Build Last Updated: June 2019, Patch 3.7.0, Legion League
This build focuses on Rain of Arrows, a skill that fires numerous arrows into the air that pelt enemies near a target location, doing damage with each impact and potentially overlapping multiple times on an enemy. It uses a generic Physical Bow passive tree, so it's easily adapted to use with most Bow skills that scale off of Physical weapon damage. This leaves it open to experimentation for builds around skills like Tornado Shot, Barrage, or the like.
Deadeyes are, by nature, focused on fast trash clearing and speed. This build is, like most Deadeyes, relatively weak against bosses, but can wipe out very large areas of relatively weak enemies. (You can try to make variants using either of the other two Ranger Ascendancy choices if you feel adventurous: Raiders shore up its relative weakness against bosses and gain a lot of speed at the cost of recovery, while Pathfinders trade in gear independence for longevity and survivability.)
Relative to the other builds presented here, this build is also highly scalable - adding five or ten more Passive points to its tree can increase its damage by a third or more, and small improvements to the weak gear it's designed for will provide similar results. A level 90 character with good gear can do five or ten times the damage of the level 80 character with weak gear presented here as an example.
This build is a ranged Projectile Attack build.
Deadeye is one of the Ranger Ascendancy subclasses. When you create your character, you'll select a Ranger, you'll choose to be a Deadeye later.
If you want to explore this build's stats, links, and Passive Tree interactively, head over to the Links page and download Path of Building. Then, in Path of Building, select Import/Export Build -> Import from Pastebin, and enter this link: https://pastebin.com/9nvYmaDj
Main Skill Basics
Rain of Arrows
Rain of Arrows targets a distant area and fires a volley of arrows that fall down around the target location. Each arrow deals damage in an area around its impact point. Half of the arrows will try to target enemies within the targeted area; the other half will fall at random locations within it. In either case, the impacts can overlap and deal damage to a single target multiple times.
Rain of Arrows is an Attack, and as a result uses your weapon's damage as its base damage. Any damage-type-specific modifiers will apply only to that portion of your weapon's damage (for example, Increased Lightning Damage would increase only the Lightning Damage on your weapon). Rain of Arrows also benefits from Area, Bow, and (despite not being a true Projectile) Projectile damage modifiers. (This is an application of the general rule that 'Bow' as a tag implies 'Projectile'.)
Increases to Attack Speed will cause you to fire volleys more quickly. Increases to Area of Effect will increase the size of each impact as well as the area over which they fall. This leaves the number of impacts on any one point unchanged, but because monsters take up space, increases to Area of Effect actually slightly reduce your damage to any one target but increase your area coverage.
For the purposes of effects that consider how far a Projectile has traveled, Rain of Arrows considers its impacts to have originated at your location, not at the targeted location.
Later on, you'll gain access to an upgraded version, Vaal Rain of Arrows. Vaal Rain of Arrows behaves similarly to the original, except it fires four volleys instead of only one, deals significantly more damage, can't be Evaded, and slows enemies hit significantly.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 1" section of the guide.
Early Act 1
You won't be able to get Rain of Arrows until the end of Act 1. For now, you can experiment with other skills (even non-bow skills) if you want.
From Enemy at the Gate, you can pick up any of the Bow skills on offer. Any of them will work for early leveling.
With your first few passive points, work your way towards the following tree:
Once you finish Mercy Mission, pick up Mirage Archer Support. Mirage Archer causes supported Bow skills to spawn a spirit that will continue to fire copies of that skill for a few seconds. Volley adds two additional Projectiles to a skill and lines them up on either side of you, which can be nice for clearing in open spaces.
We don't care about any of the first set of gems from Breaking Some Eggs, but after you've picked one, you'll also be offered Dash (a skill that we do want, at least for now).
Once you enter the Prison (The Caged Brute), you can pick up Blink Arrow for movement. You can use it alone, or combine it with Dash, as the two have slightly different use cases. Late in the game, you'll get a huge reduction to its cooldown.
Brutus (The Caged Brute) is mostly an endurance test. Keep your distance, dodge his hook-grab skill, and chip away at him from range.
Once you've defeated Brutus, you'll get access to Added Cold Damage (raw dps) or Lesser Multiple Projectiles (a Volley alternative). Added Cold Damage is the recommended pickup, since it will hold us over until we get the main Support gems we want for our Rain of Arrows much later in the main campaign.
Late Act 1
As you go, you'll want to look for a few specific sorts of item:
- 3- and 4-linked items with mostly green sockets.
- A Bow with high damage. Right now it doesn't matter too much whether the damage is Physical or not, but later on you'll want to focus on Physical damage.
- Gear with Life and Resistances. Evasion gear is the most likely to have the green sockets you need.
As you continue to gain more Passive Skill Points, work your way towards the following tree. You'll have enough points for all the Passives shown here sometime around Act 3 or 4, at which point you can move on to the full Passive Tree (listed in the "Full Build" section of this guide below).
Once you enter the Cavern of Wrath (The Siren's Cadence), Nessa will offer you your Rain of Arrows. For the moment, you can support it with Mirage Archer and Added Cold Damage or Added Fire Damage (both available from Nessa) depending on your socket colors.
You've got a lot of range to work with, so take advantage of it. Shoot around corners, take advantage of chokepoints, and so on. Your playstyle is the same against both trash mobs and bosses: keep your distance and keep arrows raining down.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 2" section of the guide.
Early Act 2
If you're having trouble finding a good high damage Bow, consider using the Increased Physical Damage recipe from the Vendor Recipes page of the main guide to craft one.
For the Deal with the Bandits quest, we can kill all the bandits (higher overall dmg), help Kraityn (faster movement), or help Alira (mana sustain and easier gearing thanks to resistances, especially while leveling). For the purposes of this guide, I'll assume you killed all the bandits.
We won't be using any of the gems from Intruders in Black over the long term, but Herald of Thunder and Herald of Ice are perfectly fine as temporary leveling effects.
From Sharp and Cruel, pick up Vicious Projectiles and Faster Attacks. Vicious Projectiles does slightly more damage, Faster Attacks is safer for bosses and quicker for trash. Either works for now, and can be added to your main link in a fourth socket (or replace Added Cold in a 3-green item).
Late Act 2
It's worth noting that this build gets Knockback on its Critical Strikes. Rain of Arrows will always knock enemies away from you, not away from the targeted point or the impact location, so you don't have to do any specific targeting to make it work.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 3" section of the guide.
Early Act 3
Once you've completed Lost in Love, you'll be rewarded with a choice of a few Curses. Projectile Weakness is your offensive choice, Enfeeble and Temporal Chains are defensive choices. Enfeeble cuts enemy damage, while Temporal Chains slows enemies so that it's harder for them to reach you.
Late Act 3
Sever the Right Hand offers Tornado Shot, an alternative Bow skill reliant on Physical damage. Tornado Shot is better against some bosses for this build than Rain of Arrows and can be used as a secondary skill when you have two 4-links, 5-links, or 6-links if you so choose. (More links for Rain of Arrows will make it better than Tornado Shot even against bosses.)
A Fixture of Fate rewards Impale Support, which should replace Vicious Projectiles/Faster Attacks on your Rain of Arrows and will remain in your main link from here on out.
You'll now want to pick up three other skills to back up your main attack:
- Blood Rage for rapid movement. It drains Life while active, so this is a combat-only thing, but the damage gain is quite large. Can be hooked up to Cast When Damage Taken for convenience.
- Herald of Purity is a straight damage boost and summons surprisingly high damage minions when you hit enemies. This can help add a little damage against bosses and, at worst, they'll eat a hit or two.
- Dread Banner has two stages. When you first use it, you'll attach a banner to yourself and Reserve a portion of your Mana. As you Impale enemies (which you do, since you've got Impale chance both on your Passive Tree and on a Support Gem), Dread Banner will gain 'stages', which can be tracked at the upper left of your screen. You can recast Dread Banner to place it, consuming these stages to gain Fortify (a powerful damage reduction effect) and amplify Dread Banner's existing damage bonus. (You'll need to recast Dread Banner later to restart the cycle.)
For the most part, you can keep Herald of Purity and even Dread Banner on and mostly ignore them if you so choose, but clever use of Dread Banner to get a defensive boost in tight spots or to boost your damage at opportune moments does help.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 4" section of the guide.
Early Act 4
You can use both Blink Arrow and Dash as Movement skills. Dash gets you an immediate dodge, while Blink Arrow can move you further and across large gaps. The two skills don't share a cooldown. Blink Arrow should be supported with Faster Attacks and Faster Projectiles as soon as reasonably possible.
We don't care about any of the gems from Breaking the Seal or The Eternal Nightmare, but we can now pick some up from vendors that aren't directly offered as quest rewards. Pick up Brutality Support from Petarus and Vanja. Your Rain of Arrows should now be set up as Rain of Arrows - Mirage Archer - Impale - Brutality.
By this point you've probably completed the Passive Tree shown above. Here's the full tree, which you should work towards from here on out, adjusting how much damage or life you pursue as you feel your damage or survivability is in need of more help.
The Labyrinth is a good chance to test what you've learned so far. Izaro's hitbox is so enormous that it should be easy to hit him with lots of your arrows, and he's slow enough for you to keep your distance. Expect him to die relatively slowly, but you should be able to remain safe.
Once you've completed the Labyrinth, you can pick up your first Ascendancy Passive. Pick up Rupture for a huge gain to your sustainability through life-on-hit from your dozens of arrow impacts.
Late Act 4
Late Act 4 is a boss-heavy segment that takes place in tight quarters, which is not at all ideal for a build like this. Get very comfortable with your Dash/Blink Arrow buttons!
If you haven't already gotten one, consider picking up a Vaal Rain of Arrows from another player.
This section is meant to accompany the main "Act 5" section of the guide.
The only major build-specific note for Act 5 is the choice of Unique Jewel from Death to Purity. Rain of Arrows doesn't need any of these Jewels, so you can either pick one to sell or save the reward to potentially give your second character a boost.
Part II (Acts 6-10)
Once you complete your second Labyrinth, around the end of Act 7 or the beginning of Act 8, pick up either Gathering Winds (a significant damage and speed gain for both you and your party, but one mostly only active when you're fighting) or Fast and Deadly (also a damage gain, and allows you to rapidly spam your Blink Arrow for fast movement across open ground). We'll get the other after the next Labyrinth in a few acts.
Epilogue & Maps
Once you complete your third Labyrinth, sometime early into Maps, pick up either Fast and Deadly or Gathering Winds (whichever you didn't pick up before).
This build as written cannot do maps with "Monsters Reflect Physical Damage". If, however, you really need to do such a map, grab a Blast Rain gem and hook it up with Elemental Damage With Attacks, Combustion, Concentrated Effect/Increased Area of Effect (for bosses/trash respectively), Added Fire, and Vicious Projectiles. It won't be as damaging, but it can get the job done in a pinch.
Once you complete your final Labyrinth, late in the endgame, pick up Far Shot for a large damage gain.
The Full Build
Main Skill Links
[Vaal] Rain of Arrows - Mirage Archer - Impale - Brutality. In a 5- or 6-link, add Increased Area of Effect/Concentrated Effect (Inc AoE vs trash, Conc Effect vs bosses) and Vicious Projectiles or Faster Attacks (which is better depends on your exact gear). Mirage Archer can be swapped out for Vicious Projectiles or Faster Attacks in fights where you're certain you'll be attacking all the time, but is strong if you're playing hit-and-run and helps with almost passive trash clearing.
(Beyond the standard ones listed as part of the Act 4 Guide)
Blink Arrow and Dash are your movement skills. Blink Arrow should be supported with Faster Attacks and Faster Projectiles as soon as reasonably possible.
You can use Tornado Shot in an alternate 4-, 5-, or 6-link if you have two items with equal numbers of links. Tornado Shot - Greater Multiple Projectiles - Impale - Brutality - Vicious Projectiles - Maim will do somewhat more damage to bosses than Rain of Arrows under some circumstances, although it depends on how often all your Tornado Shot secondary explosions hit the target and how well you get your Rain of Arrows impacts to line up on a target. If your link count is uneven, stick with Rain of Arrows; an extra Support is enough to overcome the difference between the two skills on a boss.
Herald of Purity, unlinked.
Blood Rage, either unlinked or linked to Cast When Damage Taken.
Dread Banner, unlinked.
Projectile Weakness for offense, Enfeeble or Temporal Chains for defense.
Your weapon should be the highest Physical dps Bow you can find. Faster is better, all else equal, because you gain Life for each hit, move faster with Blink Arrow, and can hit-and-run more easily with a faster bow. A high base Critical Strike Chance is a plus.
For Armour and Jewellery, you want Life and Resistances for defenses, or Added Physical Damage, Critical Strike Chance, or Critical Strike Multiplier for damage. Added Elemental damage does nothing for this build, nor does Elemental Damage with Attacks.
Optional Unique items include:
- Maligaro's Virtuosity (Gloves that provide large Critical Strike bonuses - if you use these, you'll need to shift your Critical Strike Multiplier-based passives into Critical Strike Chance instead)
- Hyrri's Truth (an Amulet that provides large damage bonuses and lots of Leech)