Enjoy your free wins while they last because this class is ridiculous on any difficulty below Madness. Link to my Insane winner
. One death was when I was body blocked and stuck on an Aether Beam and two were in the final battle because Argoniel rolled a problematic class (Paradox Mage with Temporal Fugue), I forgot about my second Shielding Rune since I didn't have room for it on my hotbar, and I didn't upgrade my old Runes since around level 20 so I only had one that was actually endgame quality.
There is probably merit to using slings but I have a personal bias against them so I didn't try them out. This guide only discusses a bow-using build.tl;dr build
1/0/0/0 Archery Training
1/1/4/4 Archery Prowess
1/1/1/5 Combat Training (1/0/0/0 or 1/1/1/0 if Shalore)
1/0/0/0 Combat Veteran
Munitions optional at 2/5/1/0-1, use Venomous Ammunition.
Good uses of spare class points are Headshot, Quick Recovery, Escape, Snipe, or any talent from Archery Training.
5/1/1/0/0/0 Combat Training
Conditioning optional at 1/5/0/0 or 1/5/1/1
Good uses of spare generic points are Vitality, racials, and Antimagic.
Stats: Dex > Str > Mag > Cun (Dex > Str > Wil > Cun if Antimagic)
Inscriptions: Movement, Movement, Heroism, Regeneration, Wild/PD/Shielding. If Undead: Shielding, Shielding, Heat Beam, Biting Gale, PD/Acid Wave.
Prodigies: Vital Shot at 30, Arcane Might 42 (Superpower if Antimagic)Races
Shalore lets you skip Blinding Speed and Timeless can extend Trueshot. Doomelf's Pitiless gives Called Shots even better lockdown. Ogre is good because you only need one category unlock (Sniper) and you can Ogrewield a mindstar, dagger, or shield offhand. Skeleton actually works surprisingly well because you have built-in mobility and you can afford 5/5/5/5 racials.Stats
Dex > Str > Mag > Cun, replace Mag with Wil if AntimagicInscriptions
Standard set of Movement x2, Regeneration, Heroism, Wild/PD/Shielding. If Undead, you want Shielding x2, Heat Beam, Biting Gale, and PD/Acid Wave.Prodigies
Vital Shot gives you a stun and cripple meaning you don't need to invest in the underwhelming Archery Training category. Arcane Might gives a massive damage increase which is overkill but that's fine because at some point being able to kill everything in a couple turns is more important than having good defense. Superpower is worse than Arcane Might but it'll do the job decently enough for Antimagic builds. Other prodigies worth considering are Spine of the World and Draconic Will if you aren't taking Conditioning.Category points
At levels 10 and 20 get Sniper and an Inscription slot in whatever order you want. At level 36 get another Inscription slot or Fungus if Antimagic. Your last category point should be used on Munitions, Conditioning, or another Inscription slot if Ogre or if you took Fungus at level 36.Class CategoriesArchery Training:
1/0/0/0 early and core, whole category except Pin Down luxury
Steady Shot is free damage but it doesn't scale well enough with points to be worth heavy investment.
Pin Down is a pin which sounds better than it actually is since usually melee enemies aren't as significant threats as mages and ranged weapon users. The guaranteed mark is delayed and Aim usually lets you mark often enough with regular shots.
Fragmentation Shot is really good at 3/5 and higher but it's hard to find the points for it. Definitely one of the best places to spend extra points since it reduces one of the few things you care about (enemy damage output).
Scatter Shot is your only stun until you get Vital Shot. However the range is low making it inconvenient to use. Its good for AoE clearing but not at max range so get it if you want but it's not essential.Archery Prowess:
1/1/4/0 early, 1/1/4/4 core, Headshot luxury
Headshot is free damage when Called Shots is on cooldown. Scales better than Steady Shot so it's not a bad use of extra points.
Volley has a decent radius and requires little investment since you only need 1/5 for it to hit each target twice with a mark. Try to use Trueshot before this because it consumes a lot of ammo against large groups.
Called shot is OP. It does a lot of damage, silences, disarms, and slows movement. The disarm and slow require a mark but it doesn't matter since you initiate with this out of Conceal. 4/5 gives the maximum debuff duration which is the most important part.
Bullseye will proc a lot late game once you have your speed buffs up. It's not worth heavy investment until you have Blinding Speed and Trueshot since those increase the frequency of marks allowing for Bullseye to proc more often.Combat Techniques:
1/0/0/0 early, 1/1/1/5 core
Rush works as a mobility talent which is useful before you have Escape or when Escape and your Movement Infusions are on cooldown.
Precise Strikes increases accuracy and crit chance at the cost of attack speed but accuracy is overkill and crit chance is not as important as attack speed so this isn't worth it.
Perfect Strike lets you hit Dreads and stuff without missing. You shouldn't need more than 1/5 because this is only helpful against specific enemy types since you should already have enough accuracy to hit non-invisible foes.
Blinding Speed has a brutal cooldown but it gives a global speed buff which stacks multiplicatively with your attack speed buffs like Trueshot and Bullseye. I prefer getting this before Trueshot because it gives much better damage and also movespeed which I value more than the slightly longer duration and ammo preservation of Trueshot.Combat Veteran:
1/0/0/0 early and core, Quick Recovery luxury
Quick Recovery gives passive stamina regeneration. It's not bad but it's not amazing when First Blood also exists. I like to get at least 1/5 because it decreases rest times on my somewhat slow computer.
Fast Metabolism also decreases rest time until your items start giving you health regeneration. Also floating 1/5 is fairly helpful early.
Spell Shield and Unending Frenzy aren't good.Marksmanship:
5/1/0/0 early, 5/2/1/4 core, First Blood luxury
Master Marksman is your Weapon Mastery so it's good, max it as soon as you have the Dex for it.
First Blood does solid damage and gives a good amount of stamina at 2/5 so leave it there. Decent place for spare points if you are having stamina issues.
Flare is an AoE blind and but it does no damage. Good for guaranteeing a mark for Called Shots and for blinding threatening enemies but usually the disarm and silence from Called Shots is better.
Trueshot is an attack speed buff that works well with Blinding Speed. Use this before Volley to not empty your quiver. Duration caps at 4/5 and the fifth point barely gives any attack speed so leave it at 4/5Reflexes:
2/2/5/1 early, 2/2/5/2 core, Escape luxury
Shoot Down hits three projectiles at 2/5 and you will rarely need to hit more than that. If it hits a projectile on the same tile as the enemy, it will usually do the damage to the enemy. Similarly, stuff like Fireflash will explode when you shoot it down so there isn't much point using this on nearby AoE projectiles but you can hit groups of enemies if the projectile is still near them.
Intuitive Shots lets you melee better than melee characters. 2/5 gives a good trigger chance.
Sentinel shuts down bosses. Think of it like Burning Hex but with lower cooldown and ignoring saves. This costs a lot of stamina but it shouldn't matter in most fights since enemies rarely live long enough for you to use it more than twice.
Escape is like a Movement Infusion except it also gives stamina regeneration. If you're low on stamina, use this and hide for the duration to get the full stamina regeneration duration.Sniper (locked):
Unlock at level 10, 2/4/5/1 early, 4/4/5/2 core, Snipe luxury
Concealment is OP. Gives damage evasion and range and it lets you initiate with Called Shots. Instant talents like Blinding Speed, Trueshot, Shoot Down, and Escape don't break this. 4/5 gives the highest range so leave it there.
Shadow Shot is OP. It puts you back in Concealment, confuses, and reduces sight range. 4/5 reduces the cooldown of Concealment by 8 so you can have 6 turns of 13 range at the start of fights with 4/5 in both Concealment and Shadow Shot.
Aim is another damage buff but it's a sustain so it's even better than Blinding Speed and Trueshot. Damage boost stacks multiplicitively with everything. Projectile Speed is nice if you don't have a bow or quiver that increases projectile speed.
Snipe, oddly, is best in melee range where enemies are hitting you. It lets you ignore statuses and reduces incoming damage for a turn and then gives you a powerful attack. Sometimes I don't even use the shot part and only use it to tank or to prevent annoying statuses like Burning Hex.Munitions (locked):
Consider unlocking with last category point, 2/5/1/0 core, Alloyed Munitions luxury
Venomous is good, rest are mediocre. Numbing poison is solid at 2/5.
Explosive Shot gives a high power and duration crippling poison at 5/5 and it's the main reason you're in this category. You can switch to Piercing Ammunition for sustain removal if you need it.
Enhanced Munitions gives around 150-200 effective regeneration every 8 turns before healmod which is a pretty good deal even if you can't control when the regeneration is active. If you want you can swap Piercing Ammunition in to give a damage boost instead.
Alloyed Munitions is pretty bad since the extra weapon damage can't crit. Piercing gives the Venomous base debuff which is good if you want to use Piercing instead.Trapping (locked):
You don't have the points for this category.Agility (locked):
You're using the wrong weapon for this category.Generic TalentsCombat Training:
1/5 Light Armour Training and Heavy Armour Training early, 5/5 Thick Skin late.
Heavy Armour Training lets you use heavy helms, gloves, and boots. Light Armour Training scales poorly and 1/5 is just for some defense to boost Trained Reactions. Thick Skin is good as always. Combat Accuracy is overkill but decent early before you have Aim.Mobility:
1/1/1/3 early, 2/1/2/3 core, Tumble and Trained Reactions luxury.
Disengage is pretty good for disengaging. Go figure.
Evasion is decent at 1/5 if you're getting attacked at melee. 4 duration is not great but ideally you don't spend more than 4 turns in melee in the first place seeing as you're an Archer.
Tumble is instant mobility. If you run out of stamina late game, it's probably Tumble's fault. I recommend maxing it but you can probably do without unless you're Undead.
Trained Reactions consumes a lot of stamina but it's worth it at 3/5. Slightly less worth it at 5/5 as its stamina cost increases disproportionate compared to its damage reduction but it's still good at 5/5 if you have the stamina for it.Survival:
1/1/1/0 core, Device Mastery luxury.
1/5 Heightened Senses is usually enough.
5/5 Device Mastery is great if you know how to use it.
Track is good as always.
Danger Sense is useless since you have 13 vision range.Conditioning (locked):
Consider unlocking with last category point, 1/5/0/0 core, Vitality and Adrenaline Surge luxury
Vitality is good at 1/5 but you could put more points in it for the poison and disease duration reduction.
Unflinching Resolve is the reason you're in this category to begin with. 5/5 it as soon as you unlock this category.
Daunting Presence isn't worth the sustain cost.
Adrenaline Surge lets you use Tumble when your stamina is gone (usually thanks to Tumble). It's not like you're starving for generic points so why not.Strategy
Called Shots -> Sentinel -> Shoot -> Shoot/Headshot until Concealment has 1 turn left -> Shadow Shot -> Headshot will usually kill stuff. I can add more stuff here but I don't feel like Archer warrants a detailed strategy section.Equipment
Arkul's Siege Arrows and The Titans Quiver are both very good. Temporal Augmentation Robe is the best body armor since the active is incredible on this class and it boosts physical damage and resistance penetration. Other than these, general advice applies.