The barrage ranger makes use of the interaction of the ranger attribute marksmanship with the skill Barrage and a high expertise (primary attribute) to help mitigate its energy cost with constant use. A barrage ranger can rely solely on ranger skills and abilities often consisting of interrupts, blocking stances, nature rituals, or even an animal companion. Often it is seen taking advantage of a secondary profession to enhance the damage or return effects from the use of the skill barrage as well. This performs best when there is a group of foes to attack and diminishes in performance with less grouped targets.
A barrage ranger can easily enhance use of the skill without even using any other skills by means of modifications to the player's bow. A vampiric or zealous bow string can help add damage, health, or energy. Elemental strings are often minor in comparison though they can make for better use with other skills requiring elemental damage or to target enemies weak to certain elements or types of damage.
A barrage ranger is never limited to a secondary profession choice. In its purest form, the standard Barrage ranger makes use of skills like Favorable Winds or Winnowing before battle to add speed and/or damage to each arrow. Interrupt skills are often brought in case a long casting or highly damaging or effective skill is used by the enemy as well. For general use, Troll Unguent is used for a self heal, Antidote Signet is used to remove blindness, and a defensive skill like Whirling Defense or Lightning Reflexes is used for a defensive stance or Throw Dirt as a party defense. Rounding out the last skill, a Resurrection Signet is brought as the ranger is not typically targeted until last in your average party.
Almost as popular is the B/p ranger or Barrage pet ranger. This makes use of Barrage to do damage but sacrifices some of the general skills in favor of bringing a minimum of Comfort Animal to create a tank for the party, often holding the enemy back while the player barrages them. Singular B/p rangers are not as common as multiples as their efficiency increases with more members as often, they all can benefit from one skill or effect equally. This allows a better team organization in many cases (for example this may allow one to bring a nature ritual like Favorable Winds while another may bring Winnowing) and a better "wall" of pet tanks for the enemy to run into keeping the rangers relatively safe.
There is a plethora to choose from but essentially those that are best help to maintain the common idea of using barrage should be kept or used. A condition removal skill like Antidote Signet can be invaluable if encountering blindness but useless if not. Defensive skills like Whirling Defense or Throw Dirt can be completely dropped in favor of a damage enhancing skill like Splinter Weapon or Conjure Flame (for example) provided the player stays well out of reach of the enemy and allows others in the party to draw aggro before firing.
Some skills can be used to help yourself or others in the party with a simple switch. Resurrection Signet switched with Rebirth can be an easy one to help resurrect multiple members to safety. Something more drastic like Vigorous Spirit and/or Live Vicariously to return massive healing or energy as well as allowing you to cast it on others can be a considerable help. Barrage can also be used to build adrenaline quickly as well which allows the frequent and repeated use of adrenal skills like "Watch Yourself!" or "Go for the Eyes!".
The PvE skill Great Dwarf Weapon is also quite useful, but it can only target other allies.
The Barrage ranger has a lot of popularity as it's mostly based on one skill and the rest can be modified to no end. Its simplicity and options for change can make this very versatile to play almost anywhere in PvE though it has little to no popularity in PvP. The rule of thumb is, if there is a group of enemies to target, then this will probably perform well.
PvE: This is where Barrage rangers were created and do best. Some areas specialize with groups of BP rangers while others find them just a simple and a good "all around" type to bring. Area damage, defense, and sometimes party defense can be a great benefit. The simplicity of stating one is bringing barrage makes for a quick and easy description of what the player intends to do as well avoiding complex skill synergies that others may not know about with other builds.
Random Arena: Barrage or BP rangers are rarely if ever seen here as the reliance on grouped foes makes this almost impossible to pull off.
Alliance Battles: Mixed results are received in this area as at times there will be large groups of targets to take aim at while other times there may only be one or two that may have specialized in single target kills that may overtake you. Overall it works well when attacking small to large groups which do frequent Alliance Battles and has had some limited success.
Heroes' Ascent: Similar results to GvG.
There are 3 common ways to counter a Barrage ranger. First, is to eliminate the damage by means of blindness or blocking effects. Second, is damage return by means of skills like Empathy or Spiteful Spirit. Third, and the most common counter is to spread out as the damage of a Barrage ranger diminishes greatly with fewer targets rendering them ineffective without the use of a skill.
|Team roles (edit) (category)|
|Type||General team roles||Specific team roles||Hero team roles|
|Damage||Spiker • Nuker||Bomber • Dagger spammer • Touch ranger • Starburster • Trapper||Signet of Spirits hero|
|Pressure||Lineback||Barrager • Beast master • Cripshot Ranger • Pressure Ranger||—|
|Support||Healer • Protection||Battery • Bonder • Flag runner • Hybrid monk • Imbagon • Infuser • Orders||Necro healer • Soul Twisting prot|
|Control||Shutdown • Tank||Minion master • Perma • Spirit spammer||Mesmer Midline|
|Utility||Caller • Toolbox||Gimmick||—|