Hello again! Continuing through the goal of getting a subclass guide out for each class, today we look at the ever-popular Gloom Stalker. It turns out that doing so much damage to something that it dies before it gets a chance to act is a very good optimization strategy and something that Gloom Stalkers can do pretty well. Strap in as I not only show you what a traditionally played straight ranger can do when optimized but also go incredibly off the rails and describe the highest-damage character I’ve seen since the absurd shadow sun monk whose character sheet was the banner for this website for some time.
DnD 5e – New Gloom Stalker Ranger Handbook
May 25, 2022
This is a very well written, comprehensive guide but one thing I noticed while reading through the example build was the Hunters Mark cheese.
Obviously, the first part of the cheese would work by casting the spell on a rat before combat and subsequently killing it to offer the transfer. However, the issue I see is once combat begins, how does one both transfer Hunters Mark (which in the spell description mentions it to be Bonus Action to transfer) and also make a bonus action attack with Crossbow Expert?
Ideally you transfer Hunter’s Mark before initiative is rolled. There’s no components for the transfer, so as long as you can see your target within range you can transfer the spell. Initiative likely won’t be rolled until someone decides to attack, and since you’re likely taking advantage of lighting conditions and may have Expertise in Stealth, you should be able to sneak into a good position, apply Hunter’s Mark, and either initiate combat yourself or wait for one your less stealthy allies to get things going.
Land’s Stride is almost a ribbon with how few things are going to try to stop you with damaging natural terrain.
… look at the best spel rangers can get the next lvl, plant growth…
combined the 2 is an instant win in most encounters. (through melee party members might be bored now that they have barely any use in the encounters this combo is used)
Hi, can you unpack the (12d6+1d8+9 for a total average of 55 expected DPR on the first round of combat.) formula in your article? From the wording it sounds like you use bugbear suprise twice and it says “You can use this trait only once per combat.”
The article uses the updated version of the Bugbear published in Monsters of the Multiverse. The new version of the bugbear removes the “once per combat” restriction, among other changes.
Thanks for this! I was excited to see you mention combining this subclass with monk’s way-of-shadow, because I’d tried doing this myself. I tried Ranger 3 Monk 6 to get the burst damage combined with the mobility from jumping between shadows, but found it underwhelming and having a lot of bonus-action contention. I might give your build a try though, if I can find a progression for it that works in a campaign!