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WVW rangers with the incoming balance patch


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I open the tread for main wvw rangers after patch.

While im still trying to figure out what to do with my build (untouched since POF : bruiser build with sword/axe and axe/warhorn, WS, BM, SB, using different mix of stats and different runes) where the loss of either the owl or the smokescale is a huge tradeoff compared to other professions, I feel like (LB/GS) hero/pewpew/tower rangers (whatever you like to call them) are really buffed.

Why ? because there is no tradeoff for this type of gameplay where they almost have no reason anymore to unmerge from the owl. Look at build with WS/NM/SB, they keep everything: damage, sustain, heal, mobility. Good luck to catch them, good luck to kill them twice (with Eternal Bond). The only reason to keep merging/unmerging is to get perma Vigor with Spirited Arrival + the new Unstoppable Union (on top of Lightning Reflexes) , like the boon we couldn’t maintain yet…

I could be wrong, but I feel like the more you improved your skills, the more you dedicated time to master SB, the harder you’re hurt with the patch. What do you think? how do you see your future in wvw ?

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Not sure about the future state of ranger in WvW but here are some Things I think you missed:-Boon stacking potential is being reduced.-Swoop CD increased to 18 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-Eternal Bond increased to 300 sec.-GS 4 cd is 25 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-GS 3 cd is 15 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-With the new nerfs to damage (LB maximum range damage reduced by 30%), going with 2 defensive trait-lines with no might stacking potential+ healing pet to merge with - Your damage potential will suffer a lot.

I think that the decried build will be food for high level players going for builds like MM/SB/BM(the build Eurantien thinks will rule meta and is the opposite of the build you described) + smokescale, taking advantage of the "on swap pet tarits" while merged, quickness + unblockable on demand, and so on.

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@borya.2964 said:I open the tread for main wvw rangers after patch.

While im still trying to figure out what to do with my build (untouched since POF : bruiser build with sword/axe and axe/warhorn, WS, BM, SB, using different mix of stats and different runes) where the loss of either the owl or the smokescale is a huge tradeoff compared to other professions, I feel like (LB/GS) hero/pewpew/tower rangers (whatever you like to call them) are really buffed.

Why ? because there is no tradeoff for this type of gameplay where they almost have no reason anymore to unmerge from the owl. Look at build with WS/NM/SB, they keep everything: damage, sustain, heal, mobility. Good luck to catch them, good luck to kill them twice (with Eternal Bond). The only reason to keep merging/unmerging is to get perma Vigor with Spirited Arrival + the new Unstoppable Union (on top of Lightning Reflexes) , like the boon we couldn’t maintain yet…

I could be wrong, but I feel like the more you improved your skills, the more you dedicated time to master SB, the harder you’re hurt with the patch. What do you think? how do you see your future in wvw ?

Nothing was buffed.

War, Thief and Holo have a lot of potential mobility too... so what’s your issue?

Core, Druid and SB will still be a low quality pick for wvw play, nothing improves their team mechanics. And Ranger will still be bottom tier in spvp.

I seriously don’t care for these roaming and dueling qq threads. Ranger will still be in the same bad state throughout the game, This patch wasn’t to make professions mechanically better or to address all the other issues that need work, it was to lower damage and healing, and to start a baseline for skills going forward. There aren’t any improvements to make crappy things better, so play the same build you always have.

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@Swagger.1459 said:

@borya.2964 said:I open the tread for main wvw rangers after patch.

While im still trying to figure out what to do with my build (untouched since POF : bruiser build with sword/axe and axe/warhorn, WS, BM, SB, using different mix of stats and different runes) where the loss of either the owl or the smokescale is a huge tradeoff compared to other professions, I feel like (LB/GS) hero/pewpew/tower rangers (whatever you like to call them) are really buffed.

Why ? because there is no tradeoff for this type of gameplay where they almost have no reason anymore to unmerge from the owl. Look at build with WS/NM/SB, they keep everything: damage, sustain, heal, mobility. Good luck to catch them, good luck to kill them twice (with Eternal Bond). The only reason to keep merging/unmerging is to get perma Vigor with Spirited Arrival + the new Unstoppable Union (on top of Lightning Reflexes) , like the boon we couldn’t maintain yet…

I could be wrong, but I feel like the more you improved your skills, the more you dedicated time to master SB, the harder you’re hurt with the patch. What do you think? how do you see your future in wvw ?

Nothing was buffed.

War, Thief and Holo have a lot of potential mobility too... so what’s your issue?

Core, Druid and SB will still be a low quality pick for wvw play, nothing improves their team mechanics. And Ranger will still be bottom tier in spvp.

I seriously don’t care for these roaming and dueling qq threads. Ranger will still be in the same bad state throughout the game, This patch wasn’t to make professions mechanically better or to address all the other issues that need work, it was to lower damage and healing, and to start a baseline for skills going forward. There aren’t any improvements to make crappy things better, so play the same build you always have.

I agree with all the points swagger has brought. Soulbeast nerf to pet swap will make class go more into boonbeast because the only pet that works against other players is smokescale but that pet doesn't have mobility. Luckily the fact that now can use pet swap traits makes the nerf better and more interesting bringing some variety to the builds.

This balance has brought nice traitlines reworks to other classes, sadly ranger is still left in the curb with its 2012 mechanics and accumulative nerfs. Sicerely i would appreciate if the Blance team would stop avoiding to work in ranger and brought ranger condi builds to competitive , the support options to wvw and the rework of the core pets.

It is funny all the people who ask for absurd nerfs and complain about the class choose the same soulbeast icon as avatar...

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@LughLongArm.5460 said:

@LughLongArm.5460 said:Not sure about the future state of ranger in WvW but here are some Things I think you missed:-Boon stacking potential is being reduced.-Swoop CD increased to 18 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-Eternal Bond increased to 300 sec.-GS 4 cd is 25 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-GS 3 cd is 15 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-With the new nerfs to damage (LB maximum range damage reduced by 30%), going with 2 defensive trait-lines with no might stacking potential+ healing pet to merge with - Your damage potential will suffer a lot.

I think that the decried build will be food for high level players going for builds like MM/SB/BM(the build Eurantien thinks will rule meta and is the opposite of the build you described) + smokescale, taking advantage of the "on swap pet tarits" while merged, quickness + unblockable on demand, and so on.

Fair enough, you make some good points. But boon stacking will not change that much if you use BM with the stat boost when merged because you can literally invest in a 4th stat that can be concentration. Swoop even with the increased CD is still great coupled with GS (mostly used to disengage for 90% of the wvw rangers).

I still think that a SB with a build with NM and WS mainly using LB for damage and GS to disengage, with damaging stats + foods and defensive traits (the majority of the wvw rangers) will not have any reason to unmerge from a bird anymore (owl or whatever, pick an eagle if you want). So there is no real tradeoff for this type of gameplay and it lowers the skill of a lot of wvw rangers I think, which is my primary concern.

I gave up with LB since HOT, so i will still play bruiser with smokescale, sword and axes. I already barely see this kind of build nowadays and with the upcoming patch you won’t see any ranger with this playstyle with little to 0 mobility anymore. Again, looks like less build diversity, lower skills and laziness to the point where most of wvw rangers will not unmerge anymore from their birds (because in the roaming population it’s more important to survive rather than fight).

@Swagger.1459 said:I seriously don’t care for these roaming and dueling qq threads.

Title says “wvw”, we are in the ranger forum and you still manage to bring other classes and spvp… And I seriously care about wvw roaming (90% of my playtime) where rangers have always been useful and in a very good spot.

@anduriell.6280 said:Luckily the fact that now can use pet swap traits makes the nerf better and more interesting bringing some variety to the builds.It is funny all the people who ask for absurd nerfs and complain about the class choose the same soulbeast icon as avatar...

I disagree and explained why, and i have a SB avatar because in only play ranger in ww roaming since 2012.

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@Swagger.1459 said:

@borya.2964 said:I open the tread for main wvw rangers after patch.

While im still trying to figure out what to do with my build (untouched since POF : bruiser build with sword/axe and axe/warhorn, WS, BM, SB, using different mix of stats and different runes) where the loss of either the owl or the smokescale is a huge tradeoff compared to other professions, I feel like (LB/GS) hero/pewpew/tower rangers (whatever you like to call them) are really buffed.

Why ? because there is no tradeoff for this type of gameplay where they almost have no reason anymore to unmerge from the owl. Look at build with WS/NM/SB, they keep everything: damage, sustain, heal, mobility. Good luck to catch them, good luck to kill them twice (with Eternal Bond). The only reason to keep merging/unmerging is to get perma Vigor with Spirited Arrival + the new Unstoppable Union (on top of Lightning Reflexes) , like the boon we couldn’t maintain yet…

I could be wrong, but I feel like the more you improved your skills, the more you dedicated time to master SB, the harder you’re hurt with the patch. What do you think? how do you see your future in wvw ?

Nothing was buffed.

War, Thief and Holo have a lot of potential mobility too... so what’s your issue?

Core, Druid and SB will still be a low quality pick for wvw play, nothing improves their team mechanics. And Ranger will still be bottom tier in spvp.

I seriously don’t care for these roaming and dueling qq threads. Ranger will still be in the same bad state throughout the game, This patch wasn’t to make professions mechanically better or to address all the other issues that need work, it was to lower damage and healing, and to start a baseline for skills going forward. There aren’t any improvements to make crappy things better, so play the same build you always have.

So if rangers suck in wvw for the most part, and we're not allowed to I guess talk about roaming builds. What are we all allowed to talk about?

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@borya.2964 said:

@LughLongArm.5460 said:Not sure about the future state of ranger in WvW but here are some Things I think you missed:-Boon stacking potential is being reduced.-Swoop CD increased to 18 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-Eternal Bond increased to 300 sec.-GS 4 cd is 25 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-GS 3 cd is 15 sec(with no reduction option on this build).-With the new nerfs to damage (LB maximum range damage reduced by 30%), going with 2 defensive trait-lines with no might stacking potential+ healing pet to merge with - Your damage potential will suffer a lot.

I think that the decried build will be food for high level players going for builds like MM/SB/BM(the build Eurantien thinks will rule meta and is the opposite of the build you described) + smokescale, taking advantage of the "on swap pet tarits" while merged, quickness + unblockable on demand, and so on.

Fair enough, you make some good points. But boon stacking will not change that much if you use BM with the stat boost when merged because you can literally invest in a 4th stat that can be concentration. Swoop even with the increased CD is still great coupled with GS (mostly used to disengage for 90% of the wvw rangers).

I still think that a SB with a build with NM and WS mainly using LB for damage and GS to disengage, with damaging stats + foods and defensive traits (the majority of the wvw rangers) will not have any reason to unmerge from a bird anymore (owl or whatever, pick an eagle if you want). So there is no real tradeoff for this type of gameplay and it lowers the skill of a lot of wvw rangers I think, which is my primary concern.

I gave up with LB since HOT, so i will still play bruiser with smokescale, sword and axes. I already barely see this kind of build nowadays and with the upcoming patch you won’t see any ranger with this playstyle with little to 0 mobility anymore. Again, looks like less build diversity, lower skills and laziness to the point where most of wvw rangers will not unmerge anymore from their birds (because in the roaming population it’s more important to survive rather than fight).

-Considering that bird's F2 hits freaking hard and that its damage(as far as we know) has not been touched, if they are not unmerging, they are losing both damage and utility.

-I think your build will be just fine, Axe MH got a nice buff, might stacking(axe/sword) is even more important now, you can experience with cannis as a combination of good mobility, CC and whatever pet type to match your play style. You can also try Raven, as mentioned the pet damage is great and the stats bonus of versatile type just increased in value.Something to play with, the upcoming delay on the beastly warden trait supposed to be a nerf, but when used together with the versatile F3, it probably works better as a combo(pull->immob->taunt) combine this combo with Axe 5- could be fun.

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I am not a wvw player but your message is not clear. Either you are using irony because you disagree with some of the incoming changes or you got confused and wrote too fast.

You start by saying a long range build has been buffed which I assume is sicem? (Nothing got buffed anyway) Then proceed to describe what looks like a boonbeast to me.Good luck catching them? With the cd increase? With a talent that was not usefull and will be even worst?

Birds die in 3hit, have weird and long animations for the swiftness buff. They are not really what I would call strong.

Edit : also playing full owl now is a nerf to damage and playing full smokescale or gazelle is a sustain nerf.

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@borya.2964

Nothing was buffed. Everything about Ranger will be the same, except less damage, less heal and more recharge time, just like everyone else. There are also other roaming builds with just as much, if not more now, mobility. The best builds for roaming will basically be the same, and nothing changes until reworks to skills and mechanics are made, and that applies to all professions. We are all going probably run similar meta builds as before bc the skills with the best utility and advantages will still be used, and the patch didn’t change that.

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@LughLongArm.5460 said:

-Considering that bird's F2 hits freaking hard and that its damage(as far as we know) has not been touched, if they are not unmerging, they are losing both damage and utility.

-I think your build will be just fine, Axe MH got a nice buff, might stacking(axe/sword) is even more important now, you can experience with cannis as a combination of good mobility, CC and whatever pet type to match your play style. You can also try Raven, as mentioned the pet damage is great and the stats bonus of versatile type just increased in value.Something to play with, the upcoming delay on the beastly warden trait supposed to be a nerf, but when used together with the versatile F3, it probably works better as a combo(pull->immob->taunt) combine this combo with Axe 5- could be fun.

Well i can deal with the fact of not being able to disengage with only the smokescale which is the pet I already only use while actively fighting, but Raven or Wolf could indeed be interesting options to try. I could also give a try to GS (that I didn’t use for ages) with sword/axe (but I would lost might stacking), and “on pet swap” traits that I didn’t use anymore for a long time. Even if the latest seems a bit gimmicky to me, but we’ll see (if you take the smokescale, good players already always dodge Takedown and avoid , in a way or another, pretty much everything that come in a short time after Smoke Assault even if you got boons, superspeed etc).

@aymnad.9023 said:I am not a wvw player but your message is not clear. Either you are using irony because you disagree with some of the incoming changes or you got confused and wrote too fast.

You start by saying a long range build has been buffed which I assume is sicem? (Nothing got buffed anyway) Then proceed to describe what looks like a boonbeast to me.Good luck catching them? With the cd increase? With a talent that was not usefull and will be even worst?

Yes, im not probably very clear. You can find to types of LB/GS rangers in wvw (all together 90% of the ranger population), the squishies Unblockable SicEm and the ones more boons oriented, but it’s the same playstyle, they will try to burst you, if they can’t or if they are to heavily focus they will disengage with birds and GS.

Power creep is not all about damage and sustain, mobility is a very huge part in wvw and I feel like for this type of gameplay there is no real tradeoff because they will use 100% birds to the point, in my opinion, where there will not have incentive to unmerge anymore, lowering the skill celling (and as far as I read in some other threads , even for different reasons, it is a shared feeling).

I shouldn’t have spoken about “buff”, but it’s the philosophy of the patch, if it’s not a hard nerf it’s a buff and buy extension, if it’s not a real tradeoff, it’s a buff. Buy comparison If you play off meta, the lost of one pet is huge. But like Lugh said, I could be wrong.

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@Kilrik.6320 said:I hope that's a typo on WHAO for wvw. It states it goes from 25 to 30 sec cd. It is currently 20 sec, so does that mean it goes to 25 sec instead or is it from 20 to 30 sec? :#

Yesn't

Actually the typo is also present in Doylak stance which goes from 40 to 60s, while in WvW Doylak stance is 30s CD.Which would mean:

  • WHaO get a 50% CD increase.
  • Doylak get a 100% increase.

In the wvw tread I pointed it out.

Although as I wrote in my comment Doylak should be left at 45s in both modes, remove the damage mitigation from that stance, and put the damage mitigation into Bear Stance so that heal actually become a decent self and group defense so it can compete against all the other heals.

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Been playing a mock version of the upcoming balance. I've tried it as soulbeast, core and even druid. ...and it seems we will be returning to pre-expansion thief ruling all roaming. Their only minor setback for their no cd interrupts, stuns and dazes is a 1 extra initiative on a handful of skills. Meanwhile their mobility is unaffected. I am not saying this because I got beat by a thief, that happens on occasion like the 19k malicious backstab I was 1-shotted with last night (nearly 20k health 2.5k armor- I wasn't glass :astonished: ). Those scenarios might improve with the reduction of power coefficients. My only concern is what counterplay is there against a class that has no cooldown on interrupts and dazes, readily available stealth (untouched) and the exact same mobility.

As rangers the only stability (not counting CA 5) we have was reduced in Strength of the Pack, and as mentioned before 100 percent cd increase with the soulbeast doly stance. Additionally, the greatsword gets an increase of 66 percent cd for the block moving to 25 sec cd, which sometimes works unless they used the traited steal (unblockable) to bypass and daze again. They are squishy, but now will be less squishy since our attacks hit for less as well. I mention this as a huge potential profession problem for us, but I think the other professions will see the same effect as well. Anet hit the access to stun breaks, stability, and blocks but did not address the ability to inflict the stuns, dazes and kds other than the damage which was never my main concern. I mean our own gs nerf got a cd reduction on the hilt bash that's hard to land, but given that our dmg is completely nerfed on 4 and 5 and 2x nerfed on maul with increase cd as well as coefficient reduction, where does that leave ranger in regards to roaming, since we have never had a place in zergs and still won't?

Core still plays like core, druid is still weaker and will have a slightly harder time generating the AF since the increase in heal slot cds, and soulbeast should be just renamed to SMOKEBEAST. Doom and gloom I know and I should wait for the dust to even emerge and then settle but this does not look good for the game as a ranger main. Condi might be the only option, funny enough like pre-expansion ranger of yore (oops wait almost forgot they ruined sword so that's not possible either).

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@Draeyon.4392 said:Trait for Clarion Bond and Zephyer's speed. Use point blank shot for the engage, merge with your pet and enjoy the quickness and unblockable while also proccing Twice as Vicious. Also add the new Lead the Wind trait into the mix and Longbow Sniper is back in action.Longbow damage is being down around 50% which definitely you will notice in your burst potential. IMO sniper builds aren't coming back and that's a good thing.

Longbow will be used as +1 and engage weapon, but the damage burst will come from GS or Axe. Keep in mind if you use MS trainline you will have to sacrifice the cleanses from WS or the extra stats and pet damage from BM.

From my PoV ranger builds I all subspecs will not change after the patch. We will be stuck in WS\BM\SB because we don't have other choice. Like the smokescale, that pet is used because we don't have any other pet who can follow a target with swiftness.

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@borya.2964 said:

@aymnad.9023 said:I am not a wvw player but your message is not clear. Either you are using irony because you disagree with some of the incoming changes or you got confused and wrote too fast.

You start by saying a long range build has been buffed which I assume is sicem? (Nothing got buffed anyway) Then proceed to describe what looks like a boonbeast to me.Good luck catching them? With the cd increase? With a talent that was not usefull and will be even worst?

Yes, im not probably very clear. You can find to types of LB/GS rangers in wvw (all together 90% of the ranger population), the squishies Unblockable SicEm and the ones more boons oriented, but it’s the same playstyle, they will try to burst you, if they can’t or if they are to heavily focus they will disengage with birds and GS.

Power creep is not all about damage and sustain, mobility is a very huge part in wvw and I feel like for this type of gameplay there is no real tradeoff because they will use 100% birds to the point, in my opinion, where there will not have incentive to unmerge anymore, lowering the skill celling (and as far as I read in some other threads , even for different reasons, it is a shared feeling).

I shouldn’t have spoken about “buff”, but it’s the philosophy of the patch, if it’s not a hard nerf it’s a buff and buy extension, if it’s not a real tradeoff, it’s a buff. Buy comparison If you play off meta, the lost of one pet is huge. But like Lugh said, I could be wrong.

I did not know boonbeast were also playing lb / gs but if they stay with owl then yes straying merged is probably better. Perma merging is kind of boring and you do not get the benefits for on the first traits.

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@anduriell.6280 said:

@Draeyon.4392 said:Trait for Clarion Bond and Zephyer's speed. Use point blank shot for the engage, merge with your pet and enjoy the quickness and unblockable while also proccing Twice as Vicious. Also add the new Lead the Wind trait into the mix and Longbow Sniper is back in action.Longbow damage is being down around 50% which definitely you will notice in your burst potential. IMO sniper builds aren't coming back and that's a good thing.

Longbow will be used as +1 and engage weapon, but the damage burst will come from GS or Axe. Keep in mind if you use MS trainline you will have to sacrifice the cleanses from WS or the extra stats and pet damage from BM.

From my PoV ranger builds I all subspecs will not change after the patch. We will be stuck in WS\BM\SB because we don't have other choice. Like the smokescale, that pet is used because we don't have any other pet who can follow a target with swiftness.

Agreed, other than playing in small group play, it would not really be a working build imo-giving up WS. I see a very possible move toward a condi heavy meta and bear stance is not good enough to be the only condi-removal (not even with cleansing sigils). MH axe was actually buffed for condi at least with AOE winter's bite and bleed increases. Losing extra protection on the dodge roll, 25% increase end. regen, the nerfed child of earth, and rugged growth (nerfed also but still useful since regen (health) overall took a hit), and of course the bread and butter cement holding all builds together Wilderness Knowledge is not worth it. Anet has never branched out with the utilities since pre- HoT. Every solo or roaming build needs WS to be effective IMO (imagine fighting condi mirage/condi teef w/o :s ). Also since WHAO gets a 10 sec increase vs Troll's mere 5 sec., it is inching out as the better heal overall in every sense if taking WK.

Even though, its partly redundant taking BM for the reduced pet swap with the new SB, the advantage of the increased stats merged, the 30% increased movement speed when merged, and lesser zephyr would from my pov still be the best option for dmg builds. Also, it might be worth a look esp. if using axe to know if honed axe's pet ferocity would become yours if merged.

If not taking BM, I would lose the dmg and take WS with MM. Lol the dumb grp swiftness would actually prove useful on top of clarion bond if using birds (and with >1200 need distance to take advantage of new Lead the Wind change). Canines would be the only other option for this effect but only 800 but on a 10 sec cd instead of 18 sec for the 1200. Plus with drakehound you keep some of the dmg (ferocious), get a kd, and worldly.

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If anything, Pew Pew Rangers are gonna be more heavily punished for overextending due to the massive nerfs to their mobility.

They are gonna have to fall back on Sword/Warhorn now instead of using GS to widen gaps because they will most likely be using Smokescale's stronger kit plus Sword Evades and finisher to trigger Smokefields.

Ideal playstyle will be to adopt a hit and run sort of style, using Smokefield to enter Stealth and approach their enemy, drop a Pew Pew combo, then use LB 3 to disengage till they can try again.

Very thiefy playstyle, except from a more extreme range, plus gives them a tiny bit of Unblockable from Warhorn which people have dropped since it got nerfed.Additionally, the Blast from Warhorn can be used to further extend the Stealth from finishing Smokefields.

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@Yasai.3549 said:If anything, Pew Pew Rangers are gonna be more heavily punished for overextending due to the massive nerfs to their mobility.

They are gonna have to fall back on Sword/Warhorn now instead of using GS to widen gaps because they will most likely be using Smokescale's stronger kit plus Sword Evades and finisher to trigger Smokefields.

Ideal playstyle will be to adopt a hit and run sort of style, using Smokefield to enter Stealth and approach their enemy, drop a Pew Pew combo, then use LB 3 to disengage till they can try again.

Very thiefy playstyle, except from a more extreme range, plus gives them a tiny bit of Unblockable from Warhorn which people have dropped since it got nerfed.Additionally, the Blast from Warhorn can be used to further extend the Stealth from finishing Smokefields.

I respectfully have to disagree in regards to sword and warhorn. IMO sword is trash. It was once my favorite ranger weapon before the chrono treatment from the last patch with the gated evade and separated combo. The kite ability is nowhere near where it was since the cds don't match-up and in order to get the monarch refresh the enemy is already upon you for the hit requirement. The distance is a mere 600 units kite from monarch's leap. The only perk was for the newer players to do a leap into smoke field.

Warhorn isn't bad in it's current state when combined with WHAO or using moa stance or windborne notes. But imo it's not even worth considering post patch since even w/ cd from windborne notes it will only offer 4 sec regen, 6 sec of might, and 10 sec of fury and swiftness from the 24 or 30 sec untraited. Also combined with moa it gave decent boon up-time, but moa's modifier is going to drop to 20 percent increase :/ . Additionally if your using sword you probably don't need the blast from warhorn since you'd have the leap.

If you are fond of the new iteration of sword I would suggest dagger. I am going to stick with the 5 skill nerfed GS, since the range of swoop is still 1000 units using only the one skill.

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As power soulbeast main, I'm strongly considering condi druid. It has stealth.. condi cleanse.. and it will play well with ancient seeds.

As for soulbeast, It's definitely going to be 99% running with smokescale instead of other pets. It has a gap closer, cc ( overall stab is nerfed so cc more important ). Depending on what the meta will be ( more condi builds? Less condi cus mirage nerfs? ) I think you will see 2 builds:

Bm, nm and sb: now that pet merge / unmerge triggers pet swap traits AND nm still shares boon with your pet, your not gonna have the current ""problem"" of losing boons on pet swap because the new pet has 0 boons. Instead, your pet will always have boons ( at least I don't believe pets lose their boons when you unmerge ) and thus it'll be easier to keep boons on yourself. Obviously moa stance nerf limits the amount of boons you can maintain but still. Swap moastance for protect me.

Other option which can work regardless of how many Condi builds are meta will ofc be: ws, bm, sb.

And it's gonna run LR, QZ, protect me.

QZ is gonna see more use because traites with WS the cooldown will be only 32s, LR and protect me is still 24. With dolyak at 60s cooldown I really doubt it's going to be performing better than QZ at close to 30s with condi clear and superspeed which you can use in many ways ( we lose dmg reduction but with QZ we can kite and avoid dmg more easily, OR use it as bait:Purposely get hit by a stun like shieldbash cus it now deals very low dmg, press QZ for stunbreak and use your own CC instead and follow with maul or WI which will be hard to dodge cus of quickness )

So yea. Ws will also be good.

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