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Question about leveling a Shortbow Ranger

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So I have a question for all you veterans out there. I was thinking of leveling a Ranger with short bow. Since I haven't been able to find any up to date information on the topic I thought I would come here and try my luck! I understand that power builds are most superior to the leveling process overall, but I have always been a fan of damage over time and things to that effect in all MMO's. Having leveled a Condi Rev just recently, I was curious if a Condi Ranger (Core obviously until I can get the elite specs unlocked and then possibly branch out) is even viable? I know while leveling almost everything can work, but I wanted some input before I went on this venture. Also, any gw2skill builds involving it would be wonderful if you have insight. Thanks!

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I might edit this with a link to a build later, but suffice it to say you'll be fine on condi. Power is indeed superior in a lot of lower level contexts simply because it does bursty damage right up front, and will rapidly kill weak enemies while your condi builds might need to take a tick or three to do the same. The difference is further exacerbated by the fact that power builds have some decent cleave, while you're stuck with traps and the Light on your Feet trait (and even worse, unreliable pet skills) for area condi application. The icing on the cake is that if you do dungeons to level (they give great xp), objects (usually structures, and are targets with yellow names) are immune to condi, and you come across a decent number of them in dungeons.

Don't let any of that scare you away from leveling a condi ranger though. Story and open world content is so easy that you'll still be fine even with these drawbacks. Even at non-obsolete endgame group content, condi soulbeast performs quite well.

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You could try slightly modifying this build for core maybe.


This is a mostly ranged hybrid soulbeast build I made a while ago purely for general PvE play.
I haven't used it much admittedly but I have played around with it in PoF and I can't complain with it's performance.

You won't get lifesteal healing from applying poison without the Soulbeast though, nor will you have access to Vulture Stance.
But I don't think that will impact the core game leveling process much.
Just playing a ranged build and having an AI pet companion to distract enemies will automatically make the early game quite easy 🙂 

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Basic shortbow condi build: http://en.gw2skills.net/editor/?POgAUVlZw+YTsQGKWaP7rvJkC-zRJUmRFfZUZK0RF4zA-e

Use any food you can while leveling. You can use sinister gear before you get viper's, or carrion if you want hitpoints instead of crit chance. For underwater I'd use two harpoon guns for weapon swap procs. If you need tanky condi pet then murellow is nice one - has self heal, damage ignore and aoe poison as usable skill. Shark is my go-to condi pet for underwater combat.
Swap beast mastery and beast skills to soulbeast and stance skills (vulture & wolfpack) once you get it unlocked. There's also version that uses beast mastery instead of wilderness survival, has weaker poison damage but stronger pets.


Edited by Jukhy.2431
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Yes you'll be fine.


It might be slightly harder to find equipment with condition damage at very low levels, but at that point most people won't have the right stats for their build no matter what it is. I level a lot of characters using condition skills and weapons because I tend to prefer them and I've never found it to be noticeably more difficult than anything else. Sometimes fights might take slightly longer because it takes a second or two after you hit them for the conditions to start building up damage, but it doesn't make much difference in practice.

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