There has been a lot of talk recently concerning the ‘Melee Improvements’ and changes to the EDs that were designed with melee builds in mind, and there have been concerns about what will happen to ranged builds that use these EDs. Here are the reasons why the top tier bow-builds use FotW and LD for their EDs, as seen in the Khyber endgame.
A bow-build is a type of ranged physical DPS build which uses a bow almost all of the time, has manyshot, and has improved precise shot. There are other ranged builds which use either thrown weapons or repeater crossbows, and there are builds that use a bow for manyshot, and even some builds that use a bow for manyshot and a thrown weapon or a repeater crossbow while manyshot is on timer; there are also builds that use a bow but are not designed for physical DPS but either casting or survivability; while these may be ranged builds they are not the type of build I am talking about in this post.
I am qualified to talk about this because I am Poppytop, who has been playing a monkcher since about a third of the way through U19. I run endgame raids almost nightly, took part in both of the initial completions of u21 EE raids on my server(organized one of them), and regularly inquire as to why people make the choices with builds that they do. I also design and polish a lot of endgame-focused builds for people in my guild, Annihilation, which is one of the higher level guilds on the server ( 135 currently).
Fury of the Wild (FotW) is the most common choice that I see for endgame bow builds on Khyber. It is what I usually run in. What makes this ED so attractive?
HP: You get 100 HP for being in this ED. I am personally able to get over 1k HP while starting with a 10 con in this ED, which is quite nice and, honestly, kinda more HP than I actually need.
Strength: Physical DPS builds work on strength currently, because of Overwhelming Critical(and a few other reasons). Strength points as the stat point option and not needing to twist primal scream or rely on someone else buffing me with it is very nice.
Wisdom: When ranged you can get 2 points of wisdom for 3 points spent in tree. This is very good for a toon which uses 10k stars, as most bow builds do.
Sense Weakness: Extra damage vs helpless mobs is a very nice thing, esp for bow builds that twist Pin.
Adrenaline [Overload]: This is the big reason to be in Fury. It allows an attack to do 400% additional damage, and with a standard profile bow, a 90% crit chance. The attack may be Slayer Shot from arcane archer, which does 250 points extra base damage, which is multiplied by both the adrenaline and the critical multiplier of the weapon. If this is done during a manyshot, you get 4 arrows that do this amount of damage. This attack can then pass through as many mobs as you can line up for an improved precise shot, and the massive amount of damage will commonly straight up kill anything that it touches. This can, however, only be done once every 120 seconds and you can always run out of adrenalines which makes it somewhat inefficient to be used to clear trash, but it does that very very well and is one of the best sources of vs orange/red/purple name DPS in the game currently. A simple adrenaline-slayer can be fired every 20 seconds, adrenaline charges permiting.
Fury Eternal: This allows for adrenalines to be recharged. It is not documented as working with ranged attacks, but it works with crossbow, thrown, and bow style ranged attacks currently. If this functionality were to be removed the fitness for FotW for many bow builds would be questionable, and it would negatively impact all of them which use this ED.
Legendary Dreadnaught (LD) is the second most common ED to see a bow build in. It is my favorite ED to run in, and whenever I am in a quest, party, and role that allows me to make use of the Master’s Blitz I will run in this ED, even if I need karma in a different sphere(which is always because, well, karma comes back so quickly in this sphere for some reason). What makes this ED attractive?
Unstoppable: A way to get out of CC is always nice, and this has a shorter and separate cooldown than the harper’s pin.
HP: 60 HP is really really nice, if not quite as nice as 100 HP.
Action Boosts: Rolling them all into one here, they up your damage, give you more interesting things to click on, and some even prevent damage. And this ED improves any action boosts that you already have also, it is very nice.
Advancing Blows, Critical Damage, Strength stat selector: All of these improve expected damage per arrow, which is one of the major concerns in a bow build.
Devastating Critical: Improves the crit profile of your bow.
Pulverizer: This works with bows which either have blunted ammunition or when you have the morphic arrows toggle turned on. Expanding the crit range on the bow is a very nice thing for improving the damage per arrow.
Master’s Blitz: This works with ranged attacks. 250% extra damage allows a bow user, like a melee, to do a LOT more damage, believe it or not. It also allows for the player to have a massive impact on the party’s ability and clear time of a quest.
One simular thing that is seen with these EDs that is not seen in several other EDs for bow builds is that they scale the physical damage abilities that a player used throughout heroics into epics. They provide synergy with the style of play that attracts people to bow builds over other styles of ranged builds. I plan to put further posts in this thread (using posts to separate thoughts) as to why I do not think that particular other EDs are well suited for bow builds.
Happy questing everyone!