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I am totally new to D&D 4E. I have read that Ranger|Cleric is generally better than Ranger. Can someone give me an example build for Ranger|Cleric that goes up to level 30?

EDIT: No house rules. All material is allowed. Most recent errata.

Interested in playing from 1-30, but obviously I don't expect each level to be "the best possible." Playable at all levels, but if necessary can sacrifice some playability for levels 1-10.

I'm afraid I can't give design focus - preferably two-weapon style. Not sure about defenses, or expected rounds to kill mob X. Not enough experience to answer that.

Party composition: so far, 1 controller, 2 unknown (certainly won't be strikers), 1 striker (me) - beyond that, up in the air.

EDIT 2: won't be starting at paragon tier but expecting quick levelling early on (easy)

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No... nonononono. No no. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 29 '13 at 5:02
    
What level range are you actually interested in playing it at? Are you really expecting to play it from 1 to 30? Any relevant house rules? –  Oblivious Sage Apr 29 '13 at 5:05
3  
Before we can give fiddly optimization advise, please please please give us your requirements. Playable at what levels, design focus on what, defenses of what, expected rounds to kill something of x, and party composition are all critical. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 29 '13 at 5:06
    
Just to clarify, it sounds like you're starting in paragon tier, is that correct? –  Oblivious Sage Apr 29 '13 at 5:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Important Note: Despite the fact that you're "half" cleric (depending on how one defines half, in the case of a character like this), your job is to be a striker. Early on you'll grab a few cleric powers; this is because, as a hybrid, you're required to take them. It's actually quite viable to grab a couple early gems from the cleric list and then never take another cleric power ever again; the only requirement is that once you have at least 2 encounter/daily/utility powers, at least one of them is a cleric power.

TLDR: You are an emergency healer, not a main healer. The focus here is on damage output, which you'll do almost as well as a pure ranger early on, and arguably better late game.

Build One: Late Game Optimization

Serviceable though not quite optimal in heroic, this build picks up steam around level 16 and then becomes truly ridiculous at level 21.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
test build, level 30
Genasi, Cleric/Ranger, Morninglord, Radiant One
Hybrid Cleric Option: Battle Cleric's Lore
Hybrid Ranger Option: Hybrid Ranger Reflex
Hybrid Talent Option: Ranger Combat Talent
Ranger Combat Talent Option: Prime Shot (Hybrid)
Elemental Manifestation Option: Firesoul
Firepulse Option: Firepulse Strength
Extra Manifestation Option: Stormsoul
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Sohei

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 28, CON 13, DEX 15, INT 14, WIS 20, CHA 10

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 11, DEX 13, INT 10, WIS 12, CHA 8


AC: 46 Fort: 45 Ref: 37 Will: 40
HP: 185 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 46

TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +22, Athletics +29, Insight +27, Perception +27

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +17, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +20, Endurance +18, Heal +20, History +17, Intimidate +15, Nature +22, Religion +17, Stealth +17, Streetwise +15, Thievery +17

POWERS
Ranger @will 1: Twin Strike
Cleric @will 1: Righteous Brand
Cleric Encounter 1: Mighty Hew
Cleric Daily 1: Moment of Glory
Ranger Utility 2: Begin the Hunt
Ranger Encounter 3: Ruffling Sting
Ranger Daily 5: Frenzied Skirmish
Cleric Utility 6: Stream of Life
Ranger Encounter 7: Lashing Leaves
Ranger Daily 9: Attacks on the Run
Ranger Utility 10: Resume the Hunt
Morninglord Encounter 11: Pure Glow
Morninglord Utility 12: Rising Sun
Ranger Encounter 13: Off-Hand Diversion (replaces Lashing Leaves)
Ranger Encounter 15: Blade Cascade (replaces Frenzied Skirmish)
Ranger Utility 16: Ranger's Parry
Ranger Encounter 17: Untamed Outburst (replaces Ruffling Sting)
Ranger Daily 19: Cruel Cage of Steel (replaces Attacks on the Run)
Morninglord Daily 20: Lance of Dawn
Ranger Utility 22: Master of the Hunt
Ranger Encounter 23: Nonchalant Collapse (replaces Off-hand Diversion)
Cleric Daily 25: Righteous Might (replaces Moment of Glory) 
Radiant One Utility 26: Star Flesh
Ranger Encounter 27: Death Rend (replaces Untamed Outburst)
No Daily 29: (none)

FEATS
Level 1: Light Blade Expertise
Level 2: Spiked Chain Training
Level 4: Weapon Focus (Light blade)
Level 6: Improved Defenses
Level 8: Hobbling Strike
Level 10: World Serpent's Grasp
Level 11: Shocking Flame
Level 12: Hybrid Talent
Level 14: Prime Punisher
Level 16: Pervasive Light
Level 18: Called Shot
Level 20: Extra Manifestation
Level 21: Radiant Advantage
Level 22: Nimble Blade
Level 24: Double Manifestation
Level 26: Armor Specialization (Scale)
Level 28: Martial Mastery
Level 30: Resilient Focus

ITEMS
Amulet of Protection +6
Magic Dragonscale Armor +6

====== End ======

Basics

Genasi enables some very high damage output later in the game (start with firesoul), though it's not an ideal choice in heroic or early paragon. Battle Cleric's Lore is a free +2 shield bonus to AC, one of the main reasons we hybrid. Sohei gives a minor action attack, a boost to perception (which we might as well train since we're wisdom secondary), and a small boost to certain saves. Auspicious Birth gives us an HP total that's on the upper end for a striker.

Heroic Tier

We actually start out heavy on cleric powers. Mighty Hew is a quite nice immediate action power (something rangers lack), that does fairly good damage and lets you pretend you're a defender/striker/leader. Ignore the attack on Moment of Glory; the key here is the resist 5 all it gives you & allies as long as you sustain it. Yes, you have other things to do with your minor actions, but resist 5 all will trivialize plenty of heroic encounters, and a fair number of paragon tier ones. These two powers cover the requirement that you have a cleric daily & encounter power, so you'll keep them for most of the rest of your career. The rest of the powers we'll grab are pretty much all the standard choices for melee rangers, except for Stream of Life at level 6 (a weak level for ranger utilities).

Spiked Chain Training gives us a nice +3/2d4 weapon for both hands, as well as saving us the trouble of trying to keep 2 different weapons at the appropriate enhancement bonus. Hobbling Strike + Grasp of the World Serpent lets you knock your target prone when you hit with both attacks of Twin Strike.

Paragon Tier

The Morninglord powers aren't going to be too useful since we don't have an attack-caliber wisdom, but we're here for the level 16 feature anyway. In the feats department, Shocking Flame gets us a free +2 fire damage on all attacks, Pervasive Light lets us benefit from radiant vulnerability even when we don't do radiant damage, and we pick up the melee Prime Shot support for +1 atk & +5 dmg when no allies are adjacent to our target. Grab a weapon enchantment that lets you do radiant damage and the Pelor's Sun Blessing boon and go to town. Powers are standard choices for a melee ranger.

Epic Tier

Radiant One lets us do radiant damage (which gives us the radiant keyword & Morninglord's vulnerability) whenever we hit with combat advantage. Radiant Advantage makes anything we do radiant damage to grant combat advantage. Nimble Blade & Light Blade Expertise give us an extra +1 atk & +3 dmg with CA. Hilarity ensues. Since we no longer need a weapon enchantment that gives radiant damage, switch to Firewind Blade for even more fire damage.

Extra Manifestation (stormsoul) + Double Manifestation gives us an extra 2 lightning damage; you can swap one of the later feats for Mark of Storm if you want to slide people around for some reason. Armor Spec (scale) gives us speed & AC, Martial Mastery lets us recharge one of our ranger encounter powers, and Resilient Focus helps us shrug off all the unpleasant save-ends stuff that gets thrown around in epic; feel free to rearrange these 3 or replace them with anything that catches your fancy.

Powers are the usual choices for melee rangers, though note that nothing at 25 or 29 is worth dropping Blade Cascade or Cruel Cage of Steel for. Instead, at 25, switch out Moment of Glory (resist 5 all isn't all that awesome by epic tier) for the encounter-long boost of Righteous Might.

Once you have ideal gear (ilvl 26+) your Twin Strike static damage bonus is a horrific +45: +6item +9fire +2lightning +2radiant +10vuln +5wis +3feat +3CA +5prime.

Build Two: Early Game Optimization

It's past 2am in my time zone & I need sleep, so I will post this tomorrow. Basically, pick longtooth shifter (or possibly dwarf or mul) for your race. Most of the rest is the same until you get to paragon.

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Thank you very much! I appreciate the build and the explanation. Very helpful! Could Hobbling Strike and World Serpent's Grasp be replaced by Cunning Stalker, or is Prone that much better than Combat Advantage alone? An honest question, just curious... thanks again!! –  NotTheOne Apr 30 '13 at 3:27

Based on my experiences playing a hybrid character and building hybrid characters

It's a Trap!

It is such a trap.

It's a trap for a very simple reason: you're trying to do two different things with your character.

I agree that there are synergies, but the tactical environment of the battlefield will pull you in multiple directions.

While there are some, very specific, hybrids that don't suck, I don't know of any hybrids that are simple.

You will get much better performance out of choosing a single class (and I do so recommend Essentials if you're new to 4e) and trying to understand the strengths of the class.

There are few points of compatibility between Cleric and Ranger, and nothing that I would call "optimized." Beyond that, you must always define what you're optimizing for. I know of no "combos" that are trivial in combination.

With that said, perhaps a multiclass cleric was what was suggested? Then you can dip into morninglord and generally have fun with greater damage with just a touch of healing?

In paragon, however, possibilities open up.

I'm going to assume that you intend to use ranger for Twin Strike, be in melee, and otherwise do clericy stuff.

First, look at the Holy Lumberjack a crit-optimized cleric/ranger, Divine Oracle, Demigod. This post is ancient, so it's likely not been hit by recent errata.

For a hybrid cleric | monk, check out this. for a warlord / ranger, check out battery.

But to just get twin strike to go along with whatever other class you want, Be a half elf. There are plenty of ways to stack damage onto twin-strike, and it will be a significantly more simple build than hybriding.

At the end of the day, you will gain significantly more utility and fun from creating your characters as a group to work together than trying for a hyper-optimized person on his/her lonesome.

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I disagree. Rangers actually don't lose a lot when they hybrid (it's not like they care what their 2nd at-will is once they have Twin Strike), and hybrid cleric has some nice goodies. Ranger|cleric gives up a little bit of ranger's offensive power for a nice big helping of survivability. –  Oblivious Sage Apr 29 '13 at 5:07
    
Sure, but if all you want is a single at-will, there are better ways to get it than hybrid. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 29 '13 at 5:28
    
You don't just want the at-will, you want most of the encounter & daily powers. Hybrid ranger doesn't lose much, and hybrid cleric offers enough decent powers to fill the gap, as well as Battle Cleric's Lore, Morninglord, & an encounter heal. You sacrifice little or no offensive output, and gain a non-trivial defensive boost. –  Oblivious Sage Apr 29 '13 at 5:53
    
I look forward to your answer :) –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 29 '13 at 5:56

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