Hello fellow rangers.
I want to discuss and help the soulbeasts out there because I see them kinda often but most of them arent doing so well.. at least against me.
Soulbeast is honestly completely underrated imo. We have so many combos that involve CC and burst dmg.
I want to explain my own general combo, what the options are and how to learn to read your enemies so that you can pull off your combos more easily.
First of all, I just want to say my build has a decent amount of healing power ( about 400 unbuffed ), 2500 power in beastmode, 58 % crit chance without fury, ~197% crit dmg.
Im using longbow + greatsword and smokescale + rock gazelle.
So.. I mainly just want to inform you about tricks that can be very helpful so you can use them yourself in fights. They take a little while to sink in but it will be worth it in the end.
Nr1: GS skill #4. if you dont want to proc the counterattack skill for example if youre kiting a mesmer and his phantasms attack you.. but you dont want them to trigger the counterattack so you can keep blocking.. You can jump jump and jump over and over to prevent it from triggering the effect. The block will keep going if you jump at the right time ( although theres plenty of room for error, so this isnt something that takes long to learn).
Nr2: You can EXIT beastmode and cast pet skills while casting a beastmode skill. For example, if youre using worldly impact, or Smoke assault, you can exit beastmode in the middle of the casting and ALSO use pet skills while the beastmode skill is being casted. IN-fight example if youre quick on the keyboard: you are in beastmode with the smokescale. You use your heal skill to proc the Muddy Terrain trait, which immobilizes your enemy. he is immobilized, so you start casting worldly impact. As soon as you start casting wordly impact ( basically just pressing all the buttons in succession. as long as theres a tiiiny delay between each press, it will work ), you EXIT beastmode, swap pet so that you get the Rock Gazelle PLUS the quickness from beastmastery trait.. then press your F2 to make the Rock Gazelle use the knock up skill.
I believe it is possible to pull all of this off within the casttime of worldly impact if your Rock Gazelle spawns at the right location and doesnt have to run towards your target.
In conclusion, with this combo you will get a complete stunlock + high burst dmg combo. Only counter is invulnerability or blocks. They get immobilized, knocked up, and take big dmg.
Nr3:This one might be kinda obvious to those of us who have played ranger for a really long time.. If youre quick you can cast Longbow skill #3 while dodging. Need stealth, but your opponent is casting a skill that you NEED to dodge? just keep this in mind. This also works with Longbow skill #4. Ive found this very useful because i tend to have better reaction times than my opponents. For example, if i am fighting another ranger/ soulbeast etc., and he is casting Longbow #4, if i am quick enough i can manage to cast it as well, while managing to dodge his. Ofc, he can dodge mine as well but it still works pretty well. Most of the time the ranger is expecting his KB to work.. You can also just cast Longbow #3 as the casting of that skill is instant. so you will be guaranteed stealth unless he manages to dodge it after you cast.
Nr4: This is more of a thing to keep in mind about the mindgame of 1v1. If you use the smoke assault beastmode skill.. DO NOT always use the Knock down skill. DONT. People have started to expect it. its been this way for a long time.. but i still see most soulbeasts do this. its a bad idea. MUCH better is either stand still for half a second or so and react to your enemy after casting it, or blocking in case they are trying to attack you as soon as the cast is over. If the former is the case and they just want to dodge your KB, you can ( usually ) stand still and look at them wasting a precious dodge while you didnt even do anything. This usually happens because Smoke Assault is such a confusing skill. If someone is using it on you, it is hard to see where your opponent is. and some players arent able to keep track of when it will end. THEN..... after they waste their dodge.. you can simple use the KB immediately after.
Nr5: Stop using Smoke Assault as an offensive attack unless you KNOW for SURE that you already have the upperhand. Keep it as an evade. or a gap closer. gap closing vs mesmers, necros and other rangers can be a very good idea as well. but dont waste it. it is incredibly important to your rotation and can save your life.
WILL ADD MORE TO THIS LIST, FEEL FREE TO DO SO YOURSELF AS WELL.
EDIT: If you want I can try making a video about these tricks to make it easier to understand.
Nr 6: GS skill #3, you can skip the run-phase of this skill if you need the evade + leap finisher to occur without any delay.
Example: You used the smokefield from your pet.. and you dont want to do the whole run as you might get interrupted mid-cast. The way this works is if you switch your target to something thats right next to you, or within about 300 unit range, GS skill #3 will skip the run, and only do the evade + leap.
NR 7: If youre using rock gazelle and youre in beastmode, you can untarget all players.. run in a straight line for 0.5 seconds.. retarget your enemy, and if you do it right you will still hit them with the daze. this is especially useful if youre being chased melee in a 1v1. why? cus if you kite and seemingly run away for just a second or so, and then run away with rock gazelle f2 for 0.5 sec as well, your opponent usually wont expect to get hit and wont be ready to dodge. its also just fun to do
This trick obviously originated from warriors GS #5 skill. sadly dont see that many players use it anymore. but because our version dazes on hit, its much more useful to use this trick.
NR 8: Now this one.. Id like to call it my own. i havent seen anyone else do it yet. Basically.. if youre fighting someone with stealth who is going to deal melee dmg to you.. ( thieves, sometimes mesmers, other rangers ) You can use rock gazelle f2 in beastmode in their general direction if youre confident enough, and at the right time. if you manage to hit them in stealth they will be dazed ( remember, ANYONE getting hit throughout the whole f2 animation gets dazed, not just the last strike ) and hopefully their stealth will be over by the time the daze is. IF the situation is perfect and their stealth ends way before the daze does, you could even use trick NR 7 as a combo with this.