Hi all! I recently started playing Synergies again and was pleased to note the addition of a Ranger class. Eager to explore the ranged aspect of it, I dove in and did some testing. I'm at about level 70 now, so this guide will evolve as I continue to level up. So far it's performing admirably well.
Build Concept: Turn Thorns into a delivery system for grievous, grievous damage while maintaining high survivability.
Main damage types: Physical, Electric
+100 Points Strength
+100 Points Dexterity
+300 points Focus
Our main damage dealer. Thorns is exceptional because it is a % weapon DPS skill that fires multiple projectiles, which allows it to deliver DOTs and bonus damage multiple times. This is key for our offensive toolkit.
Our buff of choice for buffing Thorns. This adds a nice amount of bonus electrical damage to our Thorns spell, turning it into a hybrid of a %weapon DPS skill and a flat damage Focus skill. This skill provides a very noticeable amount of added damage with good Focus, crit, and storm counters.
Slashing Wounds 15/15
Adds a nice DOT to our Thorns attack, and immobilization resistance is nice for a ranged class.
Our utility skill. This provides a way to close, and in spite of its name, also a very important escape. It also bunches enemies together for a follow-up Thorns application, debuffs their damage, *AND* heals you. Very, very nice.
Storm Warning 1/15
This provides a nice bit of movement speed when we have a lot of storm counters. Further points just increase the flat speed gain, and not the scaling, so we just need the one point.
Storm Front 15/15
Provides lots and lots of Storm and Electrocute counters for us to burn.
Lightning Tree 15/15
Really useful for kiting enemies around. It uses weapon DPS, so it will apply bleeds.
15/15 Nature's Blessing
Health and damage resistance.
1/15 Old Growth
More nature counters.
Generates a nice burst of electric damage that deals weapon DPS, and therefore helps spread bleeds.
You'll want to use a bow, crossbow, hand crossbow or pistol with as much damage, conveys damage, and conveys effects as you can get, and socket it with "Conveys X Damage over Y Seconds." Enchant it at the Electric enchanter for "Conveys X Electric Damage over Y Seconds" to boot. With good gems and enchants, you can deliver over 10,000 damage per thorn as DOT damage, on top of your usual damage.
Try to get as much elemental damage for your weapon as you can, especially lightning damage. It scales way better than physical damage for this build.
This build scales well with attack speed, lightning damage, crit chance and crit damage. Although your dots don't crit, your thorns, electrocute, thunderstorm bursts and lightning tree can. Use it to full advantage.
Keep in mind, however: this build does NOT scale whatsoever with cast speed, as Thorns is a channeled spell.