This is a repost. The original thread was closed because of a few people not knowing where or how to take a disagreement, which was a huge disservice to the community because this thread will continue to drop out of existence. This is not only one of the best ways to build a pure ranger of any race, but it's very well explained, and also an incredibly interesting interpretation on how to use certain gear to make a toon that is self-reliant, and near indestructable.
I hope the devs do not mind me reposting the good part. And if they don't, I hope no one comes in here and screws it up. For any of you that play on Khyber, I have an incredibly similar build named Deflection. It's awesome. Anyone who has been around awhile knows I used to post a few builds in the ranger forum that got a fair amount of attention, and some praise, so I feel like I know my way around the ranger class.
Without further ado...
[Orignally posted by Seregon]
Torthur Hareft, str-based, dwarven, pure ranger built for Mod 8 (32pt build see page 3 for a 28pt stat distribution)
I am writing this guide from the point of the view of a dwarven, tempest, strength based pure class ranger. The character will stay pure only ever taking ranger levels. This guide will consist of the build I actively play with, along with a discussion of item choices, a slight racial discussion, and some thoughts to help new rangers become more acquainted with the game. The main difference between this build and a lot of others you see on the forums is that this is a completely play tested build, *not* just an idea for a build, but a build I’ve been carefully sculpting and playing for years, I have and use, every item, feat, skill, and enhancement I talk about . With this build you will be able to solo almost every single quest in game on normal and a variety of raid content. It is not a main tank but an extremely tough ranger that can tank, dish out extreme damage, take little damage and completely self heal.
First lets talk about race. I chose dwarf for a few reasons, the most appealing part, in my opinion, is getting the dwarven war axe feat for free. I wanted my ranger to use dwarven war axes because they are arguably the top dps weapon in game, and pure rangers are low on feats so getting it for free is huge. Dwarves get huge bonuses to saves, +5 total, (+2 from 1 feat called spell saves bonus) and (+3 from enhancements called dwarven spell defense). Also, not so important anymore because all races have some form of racial toughness, but dwarves can go all the way getting a +40 total to hit points from enhancements called dwarven racial toughness. Another solid reason is dwarves get +4 balance from a racial feat, which I viewed as helpful because it stacks, and besides umd, balance is one of the best skills in game, if your on your back you cant do anything. They get giant evasion (racial feat) which gives a +4 bonus to ac against all giants. Being a dwarf will also give +2 to-hit with axes if you get both ranks of dwarven axe attack. You can also get dwarven axe damage, I only went 1 rank into it. You can also get +2 to constitution from 2 ranks of dwarven constitution, and if you want to get the fourth rank of dwarven racial toughness, you need both ranks of dwarven constitution. I took both ranks to open up the last dwarven toughness. That about sums up the benefit of being a dwarf. If I was going to choose any other race for a str-based tempest, pure ranger I would have definetly gone warforged because of the added immunities, such as being immune to exhaustion which quite a few bosses spam. Another reason though besides all the ones listed above I wanted to be a dwarf is because I ended up buffing my cure serious wounds to be able to CSW for between 120(avg non-crit)-325(highest crit)
Now lets talk starting stats, I started with 15str 14dex 16con 14int 12wis 8cha., A lot of people would have you believe that you need to start with an 18 strength, which is totally and completely false. I started with a 15 str, and have a self buffed to-hit of 35, and with raid buffs get +50 to hit. By starting with 15 str, instead of 18, you get 8 stat points to put else where(basically we're talking about +3 to-hit which is roughly a 3-5% increase in your to-hit, and +3 damage to your mainhand (with min II's your doing roughly 50-200 damage total per swing so again the increase is negligable) once you get all the listed items, versus being able to allocate 25% of your total starting points if your a 32 pt build else where, which is important because this build requires good base attributes. I’ve always felt like a well rounded character was better than a min max build. The reason I started with 14 dex is that is an easy number, with a +5/6 dex item, and +2 or 3 tome to get to a +5-+7 bonus which is what it takes to max out your dex requirement with a breastplate of plate of destruction or dragontouched leather armour, which would be one of the 2 top choices for armour, for a dwarven, strength based tempest, pure ranger. I went with 16 con because that was the highest I could go without spending 3 points to get higher, and I felt that it was enough con, as this character ends up with between 387-421 hit points depending on the route you go (I will outline them later on in the gear section). I went with 14int because the ranger receives a lot of class skills, so I wanted to take advantage of that and needed more skill points, its also nice because with a +2 tome and +6 item you can hit 22 int which is the required int for a few runes, and things such as the wall inscriptions in chamber of raiyum. I started with 12wis because with a +2 tome I would be able to cast every ranger spell in game without using an item. Lastly I started with 8cha, This may seem low but I can get my umd up to 34 which I will outline how to do in the skills section. Lastly I put all attribute points at 4, 18, 12 and 16 into strength, hey this is a strength based build isn't it? The real reason I put the additional points acquired for leveling up into strength was because this build starts with well rounded stats so strength is really the only attribute that needs to be increased, everything else is high enough for what its used for.
Alignment, I chose chaotic good because I wanted to use good/holy weapons and chaotic/anarchic, as well as dual chaosblades. Because this build is staying pure alignment is not a really big issue because it can get to 34 umd so it can umd every item in game. Where alignment would become an issue would be if you wanted to splash a level of monk or paladin, that requires being lawful.
Skills, This build gets 7 skill points a level. Here are the skills I chose balance, UMD, move silently, hide, heal, jump, listen, search and spot and some discussion on possible other choices. It will be in the format of rank(selfbuff). Balance9(31) and UMD9.5(34), straight up are the 2 best skills in game, hands down, every character should have them. If your on your back you cant do anything, and with a high UMD (this build gets his UMD up to +34) you can scroll greater heroism, raise dead and heal/reconstruct, the 4 best scrolls in game, and a variety of others such as teleport and greater teleport easily. I put points into move silvently18 (41) and hide18(47), and I use dustless boots when sneaking, which is enough to sneak past most things, such as you can check to see what mobs are up in part 2 of the shroud, or its enough to sneak by everything in the castle to pull the lever to open vod. Heal19 (43) heal as a skill, I personally like it, and find I get around 250hp everytime I shrine, not critical but again its helpful as you will use less scroll/wands/pots/mana. Jump19(82) I find having a higher jump than what the spell provides to have some use but limited, if I could redo skill simply because of once you get past oh say 45 or so, each point into jump doesn’t really give a noticeable difference, and since this build carry’s the jump spell, if I was going to redo my skills I might not have put 19 points into it, but again it does still have its uses. Listen 19(27) I don’t find a lot of extra things that you hear in game because of listen, but it does help you see the outline of an on-coming stealthed mob so I do find it useful, but its usefulness is limited. Search18(42) is a total waste of points because once this build hits around 14 it starts running vod and gets a tharnes goggles, or a sandstorm goggles from demon queen, so since it has perma true-seeing from an item, (which reveals all hidden doors to a character, and allows you to hit through blur/displacement without rolling), and because this build being a pure ranger has no rogue skills, search is 100% useless to it. If I could redo my skills, I would take every point from search and put them into concentration which is a great skill for self healing in battle and rezzing. Spot 19(42) I really like spot because it shows you the outline of oncoming enemies and would definitely take the skill again. Another important note, I find it essential for UMD to get up to and including ranger skill boost 4 which gives +5 to all skills for 20 seconds. Heres how I got this characters UMD up to a 34, +3 from charisma bonus, +9 ranks, +5 from seven fingered gloves, +6 from a tier 3 air air air sp/cha skills item, +2 from head of good fortune, +4 from greater heroism and +5 from ranger skill boost. Lastly when mod 9 comes out, I will still put 1 point per level into balance and 1 point per leve(their actually ½ points)l into umd and the other 5 points into concentration, for all 4 new levels because concentration is just that important for self healing.
Enhancements, heres what I currently run with, which would be considered waiting for tempest III. Ranger skill boost IV, Dwarven Axe attack II, Dwarven Axe damage I, Dwarven consistution II, Dwarven spell defense III, Racial Toughness IV, Ranger Favored Damage I, Ranger Favored defense I, Ranger favored resistance I, Ranger tempest I, Ranger Devotion IV and Ranger Dexterity II. This build is planning and ready to take both tempest II and III.
Feats: I currently use Dodge, mobility and springattack (all 3 are tempest I prereqs) I.C. pierce, combat expertise and maximize. I dropped IC slash because mineral II weapons have extended crit range anyways that doesn’t stack with IC:slash, and because for everything im not Dps’ing with mineral II’s im woping down, IC;pierce was chosen. I dropped power attack for maximize, because I was never using power attack, I was always using combat expertise to buff my AC anyways, because this build hits hard anyways between 25-40 avg, with the high end being in the 50’s raid buffed, and because being able to heal yourself for between( 120-325w/maximize) vs (60-120 w/o maximize) is much better for soloing/self healing than 5 extra damage per swing. I know its considered sacrilege to not carry power attack but I didn’t have room for it feat wise and those are all solid reasons not to carry it. Also Toughness was obviously on there for awhile as well, mostly for the enhancements, but I recently dropped it , however toughness as a feat is still very solid any way you look at it.
Favored Enemies: (listed in the order I chose them) giant, undead, evil outsider, aberration. I would consider those choices pretty much standard if your maximizing you FE by picking the enemies you’ll run into the most. For my last FE, (or if I was going to change any of the above choices) I will probably take either elementals or oozes(for living spells), unless some other enemy becomes especially difficult or common.
Stats: here are the stats this build winds up with totally geared out and what they look like self buffed running into combat
Str28 dex23 con22 int16 wis14 cha10. HP 387 SP522 AC 50 (no shield clicky/wand used) to-hit+35 Fort +26 Reflex +26 Will +18 BAB 16 SR 22 Fort 100% Damage reduction 5 /-,( poison immune, disease immune, immune to fear, immune to critical hits) Again this is all self buffed with very limited buffs, barkskin, rams might, greater heroism. Again that’s the great part about this build it is not buff/clicky dependent like some other builds. This build was built to be able to take a dispel and still be able to fight effectively.
Here are the items I wear:
Helmet- Minos legens. Necklace: either GS tier 3 air air air sp/cha skills(cleansed) or Torc of Prince Raiyum-de II. Trinket Bloodrage symbiot. Cloak GS tier 3 fire air fire/air +45hp/+6dex skills 20% blur(cleansed). Belt: Lion-headed Belt Buckle. RRing chattering ring. Gloves Spectral Gloves. Boots: Boots of the Innocent. LRing Ring of thelis. Bracers: GS tier 3 neg pos pos/neg (blindess immunity, disease immunity, lesser good guard, greater regen, Concordant opposition, or Leviks bracers, or bracers of the glacier. Armour: Dragontouched Leather Greater false life, protection +5 and destruction, +1 dodge AC. Goggles: Tharnes goggles +1 resistance. Main weapons GS tier 3 mineral II dwarven war axe acid, goodburst, acidblast, and GS tier 3 mineral II handaxe holy, acidburst, +4 insight AC (both have transmuting, slicing1d4, and are keen) and I put 1 point of force damage per hit on both. Main wop combo +1 wounding adamantine rapier of puncturing and +3 wounding shortsword of puncturing. Vorp combo: +2 vorpal dwarven war axe of pure good, and +2 vorpal handaxe of shattermantle.
Now lets discuss why I chose this setup, and why this setup is universally better than any other gear setup slot-wise for a strength based, dwarven, tempest, pure ranger;
Minos legens, I consider it a must have because it adds 22hit points, which stacks with everything, as well as giving heavy fortification which again is a must have for any and every melee. If your not wearing heavy fort try it for a few quests and you’ll never go back to not wearing it. Mobs never critting on you saves a large amount of hit points and with this build, you can survive a failed hold person save take a beating until you save and not die. Drops in necropolis from turning in 20 tapestrys.
Necklace, unfortunately a ‘universal gear setup’ is almost non existent and some item switching situationally occurs mainly because for that slot there are multiple very good choices, the necklace slot is one of them, so in this build I use it as a switch slot. I always begin the quest with +6cha skills/sp item because I always start the quest with as much mana as possible for buffs then healing. Then when I run low on mana I switch up the GS tier3 cha skills/sp for the Torc,drops from Demon Queen, because the torc gives mana back when you get hit occasionally and paired with my conc opp bracers I can regen my mana back in a few fights. The other solid neck choice, which is another must have for anyone, is the silver flame necklace from cursed crypt that has 10 charges of absorb beholder spells as well as deathblock. This necklace is essential for soloing beholders that not every one in party looses buffs. This build can easily solo the beholders in the subterane because it has extremely high bases for everything, perma blur, perma true seeing, ethereal, transmuting, and most importantly perma dr 5/-, so dispel hardly effects this build which is huge because dispel is only becoming more common.
Trinket, Blood rage symbiot is one of the easiest to get items (it drops from a box in von 4, you'll know because either a fake bloodstone(gem) drops everytime or the trinket) and one of the best items in game. It gives dr 5/- , poison immunity, and disease immunity (only item in game that gives both poison and disease immunity) it has 3 charges of 1min30sec rage, the only negatives are that it gives -2 con (which at lvl 16 is- 18 hps, -1 fort save) and will save -2. It does have negatives, but honestly by the time a mob hits you 4 times it has saved you 20 hit points and has not only already paid for itself, but your actually saving hit points. It makes such a huge difference try one for any boss fight and you’ll never go back to not having perma dr 5/ -. Its better than stoneskin because high end raid mobs take your stoneskins out too quickly for them to be effective without having to spam them. However, the good thing about this build is that if you build 2 mineral II axes you’ll have 4 charges of 150pt stoneskin, so you can use both. The only other negative thing is, when its looted it only has 1 durability and 1 hardness so you have to put up to and including adamantine 2 ritual on it, but once adamantine ritual 2 is on it, it will never ever break in a quest or even through multiple quests.
Cloak, the tier 3 smoke cloak is essential to this build because it gives 45 additional hit points, +6 to dex skills (which stacks with say a sneak/hide item) and gives perma 20% blur. This cloak(perma blur), and the (perma) dr 5/- are the two items that really allow this build to excel especially when dispelled, having perma 20% blur, and perma dr 5/- will save you an incredible amount of hit points, and will allow you to tank mobs that you other wise could not.
Belt, lion-headed belt buckle is one of the best belts in game, because it combines your strength and con item, giving +4 to both, makes you immune to fear (which is huge because a lot of stuff spams fear) and procs roar when mobs hit you, and will frequently cast it on every single trash mob hitting you, it gives -2 to-hit, -2 to saves, -2 ac, basically gives -2 to everything and works on almost all trash mobs. Its not huge but makes them just a little easier to kill. The immunity to fear and both str and con +4 and clearly the best part about this item however. Drops from Demon Queen.
RRing, for my main right ring I use a chattering ring because +3 AC is just plain nice when trying to bump your ac. Drops from the Titan.
Gloves, for my gloves I use spectral gloves, which for this build are the best gloves in game, they give +5 dex, +2 to-hit and make all your attacks ethereal(which makes undead even more of a joke to kill) I like it better than the tumbleweed(gives +6 dex +2 to-hit and +15 tumble) because I find tumble useless(some people like it for the +4, but I seem to get stuck in groups of mobs when tumbles but can easily jump over them, I'd also rather have a high jump and jump around holding down the attack button hitting everything) tumble weed will also not make your attacks ethereal, and ethereal is extremely useful especially against undead beholders where every swing needs to hit. Drops from an offering of blood, out of 2 chests, each spawns in 1 out of a possible 3 rooms, directly past the 2nd red named aspect, the one with the wall of fire that blocks further progress.
Boots, For this build boots of the Innocent are hands down the best boot choice because all other slots on this build are taken, they give +5 to resist all and 15% increased run speed. +5 to all saves is extremely important and plays a critical role in allowing this build to solo. One fine example of needing resists is doing the kill team on hound, you need to be able to make all your will saves or die, and this item will allow you to much more easily do it. Also because this build has evasion (class granted at lvl 9) having a high reflex is even more important because a save means no damage taken. Being able to make all your reflex saves with evasion will make things like living spells, and the kobold end fight completely trivial. Drop from the Temple of Vol end chest.
Lring, I use a ring of Thelis only for SR 22, its about a 16% improvement on the next best SR item in game which is an SR 19 item. I find my SR item to also be critical in being able to solo, I see that little blue cone pop up 20+ times a quest, it really makes casters a lot less of a problem. It also goes with the theme of this build, having the best spells perma on you through items, you'll still have a high SR upon dispell because of this item making the cleric spell on you not as important(cleric spell will give higher SR, but again, is dispellable so you can't rely on it). Drops from the Hound of Xoriat.
Bracers, I used my bracer slot for another swap slot because there a few really good choices, my main bracer is a GS tier 3 neg-pos-pos/neg which has blindness immunity, disease immunity, lesser good guard(attackers take 1d4 of good per hit), greater regen(1 hp per 15 seconds) and they have concordant opposition on them, which some times gives mana and even a smaller amount of time gives hit points when a mob hits you. (Its chance to proc is independent of the torc and using both will net much more mana than using either independently). Or if I’m fighting fire mobs, such as living spells, fire elementals, and for the fire spells that bosses cast, I use the bracers of the glacier because they have a 10% chance on hit to give you fire shield: cold which reduces incoming fire attacks by 50% and puts a damage shield around you for 45 seconds, and because it’s a 10% chance to proc, and your because your being hit a lot, a melee can almost get a perma fireshield:cold if hes taking hits. This item on a melee with evasion will completely trivialize the kobold end fight, or allow you to easily solo the fire elemental in part 2 of the shroud. One other item I frequently use for healing after the fight is over are the leviks bracers because they give +20% healing amplication, which isn’t huge but its enough to bump my low end CSW from 120 to around 144 minimum. Lastly I find the above 3 bracers far better than the chaosguards, and I don’t find loosing loosing 2ac for above benefits a big deal so I never really wear them, but for maximizing AC they are obviously a solid choice as well. Bracers of the Glacier drop from a Vision of Destruction. Levikks bracers drop a Hound of Xoriat.
For my armour I chose dragontouched leather armour, and put the following attributes on it, greater false life, protection +5 and destruction. My friend asked why I didn’t put +4 insight ac on my armour, and I responded because I put it on offhand mineral II weapon, which is what I would be using for dps, and I like the extra +4 to hit that destruction gives, and when im wop’ing even tho im loosing 4ac, I like I’d rather have the +4 to-hit because the mobs drop fast anyways, and being spec’d for dps with axes, this characters to-hit is lower with rapiers and shortswords. That brings up another good point, I fight with a heavy main hand weapon, and a light offhand weapon because I find +2 to-hit to be a better choice than either taking the penalty for fighting without OTWF or taking the OTWF feat because there are some much better feat choices and the pure ranger is really lacking on feats. The armour comes from killing sorjek, then in the reavers refruge area, by turning in 50 draconic runes. The effects on the armour come from binding runes to it in the altars in reavers refruge. The runes drop from the 3 main quests in the area and from the sorjek quest.
Goggles, for my goggles I wear tharnes goggles because having perma true-seeing is another extremely crucial part of being an effective soloer/raider. I also found goggles a good spot to put the +1 resist all buff from the eldritch shrine in the market place. Drop from a Vision of Destruction
For my main dps weapon I use a GS tier 3 mineral II dwarven axe, built 1d6acid, goodburst(1d6 good per hit, 4d6 good per crit), and acidblast(2d10 for any crit, and 4d6 on natural 20), transmuting, slicing(1d4 targets vulnerable to bleed), and keen. And for my oiffhand main dps weapon I use a GS tier 3 minereal II handaxe built holy, acidburst and +4insight AC (also has transmuting, slicing, keen) I feel that GS tier 3 mineral II are the bread and butter weapon for any melee because they are transmuting, and do huge damage(they have damage bonuses where each weapon is made a roll higher, i.e a dwarf axe does 2d8 base damage, and the handaxe does 1d8 base) they allow you hit through any mobs dr that can be bypassed making them useful in almost every situation because of how high their damage output is, you total damage will be from roughly 50-200. I also put +1 force damage per hit enchant through the eldritch shrine in the marketplace on both axes, and in my experience FD will hit almost everything in game. It doesn't really add up for quick trash mobs but for long boss fights the roughly 6 extra damage per round that it gives, does add up, especially if everyone is using it. I would not put this enchant on any other weapon besides mineral II's because min II's are the only thing this build ever really uses for dps. The force critical enchant 1d4 per critical hit is only worth it if your main dps weapons, (minerall II's) are rapiers.
For non-purple/red named my wop set consists of a +1 wounding adamantine rapier of puncturing and a +3 wounding shortsword of puncturing. My general opinion on wop is that it is the quickest way to kill trash mobs as long as you have IC pierce (which this build does), but if you’re a strength build, on normal you can almost dps most mobs down in the same time as you can wop them, but as soon as your on hard or elite it is much quicker to wop mobs down. Lastly my vorpal combo is +2 vorpal dwarven war axe of pure good and +2 vorpal handaxe of shattermantle, however once I got a wop combo and ICierce I never vorp anything down anymore, its just quicker in the long run to be woping mobs down.
Also max mana for this build, basically what you walk into the quest with is 645, which requires wearing the gs sp/cha skills neck, a +6wis item, and bracers of the glacier. I find starting off the quest with max mana, essentially more mana than generally will be needed, is nice because you can throw an entire raid barkskin, change items back into combat gear and you've got near full mana max with combat gear on at, 522 sp.
I usually run around in a quest buffed with about 50 ac with barkskin and combat expertise(CE is totally worth it now because they dropped the cooldown time from 30 seconds, down to 6 seconds, so it is completely and easily usable as a main stance for this build),The breakdown for the ac is 10base+ 6 dex bonus+8armour bonus+5 natural armour bonus+5 deflection bonus+4 dodge bonus+4misc bonus+8feat bonus for a total of 50. Max raid buffed is like 65, which would include using a 10 minute shield wand(this build can easily umd 10 min shield wands with a +34 to umd) for +4, +4 from bard song, +1 haste, a +pally aura, and cleric buffs. In my experience I have found for most things 55ac to be the softcap. What I mean with softcap is that, with anything below this you will get hit frequently, and that every point above this makes the mob have to roll 1 pt higher to hit you. I've found the hardcap to be around 75, which is where almost every mob will only hit on a 20.
Here is an AC breakdown provided by QuantumFX
I thought I’d pass along a theoretical TWF AC breakdown for your build. This is all Mod 8 stuff. I went with Dragontouched leather only because you could get some item consolidation. If the Mod 9 combo items are awesome rings you may want to forgo the Chattering Ring in favor of a DT rune. The Kundarak Delving Suit could bring you up by 2 more but then you're stuck with the chattering ring. You have the UMD for the chaosguarde which could be another +2. However, I don't think you would want to give up the leviks braciers.
Mod 9: Add +2 for Tempest III, Subtract 4 for the lack of a Shield spell, +1 more from Max DEX (With +4 DEX Tome). (Net loss 1 AC)
And, as always, you can gain +4 AC by whipping out ye olde +5 Heavy Shield, +2 more/DR for Shield blocking, and +4 vs. Giants.
DEX: (26) 14 +2 Tome, +3 Ranger, +1 Exceptional (DT/Litany/Greensteel), +6 Item
10 - Base
08 - Armor (Dragontouched Leather)
08 - Max DEX (7 + Dwarven Armor Mastery I)
01 - Dodge Feat
02 - Tempest
05 - Combat Expertise
05 - Deflection (More than likely a Min II item)
04 - Insight (Weapon/DT Rune)
03 - Dodge Bonus (Chattering Ring/DT Rune)
01 - Ritual
47 - Standing around
05 - Barkskin
04 - Shield Clickie
03 - FE
59 - Incidentals
01 - Haste
02 - Recitation
05 - Aura
04 - Bard Song
71 - With a little help from your friends
Ranger DEX III
Dwarven Armor Mastery I
FE: AC III
Shields: There is basically 1 shield you want to get, Lorikks Champion, for a few reasons. Most importantly, it is the only clicky in game that will remove feeblemind to my knowledge, (drinking a mneumonic will also remove feeblemind), it has 2 charges of panacea on it and can be used on yourself, that way you can continue to heal yourself. Secondly, it has the same DR as the tower shield from hound (leviks defender), but is a large shield, so this build will have proficiency. Actively shield blocking(with stoneskin and/or bloodrage symbiot) will give roughly 35 damage resistance, which is huge, most mobs in game basically will no longer damage you. Now I don't suggest shield blocking often but it does have its time and place. (when you get chains cast on you in vod and are being beaten by the boss, holding a mob at 5% away from the party waiting for other mobs to be dropped first in part 2 of the shroud, are a few notable examples). Drops from a hound of xoriat.
My reasons for staying pure; I did not want to multi-class for a few reasons(and I assure you, liking or disliking the MC system did not play a part in my decisions what so ever. My decisions were entirely based on creating the most powerful character that I could), first are foremost, I did not want to miss any up and coming ranger feats/enhancements that required high levels of ranger. Here are the reasons, starting with the level cap of 10 of why I wanted to stay pure(which can help you if you don't want to stay pure because you see what you can, and can not live without).
When the Cap was 10 I stayed pure ranger because I wanted evasion(9), the third Favored enemy(10), and the +2 stacking to all FE that came with it and I wanted to be able to memorize 2 level 2 spells. I also did not want to miss anything up and coming to the ranger class post level 10.
When the Cap was increased to 12, I continued to stay pure because I wanted greater twf (11), precise shot, and improved precise shot(11). I wanted to get my third level spells at lvl 11 and I wanted to be able to memorize 2 level 3 spells which required level 12. I also did want to miss anything up and coming to the ranger class post level 12.
When the Cap was increased to 14, I again stayed pure because I wanted my level 4 spells,(mainly CSW and FoM) and I knew another FE was coming at lvl 15, which I also wanted because each time you gain a favored enemy you also gain a stacking +2 damage to all favored enemies. I also did not want to miss anything up and coming to the ranger class.
When the Cap was increased to level 16, of course I again stayed pure. I did this to get my 4th FE(15), which also gives another stacking +2 damage against all FE, and so I could memorize 2, fourth level spells(15).
Level 16, and the gear that came with it, represented a paradigm shift in DDO for me, It was the first time my pure class build was finally as powerful, if not more powerful than almost every multiclassed melee build(in terms of dps, skills umd included, hp, AC, and saves). This was so incredibly important for me as a player, because I finally felt that the need to MC was no longer there. Now that I longer needed multi-classed levels(I will go into why this build doesn't need a few of the most popular splash choices in the paragraph below), the fact that rangers have been gaining steady increases in power since level 10, tempest III, and the capstone, for this build, the choice that would create the most powerful character in the long run, was clearly staying pure. That is the best part about this build, you will never need to reroll because your going to miss anything that the ranger class has to offer.
Self healing, this is so important, it got its own paragraph. Okay done correctly, each cure serious wounds spells (CSW) can do from 120 (avg non-crit) to 325 (highest crit). There are a couple of items, enhancements, and a feat that are pivotal to having a complete self healing setup however. First you need gauntlets of eternity from reaver, which gives your healing spells a chance to crit, which you do not have otherwise, a greater devotion of concentration item, the enhancement line ranger devotion up to and including IV, and the feat maximize. Having all of those will allow you to CSW for 120-325, but each CSW will cost 50 spellpoints, which is why it is also extremely important to get *both* a Torc of prince raiyum-de II and a concordant opposition item, either one alone will give you some mana back, but when you wear both you will be much more able to refill your spell points within a few fights. Because I can and do, employ those techniques I only ever use my CSW spell to heal or maybe 1 or 2 csw pots to top off, (but usually not because my conc oppp bracers have greater regen which gives 1 hp per 15 seconds so I usually use that to top off). I never use wands and rarely use heal scrolls simply because I don’t need to, my CSW spell is easily enough healing, and I never really run out of mana. Also with this build, it will usually take more 1 than encounter with mobs to make casting a CSW worth it, ie mobs won’t hit that often and you’ll save often (because of high saves+ evasion) so it usually takes a 2-3 encounters before you’ve lost 125hit points or more. Lastly switching in Leviks bracers for the 20% healing amp when healing after a fight is always useful, and sometimes worth it if theres a cleric or bard chaining cure mass light/mod on the melees during boss fights such as shroud part 4/5, or in vod.
Spells, here are the spells that I carry, L1 rams might, jump, resist energy, L2 spike growth protect energy and barkskin, L3 wild instincts neutralize poison, L4 freedom of movement and Cure serious wounds.
In conclusion, this build is a pure ranger, of the dwarven race, tempest, who is spec’d to do a large amount of damage, take little damage in return, and be able to completely self heal, and thus solo. This build creates an extremely reliable character, who when wipes occur, is usually the last one standing throwing rezzes out, it takes a lot to take this character down. Kill team in the hound solo? np! That fire elemental in part 2 of the shroud bothering your group? Np pull him away and solo him. Tired of waiting in the subterane? open up vod solo for your group. Beholders… no longer a problem. I guess this build is the swiss army knife of rangers, it can do anything, and does everything extremely effectively. This build could not be any more ready to rip through mod 9.