The Toxophilite is a high DPS, high HP Arcane Archer with a lot of utility to help its team or solo very effectively.
toxophilite (Pronounced tocks-oh-fill-lite)
1. Someone keen on or an expert at archery
Hit Points: 468 468 assumes +6 CON, Minos Legens and Greater False Life items. HP is 358 without.
Spell Points: 625 625 assumes a 150 SP belt from Shavarath. 712 with a +6 WIS item. With neither, SP will be 475. Plenty of SP for your purposes.
Spell Resistance: 20 Handy when soloing. Pick up a SR item if you don’t go Drow.
AC: 28 You’ll primarily be in the back, so this won’t matter.
Will: 9 In the time I’ve used this build, I’ve never had a will issue come up unless I was in melee. If you really want this higher, add a +6 WIS item… this will also increase your SP.
Solo Ability: Excellent If you’re patient and can wait as you self-cure.
You can take any race, but this build favors a drow, though you may want to go elf.
Drow is probably the best race to take if you want complete solo-ability. Their innate spell resist is invaluable. The abilities below reflect drow.
Elf is better if you’re going to be more team-centric because you’ll have the ability to do slightly more damage through enhancements. Make sure take an 8 on the INT and CHA and up your STR and DEX a little more.
Half-Elf will still give you DPS enhancements and let you take FvS or Cleric delitante so you can scroll heal and res.
Any, though Lawful Good will likely yield the best results as far as weapons are concerned.
Ranger 20 (We want the capstone)
Starting Stats/End Stats/Enhanced Stats
STR 15 / 22 / 28 STR will help with damage in the end, though not required. All stat bumps in STR. We’re assuming a +6 STR item. You don’t have to go this route, but with a good STR, you’re doing an additional 10 or more damage per arrow. You can be a DPS powerhouse or just someone with arrows.
DEX 16 / 22 / 28 DEX is the to-hit and AC stat. Eat a +2 tome and take 4 +DEX enhancement points for a 22. You can go all 5 enhancements if you get an exceptional DEX or +3 tome for a 30.
CON 14 / 16 / 22 Start with a 14 and eat a +2 tome. Wear a +6 item.
WIS 12 / 14 A WIS of 14 ensures you’ll be able to cast every ranger spell. Start with a 12 and use a +2 tome.
You don’t need a +6 DEX item with this build, but it won’t hurt you… it only adds +5 to your to hit (I’m +38 with my MinII GS bow with it, +33 w/o) and doesn’t affect your AC if you’re wearing leather. I miss on a 1 for nearly every target.
Balance 20 Occasionally something gets by the front line and tries to trip you or maybe you’re in a sleet storm. Add the balance ring for a 33.
Heal 25 Important for soloing… you heal 145 points at a shrine, so cure yourself and dump your mana pool prior to shrining. Get a +heal skill item for more that you switch to just for shrining.
Listen 25 Lets you hear them in case you miss a spot roll. The Wild Instincts spell will get you to 35.
Spot 27 Important for seeing far away… you can’t send an arrow at something you can’t see! The Wild Instincts spell will get you to 37.
Tumble 20 Helpful for falling long distances or just being lazy and not switching to your FF boots
I’m just maxing out the listed skills each level with the two left over (what’s the point of a .5?) at level 20 going in to Swim for a little more speed and breath under water. You can only get a base UMD of 10 with this build, so there’s no point in investing in it. Many rangers do improve the sneak-related skills, which I did before my lesser reincarnate, but I literally used them in 4 quests the entire time I had the character. I find the listed physical and detection skills much more effective to the solo nature of this build.
1: Point Blank Shot Prereq for Arcane Archer prestige line
3: Weapon Focus: Ranged Weapons Prereq for Arcane Archer prestige line
6: Mental Toughness Prereq for Arcane Archer prestige line and +105sp at level 20
9: Toughness or Power Critical
12: Toughness or Improved Critical: Ranged
Major variations on the feats loadout: More DPS or More HP.
- The primary feats loadout gives you a ton of HP (Each Toughness feat gives you +22hp and allows you to take racial toughness enhancements). There’s really not a lot to spend your feats on as you get all the good ones for free with your class.
- The alternate loadout is for higher damage… slightly. The Weapon Focus (3) is a prereq for Power Critical (12). As you only crit on a 20 in most cases until you get your Mineral II Green Steel eventually which is keen, thereby giving you a threat range of 19-20, without a feat. You can also take Improved Critical to simulate the keen effect, but you sacrifice another Toughness feat. Since the majority of your extra damage comes from the arrow imbues, I find Improved Crit absolutely worthless.
- You can, in the end, sub out any Toughness feats for anything else you want, but I highly recommend at least one Toughness feat so you can get the two racial toughness enhancements for +44 HP by level 20. I went mostly Toughness because I didn’t see anything else appealing to me that would be effective for the overall build.
- There has been some controversy over this build not taking Improved Critical: Ranged Weapons, but to reiterate, as I have found a Mineral II bow (with the Keen property) to be the best for me, I skipped it. You crit 5% of the time (on a natural 20) normally, Improved Crit lets you crit 10% of the time (a natural 19 or 20)… when you get your Keen weapon (or the Silver Bow), it’s built in, so I’d rather take the Toughness, just in case. You could also take Improved Crit and combine it with a Silver Bow for a 17-20 threat range then swap the feat out later when you get your Min II bow. Most of the AA’s best damage effects happen on a Nat 20 anyway, so I still stand by my decision to avoid Improved Crit. Take it if you’d like, but do so at level 9 or later.
1: Undead Since you’ll be seeing a lot of these throughout the game, it’s a very handy choice.
5: Giant Giants are scattered around the game and you especially see them in Gianthold, obviously.
10: Evil Outsider Just about every creature you fight in the endgame is an evil outsider.
15: Aberration Hate beholders and rust monsters? Me too!
20: Construct They can’t be critted and there’s not much else that’s interesting, unless you want to take Human, which is a good generic. Works great against Portals in Shroud.
You get a total of 16 spells to have memorized and it’s not necessary to fill every slot. It’s suggested you take spells in the order they’re listed.
Level 1: Resist Energy Take the sting out of fire, ice, acid and more. It’s a great idea to pass out resists for the clerics to save their mana.
Level 1: Jump You’ll have a great jump, but not everyone else will. Throw jump on your divine casters in every mission, don’t even ask them… they’ll love ya for it.
Level 1: Longstrider/Merfolk’s Blessing Longstrider will help you get there faster, but when you get the mass version, you can swap it out for Merfolk’s Blessing. Merfolk great as a joke buff when entering raids but is genuinely helpful when you know you have swimming to do, especially for those in armor/with shields.
Level 1: Ram’s Might I use this every time I enter a mission. It gives you a +2 stacking STR and +2 damage per hit… that translates to +3 damage per arrow. Yes, please.
Level 2: Cure Light Wounds Swap this out/empty the slot when you get Cure Moderate. It’ll be good to stop burning money on potions for those occasions when you’re actually hit.
Level 2: Barkskin You’re expected to have Barkskin. Period. It improves the AC of the person you throw it on. Since you’re not an AC build, you won’t use it on yourself as much, but it’ll be handy for the melee combatants. (Read more about natural AC in the DDO Source.com Guide).
Level 2: Summon Nature’s Ally II It’s said the hyena can damage certain raid bosses that are otherwise invulnerable. (See Hound of Xoriat.)
Level 2: Mass Camoflage Funny as a joke buff, though it annoys some players.
Level 3: Cure Moderate Wounds Empty this slot when you get Cure Serious.
Level 3: Wild Instincts A very handy spell that improves your search and spot in a big way.
Level 3: Remove Disease Helpful for those hungover mornings in House K when waking up next to two dwarves and a mule. And a bearded devil (they tickle!).
Level 3: Neutralize Poison Not only removes poison in a character, but also immunizes them from future poisoning. Good to keep around if you are fighting trogs.
Level 4: Cure Serious Wounds Don’t forget to unload the prior cure spells… they’re pointless now. Nothing really to put in those slots.
Level 4: Freedom of Movement This is HUGE. This will basically make you a machine unstoppable by Earthgrab, Web, etc. It’s helpful to pass this out to save clerics’ mana.
Level 4: Summon Nature’s Ally IV Get yourself a pretty handy kitty. Your enemies won’t be laughing after they’re tripped with teeth on their throat and arrows in their abdomen.
Level 4: Mass Longstrider To let the entire party move that much faster. Unload your level 1 version.
Ranger Class Enhancements
Arcane Archer Prestige Line The absolute core of what we’re going for here. Make sure you take this at level 6.
All arrow imbues Every time you can take an arrow imbue, do it. They’re only 1 enhancement point each and all are required for the slayer imbue.
Conjure +5 Arrows You’ll want to take each plus as they become available. More plus = more damage.
Favored Enemy Damage 4 Since we’ve covered the most popular enemies with our favored enemy slots, let’s do more damage to them as well!
Item Defense 3 I hate it when my toys break. Optional.
Devotion 4 Gives you more healing bang for your buck when you’re soloing or your healer fell asleep. Optional.
Energy of the Wild 3 Gives you +60 spell points. You can go for the level 4 of this if you’d like, but it’s 4 E points for +20 sp.
Master of Archery If you thought you were cranking out DPS before, a 25% rate of fire increase will have other archers looking like snails!
Drow Racial Enhancements
Improved Spell Resistance 4 Gives you innate spell resist 20.
Racial Toughness 2 +20 HP, requires at least Toughness feat.
Enchantment Resistance 2 +2 to save against enchantments. Optional.
Melee Damage 1 Handy, but optional. I use a pair of shortswords for clearing low-level trash quickly, depending on my mood.
Level 20 Lawful Good Drow Female BAB: 2020253030 Starting Ending Abilities Base Stats Base Stats (28 Point) (Level 1) (Level 20) Strength 15 22 Dexterity 16 18 Constitution 14 16 Intelligence 10 10 Wisdom 12 14 Charisma 10 10 Tomes Used +2 Tome of Strength used at level 7 (optional) +2 Tome of Dexterity used at level 7 +2 Tome of Constitution used at level 7 +2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 7 Level 1 Feat: Point Blank Shot Level 3 Feat: Weapon Focus: Ranged Weapons Level 4 Ability Raise: STR Level 6 Feat: Mental Toughness Enhancement: Arcane Archer Prestige w/ Unlimited Arrows Enhancement: Force Arrow Imbue (Take every imbue as it comes available) Gear: Silver Bow Level 7 +2 Tome of Strength (optional) +2 Tome of Dexterity +2 Tome of Constitution +2 Tome of Wisdom Level 8 Ability Raise: STR Level 9 Feat: Toughness Level 12 Ability Raise: STR Feat: Toughness Level 16 Ability Raise: STR Level 18 Feat: Toughness Level 20 Ability Raise: STR
Some of the gear listed below is just what I happen to have on my Tox. For the most part, everything’s optional. The strength lies in the feats and enhancements.
Head: Minos Legens +20 HP and 100% fort is hard to pass up.
Eyes: Tharne’s Goggles Mostly for the True Seeing and +15 Spot. When switching to melee, sneak attack is great. Sandstorm Goggles are also handy for the TS and blind immunity.
Neck: Anything. I use a CON +6 here. Also Lesser Resto, Minor Mnemonic, Silver Flame Necklace, Beholder’s Optic Nerves, Underwater Action, Haggle.
Trinket: Shimmering Arrowhead +4 seeker, +2 to hit (competence) and crippling on crit. Bloodstone works, too, but I choose the Arrowhead. Crippling. Neither is really required, but handy for more damage… arrowhead is probably easier to get. House P Time Warp Pendant.
Armor: Any light armor. Black Dragonscale Leather Armor is very nice for levels 12-19 with the +10% rate of fire increase. It’s a grind to get, but it’s well worth it. Make sure to use the adamantium ritual on the armor ASAP. Repair in Meridia counterclockwise of the potion vendor… it’ s expensive but better than using relics in Gianthold.
Belt: Any +150 SP belt from Shavarath I just use this for the extra SP when I’m soloing. You can easily put a +6 STR or Greater False Life here.
Cloak: Green Steel Immunities and Regeneration Cloak Immunities to Blind/Disease/Fear/Poison and +2 HP regeneration every 15 seconds. I didn’t go for deathblock because I wanted the regen for soloing. The likelihood that you’ll need deathblock is so minimal it’s barely worth mentioning the effect. Also Mantle of the Worldshaper for when I’m entering Subs or avoiding banishment in ToD before boots are acquired.
L Ring: Anything.
R Ring: Anything.
Boots: Swap between Striders & Feather Fall Boots.
Don’t forget you’ll benefit greatly from STR, DEX and CON +6 items. WIS +6 will give you about +100 SP, so you can take it if you’ve got a slot open, but it’s not really necessary. This is NOT a gear-based build, it’s feats and enhancement-centric. In honesty, you should have a Minos Legens on just about every character you build, so you NEED on here for the fort. The rest of the stuff is relative, but I just tried to give you a nudge in the right direction.
The times you’ll go melee are pretty darn rare. There are specific use cases for the below:
Twin vorpals: I only use these when I’m clearing trash from VoD (raid or in the tower w/ lever on the way) or Shroud part 4. They make for quick methods of getting rid of bad guys. It doesn’t matter if you’re not proficient in them… a 20 is a vorp either way.
Twin shortswords: I have 2 shortswords for clearing little trash guys like kobolds and such that get in the way when running lower-level guildies. (1 is Axiomatic Burst w/ Everbright, other is Holy Burst w/ Backstab, both have Risia frost for d6 cold damage.) Just find yourself a couple weapons w/ extra damage effects (Pure Good, etc.) and keep them on hand. You’ll not use them much at all, but it’s handy to have, just in case.
Mineral II Green Steel Longbow [More Info & Recipe] Holy (2d6 to evil), Acid Burst (d6 acid, +2d10 on crits), Acid Blast (+2d10 acid on crits), Slicing (d4 to targets that can bleed). Metalline. Keen. Stoneskin 2t/d @ 150 points. Add a Force Point ritual for +1 force damage per hit. This takes a lot of Shroud grinding to get, but it’s my main bow and does tons of damage. Need more damage? Just add manyshot!
Silver Longbow One of the best bows you’ll ever see in the game. Not only is the damage a die better (d10 opposed to d8) than regular longbows, but the critical threat range is a 19-20 to start. If you had Improved Critical (which I did until I got my Green Steel bow), you’re looking at a 17-20 threat range with a x3 multiplier. Can you say copious damage? I knew you could! Get one of these (should be less than 100k gp) at level 6 and only use the other bows as a utility until you get your GS bow. Mine has the Force Critical ritual on it.
Ghost Touch of Disruption Disruption is incredibly helpful… and still works on most rares/bosses. It’s not a weapon quality to ignore. If you can’t get your hands on a GToD bow, get a disruption and use the force imbue to negate the 50% chance to miss.
Paralyzing One of the most useful bows you’ll put your hands on. When you’re a young archer, the way you’ll keep getting invited in to parties is to build a reputation of ‘that player that paralyzes everything on the field and lets the melees work them all down.’ Young AAs don’t do the type of damage they see other melee rangers pull off, so you have to be utility, paralyzing and switching targets a LOT. You’re not trying to get kills, you’re trying to be a useful team asset. It’s not about kills if the team succeeds and understands you’re a large part of that. Healers will love you too… if bad guys can’t damage your party, your party doesn’t need healing.
Wounding of Puncturing By yourself this is pretty darn nice, but if you’re in a group where the other party members have WoP as well, you’ll make quick work of any enemy. Period. The Wounding quality takes 1 point of CON per hit, Puncturing gets rid of d6 CON per crit. You’ll bring down an enemy’s overall HP very quickly with this and the damage dealt by the bow itself will be enough to cause the final damage needed. Just a Wounding bow is still very, very effective, again, you’ll be critting 5% of the time.
Weakening of Enfeebling Not as useful as the WoP, the WoE bow is useful against quest & raid bosses as it minimizes the amount of damage they can inflict in most cases by sapping their STR.
Greater Construct Bane Keep in mind that constructs cannot be critted. This is not only why I took it as a favored enemy, but also carry this bow. Those towers in VON6… constructs. Portals in Shroud Phase 1… constructs. With my Slayer arrow imbued on this bow and a manyshot, I can take a portal out by myself on Normal in Shroud by the time everyone gets there.
Greater Ooze Bane Oozes can be annoying, especially at low levels, but when you meet living spells (mostly in Subterrane), they’ll be more annoying. Did you know their base creature type is Ooze? Surprise! Most of them are fire, right? Add frost! Can you imagine how happy I was when a guildie gave me a Frost Shortbow of Greater Ooze Bane? If you’ve never heard a 30yo man squeal before, give his archer one of these.
Icy Burst of Greater Dragon Bane This really is only one I keep on me because I got it as an end reward on a quest in Gianthold. That big dragon in VON6? She’s a red. Fire. Cold does double damage against her. She’s a dragon… this is a GREATER dragon bane. See where my mind is? Have a great day.
Bows to Skip
Banishing Not only do you have to crit (ON A 20!), they get to make a 24 Will save to avoid the banish. Seriously! This almost never goes off.
Smiter Same as Banisher: You have to crit and they get a 23 Fortitude save. Constructs get VERY high Fort saves. What’s the point?
Triple Air Green Steel Sure, it’s sexy to get a 650 point lightning bolt sometimes, but overall this is really not that great of a weapon. Many veteran players will agree that the damage clickies from items are basically worthless. There goes your chain lightning. The proc rate on the lightning strike is ~1%. That’s one in one hundred. Per hit. Mineral II does the additional damage every time and over 100 hits, does more than ten times the damage that a Trip Air weapon would. There are also times where you only want to get a bad guy prepped but not dead. What if your lightning strike goes off at that moment? You’ll not make friends very quickly this way! Stay away from the once-in-a-while bows.
Playing the Character
The toxophilite was begun before Arcane Archers got all their spiffy imbues, so I had to think utility instead of DPS at the time. Now AAs do a serious amount of damage! I still wanted to retain the utility nature I set up while creating a build that would graduate to the DPS maven in time.
In the early levels, one of your primary bows will be a paralyzer. The lowest minimum level I’ve seen is 8, so get your hands on one ASAP. Your DPS bow will be a Silver Longbow. This is debatedly one of the most powerful bows in the game… I used it on my toxophilite until I got my Mineral II Green Steel Bow made. Your other bane bows will help you take creatures of a specific type down fairly quickly, so have the right tool for the job. When my tox was still young, she had more than 20 bows in her inventory, no joke.
When you’re choosing an imbue, the primary 3 I would use are Force (Burst), Acid and Slayer, in that order.
- Very, very little is immune to force. It’s a great, all-around imbue that can carries the Ghost Touch property with it. Grab any Disruption bow, imbue force or force burst and say goodbye to the zombies that are messing your garden up.
- Acid is probably my personal favorite imbue because it’s a Melf’s Acid Arrow spell on each arrow. This lets me attack something down to a sliver of life and switch to the next. The first target is still taking damage every tick from the arrow while you’ve got the next one down to half. It’ll die before it gets to you because you have a great Spot skill and a lot of distance between you two.
- The slayer is primarily used in raids against bosses and meaty trash… beware NOT to use the slayer against enemies in Shroud Phase 2! Usually 1 in 15 arrows I fire in raid is a slayer.
Keep in mind this one simple rule: Aggro is a harsh mistress. Let’s review the aggro definition…
Aggro – Abbreviation for aggression. If you are holding a creature’s aggro, it is singularly focused on you and will do whatever it can to kill you. Ways to gain a creature’s aggo in order from weakest to strongest:
- Be the first player it sees
- Be the first player to deal damage to it
- Do more damage to it than the current player that has damage aggro
- Use your intimidate skill to intimidate it
We’re focusing on the second bullet point. First player to do damage. If you sink an arrow in to something when the melee is on the way to beat it in the head, you just established aggro and it’ll pass the melee and come straight for you. Master Yoda taught us to learn patience. If you can’t kill something by the time it hits you, let someone else establish aggro. Once they have aggro, let your arrows fly.
When attacking bad guys, you’ll find yourself firing arrows in to them and backpedaling a lot. This is normal. Even at level 20 you’ll be doing this. It’s just the way you stay ahead of them while keeping their health down. At level 11, you get Improved Precise Shot as a granted feat. Drag it to your action bar and click to turn it on. This is one of the neatest AA feats. With it on, target the farthest enemy in a straight line. Everything between you and said enemy gets an arrow sent right through it with full combat damage issued. Sexy, eh?
The low AC really doesn’t matter to me because I so rarely get hit, unless I go melee for some reason (which is EXTREMELY rare), something teleports near me or I’m clearing raid trash. For those times when you do get hit by something, you have very, very good reflex saves, so you can kite the elemental in Shroud Phase 5 and will have FoM or FR to keep yourself outta trouble… for the times where reflexes just won’t cut it, you’ve got nearly 500HP. 500! There are fighters with less than that! Don’t forget that you’ve got 40% devotion, can cast Cure Serious Wounds, a plentiful mana pool and the ability to use curative wands on yourself.
Every engagement, always FoM, Bark and Jump your healer(s). Don’t even ask them, just do it. If you’re doing something that you know requires a long jump, such as the run to VoD, just hit everyone with jump (save for the arcanes and other rangers) so there’ll be no delays. You don’t need to ask or take credit for or tell them it was you that just saved their butts, your reward is in the efficiency of the overall party and ultimately, the win.
Your strength is in your range and high utility/DPS.
2010 November 7 From the author:
I will add the following above eventually, but please note the following additions:
- TRing from a ranger will give you +2 missile damage PER past life up to 3 past lives for a total of +6 damage per missile.
- Get yourself a +5 tower shield. When you have aggro and ppl are chasing you to peel it off you, use your towershield weapon set and turtle up. You’ll soak a good amount of damage. When your DPS peels the enemy off you, switch back to your bow and back up, let ‘em have it.
- A devotion item is handy… when you have the immediate area clear and need to heal up, switching to a devotion item will make your curative spells more efficient.
- I don’t remember if it’s listed above, so just in case, carrying a Heal skill plus item and switching to it before you shrine will give you more HP when you rest. Be sure to switch back when you’re done resting.
- Since Toughness isn’t taken until level 9, you’ll have to take a couple enhancement points in Jump or some energy resist and you’ll respec once you get Toughness to take the appropriate enhancements.
- Don’t forget that the Toughness feats and enhancements are optional… you can swap anything you want in their places.
- Update 8 is doing away with the Drow’s purchased SR upgrades. Spend APs accordingly.