Archer is a very ping reliant class due to high ping dependency on certain core skills. The role of an archer in a party composition is to do consistent dps in and out of the bosses enrage window.
This guide will cover the basics of archer as well as help min/max your stats and rotations.
These are the only gear rolls you should use.
Increases damage by 9.3% when attacking enraged monsters
Decreases skill cooldowns by 7.2%
Increases damage by 9.3% when attacking enraged monsters
Increases damage by 6.9% when attacking from behind
Increases damage by 6% (Take off this line when using a weapon with 3 bottom lines)
Decreases skill cooldowns by 7.2%
Cooldown as a top line is very situational and should only be used in longer fights with low enrage uptime like RKEM. When using this line, the goal is to use all your core skills off cd while only holding TB for enrage if boss is about to enrage soon. Personally I don’t like using this roll because it’s worse than enraged line in other dungeons.
Increases damage of Radiant Arrow by 10%
Decreases damage taken from enraged monsters by 10%
Decreases damage taken from frontal attacks by 6.9%
Decreases damage taken by 6%
Increases max HP by 8% (Take off this line when using a chest with 3 bottom lines)
Increases Power by 5
Increases Attack Speed by 2.25%
Increases Movement Speed by 6%
Replenishes 2% of total MP every 5 seconds
Jewelry and Ideal stats
Due to so many different jewelry combinations with the addition of jewelry etchings, the ideal way to build your jewelry on archer is to get as close as you can to the crit factor cap of 302 total for Castanics and 315 total for other races without going over it.
These values should give your Radiant Arrow and Thunderbolt 100% crit chance in non-raid dungeons.
Stack all the power you can get after achieving this crit factor.
Note: Building to hit the crit cap is not always needed as for pushing higher dps you may want to stack more power and hope all your skills crit.
- 302 Crit Factor: 60 (base) +150 (bonus) +72 (mystic) +20 (lamb)
- 315 Crit Factor: 60 (base) +163 (bonus) +72 (mystic) +20 (lamb)
The idea jewelry set to use would be:
Pumped Entropy Earring + Carving Entropy Earring (HP 4% / Endur 4)
Pumped Entropy Necklace (Power 4)
Circlet (Power 4)
Any combination of jewelry etchings and crit/power vyrsks to reach your desired crit factor
Rings can be switched out for Pumped Entropy Rings if you don’t have access to the old jewelry set.
Necklace can be switched to Resized Heavensbane/Keylock Necklace if you prefer 4% ASPD over the extra power.
DO NOT MIX HEAVENSBANE AND KEYLOCK SETS. Use 2/3 Heavensbane or 2/3 Keylock, they’re different jewelry sets.
For Harrowhold crit caps and a more in depth analysis on crit values refer to the Crit Caps section of this guide.
Currently, running with a priest is sub optimal as mystic provides 72 crit factor while priest only provides 25 extra power. But this is subject to change with future priest buffs which will be talked about in the Future Changes section.
Quickcarve Brooch (Crit 6 / Crit 4)
You can switch out your energetics for pumped etchings if you prefer those.
Archer takes more damage than most classes so endurance will help you survive more than HP.
Whatever combination of etchings that will let you reach your desired crit factor.
Archer will use these three crystals in every setup:
The last crystal can be switched based on what you’re doing.
Any mix of Keen and Powerful Vyrsks to reach the your desired crit factor.
(Glyphs will be color coded by usefulness as follows)
(Shoot an arrow at a target up to 19m away)
You won’t be using auto attack, all glyphs are useless.
- Slowing Arrow (5% chance to decrease opponent’s Movement Speed by 50% for 3 seconds)
- Sapping Arrow (5% chance to stun opponent)
- Piercing Arrow (10% chance to deal double damage)
(Press the skill button once and lock on up to 5 targets within 18m, then press the skill button again or left-click to shoot at all targets)
Decent filler for when most of your other skills are on CD, not worth glyphing though.
- Multiplicative Arrow Volley (Increases number of lock-on targets by 1)
- Influential Arrow Volley (Reduces MP cost of Incendiary Trap by 75 for a few seconds)
- Blazing Arrow Volley (Speeds casting of Penetrating Arrow by 40% for a few seconds)
- Blazing Arrow Volley (Speeds casting of Stunning Trap by 50% for a few seconds)
- Persistent Arrow Volley (60% chance to eliminate cooldown)
(Charge up an arrow by holding down the skill button then shoot the arrow up to 18m away by releasing the button. Charges to three levels. Overcharging beyond the third-level charge will damage you. While charging up, you can move at half speed.)
One of your core damage skills, can move while charging.
- Slick Radiant Arrow (Eliminates slowed movement restrictions) – Lets you reposition better while charging, take this.
- Sanative Radiant Arrow (Decreases HP consumption by 40%)
- Longshot Radiant Arrow (Increases range by 5 meters)
- Carving Radiant Arrow (Triples the chance to crit) – This glyph lets Radiant Arrow reach 100% crit chance in most of your runs.
(Charge up an arrow by holding down the skill button, then shoot the arrow at up to 15 targets in a 18m line by releasing the button. Arrow shoots when you release the button. This skill charges up to 3 times. Overcharge after 3rd level charge will damage you. While charging up, you move at half speed.)
Radiant except no crit multipliers and does less damage, still a very good skill when it crits.
- Empowered Penetrating Arrow (Increases skill damage by 25%) – More damage on one of your main skills.
- Slick Penetrating Arrow (Eliminates slowed movement restrictions) – Lets you reposition better while charging, take this.
- Longshot Penetrating Arrow (Increases range by 5 meters)
Rain of Arrows
(Shoot arrows in the sky; they descend 15m away and damage targets in a circle when they land.)
One of your core damage skills. Cast this when you know the boss wont turn during your cast animation. Will hit most bosses while being only 5m away.
- Energetic Rain of Arrows (Decreases cooldown by 25%) – More uptime on your core skill = more dps.
- Hastened Rain of Arrows (Speeds casting by 40%) – Speeding up animation means you have less animation lock and results in higher dps.
- Empowered Rain of Arrows (Increases skill damage by 25%) – More damage on one of your main skills.
(Quickly back up out of harm’s way)
One of your two iframes, can be use to reposition yourself faster if needed.
- Energetic Backstep (Decreases cooldown by 29%) – Cooldown on an iframe is always nice.
(Deceive monsters by pretending to be dead. This resets all aggro on you. You can feign death for up to 1 min. Ends when you use a skill or take damage.)
Drops all aggro on you, helpful in certain situations.
- Energetic Feign Death (Decreases cooldown by 20%)
- >Regenerating Feign Death (Heals 3% of total HP every 1 second for 10 seconds)
(Hold down the skill button to quickly fire up to 7 arrows 18m away. Each successful hit generates 1 stack of Focus.)
One of your core damage skills. VERY PING RELIANT . You’re locked in place when casting this skill so make sure you only use it when you can get it off before having to reposition. Cancelling this skill before using the final tick will result in you losing 30% of the skill’s damage.
- Persistent Rapid Fire (15% to eliminate cooldown) – Reset chance on a core skill, more useful than it looks due to the ammount of rapidfires you should be using.
- Spirited Rapid Fire (Increases MP replenishment by 20% per successful hit)
- Empowered Rapid Fire (Increase skill damage by 20%), – More damage on one of your main skills.
(Set a trap that briefly slows the victim’s movement speed by 70%. The trap lasts for 15 seconds or until triggered.)
- Lingering Slow Trap (Increases effect duration by 50%)
(Set a trap that briefly stuns the victim, The trap lasts for 20 seconds or until triggered.)
Decent duration stun if you ever need it.
- Blazing Stunning Trap (Speeds casting of Penetrating Arrow by 30% for a few seconds.)
- Lingering Stun Trap (Increases effect duration by 25%)
(Mark a single opponent and do 10% extra damage whenever you hit it.)
The animation of this skill can be cancelled with any of your other skills. Aim to have 100% uptime on this skill.
- Influential Velik’s Mark (Reduces MP cost of Poison Arrow by 31 for a few seconds)
- Lingering Velik’s Mark (Increases effect duration by 25%) – Used to be a decent glyph before skill animation could be cancelled.
- Blazing Velik’s Mark (Speeds casting of Poison Arrow by 25% for a few seconds)
(Set a trap that damages the victim that steps on it and others nearby. The trap lasts for 12 seconds or until triggered.)
Melee damage trap, decent filler if you’re within melee range of the boss.
- Empowered Incendiary Trap (Increases skill damage by 25%)
- Powerlinked Incendiary Trap (Increases skill damage of Arrow Volley by 25% for a few seconds.)
(Shoot an explosive arrow that damages within 4m, then step backward.)
Another iframe and movement skill. Longer cooldown than backstep but the iframe is also slightly longer, helpful when trying to iframe something you’re not used to. Decent dps if it hits the boss.
- Powerlinked Breakaway Bolt (Increases skill damage of Pen Arrow by 25% for a few seconds.) – Can use this instead of Rapid Fire reset if you have high ping.
- Fleetfooted Breakaway Bolt (30% chance to increase Combat Movement Speed by 10 for 8 seconds)
- Slowing Breakaway Bolt (100% chance to decrease opponent’s Movement Speed by 40% for 6 seconds.)
- Energetic Breakaway Bolt (Decreases Cooldown by 25%) – Cooldown on an iframe is always nice.
(Shoot an arrow up to 18m, inflicting damage and slowing the target’s movement speed by 33% for 7 seconds.)
Sightly higher dps than auto attack if you’re completely out of skills to use.
- Lingering Web Arrow (Increases effect duration by 40%)
- Fleetfooted Web Arrow (60% chance to increase Combat Movement Speed by 10 for 12 seconds after a successful hit.)
(Strike a foe in front of you. Press the skill button twice to make a second attack that may stun the foe.)
Another melee stun, can use the first kick to move you slightly forward. Very situational.
- Empowered Close Quarters (Increases skill damage by 20%)
- Fleetfooted Close Quarters (Increases Combat Movement Speed by 50 for 3 seconds)
- Lingering Close Quarters (Increases effect duration by 40%)
(Shoot an arrow dripping with lethal poison. The arrow flies 18m, inflicting damage to the target and additionally inflicting 3,128 damage every 2 seconds for 12 seconds. Can be stacked up to 3 times.)
Another filler, bit slower than Restraining Arrow and does a little more damage.
- Lingering Poison Arrow (Increases effect duration by 40%)
- Blazing Poison Arrow (Speeds casting of Radiant Arrow by 30% for a few seconds) – Useful if your ping is too high to use rapid fire.
(Shoots an arrow up to 18m, decreasing the target’s Movement Speed by 50% and Attack Speed by 15% for a short time.)
Filler skill, very fast cast animation.
- Lingering Restraining Arrow (Increases effect duration by 50%)
- Sapping Restraining Arrow (20% chance to stun the target for 3 seconds)
- Energetic Restraining Arrow (Decreases cooldown by 20%) – Useful if your ping is too high to use rapid fire.
(Increase Power by 30, Attack Speed by 8, and Movement Speed by 16. Increases damage to Monsters by 7%.)
Keep this skill on at all times, remember to re-activate if you die or run out of mana (skill costs no mana but shuts off if your mana hits 0).
- Influential Sniper’s Eye (Reduces MP cost of Web Arrow by 13 for a few seconds)
Sequential Fire (was known as Final Salvo)
(Fire a quick, damaging arrow after casting Radiant Arrow, Penetrating Arrow, or Thunderbolt, which cancels the stagger animation. A successful hit generates 3 stacks of Focus.)
Cancels the recoil on Radiant, Penetrating and Thunderbolt.
- Blazing Sequential Fire (Speeds casting of Penetrating Arrow by 30% for a few seconds.)
- Energetic Sequential Fire (Decreases cooldown by 35%) – You want this skill off cooldown every time you use a skill with recoil.
- Persistent Sequential Fire (50% chance to reset cooldown) – More uptime on a very important skill.
Stunning Trap Arrow
(Launch a trap 15m in front of you. The trap lasts for 10 seconds or until triggered. Briefly stuns the target and surrounding enemies.)
Ranged stun if you ever need it.
- Energetic Stunning Trap Arrow (Decreases cooldown by 30%)
(Launch a trap 15m in front of you. The trap lasts for 10 seconds or until triggered. Briefly slows the target and surrounding enemies.)
- Energetic Snare (Decreases cooldown by 20%)
Incendiary Trap Arrow
(Launch a trap 15m in front of you. The trap lasts for 10 seconds or until triggered. Inflicts explosion damage on the target and surrounding enemies.)
Ranged damage trap. Your best filler, does a ton of damage when it crits.
- Empowered Incendiary Trap Arrow (Increases skill damage by 35%) – Extra damage on a good skill.
(Shoot a concussion arrow up to 24m away. The shock will cause damage and knock enemies back. It cannot knock back bosses or BAMs.)
Your highest damage skill, use this off cooldown.
- Hastened Thunderbolt (Speeds casting time by 30%) – Speeding up animation means you have less animation lock and results in higher dps.
- Empowered Thunderbolt (Increases skill damage by 20%) – More damage on one of your main skills.
- Carving Thunderbolt (Triples the chance to crit) – This glyph lets Thunderbolt reach 100% crit chance in most of your runs.
(Call on inner reserves to instantly replenish 360 MP. Briefly increases resistance to stun immensely.)
Useless Mana regen skill, could be of use if you’re not using Rapid Fire but mana pots are better.
- Balancing Tenacity (Doubles balance for 15 seconds)
- Spirited Tenacity (50% chance to replenish 6% of your total MP every second)
- Energetic Tenacity (Decreases cooldown by 20%)
(While active, your next attack is considered to be an attack from the rear, regardless of your relative position. Effect lasts 8 seconds, or until you hit a target)
Skill animation can be cancelled with any of your other skills.
(Charge forward up to 16 m)
Archer dash skill, very useful for when you really gotta move.
- Energetic Chase (Decreases cooldown by 20%)
Use this glyph page if you can use Rapid Fire
Example of a glyph page for when you can’t use Rapid Fire
10 stacks of focus gives you a buff that increases Radiant and Penetrating charge speed by 40% for 10 seconds, more stacks cannot be applied while buff is active.
Every hit of rapidfire gives you 1 stack of focus (7 stacks total) and every hit of sequential gives you 3 stacks, which makes 1 full cast of rapidfire + sequential give you the chargespeed buff. You want to have this buff up as much as possible.
- Penetrating arrow shouldn’t be overcharged unless you need to reposition while charging.
- Overcharge Radiant arrow 4 ticks when you have focus buff.
- Overcharge Radiant arrow 0-2 ticks based on your other cooldowns when you don’t have focus buff.
Archer has no skill chains unlike most classes, this means that archer has no skill rotation and is played through a priority list based on the dps of their skill.
(All skills in sub categories are also listed from highest to lowest priority)
Hardest hitting, fastest cast, 100% crit rate, your best dps skill. If skill comes off cooldown a few seconds before you know the boss will enrage, it’s better to hold onto Thunderbolt until enrage so that you can get 2 hits in during enrage.
Your other 100% crit skill, this skill has lower damage than Thunderbolt and you have to charge it.
Rain of Arrows
Very high base damage skill but damage is split into 7 hits and doesn’t have amazing crit chance.
High crit rate skill usually above 90% crit rate. Does less damage than all skills listed above.
Good Filler Skills
Radiant arrow but slower charge, less damage, and has no crit mods.
Incendiary Trap Arrow
High base damage skill that has a small cast time, but it has no crit multipliers. Use this if you don’t have time to charge Penetrating arrow.
Fastest filler, you can use this skill in most of the time without delaying your core skills.
A little slower than Restraining arrow but still pretty good for when you gotta wait that extra second for a core skill to come off cooldown.
This skill has a higher base damage than the last two and honestly the cast time isnt very long at all. But the lock-on takes too long for this skill to be useful when you have other skills available.
- If Thunderbolt comes off cooldown a few seconds before you know the boss will enrage, it’s better to hold onto Thunderbolt until enrage so that you can get 2 hits in during enrage.
- Incendiary Trap’s crit multiplier is based on where your character is facing when the damage is applied. If you don’t land the trap right on top of the boss, make sure your character is facing the back of the boss when it explodes.
- Make sure to cancel the recoil of Penetrating, Radiant and Thunderbolt with sequential fire.
- Archer is a ranged class but the best place to dps is 6-7m behind the boss, this allows all your skills to hit the boss while also being close enough to reposition yourself.
- It’s better to reposition while charging a skill, instead of using backstep or breakaway bolt.
- Find Weakness lets you back crit with a core skill like Radiant or Thunderbolt if they come off cooldown while you’re not behind the boss.
- It’s not recommended to use Find Weakness before Rain of Arrows because RoA does not consume the find weakness buff and will stop backcritting the moment another skill is cast.(RoA will continue to backcrit if you reach the back of the boss before firing another skill).
- Always cancel the animation of Veliks Mark and Find Weakness.
Starting the fight (with dragon/phoenix passive):
→ → → → → follow priority list
Starting the fight (no dragon/phoenix passive):
→ → → → → follow priority list
5. Crit Caps
Here you’ll see that Castanics and other races are seperated into different catagories, this is because Castanic’s racial passive (1% crit chance from the back) gets multiplied by Radiant and Thunderbolt’s crit glyphs. Giving Castanics about 3% more crit chance over other races.
(Yes this means Castanics are the superior archer race for min/maxing)
|Boss||Normal||Punishing Mark||Normal||Punishing Mark|
|RKEM No Carving||302||273||315||285|
|HH No Carving||468||421||488||439|
- Punishing Mark is a debuff that can be applied by all Frostmetal and Stormcry weapons when hitting a boss. This debuff lowers the boss’s crit resist by 20.
- As previously stated, hitting crit cap in RKEM isn’t needed as you’ll have a fairly high crit chance with around 306 crit rate, which is what most non castanics run. (98.5% crit chance)
- Carving Crystal is a very big dps loss over using Pounding in RKEM, but if you can’t seem to hit the cap due to gear restrictions you should build towards the Carving crit cap.
- In Harrowhold it’s recommended to build for the Punishing Mark crit cap as it’ll have a very high uptime. Around 90% in slaying runs and around 70% in normal runs.
- Archers placed on “hold” legs in HH should build towards the actual crit cap to guarantee damage instead of wiping a raid due to shields not breaking.
- While the Punishing Mark debuff has a 20-25% uptime in dungeons like RKEM its not recommended to account for these values as the uptime is very inconsistent with only 5 players.
Special thanks to Austin for providing these crit caps.
If you find that you’re not critting with these values, and you’re sure that it’s not due to food buffs running out or mystics walking out of range please let me know.
6. Future Changes
As said before, priest may be a good healer for high dps due to the priest skill Energy Stars giving 5% cooldown reduction in a future patch.
With the first awakening patch archer received a small buff to their focus, which can now be stacked while the buff is active. This focus change also adds 0.4 crit power and 7% crit chance to the focus buff while lowering crackshot passive crit from 10% down to 5%.
This results in a 0.4 crit damage and 2% crit chance buff as long as focus is applied (should have 100% uptime now).
NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE ARCHER AWAKENING.