How to Rune and Gear Your Ranger at Level 20 in Guild Wars

How to Rune and Gear Your Ranger at Level 20 in Guild Wars
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Character Introduction

There are not many people who haven’t heard of Guild Wars, an online MMORPG that has no monthly subscription fees and is free for people to play. The highest level in Guild Wars is 20. At this level characters begin to develop more specific characteristics by changing builds and runes. Rangers are a ranged fighting class in Guild Wars.

The Ranger is a distance fighter that can do single person damage or hit multiple opponents at once. Rangers fight with a bow similar to what an archer would use. Rangers utilize energy to cast their spells and shoot their arrows. From player vs. environment to player vs. player a Ranger will have others half dead before they spot where the arrows are flying from.

Typically a Ranger stays towards the back of the groups in Guild Wars but is also known for playing up close as well. Some Ranger builds in Guild Wars do not use bows at all but instead are melee fighting.

Armor Selection

There are multitudes of different armor types a player can select from in the game to customize their Guild Wars Ranger. Level 20 Rangers will want to obtain “maxed” armor for the most protection. Maxed armor for a Ranger is 70.

Here is a list of the different maxed armor types and where to obtain each:

  • Obsidian Armor: The Fissure of Woe

  • Asuran Elite: Rata Sum

  • Deldrimor Elite: Central Transfer Chamber

  • Monument Elite: Eye of the North Outpost

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison

  • Norn Elite: Gunnar’s Hold

  • Ancient Elite: Bone Palace

  • Sunspear Elite: Command Post

  • Primeval Elite: Throne of Secrets

  • Vabbian Elite: The Kodash Bazaar

  • Canthan Elite: Divine Path

  • Kurzick Elite: Vasburg Armory

  • Luxon Elite: Leviathan Pits

  • Judge Elite: Granite Citadel

  • Saintly Elite: Marhan’s Grotto

  • Woven Elite: Granite Citadel

  • Flowing Elite: Granite Citadel

  • Labyrinthine Elite: Marhan’s Grotto

  • Tyrian Standard: Droknar’s Forge, Wajjun Bazaar, and Boreal Station

  • Istani Standard: Consulate Docks or Command Post

  • Sunspear Standard: Consulate Docks or Command Post

  • Canthan Standard: Kaineng Center

  • Kurzick Standard: House zu Heltzer

  • Luxon Standard: Cavalon

  • Shing Jea Standard: Kaineng Center

  • Ascalon Standard: Kaineng Center

  • Krytan Standard: Bukdek Byway

  • Censor Standard: Droknar’s Forge

  • Dragon Standard: Droknar’s Forge

  • Sacred Standard: Droknar’s Forge

  • Star Standard: Droknar’s Forge

  • Woven Standard: Droknar’s Forge

The only difference between elite and standard armor is the way it looks and the price. Standard armor is considerably cheaper than elite armor.

Rune Selection

Runes are items that upgrade Ranger armor in Guild Wars. Insignias work with runes by adding modifiers. Each armor piece can have 1 insignia and 1 rune attached to it; head, chest, hands, legs, feet. This will allow for up to 5 runes and up to 5 insignias for each complete armor set. You can remove and change runes on a character’s armor but it is very expensive to do so.

Photo By Melina Ann Collison

Runes can be obtained from Rune Merchants, loot from drops, or salvages from armor pieces. Some runes are stackable and others are not, however, if two of the same runes are applied the negative benefits will occur but not the positive. So if the runes are giving a +3 buff and -75 health and there are two on instead of getting +6 buff the player receives -125 health and +3 buff.

Ranger Runes and Insignias


  • Frostbound Insignia
  • Pyrebound Insignia
  • Stormbound Insignia
  • Scout’s Insignia
  • Earthbound Insignia
  • Beastmaster’s Insignia


  • Minor Wilderness
  • Minor Beast Mastery
  • Minor Expertise
  • Minor Marksmanship


  • Major Wilderness

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison

  • Major Beast Mastery

  • Major Expertise

  • Major Marksmanship


  • Superior Wilderness
  • Superior Beast Mastery
  • Superior Expertise
  • Superior Marksmanship

Attributes and Builds

A Ranger’s attributes are going to focus on their core profession along with any second profession the player chooses to utilize. The maximum Ranger attribute level, assuming the character has maximum runes, armor, and other items, can be; Expertise and Beast Mastery – 20 PvE and 16 PvE, Marksmanship and Wilderness 21 PvE and 18 PvP.

Photo By Melina Ann Collison

A character’s build and attributes should be similar in nature to ensure the best possible game play as well as the strongest character possible. Builds should focus on 2-3 attributes instead of 4 or 5. When you do this your Guild Wars character is maximizing their potential by putting all their attribute points in one place, as a substitute to placing them in random spots. If you have a “pet” Ranger their primary attribute and build focus would be around Beast Mastery. The Ranger’s special attribute is Expertise.

Attributes and Builds (cont.)

The basic Ranger attributes explained:

  • Expertise – Special attribute; each Expertise attribute point allows the character to minimize energy cost of attacks, rituals, and skills.
  • Marksmanship – Increases the success rate of critical hits with a Bow.
  • Beast Mastery – Increases the success rate of critical hits with an animal companion.
  • Wilderness Survival – Increases the success Ranger’s effectiveness to support and defend a Guild Wars party.

Photo By Melina Ann Collison

Ranger builds will be categorized as; pet, bow, toucher, interrupts, or damage. Every Ranger should have one elite skill in their skill bar that comes from their specializing attributes.

Second Professions and Elite Skills

Level 20 Rangers should obtain all of the second professions in the Guild Wars game available to them. Different second professions offer the player a wider variety of skills and buffs to enhance game play. There are 9 different second classes available to the Ranger; Dervish, Paragon, Assassin, Ritualist, Monk, Warrior, Necromancer, Mesmer, and Elementalist.

Photo By Melina Ann Collison

Elite skills are available from a multitude of zones in the Guild Wars games. Elite skills can be captured from a boss if the player has a Signet of Capture equipped in their skill bar. Signet of Captures are available from Rune Traders in Guild Wars towns and outposts. Every build needs at least one elite skill that corresponds with attributes and weapon points.

Combining Attributes, Builds, Runes, and Armor: Explained

Rangers in Guild Wars need to combine attributes, weapons, builds, runes, insignias, and armor together to create a proper character that will do maximum damage. Rangers who want to specialize in marksmanship would set their gear up accordingly:

  • Obtain a bow Req. 9-12 Marksmanship with stats in expertise of marksmanship
  • Get maxed armor, with headgear for marksmanship
  • Runes and/or insignias for expertise and marksmanship
  • Attributes set in expertise and marksmanship
  • Skills in the build that reflect marksmanship and expertise
  • Marksmanship elite skill

Additionally, if a Ranger wanted to be a toucher instead of a ranged fighter they will follow the same concept but with different weapons, skills, armor, and attributes. Try not to mix up skills and attributes. While it is possible to do this it does not make for a good character build.

Photo By Melina Ann Collison