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Trenkts PVE Trapper build/guide

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Got requested by a few people to share my Trapper build, so here it goes. It's more or less pretty standard trapper build, but I'll try to share little tweaks and thoughts I have about my build so hopefully some find it helpful.

Couple small points about race, ability rolls and such:
- Dragonborn, Drow and Wood Elf are the best race choices due to their ability score bonuses, but I don't place that much emphasis on the race, so if you wanna make a Dwarf HR, got nuts :lol:
- Dexterity and Wisdom are the most important ability scores. Dexterity increases your damage and Wisdom increases your critical chance, so all your ability score points should go into these to stats.
- Regarding the Paragon Path, I personally chose Pathfinder, but both are viable. The biggest difference between the paths imo is that PF has one very good power (Careful Attack) while rest are kinda meh, while Stormwarden has a few good powers, but most of them are situational.
Feats
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Not gonna cover each feat, instead first I'll cover the two main feats that make trapper what it is, to hopefully explain the mechanics behind them and thus mechanics behind Trapper.

Swiftness of the Fox (Paragon): The feat that makes Trapper the encounter spamming machine that it is. Basically, whenever you use a ranged encounter power or at-will, it reduces your malee cooldowns by 15% and vice-versa, while using Daily powers reduces all your cooldowns by 15%. The only exception to this are encounter powers that have multiple charges, as they will not be affected by cooldown reduction.
Thorned Roots (Paragon): Your Strong Grasping Roots are upgraded to Thorned roots which deal 200% of your MH weapon damage to the target every second, while control immune targets additionally receive 450% of your MH weapon damage upon roots being applied. The roots can crit and are affected by buffs/debuffs and target's damage resistance. Important thing to note here is that Thorned Roots in essence actually apples two diffrent roots to the target - a DoT root, that's duration isn't affected by Control Bonus or Control Resistance, and a CC root, that's duration is affected by CC bonus and resistance. So while the target might break out of the CC from the roots early, they will still receive damage for the full duration (or till they die).

The next few feats I'll focus are the ones that might differ from other trapper builds. They aren't essential, thus I'll point out alternatives for them so you can choose whatever works best for you. The rest that are not mentioned here are more or less essential, so it's a must pick.

Predatory Action (Heroic): Most have only 1 or 2 points into this one, just to unlock the 3rd and 4th feat tier, or none at all if they opt for Swift Footwork, but I like it the most over other options. Alternatives for this feat are previously mentioned Swift Footwork, Lucky Skirmisher and, only if you are PF tough, two points in Scoundrel Training.
Ancient Roots (Paragon): Increases the duration of your Weak and Strong Grasping roots, improving your CC a little bit. If you're having problems with survivability, you might considering taking Bloodletting from the Combat tree over this one, for extra Life Steal in Malee stance.
Forestbond (Paragon): Not as good as it was prior Mod 10, but still decent. Reduces your cooldowns by 5% every time you apply Grasping Roots, which has a very nice synergy with Trapper's Cunning, making it so that your critical strikes have 25% chance to reduce your cooldowns by 5%. Since you have to pick one of these 2 regardless to advance in the trapper tree, might as well get both. If you don't pick both, Bloodletting again is the best alternative.

At-Wills
Hunter's Teamwork/Careful Attack (PF): If you choose PF, this one is a must. Hunter's Teamwork is nice and can provide you and your party with some healing as well as stamina and AP gain, as well as reducing damage the marked target deals, but it's nothing spectacular. The real star here is the Malee version of the power, Careful Attack. At max rank it lasts 30 seconds and deals multiple hits to the to the target every 1.5 seconds for every ally that struck the target withing those 1.5 seconds. This includes you, as well as your companion or allies companions. So it can be good in dungeons, but were it really shines is in big fights like Tiamat, Dragonflight and, to a lesser extent, Demogorgon. Both Hunter's Teamwork and Careful Attack can only have one target marked at any given time.

When it comes to the second At-Will, I personally prefer Rapid Shot/Rapid Strike, just cause it has the fastest animation and the purpose of it is to usually only to reduce your cooldowns, but all other At-Wills are more or less viable, so it's your personal choice.

Encounters
Main powers
Constricting Arrow/Steel Breeze: This encounter should almost never leave your tray. Out of all three powers that can apply Thorned Roots (other ones being Hindering Strike and Binding Arrow) it's by far the best one. The malee version of the power, Steel Breeze, does meh damage, but it does restore your stamina based on targets hit, so it's a pretty nice bonus too.
Cordon of Arrows/Plant Growth: It baffles me when I see Trappers that don't run this encounter in normal dungeon situations. If you're role in the dungeon is to deal damage, this is a must have. Plant Growth alone can rival or sometimes even surpass your damage from Thorned Roots, while Cordon of Arrows also deals pretty huge damage, not to mention groups and roots targets for few moments that it hits. The only small downside is that Cordon has 3 charges, thus is not affected by your cooldown reductions and CC from Plant Growth is pretty much nonexistent.
Longstrider's Shot/Gushing Wound: Before Mod 10, I wasn't the biggest fan of Gushing Wound, mainly cause it was rather slow and clunky and you didn't even really know if you actually hit the target, since you could activate it without having one. It has been improved and now you must have a target to activate it, but that guarantees you actually hit it and in the case where target moves away, making you miss, it doesn't go on cooldown. Once applied, Gushing Wound will deal damage once every 2 seconds or when an ally (companions are included, but not you) for a maximum of ~10 hits. Additionally, ticks caused by ally's attack will deal increased damage.Longstrider's Shot on the other hand is a rather powerful buff, that at max rank increases your and allies damage by 40% for 4 seconds, as well as providing a speed buff for the same duration. The range of the buff is also surprisingly large. The downside of Longstrider's is that your target has to be 30 feet away from you to apply, so it might take time getting used to using this power.
Fox's Cunning/Fox's Shift: Best alternative to run over Longstrider's/Gushing and recommended option for lower geared Trappers or when running with a lower geared group in a dungeon when survivability is an issue. Fox's Cunning is a party wide free dodge on the next hit, so it's simply great. Fox's Shift does decent damage, but the main reason I love it is that thru the duration of it's animation, you are completely immune to all damage and CC effects, so it can both help you avoid damage when you can't dodge it in time otherwise as well as allow you to play just a bit more recklessly then you would otherwise would.

Situational powers
Hindering Shot/Hindering Strike: Much like Constricting Arrow, Hindering Strike applies Thorned Roots and is AoE. What makes it inferior to Constricting imo is the fact that is is malee, so you have to be close to the target to apply the roots, and the fact that Hindering Shot has charges, so if you run it along with Cordon of Arrows, it can somewhat mess up your rotation once you run out of charges on both of those powers.Some trappers run both Hindering and Constricting, but unless you are going for maximum CC, that is somewhat redundant, cause in most cases you will reapply Thorned Roots with Constricting alone before their duration ends anyway. So only in cases where you need extra CC is this worth considering.
Rain of Arrows/Rain of Swords: Damage by RoA is very good and increased radius since mod 10 makes it much better than it was before. That being said, Rain of Swords is slow and weak and enemies can still just move out of Rain of Arrows zone of effect makes this power situational. Best still used on immobile targets i.e. Lostmauth or Orcus.
Thorn Ward/Thorn Strike: Thorn Ward is somewhat misleading as while initially it may appear as an AoE power, it will only hit one enemy at a time in the targeted area. So it's best used in single target fights. The encounter itself does pretty decent damage, but more importantly, it reduces the target's defense with every hit up to maximum of 20%. Thorn Strike is ok for most part, the damage is not impressive but it's not horrible either.
Split the Sky/Throw Caution (SW): Much better than it was after mod 10 changes. Does pretty good damage and slows the targets it hits.Since it hits enemies that attack you or allies, can really shine in Tiamat. Throw Caution is a nice 15% personal damage buff at the cost of reducing your own damage resistance for 10 seconds, so it can be risky if you're squishy. Still, imo it's the best alternative for third encounter power if you opt not to use Longstrider's or Fox.
Binding Arrow/Oak Skin: Like I said, Constricting Arrow should almost never leave your tray and pretty much only situation where it could is a single target fight where you and your party need extra damage resistance and/or healing. In that case Binding Arrow can be considered an appropriate replacement. Binding Arrow can apply Thorned roots, but only to 2 targets max and even then if the second target is directly behind the initial one, so often it's just a single target attack. Oak Skin increases your damage resistance by 15% for 8 seconds and provides and ok heal, while also providing 7.5% damage resistance and half as effective heal to your nearby party members. Personally I still prefer Constricting even in single target fights, just cause of the stamina regain Steel Breeze provides, but Binding is definitely an ok alternative.

Dailies
Seismic Shot: I feel like this daily is somewhat underrated by a lot of trappers. Lack of good dailies is one of the complains I have heard from most HRs so before mod 10 they often ignored using them regularly, because it interupted the encounter rotation, and since mod 10 they opt to use Forest Ghost and Disruptive Shot, which don't use up all AP and thus can be used every 10 seconds for the sole purpose of reducing encounter cooldowns. I however love this daily and in most dungeons runs use it exclusively and at every chance I get. It's fairly quick to fire and actually does very good damage, not to mention Trappers build up AP very fast, so you use it very often. On average it contributes 3rd or 4th most amount of my damage, right on par with Cordon of Arrows.

When it comes to the second daily, Disruptive Shot, Forest Ghost, Cold Steel Hurricane (SW) and Slasher's Mark (PF) are all good choices, but again, since I almost always just use Seismic, the other ones are thus more or less situational and it's your personal choice which you'll slot. Though if you're looking for the most fun one, Slasher's Mark is the clear choice here :lol:

Class Features/Passives
Main
Aspect of the Serpent: This passive is a must for trapper and similar to Constricting Arrow, should almost never leave your tray. Using ranged power builds up stacks that buff malee powers and vice versa. Each stack increases damage by 3% per rank of AotS plus 5% per stack from Serpent's Bite feat. Same feat also increases your crit chance by 2.5% per stack. That means with AotS at rank 4, when you have 2 either ranged stacks, you deal 34% extra damage with ranged powers and 17% extra damage when you have 1 stack. Same goes for malee powers when you have malee stacks. Now few important things to note here. First you can only have one type of stack at any given time and the stack you currently have need to be used up first before opposite can be build up. This means the order in which you use your encounters, dailies and at-wills after switching stances is very important and should be based on which powers you want to be buffed and which would then build up stacks for the opposite stance. Secondly, powers that don't deal damage (like Fox's Cunning or Oak Skin) don't consume stacks, but they do build them up. Third, dailies also consume and build up stacks and for that purpose Seismic, Disruptive are considered ranged, while Cold Steel Hurricane, Slasher's Mark and Forest Ghost (this one will actually consume and build up multiple stacks). The only exception is Forest Meditation which doesn't consume or build up stacks at all.
Aspect of the Pack: As long as you stay close enough to your allies, you and your allies are pretty much guaranteed to have Combat Advantage at all times, which pretty much means an almost perma 15%+ damage buff. Thus with few exceptions, should always be in your tray in group content.
Situational
Aspect of the Lone Wolf: Can help with survivability somewhat, but the bonus deflect caps at 10% so it's no amazing.
Crushing Roots: Good if you really need more CC, but that's about it.
Twin-Blade Storm (SW): A nice damage buff when hitting more than 2 targets, but in most dungeons runs will be less effective than AotS or AotP in terms of providing bonus damage.

Boons
Generally you want offensive boons, with the only exception being recovery, as it's kinda useless for trapper, and armpen, if you have enough of it to reach 60% resistance ignored through gear and other means. So I'll just look over some of them.

-Gale of Retribution (EE): Gives you a chance to gain 24k HP over few seconds after being hit, but more importantly gives you 1k Critical Strike for 10 seconds after heal effect ends,
-Baphomet's Might (Maze Engine): Gives you a chance to gain 2k Critical Strike for 6 seconds after hitting a foe.
-Dragon's Fury (ToD): At least 1 point should go into this one and if you have 2nd or 3rd points unlocked, consider either maxing this out or putting them into Dragon's Thirst.
-Drow Ambush Tactics (Underdark): Gives you 10% Combat Advantage damage and considering that due to AotP you will almost always have Combat Advantage, this is pretty significant boost.
-Abyssal Strikes (Underdark): 10% damage bonus versus all Demons just seems better than a chance to slay lesser demons outright, which will usually die pretty quickly anyway.
-Winter's Bounty (IWD): None of the 5th tier IWD boons look great for trapper, so I just opted for extra AP because I really like Seismic Shot.
-Rampaging Madness (Dread Ring): Builds up Madness stacks once every second when you deal damage and upon reaching 50 stacks gives you 4k Power, Life Steal and Regeneration for 10 seconds. If you have low life steal chance, Endless Consumption can be a good alternative.
-Elvish Fury (Sharandar): Gain 135 power after you kill an enemy for 45 seconds. This stacks up to 30 times so you can gain up to 4050 power.
-Chill of Winter (SKT): Similar to IWD 5th tier boons, none of SKT 5th tier boons look all that great, so I just suggest the most offensive one.
Stats
Armor Penetration: Until you reach 60% resistance ignored, this is the most important stat in terms of increasing your damage. Why? Simply because if your target has more damage resistance that you have resistance ignored, ~100 points in this armpen will increase your resistance ignored by 1%, which results in 1% more damage against said target. While 100 points in Power would increase your damage by 0.25% (actually even slightly less) against same target. Do keep in mind though that 60% damage resistance is the highest recorded DR of mobs currently, so going over that is also a waste. Thankfully, it's not really hard to stack enough RI as a HR - you'll get some from Strength, which is usually your 3rd highest ability score and almost always from gear that you would use otherwise anyway. Not to mention huge boost from SH boon or if you end up using Loyal Avenger gear on your companion.
Power and Critical Strike: These are 2 stats you want to focus the most on once you have 60% RI. Stack them as much as possible as they essentially have no cap (well, critical chance caps at 100%, but it's highly unlikely you'll reach that mark without pots or buffs).
Life Steal: Very important stat for survivabilty and around 10% life steal chance is usually optimal, although I did find that less is sufficient as a trapper just due to share amount of DoTs that we have.
Defence and HP: The more of these 2 stats you have, the less squishy you'll be, simple as that. Which you decide to focus on is entirely up to you. Deflect could also be included in this category, but I generally dislike deflect. Still, it's your choice which of these 3 to focus on, shouldn't make a huge difference regardless.
Combat Advantage Bonus: Since with AotP you will almost always have Combat Advantage, stacking this is a good idea. Keep in mind that the curve of this stat is not linear and it more or less caps at around ~1500.
Recovery: Due to cooldown reductions provided by Swiftness of the Fox feat, recovery is pretty useless for a trapper. You might want to have some just to ensure you can avoid using at-wills as much as possible or for some extra AP gain, but generally recovery can be ignored entirely.

Gear
Armor: Anything that gives you Crit and Power is good and if gives you both, then it's prefect.
Rings: Ring of Brutality, Ring of Rising Power, Ring of Sudden Precision and Ring and Ring of Rising Precision are the best choices, otherwise, same as armor, anything that gives you crit and power is good.
Artifact Cloak: Any that gives you both power and critical strike
Artifact Belt: If you're not going for a full set, Greater Twined Rope of Dexterity is the best choice. If you want/can get a full set, Golden Belt of Puissance and Greater Imperial Waistband of Honor are the best choices,
Artifacts: Wheel of Elements is the best choice for primary artifact, otherwise Lantern of Revelation or any other that provides buffs/debuffs is a good choice. When it comes to 2nd-4th artifacts, anything that gives you Power, Critical Strike and Combat Advantage Bonus are top choices. I personally use Wheel of Elements, Lantern of Revelation, Sigil of the Controller and Lostmauth's Horn of Blasting (last one is only cause I have full set, but it's not really all that good anymore).
Offense Slot Enchantments: If you don't have 60% RI, slotting Dark enchantments is the best choice, otherwise slot Brutal, Radiant or Azure enchantments.
Defense Slot Enchantments: Entirely up to you, slot whichever defensive stat you want/need the most.
Weapon enchantment: Dread and Vorpal are top picks, otherwise Terror, Plague Fire and Lightning are all good.
Armor Enchantment: Lesser Soulforged is enough for PVE although if you can afford it, higher rank Negation might be better.

Companions
Summoned companion
Any augment companion will do the trick but if you can afford it and want a better performance, bondings are they way to go. Having 3 normal bondings is a good starting point, as it will match augment in stats provided, and you can improve from there. When it comes choosing a companion to use bondings with, any that has at least 2 offensive rune slots is good, although 3 is ideal, and a decent active bonus or some sort of buff/debuff power to go along with it would be preferred.That being said, you would generally want to equip it with Loyal Avenger gear, so take into consideration what gear type the companion uses and if you can afford it when picking your companion. Having good gear on your companion will often be better than having good active bonus.

Active companions
Anything that provides you some sort of offensive bonus is good. Some of the best choices to consider are the Archons (except for Water one), companions that provide crit severity (like Dancing Blade, which is also a great choice to put bondings on), companions that provide combat advantage bonus (like Bling Dog) and such. One interesting choice if you can afford it is Wild Hunt Rider, since you'll be using your encounters constantly.

Note: I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors or if something was worded confusingly. Feel free ask for clarification.
Posted Sep 8, 16 · OP
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Nice guide, Trenkts. Thank you for putting it up!
Posted Sep 8, 16
Ghost a
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Very nice guide Trenkts, will be very useful for whoever wants to try a similar build.
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Posted Sep 11, 16
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