Archer build questions

Getting back into the game and I’m working on an archer char. It currently has 100+ anat, tact, arch, focus, heal..... what’s a good build for this. When I played years ago I liked to solo Balrons with an archer. I can envision myself doing something similar with it now.

Also for said character what should I do with stats? Dex I’m assuming is still top priority for this?
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  • RockRock Posts: 567
    The base skills you list are pretty good, but I note that you have Focus yet nothing is using mana, except perhaps archery special moves.  It is my understanding that metal armor has a side effect nowadays that offers stamina regen.  It's sort of the balance to leather and mage armor allowing quick mana regen via Meditation.

    If you are comfortable with 50 to 70 INT in your stats, keep the Focus, and eventually plan on getting it to 120.  Replace Healing (and possibly Anatomy) with Chivalry and/or Mysticism.  Chivalry was designed for fighter types, and doesn't require spell channeling weapons to cast.  Mysticism is halfway between being a magic user skill and a fighter skill.  It's Enchant spell buffs a weapon with your choice of 5 bonus damage effects such as lightning or fireball.  Obviously it does not require spell channeling to use, but the rest of Mysticism spells do.  Sort of.  Once your Mysticism skill reaches 80, then for the duration of Enchant, your weapon is granted spell channeling, and you can cast spells from any spellbook with weapon in hand.  The duration of Enchant is 150 seconds.  Note that Mysticism is buffed by Focus or Imbuing (whichever is higher) , in the same way Magery is buffed by Eval Int.

    If you willing to devote even more skill points to INT, then consider adding Spellweaving.  It's spells do not require spell channeling weapons nor reagents, nor gold.  For balance, the mana cost of Spellweaving spells is quite high.

    Note that you can still get more mana via Meditation even if you choose Chivalry or Mysticism.  Your armor choice becomes limited to meddable pieces, so you cannot also have the stamina regen from metal armor (unless each piece is classified as "mage armor"). An archer can do just fine with leather armor though, because he tends to get hit a lot less often than maleers, and his stamina generally doesn't take the same beating.

    So basically you have a choice.  You can remain a pure fighter type with very little mana usage.  Other useful non-mana abilities useful to your character would be a bardic skill such as Discord (any bardic skill also requires Musicianship, as you probably remember.)   The Poisoning skill is useful to an archer via a special move (Serpent's Arrow) available on one bow type.  Like other special moves, it costs mana to use, however.  For PvP, my impression is "don't bother" with poison, as good PvPers tend to carry a good supply of greater cure potions.  Effective archers can also be craftsmen.  I have an archer who is also a fletcher and has Arms Lore (for even better crafted bows).  On another shard, I have an archer who is a cook and alchemist.  (I named her, "Concoction". ;) )  These sort of craftsman/fighter templates are less flexible while adventuring, but still effective in casual situations.

    Or add Chivalry to buff your damage output considerable, but using low to moderate amounts of mana.  Mysticism with or without Chivalry would have a higher mana cost, but offers a lot of flexibility and two cast pets (only one can be used at a time, though).  It is nice to be able to shoot while your Rising Colossus keeps the bosses attention for a good while.  (Although a number of high end bosses can dispel cast pets almost immediately.)  Spellweaving also offers pets.  They aren't as powerful as those of Mysticism, but you can have several out at a time.

    Rock (formerly Imperterritus VXt, Baja)
  • UrgeUrge Posts: 593
    Getting back into the game and I’m working on an archer char. It currently has 100+ anat, tact, arch, focus, heal..... what’s a good build for this. When I played years ago I liked to solo Balrons with an archer. I can envision myself doing something similar with it now.

    Also for said character what should I do with stats? Dex I’m assuming is still top priority for this?
    There's multiple templates. The most used is the ABC (Archer, Bushido, Chiv). You can do discord archer, samp archer, whammy archer, mystic archer, spellweaving archer, archer mage, archer mystic mage, archer tamer ect ect.

    What i completely HATE about this game is they've raised the swing speed of the composite bow. According to Knucklehead's calculator it takes 210 stamina and 60 swing speed to hit max swing. The suit won't be any less than 100 mil or more making it completely unreasonable for a returning or newer player to think of having a competitive archer. 
  • Petra_FydePetra_Fyde Posts: 764
    I have a chiv archer, no bushido. His full template is archery, tactics, anat, healing, chiv,  resist spells. His suit is agapite ring and chainmail made by my crafter and each piece imbued with stamina inc 6 mana inc 8 mana regen 2 lower mana cost 8. The final imbue used to boost resists were needed. His jewellery is the rouge set from clean up. Using magical short bows imbued with repond or reptile slayer, hit fire or cold 50% area, hit mana leech 28% ssi 30% damage inc 50% for the first rounds and a composite bow imbued with 30% ssi, enhanced with Ash to 40% then further imbued with slayer, hit mana leech 34% damage inc 50% for the final wave and the champion.

    With this suit and these weapons he can successfully solo either Vermin or Coldblood champion spawns while controlled by a decidedly mediocre player, ie myself. 

    While it may be nice to lay out millions of GP on uber kit, you don't absolutely have to have it. I don't.
  • UrgeUrge Posts: 593
    While being correct you're also avoiding the problem. Armor ignore is the go-to and the best special against any sort of boss.

    Max swing can easily be achieved on subpar weapons like the repeater, magical short or yumi. Those have less than desirable specials that are so inferior to the Armor Ignore of the composite. They have their place but they're just not as good. 

    90 dex and 30 swing speed is all a katana needs to max swing. Ranged templates require a lot of gold to achieve that very same special.

    Perhaps there needs to be a faster armor ignore ranged weapon with a lower base damage introduced?
  • I have a chiv archer, no bushido. His full template is archery, tactics, anat, healing, chiv,  resist spells. His suit is agapite ring and chainmail made by my crafter and each piece imbued with stamina inc 6 mana inc 8 mana regen 2 lower mana cost 8. The final imbue used to boost resists were needed. His jewellery is the rouge set from clean up. Using magical short bows imbued with repond or reptile slayer, hit fire or cold 50% area, hit mana leech 28% ssi 30% damage inc 50% for the first rounds and a composite bow imbued with 30% ssi, enhanced with Ash to 40% then further imbued with slayer, hit mana leech 34% damage inc 50% for the final wave and the champion.

    With this suit and these weapons he can successfully solo either Vermin or Coldblood champion spawns while controlled by a decidedly mediocre player, ie myself. 

    While it may be nice to lay out millions of GP on uber kit, you don't absolutely have to have it. I don't.
    That sounds a lot like my setup. I notice you don’t have focus. Focus, chiv, Bushido are all new to me so I don’t know the merits of each. I’m guessing the mana Regen and lower cost in your armor takes care of what focus would? Imbuing is a foreign concept for me but I’ll look through vendors and loot for stuff. I don’t have millions to shell out on anything but for what I’ve been doing with my archer I don’t take a ton of damage. I’ve never done champ spawns so I’ll save that for later down the road.

    for said archer what are your stats? I feel like the person who used my account dropped the dex too low 
  • Petra_FydePetra_Fyde Posts: 764
    @Urge - yes, AI is best against the boss - which is why I have composite when I get to that level. But my aim is to not scare the poor guy away thinking he can't play unless he has uber millions to spend on kit. You can play quite happily without it. I have for years.

    I haven't bought armor since GM light archer was sold on vendors pre AoS. I make my characters' starting kit and gradually replace bits as I find better, usually dug up by my treasure hunter.

    Archer's stats: 125 str 125 dex 10 int Suit bonuses give him 112 hp 153 stamina 72 mana. All 70s resists (that's why it's made in agapite) 
    He's not 'uber', but as a player, neither am I.  He's good enough to have fun with, and that's why I play.
  • Urge said:
    While being correct you're also avoiding the problem. Armor ignore is the go-to and the best special against any sort of boss.
    ...
    Perhaps there needs to be a faster armor ignore ranged weapon with a lower base damage introduced?
    Or onslaught should have gone to archery, them sampires have it easy enough ;)
  • Petra_FydePetra_Fyde Posts: 764
    It sometimes saddens me to think of how many new players and returners are driven away by tales of needing millions to 'compete', thinking they'll never be able to play effectively. 
    UO isn't a competition, you don't need to 'compete', unless possibly you want to be the best pvper or the richest pvmer in the game. If you just want to play to have fun, and maybe make a few new friends, or even re-connect with old ones you don't need the very best kit, and there are players on every shard who will go out of their way to help supply the kind of 'good enough' kit that I wear.
  • So keeping arch, tactics, anat, heal... I have 100 focus but I don’t have to keep it if it’s not needed. Looks like chiv has some good stuff to benefit this char. If I add chiv, should I keep focus or what else should I add?  I also notice some people use resist in their builds and others don’t? Pros cons? I don’t have the gold for insane gear so it’s mostly just for running around dungeons killing stuff when I’m bored. I don’t have the time to put into it to completely build new chars or try to amass a fortune. Just looking to have a little fun. I just need a setup that I can easily make viable and useful. Urge you made my head spin with all those different choices. I don’t know the benefits to any of them. I’m slowly learning.
  • Petra, I agree! I almost quit after the first 2 days because the learning curve is so steep and I’m years behind the inflation in the game. When I quit in 03 I had a solid mil in my bank account which was a comfortable amount.... now it’s laughable and stuff costs so much. It would take me more than a year to farm 100mil if I played every day with my current setups. Luckily some people have stepped up to help me in game and offer advice on here. It has made a world of difference already. The best thing we as players can do is encourage and help new and returning players. We are all obviously here because we love this game for one reason or another. Last thing any of us want is for it to fade and die. Thank you for everyone that has provided input and thanks to those who will.
  • Petra_FydePetra_Fyde Posts: 764
    I would say keep the focus for now. As you can, get Lower Mana Cost and Mana Regen on your suit and mana leech on your weapons. When you've managed that in some degree you can drop or stone the focus to add something else. I have resist spells because I believe an archer needs to be able to keep moving. Standing still because you got hit by para is not something I want to happen.
  • UrgeUrge Posts: 593
    @ Urge - yes, AI is best against the boss - which is why I have composite when I get to that level. But my aim is to not scare the poor guy away thinking he can't play unless he has uber millions to spend on kit. You can play quite happily without it. I have for years.

    I haven't bought armor since GM light archer was sold on vendors pre AoS. I make my characters' starting kit and gradually replace bits as I find better, usually dug up by my treasure hunter.
    It's not meant to scare him but i've made multiple outspoken posts complaining about swing speed.

    A one tile dexer can use bottom of the barrel gear and achieve max swing with an armor ignore wep. A standard ranged character is playing with a handicap until they can afford or get lucky with max stam gear. 

    Most people generally don't look forward to spending double the amount of time to achieve the same end result killing something. Why would anyone be complacent when they could do triple the damage with an armor ignore?
  • UrgeUrge Posts: 593
    Urge said:
    While being correct you're also avoiding the problem. Armor ignore is the go-to and the best special against any sort of boss.
    ...
    Perhaps there needs to be a faster armor ignore ranged weapon with a lower base damage introduced?
    Or onslaught should have gone to archery, them sampires have it easy enough ;)
    I felt that. 
  • UrgeUrge Posts: 593
    So keeping arch, tactics, anat, heal... I have 100 focus but I don’t have to keep it if it’s not needed. Looks like chiv has some good stuff to benefit this char. If I add chiv, should I keep focus or what else should I add?  I also notice some people use resist in their builds and others don’t? Pros cons? I don’t have the gold for insane gear so it’s mostly just for running around dungeons killing stuff when I’m bored. I don’t have the time to put into it to completely build new chars or try to amass a fortune. Just looking to have a little fun. I just need a setup that I can easily make viable and useful. Urge you made my head spin with all those different choices. I don’t know the benefits to any of them. I’m slowly learning.
    Resist is negated by using a trap box, enchanted apples and some potions. Trap box breaks para. Apples remove curse and potions are potions. 

    The chiv/bushido archer setup is still a good one. You can get as high stam as you can and use a Yumi bow. The double shot bow special is ok and bushido spell lightning strike is good. It also has a spell called confidence that will heal you. 

    It's really easy to make gold now. It'll come to you.
  • MerusMerus Posts: 298
    For what its worth, here are my thoughts:

    First off, I consider how an archer is best played.  For the most part an archer is not the most effective solo play template.  Where archers really shine is as part of a group where there is something else tanking the mobs/bosses.  With something else to tank, archers can really let themselves shine through their massive DPS ability.  Encounters like Exodus, Scalis, Lady M, etc can all benefit from a skilled archer.

    The popular ABC archer is a great starting template, particularly if you can get the honor on the target before the killing starts.

    120 archery (I usually go with 115 real + the despicable quiver for 120 modified)
    120 tactics
    120 bushido
    120 anatomy
    120 healing
    120 chivalry

    Get as much swing speed out of your bow and suit as you can, and max out your mana leech for chaining specials as often as you can.

    For my 210 stam / 60 SSI archer, I have a slightly more specialized build that, in my experience, puts the ABC template to shame when it comes to damage output...

    115 Archery (120 with quiver)
    105 Bushido
    100 Spirit Speak
    100 Tactics
    90 Anatomy
    85 Chivalry
    85 Healing
    40 Necro

    In wraith form I can usually spam AI nonstop at max swing speed.


  • I’ve been searching this site, Stratics, uoguide but I’m having a hard time finding a list of some of the special gear like the quiver you mentioned. I did find a list of some of the stuff but no description of what they do. I don’t know what to look for if I don’t know what stuff does and where it comes from. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
  • MerusMerus Posts: 298
    edited February 25
    I’ve been searching this site, Stratics, uoguide but I’m having a hard time finding a list of some of the special gear like the quiver you mentioned. I did find a list of some of the stuff but no description of what they do. I don’t know what to look for if I don’t know what stuff does and where it comes from. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
    The artifacts my archer wears are:

    Despicable quiver (tram despise)
    Crimson cinture (Lady M or Blackthorns turnin)
    Conjurers Garb (Blackthorns turnin)
    Boots of escaping (Halloween turnin)
    Corguls sash (Corgul)
    Enchantress Cameo (Shadowguard roof)

    Everything else is legendary armor drops and crafted bows.
  • MariahMariah Posts: 1,223Moderator
    in the UO.wiki all the items are listed under the 'artifacts' section, both by where they're from and the armor slot etc that the occupy.
    As an example, if you search for 'despicable quiver' you will find the pages:
    and

    The first link will tell you what the item is, but in the end column it also links to the main link for that item, in this case Artifacts - Despise.
    On that page you will find a picture and full description of it.
  • Mariah, thank you. That helps. It’s still a lot of searching and clicking to go through all the lists figuring out which ones I want to try for but it’s good to know that it’s all there. I had just seen the list with locations and hadn’t seen where it lists the items properties. I’ve got some reading to do now.
  • Can also look into mace and shield glasses or the blackthorn equivalent.  I use it on my archer, similar to whammyish like merus.

    115 archery
    120 tactics
    120 anatomy
    100 healing
      60 necro
    105 spirit speak
    100 poisoning

    It's good fun, play around and do what youre interested in.  A few tweaks and a funky suit can make anything work.



  • Ok, so I’m looking up chiv, Bushido and necro. I’m assuming the necro is for wraith form for the purpose of mana leach thus allowing you to carry less intelligence right? What benefits are you using the Bushido or chiv for? There’s so many different combinations of spells it makes my head spin 
  • MerusMerus Posts: 298
    Ok, so I’m looking up chiv, Bushido and necro. I’m assuming the necro is for wraith form for the purpose of mana leach thus allowing you to carry less intelligence right? What benefits are you using the Bushido or chiv for? There’s so many different combinations of spells it makes my head spin 
    Yes, Necro is for wraith form and Spirit Speak increase the mana leech.
    Bushido on an archer is for honoring the target = luck bonus and damage increase.
    Chivalry is basically warrior magic.  Virtually every spell comes in handy.
  • I'll add necro (with spiritspeak) gives you access to: curse weapon (huge life leech), corpse skin (lowers target fire and poison resist, spirit speak heal (extra heal that works even if poisoned/mortaled), familiars (wisp for mana, wolf for pets, horde minion minion for being a clepto), + some good PvP benefits (pain spike, omen etc) and a fun mastery in command undead if necro is at least 90.


  • Gone_FishinGone_Fishin Posts: 33
    edited February 26
    So I like the sound of the following setup:
    arch
    tact
    anat
    heal
    chiv
    necro
    spirit speak

    necro and chiv both have ability to heal. Benefit to dropping healing and anat to add something else or keep them? 
    I notice Bushido is also popular. I’ll have to look at the Bushido abilities. Would it provide more benefit than chiv or necro? I’ve been messing around with chiv to get familiar with it. I’m slowly learning how some of these can play off eachother to be pretty powerful.

    ***thinking about this, I’m assuming the healing is kept because of low int and mana on char and casting of other spells would limit healing ability
  • I'd probably lean towards Bushido over chiv in that case.  Necro and custom bows can fill in the need of chiv for the most part.  Bushido will add a lot more with perfection lightning strike etc.

    Healing may or may not be useful depending on what you're doing.  Curse weapon heals for a ton so can do well on its own with spirit speak for more buffer on the healing front.

    Healings just nice for enemies you can't leech off or some PvP situations.

    As far as your thought on intelligence...
    You don't really need any.  Mana Regen from it isn't important here and to have a decent pool of mana to refill by leeching all you need to do is be an elf and/or have some +mana on your items.
  • RockRock Posts: 567
    edited February 26
    @Gone_Fishin Be aware that using any Necro spell costs karma, while the efficacy of Chiv spells depends on karma.  Classic sampire builds get away with this because the main thing they use Necro for is to get into vampire form, with almost everything else leading to positive karma.  You won't completely nerf yourself with negative karma, but this is a factor to consider.

    Bushido would not suffer because of negative karma.  Although you will want to get into the playstyle of trying to honor each foe prior to engagement.  This can be tricky with a bow, which tends to shoot the moment a foe aggros on you.  Once a foe takes damage, from you or anyone else, you can no longer honor it.  (Honor leads to perfection which leads to higher damage and luck at each step.  Even if you get in the habit of being unarmed until you honor the foe, if you are in a party, your teammates might well damage the foe first.

    I'm not saying that having either Bushido or Necro+Chiv is bad, just that there are considerations beyond the various abilities gained.

    Bushido has a side benefit.  At 90 skill you can ride and control a lesser hiryu.  Your character will not become a tamer, though.  Don't plan on training it like a tamer would.  I'm not sure, but I believe it keeps its skills and stats when traded, so your tamer character could probably train it first.
    Rock (formerly Imperterritus VXt, Baja)
  • Rock, that is all very good stuff to consider.  I think I’ll have to just get started with each of them and play around with it. It’s certainly not as simple as it used to be. I have a chiv book. I think I know where to find a necro one. What do I need to get started with Bushido?

    with the lesser Hiryu, will it listen to you as far as attack, follow etc?
  • RockRock Posts: 567
    edited February 26
    Bushdo, Chiv, Necro, Spirit Speak, and many other skills can be bought to 40 in New Haven.  Plus they each have an accelerated skill gain quest to get to 50.  Buy skill(s) to 40, accept quest(s), and go to Old Haven (east of town) where the accelerated skill gain area is.  (Note the order; you cannot buy a new skill when you have already accepted a skill gain quest.  You have to drop all such quests, buy the skill(s), and then re-obtain the quests.)  Each has a reward when you return to the quest giver with your 50 skill.

    * Bushido: blessed 2-handed, best-weapon-skill sword.  Doesn't work with archery, though.
    * Chiv: blessed leg armor (It might not be meddable.)
    * SS: bag of 100 each for the five necro reagents
    * Necro: full necro book

    You can buy full Chiv and Bushido books from their respective quest givers.  If your character were new and started life with necro skill, he would have a book with just a few skills allowing him to train to 50.  If not, you can buy an empty book from either the SS or Necro quest giver.  (They don't sell Necro scrolls, though.)  Or you could probably find one with vendor search, or ask in global chat for someone to inscribe a few basic spells for you.  Also, east of Zento (Makoto-Jima gate) there is a low end spawn of beetle hatchlings in a desert area.  A new character can easily kill them, and each has a low end magery or necro scroll.

    Yes, you can command the lesser hiryu.  It is not just useful as a mount.  Your character won't be able to tame one or train it himself without also having taming skills.
    Rock (formerly Imperterritus VXt, Baja)
  • Great info! Everyone has helped a ton. It’s one thing to read about a skill but having someone explain how they can work together it makes a lot more sense. Now I’m starting to understand how people can solo things that used to take a full party to kill.
  • UrgeUrge Posts: 593
    There's a ton of little hybrid templates that are super effective. Just returning you should find something solid and not very complicated until you can learn all the little mechanics and decide between what works best and what works best for you. 
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