The Ranger Handbook: How to strike them where it hurts

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Table of Contents: Where to look for things to help strike the enemy

  • The Basics and Links: Intro to striking them
  • Races: Who strikes the best
  • Archery or TWF? How to strike
  • Powers: What exploits help you strike
  • Skills and Feats: More on what you need to strike
  • Equipment: What shinies help you strike better
  • Build Options: A look at strikers
  • Combat Tactics: Putting it all together to strike


A Ranger's Handbook was started in another thread by NoldorForce:
Catharsis, or The Ranger Handbook

I contributed to that thread, but noticed that is was not being updated. At the time I created this Ranger's Handbook, it looked like that handbook was not going to have its front pages updated, and they were incomplete. I have borrowed shamelessly from that thread and other places. I will try to give links to the original information, or at least give credit to the author, if the author did not contribute in this thread. If you contribute in this thread, I will shamelessly use your contribution, but people can easily see that you contributed the information by looking through the thread.

GH
The Basics and Links: Intro to poking them

With the release of 4E, we've seen eight new classes and four defined roles for them to fill. There's the Defender, designed to pin down enemies and take their hits; this is also known as the Tank (TML20) or Big Dumb Fighter (BDF) or Big Stupid Fighter (MMO) role. There's the Controller, intended to screw around with the battlefield and the enemies' positions within it; you may have heard of this as God (TML20) or the Crowd Controller (MMO). There's the Leader, who gets to improve things for his allies as an inversion of the Controller; this is arguably a variant on God (TML20) or the Buffer (MMO).

And then there's the role shared by the Ranger, the Rogue, and the Warlock: the Striker. They're the ones capable of bringing the offense to a single monster, whether directly or indirectly, and have also been called Glass Cannons (TML20 and MMO) or Light Infantry. All three are capable, far more so than the other classes in 4E, of dealing large piles of damage at a consistent rate. The Ranger's particular shtick, unlike that of the Rogue and Warlock, is mobility on the battlefield and Lots of Attacks and Lots of Damage. Seriously, many of the Ranger Powers grant multiple attacks at a time, something no one else gets. If you don't use mobility to help keep up with its foes, then you're not getting the full power of the class. A number of its powers suffice as well to hold enemies in place. But if you're playing a Ranger, your goal is first and foremost to deal Lots of Damage.

So as a Ranger, what ability scores should you focus on? Depends on whether you're playing a predominantly melee or ranged character. If you go with melee, you'll want to focus most on Strength; most if not all of the melee Powers you'll get depend directly on it. You'll still want some Dexterity, both for weapon-specific feats (more on that later) and for Reflex and initiative. If you go with ranged, you'll instead want to focus on Dexterity; as with melee, most if not all of your ranged powers use that ability score. Depending on your setup, you may wish to employ Strength as a secondary ability or instead dump it in favor of another ability. Either way, Wisdom is a secondary ability score you'll want to care about. Not only do half of your available Trained Skills depend on it, but it's also a secondary variable in several of your Powers (melee or ranged) and it shores up your otherwise lower Will defense.

So the three most important ability scores for a Ranger are STR, DEX, and WIS, with CON being the fourth. Unless you plan on multiclassing, you should dump both Int and Cha.

Key:
I'll be grabbing Dictum Mortuum's style here for grading options; the effects are rather obvious and pleasing to the eye.
Red: A poor choice, and likely a trap. Stay from it.
Purple: Still a poor choice, but less bad than Red. It might still be useful in some circumstances, but such will likely be situational.
Black: In the middle, mediocre, neither particularly good nor particularly bad. Your choice, really, though it's useful for providing flavor.
Blue: A good choice, and one you'll want to make if you can fit it in. Which may or may not be easy, depending on the circumstances.
Sky Blue: Awesome. Take it like your life depends on it; your character's life certainly will.

Links:
Weapon Mastery and You (Titanium Dragon): An analysis of the weapon groups based on exclusive feats and powers.
How Badly Have I Screwed Up My Ranger? (Moody Loner): Not a guide, but a good first discussion on the subject.
The Art of Shredding: The Ranger Build Handbook (LordDuskblade): Paragon Paths for a Ranger (or somebody is helping finish off this handbook)
Living for the Hunt: The Ranger's Handbook (LordDuskBlade): Updates this handbook to include Martial Powers
Races: Who strikes the best

Player's Handbook Races
To complement the eight classes in the Player's Handbook, WotC made up eight races. Six are old stalwarts; only the gnome and half-orc didn't make it. 'Course, the gnome still shows up in the Monster Manual, and the half-orc had vicious delusions about being a regular orc and thus was assimilated. (Half-elves have at least had the excuse of being popularized by Tolkien.) But neither was known for exploits or statistics related to Rangers, so that's no big loss. Rounding out the pack are Dragonborn and Tieflings. The former are some amalgam of draconic characters from all sorts of sources, though I can't understand for the life of me why the females of a reptilian have to have breasts. In any case, they're good for tanking. The latter were instead yanked directly out of Planescape and fitted with some new "Bael Turath" origin; it's still better than Planescape.

Dragonborn: Yes, I know I called them tanks above. That doesn't mean that they don't make decent melee rangers. With +2 Strength, you'll be capable of dealing damage. The bonus to Charisma is useless, but you can get your Strength up to 18/20 easily with this race. The other benefits aren't as good, however. The skill bonus applies to stuff you're NOT looking for, and Dragonborn Fury and Draconic Heritage are more suited to dedicated tanks. (You're a secondary tank AT BEST.) Dragon Breath doesn't help as much as a fighter, considering that it's an AoE, and you don't get to mark foes. But with your mobility, you can take out a bunch of minions, and then beat on their leader. AoE is not your job, and other classes - especially Wizards and Clerics - can do it MUCH better than you can, but a quick breath to take out minions never hurts.

Dwarf: Again with the stuff more suited for tanking! They're not bad, but most of the features of Dwarves are incidental to your role. They get +2 Constitution and +2 Wisdom, which doesn't help directly but does increase your hit points and boost the secondary effects of your Ranger powers. (It's not worth as much as +1 attack/damage, though.) The skill bonuses are neat, being associated with actual class skills. But the rest? Pshaw. Cast-Iron Stomach is highly situational - how often will you be poisoned, hmm? Dwarven Weapon Proficiency is worthless (you're ALREADY proficient with both weapons). Encumbered Speed will actually be helpful considering you're going to be a Melee Ranger, so you'll need to pick up the Heavy Armor feats. And Stand Your Ground shouldn't matter for you considering that TANKING IS NOT YOUR JOB. But a two-warhammer hammer rhythm Pitfighter is almost as good as a Scimitar Dance Stormwarden, and that keeps a Dwarf from being Purple.

Eladrin: Oh, look, more useful benefits! Getting +2 Dexterity is good for any Ranger, regardless of focus. +2 Intelligence doesn't matter, but you take what you can get. The skill bonuses look poor...until you consider that Eladrin also get an extra trained skill. And trust me, you'll want all the skills you can get. Eladrin Weapon Proficiency is of course useless for the same reason as Dwarven Weapon Proficiency. Eladrin Will helps to shore up your otherwise poor Will defense. Fey Origin and Trance are situational, but Eladrin get SO MANY features (incidental or not) that you won't really care. And Fey Step? Hey, you're supposed to be mobile; teleportation is thus rather nifty.

Elf: One of the top two races for Rangers. They've got both +2 Dexterity AND +2 Wisdom; getting a boost to two associated ability scores is a feature unique to Elves. (In the PHB, at least.) There's also the speed boost, unlike the speed reduction of dwarves, that aids in mobility. And the skill bonuses (both in Ranger skills), Wild Step, Elven Accuracy, Group Awareness...what's not to like about Elves?

Half-Elf: You'd think that if Elves were Sky Blue, and so were Humans (see below), then Half-Elves would at least be Blue, right? WRONG. None of the features of Half-Elves relate to Rangers at all. +2 Constitution and +2 Charisma is useless for you, Dilettante is a waste of space (you'll want to focus on your own at-wills for the attacks, not someone else's), Dual Heritage is simply not worth it when you've got other good feats to choose from as well...really, Half-Elves are better suited to tanking than to being Rangers.

Halfling: Halflings have a similar relation to the Ranger as Dragonborn did. Except that more of their abilities synergize with the class. +2 Dexterity is always nifty; +2 Charisma is sort of like the +2 Intelligence for Eladrin. They're small, so they can't wield longbows or bastard swords, but shortbows and scimitars (Scimitar Flurry!) are arguably good enough for them. Both Nimble Reaction and Second Chance are great for mobile characters like Rangers; while not directly related to it, they're good at keeping you from being hit and subsequently pinned down. The skill bonuses (one associated, one not) and Bold aren't as nifty, but Halflings still may be better Rangers than Dragonborn.

Human: ...And this is the other fantastic PHB race. No, you don't get two associated ability scores, but you do get to CHOOSE your one associated one. Plus, you get another skill (score!), another feat (score!), a bonus to your non-AC defenses (score!) and an extra at-will power (for versatility). Not much more to say, really; Humans are at least a Blue choice for every class in the game.

Tiefling: Once again, we have an example of some bastard offspring of humanity that retains none of its versatility or applicability to the Ranger class. As with Half-Elves, none of their features relate to the class, being better suited to the trifecta of W-classes.


Monster Manual Races
The Player's Handbook has eight races, so given past precedent we might expect, say, six races in the Monster Manual?

Well, no, instead we got SIXTEEN - double that in the Player's Handbook. And that's rather nifty.

Bugbear: Bugbears get both +2 Strength and +2 Dexterity, which is VERY GOOD on its own for a Ranger. And then with Oversized (more damage per attack!) and Predatory Eye (*coughSneakAttackcough*)...Bugbears are rather mean Rangers.

Doppelganger: It's more of the "nothing that benefits Rangers" deal here.

Drow: Drow have +2 Dexterity and +2 Charisma, which is neat. (Again, the latter is incidental.) Lolthtouched is also fun for stomping some nearby enemy (Cloud of Darkness is arguably better), but Drow suffer from simply not having enough racial features to run with. (Maybe the 4E FRCS will change things.)

Githyanki: I'm not rating them Red due to Danger Sense, Githyanki Willpower, and Telekinetic Leap. All three still aren't worth a bonus to Strength or Dexterity, however.

Githzerai: Unlike their brethren, Githzerai make rather good Rangers. They're pushing Sky Blue, but they simply don't have enough features that link directly to the Ranger to solidly hit it. The skill bonuses are fun, along with Danger Sense and Iron Mind, but they're not quite good enough IMO. Perhaps some other text will expand on them; then they'd be Sky Blue.

Gnoll: Gnolls are better Rangers than you might think. Not only do they have +2 Dexterity (+2 Constitution is always nice as a secondary score), but they have a speed boost as well. No one else in the Monster Manual does. The other features are more suited for tanking, but those two alone are fun.

Gnome: Gnomes are not Red only due to Reactive Stealth and Fade Away. Even then, those powers are better suited to Rogues than to Rangers.

Goblin: Despite having +2 Dexterity, Goblins are iffy for Rangers. Goblin Tactics is the best feature they get otherwise, and it's still quirky in that it triggers on a miss rather than an attack. (If you're a ranged Ranger - which you'll likely be with +2 Dexterity - being attacked in melee means that you have bigger problems.)

Hobgoblin: Yeah, nothing that relates to the Ranger class here. Moving along.

Kobold: They're the Small equivalent of Gnolls. Really, just take a look at that +2 Dexterity and Shifty. Dancing around in melee is so much fun with one of Pun-Pun's kin.

Minotaur: This is another iffy judgement. Minotaurs get the same ability bonuses as Dragonborn (+2 Strength, +2 Constitution), but also have associated skill bonuses (better than Dragonborn) and Oversized (better than Dragonborn). So they might be as good as Halflings.

Orc: Exactly the same situation as Dragonborn. They get the same ability bonuses and nothing else related to Rangers. Solid Black.

Shadar-Kai: They've got the same ability bonuses as Eladrin, and share similar sorts of boosts. In fact, Shadow Jaunt is better than Fey Step, considering that you're insubstantial (half damage) for a turn, but it does have shorter range (5->3) than the Eladrin's Fey Step.

Longtooth Shifter: With +2 Strength and +2 Wisdom, what's not to like? They've also got associated skill boosts and Longtooth Shifting. While the latter requires you to be bloodied for activation, being a Ranger is all about DAMAGE; a small boost (along with scaling regeneration) is nice (but not fantastic) for a melee Ranger. The Pit Fighter race.

Razorclaw Shifter: Like their cousins, the Razorclaw Shifters have a couple good features but arguably aren't QUITE good enough to be Sky Blue. Very good class for Archery.

Warforged: Wait, why are they Blue but similar folks (Dragonborn, Minotaurs, Orcs) aren't? Because there's more going for them, that's why. The Monster Manual is not the only word on Warforged; WotC actually realized a web enhancement of sorts here. Which means that Warforged can wield various component items. Like, oh, Warsoul weapons. (If in doubt with a Warforged character, always go with Warsoul weapons; each grants a stacking +2 bonus to initiative.) Embedded components are also fun if you find yourself needing to swap between a lot of weapons; you may want to start out with two Warsoul weapons (+4 initiative) before dropping them and Quick Drawing your embedded stuff. Some of the feats are fun too. While most rely on boosting Warforged Resolve, all such feats give some small benefits to it. Warforged Tactics is also fun, as it's a bonus to attack rolls (and such are very rare).
Archery or TWF? How to strike

I've seen 3 major Ranger builds that seem to work that emphasize the Ranger.

1. Archery Ranger
2. Melee Ranger with High Dex
3. Melee Ranger with High Wis

Under each of these we'll discuss the following items:
A. Races
B. Attributes
C. Weapons
D. Armor
E. Feats
F. Skills
G. MultiClass possibilities
H. Paragon Paths


Archery Ranger

A. Races - You'll want a race that has bonuses to Dexterity, and possibly bonuses to Wisdom, Strength, or Constitution. The ideal race for this build is an Elf, followed closely by Human, Eladrin, and Halfling. The Elf has Dexterity and Wisdom, so it the best race for this build. The Halfling has to use a shortbow, so that limits the damage somewhat.

B. Attributes - DEX, WIS, Con, Str, Cha, Int. Dexterity is the most important attribute, as it will be your only Attack attribute, and more points should go to this attribute than any other, and this attribute should be raised at every opportunity. Start with a minimum of 16, but 18 or 20 would be optimal. Wisdom is the second most important attribute, as it will adding conditions to the effects of your attacks. Constitution is less important, but it should be kept in mind. Hide Specialization requires a 15 to use by Paragon levels, so if you can afford a 14 at character creation, then you should. Str, Cha, and Int are not used for any attacks, as your Strength will not be raised except at the tier levels, it will not be useful in melee attacks. Otherwise, look at feats that you may want, and see what you need to qualify for them.
NOTE: There are some Archer builds that emphasize STR as the secondary attribute, so that if melee is forced upon the archer, they won't stink at it. If you choose to go this route, then put STR as the secondary attribute, and raise it every chance that you get.

C. Weapons - Longbow. You don't care about any other weapons. A Frost Longbow provides good synergy with the Wintertouched and Lasting Frost feats at Paragon levels.

D. Armor - You want movement to get to the right spot to shoot. Any of the light armors will provide this. Look to get Hide Specialization at Paragon levels for the best light armor with any penalties.

E. Feats - Weapon Focus(Bows), Lethal Hunter, Far Shot, Improved Initiative or Quick Draw
Racial Feats: Elven Precision(Elf), Action Surge(Human)
All of your feats should improve one of several things: Initiative, To Hit, Damage, AC. Unless you are needed to fill a different party role, as in 4E, group optimization often comes ahead of Character Optimization.

F. Skills - Stealth and Perception should be the main skills of an Archer. These will help you gain combat advantage on opponents, while not being surprised yourself. Then Nature, Dungeoneering, Acrobatics, Athletics. Endurance can be useful if your GM likes environmental challenges. And if you have no leaders in the party, then Heal might be useful.

G. MultiClass possibilities - The two ideal multiclass feats for an archer are Initiate of the Faith or Sneak of Shadows. If the healing in the party is limited, Initiate of the Faith might provide just enough healing to get the party out of tight spots. If the party has healing, but no rogue, then Sneak of Shadows with Thievery is just the feat you want. Your perceptions means that you will find more traps than a single-classed rogue, and you can disarm them. And if you pick up some daggers, you can get sneak attack once an encounter. If you choose the STR route, then Soldier of the Faith or Student of Battle might be helpful.

H. Paragon Paths - Most people feel that Battlefield Archer is the best paragon path for the Archer Ranger. There is some discussion that Pitfighter offers some benefits. Battlefield Archer vs. Pitfighter thread


Melee Ranger with High Dex
Ranger/Stormwarden/Trickster - Kensei is a possible paragon path. Uses scimitars and scimitar dance with light armor.

This thread: Human Two-Scimitar Ranger: Awesome, or What? has some interesting comparisons between Stormwardens and PitFighters.


Melee Ranger with High Wis
Ranger/PitFighter/Demigod - Uses bastard swords with scale armor.

This thread: Human Two-Scimitar Ranger: Awesome, or What? has some interesting comparisons between Stormwardens and PitFighters.


I've just heard of another Ranger Build. I'm not sure it is as good as the top 3, but it should be playable.

Melee Ranger with High Con
Ranger/Iron Vanguard/Demigod - uses hammers and hammer rhythm and plate armor. Best for Con/Str races like Dragonborn, Dwarves, Half-Elves


Daggermaster could also be a decent build for Rangers. It would probably be better for archers than TWF Rangers.

Archer Ranger with Daggermaster
If anyone has seen any builds for this, please point them out.
Powers: What exploits help you strike

Ranger Exploits
Ranger

Thanks to Titanium Dragon on A-List Powers for helping me get started. As I update the exploits, you'll see color being added to them.

Rangers are lightly armored, but they are likely to want a high dexterity which rather makes up for their lackluster armor options, at least somewhat. They have good weapon choices and can wield a pretty good variety of them; while they don’t use melee two-handed weapons, they have a variety of choices for melee one-handed weapons which are quite solid. Hunter’s quarry has an enormous range and deals a good bit of extra damage (albeit once per round – so no double dipping with your many double attacks). You get large numbers of attacks per round, and you have many abilities which give you “free” reactionary attacks. All around a powerful, mobile striker who does damage the brute force way of many, many attacks.

At-Will – Twin Strike, Hit and Run, Nimble Strike

Rangers suffer from having very dichotomous at-will powers; many are quite lackluster, while one is among the best there are.

Twin Strike - Your first choice at-will power should ALWAYS be Twin Strike. This power is really the keystone to the class, and you’re probably going to be using it the most. It allows you to attack twice per round, once with each hand (or twice with a bow). You can choose to attack the same target twice or attack two different targets once each. While you don’t get to add your quarry bonus to your damage rolls more than once per round, and you don’t get to add your strength or dexterity modifier to any of your hits, this is just not that important. You get to add feat bonuses to both, weapon enhancement bonuses to both, ect. In the end, the amount of damage output you can pull with this power is huge and wonderful, and you want to grab random static bonuses to damage to increase this power’s… well, power. Ranger TWIN Strike question

Hit and Run is your second power if you’re a melee specialist; this power is pretty good because it allows you to attack someone, then run away out of harm’s way. Over the course of two rounds you can move in and Twin Strike, then Hit and Run and get away after a round of attacks if need be. While not that amazing and rather situational, it is still a decent power and you really don’t have any good other options.

Nimble Strike is your second power if you're a ranged specialist. It is not wonderful, but it does have the benefit of almost always allowing you to shift with a move action, then shift again with this and fire your bow without taking attacks of opportunity. A defensive power which is again situational, but in the end, its okay because Twin Strike is so good, you’re probably always going to want to use it save in the situation wherein you want to use this ability, and you’ll be glad you have it.

Careful Attack is better in every way, shape, and form than the fighter at-will Sure Strike because it can apply to –ranged- attacks. Unfortunately, it suffers from the fact that losing your dexterity or strength modifier is a significant loss of damage, but benefits from the fact that you have hunter’s quarry – yet another advantage over the fighter at-will. It still loses out – a +2 to hit is nice, but the loss of your dexterity modifier to damage is a huge penalty to damage which outweighs the reliability in general – you deal more damage with just a normal basic attack. In short, don’t use it, as it sucks. Careful Attack is a Trap



Encounter 1 – All: Fox’s Cunning, Two-Fanged Strike; Melee: Dire Wolverine Strike;

Fox’s Cunning is your first choice as a melee ranger; it essentially gives you free attacks when you’re attacked (and let’s face it, you’re a lightly armored high-damage character; you’re going to be attacked) once per encounter. Free actions are good, and if you’re a melee ranger you want this power. It works if you’re a ranged one as well, but it isn’t as good as you aren’t attacked nearly as often (hopefully), so is less useful, though you can use it somewhat if you’re trying to exploit your Prime Shot ability. Free attacks = good.

Two-Fanged Strike - You can take Fox’s Cunning or you can take Two-Fanged Strike; essentially a souped-up Twin Strike, this has the potential to deal more damage than Evasive Strike and as you have Nimble Strike anyway, this can deal a pretty considerable amount of damage for a level 1 power if both attacks hit. A good reason to have a high attack modifier, but Fox’s Cunning is awfully good even if it isn’t always something you –want- to have to use, free attacks are free attacks. It has tremendous damage potential, and doesn't have Fox Cunning's drawback, which is having to get attacked to activate it. How useful they are is inversely proportional, and depends on your attack bonus. The higher it is, the better Two-Fanged gets and the worse Cunning becomes.

Dire Wolverine Strike - If you're a melee combatant, and you see lots of minions, then this power will help you clear them out. But it is situational, and you have to find a spot where you can attack more than two enemies before it is as good as Two-Fanged Strike. Finding a spot to attack two enemies should not be too hard, but finding and getting to a spot to attack three or more may be difficult.

Evasive Strike - For either Ranged or Melee, Two-Fanged Strike is superior to Evasive Strike. If you think you need to get away, then you should have already taken either Nimble Strike or Hit and Run as one of your at-wills.

Daily 1 – Ranged: Split the Tree, Hunter’s Bear Trap. Melee: Jaws of the Wolf

Split the Tree is good at seriously injuring two standard creatures at low levels; it is very likely to hit and deals good damage to multiple foes. Really, the choice between Hunter’s Bear Trap and this is determined as whether you’d rather cripple one foe, or severely damage two foes. Split the Tree does slightly more damage than Bear Trap.

Hunter’s Bear Trap deals the equivalent of 3[W] damage thanks to its ongoing damage, and slowing opponents, especially with ranged attacks, is quite nasty. This is one of your two choices as the ranged ranger, the other being Split the Tree. Slow even on a miss is not a bad thing.

Jaws of the Wolf deals a lot of damage to a single foe in melee; it deals more damage than Hunter’s Bear Trap thanks to misses dealing half damage, and hitting with both deals more damage than any other level 1 daily power to a single target, quite likely killing them outright if they’re a standard creature for the first couple levels and still quite possibly doing so after that. 4[W] + 2x (Str + damage bonus) if both attacks hit. And half of that if both miss. And a striker is supposed to be doing damage.

Sudden Strike - It does 3[W] + Str (+ x2 damage bonus) if both attacks hit, and it weakens the enemy if the second strike hits. Depending upon your foe, weakened could be a better state than slowed. But I'd rather have slowed, since this is only a melee attack, and if you're hitting an artillery position, slowed will cause them to have to decide between moving and attacking, where with weakened, they can move, and still do half damage.

Utility 2 – All

Rangers have an unusually good selection of utility powers at this level.

Yield Ground is a good ability which allows an attacked ranger to run away and not get attacked by yet another attack. This is a good fall-back ability in the repertoire of any ranger as it lets you get yourself out of harm’s way after a risky attack or poor positioning after only taking one hit. It's a given that you're going to be hit sometime and Yield Ground is both an offensive tool, repositioning you and giving you a chance to strike at the right foe, and a defensive tool, boosting ALL of your defenses after just one hit (For comparison, Combat Anticipation boosts only by one, is a paragon feat, and doesn't work against every attack). It stays useful throughout your career, and can save you a lot of pain.

Crucial Advice means that any skills the ranger has, any other character, even an untrained one, is not that unlikely to succeed at, and the ranger can pull this out of his back pocket all day long. While not the best combat power, it is an excellent out of combat power. Rangers don't have that much overlap with other classes. That said, a success in perception, stealth, endurance, or Athletics can be very vital.

Unbalancing Parry isn’t too hot in the hands of a ranged ranger, but a melee ranger can use this to gain combat advantage and manipulate foes somewhat, but the benefit it grants is rather minor and can be easily obtained with clever positioning.

Encounter 3 – Melee: Cut and Run; Ranged: Thundertusk Boar Strike; Both: Disruptive Strike

Cut and Run - Let's combine two of your At-Wills, Hit and Run and Twin Strike, into one encounter power. This power lets you strike someone and get away, without them getting an OA on you. And if you're pumping wisdom, you might be able to shift more than you could normally move.

Thundertusk Boar Strike - Archers shouldn't have to worry about attacking and getting away. But if you hit an opponent, you can push them where they don't want to be. And if they've gotten past the defenders, you can possibly push them back to the defenders where they'll have to take more attacks if they want to attack the squishies near you.

Disruptive Strike is yet another free attack; this power penalizes a foe who attacks you or someone else if you hit quite severely. Unlike Fox’s Cunning, however, this even works with a ranged attack, and at range, and all rangers can use this every combat to great effect. The damage is, yet again, not extraordinary, but it doesn’t really matter because free attacks are good and you can just use Twin Strike anyway.

Shadow Wasp Strike - While it is an encounter power, it is weaker than either most of the Ranger 1 Daily powers.

Daily 5 – Melee: Frenzied Skirmish, Two-Wolf Pounce, Ranged: Excruciating Shot

Frenzied Skirmish is the power of choice for debuffing at this level; you can potentially daze two foes, and if you position yourself properly you can effectively force them to lose their turns or at least suffer opportunity attacks from you as they charge by to get at someone else, as dazed is second to stunned in a condition you can put on an enemy. If you want to disable a single foe for a round, both hits landing will probably do so. While it doesn’t work well against foes with ranged attacks it really hurts foes who rely on melee or otherwise being adjacent. It also lets you get away after you’ve beaten people up if it isn’t desirable for some reason to stick around and mess up their charges. This power really does allow you to skirmish effectively.

Two-Wolf Pounce deals a large amount of damage ands deals damage to multiple foes, so your choice here is effectively one of either more damage or more disruption.

Excruciating Shot deals solid damage and does a solid debuff.

Splintering Shot is very similar, but ultimately the weakness debuff is better against more foes, though worse against solos.

Utility 6 – Evade Ambush, Weave Through the Fray

Evade Ambush can basically negate ambushes for everyone in the party but yourself, a pretty handy ability, and as you’re probably only getting surprised once a day, its dailiness is not bad. Its real issue is that it won’t be useful every adventure, but when it comes in handy it is amazing.

Weave Through the Fray is in essence a free move which can keep a ranged ranger out of melee and allow a melee ranger to move swiftly around their back ranks. Because it is an interrupt it can also ruin a foe’s turn if you’re not in a position where they can be adjacent to both you and an ally, and you can ruin 1 charge per encounter. All around wonderful.

Skilled Companion - It would probably be good for perception checks if your fighting foes that use stealth. It has better range and duration, but has more limitations than Crucial Advice.

Encounter 7 – Melee: Sweeping Whirlwind, Claws of the Griffon. Ranged: Spikes of the Manticore.

Sweeping Whirlwind deals mediocre damage, but as a melee area of effect ability it is effective against minions and standard monsters. It knocks foes prone, which is its real saving grace – this makes it non-useless against solo monsters, potentially inconveniencing them and certainly giving your allies a bonus to hit against them, and it can make it difficult for standard monsters to attack you in return, especially if you took Weave Through the Fray at your last level. If you can set it up against two opponents, the push and knock prone make it better than Claws of the Griffon. Note: If you took Dire Wolverine Strike, you should now retrain it to one of the other powers.

Claws of the Griffon is a powerful melee attack capable of dealing large amounts of damage; it also has two chances to hit and can also be split up across two enemies if you so choose, making it versatile. Always useful, whether against a solo monster or a group of foes.

Spikes of the Manticore is a poor man’s Split the Tree, but being an encounter power is quite handy. It is the ranged equivalent of Claws of the Griffon.

Hawk’s Talon is only good if you somehow have a very large wisdom bonus, but if you did, it could be worth taking. If you don't have a wisdom bonus of at least +4, then you run into the same trap as with Careful Attack.

Daily 9 – Attacks on the Run

Attacks on the Run is an exceptionally potent power for this level. It deals as much damage as the level 15 daily fighter power Dragon’s Fangs, PLUS it allows you what amounts to a free move action. You can hit two people along the way or deal an enormous amount of damage to a single target, and you don’t even have to be wielding a weapon in each hand! You can even use your bow to pull off this attack. Altogether an amazing striker power.

Spray of Arrows is interesting if your DM really, really loves throwing minions at you by the truckload, as it can wipe out a huge number of them. But outside of that circumstance, take Attacks on the Run.

Close Quarters Shot could be okay if your DM likes difficult terrain, so you can't shift. But why did you let them get this close?

Swirling Leaves of Steel is inferior to the encounter power of Sweeping Whirlwind, as anyone should be willing to give up 1[W] to push and knock down opponents.

Utility 10 – Expeditious Stride, Open the Range, (Undaunted Stride)

If you don’t have Weave Through the Fray for some bizarre reason, take that over any ability of this level.

Expeditious Stride makes you faster and can also act as a poor man’s Tumble. Not amazing, but not terrible, and you can use it every encounter (and probably want to).

Open the Range is basically an additional (and WORSE) Weave through the Fray, because it is a daily power. If you don’t have Weave Through the Fray, take that instead of this, but if you already have Weave Through the Fray, you can pick up an additional daily use of it here.

Undaunted Stride is an odd daily power – for five minutes you can ignore difficult terrain. While not all that powerful in general, if your DM loves putting you in difficult terrain all the time, may be occasionally useful, especially as a two weapon fighting ranger. It is slightly better than the Elf racial ability, as it only works with shifting, but not good enough for an elf to even consider taking it.

Encounter 13 –Melee: Armor Splinter. Ranged: Pinning Strike

Armor Splinter is an excellent attack because it gives your opponent a large AC penalty, setting them up for whatever you’re going to do to them on your next turn (see Blade Cascade), and potentially your allies doing to them in the interim. While not very damaging on its lonesome, the stuff it lets you set up makes its damage way greater than it appears.

Pinning Strike is your power of choice if you’re a ranged ranger at this level; immobilizing two opponents early in the combat can really swing the fight in your favor by keeping them from ganging up on your defenders (or getting around and attacking the squishies), and the power is just generally good at making it hard for your opponents to maneuver. Best in the opening round of combat, but can be useful depending on initiative order at other points as well, not to mention if some foes manage to escape your defenders and chase down the squishies in back.

Nimble Defense is far less synergistic; the only real reason to take it is if you want to make a more defensive ranger, as its damage isn’t very good and you may well be better off with Sweeping Whirlwind, the Encounter 7 power.

Knockdown Shot - Immobilized is almost always better than knocked prone.

Daily 15 – Melee: Blade Cascade, Stunning Steel. Ranged: Confounding Arrows

Blade Cascade has the potential to deal truly outrageous amounts of damage if set up properly with buffs on the ranger and debuffs on the hapless foe. The key is to set it up; it isn’t something you unleash right off the bat. The ranger wants to use Armor Splinter, then follow it up with this power. Additionally, if the leader in the party increases your attacks, or you yourself have some ability which can increase your chance of hitting, now is the time to use it. This keeps attacking until you miss, dealing decent damage per hit, and is capable of felling very powerful foes if you get lucky and/or set it up such that you almost never miss. A paragon path power which gives you a bonus to your attack rolls when you use an action point is another excellent way to ensure this power doesn’t miss. Altogether a potentially combat-swinging, super heavy damage power, but again, it does require setup and is best against elites and solos, though even some higher hit point standard monsters may be worth taking down in a single round with this. This is your power of choice if you are a melee ranger and are going for pure offensive power via Armor Splinter and this power. If you don't believe how powerful this power is go to the thread, How Cascade of Blades broke 4.0 even 3 days before it was released. Even with the errata capping Blade Cascade at 5 attacks, how many other ranger abilities let you attack 5 times against the same or different opponents. Only the burst attacks let you get as many attacks in, and that is if you set them up well, and they are against different opponents, so you're still going to only scratch solo or elites with the burst abilities, but Blade Cascade can still hurt badly a high level opponent. It just can't take him from fully healthy to dead in one round. But you might want to save it now, as some monsters become nastier when they are bloodied.

Stunning Steel is a power which doesn’t deal all that much damage but stuns up to two foes until they make a save, potentially disabling them for quite some time. This will also make your DM not hate you. If it weren't for Cascade of Blades, this would look like a powerful power.

Confounding Arrows is the ranged ranger’s ability of choice at this level; stunning ablities are always welcome and if you target three foes with your arrows, you will always daze all three of them, hit or miss. Potentially devastating in the first round of combat if the combatants are widely separated, as it can prevent several foes from getting engaged with the party. Optionally can be concentrated on a single foe and stun them and possibly deal them very good damage.

Bleeding Wounds - It does deal a good amount of damage, but dazing or stunning opponents will let your party deal or save that much damage from the dazed/stunned foes.

Utility 16 – Evade the Blow

Evade the Blow basically allows you to, once per day, avoid being hit by a melee attack by a foe who does not reach all squares you could shift into.

Longstrider - Let's you increase your speed, as a stance, so it lasts until the end of the encounter.

Momentary Respite - You shift away from an enemy, and get to make a saving throw. Using a standard action for this is very costly.

Encounter 17 – Melee: Cheetah’s Rake. Ranged: Arrow of Vengeance, Triple Shot

Cheetah’s Rake is the big brother of the lower level Sweeping Whirlwind, knocking down AND immobilizing foes. This nearly assures you of wasting all struck foe’s next turns as all they’ll be able to do is stand up, assuming they’re melee folks and you move away from them.

Arrow of Vengeance - Remember those free attacks you got at low levels? Say hello to their big brother. As usual, free attacks are good, and while it doesn’t deal all that much damage, it doesn’t take an action, either. This is an excellent ranged ranger power, and you should take it.

Triple shot - While there have been other triple shots for the ranger, this is the first encounter version of a triple shot. Properly set up, that third shot can be a lot of damage with the constant bonuses.

Two Weapon Eviscerate - While Cheetah's rake is good against multiple opponents, this power is only good against a single opponent. And both attacks have to hit to get the extra damage and conditions. If your GM is constantly throwing elites and solos against you, and no minions, the take this power instead.

Daily 19 – Melee: Cruel Cage of Steel, Wounding Whirlwind. Ranged: Great Ram Arrow, (Two-in-One shot)

Cruel Cage of Steel is Stunning Steel’s big brother; this allows you to deal more damage than stunning steel to a single foe, and possibly attack multiple foes (though in that case it won’t necessarily stun). It will deal pretty solid damage and the bonus to hit is not bad. It is also the first melee attack where you can attack one creature 3 times, and it gets a bonus to hit. And it allows you to put the three best conditions in the game on foes.

Wounding Whirlwind is essentially a melee AoE effect which hits all those nearby twice, inflicting only mediocre damage for this level but hitting all foes and possibly doing so twice and causing a great deal of ongoing damage to a group of foes. It should get rid of minions, but it is really only better than Cruel Cage if you can set it to attack at least 4 enemies.

Great Ram Arrow is your ranged ranger power of choice at this level; it deals okay damage but it knocks the target back a decent distance, possibly taking them out of combat for a round thanks to the knockback plus knock prone. A good way to open a battle against a group of melee monsters plus an elite as it can take the elite out of the first round of combat.

Two-in-One Shot If you dumped strength, then you want to take it. It deals solid damage but is not exceptional in any way.

Utility 22 – All

Forest Ghost is a solid power if you often can expect to have cover or concealment; invisibility for an entire encounter, even after attacking, is very nice.

Safe Stride is an encounter Tumble skill, but can potentially go further, much further if you have a very high Wisdom score.

Hit the Dirt lets you evade an area of attack ability 1x/day; it can greatly complement your suite of abilities which already help you avoid attacks.

Master of the Hunt lets you deal more damage, but requires you to have a fairly high wisdom modifier to be worthwhile.

Encounter 23 – Melee: Blade Ward, Cloak of Thorns. Ranged: Hammer Shot (Manticore's Volley)

Blade Ward is yet another free melee attack power, can make your foe miss, and is a free attack. All in all, an excellent ability, and you probably want it. If you're pumping wisdom, this is probably the way to go. And it became slightly better as the errata upped its damage to 2[W].

Cloak of Thorns - You’d think a free attack would be an auto-pick, but it is at least worth mentioning. It deals decent damage and gives your foe an attack roll penalty. Okay, right? The damage is decent, but what really makes this power is the fact that if someone (anyone!) attacks you from an adjacent square and misses, you get a free basic attack with –each weapon- against them. This strongly dissuades foes from attacking you, especially those you hit. However, you need to have a high enough AC to pull off this power and make it worth grabbing, as otherwise you’re probably still better off with the free attack power, as this one, while potentially more powerful, does have additional requirements. It does offer the possibility of 4 hits on your opponent versus the one hit with Blade Ward, if you have a high enough AC.

Hammer Shot is a powerful opener; if you start a distance apart, Hammer Shot can potentially make it so that one of their melee combatants cannot engage until the second round of combat. The higher your Wisdom modifier, the more likely you are to keep someone out of combat. And it should definitely keep any foes that breach the front line away from the squishies in the back.

Manticore's Volley is another triple shot that deals more damage but to only one creature. It should do more damage than Hammer Shot, but it won't keep the enemy away from you. If you don't pump wisdom, then this is a reasonable alternative.

Daily 25 – Melee: None. Ranged: Unstoppable Arrows

Worth noting – you may well want to keep Attacks on the Run, particularly if you’re a ranged ranger. Remember, you don’t –have- to replace your lower level encounter powers. You can choose not to take a power at this level.

Unstoppable Arrows is a decent alternative for the ranged ranger who doesn’t feel he’s going to be attacked quite as often, though; it is an area of effect power with a fairly large blast and can deal pretty decent damage. Sadly, minions will be all but gone soon, but it is still solid against groups of standard foes.

Tiger’s Reflex - A power which allows him to counterattack if attacked for the entire encounter. Pretty handy in a tough fight, it is devastating against minions. Crazily, this works even if you’re not adjacent to a foe, so this is actually a decent power for a ranged ranger as well because you can cause severe damage to artillery foes, controller foes, and ranged foes in general and punish anyone who decides it is wise to attack you. It is not an opportunity attack, so none of the feats that work with opportunity attacks will work with Tiger's Reflex.

Bloodstorm - Attacks on the run is almost always better than this power. The only exception is when you miss.

Encounter 27 – Melee: Death Rend. Ranged: Lightning Shot, (Hail of Arrows)

Death Rend is solid as a power which can stun a foe, but requires two hits to do so. It remains solid, but not spectacular. Stunning every encounter is good though, and if you can get your attack bonus high this can be a very consistently deadly attack. This is the big brother of Two-Weapon Eviscerate.

Lightning Shot is a wonderful power because (as usual) free attacks are awesome, and this is a free attack. If you are a ranged ranger, you have this power, and like it.

Hail of Arrows would be an interesting anti-minion attack (having one of the largest attack areas in the game, if not THE largest), but unfortunately minions simply don’t really exist after level 25, so barring your DM making up and throwing lots of random minions at very high levels at you, this isn’t really worthwhile, especially compared to your free attack power, unless the DM is regularly throwing hordes of enemies at the party.

Wandering Tornado would be an interesting anti-minion attack, but unfortunately minions simply don’t really exist after level 25, so barring your DM making up and throwing lots of random minions at very high levels at you, this isn’t really worthwhile, unless the DM is regularly throwing hordes of enemies at the party.

Daily 29 – Melee: Follow-up Blow, Weave a Web of Steel. Ranged: Three-in-One Shot

Please note that if you are exploiting Blade Cascade, there is a good chance you don’t want to replace THAT power either at this level. Blade Cascade does absolutely hideous damage to a single target if set up properly. A melee ranger shouldn't replace his Attacks on the Run until this level, and here swap it for Follow-up Blow.

Follow-Up Blow multiplies the number of hits you get in a combat by your hit rate percentage. This can increase your damage by a huge margin for one combat, as you’re using many close-quarters attacks, and this adds to all of them. This is what you want if you are a melee ranger. If your fellow party members do their job, your hit rate should be anywhere from 60% to 85% consistently. Thus, the Blow can be very, very deadly.

Three-in-One Shot is a rather anticlimactic power; it deals lots of damage, and a ranged ranger probably wants it, but it is thoroughly unexciting. Please note it is not BAD, just boring, but it does very good damage. It is definitely better than purple. But in order to be blue, it should probably do a little more damage or put a condition on the foe. If it did the daze, stun, weaken like Cruel Cage of Steel does, then that would truly make it the capstone ability.

Weave a Web of Steel is not a bad power, but there is no reason to take it over Follow-Up Blow.
Skills and Feats: More on what you need to strike

I've broken the Feats up into the following categories:

1. Initiative
2. Attack Bonus
3. Damage Bonus
4. AC/Defense/Saves Bonus
5. Multiclass Feats
6. Skill Feats
7. Mobility Feats
8. Racial Feats
9. Utility

Some feats will appear in more than one category, as they help multiple things. I'll also try to group similar feats together, so that they may be more easily compared.

Heroic Tier Feats

Heroic Tier

1. Initiative
Improved Initiative [—] +4 to initiative checks
Quick Draw [Dex 13] Draw a weapon with attack action, +2 to initiative
These two feats will help you win initiative, but they do not stack, so you should take either of them, but not both. Quick Draw is especially good (moreso at Heroic levels) for the TWF Ranger that pushes Dex, as they may have a bow in hand while scouting for the party. Then he can get hit the enemy with a few ranged shots, and then draw his melee weapons as a free action. Otherwise, it would take his minor and move action to draw both weapons. For pure melee or ranged archers, II would be the better choice. And going first often means the difference between having CA on your enemies or them having CA on you. One of these two should be one of your first choices.

Group Insight [Half-Elf] Grant allies +1 to Insight and initiative. Your party will never object to bonuses to see and act before the enemy.


2. Attack Bonus Action Surge [Human] +3 to attacks when you spend an action point
Elven Precision [Elf] +2 to reroll with elven accuracy
If you're spending an action point or rerolling a miss, it's probably the time during the encounter when you least want to miss. These two feats help to insure that.

Blade Opportunist [Str 13, Dex 13] +2 to opportunity attacks with heavy blade or light blade
Combat Reflexes [Dex 13] +1 to opportunity attacks
Who doesn't like bonuses to hit, as they increase damage more than anything else. The downside of these feats is that they only work on oppurtunity attacks. How useful these are, depends upon your GM.

Far Shot [Dex 13] Increase projectile weapon range by 5 squares
Far Throw [Str 13] Increase thrown weapon range by 2 squares
Both of these help you keep your range Ranged Ranger. I could only see Ranger/Rogue multiclass PCs using the Far Throw feat.

Hellfire Blood [Tiefling] +1 attack and damage with fire and fear powers

Nimble Blade [Dex 15] +1 to attacks with light blade and combat advantage. I could only see Ranger/Rogue multiclass PCs using this feat.


Precise Hunter [Wis 15, ranger, Hunter’s Quarry class feature] Allies gain +1 attack against target hit by critical hit
Press the Advantage [Cha 15, rogue] Retain combat advantage with a critical hit
These two are too situational to be useful when you need them.

3. Damage Bonus
Weapon Focus [—] +1 damage with chosen weapon group
Weapon Proficiency [—] Gain proficiency with the weapon of your choice
Two-Weapon Fighting [Dex 13] +1 damage while holding a melee weapon in each hand
Power Attack [Str 15] +2 damage for –2 to attack
Powerful Charge [Str 13] +2 damage, +2 to bull rush on a charge
Even those races that get +2 with a weapon will want Weapon Focus by Epic Tiers. The PitFighter builds will want to get the WP(Bastard Sword) to help their damage. TWF is useful here, but it is also a prerequisite for Two-Weapon Defense and Two-Weapon Flurry. Power Attack can provide additional damage (there's a thread about it somewhere in the CO board), even though it does make your PC miss more often.

Dwarven Weapon Training [Dwarf] +2 damage and proficiency with axes and hammers
Eladrin Soldier [Eladrin] +2 damage and proficiency with longswords and spears
Dwarven rangers using Hammer Rhythm will want this in the Heroic tiers, but will train out of it to Weapon Focus sometime during Paragon. Eladrins are the only ranger that would want to fight with longswords into Paragon, but with their Dex bonus, even they should be tempted to retrain to Scimitar Dance.

Lethal Hunter [Ranger, Hunter’s Quarry class feature] Hunter’s Quarry damage dice increase to d8s
Backstabber [Rogue, Sneak Attack class feature] Sneak Attack dice increase to d8s
These two will increase the damage dealt by 1 point per dice. So they are nice to have, but not an immediate pick-up. But LH only applies once per round, and Backstabber (for a Ranger with Rogue MC) would only apply once an encounter.

Wintertouched [—] Gain combat advantage against foe vulnerable to cold
Astral Fire [Dex 13, Cha 13] +1 damage with fire or radiant power
Burning Blizzard [Int 13, Wis 13] +1 damage with acid or cold power
Dark Fury [Con 13, Wis 13] +1 damage with necrotic or psychic power
Raging Storm [Con 13, Dex 13] +1 damage with lightning or thunder power
All of these could be useful, if you get a weapon with that power. Wintertouched is the exception because of the combo with it and Lasting Frost(Paragon Feat) and Frost weapons. Dragonborn and multiclassed PCs will probably get more benefit out of most of these feats.

Dragonborn Frenzy [Dragonborn] +2 damage when bloodied
Enlarged Dragon Breath [Dragonborn, dragon breath racial power] Dragon breath becomes blast 5
Hellfire Blood [Tiefling] +1 attack and damage with fire and fear powers
Dragonborn get to do more damage when they are hurt! And they can ask their leader for temporary hit points instead of healing. An Enlarged Dragon Breath could really clear out the minions, and if it's cold, it sets up the Wintertouched combo. Tieflings will want to use fire and fear powers to get additional bonuses to hit and damage.

4. AC/Defense/Saves Bonus
Two-Weapon Defense [Dex 13, Two-Weapon Fighting] +1 to AC and Reflex while holding a weapon in each hand. This is the AC feat designed for the Melee Ranger. It makes TWF worth getting.

Armor Proficiency (Chainmail) [Str 13, Con 13, leather or hide armor] training with Training with chainmail armor
Armor Proficiency (Scale) [Str 13, Con 13, training with chainmail] Training with scale armor
Armor Proficiency (Plate) [Str 15, Con 15, training with scale armor] Training with plate armor
Shield Proficiency (Light) [Str 13] Proficiency with light shields
Shield Proficiency (Heavy) [Str 15, Shield Proficiency (Light)] Proficiency with heavy shields
Forget the shields, you're going to have both hands full with either a bow or two weapons. The WIS builds will probably want to get Scale Armor, with the Dwarven Hammer Rhythm build going to Plate Armor. The DEX Melee Rangers and Archers will want to keep their light armor, so that they can use their Dexterity bonus to AC.

Defensive Mobility [—] +2 to AC against opportunity attacks. If a ranger can't figure out how to use his powers to avoid OAs, then that's the only reason to take this.

Halfling Agility [Halfling, second chance racial power] Attacker takes a –2 penalty with second chance reroll
Dodge Giants [Dwarf] +1 to AC and Reflex against attacks of Large or larger foes
Human Perseverance [Human] +1 to saving throws
Lost in the Crowd [Halfling] +2 to AC when adjacent to at least two larger enemies
Halflings pretty much get to avoid critical hits with this feat. Humans get a bonus to saving throws (not defenses). And at some point in your PCs career, they're going to realize that most of the monsters they are facing are Large or larger.

5. Multiclass Feats
Sneak of Shadows (Rogue) [Dex 13]
Initiate of the Faith (Cleric) [Wis 13]
Student of Battle (Warlord) [Str 13]
Student of the Sword (Fighter) [Str 13]
Soldier of the Faith (Paladin) [Str 13, Cha 13]
Pact Initiate (Warlock) [Cha 13]
Arcane Initiate (Wizard) [Int 13]
With Sneak of Shadows and one of the DEX builds, your party won't need a rogue. Because Rogues only need WIS to find traps, they often use it as a dump stat, so most rangers would actually be better at finding traps than the Rogue, and some Rangers are just as nimble as the rogue at disarming them. Warlord and Cleric multiclass feats allow you to help an ally spend a healing surge, and a good number of their powers use abilities that a Ranger is going to favor. Fighter is good for the TWF ranger, as it offers both the Iron Vanguard and Pit Fighter paragon paths. But the rest are just too MAD, as they use abilities that are supposed to be dump abilities for a ranger. Below are some other useful multiclass feats for rangers.
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Backstabber [Rogue, Sneak Attack class feature] Sneak Attack dice increase to d8s
Improved Dark One’s Blessing [Con 15, warlock, infernal pact] Pact boon grants 3 additional temporary hit points
Improved Fate of the Void [Con 13 or Cha 13, warlock, star pact] Pact boon grants additional +1 bonus to die roll
Improved Misty Step [Int 13, warlock, fey pact] Pact boon grants additional 2 squares of teleport
Press the Advantage [Cha 15, rogue] Retain combat advantage with a critical hit
Surprise Knockdown [Str 15, rogue] Knock target prone with critical hit

6. Skill Feats
Alertness [—] No combat advantage when surprised, +2 to Perception
Skill Training [—] Gain training in one skill
Skill Focus [Training in chosen skill] +3 to checks with chosen skill
Escape Artist [Trained in Acrobatics] Escape a grab as minor action, +2 to Acrobatics
Long Jumper [Trained in Athletics] Make standing jumps as if from a running start, +1 to Athletics
Sure Climber [Trained in Athletics] Climb at normal speed on any surface, +1 to Athletics
Alertness could be pretty good for a ranger, as the ranger is normally going to be the Perception monkey for a party, and not granting CA when surprised is a very nice bonus. Skill Training should only be used if your planning on multiclassing (to Fighter?) and you want a skill from another class (Thievery?); otherwise, your normally better off using one of the multiclass feats. Skill Focus could be ok under the right circumstances. The last three are too situational to be of much use, but Escape Artist could be very useful if your GM wants to grab you, and not let go.

Jack of All Trades [Int 13] +2 to untrained skill checks. Int is a dump stat for rangers.

Dragonborn Senses [Dragonborn] Low-light vision, +1 to Perception
Group Insight [Half-Elf] Grant allies +1 to Insight and initiative
Light Step [Elf] Add to overland speed of group, +1 to Acrobatics and Stealth
All of these could be useful in the right circumstance.

7. Mobility Feats
Fast Runner [Con 13] +2 to speed when you charge or run
Light Step [Elf] Add to overland speed of group, +1 to Acrobatics and Stealth
Agile Hunter [Dex 15, ranger, Hunter’s Quarry class feature] Shift as a free action after scoring a critical hit
Fast Runner could be very good for Archers who want to run to the side to flank, so that they can get their quarry bonus. Light Step will help the group in wilderness areas. Agile hunter is too situational to be of much use, but will probably be better in Epic tiers where criticals are easier to get.

8. Racial Feats These feats are covered elsewhere.
Action Surge [Human] +3 to attacks when you spend an action point
Dodge Giants [Dwarf] +1 to AC and Reflex against attacks of Large or larger foes
Dragonborn Frenzy [Dragonborn] +2 damage when bloodied
Dragonborn Senses [Dragonborn] Low-light vision, +1 to Perception
Dwarven Weapon Training [Dwarf] +2 damage and proficiency with axes and hammers
Eladrin Soldier [Eladrin] +2 damage and proficiency with longswords and spears
Elven Precision [Elf] +2 to reroll with elven accuracy
Enlarged Dragon Breath [Dragonborn, dragon breath racial power] Dragon breath becomes blast 5
Halfling Agility [Halfling, second chance racial power] Attacker takes a –2 penalty with second chance reroll
Hellfire Blood [Tiefling] +1 attack and damage with fire and fear powers
Human Perseverance [Human] +1 to saving throws
Light Step [Elf] Add to overland speed of group, +1 to Acrobatics and Stealth

9. Utility
Toughness [—] Gain 5 additional hit points per tier
Durable [—] Increase number of healing surges by 2
If you're an Archer, you probably want to pick up Toughness. And Durable isn't bad for a TWF Ranger.

Alertness [—] No combat advantage when surprised, +2 to Perception
Dragonborn Senses [Dragonborn] Low-light vision, +1 to Perception
Since the Ranger is normally the perception monkey for the party, and out front scouting, it won't hurt to notice things about to surprise the party. And not granting CA when you are surprised is a nice bonus. The low-light vision is the main bonus for the Dragonborn, especially if you're in a party of non-humans that don't need light at night.

Surprise Knockdown [Str 15, rogue] Knock target prone with critical hit
Ferocious Rebuke [Tiefling, infernal wrath racial power] Push 1 square with infernal wrath
These two powers do affect positional tactics of your enemy. So they can help there. And if you decide to MC into Rogue DaggerMaster, then Surprise Knockdown becomes even more valuable.

Mounted Combat [—] Gain access to the special abilities of your mount
Too situational to get a better color than purple. But if you chose a ranger build that doesn't emphasize Dex (and Stealth), and your GM likes mounted combat, then it might actually turn out to be useful. But that is a lot of ifs.

Linguist [Int 13] Learn three new languages
Ritual Caster [Trained in Arcana or Religion] Master and perform rituals
You need smarts to do these things, and rangers normally aren't smart or very charismatic. Let the clerics, wizards, and warlocks handle those things.


Heroic Tier - N/A
Armor of Bahamut [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Bahamut] Use Channel Divinity to invoke armor of Bahamut
Armor Proficiency (Leather) — Training with leather armor
Armor Proficiency (Hide) [Str 13, Con 13, training with leather armor] Training with hide armor
Avandra’s Rescue [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Avandra] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Avandra’s rescue
Corellon’s Grace [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Corellon] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Corellon’s grace
Distracting Shield [Wis 15, fighter, Combat Challenge class feature] Target hit by opportunity attack takes –2 to attack rolls
Expanded Spellbook [Wis 13, wizard] Add additional daily spell to spellbook
Harmony of Erathis [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Erathis] Use Channel Divinity to invoke harmony of Erathis
Healing Hands [Paladin, lay on hands power] Add Cha modifier to damage healed with lay on hands
Inspired Recovery [Warlord, Inspiring Presence class feature] Grant ally saving throw with Cha modifier bonus
Ioun’s Poise [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Ioun] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Ioun’s poise
Kord’s Favor [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Kord] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Kord’s favor
Melora’s Tide [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Melora] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Melora’s tide
Moradin’s Resolve [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Moradin] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Moradin’s resolve
Pelor’s Radiance [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Pelor] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Pelor’s radiance
Potent Challenge [Con 15, fighter, Combat Challenge class feature] Add Con modifier damage to target hit with opportunity attack
Raven Queen’s Blessing [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship the Raven Queen] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Raven Queen’s blessing
Sehanine’s Reversal [Channel Divinity class feature, must worship Sehanine] Use Channel Divinity to invoke Sehanine’s reversal
Shield Push [Fighter, Combat Challenge class feature] Push 1 square to target hit by Combat Challenge attack
Tactical Assault [Warlord, Tactical Presence class feature] Ally gains bonus to damage equal to your Int modifier


Paragon Tier Feats
Paragon Tier

1. Initiative
Danger Sense [—] Roll twice for initiative, use the higher result
This feat will help you win initiative, and it stacks with either Quick Draw or Improved Initiative. DS is better than QD for initiative purposes only. DS and QD are better than II by itself. DS and II are pretty much an I win initiative combo. (This was a close call between Blue and Black.)

2. Attack Bonus

Seize the Moment [Dex 17] Gain combat advantage over foe with lower initiative
Well, with a Dex 17, you should have a nice initiative roll. Combine this with the initiative feats, and you should start almost every combat with CA. And feats that give you CA when you want it are very nice.

Back to the Wall [—] +1 to melee attack, damage, AC when adjacent to a wall
If you do a lot of Dungeon Delving or have a friendly Wizard that likes putting up walls, then this feat will help you a lot.

Distant Shot [—] Ignore –2 penalty for long range
Point-Blank Shot [—] Ignore cover and concealment within 5 squares
Running Shot [Elf] No attack penalty to ranged attacks after you run
If you're an Archery Ranger (and an Elf), there's no reason why you shouldn't take all of these feats. Distant Shot is normally considered better than Far Shot, but they are still nice together.

Sweeping Flail [Str 15, Dex 15] +2 to attacks with flail against foe with a shield
What are you doing using a flail? With a Dex like that, you should be using Scimitars (or at the least, Bastard Swords).

3. Damage Bonus
Scimitar Dance [Str 15, Dex 17] Deal Dex modifier damage on miss
Hammer Rhythm [Str 15, Con 17] Damage with hammer or mace on a miss
Well, if you're using a Hammer or a Scimitar, you're building around this power.

Heavy Blade Opportunity [Str 15, Dex 15] Use at-will power with opportunity attack
Deadly Axe [Str 17, Con 13] Treat all axes as high crit weapons
Light Blade Precision [Dex 13, Small or Medium size] +2 damage against Large or larger targets
Polearm Gamble [Str 15, Wis 15] Make opportunity attack against adjacent enemy
For heavy blades, this is a great feat, because it lets you make 2 attacks on an enemy instead of one. Deadly Axe is good for battleaxes, and you shouldn't be using a greataxe. Some would argue that a ranger shouldn't be using an axe at all, but without HR and SD, a battleaxe is second only to Bastard Sword in damage, and it doesn't require a feat, so a WIS build TWF ranger wouldn't be too bad off with this weapon choice. Light Blades are only good if you're multi-classing Rogue, but this is a good feat there. And a TWF Ranger should never be using a Polearm. And an Archery Ranger shouldn't be wasting feats on polearms.

Devastating Critical [—] Deal additional 1d10 damage on a critical hit
But it turns to Blue, when you take one of the improved critical feats at Epic Levels.

Blood Thirst [—] +2 to damage against bloodied foes
Fiery Rebuke [Tiefling, infernal wrath racial power] Cause fire damage with infernal wrath
Empowered Dragon Breath [Dragonborn, dragon breath racial power] Dragon breath uses d10s
Since a lot of monsters get nastier when they get bloodied, this is a worthwhile feat. Tieflings can add a lot of damage with this power. The EDB will add at least 4 points of damage to the breath.

Lasting Frost [—] Target hit with cold power gains vulnerable cold 5
Inescapable Force [—] Force powers ignore insubstantial, deal additional damage
Lightning Arc [—] Affect second target with lightning power on critical hit
Resounding Thunder [—] Add 1 to size of blast or burst with thunder keyword
Lasting Frost/Wintertouched is a good enough combination to make you want to get a frost weapon. And since Cold/Acid are the two least favored resistances by monsters, they get a lot of use. Inescapable Force is useful, if you have to fight a lot of insubstantial creature (e.g. Undead). Lightning Arc and Resounding Thunder probably won't work with a lot of the Ranger Powers. Check with your GM. If they do, then they move up a category.

Sly Hunter [Wis 15] +3 damage with bow against isolated target
Steady Shooter [Con 15] +3 damage with crossbow if you don’t move
Sly Hunter is situational, but if there is a creature with nothing else within 3 squares, you probably do want to put it down quick. Steady Shooter, why are you using a crossbow? Rangers want to move, and getting sneak attack once a round isn't reason enough to take a feat.

4. AC/Defense/Saves Bonus
Action Recovery [Human] Gain extra saving throws by spending action point
Dwarven Durability [Dwarf] Increase number of healing surges, healing surge value
Feywild Protection [Eladrin, fey step racial power] +2 to defenses when you use fey step
All of these are good enough to take if you qualify.

Armor Specialization (Hide) [Con 15, training with hide armor] +1 to AC with hide armor, reduce check penalty by 1
Armor Specialization (Chainmail) [Dex 15, training with chainmail] +1 to AC with chainmail, reduce check penalty by 1
Armor Specialization (Scale) [Dex 15, training with scale armor] Ignore speed penalty of scale armor
Armor Specialization (Plate) [Con 15, training with plate armor] +1 to AC with plate armor
Shield Specialization [Dex 15, Proficiency (Heavy or Light)] Shield +1 to AC and Reflex when using a shield
Hide, Scale, and Plate are the armors of choice for a Ranger. And a Ranger should NEVER be using a shield. Not to mention that it only stacks with Scale specialization for its +1 FEAT bonus to AC.

Uncanny Dodge [Wis 15] Enemies denied bonus to attack from combat advantage
Defensive Advantage [Dex 17] +2 AC when you have combat advantage against enemy
Combat Anticipation [—] +1 to defenses against ranged, area, close attacks
I see all three of these being useful at different times. If you're a TWF Ranger that wants to get a lot of flanks, then the first two will be most useful, but the first one will be more useful, as it helps you deal with the enemy flanking you back. It won't stop a Rogue's Sneak Attack ability, but it will make it harder for the Rogue to hit with his sneak attack. Combat Anticipation is very useful for the Archery Ranger that is staying at range.

Great Fortitude [—] +2 to Fortitude defense
Iron Will [—] +2 to Will defense
Lightning Reflexes [—] +2 to Reflex defense
Pick up one (or two) of these to shore up your weak defense(s).

Evasion [Dex 15] No damage from missed area or close attack
Mettle [—] No damage from missed area or close attacks
You would think that as good as these were in 3.5, that they would be at least a Blue power in 4.0. Unfortunately not, as this thread shows: Mettle and evasion: not worthwhile yet.

Improved Second Wind [—] Heal 5 additional damage with second wind
Not as good as toughness, because it doesn't scale with tier.

Solid Sound [Con 13] +2 to defense after you use thunder or force power
Not good enough to make you take a thunder or force weapon, but if you have one, then it's not a terrible feat.

5. Multiclass Feats
Steady Shooter [Con 15] +3 damage with crossbow if you don’t move
Why are you using a crossbow? Rangers want to move, and getting sneak attack once a round isn't reason enough to take a feat.

6. Skill Feats
Secret Stride [Trained in Stealth] No penalty to Stealth with move while hiding or sneaking
Agile Athlete [—] Roll twice with Acrobatics and Athletics checks
Stealth is powerful in 4.0. Now imagine moving 6 or 7 squares without giving up your stealth. Agile Athlete just seems too situational, especially at this point in the game.

7. Mobility Feats
Running Shot [Elf] No attack penalty to ranged attacks after you run
Secret Stride [Trained in Stealth] No penalty to Stealth with move while hiding or sneaking
Underfoot [Halfling, trained in Acrobatics] Move through spaces of Large or larger creatures
Fleet-Footed [—] +1 to speed
Running Shot and Secret Stride have already been covered. Underfoot can give you a shortcut, so that you might could use a shift instead of a move. And if the monster is really that big, you might not have to worry about other creatures being able to reach you. It does help set up CA on Solo/Elite monsters.

8. Racial Feats
Action Recovery [Human] Gain extra saving throws by spending action point
Dwarven Durability [Dwarf] Increase number of healing surges, healing surge value
Empowered Dragon Breath [Dragonborn, dragon breath racial power] Dragon breath uses d10s
Feywild Protection [Eladrin, fey step racial power] +2 to defenses when you use fey step
Fiery Rebuke [Tiefling, infernal wrath racial power] Cause fire damage with infernal wrath
Running Shot [Elf] No attack penalty to ranged attacks after you run
Underfoot [Halfling, trained in Acrobatics] Move through spaces of Large or larger creatures

9. Utility
Spear Push [Str 15, Dex 13] Add 1 square to distance pushed with spear or polearm
Unless you multiclass with fighter, this feat is useless.

Paragon Tier - N/A
Arcane Reach [Dex 15] Choose square within 2 as origin with close attack power
Combat Commander [Warlord, Combat Leader class feature] Bonus to Combat Leader equals Cha or Int modifier
Psychic Lock [—] Target hit with psychic power takes –2 on next attack roll
Second Implement [Wizard, Arcane Implement] Gain mastery with second arcane implement Mastery class feature
Spell Focus [Cha 13, wizard] –2 to saves against your wizard spells
Twofold Curse [Warlock, Warlock’s Curse class feature] Curse the two nearest enemies


Epic Tier Feats
Epic Tier

It's amazing how underwhelming the entire Epic Tier portfolio is. You might want to look at some of those Heroic and Epic feats that you couldn't quite squeeze in. Either that or wait for the book that has all of those wonderful Epic Tier feats.

1. Initiative

2. Attack Bonus
Blind-Fight [Wis 13 or trained in Perception] Adjacent creatures aren’t concealed or invisible to you
By the time you get to Paragon tier, a lot of enemies will be concealed or invisible. At least if they are adjacent, you can see them, now.

3. Damage Bonus
Heavy Blade Mastery [Str 21, Dex 17] Critical hit with heavy blade melee attack roll of 19 or 20
Bludgeon Mastery [Str 19, Con 19] Critical hit with bludgeoning melee attack roll of 19 or 20
Axe Mastery [Str 21, Con 17] Critical hit with axe melee attack roll of 19 or 20
Light Blade Mastery [Str 17, Dex 21] Critical hit with light blade melee attack roll of 19 or 20
Flail Mastery [Str 19, Dex 19] Critical hit with flail melee attack roll of 19 or 20
Spear Mastery [Str 19, Dex 19] Critical hit with spear melee attack roll of 19 or 20
Pick Mastery [Str 21, Con 17] Critical hit with pick melee attack roll of 19 or 20
Whatever your weapon of choice, you should get the mastery that goes with it. Too bad for Archer Rangers that there isn't a Ranged Mastery. Again, Heavy Blades (Scimitars, Bastard Swords, and Long Swords) are normally a Ranger's favorite weapon. If you're a dwarf, then you probably have a warhammer and hammer rhythm. Battleaxes aren't bad, and if you MC into rogue, and you're not taking Daggermaster (why?), then daggers are a good choice. All other weapons are inferior for a ranger.


Two-Weapon Flurry [Dex 19, Two-Weapon Fighting] Make opportunity attack with off-hand melee weapon
What is not to like about another attack (except the penalty on it), but it should stack with Heavy Blade Opportunity (with Twin Strike), so that you get three attacks against an opponent.

Font of Radiance [—] Target illuminated with critical hit, takes radiant damage
Irresistible Flame [—] Decrease target’s resist fire by 20
Font of Radiance isn't DeepSkyBlue, because you have to hit first, and then you might illuminate some of your friends. But the extra damage is very nice. Irresistible Flame is redeemable if one of your weapons is a fire weapon (and your other weapon is a frost weapon, right?).

4. AC/Defense/Saves Bonus
Triumphant Attack [—] Target at –2 to attacks and defenses after a critical hit
An unnamed penalty on your enemy's attacks and defenses aren't too bad, but it takes a critical hit to get it. And there are other powers that give similar penalties.

5. Multiclass Feats

6. Skill Feats

7. Mobility Feats
Unfettered Stride [Trained in Acrobatics] Ignore the effect of difficult terrain on your movement
Flanking Maneuver [Dex 17, trained in Acrobatics] Move diagonally and through enemies’ spaces
Both movement feats are solid feats. Unfettered Stride is the same as Undaunted Stride (Ranger Utility 10), which is slightly better than the elf ability. If you're an elf, you probably don't need this feat. Flanking Maneuver isn't quite as good, because of its situationality.

8. Racial Feats

9. Utility
Epic Resurgence [—] Regain encounter attack power on critical hit
What is not to like about regaining an encounter attack power. And you also have feats that improve your critical at this tier.

Epic - N/A
Arcane Mastery [Wizard] Regain daily spell by spending action point
Spell Accuracy [Wizard] Omit squares from any area or close wizard power


Skills


A Ranger gets 5 skills, one of which must be either Nature* or Dungeoneering*.

Nature (Wis)*
Dungeoneering (Wis)*
These two skills are pretty similar, with the difference being the environment. Even though some of the specific checks are under Nature, your GM will probably use those target numbers with the Dungeoneering skill check where appropriate.

Perception (Wis)
You're supposed to be the observant one in the party, as classes that NEED a good wisdom don't have Perception as one of the class skills, and the class, Rogue, that does have Perception as a class skill, doesn't need Perception for anything else. Rangers should want a good (and sometimes great) Wisdom score, and they have Perception as a class skill. Only half-elf clerics should be more perceptive than a ranger, and, even then, sometimes not.

Stealth (Dex)
Again, the rogue is the only class that shares this skill, but this time they will want it, also. What is this skill good for? Well, if you surprise your foe (with a combination of good stealth and perception), then you get Combat Advantage, and, by now, I shouldn't have to spell out how important that is. If you're an archer, and you're behind the front line of the party, then your allies grant you cover, which means you get to hide, again. Which means you have a chance to get CA for your next attack(s). TWF Rangers can still use stealth, after the first round, but it is harder for them, unless they can find some difficult terrain to hide in.

Acrobatics (Dex)
Athletics (Str)
These two are pretty even. They both have Escape a Grab. And for one's Balance, the other has Climb. Where one has Jump and Swim, the other has Escape Restraints and Reduce falling damage. Some people may want to help their stronger stat, while others may want to help their weaker stat. Neither is a bad strategy. Some may like both of these skills over one of either Dungeoneering or Nature.

Heal (Wis)
This skill doesn't help you directly, but you can use it to stabilize a fallen comrade, or help them use a second wind without an action (helpful if you're fighting a creature that you can't damage, and it is attacking your wizard who really needs some help, or if the battle cleric beside you needs some help). It is also good for those Archers who are going to MC into Initiate of the Faith (Cleric), since Religion comes with that feat.

Endurance (Con)
It can be useful at times, but those times seem to be very situational.

Others worth considering, some may be worth taking a feat for:

Thievery (Dex)
If the party doesn't have a Rogue (or Warlock with a good Dex), an Archer Ranger or a STR/DEX TWF Ranger might actually as good or better than a rogue with this skill. Why? Because a ranger is more likely to have a good perception score to actually see the trap before having to disarm it. You can get this feat either through the Skill Training feat, or by taking the Sneak of Shadows MC feat. Use the Skill Training feat, if you want to MC into a different class. If your party doesn't have a Rogue (or Warlock with a good Dex), they'll probably be very thankful that the ranger took the Thievery skill.

Insight (Wis)
If for some reason, your party doesn't have a Cleric, paladin, rogue, warlock, or wizard (or one without a decent Wisdom), then you might want to pick up this skill. Your charismatic face might be good at bluffing the other people, but unless someone in the party has a good Insight, you might find that they are bluffing you, and you don't find out about it until you fertilize the fan.

Equipment: What shinies help you strike better

Non-Magical Equipment


Armor
Armor

Cloth - If I have to tell you why, then you should go back to playing a wizard.

Leather - Good for DEX Rangers that don't have the CON for Hide Specialization, but don't want the Check penalty on Skills like Stealth.

Hide - Best overall armor for DEX Rangers. Without too much problem this armor can keep up with Chain, with a little push, it can keep up with Scale, and for maxed DEX Demigod Rangers, it can even keep up with Plate armor.

Chain - Penalties make it good only as a prerequisite for Scale.

Scale - Good armor for WIS Rangers. Make sure to put have a DEX 13/14 in order to qualify for Scale specialization, so you get the extra +1 and ignore the speed penalty.

Plate - Dwarf CON Rangers - enough said.

Light Shield - Trap, Trap, Trap. You can't use 90% of your ranger abilities with a shield, and you can't even use it as a one-handed improvised weapon.

Heavy Shield - Trap, Trap, Trap. You can't use 90% of your ranger abilities with a shield, and you can't even use it as an improvised weapon.



Weapons
Weapons

Any Improvised Weapon - Man up and buy a weapon.

Two-Handed Melee Weapons - If you're so in love with a Two-handed weapon, then play a Fighter, Paladin, or Warlord.

One-Handed Simple Melee Weapons - Only the Dagger keeps this from being RED, and that is only for the Ranger/Rogue MC builds.

Military Melee Weapons
Military Melee Weapons

Scimitar
Warhammer
These two weapons can do damage on a miss with the correct feat. This puts their DPR at the top.

Battleaxe
Flail
Longsword
War pick
These versatile weapons, can still do a lot of damage. A feat can make the Battleaxe a high crit weapon, the flail hit people with shields better, the longsword hit better on OAs, and the War pick is already high crit. The 1d10 on the Battleaxe and Flail give them a slight advantage over their cousins. Longsword is a good pick at 1st level, because a ranger can take Weapon Focus(Heavy Blades), and then switch to scimitar or bastard sword later. It should be noted that in the Heroic Tier, longsword is just as good as scimitar, as the better weapon proficiency bonus counteracts the scimitars high crit. And at heroic tiers, the Battleaxe and Flail are just as good as the Warhammer.

Short sword
Throwing hammer
Handaxe
The only thing that saves these weapons is that Archer Rangers can use these weapons in their off-hand.

A lot of this is based off of the thread, Melee Weapon Damage Output Comparison



Superior Melee Weapons
Superior Melee Weapons

Bastard Sword With +3 prof, and 1d10 damage, it is the best weapon that doesn't automatically do damage on a miss. And it is comparable to them.

Rapier - Ranger/Rogue weapon

Katar - Ranger/Rogue weapon

A lot of this is based off of the thread, Melee Weapon Damage Output Comparison



Simple Ranged Weapons - Again, only a Ranger/Rogue weapon, crossbow, kept this from being a RED category.

Military Ranged Weapons
Military Ranged Weapons

Longbow - Even TWF Rangers will want a decent Longbow.

Shortbow - Longbow for halflings.



Superior Ranged Weapons - I feel like I'm repeating myself, only a Ranger/Rogue weapon, shuriken, kept this from being a RED category.



Adventuring Gear
Adventuring Gear

Standard adventurer’s kit
Climber’s kit
Every party member should bring these kits, just in case.

Ammunition
Make sure you bring enough. Ammo isn't reuseable. But you can scavenge unused ammo from your dead foes.

Thieves’ tools
Well, if the party doesn't have a rogue, you may want to pick up that MC feat and these tools.

Holy symbol
If you decide to MC into Cleric, or you like having one for RP purposes, then a Holy symbol is a good idea.

Everburning torch
Lantern
Torch
Candle
You need a light source underground, or on a moonless night (even for the elf). You can always let someone else carry it.

Rope, silk (50 ft.)
Tent
Journeybread (10 days)
Nice to have but not necessary, especially since Silk Rope does not give any bonuses in 4e.

Chain (10 ft.)
Chest (empty)
Fine clothing
Flask (empty)
Again, these are nice to have, but not necessary, and would probably slow you down, unless you have a mount or a cart to transport them.

Arcane implement
Ritual book
Ritual components
Spellbook
Who do you think you are, the party's Wizard?




Magical Equipment


Another source to look at is this thread: 4e Preliminary Item Handbook

Armor
Armor
Level Name - Category; Properties and Powers
1 Magic - Any

AC/Defense Powers
3 Delver’s - Any; (Daily) Gain a +2 power bonus to a saving throw you just rolled; use the new result.
4 Darkleaf - Cloth, Leather, Hide; Property: +2 Item bonus to AC against first attack per encounter.
5 Barkskin - Hide, Scale; (Daily) +2 power bonus to AC
5 Bloodthread - Cloth; Property: Bloodied, gain +2 item bonus to AC and saving throws.
8 Elven Battle Armor - Leather, Hide; Property: +5 item bonus to saves against slow/immobilized; (Encounter) +2 power bonus to speed.
19 Angelsteel Armor - Chain; (Daily) +2 power bonus to one defense

Resist Powers
4 Black Iron - Scale, Plate; Property: Resist 5 fire/necrotic
4 Bloodcut - Leather, Hide; (Healing Surge): When bloodied; gain resist 10
5 Deathcut - Leather, Hide; Property: Resist 5 necrotic/poison; (Daily) enemy takes necrotic damage
7 Sunleaf Armor - Cloth, Leather, Hide; Property: Resist 5 radiant; (Daily) enemy takes radiant damage
9 Ghostphase Armor - Cloth; Property: Resist 5 Necrotic; (Daily) Become insubstantial
14 Flamedrinker Armor - Plate; Resist 10 fire; (Daily) you and allies within 5 squares gain resist 20 fire
14 Tombforged Armor - Chain; Resist 10 necrotic; (Daily) spend a healing surge, ally within 5 regains hp

Movement/Skills Powers
3 Eladrin - Chain; Property: Add 1 square to teleport
3 Sylvan - Cloth, Leather, Hide; Property: Athletics and Stealth checks
8 Mountain Armor - Plate; (Encounter) reduce effecs of pull, push, or slide
13 Shadowflow Armor - Cloth, Leather; Property: Stealth Checks; (Encounter) Gain concealment
23 Mantle of the Seventh Wind - Cloth; Property: Fly speed

Healing Powers
2 Dwarven - Chain, Scale, Plate; Property: Endurance Check; (Daily) HP as if you spent surge
5 Battleforged - Plate; Property: Bloodied, Second Wind gains 1d10 hp
5 Exalted - Chain; (Daily) until end of your turn, allies gain additional healing
13 Hydra Armor - Scale; Property: gain regeneration when enemy scores crit against you
15 Trollskin Armor - Hide, Scale; (Daily) gain regeneration 5 until end of encounter
19 Soulforged Armor - Plate; Property: When reduced to 0 hp, you remain conscious until the end of your next turn.

Damage/Curse Powers
2 Razor - Scale; Property: Enemy takes damage when they crit you.
3 Curseforged - Chain, Scale; (Daily) When enemy hits you, they take -2 to attacks.
3 Fireburst - Cloth; Property: Auto-save on ongoing fire Damage; (Daily) Enemy takes fire damage.

Hide and Scale Armor gets full marks. Plate is next. Leather and Chain are next. Cloth is always bad. Other powers are based off of how well they help the Ranger fulfill their Striker role. For example, Exalted Armor is great for a cleric, but it is terrible for a Ranger. Whereas Sylvan armor is much better for a Ranger than a cleric. Some armors are just good for everyone that uses that type of armor, for example, Trollskin Armor. And magic armor that helps you resist damage (that an enemy is likely to dish out) is better than magic that damages an enemy (that an enemy is likely to have no resistances against).



Weapons
Weapons

Level Name - Category; Properties and Powers

Melee
1 Magic - Any
2 Vicious - Any; Crit: +1d12
3 Duelist’s - Light Blade; Crit +1d6; +1d8 w/ CA; (Daily) CA against creature
3 Pact Blade - Light Blade; Crit: +1d6; Implement: Warlock; Property: Cursed takes damage;
4 Terror - Axe, Hammer, Heavy Blade; Crit: +1d8; (Daily) Target takes -2 penalty to all defenses.
9 Dragonslayer - Any; Crit: +1d8; +1d12 vs. dragons; Resist 5 dragon breath attacks; (Daily) +5 Attack; ignore dragon resist
10 Berserker - Axe, Heavy Blade; Crit: +1d10; (Daily) +2 Attack, -5 to all defenses; Resist 10
20 Dancing - Heavy Blade, Light Blade; Crit: +1d6
30 Vorpal - Axe, Heavy Blade; Crit: +1d12; Property: Reroll and add after maximum die roll; (Daily) +3d12 damage.

Melee Damage Types
2 Resounding - Hammer, Flail, Mace, Sling, Staff; Crit: +1d6 thunder; (Daily) Target dazed
3 Frost - Any; Crit: +1d6 cold; (At-Will) Cold/Normal; (Daily) 1d8 cold + slowed.
3 Thundering - Any; +1d6 thunder; (Daily) extra 1d8 thunder; push target 1 square.
5 Flaming - Any; Crit: +1d6 fire; (At will) Fire/Normal; (Daily) 1d6 fire + ongoing 5 fire damage.
5 Lightning - Any; Crit: +1d6 lightning; (At-Will) Lightning/Normal; (Daily) Target and enemies within 2 take 1d6 lightning
5 Lifedrinker - Any melee; Crit: +1d6 necrotic; Property: Enemy to 0 HP, gain 5 temp HP.
25 Holy Avenger - Axe, Hammer, Heavy Blade; Implement: Holy Symbol; Crit: +1d6 radiant + spend healing surge; Property: +1d10 radiant with radiant powers; (Daily) You and Allies within 10 gain +5 to Fort, Ref, Will


Ranged:
1 Magic - Any
2 Vicious - Any; Crit: +1d12
9 Dragonslayer - Any; Crit: +1d8; +1d12 vs. dragons; Resist 5 dragon breath attacks; (Daily) +5 Attack; ignore dragon resist
14 Phasing - Any ranged; Crit: +1d6; Property: ignore penalty for cover or superior cover
30 Perfect Hunter’s - Any ranged; Crit: +1d12; (Daily) Pinpoint all within 10, no cover or concealment, +5 bonus to attack.

Ranged Damage Types
2 Resounding - Hammer, Flail, Mace, Sling, Staff; Crit: +1d6 thunder; (Daily) Target dazed
3 Flameburst - Any ranged; Crit +1d6 fire; (Daily) Burst 1, Attack vs. Reflex, Ongoing 5 fire damage
3 Frost - Any; Crit: +1d6 cold; (At-Will) Cold/Normal; (Daily) 1d8 cold + slowed.
3 Thundering - Any; +1d6 thunder; (Daily) extra 1d8 thunder; push target 1 square.
4 Thunderburst - Any ranged; Crit: +1d6 thunder; (Daily) Burst 1, Attack vs. Fort, thunder damage.
5 Flaming - Any; Crit: +1d6 fire; (At will) Fire/Normal; (Daily) 1d6 fire + ongoing 5 fire damage.
5 Lightning - Any; Crit: +1d6 lightning; (At-Will) Lightning/Normal; (Daily) Target and enemies within 2 take 1d6 lightning

I've broken these up by Ranged/Melee and then by those that have a damage type versus those that don't have a damage type. For those that have a damage type, I also used the MM Resistance table below. The link is provided for the full table. Those damage types that had fewer monsters with resistances got better marks. Frost gets bonus points for the synergy with the feats Wintertouched and Lasting Frost. Note that some feats can make weapons better, and some of those feats are accessible only to certain races. For Example, Tieflings have access to Hellfire Blood, which gives them +1 feat bonus with powers that are Fear/Fire. This means that a Tiefling Ranger might want to take flaming or terror weapons. I did not factor a lot of these feats into these ratings (except cold). And, of course, Rangers that plan on dual classing should look for weapons that help both classes (e.g. Pact Blade, Holy Avenger, etc.).

Extra powers or conditions can help change how useful the weapon is. Slowed, Dazed, and Stun (none so far) can help a weapon. Providing Temp HP is nice. etc.

MM Resistances

MM Statistics

Overall (all monsters):
5+ 10+ 15+ 20+ 25+ 30+ 35+ 40+ Immune<br /> acid 5.5 5.3 3.3 2.5 0.6 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 <br /> cold 5.7 5.7 3.9 3.3 1.6 1.2 0.4 0.4 0.2 <br /> fire 17.2 17.0 11.9 10.2 4.9 4.3 1.8 1.8 1.2 <br /> force 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 <br /> lightning 5.5 5.5 3.9 3.3 1.6 1.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 <br /> necrotic 13.1 12.5 4.7 3.7 1.6 1.6 0.8 0.6 0.4 <br /> poison 22.7 22.5 19.6 19.2 18.4 18.2 17.8 17.8 17.8 <br /> psychic 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 <br /> radiant 2.0 2.0 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 <br /> thunder 4.5 4.5 2.2 1.8 0.6 0.6 0.0 0.0 0.0




Implements
Implements


Arms Slot
Arms Slot


Feet Slot
Feet Slot


Hands Slot
Hands Slot


Neck Slot
Neck Slot


Waist Slot
Waist Slot


Rings
Rings


Wondrous
Wondrous


Potions
Potions


Build Options: A look at strikers

This space reserved
Combat Tactics: How to put it all together to strike

This space reserved
Ok, I've reserved space on this thread for all of the chapters, so people can start posting if they want to.

Yes, I realize that there is another Ranger's Handbook. I linked to it in the first message. But it looks like the owner of that book isn't going to update the chapters, so I'm creating another one to keep updated.

GH
Good luck! I'll be watching...creepily.
Looking forward to it.
Interested. I'd like to contribute on the powers and feats sections.

Also, I'd consider linking the "Careful attack IS A TRAP" thread when explaining at wills. It is very educational, both for knowing which are the best ranger powers, and how the 4th Power Scale works in general.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Also, I'd consider linking the "Careful attack IS A TRAP" thread when explaining at wills. It is very educational, both for knowing which are the best ranger powers, and how the 4th Power Scale works in general.

Feel free to give me links for these types of things. I found one on Twin Strike that clearly shows how Twin Strike is better than Careful Attack. And I've been collecting links in case I needed to recreate this handbook.

Found it! Careful Attack is a Trap by Strategy Rose. You'll probably see a lot of his stuff in this handbook.

GH
Dangit! You're not only a ranger, you multiclassed to ninja! :P

In any case, I'm working on making a power and feat list. I'm 3/4's or halfway done.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Subscribed. If I come up with anything useful I'll let you know.
Don't forget, when you get to it, that melee rangers can pick up proficiency in chain armor.

One of their little hidden downsides is that they have three very important stats. They need Str to hit, Dex for AC in hide armor, and Wis for secondary bonuses on many Ranger powers. But they can only pump two of them. Chain armor is just as good as Dex 16+Hide, and eliminates the need to boost your dexterity. All you need to spend to get it is Con 13, -1 movement (not relevant while using powers to shift around) and one feat.

For all of those "good strength, nothing else that helps" races, like Dragonborn, upgrading to chain armor is a nice way to save some ability score points and boost your defenses.
Dangit! You're not only a ranger, you multiclassed to ninja! :P

In any case, I'm working on making a power and feat list. I'm 3/4's or halfway done.

I look forward to seeing your take on the powers and feats.

Don't forget, when you get to it, that melee rangers can pick up proficiency in chain armor.

One of their little hidden downsides is that they have three very important stats. They need Str to hit, Dex for AC in hide armor, and Wis for secondary bonuses on many Ranger powers. But they can only pump two of them. Chain armor is just as good as Dex 16+Hide, and eliminates the need to boost your dexterity. All you need to spend to get it is Con 13, -1 movement (not relevant while using powers to shift around) and one feat.

For all of those "good strength, nothing else that helps" races, like Dragonborn, upgrading to chain armor is a nice way to save some ability score points and boost your defenses.

For a PC that is pumping Wisdom instead of Dex, they should probably go to Scale Armor, as its specialization has the same requirement as Chainmail. You get better AC, and you don't have the speed penalty that you would have with Chainmail & Specialization. And at Heroic tier, Scale Armor doesn't have the check penalty. Both Chainmail and Scale armor specialization requires a Dex 15. And the proficiency on both of them requires a Con/Str 13.

For PCs pumping DEX, try to make your CON 13 when you start, so that you can at least take Hide Specialization at 21st level.

GH
Awesome. thanks for stepping up to bat at this.
Archery or TWF? How to strike

I've seen 3 major Ranger builds that seem to work that emphasize the Ranger.

2. Melee Ranger with High Dex

Just curious because maybe im missing something here but why on earth would you want a Melee Dex ranger when almost all of the melee ranger powers are Str vs AC and [w]+str?

It seems to me that a better melee ranger is one who has 18+ strength at level 1 with maybe 16+ dex as a secondary attribute. You need the str for the damage and to hit of regular attacks and most powers. Dex is for armor class, reflex, and ranger skills, with a side bonus of ranged attack for the odd time you may want it, and of course stormwarden damage (which is secondary to actually ensureing that you HIT the guy (str) with your powers).
Just curious because maybe im missing something here but why on earth would you want a Melee Dex ranger when almost all of the melee ranger powers are Str vs AC and [w]+str?

It seems to me that a better melee ranger is one who has 18+ strength at level 1 with maybe 16+ dex as a secondary attribute. You need the str for the damage and to hit of regular attacks and most powers. Dex is for armor class, reflex, and ranger skills, with a side bonus of ranged attack for the odd time you may want it, and of course stormwarden damage (which is secondary to actually ensureing that you HIT the guy (str) with your powers).

Stormwarden and scimitar dance both use your dex to do more damage; I've seen math showing that, given a 50/50 chance to hit, a ranger will do MORE average damage with a high Dex than a high strength (doing damage on a miss makes a huge difference where average damage is concerned, particularly since rangers generally make multiple attacks). A similar statistic analysis showed that a high Dex high Str scimitar ranger was the most damaging (on average) build in the game so far.
Stormwarden and scimitar dance both use your dex to do more damage; I've seen math showing that, given a 50/50 chance to hit, a ranger will do MORE average damage with a high Dex than a high strength (doing damage on a miss makes a huge difference where average damage is concerned, particularly since rangers generally make multiple attacks). A similar statistic analysis showed that a high Dex high Str scimitar ranger was the most damaging (on average) build in the game so far.

ChaosMage, do you have a link to that analysis? That's the type of link that I want to put in this handbook.

Thanks,

GH
Thanks for mentioning the Pit Fighter as an option for an Archer Paragon Path.

So far the Handbook seems to be very good work - thanks for this too.
For a PC that is pumping Wisdom instead of Dex, they should probably go to Scale Armor, as its specialization has the same requirement as Chainmail.

Eventually, yes, you probably should. It costs an extra feat though.
ChaosMage, do you have a link to that analysis? That's the type of link that I want to put in this handbook.

Thanks,

GH

It took me a while to hunt it down, but I found this thread on ENWorld: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?t=234620

It's the same OP, with the same spreadsheets, but he originally posted over here. I can't find that thread; I don't know if it was lost during one of the database issues or if I'm just not finding it. It's a general analysis, not focused on rangers but a variety of classes, and only looks at levels 1, 11, and 21. It's pretty limited at the level 1 analysis; the only ranger used in that one is an elf bow ranger, though that is one of the best for that level. Bugbear scimitar stormwardens are generally on top at 11th level, and if you're limited to PHB races elf scimitar stormwardens win. At 21 level, bugbear scimitar stormwardens are still generally on top, beaten only by minotaur fighters using unyielding avalanche (which is, again, doing automatic damage that happens whether you happen to hit that round).

Edit: Also, since the post on rangers doing more damage with a high dex than with a high str was in the thread on these boards I can't find, I should note that I think it was based on twin strike, which doesn't add str damage; therefore increasing damage done on a miss was helping more than increasing str, which would help hit but wouldn't increase the damage done when you did hit.
Regarding Scale Armor Prof/Spec: Eventually, yes, you probably should. It costs an extra feat though.

When I get to the feats, I'll probably be categorizing them according to what they give you. Some of the first categories that come to mind are:

1. Initiative - Quick Draw, Improved Initiative, Danger Senses, etc.
2. Attack Bonus - Nimble Blace, Elven Precision, Action Surge, etc.
3. Damage Bonus - Weapon Focus, WP (superior weapon), etc.
4. AC Bonus - TWD, Armor Proficiency, Armor Specialization, etc.
5. Multiclass Feats
6. Skill Feats
7. Mobility Feats
8. Racial Feats
9. Utility - Anything not covered in the above feats.

Can anyone think of others? Should I break out the racial feats into a separate category or put them each in one of the above categories. Some feats may fall into multiple categories.

And these will be broken down by Tier. Probably try to mention how useful they are to each build.

GH
Stormwarden and scimitar dance both use your dex to do more damage; I've seen math showing that, given a 50/50 chance to hit, a ranger will do MORE average damage with a high Dex than a high strength (doing damage on a miss makes a huge difference where average damage is concerned, particularly since rangers generally make multiple attacks). A similar statistic analysis showed that a high Dex high Str scimitar ranger was the most damaging (on average) build in the game so far.

Thanks for the explaination and its an interesting theory for sure, however I dont quite understand how the damage matches up.

Scimitar dance only does damage if the attack misses, Dex damage only right? and storm warden does dex damage wether the attack hits or misses (which is nice!).

seems like a 24 dex character might be doing a good amount of "miss damage" say 14 dmg a missed swing, which will bring his average damage up vs someone without scimitar dance. But then again he is going to be getting that low ball 14 damage a lot more often as he misses more often too. if a guy has 24 strength thats a +7 difference in to-hit ability, and a hit scores on the higher end of the average damage then a miss does it not?
Here's my comments on the powers. I'll be using your list as a base and then pointing out differing opinions etc.

The At-Will list is perfect. No changes there.

The level 1 encounter power list should feature a change: Two-Fanged Strike should be a blue power, as it has tremendous damage potential, and doesn't have Fox Cunning's drawback, which is having to get hit to activate it. In my opinion, how useful they are is inversely proportional, and depends on your attack bonus. The higher it is, the better Two-Fanged gets and the worse Cunning becomes. Thus, it is as good a choice as Cunning (Or better, with the appropriate setup. For example, a melee ranger with a high to-hit chance using PA.)

The dailies are A-okay.

The utilities should be revised. Crucial advice is good, but it ain't all it's cracked up to be, as rangers don't have that much overlap with other classes. That said, it should still be black, as a success in perception, endurance, or Athletics can be very vital.

Unbalancing parry is red crap. The benefit it grants is rather minor and can be easily obtained with clever positioning.

Yield Ground, meanwhile, is either blue or sky blue. It's a given that you're going to be hit sometime and Yield Ground is both an offensive tool, repositioning you and giving you a chance to strike at the right foe, and a defensive tool, boosting ALL of your defenses after just one hit (For comparison, Combat Anticipation boosts only by one, is a paragon feat, and doesn't work against every attack). It stays useful throughout your career, and can save you a lot of pain.

The encounter 3 powers should be reevaluated. True, free attacks are good, and Disruptive strike is awesome for it's penalty, but it would be foolish to underestimate cut and run and thundertusk boar strike. The first one is basically a retributionless strike, which comes in really hand for meleers, and the second one, while requiring two hits for the full effect, comes in pretty handy for ranged attackers, who can use it to get out of a sticky situation, even with a one square push. Shadow Wasp Strike sucks, though.

The level 5 powers are okay. Maybe I'd emphasize how Frenzied Skirmish likely means a lost turn for a foe with no save, but it's okay.

No comment on level 6. I agree with it.

On level 7, no comments. It's basically a lowpoint for the ranger.

I agree on level 9, too. It would really take a special kind of moron not to take Attacks on the run, as it does ludicrous damage.

On level 10, the only change I'd make is stress how useful Expeditious Stride is. It either makes you fly through the battlefield, or it means you can play Kobold for a while. And we all know those sneaky buggers have an awesome power.

No comment on level 13. It's a succinct and good analysis of the level.

Same with 15.

No comment on 16, too.

However, that streak of agreements ends on level 17. While I agree Cheetah's rake is awesome, I find it really weird that you do not recommend Triple Shot. Free attack or not, Arrow of Vengeance pales in comparison to a power that inflicts such gross damage (A pit fighter archer could easily add 40-50 damage on multiple constant bonuses, before we even factor W damage). True, it requires a setup, but I'm sure the Tactical warlord will be happy to oblige and give you a Warlord's Favor if it means such a huge amount of damage.

I agree once again on level 19. Maybe I'd stress how powerful Cruel Cage of Steel can be (For example, a Pit Fighter Lasting Frost ranger can deal upwards of 55 extra damage, and the attacks are extra likely to hit, AND they have debuffs), but that's it.

We think alike for level 22. In my opinion, Forest Ghost and Safe Stride are the better powers of the bunch, but they're all pretty good.

Level 23 is a no-brainer in the power choice. There's nothing I can add.

I have to disagree on level 25, though. For a melee ranger, Tiger's Reflex IS A TRAP. It's not that it is a bad power, buuuuuuuut...it overlaps with Follow-Up blow, so you can't have them both. Thus, Bloodstorm is the choice to take with a melee ranger if you just HAVE to pick something of this level.

On level 27, I've nuthin' to say.

On level 29, though, my opinion is this: a melee ranger shouldn't replace his Attacks on the run until this level, and here swap it for Follow-up Blow. If your fellow party members do their job, your hit rate should be anywhere from 60% to 85% consistently. Thus, the Blow can be very, very deadly.

Other than that, there's nothing else to say. This is a pretty good job, and I applaud you for the analysis.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Here's my comments on the powers. I'll be using your list as a base and then pointing out differing opinions etc.

...

Other than that, there's nothing else to say. This is a pretty good job, and I applaud you for the analysis.

Remember that I did use the analysis of someone else, and as I revise it, I'll be sure to use input from responses on this list, and I'll start color coding it.

Right now, I've only had a chance to do the 1st level powers, but the more input, the better this handbook will be.

GH
I'm disappointed that Manticore-whatever (Encounter 23) was omitted. You get damage that approaches the levels of Three-in-one shot (Daily 29), and you get to use it every encounter.
Fox’s Cunning is your first choice as a melee ranger; it essentially gives you free attacks when you’re attacked (and let’s face it, you’re a lightly armored high-damage character; you’re going to be attacked) once per encounter. Free actions are good, and if you’re a melee ranger you want this power. It works if you’re a ranged one as well, but it isn’t as good as you aren’t attacked nearly as often (hopefully), so is less useful, though you can use it somewhat if you’re trying to exploit your Prime Shot ability. Free attacks = good. Note that it is possible to draw AoOs as a ranged ranger, then use this power to basically gain yet another attack this round, though this is somewhat risky.

Emphasis mine. That does not work in most cases, sadly. You can't take immediate actions on your turn. If an acher provokes an OA by making a ranged attack on their turn they can't use Fox's Cunning. You also only get one immediate action per round. If the acher managed to provoke by making a ranged attack with another immediate action on someone else's turn they still can't use Fox's Cunning. The case in which this does work is if the archer manages to provoke by movement or attacking on someone else's turn provided those things were not immediate actions (A warlord using Knight's Move or one of the attack granting powers on the archer, for instance). In sum, not only is it risky, it's also work to set it up.
Thanks for the explaination and its an interesting theory for sure, however I dont quite understand how the damage matches up.

Scimitar dance only does damage if the attack misses, Dex damage only right? and storm warden does dex damage wether the attack hits or misses (which is nice!).

seems like a 24 dex character might be doing a good amount of "miss damage" say 14 dmg a missed swing, which will bring his average damage up vs someone without scimitar dance. But then again he is going to be getting that low ball 14 damage a lot more often as he misses more often too. if a guy has 24 strength thats a +7 difference in to-hit ability, and a hit scores on the higher end of the average damage then a miss does it not?

I can't find the post that had that particular bit of math in it, but I believe it was based just on twin strike- that is, that when using only at will powers, a scimitar stormwarden will do more damage with a high dex than a high str. This is because twin strike doesn't add str damage to hits, so a high str doesn't increase the damage done on a hit; at that point increasing dex to increase damage done on a miss is more important than increasing the chance to hit. I'm sure that the math works differently when using encounter and daily powers. Still, a high str high dex melee ranger will do more damage than a high str high wis melee ranger (but not benefit as much from the secondary effects that rely on wisdom; Armor Splinter+Blade Cascade won't work as well without a high wisdom, for instance), which is why bugbears work so well for a high damage melee ranger; they get bonuses to Str and Dex and get to use d8 scimitars.

Edit: And I just remembered Stormwarden, which is adding 2x your dex on one target and 1x your dex on another (or 1x on three targets), which comes into play whether you hit or not. A stormwarden using twin strike will do more damage when he's hitting with a high dex, too.
No problem. I'll be waiting anxiously for your revision. Also, here is the feat analysis. To spare my poor sanity, I'll only list the feats that have some kind of good use for a ranger, not every single one of them.

Heroic Tier:

Action Surge: Completely awesome your next choppa or dakka is much more likely to land. I'd get this feat either at level 1, 2, or 4, not later, and label it as "Must Have", or sky blue.

Agile Hunter: A Stormatar (Stormwarden scimitar user, abbreviated for convenience) or an archer will like this one. Other's might find it too costly in DEX. It's Blue for the first group, purple for the second one.

Alertness: Nice, but too situational. Skip it unless you are your groups perception monkey.

Armor proficiencies: Literally none of them are worth it, spending in CON is a REALLY bad move.

Blade Opportunist: An awesome feat to get for scimitar junkies, particularly stormatars. A good choice for level 4-6.

Combat Reflexes: Too minor. Get it only as a spare.

Defensive Mobility: With the number of movement powers a ranger has, useless.

Dodge Giants: You shouldn't be a dwarf.

Dragonborn Frenzy: For melee rangers, this one adds up quicko. Good to get by the end of heroic tier.

Dragonborn Senses: Made of suck. Too small a bonus.

Durable: AWESOME. Especially with Bloodcut armor, which makes you really hard to kill while bloodied.

Dwarven Weapon training: You shouldn't be a dwarf. Again.

Eladrin Soldier: You shouldn't be a...err, you shouldn't use any of those weapons. A pity, really.

Elven Precision: The Joe Frazier to Action Surge's Muhammad Ali. Get it as your first or second feat as an elf.

Enlarged Dragon Breath: Not needed. You aren't going to face THAT many minions, yanno.

Escape Artist: Kinda useless.

Far Shot: Nice feat to get as a spare. Not awesome, but it helps.

Far Throw: A total joke.

Fast Runner: You're neither Lola or The Running Man. So don't run, and don't get this feat.

Ferocious Rebuke: Can come in handy. Not earth shatteringly awesome, but it comes in handy to get away.

Group Insight: Note that YOU don't get this bonus. It's mostly a joke.

Halfling Agility: If Action Surge is Ali, and Elven Accuracy is Frazier, this one is George Foreman, ready for a rumble in the jungle. A feat to get either as your first or second pick.

Hellfire Blood: Meh. Good, but it doesn't justify switching from a frost weapon.

Human Perseverance: Excellent feat, but a spare. Get it late in the tier.

Improved Initiative: Excellent for meleers, not so awesome but still good for archers, as you already have a brutal initiative.

Jack of all trades: Not enough Int, brotha.

Lethal hunter: Essentially a second Weapon Focus. Get it before said feat.

Light Step: Wasting a feat on what's basically fluff bonuses is not a good idea.

Lingust: Whatchoo talkin' bout mah brotha? Learnin' dem languages? I don't needa learn languages!

Long Jumper: Not too stellar, but it can come in handy.

Lost In The Crowd: Get a bonus nearly all the time? Sign me up!

Component Modification (Dragon): Not too good. Skip it.

Immutability (Dragon): Now we're talkin'! A freebie is a freebie, and it is GOOD.

Improved Warforged Resolve (Dragon): Meh. Skip.

Warforged Tactics (Dragon): Awesome. It's basically a permanent bonus for meleers.

Against All Odds (Dragon): It's somewhat conditional, but when it kicks in, the bonus is very nice.

Mounted Combat: Situationally, either kickass or pathetically useless. Consult your DM beforehand. If he allows it, though, Chimeras make awesome mounts.

Nimble Blade: You Shouldn't use Light Blades.

Power Attack: AWESOME feat. Get it quick, and abuse it. It'll up your damage immensely.

Powerful Charge: Charging is a bad idea.

Precise Hunter: Waaaaaay too situational. Skip it.

Quick Draw: Kinda useless. Skip.

Skill Focus: Depends on the skill and the use it sees.

Skill training: Depends on the skill you pick. Thievery is a nice choice for covering up for a rogue, but not too necessary.

Sure climber: Kinda useless. Skip.

Toughness: Excellent feat. Get this once you have a spare slot, as you're squishy and every little bit helps.

Two Weapon Defense: Useful for meleers, as your defenses leave something to be desired.

Two Weapon Fighting: Very minor. Get it only if you have nothing else to get.

Weapon Focus: Get this feat, fast. It ups your damage considerably over time.

Weapon Proficiency: You don't need this. Skip.

Wintertouched: You should get a frost weapon just to use this feat. Get it as your level 10 feat. It's awesome.


The paragon feats will come soon, as will the epic ones.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Um. Dwarves make crappy rangers? Really?

And the str/wis ranger won't want to invest in heavy armor?


No offense, but there's a whole other world out there, you seem utterly ignorant of, in your feat analysis.
Yes, they make a crappy ranger. CON is basically useless outside of getting armor, and WIS is a secondary. Thus, they are le suck. None of their bonuses have a special synergy with the ranger. They're not unplayably bad, but they aren't an optimal choice.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Quick Draw: Kinda useless. Skip.

Not really. A Str/Dex ranger can get a lot of use of it as he switches between ranged and melee. It has come up enough times with mine that I feel that it has been worth it.

It also lets you quaff potions with just a minor action.
Noted. Let's rephrase what I said to "Situationally useful. If you find yourself switching between weapons a lot or drinking potions like a drunkard, then you might want it once you have a spare feat."
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Lethal hunter: Essentially a second Weapon Focus. Get it before said feat.

Get Lethal Hunter before Weapon Focus? You are kidding right? Or did you mean it the other way around and I mistook your phrasing?
Defensive Mobility: With the number of movement powers a ranger has, useless.
Toughness: Excellent feat. Get this once you have a spare slot, as you're squishy and every little bit helps.

The rangers who should take these feats get them for free. Hybrid archer/melee would find it useful, but would generally be better off specializing instead of trying to walk to line.
Dodge Giants: You shouldn't be a dwarf.
Dwarven Weapon training: You shouldn't be a dwarf. Again.

Ferocious Rebuke: Can come in handy. Not earth shatteringly awesome, but it comes in handy to get away.
Hellfire Blood: Meh. Good, but it doesn't justify switching from a frost weapon.

For all the time spent shunning dwarves, why even mention the tiefling feats? Dwarves at least make good ranger/pit fighters. Tiefling couldn't be a worse fit for the class if they tried. Well maybe they could, if they got rid of that racial bonus to stealth...
You're right there in that WF is slightly better than Lethal hunter (Unless we assume you roll max damage with every use of the quarry, which makes them equal). However, the difference is so neglible at low levels that it doesn't matter. Getting higher than level 6 without both of them is criminal, though.

As for toughness, a * could be added to say "Get it if you're an archer. Automatically obtained by TWF rangers.".

Hmm...as for the tieflings...didn't I write how they sucked? My bad. It's just that I find their feats more useful, though they suck as a race. I'll correct it later, or George will if he implements it.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Unbalancing parry is red crap. The benefit it grants is rather minor and can be easily obtained with clever positioning.

Combat Advantage is NEVER a "minor" benefit. And the fact that you can slide that target to ANY square adjacent to you as an immediate interrupt is awesome. Automatically getting CA is good enough, but moving the target into a square so you and the Fighter make a nice sandwich out of him? And it's not even your turn when you do this?

Red? Are you kidding? That power is blue at the very least.
Combat Advantage is NEVER a "minor" benefit. And the fact that you can slide that target to ANY square adjacent to you as an immediate interrupt is awesome. Automatically getting CA is good enough, but moving the target into a square so you and the Fighter make a nice sandwich out of him? And it's not even your turn when you do this?

Red? Are you kidding? That power is blue at the very least.

It's only blue in a vacuum. In an actual party, a wizard, rogue, and fighter are generating CA for everyone every turn, you have you own CA from Wintertouched, etc. Sliding the enemy is a nice benefit, but for a melee ranger, an enemy missing will be the exception, not the norm. Thus, it yields very little benefit in the long run.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).