Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mounted Ranger Archer (Ranger Build)

Mounted Ranger Archer
Human Skirmisher Ranger

The Mounted Ranger Archer is heavily inspired by Lastoth’s Guide. Kudos go to him! The Mounted Ranger Archer rides a horse around for mobility in combat while still getting full round actions. This Ranger takes the Archery Combat style. He’s also a skirmisher such that he can pay less attention to his wisdom, and grab the trick “Bolster Companion” to keep his mount alive.

15 Point Buy
: 14
DEX: 18 (16+2)
CON: 12
INT: 8
WIS: 12
CHA: 8

20 Point Buy
: 14
DEX: 18 (16+2)
CON: 14
INT: 10
WIS: 12
CHA: 8

25 Point Buy
: 14
DEX: 20 (18+2)
CON: 14
INT: 10
WIS: 10
CHA: 8

Dexterity gains all the way.

Reactionary: +2 to Initiative, Bring the hurt as soon as possible!
Well Hidden: +1 Will Saves, as those will be pretty low.

Feats/Style Feats
1: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
2: Rapid Shot
3: Deadly Aim
5: Weapon Focus Longbow
6: Improved Precise Shot
7: Manyshot
9: Snap Shot
10: Point Blank Master (Longbow)
11: Improved Snap Shot
13: Combat Reflexes
14: Pinpoint Targeting
15: Clustered Shots
17: Improved Critical
18: Far Shot
19: Mounted Combat

Suggested Gear
You want a magical composite longbow (Str +2). Holy, Seeking, and Flaming/ Corrosive/ Frost are nice too. Masterwork saddle also helps. Agile Breatsplate at lower levels. Belt of Dexterity. Efficient Quiver stocked with cold iron, silver, and adamantium arrows.

Animal Companion
You are going to be on your horse the whole time, firing away with full round actions and moving as a free action. The Horse also can attack, and can overrun! In terms of feats, we are looking for: Power attack, Improved Overrun, Light Armor Proficiency, Dodge, Weapon Focus Bite, Improved Natural Attack (Bite), Improved Natural Armor

Put attribute bonuses into constitution and strength.

Obviously, you want your mount trained in combat riding and attacking.

At level 10 we are switching our horse out for a wolf mount, cuz that’s awesome.

Skirmisher isn’t necessary to this build, so you can feel free to take spells instead (such as gravity bow). However, you will get a number of useful tricks.

Bolster companion provides an instant +4 AC or CMD to your horse, and the attack only deals him half damage if he is hit. If you DM is out for your horse, you will use this all the time. This is the reason you took Skirmisher.

Hobbling attack halves opponent's’ move speeds, which is awesome.

Sic ‘Em allows your horse/wolf to make one melee attack against an adjacent target.

Tangling shot makes the target entangled. Couple this with hobbling shot, and the target is moving at ¼ speed. Just sit back and plug away.

What the Build Looks Like at...
This assumes a 20 point buy and mundane items (also assume point blank shot)

Level 1: Pretty Basic. We are shooting at +6 (d8+3), 12 hit points, 8 skills. Nothing fancy.

Level 4: We are riding a horsie! Shooting at +5/+5 (d8+7), 36 hit points, 32 skills. Our horse actually attacks as +3 (d4+3), +3/+3 (d6+3), and has 13 HP.

Level 8: Shooting at +10/+10/+5 (d8+9) with the first shot a manyshot. 68 HP, 64 skills. Horse is wearing armor now, overruns on a 22, and attacks at +6 (d4+4), +6/+6 (d6+4)

Level 12: We now threaten 15 feet around us, allowing opportunity attacks galore (one more level for multiple opportunity attacks). Attacking at +13/+13/+8/+3 (d8+11) with the first shot being a manyshot. 100 HP, 96 Skill. Our horse is now a wolf with AC 27, who attacks at +12/+7 for d8+10 damage and overruns on a 30 and trips on a 32. (Bow DPR 20)

Level 16: All the previous tricks. We attack at +17/+17/+12/+7/+2 (d8+13) with a manyshot for the first shot. 132 HP, 128 HP. Wolfie has AC 29, 104 HP and is attacking at +16/+11 for 2d6+12. He also overruns at 33 and trips on a 35.

Level 20: Attacking at a clean +20/+20/+15/+10/+15 (d8+15) with a manyshot. 164 HP, 160 Skills. Wolf has AC 33, 133 HP, attacks at +19/+14 for 2d6+13 damage, overruns at 37 and trips at 39.


Stay on your horse and guide him around with ride checks for a free action! That way you can move horse/wolf speed while also making full round actions. After that, it’s just point and shoot.

Guide to the Builds
Comprehensive Guide to the Guides


  1. For companion based ranger specs such as this do you think that it is worthwhile to work in the Boon Companion Feat (From Animal Archive among other places) so that your pet's level is equal to yours? If so where in this spec would be the ideal place to insert it?

    1. The Boon Companion Feat is a fun addition, but it is more useful in builds where the companion is in combat. Ideally, your ride isn't going to be in combat too frequently, and his main purpose is to carry you around. If I did want to include the feat, I'd either wait until level 13 or level 9. The bow is the real powerhouse her, and we need to make sure its up and ready to go as soon as possible.

  2. I'm curious; if you weren't going to play a human, any idea how you'd rejigger the feats?

    1. Move them all forward one, I suppose. Most of these eats are pretty vital, but it's very doable as a non-human.

  3. the character is still able to dismount and carry out all their actions normally? After using this tactic of free action?

  4. Improved precise shot requires a base attack bonus of +11 yet in this guide you recommend it at 6th level. Is that an error or am I missing something?

    1. It's a combat style feat, so he does't need to meet the prerequisites.

    2. Ahhh, thanks for the clarification. I'm making an archer for an upcoming pathfinder campaign and this guide has been most helpful.

    3. My pleasure! Glad you like them!

  5. how are you avoiding the -4 attack penalty from shooting while mounted?

    1. I believe you only take that penalty if you double move with your mount. Just don't double move.

  6. Quick question here: How do you end up threatening 15 ft. on level 12? Snap Shot and Improved Snap Shot would allow you to make AoOs within 10 ft., but I can't see where the additional 5 ft. come from. Thanks in advance!