November 29, 2010 by Jeff
This Killer Combo is inspired by Greg, who plays Peren, the elf ranger. Peren is a damage machine. You don’t measure his damage by how much he does in one hit, however, it’s how much he does in a round. Because within that round he can pull off 5 or 6 good shots and get his extra Hunter’s Quarry damage on several of them.
Peren started off pretty good but wasn’t the super-archer that he is today. Greg is a natural at finding good mechanical exploits. When he created Peren it was his first D&D character ever. But by upper paragon tier he is easily the most mechanically impressive character in the party. It all started when Martial Power came out and he had some more time to study the game. His first big discovery? There was virtually no benefit to using the Archery build for a ranger.
What’s the benefit he was getting from the archery build? Prime Shot, a power that almost never came up. So for fun he (with DM-permission) retrained it for Beast Master, and a new Abyssal blue lizard came out of a portal and joined the party. The lizard was a great back-up defender. It didn’t mark or anything, but it was a walking sack of hit points that got right in the way and blocked corridors.
This was the first step of the magic of this combo. Step two…the Sharpshooter paragon path. This is a pretty darn awesome archery paragon path. You get some cool powers, like Stab and Shoot that totally screams Legolas from the Lord of the Rings movies. Plus you get an extra basic attack when you use an action point.
Step three of this combo of awesomeness, the Beast Protector feat. This feat says that if anyone attacks your beast with a melee attack you get an opportunity attack. It doesn’t say that this opportunity attack has to be a melee one, so range works just fine (edit 11-30-10) when used in combination with the Sharpshooter paragon path which says you can use a bow to make opportunity attacks. So there is yet another attack that you can squeeze into the same round.
So let’s add up these attacks. Let’s say you use an initial power, that allows 3 attacks, which is not horribly uncommon for a ranger. Then you spend an action point…that gives you an automatic extra basic attack from the paragon path (4 total now). Then use a power that uses two attacks (that’s also pretty common, it’s even an at-will power with Twin Strike in your arsenal) and you’re at 6 total attacks for the round. Then have your beast run around and provoke an opportunity attack or two from the bad guys…let’s assume only one falls for it because I’m being conservative, you get a free attack on that goon as well. Bringing your total attacks in one round up to 7.
And that’s being conservative with some of those choices. With the right items, powers, and buffs from your allies you can squeeze a few more attacks out of all of that, boost the damage, increase the crit range…who knows. But I’ll tell you one thing, it’s a seriously killer combo!
How do you make a killer archer? There have to be half a dozen other ways to do it. Rogue? Seeker? Post it here in the comments!