Combo Ranger is one of the best builds for when you have to deal with a lot of high health mobs. Ranger combos have a base damage that is 2.5x higher than any other javelin, meaning their combo detonations will typically do more damage than those of any other class. Ranger also has access to all 4 types of primes, which makes it possible to infinitely combo any enemy.
- This is quite possibly the best gun in the game, and certainly the best gun for a Combo Ranger build, not necessarily for its utility as a weapon, but because it will prime enemies with fire after 5 shots. When combined with Elemental Ops (discussed further down in this guide) you will have enemies that are double primed with both fire and acid. This will increase the damage that your combos do, because the acid debuff gives you 25% extra damage against all enemies, and the fire prime will give you an additional 25% damage against armored enemies. Detonating a fire prime against an armored enemy who has been debuffed by acid will give you the highest possible combo damage without bringing in Berserker’s Cry (from Colossus) or Slayer’s Furor (from Interceptor). Inscriptions are not terribly important here, but Weapon Damage will increase not only the damage done by the bullets, but will also increase the Fire DoT applied by Ralner’s MW perk.
- Whatever gun you put in this spot is typically going to be a stat stick. I use this because it has 180% armor, which is as much as you can get on any gun now, along with 25% Gear Recharge and 18% Elemental Damage. The gear recharge affects both the grenade and the assault launcher. The elemental damage increases the DoT of the fire from Ralner’s. But the main goal here is the extra armor.
- Serves as a reliable detonator from close range, and also has a MW perk that increases all damage (including combo and ult) by up to 50% when fully stacked. It also has a small AoE, which not many other Ranger components have. Preferable inscriptions for this are armor, gear recharge and weapon damage. The melee weapon itself should not be considered a main source of damage, it should just be used for the MW perk and the ability to detonate combos.
- This is great for crowd control, as it is an AoE primer that freezes any non-legendary unshielded enemy. It doesn’t do any damage itself, but it will reliably prime, and once detonated will prime any enemies within the AoE of the explosion. It will also remove a fire effect, which means you can detonate the ice combo, then re-prime with Ralner’s to get fire back. Going between Arctic Tomb and Ralner’s will allow you to infinitely combo anything until it is dead. Extra charges or jav damage are the only inscriptions you want here. Since it does no damage itself, any item specific damage rolls are completely wasted.
- Since you already have Rampager as a short range detonator, this will serve as a long range detonator for those times when you don’t want to get too close. It’s a seeking missile that gives you back a charge every time you combo with it, so it fits this build really well. It also has no charge up time, which is nice if you’re playing in a group where you have to worry about other people detonating your primes. For inscriptions, you want extra charges, jav damage or gear damage. Although the main utility of the item is the ability to detonate, having it do a little extra damage on its own is not a bad thing. Although extra charges with no added damage is vastly superior to a single charge with high damage.
- This provides you with a shield that will stand up to a small amount of damage before it breaks. It also has a MW perk that gives you 2 extra grenades, which allows you to cheat the recharge a little bit. Especially since grenades all have a long recharge time. Ideal inscriptions here are 2x Combo Imp Damage. Until you get that, Gear Charges and Gear Recharge are also acceptable.
- This component allows you to stay in the air longer, which can be useful to get a better view of the battlefield, allowing you to choose your targets more carefully. But its main value is in the MW perk that applies acid to an enemy when you are on a 5 hit streak. When combined with a Ralner’s Blaze, this allows you to double prime enemies, giving you 2 combos. Because this is a javelin specific component, you are not going to get particularly useful inscriptions. My preferred options are Shield Delay and Thruster Life.
Tip of the Spear
- This might be the best Ranger component in the game. You get a 60% increase in your combo damage (additive from base, not multiplicative) and you also will restore 40% armor to yourself and any nearby allies whenever you detonate a combo. Since you’re going to be comboing a lot with this build, that’s a pretty strong survival tool. 60% is also the highest combo damage increase of any component in the game. Although because it is a javelin specific component, the inscriptions are less important. Again, Shield Delay of Thruster Life are my preferred.
- This is possibly the best offensive component in the game, thanks to it’s MW perk. It also gives you a large boost to your armor, which comes in handy. The MW perk that gives you 50% damage increase applies to all damage (including combo). Because it is a universal component, you would ideally want double combo imp dmg rolls, although a single roll is fine. Otherwise, you will want Gear Recharge, Armor or Jav damage.
- This is without a doubt the best defensive component in the game, thanks to it’s MW perk. Because the shields on a Ranger are tissue paper thin, despite the large boost to your shields which this component provides, you will really appreciate the 75% damage reduction that should last until your shields start to regenerate themselves. Because it is a universal component, you would ideally want double combo imp dmg rolls, although a single roll is fine. Otherwise, you will want Gear Recharge, Armor or Jav damage.
- I have this here because I have a double combo imp dmg roll on it. It also happens to be my favorite QoL component in the game. Once you get used to having the extra flight time, you will really miss it when you go back to something else.
- I have this here because I have a double combo imp dmg roll on it. It also provides a useful survival option in that it gives you 20% armor back when you pick up an ammo pack. Considering how often we are going to be shooting our Ralner’s, we’re going to be picking up a lot of ammo, so we might as well get armor back while we do it. The extra ammo storage is not something you are likely to notice.
This is one way to build a Combo Ranger, but it is certainly not the only way, and it might not necessarily be the best way. If I was to design what I considered the perfect Combo Ranger it would look similar to this one, but with high weapon damage on the Ralner’s Blaze, the backup weapon (stat stick) would be a shotgun with double armor rolls, allowing us to replace Elemental Ops with Acid Slugs. Arctic Tomb would have 300% charges, as would Recurring Vengeance. Vanguard’s Rampart would have double combo imp rolls, as would all of the components except Tip of the Spear, which already has 60% increase (which is as high as a double combo imp dmg inscription can roll). Acid Slugs would be preferable because it can roll with combo imp dmg, where Elemental Ops cannot. You would lose out on the double prime with Ralner’s, but you could still cycle infinite combos with fire and ice. The acid could be brought out every once in awhile when you needed it, and you would always have the extra combo imp dmg from having Acid Slugs. I’d also likely choose Emergency Power over Rejuvenating Ammo, since it’s a good last resort to survive option.
The toughest part about playing combo ranger is that you are going to get a lot of your primes detonated by another player. Interceptors running Blades of Warding will become the bane of your existence, because by the time you get something primed, they will be right there to detonate it, and at about 10% of the damage that you would have done. You will also notice that you clear things a lot slower than other people, because there is no real good AoE with a Ranger. You’re pretty much stuck going through enemies one by one.
But you’ll also be able to kill high HP enemies faster than anyone else because you have the easiest way to cycle through ice and fire primes. There are other viable ways to build a Combo Ranger. Instead of Ralner’s Blaze and Arctic Tomb, you could run an LMG, Focused Freeze, and Explosive Blaze. Since Focused Freeze is a universal component, you can get it with Combo Imp Dmg. This would give you a fire grenade to prime with, detonate, then use the LMG and Focused Freeze to ice prime, detonate, and re-prime with Explosive Blaze. Some people prefer this method because the fire prime will do damage, while Arctic Tomb’s ice prime does not. I like Arctic Tomb more because it holds enemies in place, and the prime and effect both spread to nearby enemies when it is detonated. Getting the 10 hit streak with the LMG is also not as easy as getting the 5 with Ralner’s.