moment.  Seriously.
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.
Warden/Seeker - First Hunter has a pretty mean basic attack with heavy throw weapons, i can dig up the build if you're interested.
it has a nice Thor vibe to it, throwing Warhammers of death left and right 
For RBA advice, as well as my own guide, you will want to check out Dzance's guide to ranged attacks.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
If Elementalist is too boring, I don't think Slayer is going to fit the OP's needs.

Just gonna throw out Sorcerer as an option. It's got a decent RBA too.
You can add Con/Int to Eldritch Blast 6 times on top of hitting 3 Vulns for another 30 iirc.



And what are the pieces to make this work? 
You can add Con/Int to Eldritch Blast 6 times on top of hitting 3 Vulns for another 30 iirc.



And what are the pieces to make this work? 



I guess he means a post-nerf Arcane Slasher. Tiefling Swordmage|Warlock, starting Fey, TFP into Elemental, Cursed Spells, Long Night Scion, Shadowrift Blade as implement, Radiant One, Hellfire Teleport, Morninglord in party, Pelor's Boon, Hell's Burning Mark, optionally Ruin of Flesh.

Really has nothing to do with the Slasher, it requires the travellers harlequin PP in order to MC Fighter and Seeker, Reincarnate Champion for extra races ... I'll rebuild it when I get home from work.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
For ideas, my signature links my ranged attack guide (and Thor).  Also recommend Fardiz's basic attack guide.
Shouldn't Warlock be able to fit the bill?  In the heroic tier you can get your RBA up to d10+2d8+primary stat+primary stat+magic items without multi-classing at all, it would be hard for another class to compete with that.
A half elf hunter mc seeker can do some pretty ridiculous striker/control with her RBA. On turn, her RBA could do at paragon slow, prone, can't shift, marked, and (W)+wis+dex, and that doesn't factor in gear shenanigans at all. To boot, you'd be more accurate than any other RBA user out there, and we all know accuracy is the single greatest striker necessity. If you prefer, you could also hand out slow and a -6 to attack (various psychic lock and dabbling defender combos). Your biggest choice would be between which stances to take - they increase your damage and accuracy even further, and which seeker RBA to make your dilettante power.
we all know accuracy is the single greatest striker necessity.


Actually, what we all *should* know is that the capability to deal lots of damage is the greatest striker necessity, being accurate as hell doesn't matter when you're doing far less damage per shot than a charger, and chargers barely keep up with striker baseline. I don't know why you think starting with a bad Controller and MCing another Controller remotely qualifies as a Striker, picking Half-Elf there does nothing for you either, since Twin Strike isn't actually an option for you.

By Late Paragon, you can do as much with Eldritch Blast if Dragonmarks are allowed.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
One suggestion for a strong RBA character: Seeker with the Crimson Hunter PP. Use thrown handaxes and take all of the awesome axe-related feats. You'll be critting like crazy on awesome RBAs. Seekers also have high level RBAs to choose from.
One suggestion for a strong RBA character: Seeker with the Crimson Hunter PP. Use thrown handaxes and take all of the awesome axe-related feats. You'll be critting like crazy on awesome RBAs. Seekers also have high level RBAs to choose from.


Not sure Crimson Hunter is that great, +1 hit and 19-20 crit on RBAs means you're optimizing around RBAs and not your other powers, which despite the name of this thread, isn't actually what the OP was asking for. He wants a high damage RBA for off-turn enabling, but on turn striker-controller, which is best played by a Warlock, followed by Rogue/Seeker, followed by Ranger/Seeker, followed by Ranger|Seeker.

It is true that Seekers have some really amusing RBA powers though, my Ranger|Seeker/Ocular Adept gets to RBA when I AP, so I can use the daily dominate (Captivating Missle). Since my Nova is decently able to kill a target (particularly if it starts within 2), dominating a 2nd target adds nicely to the fun.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
One suggestion for a strong RBA character: Seeker with the Crimson Hunter PP. Use thrown handaxes and take all of the awesome axe-related feats. You'll be critting like crazy on awesome RBAs. Seekers also have high level RBAs to choose from.


Not sure Crimson Hunter is that great, +1 hit and 19-20 crit on RBAs means you're optimizing around RBAs and not your other powers, which despite the name of this thread, isn't actually what the OP was asking for. He wants a high damage RBA for off-turn enabling, but on turn striker-controller, which is best played by a Warlock, followed by Rogue/Seeker, followed by Ranger/Seeker, followed by Ranger|Seeker.

It is true that Seekers have some really amusing RBA powers though, my Ranger|Seeker/Ocular Adept gets to RBA when I AP, so I can use the daily dominate (Captivating Missle). Since my Nova is decently able to kill a target (particularly if it starts within 2), dominating a 2nd target adds nicely to the fun.


I've been wondering what feats to take on my Ranger coming up.  This sounds like a good one, particularly given that at least one of my dailies is pretty much deadweight at the moment and I've got attack-capable WIS...
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.
we all know accuracy is the single greatest striker necessity.


Actually, what we all *should* know is that the capability to deal lots of damage is the greatest striker necessity, being accurate as hell doesn't matter when you're doing far less damage per shot than a charger, and chargers barely keep up with striker baseline. I don't know why you think starting with a bad Controller and MCing another Controller remotely qualifies as a Striker, picking Half-Elf there does nothing for you either, since Twin Strike isn't actually an option for you.



Dang, that's some venom-postin' there. Sorry if I struck a nerve!

What I was thinking was trying to come up with the best controlling+damaging ranged basic attack I could, and dilettanting grappling spirits or biting swarm, then using it in conjunction with primal eye and the hunter stances/at-wills seemed like a good idea to me. I've actually played the build before and had great success with it in seriously challenging encounters. In those encounters, I was doing a significant amount of damage due to the high defenses of the enemies and my inherent accuracy; I was the most reliable source of turn-by-turn damage in my party. Yes, I lacked the nova potential of a true striker, but I assure you I wasn't trying to argue hunter over ranger as a pure striker. I was just thinking that in the OP's scenario, a hunter/mc seeker with primal eye would, at least, remotely qualify as a striker given the other things he/she was looking for, in particular the control options. And, if my understanding is as limited as you suggest (which is entirely possible, I'll grant you), then maybe OP can ignore my advice on his/her own, or perhaps try it out and decide he/she would rather go a different direction. Still, what I can say for sure is that I've had fun and success with the (W)+dex+wis+slow+can't shift+prone+marked, or the (W)+dex+wis+prone+marked+-4 to attacks, or whatever combination of the above you'd like, and it seemed like a pretty darn good control+damage RBA to me.
Still, what I can say for sure is that I've had fun and success with the (W)+dex+wis+slow+can't shift+prone+marked, or the (W)+dex+wis+prone+marked+-4 to attacks, or whatever combination of the above you'd like, and it seemed like a pretty darn good control+damage RBA to me.

I think the part you're missing is that "+prone+marked+slow+etc." is not damage. All you're really adding damage-wise is Primal Eye, which is not enough to turn regular damage into striker-level damage. You are describing a controller that does a little more damage, which is great - but probably not what the OP was wanting. Not to say the build is bad or unfun - just that it's not a striker on the same level as some of these other suggestions.
Still, what I can say for sure is that I've had fun and success with the (W)+dex+wis+slow+can't shift+prone+marked, or the (W)+dex+wis+prone+marked+-4 to attacks, or whatever combination of the above you'd like, and it seemed like a pretty darn good control+damage RBA to me.

I think the part you're missing is that "+prone+marked+slow+etc." is not damage. All you're really adding damage-wise is Primal Eye, which is not enough to turn regular damage into striker-level damage. You are describing a controller that does a little more damage, which is great - but probably not what the OP was wanting. Not to say the build is bad or unfun - just that it's not a striker on the same level as some of these other suggestions.



I guess I'm just a little surprised to offer a suggestion and have people assume I'm missing something or that I'm not thinking. I didn't suggest that what I was saying was the best damage option. It isn't. Others had already suggested what I felt were really good damage-dealing options, so I thought maybe an alternate approach would give the OP a few other things to think about, constructively. I saw a ton of great suggestions for getting the damage up, and I wanted to offer something that would highlight the control aspect of what he/she was talking about, along with being more accurate than I felt the other builds would be. While I don't own every book and don't claim an encyclopedic knowledge of everything, I did want to be helpful in response to a question I felt I had some in-game experience with - that is, coming up with an interesting and powerful RBA. I'm not suggesting the build in lieu of anyone else's, or certainly not that I think it's OP's only or best option. Just trying to contribute to the discussion based on my reading of what OP was asking about: a powerful (though not necessarily purely via damage) RBA.

So, in short, OP - I think that a hunter/MC seeker gives you some adequate damage, great accuracy, and some incredibly strong control options, just to weigh against others' suggestions that give you nice damage output. I hope it's helpful as a basis of comparison, if nothing else.

What I was thinking was trying to come up with the best controlling+damaging ranged basic attack I could, and dilettanting grappling spirits or biting swarm, then using it in conjunction with primal eye and the hunter stances/at-wills seemed like a good idea to me.



While it may seem like the "best controlling+damaging ranged basic attack", poaching a Seeker power when you want big damage and hard control is about equivalent to finding the best one-legged man in a butt kicking contest.

What I was thinking was trying to come up with the best controlling+damaging ranged basic attack I could, and dilettanting grappling spirits or biting swarm, then using it in conjunction with primal eye and the hunter stances/at-wills seemed like a good idea to me.



While it may seem like the "best controlling+damaging ranged basic attack", poaching a Seeker power when you want big damage and hard control is about equivalent to finding the best one-legged man in a butt kicking contest.


Panzerbjorn has certainly found a lot of butts that need kicking from the friendly replies Panzerbjorn got.

Panzerbjorn has certainly found a lot of butts that need kicking from the friendly replies Panzerbjorn got.



Think I'll take the high road and try a different suggestion to help out the OP...

A Str/Cha sorc that multiclasses into seeker could still take Primal Eye and add her strength modifier to a RBA (or dex, if you prefer). If that sorc used Dragonfrost as the RBA, she could use frostcheese, add her STR mod to the attack, use gloves of ice or bracers of the perfect shot, and still get a bit of control in the bargain, because Dragonfrost pushes 1 square, and that could be optimized as well. Pair that with a staff of ruin and you'd be doing some decent damage with a control effect added in. For more control, you could even take fortunate resistance and primordial channeler, which would give you an 80% chance to add an additional effect to your RBA, whether slow, ongoing fire damage, or a -2 penalty to enemy attacks (channeler requires that you have cold, fire, lightning, or thunder as your wild soul resistance. Fortunate resistance allows you to choose 6-10 as a range, and if your d10 hits in that, you get to choose your effect -most likely fire. 3 of the 4 good possibilities are in the 1-5 range on the wild soul table, so it gives you a really solid chance of adding a nice controller or damaging effect to every one of your attacks).

At level 12, your RBA with a staff of ruin +2 and a rhythm dagger +2 (use dual implement spellcaster), bracers of the perfect shot, frostcheese, and primal eye would be:

d8+CHA+Dex+Dex+2+2+4+5 with combat advantage and push 1. With a typical stat array, that gives you about d8+28+CA and the push. Add to that a 60% to add ongoing 5 fire with every shot(or, failing that, slow or a -2 penalty to attacks), and that gets you decent damage and control, all in one RBA. I haven't done any racial configurings in that - just chose drow in the builder. Also note that the last +2 from the staff of ruin is an item bonus that the bracers obviate. There's probably a better staff out there if you have the bracers, but if not the staff of ruin ably fills in for it.

and to everyone else: I'm just having fun with thinking about this. I'm not suggesting this is the best option. I'm not trying to blow holes in anyone else's suggestion. Just offering my own, trying to contribute to a discussion without doing to others what people have already done to me. If my post has angered you or caused you to feel a need to attack my intelligence, feel free to do it in a private message. I'll read it and feel the shame you want me to feel. I promise.
Theif MC Seeker. Drow/Halfling. Control comes from ammo. D8+dex+dex+sneak+vuln cheese+++
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