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As the title suggests, I am looking for a Ranger dual wielder build that can compete with Tier 3 classes.

Our party is quite imbalanced as it is composed of a Druid, a Wizard, a Dread Necro, a Swordsage (new addition) and a Ranger. The casters are inexperienced players so they do not powerplay much, but the Dread Necro and the Swordsage (me) have some experience, and will probably dominate the game. My Swordsage has not been played yet, but he is roughly optimised.

So, to even things out, I am looking for a dual wielding build strong enough to be considered Tier 3. I would prefer Ranger as the main class and maybe a prestige class or two, but not builds with 4-5 classes, prestige or not.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Check the builds here. Note that dual-wielding is considered the hardest of the ranger builds to optimize due to the resource requirements.

Ranger 6/Swordsage 14 looks to be an excellent bet save for the presence of an SS in your party. However, given that this is a dex-wis swordsage, it should work well in synergy, rather than fighting for the same theme.

This:

Cloistered cleric1/wildshape ranger17/monk2 (not necessarily in that order

Class variants:

Trades knowledge domain for knowledge devotion feat (CC)

Trades one of his evasions for spell reflection (CM)

Key feats: able learner, natural spell, sword of the arcane order, ascetic hunter, mulitattack, improved natural attack (unarmed strikes), practiced spellcaster, potentially a metamagic feat and DMM

18 BAB, unarmed strike damage as a 19th level monk

This seems quite solid to me. You've got a bit of castery, some nice wildshaping for utility, and significant damage. That should get you to tier 3 without too much trouble.

Huuuge list of builds here. But my recommendation would be to refluff something else into ranger. Or borrow from pathfinder updates and just shove them back into the old class to boost its... utility.

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Yeah, even in my pathfinder game the two dual wielders are feeling the bite of buying two expensive weapons. The cost impediment is the worst, except perhaps for caster/melee types. –  C. Ross Feb 22 '12 at 0:10
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ECL 7 (IL 4) is a weird choice for starting an initiating career. I'd try to hop into, say, Barbarian and/or Cleric to start at 9th (IL 5). –  KRyan Jul 6 '13 at 22:35
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There are two ways that are commonly used to grant Rangers the flexibility associated with Tier 3 status. The first is the most well-known: The so-called Wildshape Ranger variant from Unearthed Arcana, but it is of limited usefulness to two-weapon fighting Rangers.

More appropriate to your situation is the other method: The combination of the Mystic Ranger variant from Dragon Magazine 336 and the Sword of the Arcane Order feat from Champions of Valor. The Mystic Ranger variant has the effect of significantly improving upon the Ranger's spellcasting progression, while the Sword of the Arcane Order feat allows the Ranger to prepare Wizard spells. The combined effect is a massive increase in flexibility and, once buff spells have been taken into account, combat ability.

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Mystic SotAO seems... It's Tier 1 (spells comparable to a Wizard on a Ranger chassis) until level 10, and then it just... stops. It might drop down to, or even past, Tier 3 by the time you get to 20th level, but it definitely should be mentioned as a very strange case that does not fit nicely into the typical tier system. –  KRyan Jul 7 '13 at 4:33
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