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 Post subject: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:53 am 

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 770
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
5/2/1/4 Marksmanship
2/2/5/2 Reflexes
4/4/5/2 Sniper
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
3/1/5/3 Mobility
1/5/1/0 Survival
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)


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.


Dex > Str > Mag > Cun, replace Mag with Wil if Antimagic


Standard set of Movement x2, Regeneration, Heroism, Wild/PD/Shielding. If Undead, you want Shielding x2, Heat Beam, Biting Gale, and PD/Acid Wave.


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 Categories

Archery 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 4/5

Reflexes: 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): Don't unlock

You don't have the points for this category.

Agility (locked): Don't unlock

You're using the wrong weapon for this category.

Generic Talents

Combat 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.


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.


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.

My wiki page, which contains a guide and resource compilation and class tier list.

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:55 pm
Posts: 235
Any reason why Tinkers would not be good?

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:47 pm 

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 770
Tinkers are good, pretty much an upgrade from Conditioning. However they're always good and they don't have any particular synergy with Archer (unlike Corruptor) so I didn't mention them.

My wiki page, which contains a guide and resource compilation and class tier list.

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:55 pm
Posts: 235
Thanks for the guide, bpat. Took this Skeleton Archer to a 0 deaths Nightmare/Adventure win. I think Skele is a really strong choice since you have points to spare for maxing all the racials and still enough to invest adequately in Tinkers, etc. Only twist in the run was getting an Arcane-damage set of arrows from the merchant which required a severe change of gear to exploit fully.

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:17 pm
Posts: 17
I would think Tinkers would be necessary as a Skeleton, as the Medical Injector and salves can adequately substitute for Healing and Wild infusions, plus bonus healing from Fungal Web. You'd need to boost Cunning and drop some generic points into Steampower to get the most out of that, though. Focus Lens gives you Blind-Fight at 4/5, IIRC, which allows you to put the Withering Orbs away. (Alas, Explosive Shell only works with steamguns; it would be a nice additional AOE attack.) Bone Armor scales off Dex, which you're maxing, so it provides a good chunk of extra HP as well, and if you're stacking heal mod with this build, you can get pretty significant results. Of course, stacking heal mod is never a bad idea.

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:25 pm 

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 770
You don't need to heal if you aren't getting hit which is pretty easy with 13 range. Headlamp is irrelevant when you have access to Perfect Strike and Razor Edge doesn't work with ranged weapons so you're really only in it for the Salves which is okay but not essential.

My wiki page, which contains a guide and resource compilation and class tier list.

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:12 pm 
Low Yeek

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:54 am
Posts: 6

My insane winner. I personally love this new archer, especially because now I have my favorite class working and I can also enjoy being a skeleton, which is my favorite race (I know it's not the best one, but I like it anyway haha).
As a side note, fragmentation shot really help in fighting groups, volley (with Concealment)+fragmentation can kill any groups that is not a rare+, and sometimes even rares, but I agree with Munitions being better, but it only cost you 5 point and not a category point. Tinkers adds versatility and some status resistance, which is always good. Be careful to inner demons through, the last thing you want is getting hit by yourself.

Sorry for bad english haha

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:35 pm
Posts: 47
My thoughs (and some experience - so far level 26 Insane sceleton archer 1 death):

First of all, Surefire is the best bow till tier 4 bows start to appear and even then 1 of the best. Used it on my Temporal Warden until Fat East and on archer it's even better. Top attack speed, 9 range and decent stats, but most improtantly, Steady shot active, wich allows to fill the rotation and grant extra chance to mark the target. I use it so much so I started to wonder if Steady shot is actually very good. Despite being said that it's only ~37% chance to mark, considering all the bonuses it marks pretty much all the time. Unless you get to ~100% mark chance in late game improving mark chance even slightly more might be worth it for constant stamina free Headshot spam. I easily win fights vs 3-4 rares/uniques because one is immediately down (or rendered useless) due to Steady Shot + Called Shots combo, then I use Surefire active and Headshot another one (usually nearly enough to kill most rares). With 3 shields + heal there are very few enemies posing threat.

Also I use Wintertide Phial (dropped from first boss) and Eye of the Dreaming one to protect myself from annoying Sleeep/Mental effects.

The biggest challenge are Magical effects and those who have Inner demons. I play quite carelessly tbh, and don't have much experience (the only win I have is Nightmare TW), so maybe those shouldn't be a big deal for a skillful player.

Overall I feel like Steady Shot might totally be worth investing alongside with Headshot just to replace normal shots with those due to higher marking chance (I'd probably put 3 points in Steady Shot, more if you find item that reduces its cooldown).

Volley also scales pretty well with levels, most importantly gaining 4 radius at level 4 (covering up to 4 times bigger area), plus damage increase by ~50% of it's original damage with just 3 points, from 177% to 248% vs marked target. Fragmentation Shot level 3 is still better though, if you have enough stamina recovery to maintain more skills in rotation. The problem with those skill is, usually I didn't have any problems with dispatching huge packs of monsters just positioning myself in a way to fight with few at the same time. But having a whole room of minions wiped with a single shot of Volley might just fell good if you are into it. Escpecially useful in tightly packed vaults. Another benefit to levelling Valley is decreasing number of skills in rotation, thus Bullseye will more likely reduce CD of relevant skills (That's why Steady Shot/Headshot combo is good, every time its cd is reduced you can trigger mark with Headshot and potentially reduce CD of Steady Shot again). That's why I feel like if you want to maximise single target DPS getting Steady Shot + Headshot to at least 3+ is a good idea. I'd go with Steady Shot all the way until it triggers mark as often as possible.

The problem is, there is really nowhere to get extra points if you go with Munitions. Maybe 1 from Quick Recovery if you juggled points in it (since 0.6 stamina regen per turn becomes irrelevant in late game). And 1 from snipe, since level 2 is good enough.

But if you skip the Munitions, then you can get all you want with 9 extra points (+2 salvaged). With this I'd invest 3 points to get Steady Shot 3 and Headshot 4 at least. Then either Valley or Fragmentation Shot (probably level 5 for max radius and stamina efficiency, or just 3 for slow). The rest can go to First Blood/Snipe/Escape. I'd rather not max both Valley and FS, because you don't need that much AoE. 1 in Scatter shot for knockback and 3 turn stun is ok too, if you go this route. May be more efficient than using Tumble in some situations. I'm not too far into the game yet, so not sure what archer needs most later on. I myself will simply go with Munitions because I like passives. And I use Valley, Steady Shot and Headshot a lot, that's why I consider "maxing" them as well. The only problem I can see is reaching mark chance cap, if you can get 100% mark proc even with level 2 Steady Shot, then there truly is no reason to invest in it just for damage.


I also considered Tinkers on my Sceleton, but decided against them, it's a good choice but feel like I really lack generics for everything I want, and I don't want to miss munitions, since bonuses look quite good. And if I get both, then I'd be left with only 4 inscriptions, which is bad for tinkers (since I really want 2 shields and PD). Maybe I'd still get it as my last unlock but still can't find nearly enough generic points to spare for this. Unstoppable Force salve + Danger Sense sounds OP, that's the main reason I was looking for tinkers aside of powerful tier 3+ salves, and this combo exactly requires lots of points which I don't have. On the other hand, it's better than runes even with just 2 generic points invested in Therapeutics (still not sure if it's worth losing 5th rune).

Just to consider (looking at your character), most obvious places to extract points for tinkers are 2 points from Thick Skin, 1 point from disengage, 1 from Trained reactions (IMO level 2 is enough, and will help to save stamina). Tumble level 5 seems too important to NOT max, so probably not. But if it doesn't affect Trained reactions then it can be left at level 2 or 3 simply as an emergecy escape option. If it DOES affect it though, then not maxing it is dangerous, since debuff will be too long and too strong to empty all your stamina without a chance of recovering. But again, if it can be cleansed by salve, it's not too bad. Device mastery seems too important to take points from it, since there are so much powerful items in this game. But 2-3 points is a good breakpoint if you really need it. Maybe we can take some points from Resilient Bones, but I don't like this idea despite having Salves. Unless you can keep Unstoppable force with 100% uptime, then it's useless. Skeleton is good at level 3, but again, it just feels wrong for me to NOT max all skeleton racials.

Overall we can gather 4 points without sacrificing much, 6 with level 3 Skeleton, 10 if ignore Resilient Bones (too risky), 13 if not maxing Tumble, and maybe a couple more from Device Mastery and Thief escorts. Not sure if that much points are even needed, since Archer Skeleton won't benefit from tinkers as much. Any steam powered tinkers are useless unles you sacrifice item slot for steam regeneration, and even then most likely 2-3 times per fight only. Life Support Suit might be great, but needs 10 points and lots of luck to get recipe. And even then, it's not THAT great.

As for normal tinkers, not sure if weapon tinkers work with bows and all of them scale with steampower which you don't have anyway. But there are bunch of other useful ones such as Ablative armor (or Crystal plating for stats, boosting STR, DEX and MAG by 10 is good), Grounding strap, Kinetic Stabiliser (for Teleport Immunity mainly - though not as bad on Archer), Iron Grip (for Disarm Immunity, but maybe unnecesary), Focus lens (though maybe overkill for Archer), Mental stimulator for bonus Crit (but you already have 100%). As for cheapest bundle, it's not very useful but better than nothing: Fungal Web, Second Skin (not sure if Sceletons are immune to Diseases, but HP regen is OK) since armor alone feels irrelevant on archer and Moss Thread (never tried it). For 2 more points you can get electicity and unlock Grounding Strap, Mental Stimulator and Iron Grip. 1 more for Kinetic Stabiliser (probably not worth for it alone). Or just invest in Crystal plating for sweet stat boost if you don't care about Stun and Disarm immunity. Overall 6 points bring you most of it you can get. For weapon Viral Injector is only option, if it's even usable, poison is useless, everything else needs more investments.

TBH now, looking at this I might just go for tinkers at 36. Though I'll probably lose quite a lot potentially good Medical injectors and recipies this way (in my previous run got a couple of 50% cd 200% power before level 20). Damn, that's really hard to decide, since I'm so much into min-maxing.

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:14 am 

Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:17 pm
Posts: 1456
Some weapon tinkers work with bows, some don't, assuming my memory isn't going haywire. Can't recall which is which off the top of my head, heh... want to say it's something like most of the projection ones (acid, fire, whatever) functioning, but most of the stuff like razor edge, not. It's a thing with all the launchers, far as I can recall.

That said, for an actual archer, you might also consider the hand cannon. I seem to recall running a gunslinger or psyshot that got it on a lark and then found out it was hitting with a vital shot level damage multiplier (twice) at voratun level. Probably was a psyshot given the thing seems to have a melee component, checking it, but... still. Pretty sure even unarmed on an archer would have some kick when it's a 500% double tap, and it's something else to stick into the rotation (procs involved can get interesting, too, iirc). CD's enough you probably won't use it twice, but still. If you're not up against disarmers (and maybe if you are, if it lets you kill them before it's a problem) it might work out.

E: Though it is a bit expensive point wise, double checking that. 4 mech/2 explo. Ah well. Well, and you'd have to do the steam gen item dance every few fights, assuming you could find one to dance with. *grumbles*

 Post subject: Re: 1.5 Bow Archer Guide
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:24 am 
Low Yeek

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:21 pm
Posts: 9
I highly recommend against the titan's quiver, as they are a huge double edged sword. I lost on the final fight due to them knocking Elandar who knows the hell where at the start of the fight, and Argoniel shortly thereafter. I never found any gloves of dispersion, so he proceeded to nuke the hell out of me from out of sight after the debuffs cleared out, while the undead and Argoniel locked down all my talents with hexes and such.

They had regularly been irritants by causing some of the shots from sentinel and called shots to miss after flinging something away from the first crit, but I didn't appreciate how much trouble they were until too late.

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