The Archery Tree Guide
A look at all of the skills in the archery tree. Explains the fundamental ideas of the archery tree, what it offers, and an explanation of the uses of all of the skills in the tree.
The archery tree, as you would probably expect, focuses solely on the use of bows and crossbows. It excels at dealing long range single target damage, long range AoE damage, and disabling single enemies. The archery tree has a huge array of options for dealing damage at range, however it offers no utility outside of a single target stun. The archery tree allows use of bows, crossbows, quivers, and medium armor. Characters with the archery tree can subclass to become marksmen.
An attack that applies a bleed effect to the target which deals damage over two turns as well as reducing the effectiveness of healing on the target. The damage of the inital strike scales with weapon damage, however the bleed damage scales with level This means that the attack becomes less effective the better the gear of the user is compared to other skills like straight shot. Regardless this is a solid option for dealing damage to a single target, as well as supressing healing on important targets.
An attack that inflicts the target with a poison condition which deals damage over three turns. The initial damage scales with weapon damage, however the damage over time component scales with intellect. This is the only skill in the tree that scales with intellect, however the scaling is very strong because it deals damage over three turns. This skill will be discussed in more detail in both the Ranger and Nemesis sections.
An attack that sets the target aflame, reducing their evasion, increasing their speed, and dealing moderate damage at the start of their next turn. Like razor arrow, the initial hit scales with your weapon, whereas the flame damage scales with level. The speed buff normally a downside, however due to the tree’s mechanics we can use it to our advantage. This skill will be discussed further when we look at the countersnipe fighting style.
An attack that hits one target as well as the enemy standing directly infront of or behind it. A fairly simple ability that doesn’t need much explanation. Offers efficient damage at a reasonable cost.
An attack that deals light damage as well as stunning the target. This is simplest, most straight forward stun available. Use it to stun targets that you can’t allow to take a turn and can’t deal with effectively in another way, such as neophytes and acolytes. Keep in mind that the stun can be resisted by some enemies.This skill will be discussed further when we look at the coup de grace ability.
Hail of Arrows
Deals reduced damage to every enemy unit at highly reduced accuracy. The hit chance of this ability cannot surpass 75%. A solid AoE ability that is very strong when combined with damage buffs. Normally when you use this you’ll want to use the careful aim fighting style in order to hit the 75% max hit chance mark.
A very niche ability that you’ll probably rarely use. Has a net power cost if used on the next turn. Acts as a fairly underwhelming damage buff and should only be used in conjunction with hail of arrows or other AoE skills. Normally you can get more damage by just attacking an enemy rather than wasting a turn on eagle eye unless the skill you plan to use it with is going to deal very heavy damage.
Deals increased damage with +50% crit chance and removes 0.2 action from the target. Never misses and can only be used at melee range. This is the only real justification for having an archer in the front rank, however I don’t believe it’s a big enough justification for doing so. Unforetunately it just doesn’t provide enough damage, and the other benefits are too minor to justify the massive downside.
Deals heavy damage however can only target enemies in the same row as the user. AA solid way of dealing good single target damage with a fair stipulation. Whether you use this, razor arrow, or flaming arrow is generally situational and should be determined by your best judgement.
Reduces the cost of razor arrow, envenomed arrow, and flaming arrow by 10 power as long as a quiver is equipped. This skill makes these abilities dirt cheap allowing them to be spammed fairly easily. Unfortunately this skill pinholes you into using a quiver, so if you’re a scout you can’t use a bandolier without losing out on this skill.
Begin combat with a buff that gives +8 power regen. This buff is lost upon taking damage or getting stunned. Very strong until, obviously, you take a hit. Using this in conjunction with special ammunition allows you to cast ammo skills pretty much indefinitely without losing significant power.
After waiting, damage of the next attack is slightly increased. This skill has the same problem as eagle eye, however it’s even worse. If you’re looking for this kind of effect eagle eye is almost always going to be the better option. Additionally this skill has NO SCALING. The damage bonus it provides is always +20. This means that the stronger your character gets, the worse this skill becomes. This is quite tragic because the skills already pretty terrible to begin with, infact I don’t think it’s even worth the skill point. Upgrades to any of your skills are probably gonna be a lot more useful.
Attacking an enemy multiple turns in a row causes each attack after the first to have +10% crit chance and +10 accuracy. A decent skill that’s mostly useful against bosses and other durable enemies. Not a huge buff but definitely worth picking up. Note that this doesn’t work with AoE skills, the attack has to be single target to apply or benefit from the buff. Any attacks made to other targets or AoE attacks cause the buff to drop off.
Increases damage dealt by 10% and accuracy by 25%, however reduces speed by 5. A decent style that should be used mostly in specific circumstances and not as a go to style. Best used either with hail of arrows, to finish off enemies that need to be dealt just slightly more damage, or to deal with high evasion enemies. You should never us this as your default fighting style because the speed penalty is a huge liability.
Grants 100% resist mental, +8 power regen, and -10% skill energy cost. Very good for conserving energy, but often times this won’t be necessary because of other skills (special ammunition, concentration). Usually unless you’re really strapped for energy, or you need the mental resist you’ll want to be using something else. The mental resist is generally most useful against enemies enemies such as doom callers and gorgons.
Whenever an enemy uses a missile attack, gain full action. This is a very strong passive under the right circumstances. When faced with a few enemies that use missile attacks this style can sometimes go as far as tripling the number of turns you take. Using this to full effect comes with a bit of practice but it’s definitely worth learning to use effectively. To evaluate this I’ll be looking at a few situations and how you can use countersnipe effectively in them.
The first situation I’ll look at is one enemy archer. You will usually want to use something other than countersnipe as a default stance if your character has decent speed. When dealing with one archer, if you’re slower than the archer keep countersnipe up at all times unless the difference is very negligible. If you’re faster than the archer use a style other than countersnipe on turns where you’ll act normally before the enemy acts, and then switch to countersnipe for turns where the enemy will act first. If the enemy is something like an acolyte and often uses non missile atack skills, try to gauge whether or not they’ll use a missile attack. If you’re not sure it’s usually best to bank on them doing so and use countersnipe anyway. Even just a chance at a free turn is usually much better than what other styles offer.
The second situation assumes two enemies with different speeds. In this case you need to judge whether you have enough speed to go again before either one of the enemies have the chance to attack. Use countersnipe only when one of them is gonna go before you. In this case you’ll almost always want to be using countersnipe.
The final case, and probably the trickiest case I’ll look at is when there are two identical enemy archers, both of which have the same speed causing them to act at the same time. When this occurs, because of the way that turn order works, you’ll gain full action when the first archer attacks, however the second archer will still go before you meaning that you lose out on one whole turn. There are ways to work around this however. The most convenient way to do this is to use flaming arrow. When you hit one of the archers with flaming arrow they now have +5 speed. This means that they’ll act slightly earlier than the other archer and thus you get both turns. You’ll only need to do this once because once the archers are staggered they’ll stay staggered. There are ways other than flaming arrow to achieve this such as Time’s Arrow, but flaming arrow is the most easily available.
Marksman Subclass Abilities
This is kind of a strange skill that gives all other party members instant retreat and +50 accuracy. The instant retreat is pretty meaningless so you’ll be using this for the accuracy boost. Generally this isn’t worth using unless there’s a large number of enemies that are all highly evasive. Outside of this situation there are usually much better options than this. It’s nice to have but it’s not really a huge draw to picking the marksman subclass.
This ability is the main reason for picking the marksman subclass. It’s very similar to pierce, however it has more damage potential and doesn’t require two enemies to be standing in the correct places. The random factor is kind of a downside but this skill has a very high damage output, comparable to hail of arrows and more effective against less targets while be equally as damaging against more targets. Very good for when you just need damage and you’re not too concerned about where it ends up. Definitely a good reason to pick the marksman subclass.
This another strange skill for the marksman. It’s very situational and you’ll normally only use it if you end up in the front rank when fightning enemies like ghouls or the minotaur. The decoy you create doesn’t take turns and sticks around until it takes damage. This is better than the basic move skill skill but you’ll rarely be in situations where it’s useful.