Bow Rogue Build Suggestions


I have claustrophobia, so frontlining isn't really a possibility for me and I often play the longrange support/ "fixer" role for when someone gets commanded or corrupted and provide cover for refitters. I have a very small earth channeling pool for pick me ups(25 pts total healling w/1 spell). I play a Sylvanborn bow rogue names Auryn. I currently have 185 build and have quite a bit sunk into stealth skills (3 improved assasinates, a doom blow, 6 sleep/paralysis, 3 dodges, 3 evades, and an opportunistic attack along with enough backstabs to be shooting sevens with a longbow. I also have Florentine/short sword and thrown weapon; a rank in alchemy and trapmaking, as well as two breaks and resist commands, a riposte, and 5 COs.

I was recently told I can't shoot my sleep/paralysis blows and possibly my assasinates. Does anyone have suggestions for any more bow or thrown weapon oriented takedowns? I carry my short swords on me but overall I'm looking for ways to streamline my build (possibly through gobbies or a spirit forge)


It's true that you can't use your Sleep/Paralysis Blows with a bow, but your Assassinates work just fine, so no worries there.

Unfortunately, the only other 'Blow' Stealth Skills that don't have a melee requirement are Doom Blow, Fear/Berserk Blow, and Silence/Stun Blow; depending on how your Sylvanborn sees various creatures (Is Fearing an Animal okay? A Rodenzi?) and how frequently "allowed" creatures are fought in your chapter, Fear/Berserk Blow is of variable use, so unless you want to take more Doom Blows or branch out into Martial Skills, you're pretty much restricted to Silence/Stun Blow.

That said, Silence from an archer is great against Spellcasters, shutting them down while your front line moves in, and Stunning a limb can shut down basically anything that isn't Immune to Eldritch Force or Stun Limb, so it's not a bad skill to pick up even if you only grab one or two. They're twice as expensive for Rogues as Sleep/Paralysis Blow, so if you want to sell those back then at most you could grab 3 (I haven't done the math on prerequisites to know for certain, but I'm pretty sure you've hit the 90 XP required for all 3).

If you want to move into Martial Skills, I'd start by grabbing a few Riposting Blows and Intercepts to hit 20 Martial XP, then snagging a Shatter/Disarm Strike and a Mettle if you've got the Body to spend on it; that'll put you at 30 Martial XP, letting you pick up a Weakness/Shun Strike and a Slay, bringing you up to 40 Martial XP, buy another Shatter/Disarm to hit 45 so you can buy a Destruction/Shun Blow to hit 51, which will let you buy 2 Resolutes and a second Slay (or an Improved Slay) to bring you to 61, which will let you buy another Weakness/Shun Strike, and so on until you're happy with what you've got.

At some point you might want to work on making the switch to Scout, but the above math assumes you want to stay as a Rogue and don't want Weapon Proficiencies or Critical Attacks; I'm not sure at what point it would be cheaper/more efficient to make the switch, but I think there's a spreadsheet floating around the forums somewhere I can track down for you to play around with, or you can use the Freeplay CMA if you prefer that. :)
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Depending, you might like building towards united blow. Its a lot of extra damage from range. While its possible to get at levl 18, its a build that really doesn't start coming in to its own until the mid 20's.


Something I noticed you put in there; you have claustrophobia that prevents you from frontlining.

Here’s my advice: either move to Shortbow (shooting for 6 isn’t particularly bad, compared to 7s), or get Two Weapons. You don’t need to front line to find melee opportunities. Work with a fighter to 2v1 an enemy, and use that Sleep/Paralysis when you have their back. Or pick up more Opp Attacks, so you can Weapon Paralysis an enemy that decides to close the distance on “that pesky archer!”

You might not need 6, but you can probably find ways to use 3-4 without much difficulty.


So I love packet combat - either as archery or spellcasting. A good tactical packet user is a lot of fun and very effective. I currently play a mid-level scholar w/ unified blow who only is not an archer because my other character is a low level fighter archer moving to spellsword.

If you are able to do a spirit forge, you might like going to a martial based bow build - either straight fighter or spellsword. It turns out 1.5 damage on profs really adds up in 2.0, with profs costing more as you buy more. 4 Profs, is +6 damage with a bow. (That extra 2 damage is the equivalent for 45 XP at 4 profs - so going fighter over rogue base is like getting 5 levels for free, after cheaper weapon skills.) For my archer, I swap back and forth between Longbow and Heavy Crossbow. If I know I'm doing only range, I use the heavy crossbow to throw 10's and big slays. If I think I might be in melee, I use Longbow and pull a shortsword as needed - but my goal is to not be in melee.

From there, you could go spellsword, but awkwardly Combine Strike works very poorly for archery. It doesn't synergize at all with the weapon profs so I'd recommend just skipping it. But Spellsword might be worth it for a mix of healing, buffing, and the occasional control spell -- especially if you can pick up battlemage's strike and/or empowered strike so you can use only one packet color (which when trying to manage a lot of packets, this ends up being a bigger deal than you'd think).

If you are going hybrid caster with bow and want to use spells for damage, I'd probably suggest going Adept and Unified Blow. 10x spell damage added on top of your normal damage is really good. It also lets you convert healing to damage -- without necromancy and for double damage, without having to manage multiple packet colors.

Since you gave us a build total, spit-balling some builds: (all of these include archery, two-weapon, 1H edged)
  • Straight Fighter: 6 profs (13 w/xbow, 12 w/lbow, 11w/sbow, 8 1H), 5 slays (@140 w/ xbow;@105 lbow; @70 sbow/sword), 2 eviscerates, 5 parry, 2 resolute, 2 mettle. So total "burst" damage w/xbow: 1700
  • Spellsword: 4 profs (10 w/xbow, 9w/lbow, 8w/sbow, 6 1H), 2 slays (@80 w/xbow, @60 lbow, @40 sbow/sword), 1 eviscerate, 1 parry, 1 resolute, 4/4/4 4/3/2 0/0/0 earth spells, 3 purify-strike. So total "burst" damage w/xbow: 660
  • Adept: 4 backstabs (8 w/xbow, 7 w/lbow, 2/10 w/sword), 2 assassinates (@75), 4/4/4 4/4/3 2/1/0 earth spells. So total "burst" damage w/xbow: 1360.
  • Rogue: 6 backstabs (10 w/xbow, 9 w/lbow, 2/14 w/sword), 5 assassinates (@150), 2 dodge, 2 evade. So total "burst" damage w/xbow: 750.
  • All of these builds are in this spreadsheet:

It may seem like fighter has more raw damage, but the adepts ability to not massively overkill or have a small number of defenses negate all its burst should not be undervalued. With that said, fighter has really good sustained damage -- throwing 12s all day will feel really good, and there is a lot of personal survival in that build.

Also, the Adept build is kind of bad. It is missing all the rogue defenses, because 185 is about the absolute _minimum_ to buy unified blow and I optimized it just for damage. In reality, it'd get much better over the next couple levels as it unlocked more spells, purify strike, and rogue defenses. If I was actually going to play it at that level, I'd probably drop a backstab and the assassinates to buy some defenses and utility - but either way its going to feel a bit weak for a couple levels as it ramps up. It'll likely feel amazing starting early/mid-20s...

The spellsword build has a lot of healing and utility in it, while still keeping a lot of sustained damage. Its burst may be low, but a lot of those spells can be healing, buffs, or control spells -- and unlike the adept you aren't wanting to memorize your spells to be damage. Its also in a solid place to buy up to becoming life capable. Or if you want to be more martial, to buy more offenses or defenses.


Thanks everyone for the build suggestions. I'll likely go adept eventually, for now I'll probably do minor gobby adjustments until then to my straight rogue build. I'm currently playing in two chapters (MN & Chicago) and I'm blanketing pretty aggressively so I'm hoping I'll hit the build benchmark for combat effectiveness as an adept soon within the next year or two and spirit forge from there.