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Archer Skill Build

Updated for Chaos

Every so often, a thread regarding how Bowmen should spend their Skill Points (SP), graces itself upon the Bowman forums due to the creation of new Bowmen and Bowmen who have graduated into the next job. This article was developed (and still under construction) by fellow Bowmen who contributed their ideas about skill builds. This article is intended to help Bowmen decide how to go about distributing SP at certain levels, in order to fit their playing style. This thread also attempts to avoid using bias as much as possible, but instead explains why a specific skill build is necessary by explaining its advantages and disadvantages, this article is not meant to be read start to finish but as a reference.

Remember, this is not, by any means, a complete list of the possible skill builds. There exists nearly an infinite number of ways to distribute your skills. This is simply a listing of the most commonly used ones and ones recommend.

This article is split into five sections: First Job, Second Job, Third Job, Fourth Job, and Appendix

TABLE OF CONTENTS

[link=1]First Job Skill Builds - Enter the Power of the Bowman[/link]

  • [link=1a]Double Shot Build[/link]
  • [link=1b]Arrow Blow Build[/link]

[link=2]Second Job Skill Builds - The Dividing Path[/link]

  • [link=2a]Standard Second Job Build[/link]
  • [link=2b]Alternate Beginnings: Soul Arrow/Booster[/link]
  • [link=2c]Alternate Beginnings: Mobbing Maniac[/link]
  • [link=2d]Ultimate Adventurer Section[/link]

[link=3]Third Job Skill Builds - The Results of Dedication Emerge[/link]

  • [link=3a]Arrow Rain/Arrow Eruption Build[/link]
  • [link=3b]Inferno/Blizzard Build[/link]
  • [link=3c]Finishing Your Core Build[/link]
  • [link=3d]Finishing Ranger Training Build[/link]
  • [link=3e]Finishing Sniper Training Build[/link]
  • [link=3f]3rd Job Ranger Bossing Build[/link]
  • [link=3g]3rd job Sniper Bossing Build[/link]

[link=4]Introduction to Fourth Job - Walking the Path of the Master[/link]

  • [link=4a]Importance of Skills[/link]
  • [link=4b]Skill build example[/link]

[link=5]Appendix[/link]

  • [link=5a]In-depth analysis of some contentious skills[/link]
  • [link=5b]Shooting Speeds for Final Attack[/link]
  • [link=5c]Defensive Skills and Characteristics[/link]
  • [link=5d]Frequently Asked Questions[/link]

Abbreviations:

AB - Arrow Blow
AE - Arrow Eruption
AoE - Area of Effect
AR - Arrow Rain
BE - Bow Expertise
Bomb - Arrow Bomb
Crit - Critical Shot
DB - Dragon Breath
Dodge - Evasion Boost
DS - Double Shot
Eagle - Golden Eagle
Erupt - Arrow Eruption
FA - Final Attack
Hawk - Silver Hawk
HP - Health Points
IA - Iron Arrow
KB - Knock Back (a status effect that lasts approximately .1 seconds)
LHC/LKC - Lion Heart Castle/Lion King Castle
MP - Mana Points
MB - Mortal Blow
MMB - Marksman Boost
MMS - Marksmanship
MW - Maple Warrior
OHKO - One-Hit-Knock-Out
PKB - Power Knock Back
Rain - Arrow Rain
SA - Soul Arrow
SE - Sharp Eyes
SP - Skill Points
US - Ultimate Strafe



First Job Skill Builds - Enter the Power of the Bowman


Double Shot Build

Level 10 - 1 Arrow Blow (1) or 1 Double Shot (1)
Level 11 - 1 Arrow Blow (1) or 1 Double Shot (1), 2 Eye of Amazon (2)
Level 12 - 3 Eye of Amazon (5)
Level 13~18 - 3 Double Shot (19)
Level 19 - 1 Double Shot (20), 2 Critical Shot (2)
Level 20~25 - 3 Critical Shot (20)
Level 26~30 - 3 Focus (15)

End Results:

Max Double Shot
Max Eye of the Amazon
Max Critical Shot
Max Focus
1 Arrow Blow

Notes:

This build utilizes the single target power of Double Shot rather than Arrow Blow, making it a better "long" term build than the Arrow Blow build. Training during first job may be slower due to the lack of mobbing power, but this is made up for in 2nd job when Double Shot retains its use as a single target skill and Arrow Blow is replaced by Iron Arrow or Arrow Bomb. If you plan to face a lot of mobs in 1st and 2nd job, do not use this build.

If one wishes to sacrifice range for power early on, Eye of the Amazon can be added at any time later. Just be sure to max it eventually. Whether a point in Arrow Blow or Double Shot is added first is entirely up to the player, but at least 1 point in Arrow Blow is recommended as it is necessary for certain quests and provides decent mobbing power even at level 1.


Arrow Blow Build

Level 10 - 1 Arrow Blow (1)
Level 11 - 3 Eye of Amazon (3)
Level 12 - 2 Eye of Amazon (5), 1 Arrow Blow (2)
Level 13~18 - 3 Arrow Blow (20)
Level 19~24 - 3 Critical Shot (18)
Level 25 - 2 Critical Shot (20), 1 Focus (1)
Level 26~29 - 3 Focus (13)
Level 30 - 2 Focus (15), 1 Double Shot (1)

End Results:

Max Arrow Blow
Max Eye of the Amazon
Max Critical Shot
Max Focus
1 Double Shot

Notes:

This build focuses on mobbing power rather than single target damage. In most cases, that makes this build better during 1st job training due to the ease of finding small mobs to defeat. Unfortunately, this build lacks in later levels as Arrow Blow is mostly replaced by Arrow Bomb and Iron Arrow, so the lack of Double Shot makes single target training more difficult. If you plan to face lots of mobs in 1st and 2nd job, use this build.

If one wishes to sacrifice range for power early on, Eye of the Amazon can be added at any time later. Just be sure to max it eventually.


Second Job Skill Builds - The Dividing Path



Standard 2nd Job Build

Level 30 - 1 Iron Arrow/Arrow Bomb (1)
Level 31~36 - 3 Mastery (18)
Level 37 - 2 Mastery (20) 1 Booster (1)
Level 38 - 3 Booster (4)
Level 39 - 1 Booster (5), 2 Soul Arrow (2)
Level 40 - 1 Booster (6), 2 Iron Arrow/Arrow Bomb (3)
Level 41~45 - 3 IA/Bomb (18)
Level 46 - 2 IA/Bomb (20), 1 Final Attack (1)
Level 47~52 - 3 FA (19)
Level 53 - 1 FA (20), 2 Enhanced Basics (2)
Level 54~55 - 3 Enhanced Basics (8)
Level 56 - 2 Enhanced Basics (10), 1 Booster (7)
Level 57~58 - 2 Booster (11), 1 SA (4)
Level 59 - 3 Booster (14)
Level 60~62 - 2 Booster (20), 1 SA (7)
Level 63~68 - 3 Power Knock-Back (18)
Level 69 - 2 PKB (20), 1 SA (8)
Level 70 - 2 SA (10), 1 first job skill

End Results:
Max Everything
1 point into a 1st job skill

Explanation:

This is the most basic and ideal build for most. It capitalizes on mobbing damage early on and single target damage second, making it ideal for most training situations. Wherever possible, Soul Arrow and Booster are kept at relatively equal durations. Remember to max every skill in 2nd job, and place only one extra point into your 1st job skill. Final Attack IS a must, as explained in the appendix.



Alternate Beginnings: Soul Arrow/Booster

Level 30 - 1 Iron Arrow/Arrow Bomb (1)
Level 31 - 3 Mastery (3)
Level 32 - 2 Mastery (5), 1 Booster (1)
Level 33 - 3 Booster (4)
Level 34 - 2 Booster (6), 1 Soul Arrow
Level 35 - 1 Soul Arrow (2), 2 Mastery (7)
Level 36~39 - 3 Mastery (19)
Level 40 - 1 Mastery (20), 2 Iron Arrow/Arrow Bomb (3)
Level 41+ - Same as Standard Build

Explanation:

This build adds a small amount of Soul Arrow and Booster early on, allowing faster attack speeds and frees up Use inventory slots that would have been used by arrows. They are kept at level 6 and 2 for Booster and Soul Arrow respectively for equal durations. The only downside is that 8 potential levels of Mastery are missed out on, making a Bowman's already unstable damage even worse.



Alternate Beginnings: Mobbing Maniac

Level 30 - 1 Iron Arrow/Arrow Bomb (1)
Level 31 - 2 IA/AB (3) 1 Mastery (1)
Level 32~36 - 3 IA/AB (18)
Level 37 - 2 IA/AB (20), 1 Mastery (2)
Level 38~43 - 3 Mastery (20)
Level 44 - 3 Booster (3)
Level 45 - 2 Booster (5), 1 Soul Arrow
Level 46 - 1 Soul Arrow (2), 1 Booster (6), 1 Final Attack
Level 47+ - Same as Standard Build.

Explanation:

While it may not be a very significant difference, this build maximized mobbing potential over Mastery first - 12% greater damage increase for Iron Arrow, and a 5% reduced damage increase for Hunters. This build is more effective for Crossbowmen than Hunters, due to the increase in power that Iron Arrow faces as compared to Arrow Bomb. However, Hunters have the increased stun rate to look forward too. For awesome syncing skills, you can increase Booster and SA similarly to the previous build.



Ultimate Adventurer Section

To be honest, I didn't really want to include this section, mainly because besides the obvious points, it really doesn't matter. However, I realize that without any research, these obvious points won't be obvious to some players. 1st job skills stay the same, the only change is that getting AB isn't as useful. Some may argue, depending on which bowman you are, since AB is the only curving horizontal mob skill that crossbowmen get, but depending on your play style, the usefulness of that may vary. In 2nd job, you want to have:

  • Maxed Mastery
  • X number of Booster (some may opt for maxed, some will be fine with 6)
  • Maxed Arrow Bomb as a hunter
  • X number of SA
  • Depending on the number of SA/Booster you choose, you may have leftover points for FA

Explanation:

Mastery, Booster and SA are all self explanatory. Arrow Bomb can still be used for the splash and stun effect. I don't see the point of IA, but the extra points really can go anywhere, since all skills will be maxed.


Third Job Skill Builds - The Results of Dedication Emerge


Because 3rd Job has such a variation of ending builds, this section has been divided into 2 sections: Core Skill builds, and Variation Skill Builds.

Core Builds

Arrow Rain/Eruption First

Level 70 - Inferno/Blizzard (1)
Level 71 - 3 MB (3)
Level 72 - 2 MB (5), 1 Arrow Rain/Eruption (1)
Level 73~81 - 3 AR/E (28)
Level 82 - 2 AR/E (30), 1 Inferno/Blizzard (2)
Level 83~88 - 3 Inferno/Blizzard (20)
Level 89~93 - 3 MB (20)

Explanation:

This build prioritizes training at maps with dense spawn, early on. It's more recommended to Snipers because of Blizzard's mediocre damage, comparing it to AE. This build focuses on vertical maps versus horizontal maps, which is up to which one the user prefers more.



Inferno/Blizzard First

Level 70 - 1 Inferno/Blizzard (1)
Level 71~76 - 3 Inferno/Blizzard (19)
Level 77 - 1 Inferno/Blizzard (20), 2 MB (2)
Level 78 - 3 MB (5)
Level 79~88 - 3 AR/AE (30)
Level 89~93 - 3 MB (20)

Explanation:

Inferno is stronger than Arrow Rain on mobs of 6, both Inferno and Blizzard are used in different scenarios and map when comparing them to AR/AE. The mobs start to get large once you hit around 90+, but it doesn't matter at that point, since you'll have both skills maxed. This build is more recommended for Rangers, since there are more fire weak monsters (El Nath) from level 70-80 than ice weak, and the fact that Inferno beats AR on 6 mobs.

Note:
Things to keep in mind when choosing between the Inferno/Blizzard build and the AR/AE build, is that it comes down to two different types of play style. Inferno and Blizzard have elemental advantages and is used for horizontal attacks, and AR/AE have the ability to hit more mobs, and is more vertical friendly. When choosing between these two staple builds, it basically comes down to what kind of environment do you want to train in. Generally, depending on the map, AR/AE will win out, simply because of the mob advantage. However, it's nothing too drastic, and some simply enjoy the Inferno/Blizzard play style better. In this case, there really is no "best" build.



Finishing your Core Build

Seems as if Big Bang has taken out a lot of fun in the late 3rd job for bowmen. Once you hit 93, the order of the remainder of your skills really has little to no impact on training. Each of the remaining skills helps each user differently, for example if Person A loved to dojo, while Person B never set foot in dojo, telling both Person A and B to max strafe would be foolish. Make your decision based on what kind of play style you enjoy, but for the sake of actually making a build, I'll be excluding things such as area bosses and dojo.

Note: since I know people won't be reading the many paragraphs that explain my decision, do not use the following build word for word. The guide is meant to be used as a reference, and an explanation to the skills we have. Each person's build cannot be better then another, simply because each person has a different play style.
I'll split up the remaining skills into two categories, one with higher priority and one with lower, as well as include stopping levels (if there are any) for Rangers and Snipers.

Higher Priority

These skills include Thrust, Dodge, and Puppet. I personally rank them in that order in terms of usefulness of my own play style, but each skill helps in different categories, in which the user must choose for themselves based on their play style.

Thrust

Thrust allows one to maximize speed, without sacrificing damage. With a high enough level of Thrust, an Archer can achieve maxed speed without relying on Haste, or Speed Equips. More speed allows you to move from target to target quicker, and still be ready for combat at any time, unlike using a Mount. For Rangers, you should have every skill maxed, with the exception of Strafe, leaving it at 21. For Snipers, one can opt to have max thrust and lesser Dodge, or vice versa.

Dodge

At first look, Dodge looks like an awesome skill. The ability to hit 100% crits every time a monster misses seems like a pretty amazing passive skill, but Dodge doesn't give monsters 80% chance to hit, but rather simply buffs your avoid. You still will see a difference putting points into Dodge, but realistically, it's not an amazing skill. If the user already has 140% speed without Thrust, than Dodge seems like the next best thing. Snipers can make the choice between having less of Thrust (6) and max Dodge (10), vice versa, or in between (8 and 8). It's up to the player's judgement as which they value more, speed versus avoid.

Puppet

Puppet is probably the game changing skill for bowmen, but it really doesn't shine until 4th job. The maps during 3rd job simply don't lend itself to Puppet, and the fact that we can only face monsters our level, makes the monsters die much quicker than they used to. This makes puppeting every mob much less efficient. However, if you are the type of person who enjoys hunting area bosses in your early 100's, puppet will help greatly at bosses such as Big Foot, Headless Horseman, etc. This skill generally should be maxed out no matter what build you're following. It is irreplaceable in 4th job, with both bosses (Papulatus) and training. I would go so far as to say Puppet could replace Blizzard/Frostprey at many training spots for Marksman.

Low Priority

These skills include Strafe and Hawk/Eagle.

Strafe

Strafe has quickly fallen in terms of priority since Big Bang, simple for the reason that I have stated many times above, that single target training has become inefficient. However, if you're the type of player who enjoys hunting bosses and spending time at dojo, getting Strafe before Thrust/Dodge won't hurt much. Snipers must have this skill maxed as a pre-requisite for Ultimate Strafe, while Rangers are recommended to leave this skill at 21, maxing every other skill in its place.

Silver Hawk/Golden Eagle
I'll split this section for the two classes, as even though they are two identical skills, they serve completely different purposes for each class.

For Snipers, Eagle is relatively useless, it's only real purpose after Big Bang is to be a pre-requisite for Frostprey. It's recommended that you get Eagle last, as there is no real use for single target skills in 3rd job, besides bosses, which Eagle can't stun.
For Rangers, Hawk is again, generally useless in 3rd job, but it has some uses in 4th. I recommend getting Hawk last, similar to Snipers, but maxing it would be ideal. Due to the fact that Bowmasters get Phoenix so late, Hawk's stun can come into play eventually, at possible spots such newties, or even skeles, despite the fact that LHC is dominant.



Finishing Ranger Training Build

Level 94~96 - 3 Thrust (9)
Level 97 - 1 Thrust (10), 1 Dodge (1)
Level 98~100 - 3 Dodge (10)
Level 101~106 - 3 Puppet (18)
Level 107 - 2 Puppet (20), 1 Strafe (1)
Level 108~113 - 3 Strafe (19)
Level 114 - 2 Strafe (21), 1 Hawk (1)
Level 115~120 - 3 Hawk (20)

Explanation:

Thrust and Dodge can be interchangeable in the rare occasions where you have 140% speed without Thrust. Getting Thrust in the end is still recommended, as getting max speed without a speed bow/crossbow or even speed pills is relatively hard, and if the user wanted to change equips later on, Thrust would help the user change without hesitation. Regardless, speed will generally help in training (albeit, depending on the map) more than an occasional miss. You'll see a bit of a difference when you finish Dodge, but again, it's really not much at all. Puppet follows, in a pure training build, as it can be definitely be usable, but because of the fact that users can only train on monsters at their level, monsters usually die much too fast to be using Puppet for each mob. If the user is tight on money, and needs to be saving each and every potion, by all means, add Puppet in earlier, up to the user's discretion. As stated numerous times already, each player's build will change depending on your play style; it's simply not feasible to account for every single player's needs. The bottom line is, generally, in terms of efficient training, puppet will usually slow you down, as training revolves around gathering mobs quicker.



Finishing Sniper Training Build

Level 94~95 - 3 Thrust (6)*
Level 96~98 - 3 Dodge (9)
Level 99 - 1 Dodge (10)*, 2 Puppet (2)
Level 100~105 - 3 Puppet (20)
Level 106~115 - 3 Strafe (30)
Level 116~120 - 3 Eagle (15)

  • Thrust and Dodge are interchangeable, as they're what's left of the lower priority skills without being a pre-requisite to a 4th job skill (such as 30 strafe being a minimum for Ultimate Strafe). If the user has 140% speed with 6 Thrust, by all means, go with 6 Thrust and max Dodge. If the user needs the extra speed, feel free to take 4 points out of Dodge.

Explanation:

The Sniper build follows very similarly to the Ranger build, the only difference is the fact that Snipers need minimum 15 Eagle, but no more is recommended. Eagle is primarily replaced by Frostprey, albeit there are ice strong monsters, but 15 Eagle should suffice in those areas. Max Strafe is needed as a pre-requisite for Ultimate Strafe, so the 9 points being taken out would be 5 from Eagle, and 4 from either Dodge or Thrust.



3rd Job Ranger Bossing Build

Level 94~100 - 3 Strafe (21)
Level 101~105 - 3 Puppet (18)
Level 106 - 2 Puppet (20), 1 Thrust (1)
Level 107~109 - 3 Thrust (10)
Level 110~112 - 3 Dodge (9)
Level 113 - 1 Dodge (10), 2 Hawk (2)
Level 114~120 - 3 Hawk (20)

Explanation:

This build is directed to the users who wish to boss in their 3rd job, more specifically the many area bosses that open up at roughly level 100. These bosses give decent exp, and in some occasions, great drops. This build also opens up dojo, which more casual users may want to try out. Do note that if you are planning to take on a specific area boss where Puppet is extremely effective, if the said boss opens up before you finish Strafe, feel free to put in roughly 6 points in Puppet ahead of time.



3rd Job Sniper Bossing Build

Level 94~103 - 3 Strafe (30)
Level 104~109 -3 Puppet (18)
Level 110 - 2 Puppet (20), 1 Thrust (1)
Level 111 - 3 Thrust (4)
Level 112 - 2 Thrust (6)*, 1 Dodge (1)
Level 113~115 - 3 Dodge (10)*
Level 116~120 - 3 Eagle (15)

  • See above note

Explanation:

This build opens up a lot of area bosses that open up once you hit the triple digits. As stated previously, depending on the boss you are going to face, you may want to get roughly 6 Puppet somewhere between getting Strafe, it's up to the user's discretion.

Note:

As stated before, there are countless variations to finishing your 3rd job. If you value "x" skill over "y" skill, go ahead and add in a few points before y skill. These 4 builds are meant to target the overall audience, but not every single individual. However, in terms of pure training speed, it's not recommended to put the skills in the finishing builds before the core skills, but obviously if your play style is not centered around purely training, then it would be different. Do note if you choose to go Strafe first, please think about it first, as many people who do so, would end up quitting due to the much slower training speed.


Introduction to Fourth Job - Walking the Path of the Master


Importance of Skills
Due to the nature of Fourth Job, skill builds are very flexible and have high potential to vary more than any other builds in previous jobs. Every other job had a potential cookie cutter to work with, but in the case for Fourth Job you have to make the cookies from scratch, and unfortunately there is some uncertainty in which ingredient you will receive first. So, instead of a Skill Build layout, below will give a walkthrough on what to keep in mind when approaching your build. Also, do note that these builds only work under the impression that the user has access and has passed all of the mastery books completed. It is a personal choice, but if the user cannot afford SE 20 (as an example), then the user would have to opt for a cheaper book, such as Hurricane 20. This is based on the current knowledge of the skills at this time and is subject to change at any time:

First off, a Bowmaster or Marksmen will most likely start off getting a minimum of 1 point in these skills before focusing seriously on skills that are important overall. This is in order to perform efficiently. Below listed are possible skills that at least 1 point MIGHT be put into by the player first:

Phoenix/Frostprey
Dragon Breath (Dragon Breath currently does not work at LHC, but will be fixed in a later patch. For now, it doesn't seem worth it to get 1 DB, but the user may still opt for it depending on where the user trains)
Bow Expert/Marksman Boost
Hurricane
Ultimate Strafe
Snipe

The Order of Importance in the Skill Build should be as follows (they are in no particular order):

Bowmasters
  1. Sharp Eyes / Expert / Hurricane/Marksmanship (goes until mix 15x-16x)
  2. Maple Warrior / Concentrate (goes until mid 16x-mid 17x)
  3. Phoenix
  4. Hamstring / Dragon Breath

Marksmen
  1. Ultimate Strafe / Snipe / Marksmanship (goes until level 14x )
  2. Sharp Eyes / Marksman Boost (goes until level 16x)
  3. Pierce / Maple Warrior (goes until level mid 17x)
  4. Blind / Frostprey

These skills are listed in the order shown due to relevance while training, be it solo or otherwise. All other skills after 15X are up to the player's needs for Bowmasters, and 14X for Marksmen.

The Order of Importance is under the assumption that the player wants to increase their power as much as possible, and is listed to show what skills you should be focusing on over others or choose between when you have varying Mastery Books and points left of SP.

Now, the Mastery Books are the things that make everything complicated. As they will either be rare to find, draining on the wallet and overall unpredictable when you will obtain the Mastery Book at certain levels. That is why you should use the Order of Importance to help you decide. Also, again below, these things about the skill should be kept in mind.

Note: Again this is just based on pure observation of the skills current data and can change at any time.

Sharp Eyes
[Skill=Bow-Master=Sharp-Eyes]
Sharp Eyes is a medium priority to the Fourth Job Archer as it steadily increases in power each level and every point increases the duration for an extra ten seconds. Despite Sharp Eyes' nerf from Big Bang, because of LHC, SE is more sought out for than ever. It's highly recommended that you get roughly 6-9 points into SE early on, as people generally party with users around the same level, and SE will help out as your party size increases. However, in terms of solo increase in damage, marksman boost and marksmanship beat SE by a considerable margin. It's truly a situational skill, as for some people, their party members rely on them for SE, while others have a higher level archer in their party. Despite the fact that your members may want you to max SE first, it's generally not the best way to go, unless you have a consistent 6 man attacking party of NL's, or something of that nature.

(X)Bow Expertise
[Skill=Bow-Master=Bow-Expert][Skill=Marksman=Marksman-Boost]
Expertise also can increase damage overtime greatly but only to your own damage, versus SE being a party buff. This skill no longer has any real important stopping points, due to its constant bonus at each level, but when deciding which skill is more important for Bow Masters (as in, Expertise versus Hurricane), think about whether or not you want to solely rely on Hurricane for damage, or you wish to be more versatile. However, at many training spots, including LHC, both Inferno and Hurricane will be used, so in that scenario Expert would be higher priority than Hurricane. At bosses, where Hurricane would be the only skill you were to use, than depending on how high your damage range is, Hurricane becomes higher priority than Expert. For Marksmen, MMB loses out to Snipe, unless you can consistently hit more than 1m with Ultimate Strafe at around level 130, which is realistically, very unlikely. In terms of solo gain, Expertise/MMB beats SE, but Marksmanship beats out Expertise/MMB at LHC.

Hurricane
[Skill=Bow-Master=Hurricane]
Level 1 Hurricane is a must, once you hit level 120. However, due to Big Bang's new skill tables, Hurricane has a consistent bonus instead of a large bonus at levels such as level 11 Hurricane, versus Level 10 Hurricane. This means that raising Hurricane purely depends on whether or not you wish to train at LHC, or if you want to solely train on bosses such as Zakum. If you wish the latter, then raising Hurricane would beat out every skill except for Marksmanship in terms of solo damage, if you have an above average range. If not, than Expertise would have higher priority. Of course, realistically, you would raise whichever skill you had the mastery book for.

Pierce
[skill=Marksman=Piercing-Arrow]
Pierce is one of the strongest mob skills in the game, but with the release of LHC, and due to the fact that currently in GMS, Dragons Breath doesn't work on LHC mobs, pierce has quickly plummeted in terms of priority. However, taking snipe out of the equation, on 4+ mobs, pierce out damages Ultimate Strafe by a huge margin. At LHC, unless you have a rusher, it's generally not worth getting the 4 mobs together, even though there is a significant damage increase. Regardless, pierce's usefulness will be judged again once DB works on LHC mobs.

Concentrate
[Skill=Bow-Master=Concentrate]
Concentrate raises attack, and at the same time cuts MP cost for skills. Concentrate now stacks with attack potions, making it a decent skill. However, its new buff still loses out to the other buffs Bow Masters have, such as SE and Expertise. It's still regarded to be a low priority skill, but definitely better than the rest of the lower priority skills (DB, Hamstring, Phoenix). Some users may opt for Concentrate before Maple Warrior, as most of the other classes generally get MW before Bow Masters can even make the choice between Concentrate and MW. It comes down to the user's preference and scenario.

Snipe
[Skill=Marksman=Snipe]
Despite the fact that Big Bang has considerably lowered Snipe's cool down time at lower levels (comparing level 1 Snipe pre-Big Bang to level 1 Snipe post-big bang), the fact still remains that Snipe is a level 1 skill or a level 30 skill. With Chaos, Snipe has now been changed to deal 900%x4. On areas where the ohko effect doesn't apply (LHC), it provides a lower DPM increase than MMB, MMS and SE, assuming you have a near average range. It's still a great skill, it's just no longer extremely high on the priority scale, at least to the general public (again, assuming you have a near average range).
Marksmanship
[Skill=Marksman=Marksmanship]
Having LHC be the primary training spot past 4th job, Marksmanship starts to truly shine. It out damages SE in terms of solo damage at LHC and has the additional bonus of extra hp. Outside of LHC, it has its uses at other bosses, but unfortunately on regular monsters, it is out classed by MMB and SE.

Maple Hero
[Skill=Bow-Master=Maple-Warrior]
During 4th job you will party frequently and other people will have Maple Warrior. Points in this can be considered before Concentrate. Night Lords and 4th job magicians in particular seem to get this skill as early as 130, and you will spend most of your time in a party with them. Maple Warrior 20 is a much sought after HT exclusive drop, and is rather expensive and rare.

Other
[Skill=Bow-Master=Hamstring][Skill=Marksman=Blind][Skill=Bow-Master=Phoenix][Skill=Marksman=Frostprey][Skill=Marksman=Dragons-Breath]
All other skills depends on the person, in maxation, do they want to become damage conservative with Blind/Hamstring, or focus attention towards Phoenix/Frostprey and Dragon Breath. The skills that the player wants could also be based on fun as fun plays a huge factor than any other previous build seeing that it will take you weeks to level under normal conditions for the average person. I also suggest 1-3 points in Hamstring for Bowmasters, as it works hand and hand with Hurricanes KB rate and exponentially increases the time it takes for a monster to get to you, even at a low level. Most of these other skills are extremely inexpensive, as they do not contribute nearly as much as SE, Expert, MW, and Hurricane / Snipe / Pierce to DPS, and are normally maxed much later in 4th job. This means, however, that these books are considerably rarer, due to people thinking they are worthless due to the small market of lvl 150+ bowmen and dropping them on the ground or letting them fade away.

Good SP levels to stop on the important skills is listed below:

Sharp Eyes: 9 (it depends how comfortable you are with the timer, most players choose 9 so that they don't have to worry about passing SE 20, but also since they don't have to cast as often as this buff should be distributed to the entire party)
Pierce: 11,21
Phoenix / Frostprey - 1, 11, 21. Frostprey gets +1s duration of freeze at 11 and 21.
Blind / Hamstring - 11, 21
Snipe - 1, 30. If you start maxing this skill, do not stop.
Dragon Breath -1, 11, 21


Skill Build Examples

Note:

I do not include putting in 1 point into skills such as Frostprey, Concentrate, and DB. This is because of the fact that these points are entirely personal preference. While they are recommended (as Frostprey does considerable damage), it's far too complicated to add it in when the builds are for each level. Many people opt not to get these skills because of the fact that it pushes behind maxing a skill a level later (which is quite important for Snipe), and the fact that Concentrate is usable at level 1, but many people simply ignore it. DB is relatively useless to the masses, as the primary training spot is LHC, and the fact that DB doesn't work there, makes simply using PKB at any other spot the next best thing. There will be an edit to DB once the patch to fix DB comes to GMS. If you wish to add 1 point into these skills, feel free to do so, it won't mess up your build per se, it's simply not as useful to the masses. For example, if you were the odd user that did not want to train at LHC, than DB would work relatively well for you. Frostprey does not give as big of a damage boost compared to the other skills, but it's much more versatile, and for that reason the user may opt for it.

Common opening 4th job builds:

Sharp Eyes First Bowmaster Build
Level 120 - 1 Hurricane, 2 Sharp Eyes
Level 121 - 1 SE (3), 1 Bow Expertise, 1 Phoenix
Level 122~130 - 3 SE (30)
Level 131 - 3 Hurricane / Expertise, read explanation for the other two builds when deciding (4)
Level 132~139 - 3 Hurricane / Expertise (28)
Level 140 - 2 Hurricane / Expertise (30), 1 Hurricane / Expertise (2)
Level 141~149 - 3 Hurricane / Expertise (29),
Level 150 - 1 Hurricane / Expertise (30), 2 MMS (2)
Level 151~152 - 3 MMS (8)
Level 153 - 2 MMS (10), 1 MW / Concentrate
154~156 - Maple Warrior / Concentrate
156 Onward is player's choice, as all three builds come together.

Explanation:

This build is focused on partying, and as such SE is maxed as soon as possible. Their individual damage will suffer slightly, however their party members will gain increased killing speed, which is especially beneficial in boss run settings. This build has regained some shine due to LHC's opening, but many users are choosing to increase their overall %/hour and DPM, instead of taking one for the team (as in, helping their party member's %/hour and DPM). Getting MMS before getting hurricane/expertise is optional, or even getting it after hurricane, but not expertise (and vice versa) is also optional, depending on whether the user wants to face monsters such as zakum frequently, as it would give a bigger boost than either skill.

Hurricane First Bowmaster Build
Level 120 - 1 Hurricane, 2 Sharp Eyes
Level 121 - 1 SE (3), 1 Bow Expertise, 1 Phoenix
Level 122~123 - 3 SE (9)
Level 124~132 - 3 Hurricane (28)
Level 133 - 2 Hurricane (30), 1 Expertise (2)
Level 134~142 - 3 Expertise (29)
Level 143 - 1 Expertise (30), 2 MMS (2)
Level 144~145 - 3 MMS (8)
Level 146 - 2 MMS (10), 1 SE (10)
Level 147~152 - 3 SE (28)
Level 153 - 2 SE (30), 1 MW / Concentrate
Level 154~156 - Maple Warrior / Concentrate
156 Onward is player's choice, as all three builds come together.

Explanation:

This build optimizes the Bowmaster's own killing speed, and allows a Bowmaster to reliably KB strong targets such as Papulatus before the other builds. This build has a huge amount of variation, in terms of maximizing the user's DPM, as deciding between mixing Hurricane and BE (2 Hurricane, 1 BE) relies on the user's damage range. This is just the extreme example, in the case of which the user has a much higher damage range, and Hurricane is more beneficial than the actual attack stat.

Bow Expertise First Bowmaster Build
Level 120 - 1 Hurricane, 2 Sharp Eyes
Level 121 - 1 SE (3), 1 Bow Expertise, 1 Phoenix
Level 122~123 - 3 SE (9)
Level 124~132 - 3 Expertise (28)
Level 133 - 2 Expertise (30), 1 Hurricane (2)
Level 134~142 - 3 Hurricane (29)
Level 143 - 1 Hurricane (30), 2 MMS (2)
Level 144~145 - 3 MMS (8)
Level 146 - 2 MMS (10), 1 SE (10)
Level 147~152 - 3 SE (28)
Level 153 - 2 SE (30), 1 MW / Concentrate
Level 154~156 - Maple Warrior / Concentrate
Level 156 Onward is player's choice, as all three builds come together.

Explanation:

This build is the opposite extreme to the Hurricane Build, in which the user has a much lower damage range than the average player, and the attack stat is much more beneficial than raising Hurricane's %. Keep in mind that this build is much better than the Hurricane Build in terms of training at LHC, instead of focussing on raw DPM. This is because BE raises all your skills, instead of focussing on Hurricane, for example using Inferno at LHC.

Common points to all Bowmaster builds:

1 Hurricane and 2 Sharp Eyes are obtained at 120 due to the fact established in the bowman FAQ that level 1 Hurricane and any level SE is better than max Strafe and any level SE. 1 point in Bow Expertise is obtained the level after, as level 1 SE has an infuriatingly short timer (which is why Bow Expertise isn't gotten at 120) but yields a substantial increase in all attacking skills damage for only one point. Level 9 Sharp Eyes is high on the priority list due to the fact that many users will be training with users around the same level, in which due to the natural slower killing rate at LHC, SE would be the most beneficial to all the party members. 1 Phoenix and/or Concentrate is usually gotten somewhere before 140, for fun. MMS beats SE in terms of solo dpm, but loses out to Expertise. The placement of MMS is really personal choice, whether or not you value solo dpm over party dpm (MMS vs SE), or if you value the extra hp over raw damage (MMS vs Experise).

Note:

I have only listed one Marksman build, because at this moment, LHC is the best training spot by far, and unless you are the one out of a hundred marksmen that can out damage Snipe at level 13x, than Snipe beats out any other skill by far. Pierce is usable at this point, but isn't an actual viable build, because the mobs at LHC are so spread out, without DB, pierce is generally inefficient. I will edit the build once DB works on LHC mobs at GMS. This single build has been focussed on by the oh-so-awesome Fcroaonlk. Any disputes on this build should be directed here.

Bossing Oriented Marksman Build
Level 120 - 1 Snipe, 1 Marksman Boost, 1 US
Level 121~123 - 3 US (9)*
Level 124~126 - 3 SE (9)*
Level 127~135 - 3 MMB (28)
Level 136 - 2 MMB (30)**, 1 MMS (1)
Level 137~139 - 3 MMS (10)
Level 140~146 - 3 SE (30)**
Level 147~155 - 3 Snipe (28)
Level 156 - 2 Snipe (30), 1 MW / Pierce / HW / FP (1)

  • When choosing between US or SE first, it really depends on whether you have a group of friends around your level, that would really benefit from your SE (such as a party of Night Lords), or if you usually have another higher level bowman friend, then get US first. These levels generally go buy relatively quick, so it doesn't matter too much which skill you choose.

  • *
When choosing between SE and MMB, again, it comes down to whatever you value more, a self buff or a party buff. Technically, if you had a constant group of attackers, which benefitted from the increase in SE, the overall party increase in exp would be greater, but a more realistic situation would lean towards MMB simply giving a greater boost overall. Another option is to cap SE at around 19, or whatever you feel comfortable at (19 was a random number in the middle, but is there to save the trouble of passing SE 30), and then move to MMB, as many parties don't mind having un-maxed SE, but would much rather have a longer timer. A more mathematical approach to the two skills, is in Fcroaonlk's guide, linked above.

Explanation:

This build is desgined solely around single target fighting. With this build one will perform extremely well at most bosses, as the order of the skills revolve around how much each skill impacts your DPM. MMB beats every skill (everything is with the mindset that you have an average range, where Snipe will lose out to MMB, MMS, and SE), as MMS follows after MMB, than SE, and finally Snipe. Keep in mind that the placement of MMS is almost purely opinion, whether or not you value solo dpm over all (MMS vs SE, since MMB would beat both of them in that aspect), or if you value the hp bonus over solo dpm (MMS vs MMB).

Mobbing Oriented Marksman Build
Level 120 - 1 Snipe, 1 Marksman Boost, 1 US
Level 121~124 - 3 US (10)
Level 125~128 - 3 Pierce (12)*
Level 129~131 - 3 SE (9)*
Level 132~137 - 3 Pierce (30)
Level 138~140 - 3 MMS (9)
Level 141 - 1 MMS (10), 2 SE (11)
Level 142~147 - 3 SE (29)
Level 148 - 1 SE (30)**, 2 MMB (3)
Level 149~157 - 3 MMB (30)**
Level 158~166 - 3 Snipe (28)
Level 167 - 2 Snipe (30), 1 MW/HW/FP (1)

  • Pierce will generally give you a higher DPM on 3-4 mobs (such as at golems at LHC), but some people may opt for SE earlier, simply for the party buff factor. In the end, use your own judgement on which skill you think you need more, and just remember it doesn't really matter, since you'll have both soon enough.

  • *The reason for getting MMB after SE, is the purely on how LHC is made. The fact the monsters die much slower, means that monsters will be rotating positions a lot more (for example, the monster first in line may move to the back, vice versa), and without the stability aspect, SE is the overall better choice (since LHC is built around partying). However, in other training spots (namely, time temple), MMB is the better choice. However, due to the fact that LHC is pretty much the only training spot that should be targeted, MMB is placed afterwards. Again, use your own judgement.

Note:
Depending on where you wish to train with this build (since more options are provided with pierce, i.e. werewolves), you may want to add 1 FP if you wish. I personally don't think FP is necessary in terms of protecting against attacks, because blizzard and puppet are more versatile, but if you want, FP is a solid option. Simply add it anywhere you wish in the build, depending on what level you're going to need FP.

Explanation:

This build is focussed on multiple target fighting. While finding mobs at LHC may be hard at times, just remember that luring is a viable strategy because of how much max pierce increases your DPM on multiple targets. Watching spawns and forcing a mob to spawn in a certain area may help as well. To do so, simply just target monsters in a specific area, and don't rotate the map, until all the monsters are on the other spawn.

Common points to all Marksman builds:

Snipe, MMB and US are all gotten once you hit 120, as they are amazing 1 point skills for your DPM. This will take precedence over Frostprey or SE, as these skills will first of all, help you KB papulatus, a great training spot once you hit 120, and greatly increase your ability to LHC. Finishing US will increase your damage more than any other skill, but some players may think that level 9 SE is more important. It is, after all, a standard expectation of 4th job bowmen, as the timer is at a decent length and adds a decent additional activation rate. It comes down to which one you personally think is more important, damage, or party buffs.

Extra Notes on 4th job

Specialty builds do not work as well during 4th job as ones during 1st or 2nd - People level too slow, training spots are limited, and most become focused on becoming as strong as they can so as to compete with their peers, people they have run into time and again. A surprising number of 4th jobbers are poor, and have very little money to fall back on if they fail bought mastery books. Your peers in this stage of MS will not only be interested in your equips, but also your skill build.


Appendix


In-depth analysis of some contentious skills

  1. [skill=Hunter=Arrow-Bomb] Arrow Bomb is a mob skill that has the ability to stun a mob and has a splash AoE . The AoE stun skill makes this skill almost irreplaceable at places such as Time Temple, or other regular training spots (not including LHC). Despite the fact that Inferno out damages Arrow Bomb, using both skills in conjuncture at previously stated training spots works well, if the user doesn't want to risk being hit.

  1. [skill=Sniper=Blizzard] Blizzard is an ice mob skill for Snipers, which allows them to completely immobilize a monster with ice. It is the only elemental skill a Sniper will receive before 4th job skill, Freezer. However it is not this job class last effective mobbing skill. Blizzard can now be used for a longer ranged AoE skill in 3rd job, as it can now crit (pre-Big Bang, Blizzard would not be able to hit crits). It is a skill that will not be replaced, at training spots outside of LHC, as Frostprey can be a little unreliable, and Blizzard also hits 6 mobs, instead of 4.

  1. [skill=Hunter=Bow-Booster]&[skill=Crossbow=Soul-Arrow] Booster and Soul Arrow are two skills that supplies buffs to bowmen. This should not be a priority skill in maxation order due to the fact that duration is the least effective of all 2nd job skills. However, due to the fact that 2nd job primarily consists of using Arrow Bomb, some users may opt for having higher Booster and SA instead of Enhanced Basics. It generally does not matter, as neither skill really impacts anything (besides increasing 1v1 damage with EB).

  1. [Skill=Hunter=Final-Attack] Final Attack Final Attack now greatly increases our training speed in 2nd job and especially in 3rd job, with the introduction of a passive chance to ohko a monster with Mortal Blow. Extra attacks with FA will double your chances of that ohko. FA works much greater work with Bow Masters than Marksmen, as Bow Masters shoot much faster with Hurricane, therefore having FA activate at a much greater percentage.

  1. [Skill=Archer=Focus]&[Skill=Archer=Blessing-of-Amazon] Focus and Blessing- see Explanation of Build for Standard 1st Job Build

  1. [Skill=Ranger=Silver-Hawk]&[Skill=Sniper=Golden-Eagle] Hawk/Eagle is a summon that requires the use of a summon rock, which price ranges from 5000-6500 mesos. This skill when max has a 99% chance of stunning a monster along with dealing a moderate amount of damage to the monster that is attacked. Hawk/Eagle is one of the few support skills that has multiple effects. Because Hawk/Eagle will attack any monster that is within its range, and can cease a monster from attacking any player through stun or death, this skill can be considered the closest thing a bowmen has to a party skill until 4th job. Hawk/Eagle needs to be at level 15 in order to unlock 4th job skill Phoenix/Frostprey.

  1. [Skill=Ranger=Rangers-Inferno] Inferno is a fire mob skill for Rangers that has had its damage increased greatly, with the introduction to a DoT effect. This skill is the only elemental skill a Ranger has until 4th job skill, Phoenix. This is one of the last effective mobbing skills a Ranger will receive most likely for the rest of the game.
  2. [Skill=Sniper=Mortal-Blow] Mortal Blow now carries a passive chance of 20% to ohko a monster, when the monster's health is under 30%. Its effect is activated when there is a large symbol above your character's head. It is important to note, that the attack the brings the monster to under 30% hp can also activate the skill, for example if the monster is at 40% health, and your attack brings it down to 25%, Mortal Blow can activate on that attack. Mortal Blow does not work on LHC mobs, but speeds up training during 3rd job greatly.

  1. [Skill=Hunter=Bow-Mastery]&[Skill=Crossbow=Crossbow-Mastery] Bow Mastery and Crossbow Mastery is a skill that decreases the damage gap in the damage range of a bowmen. This is usually recommended to max first mainly due to the fact that it will stabilize your damage and increase your damage over time. Mastery must be maxed in order to use the skill Advanced mastery in Fourth Job.

  1. [Skill=Hunter=Power-Knock-Back] Power Knock Back is a skill that allows a bowmen to deliver sufficient damage to a monster in an attempt to knock a monster away from the bowmen. The usefulness of PKB varies from player to player and level bracket to level bracket. Some people use it often and some people rarely use it or not at all. It is also debated whether PKB is useful because of its unpredictability to effectively knock a monster back and whether it will be replaced by Dragon Breath in 4th job. Bowmen have also created alternative uses for PKB other than protecting themselves from monsters. Bowmen can use PKB in an attempt to kill certain players or create games such as Golem Tennis/Platform Knockoff. Bowmen are one of the few classes that can actually kill another player.

  1. [Skill=Sniper=Puppet] Puppet is probably one of the main indirect skills that a bowmen has, which attracts a monster to a Scarecrow figure, and allowing the bowmen to remain unharmed. This enables bowmen to survive many situations and fight a variety of monsters that would normally decimate the bowmen if Puppet were not implemented. Puppet works on an aggro basis, or in other words, in order for a monster to be attracted to the Puppet, the monster has to be attempting to attack the bowman. For a monster to become aggro, they must be attacked by the bowmen, however some monsters are set to auto-aggro and will immediately try to attack a bowmen, when the bowmen gets near that monster. One of the favorite uses of puppet is to place it in a spot where the aggro monster cannot reach it so that the Puppet will not disappear from excessive damage. This causes the monster to stay in one spot trying to get to the puppet completely leaving the bowman unharmed.

It is important to note that Puppet works wonders at training spots such as Time Temple, and even at LHC in certain occasions. At Time Temple, both Bow Masters and Marksmen can KB a monster, then proceed to use DB and then cast Puppet behind their character. This puts Puppet outside of the monster's range, which makes the monster not able to cast any long ranged attacks, therefore protecting you. It's an important skill to learn, especially if you play with a laggy computer. It is particularly easier for Marksmen to use Puppet, because of the fact that they have the luxury of freezing the monster before hand, and not being under the pressure of having the cast Puppet before the monster's KB frames end. Puppet can be more useful than Blizzard/Frostprey in many occasions, one for the fact that Puppet lasts pretty much as long as the monster lives, and the fact that Puppet can be used on mobs greater than 6. Finally, another great use for Puppet is casting Puppet twice, to relieve a monster's aggro on your character (once, to attract the monster's aggro, and the second to cancel it).

  1. [Skill=Bow-Master=Sharp-Eyes] Sharp Eyes is the first and only exclusive party skill that Archers obtain. It allows any class to perform critical hits, and boosts the effects of Critical already owned by other classes.

  1. [Skill=Sniper=Thrust] Thrust is a skill that passively gives speed to a bowmen. Most bowmen prefer to put points in thrust last, and only a few points are put into it. However if one were to put a sufficient amount of points into Thrust it would allow them to wear Attack Capes, or Defensive Purpose Capes without any reduction in speed. A person who also decides to put a decent amount of points into Thrust has larger choice of bows to choose from since they don't necessarily need to look for a bow that gives them an extra boost in speed.



Shooting Speeds
For reference, here is the shooting speed of every attack a Bowman has.
Bow:
Normal Skills/Attacks:
Faster (2): 600ms
Faster (3): 660ms
Fast (4): 720ms
Fast (5): 750ms
Normal (6): 810ms

Hurricane:
120ms per arrow
300ms startup delay

Final Attack:
Faster (2): 450ms + 540ms
Faster (3): 480ms + 570ms
Fast (4): 510ms + 630ms
Fast (5): 540ms + 660ms
Normal (6): 570ms + 720ms

Crossbow
Normal Skills/Attacks:
Faster (2): 630ms
Faster (3): 690ms
Fast (4): 720ms
Fast (5): 780ms
Normal (6): 870ms

Final Attack:
Faster (2): 540ms + 630ms
Faster (3): 600ms + 690ms
Fast (4): 630ms + 720ms
Fast (5): 690ms + 780ms
Normal (6): 720ms + 840ms



Defensive Skills and Characteristics

Archers have moderate hp, which some claim is too low, since most monsters past level 80 can kill an Archer in two hits or less. Some people quit once they reach this level, as they find it unfair and difficult to adjust. Most adapt to the changes as they slowly learn how to use multiple skills to increase their survivability.

Every other class has some attribute that requires the usage of one or no skills to defend themselves in a critical situation. Warriors have pure hp, which allows them to take multiple hits on 80+ monsters. Thieves have skills like high passive avoid, Meso Guard and Fake, which reduces the chances of getting hit by a LARGE amount or allows the user to take multiple hits on 80+ monsters. Magic Users also like Warriors and Bandits can take multiple hits with Magic Guard and even have passive resistance skills. Again each of these classes only requires one or no actions by the player themselves.

This has previously been a large weakness for Archers, but with the removal of the minimum range, things have been made a lot easier. For example, in the situation of being trapped in between two Skelegons, previously, there was only the option to run through the monster, jump down, or use DB. Now, archers can simply use their attacking move to KB the monsters and walk to the empty space. Regardless of how I personally feel about the matter, many people state that the fact that we do not have a passive defensive skill, stacked upon the fact that we are generally under the danger of being 2 hit ko'ed but most monsters, is a huge disadvantage.

EVERY CLASS HAS DEFENSIVE SKILLS, BUT Archer's skills tend to be more player involved as the archer has to use multiple skills to keep monsters away in different situations to reduce this weakness from happening, that's where defensive skills come into play.

Note: You can only reduce the weakness, not get rid of it.

Defensive skills define Archers as one of the most strategic and tactical class in the game.

  • Note that Defensive skills means to prevent or hinder damage intake, so skills like Arrow Rain and Arrow Eruption are not shown.

Characteristics:
Range
Knock Back Capability
Speed (For Bow users. Has a higher potential to put a monster in a constant KB state)
Power (For Crossbow users. Increases the probability of KB)

Skills:
Arrow Bomb
Blind/Hamstring
Blizzard
Dragon Pulse
Eye of the Amazon
Focus
Frostprey
Hawk/Eagle
Power KnockBack
Puppet

As you can see a large portion of the Archer Skills are dedicated in some form or way in reducing the potential damage intake of the archer. The more levels an Archer obtains, the more skills he/she needs to survive.

The purpose of each skill varies based on the training spot the user is in and in 3rd job, for the earlier half of 3rd job, there are primarily sniping positions that the user can use AR/AE and Inferno/Blizzard without getting hit, so there is no real use for any defensive skills there, while in the later half, the main skill that Rangers can use to avoid getting hit at places such as Captains, would be only Puppet, while Snipers have no trouble with Blizzard.

In 4th job, the only training spot worth talking about would have to be LHC, and because the reason why LHC is so dominant is the party system, many people seem to simply throw away Puppet. However, despite the fact that LHC monsters cannot be stunned nor frozen, the Archer's defence arsenal still remains. When attacking a monster in a group, it would still be considered a defensive skill to sit farther away from the monster, while the party KB's the monster, therefore not getting hit. When this is not the scenario (as in, when the user is soloing a monster), either attract the monster's aggro, and Puppet in a separate platform, or consistently KB the monster, and Puppet behind you. Either scenario, there isn't an instance where the user will be hit, therefore having a more effective play style even without the use of Magic Guard, or Meso Guard.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Bronze and Steel arrows with Soul Arrow?
Q. What is Mastery?
Q. What does booster do, or how does it work?
Q. Which is better Arrow Bomb, or Iron arrow?
Q. How do you jump shoot?
Q. Speed or jump?
Q. Snowshoes or Whitebottoms?
Q. Dex or attack?
Q. Red Viper/Heckler or V2k/Silver Crow?
Q. Arrow Blow or Double shot?
Q. Str-less?
Q. Is Double Shot + FA better than level 1 Strafe?

All of the previous questions can be found here

Q. What should my AP build be?
A. Your Strength should be +5 your level if you're a Hunter/Ranger, if you're a crossbowman your strength should be the same as your level. You remaining points should go into Dex.

Q. Skill builds please!
A. Why are you even in this thread?

Q. Should I go low Strength?
A. Most bowmen go low Strength since almost all the equips for bowmen DO NOT require Strength

Q. What about Str-less?
A. [url=http://www.basilmarket.com/MapleStory-Guide-Bowman-Frequently-Asked-Questions-169.html]...[/url]

Q. Which is better Sniper or Ranger?
A. I cannot say that both Snipers and Rangers are equal because in reality nothing is equal. But these classes are as close to each other as can possibly be, because Nexon made bowmen a complimentary class. A Ranger shoots faster by AT LEAST four arrows a minute, has a faster fire pickup speed and a higher damage over time percentage when skills are applied. A Sniper has higher damage ranges to make up for shooting slower than a Ranger. A Rangers fast firing rate and intial fire pickup speed and a Snipers high damage on average equals the same damage over time and usually both classes kill about the same amount of monsters in one minute.

Well Rangers look sexy, what about that?
Ok....If we are judging cartoon pixel qualities on a level of sexiness, then something is probably wrong with us. People have varying ideas on what looks cool and what doesn't, so it's really up to the player to decide whether their Sniper or Ranger looks "sexy."

If that's the case which one should I choose then?
You choose whatever you prefer. Do you like rapid firing and implementing burning strategical moves or do you like Sheer power and immobilizing your foe with artic blows. If you like bowmen, you'll probably like your choice whatever it may be. One thing that I would like to add though: Rangers should stop complaining that their damage pales to that of a Sniper. As Nexon says on their website "It may be weaker than the crossbow, but it's so quick, you'll be able to hunt swiftly." That's a fact, Nexon made it that no matter how much godly equips you get, your damage will ALWAYS have the potential to fall short of a Snipers. And Snipers should stop complaining or minimizing the fact that they shoot slower than a Ranger, like Nexon says again "It may be slower than the bow, but it's so powerful, it can go through any monsters one may see." That's a fact, Rangers will ALWAYS shoot faster than you. Nexon even made this more clear in Fourth Job; Bowmasters have faster firing skills, and Marksmans have more power damaging skills, there's no way around it, because it's Nexon's decisions.

Note from Original Author (aka, Bluebomer24):

I always see people claim that one build is better or that one skill is useless. In my opinion that is not the case. I believe in Value Theory. For example if Person A uses all of their 3rd job points on 3rd job skills and so does Person B they both have the same potential in playing the game EVEN though they may have different skill builds. Each player still has the same amount of points invested in their job, so both have equal chances. The thing that makes it different is HOW the player goes about using their build, that determines whether they screwed themselves or not.

If a person Maxes out Thrust or Maxes out Blessing of the Amazon, as long as they know how to take advantage of the situation, they will perform just as well as another person.

For example, I am DS-Less and FA. Meaning I used Arrow Blow and FA, all the way until level 70. I can honestly say that I always had a decent supply of money on me from the pots that I saved off of MP. For ME, it allowed me to upgraded my equips higher than the average archer and make my AB become on par and in some cases better than the Average DS. There was no-hindrance in my build whatsoever, because I played my build how I created it.

Basically I am trying to say. NO skill is useless and NO Skill Build is better than the other. Skill Builds were designed NOT to avoid certain skills, but to mold a play style that a player might prefer and have an easier time enjoying the game with.

Note:
Well, not like I'm going to touch something like that. Just note that the note is from a pre-Big Bang perspective, hence him being "DS-less and FA." In my own perspective, I could easily agree with that kind of sentiment pre-Big Bang, but unfortunately (or fortunately), Big Bang has pretty much changed the variety of play styles. 1v1 training is simply the worst build at the moment, and it's almost solely because of the accuracy formula. Besides that I really have nothing to say, as I highly doubt I am currently done updating the guide. But of course, big thanks to Bluebomber24 for the entire format of the guide (as well as writing the above note), Fcroaonlk for pretty much doing the entire Marksmen Build, and anyone else who has contributed with ideas/builds.
Finally, Kevvl was the previous owner to this guide, and Bluebomber24 was the original creator and much credit goes out to them both. I was far from creating my own guide at this point, many things were left untouched, including the overall format of the guide, which Bluebomber24 made. Only now do I appreciate how many hours must've went into creating this guide in the first place. Again, much credit goes to them both, as well as anyone else who helped them out beforehand.