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Best Horizon Walker Build

author
Bob Roberts
• Thursday, 17 December, 2020
• 16 min read

Another’s Guide to Everything wanted the ranger to explore places not normal for humanoids to walk. Rather than focusing on the exploration of the familiar face of the Material Plane, the Horizon Walker trains to defend it.

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Contents

There are threats from other planes constantly risking the delicate balance of this realm. As a Horizon Walker, you’re to team up with benevolent dragons, fey, and even player characters to defend it.

The ability to change your weapon damage to Force basically guarantees that you’ll be useful in any fight; including against Swarms! You get relatively fantastic mobility, and none of your class skills hold you to melee or ranged combat.

Use it wisely, and you’ll see how good moving 30 ft without provoking or… needing ground … can be. Haste is a pretty simple spell, letting you get extra attacks or move extremely fast.

It’s a fantastic buff effect, and the ranger’s third level options are pretty specific. Haste will be your best option in fights against a single creature, unless you want to drop summoned animals on their forehead.

Use them instead on the second most threatening creature; taking a Cleric or Wizard out of the fight for a while can actually save your party. Teleportation Circle is actually a good choice for your 5th level spell slots.

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At 3rd level, you gain the ability to magically sense the presence of a planar portal. As an action, you detect the distance and direction to the closest planar portal within 1 mile of you.

So, on the bright side, if your party is ready to take on the enemies that a planar portal can summon, this is pretty great! You can close it quickly to ensure that horrible creatures don’t sneak in.

Creatures are normally summoned temporarily and a lot of fights are against threats on the material plane. At 3rd level, you learn to draw on the energy of the multiverse to augment your attacks.

You’ll be using your Bonus Action to do this all the time, so you might as well hit them with the biggest weapon you have. This has a 30 ft range, so make sure you’re not trying to snipe someone all the way outside the dungeon.

Well, there is exactly one creature in traditional monster manuals that is immune to Force; the Helmed Horror. There are plenty of creatures resistant or immune to Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing.

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You’re much better at fighting ghosts and some undead types, and you don’t really need to have a backup weapon. For those who don’t know about Eternalness (totally understandable; it’s a niche spell), you turn into a ghost.

Perhaps most importantly, this is going to make your DM really frustrated, since nothing really exists on the Border Ethereal. You might find yourself running into Ghost Doors after you completely negate one or two of the DM’s puzzles.

At 11th level, you gain the ability to pass between the planes in the blink of an eye. It’s also significantly easier for a ranged character to qualify for the third creature clause.

Your last ability is your only real defensive option, since Ethereal Step is more for utility. At 15th level, your ability to move between planes enables you to slip through the planar boundaries to lessen the harm done to you during battle.

If you’re in melee or ranged, your AC is also probably just a touch higher, since Medium Armor is nice. You won’t be needing this benefit most of the time, and when you do, it can be on something that deals a lot of damage.

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The Horizon Walker focuses on Dexterity, but you can make a Strength build work. Constitution is important if you plan on doing melee combat, while Ranged characters can use Wisdom to make their DC's higher.

These turtle people from the aptly named Turtle Package are the perfect Strength rangers. And, with Shell Defense, you can boost your ridiculous AC even higher… at the cost of your ability to take actions.

But, it overcomes that so well with their fantastic list of known spells, great utility and offensive abilities, and a good defensive one. Your Bonus Actions are a little clogged, but you can make do with starting a fight with Hunter’s Mark and then slamming them with Force damage.

Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts The character is a Wood Elf with 18 dexes, and my preference is to not multi-class.

We’ve been thoroughly impressed so far, and today, I want to delve into one of the main chunks of the book, the 27 new subclasses. These are the centerpiece of the book, and as we’ve said before, they’re well put together, for the most part, and expand the game in exciting new ways, offering a new approach to many of your favorite classes.

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If you’re a fan of 5th Edition, you know that the Ranger has needed just a little something to give them that distinctive flavor, and the Horizon Walker delivers that in spades. Fun to play, full of lore and mechanics that reinforce the narrative of the class, the Horizon Walker really hits it out of the park.

Never mind that the default, pub ranger subclasses are a little lackluster, the Horizon Walker is amazing. They can sense planar portals, are capable of fighting extra planar threats, and get some pretty sweet abilities that help them do exactly that.

It gives the Horizon Walker a purpose, and though Rangers tend to be explorers, it makes them more active and tied to the world. Horizon Walkers guard the world against extra planar threats, and this is reflected in the class abilities, proficiencies, and spells.

At 3rd level, they get the basic protection from Evil and Good and their signature ability to detect planar portals and combat extra planar threats. Planar Warrior (also a 3rd level feature) lets you draw on the power of the planes to augment your attacks.

Cap that off with the ability to use your reaction to halve incoming damage, and you’ve got the makings of a fun, mobile class that’s imbued with planar power. Combo in spells like misty step or haste (both of which the class gets) and your Ranger is ready to dish out damage against those creepy otherworldly monsters your DM keeps throwing at you.

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It reinforces the idea that the Horizon Walker is specifically interested in planar magic, and pairs well with the extra mobility on display here. So I am planning on making a Horizon Walker soon, and I was trying to find some help trying to optimize them.

I would be focusing on maxing STR fast since the way I want to play this character as a hard hitter that jumps to enemy in fights and smacks them for a lot. This way he is hard to pin down and can end up going for back line enemies easily.

No idea if this is really worth doing, but you can get shillelagh from magic unit or a 1-dip into druid. The thing is horizon walker uses their bonus action to make their DMG force and to add a 1d8 onto it with no rests required.

Shillelagh is a bonus action can trip mean I would lose my ability every time. The thing is horizon walker uses their bonus action to make their DMG force and to add a 1d8 onto it with no rests required.

Shillelagh is a bonus action can trip mean I would lose my ability every time. The thing is horizon walker uses their bonus action to make their DMG force and to add a 1d8 onto it with no rests required.

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Shillelagh is a bonus action can trip mean I would lose my ability every time. So for the one bonus action you increase you average damage for the next 10 rounds by 1. Not super significant, but it does make you SAD.

If this isn't AL legal, though I suspect it is, maybe you can convince your DM to allow a variation of the high elf that gets +1 Wis instead of int and a druid can trip instead of a wizard one. So for the one bonus action you increase you average damage for the next 10 rounds by 1. Not super significant, but it does make you SAD.

I don't think High Elf w/ Wis is AL legal, unless there are Volo's or approved book variants of elves that are. The Magic Initiate, Spell Sniper, or cleric / druid multi class is.

Extra damage on a CRT, Dark vision, and the Relentless Endurance ability will prove insanely useful. Dragon born get a bonus to Charisma, which is totally useless to you, no Dark vision, and no defensive ability like Endurance.

Dragon Fear, if you take that Feat, keys off Charisma, and you don’t have the stat points to manage that effectively. No bonus to saves like a Paladin or Second Wind / Indomitable like a Fighter.

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Also, remember, you’ll need a decent amount of Ex since Rangers don’t get Heavy Armor. Free proficiency in Perception & Stealth, a climbing speed, Dark vision and Feline Agility make you insanely fast.

Great for drawing enemy attention and leading your foes into an ambush, or for getting to a fallen ally that needs a quick heal, since you’d only get Cure Wounds, which has a Touch range. You gain flexibility in weapon choice and potential for better AC with medium armor master.

Strength is in about the same boat, or a decent bit worse depending on how you want to place. Unless you eventually want to go with great weapons there's really no good reason to use a Long sword instead of a Rapier.

Even if the AOE aspect of these requires a save vs. your wisdom DC. The Magic Initiate, Spell Sniper, or cleric / druid multi class is.

This route you'd go something like flaming sphere for your LVL 2 druid spells and conjure animals for your LVL 3 spell (or the call lightning one, if you're fighting in a big enough place or outside). What you're lacking compared to a spreading is the amazing single-target divine smites.

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There are a few good reasons to use STR over ex or wisdom options: GYM. If playing AL or published adventure, relaying on rapier or bust can be dicey.

You’ll often end up with a +1 short sword or some other suboptimal weapon as you watch better magical long swords and battle-axes pass by you. With these in mind, I’m fond of a zealot barb dip for more dice that only costs 1 bonus action to set up (rage).

Reckless attack CRT chance (9.5%) is nice if you like to roll fistfuls of dice. White Plume MNHN is one where if you do at least 2/3 your mission you are rewarded a choice of +2 weapons.

And if you're in a module that drops one there is no guarantee you'll win it, if another player rolls for it. Also, with STR I can go and grab all the melee weapons when they come up and not lose out on a lot of DMG.

A reigning ranger kinda sounds cool as a half orc the main thing is I won't be able to use any concentration spells. I could grab mobile to make if, so I could run to different enemies with no opportunity attacks and help me get in faster.

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The spell I want the most to use in the new book is the Steel wind strike which is why I was thinking of playing this character in a super mobile way along with their blink ability. I mean what's scarier an elf coming at you with a wimpy rapier or half orc teleporting around and slicing all your friends apart in the blink of the eye as he ends up next to the puny mage in the back line and smashes his skull in.

Also, with STR I can go and grab all the melee weapons when they come up and not lose out on a lot of DMG. A reigning ranger kinda sounds cool as a half orc the main thing is I won't be able to use any concentration spells.

I could grab mobile to make if, so I could run to different enemies with no opportunity attacks and help me get in faster. The spell I want the most to use in the new book is the Steel wind strike which is why I was thinking of playing this character in a super mobile way along with their blink ability.

I mean what's scarier an elf coming at you with a wimpy rapier or half orc teleporting around and slicing all your friends apart in the blink of the eye as he ends up next to the puny mage in the back line and smashes his skull in. Steel wind strike is so deep into ranger you should probably not plan around it.

If it's your go-to spell in combat, it really encourages a heavy damage play style. A tank doesn't need to worry about provoking OAS because they want to stand next to enemies to keep them from going to allies.

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A big half orc with a heavy weapon on the other hand can run in hit HARD and then back away. IMO Zephyr Strike seems like a waste on a sword and board character, and that's coming from a player that really favors the shield.

Also, with STR I can go and grab all the melee weapons when they come up and not lose out on a lot of DMG. A reigning ranger kinda sounds cool as a half orc the main thing is I won't be able to use any concentration spells.

I could grab mobile to make if, so I could run to different enemies with no opportunity attacks and help me get in faster. The spell I want the most to use in the new book is the Steel wind strike which is why I was thinking of playing this character in a super mobile way along with their blink ability.

I mean what's scarier an elf coming at you with a wimpy rapier or half orc teleporting around and slicing all your friends apart in the blink of the eye as he ends up next to the puny mage in the back line and smashes his skull in. So, let me get this straight: You want to be a Half Orc, in Medium Armor, because....

The Half Orc isn't immune to magical sleep and doesn't have advantage on saves VS Charms. If you go High Elf, you can take the Feat in GTE that lets you Misty Step every short rest.

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So, let me get this straight: You want to be a Half Orc, in Medium Armor, because.... The Half Orc isn't immune to magical sleep and doesn't have advantage on saves VS Charms.

If you go High Elf, you can take the Feat in GTE that lets you Misty Step every short rest. Sure, that's great, but I see more people drop to 0 hp then getting charmed or slept, so Relentless Endurance wins out again here for a melee Ranger.

Either way, for a melee Ranger that's focused on Strength, a Half Orc is going to do more damage and stay alive longer then an Elf. But unless you plan to go GYM or PM or Grapple there is not much Mechanical reason to justify one.

I also think Hunter with Horde Breaker or Gloom Stalker Rangers work better as Strength based than Horizon Walker since a big damage die weapon will get more out of the extra attacks those sub-classes get. The Shield Master feat might be enough to tempt me to make a Strength Based Sword and Board Ranger.

I could take Prodigy for expertise in Athletics then knock foes down for Melee advantage, or shove them into a Spike Growth I had cast earlier. Pole Arm Master + Sentinel could be quite interesting on a Horizon Walker since you've got many tools to stay away from enemies.

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But the bonus-action attack is a bit of a waste given your Planar Warrior bonus action. As far as strength-ranger synergy... Gloom gets one extra attack per combat, I'm not so sure that counts for more than what HW can do.

While it doesn't match horde breaker, Horizon Walker will get an extra attack every round there's 3 or more creatures to hit. I was thinking of sword and board since I could get dueling which gives +2 DMG and I get +2 ac when I really don't need to do much in my free hand.

If I multi classed two levels into fighter I could get action surge to increase my effectiveness and if I go 3 I could go champion for higher CRT chance. I was thinking of sword and board since I could get dueling which gives +2 DMG and I get +2 ac when I really don't need to do much in my free hand.

If I multi classed two levels into fighter I could get action surge to increase my effectiveness and if I go 3 I could go champion for higher CRT chance. Yeah, WWF is generally considered weaker than defense, as its damage boost is relatively small.

I wouldn't value WWF style high enough to justify a single fighter level. I wouldn't value WWF style high enough to justify a single fighter level.

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Luckily the last 3 LFLS of ranger suck, so I won't be missing out on anything good. With my starting gold I got a maul so a nice heavy weapon with 16 ac thanks to my armor.

Luckily the last 3 LFLS of ranger suck, so I won't be missing out on anything good. With my starting gold I got a maul so a nice heavy weapon with 16 ac thanks to my armor.

If you're a GYM Ranger, I don't really need to explain the awesomeness of being able to generate your own advantage on attack rolls. You're also picking up Danger Sense, and while not an amazing combat ability, it does help you out on those Dexterity Saving Throws.

Ones to pay special attention to are Totem, Zealot, and Ancestral Guardian (I can't remember the name of this one). All three of these bring either great team utility (Totem and Ancestor) or extra damage and a thank you from your Revivify caster (Zealot).

You're overall getting a more consistent advantage generator than Battle master Maneuvers, a bigger hit die, and tools to help you deal with the fact that you are wading into the thick of it without a solid way to efficiently heal yourself (resistance will do wonders for your survivability on a melee Ranger). Nobody makes dwarf rangers anymore :(Also just throw spears/javelins/handle if you need to hit something faraway.

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