[Top 5] Guild Wars 2 Best Archer Builds (Ranked)

Archers come in all shapes and sizes, and these will shoot their arrows straight and true.
Archers come in all shapes and sizes, and these will shoot their arrows straight and true.

Many professions in Guild Wars 2 can use the longbow and shortbow, turning them into archers. Some are more specialized than others and can use them with great ease. Which of of these powerful archer builds can stand at the very top and claim to be the best?


5. Thief (Shortbow)

Just because Thief is at the 5th spot on the list does not mean that they are terrible at being an archer. The Shortbow Thief is mostly used more as an evasive, often stealthy and mobile build that has its moments in the sun. Nevertheless, the Thief is a worthy condition damage-based pseudo-archer.

Why this is one of the best archers

  • The Thief is a highly mobile profession and can zip across the battlefield with ease. In World vs World, they make great scouts, and their shortbow skills allow them to blink toward areas easily and evade combat.
  • In case things get difficult and are forced into combat, the Thief and its elite specializations can defend themselves especially in one-on-one combat. They are excellent in duels and make use of their high single target damage potential.
  • As previously mentioned, the Thief can specialize further to be more condition damage-based. The shortbow can deal poison and bleeding debuffs which can quickly ramp up the longer the fight continues.
  • Admittedly, the shortbow is more of a utility weapon for the Thief, being used more as a way to position themselves quickly or for additional blind debuffs, but in the hands of a good Thief, it makes or breaks fights.
  • The shortbow Thief is a source of Blast finishers that they can exploit with their smoke fields and cast additional sources of Stealth. For Thieves that specialize in dealing backstabs, this is a great tool in their arsenal.

How to build this Archer class

Core Pisol / Dagger Thief - Metabattle.com

Core Thief - Hardstuck.gg

Power Daredevil - Hardstuck.gg

Archer Power Score: 80 / 100


4. Berserker (Longbow)

The Heart of Thorns expansion introduced to us one of the first elite specializations that would change the way we play the core professions, and that includes the Warrior and its elite specialization, the Berserker. It brings with it a flaming torch that can deal burn debuffs, powerful Rage skills, and Berserk mode that replaces adrenaline. While core Warrior always had access to the longbow, it was a bit underwhelming by itself, but as a Berserker, it becomes a lethal condition damage weapon that would be a mainstay in most Condi Berserker builds.

Why this is one of the best archers

  • When the Warrior specs into the deadly Berserker elite specialization, the longbow becomes a long-ranged condition damage unit.
  • They can launch stronger versions of their adrenaline skill to shoot an AoE line of flames instead of a circular one. When paired with a sword + torch, it makes for a great condi DPS alternative.
  • The longbow, by itself, deals normal damage as well as burning, blind, and bleed debuffs depending on the skills used, making it a well rounded weapon, although not always the go-to weapon for Warriors.
  • While Warriors often pick the rifle more than the longbow, never underestimate the longbow because it can be a surprising damage dealer when opponents least expect it. When paired with the right build, equipment, and perks, it becomes lethal in various gamemodes.
  • Berserkers make the best use of the longbow unlike its other elite specializations, which brings it down a notch, but with its power alone, it is good enough to be on this list.

How to build this Archer class

Condition DPS Berserker - GuildJen.com

Quickness Support Condi DPS Berserker - Metabattle.com

Booster Berserker - Hardstuck.gg

Archer Power Score: 83 / 100


3. Dragonhunter (Longbow)

Now that is more like it! The Dragonhunter is the mighty longbow user elite specialization of the Guardian that was introduced in Heart of Thorns. It uses many Trap skills to decimate their foes as well as bring changes to how their Virtue skills work in-game. This archer has seen a surge in popularity, often in World versus World, and for good reason.

Why this is one of the best archers

  • Guardians, once they spec into Dragonhunter, become powerful long-range damage dealers thanks to their longbows and their weapon skills. It has a useful missile-locking attack that can destroy other projectiles when timed correctly as well as a long-range Symbol skill, burning enemies standing underneath it.
  • With their trap skills, they can unleash dangerous CC skills to enemies and destroy break bars with ease. One is especially lethal with it being able to give enemies a Revealed debuff, preventing them from using Stealth.
  • Their upgraded Virtues have a more physical use to them with their Spear of Justice being used to tether foes and transfer debilitating conditions on them, Wings of Resolve to launch themselves onto enemies to damage them or allies to heal, and Shield of Courage to protect you and your allies from attacks coming from the front.
  • Their longbow skills allow the Dragonhunter to tag tons of enemies and defeat them with their various AoE skills, giving them a slight edge in farming.
  • They can easily pin down foes that wander off from the group and trap them with their longbow 5 skill, Hunter’s Ward

How to build this Archer class

Power Dragonhunter WvW Version - Hardstuck.gg

Power Dragonhunter PvE Version - GuildJen.com

Archer Power Score: 89 / 100


2. Renegade (Shortbow)

With the introduction of the Renegade and the Path of Fire expansion, the Revenant gained the ability to wield a much better condition damage weapon in the shortbow. Not only does it gain a better DPS weapon, but the Legendary Hero they gain also has powerful abilities that all deal copious amounts of area-of-effect damage. Renegades have become a mainstay for various groups and with their pure firepower, it is easy to see why.

Why this is one of the best archers

  • The Renegade is a lethal combatant that delivers onto its foes debilitating condition damage with its shortbow.
  • They have seen multiple builds that focus on it being both a condition damage DPS or a physical DPS making it a very solid choice for your next playthrough.
  • Renegades can use their many AoE skills to deal constant damage, and their heal is still regarded as one of the best healing skills currently despite being nerfed.
  • The Renegade’s Legend, the Legendary Renegade, Kalla Scorchrazor, works very well with other of the Revenant’s legends, opening it up to more build potentials.
  • The Renegade makes for a great farming profession, able to tag multiple mobs at once, ensuring it can always get drops from enemies if they are fast enough.

How to build this Archer class

Condition Alacrity Renegade - Hardstuck.gg

Condi DPS - Metabattle.com

Power Bombardment - Metabattle.com

Archer Power Score: 93 / 100


1. Ranger And Its Elite Specializations

There is no question that the Ranger is Guild Wars 2's best archer and sits alone with its elite specializations at the top of the mountain. The Ranger wields both the long and shortbow for various purposes that will dictate what build it will be using. Thanks to its access to long-range, high burst damage, it is a lethal profession to run against in any of the game modes. After all, Rangers are the go-to archer classes and that goes the same to its various elite specializations.

Why this is one of the best archers

  • The Ranger and its elite specializations can use the longbow and shortbow which dictates what damage they will be focusing more on.
  • If they use the longbow, they become a long-range, pure damage, high-burst profession that is deadly from almost any range. They also have access to a powerful crowd control attack with their longbow 4 that pushes foes away if they get too close.
  • If they use the shortbow, they trade long-range damage for short-to-mid ranged condition-based damage. They become deadly condition-slinging professions and can be very annoying in PvP.
  • In raids, strike missions, and other instanced PvE combat, they tend to be the kiters of the group, often striking enemies from afar if certain enemies are lethal in close range.
  • Some builds allow Rangers to become hybrid builds, using both physical and condition damage DPS to its full potential. Whether they choose to use either bow and a melee is up to them to decide.

How to build this Archer class

Core Power Ranger - Metabattle.com

Longbow Untamed - Hardstuck.gg

Condition DPS Soulbeast - GuildJen.com

Archer Power Score: 96 / 100


Closing Thoughts

Archers have been a staple of the MMORPG genre since the days of old and continue to make itself useful in Guild Wars 2. While most professions enjoy wielding bows, some have demonstrated why they are more powerful than others. Eventually, there may come a time when another expansion gets developed and other classes get the chance to become archers. What do you think, dear reader, is there another archer that can make this list that can topple the top five?

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Whether he is resting in Pelican Town, looping against the Entity or running from zeds in Kentucky, Don offers his tales from his gaming adventures. Just don't give him another gacha game.
Gamer Since: 1990
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Project Zomboid, Dead By Daylight, Kenshi, etc.
Top 3 Favorite Games:Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 2, BioShock

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