Updated for Archer Apex patch on October 23 2018
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%
Enraged top is generally better because of how much damage you do during enrage with apex, but you can use cdr in parties with low enrage up-time.
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
The ideal way to build your jewelry on archer is to get as close as you can to the crit factor cap of +216 bonus crit for Castanics and +229 bonus crit for other races without going over it. This is around +124/137 before buffs with a mystic and +196/209 with a priest.
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.
When running with a Mystic the ideal jewelry set to use would be:
2x Pumped Entropy/Ethereal Earring (HP 4% / Endur 4)
Pumped Entropy/Etereal Necklace (Power 4)
Any combination of jewelry etchings and crit/power vyrsks to reach your desired crit factor (+124/137)
Switch out pumped jewelry for their carving counterparts until you get enough crit (+196/209) when running with a priest.
Awakened Priest’s power buffs have been combined with healing skills so it isn’t really possible to slay with a priest anymore, run with a mystic if you want to slay.
For Harrowhold crit caps and a more in depth analysis on crit values refer to the Crit Caps section of this guide.
Quickcarve Brooch (Crit 6 / Crit 4) (not optimal)
Power inners work too but you’ll need more crit jewelry which lowers the amount of power you can stack, this is fine if you don’t want to min/max.
You can use any combination of Energetic or Pumped, but 2x Energetic is recommended for Apex.
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) – Not a great glyph but decent for when you have extra points.
- 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)
- Apex Glyph: Carving Penetrating Arrow (Doubles the chance to crit)
– This makes Penetrating Arrow a decent skill again
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 (Reduces RE cost by 30) – Lets you backstep more often.
(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%) – When talents hit NA and EU this skill will become the best iframe in the game.
- >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%)
(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.) – Lasts long enough to be used almost every time you breakaway, helps that Penetrating is a good decent skill now.
- 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%) – With backstep sharing RE with WindWalk, this is now a more important iframe.
(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) – Decent glyph for what it does but no time to use this skill after apex.
(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%) – Not as useful due to apex adding more skills to use as filler.
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.) – This glyph now stacks with focus to give you 65% total increase charge speed.</li?
- 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) – Can cancel animations with WindWalk if Sequential doesn’t reset.
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 an arrow up to 22m in front of you. Explodes when skill is activated again. 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%) – Still a good filler but you won’t be using this as much if at all after apex.
(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%)
(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.)
(With apex: When aimed at a monster, increases next Radiant/Penetrating/Thunderbolt damage by 20% when fired from arrow. This arrow will last for 8 seconds if not consumed.)
Skill animation can be cancelled with any of your other skills, use this when you aren’t busy with other skills.
(Charge a short distance (17m) in the direction of movement. Stops when you encounter an enemy. Applies “Huntsman” apex passive.)
Archer dash skill, very useful for when you really gotta move.
- Energetic Chase (Decreases cooldown by 20%) – If you find yourself sidecritting a lot this can help.
(Dash 5m, and shoot an arrow at your target. Increases damage of next Radiant/Penetrating/Thunderbolt by 10%. Cancels all other animations when used.)
This skill won’t move you if there is no directional input when cast. Useful for cancelling the final animation of rapidfire.
(Increase attack speed by 10% for 22 seconds and resets the cooldown of FindWeakness/Radiant/Penetrating/Thunderbolt/RapidFire/SequentialFire and lowers their cooldown by 50% for the duration.)
(While active, increase the attack speed of Radiant/Penetrating/Thunderbolt by 30% and lowers the number of attacks done by Rapid Fire from 7 to 4, while increasing its damage.)
Use this skill during enrage, higher priority than Gust Arrow.
(Shoots an empowered arrow that staggers and knocks down all enemies within 40m.)
(This skill has a small iframe while the arrow fires.)
Use this when you’re sure the boss won’t jump or turn randomly. Don’t use during Windsong.
If you’re comfortable with a dungeon you can take off Breakaway cooldown and use powerlink instead.
10 stacks of focus gives you a buff that gives you 0.4 crit power, 7% crit chance and increases Radiant and Penetrating charge speed. This effect can be stacked while the initial buff is active so try to keep 100% uptime when you can and prioritize keeping your focus if it’s about to fall off.
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 buff.
- Penetrating arrow shouldn’t be overcharged unless you need to reposition while charging or if you’d have to resort to low tier fillers otherwise.
- Overcharge Radiant arrow 4 ticks unless another high damage skill comes off cooldown as you’re charging.
Make sure you always have WindWalk buff before use Radiant/Penetrating/Thunderbolt.
(Priority is from top to bottom)
Thunderbolt – Top DPS skill.
Rapid Fire – Windsong buff for rapidfire makes this skill do more DPS than radiant.
Radiant Arrow – High dps 100% crit.
Penetrating Arrow – 30% charge speed from Windsong puts this skill above RoA.
Rain of Arrows – Probably wont use this skill in Windsong very often.
Thunderbolt – Top DPS skill.
Rain of Arrows – High damage skill.
Radiant Arrow – High dps 100% crit.
Rapid Fire – Restores RE.
Penetrating Arrow – No guaranteed crit and a somewhat long charge time.
Use fillers such as Explosive Trap and Restraining Arrow after if none of these skill are up.
> > > > > > > > >
You always want to start off a fight like this to get 10 stacks of focus before you use your main dps skills.
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
Repeat this until Windsong runs out.
- Make sure to cancel the recoil of Penetrating, Radiant and Thunderbolt with sequential fire or wind walk.
- Stay at least 5m from the boss to activate your “Safe Space” passive (5% damage).
- 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.
- RoA consumes find weakness buff on the last tick of it’s damage, firing another skill before the last tick RoA will stop make it stop backcritting if you’re not behind the boss. You could FW → ROA → RA/Pen and move behind the boss while charging to not lose backtime.
- You can cancel the animation of Find Weakness with any skill.
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|
|5Man Dungeon Carving||+172||+150||+186||+162|
|5Man Dungeon No Carving||+216||+190||+229||+201|
|HH No Carving||+369||+326||+389||+344|
- 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 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, 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 normal dungeons, its not recommended to account for these values as the uptime is very inconsistent with only 5 players.
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