What is Ranger? Ranger is about ranged combat and keeping enemies at bay with a torrent of arrows at a certain distance. You can say it is an Archer. Many players have the false belief that they can focus on all offense and just skip out the defense due to being able to attack while keeping away, relying on micromanagement to stay out of harm's way. Unluckily, such players realize their mistakes because they get cornered and surrounded by high level monsters that take no time at all to tear them apart. So if you want to play Path of Exile well, a build that balances both offense and defense is needed.
An excellent answer comes courtesy of an elemental bow ranger build that takes most of its offense from elemental damage so that there are enough points put into survivability. It's a cookie cutter build to keep things interesting with a bit of Blood Magic. So this build does well with decent PoE Currency. Definitely, this is not the glass cannon build that most beginners lean towards, but a balanced configuration puts about everything into consideration. It is a Ranger build for the discerning and smart Path of Exile player who is aware of what is ahead and approaches with a plan for every problem.
Most of the offense comes from the elemental damage that you dish out, so this build does well with decent Path of Exile Items equipment. Either Ice Shot with Split Arrow or Lightning Arrow, you will deal extra damage and have crowd control to boot. As for defense and survivability, you can turn Iron Reflexes Evasion into Armour, as well as Blood Magic/Life Leech for replenishing your health in the middle of a fight and Unwavering Stance to be immune from getting afraid. Those skills make you understand how this build works.
To ensure your survival, you can kite the enemies, since you'd be hardier, you won't have to do that as much with this build, so you can breathe easily and focus on killing the enemies. Kiting a lot means it takes more time to take mobs of enemies out. Be aware of ranged chaos dealers like Vipers, as well as Skeleton Archers or quick charging mobs that can close the distance fast like rare rhoas. You can make use of exalted orb to promote your equipment.
With these particular skills, the good thing is that they are fit for most of what you'll encounter in the game. For instance, Unwavering Stance fits most of the maps that you'll crawl in since they're full of enemies that can swarm and overwhelm you. That does well with Life Leech since there is a constant stream of enemies to suck life out of, as long as you don't get hurt too bad too quickly.
For the most, the balancing act is up to your preferences and requirements between DPS and the amount of health. You have some active skill gem combinations to choose from, each for various situations. Firstly, Lightning Arrow or Ice Shot with Weapon Elemental Damage, Faster Attacks, Lesser Multiple Projectives, and Life Leech or Culling Strike is great for most of the game, letting you kill mobs easily. Also, there’s Split Arrow with Faster Attacks, Weapon Elemental Damage, Culling Strike, and Life Leech if you're up against big mobs. Finally, Elemental Hit or Frenzy with Faster Attacks, Weapon Elemental Damage, Culling Strike, and Life Leech is perfect against bosses.
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