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Divinity Original Sin 2 Builds – Magick Archer

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is in full swing, and one of the major issues players are having with the game is Builds. What Build do I use? What’s a good Build for a Warrior? Ranger? Mage? etc. Since the game is rather difficult this has come much more into focus than one would expect. In this Build Guide were going to cover the Lone Wolf Build: Magick Archer. Let’s jump into this Build and see just how it works.

Magick Archer – Ranger Build

The Magick Archer is a versatile damage dealer that takes its targets out from range using Bow attacks and Elemental Arrows. Although this is a Lone Wolf Build, you can play the Magick Archer in a group extremely well and it complements just about any party make up you could possibly have. This Build focuses primarily on Finesse, but also uses a good amount of Wits to increase Critical Chance as well as Initiative. Why this Build works so well is that it can deal massive amounts of physical damage and very good elemental damage of whichever element you need. You also can stealth and get away, giving you time to methodically work your way through your targets.

level 16 magick archer
The stats on my level 16 Lone Wolf Magick Archer. Stacking Finesse increases the damage of my Elemental Arrows, and Warfare increases them by a good amount is well. Ranged is more there for the Critical Chance and a bit of damage.

Magick Archer Attributes and Equipment

Magick Archers will focus on Finesse and Wits. Finesse will not only increase the damage of your ranged attacks, but also your Elemental Arrows. Yes they scale off of Finesse! You’ll want Wits for the reasons mentioned above, and Wits are good on just about any character. Put points into Memory to be able to use the Skills necessary for this Build, but it shouldn’t be much.

These Arrows, scale off of Finesse of all things, making this Build possible. Unfortunately adding points into Abilities like Pyrokinetic don’t actually add damage, although they raise the value on the tooltip.

Magick Archers utilize Finesse-based Armour which works well here, especially for Lone Wolf, because you never know just exactly what sort of enemy setup you’ll be facing, so it’s good to have a decent amount of both Physical and Magical. You shouldn’t be getting hit much as an Magick Archer so you won’t need to buff up, and you’d be better off taking Armour with better bonuses then total Armour value. Prioritize Finesse, then Warfare, then Ranged, then finally Wits/Huntsman.

Magick Archers will want to use the highest damage Bow or Crossbow they can find, ideally with all physical damage, since this will also increase the damage of your Elemental Arrows. It is very hard to test how elemental damage on Bows and Crossbows affect these Arrows because of the variance in damage they deal, so play it safe and try to stick to physical if you can. Crossbows deal more damage when compared with Bows at the cost of Movement and you will need to move a bit with this Build, but this is really a personal decision for the player. As mentioned above, when in doubt just take the highest damage of what you can. Also note that putting a Masterwork Rune into your Bow will also increase Elemental Arrow damage.

You can see that Crossbows deal a bit more damage than Bows at the same level, at the cost of Movement. Try to get a Bow or Crossbow with all Physical Damage for this Build, because it’s hard to tell if other damage types actually increase the damage of Elemental Arrows or not, but Physical definitely does.

Magick Archer Talents and Abilities

One of the hardest parts about making a Build in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is getting your Abilities distribution correct. It’s easy to get spread too thin, and often people make the mistake of not spreading points around enough. The bonuses you gain from Abilities in this game are somewhat different than the original, so it’s easy to see why people can get confused. Let’s take a look at what Abilities and Talents you need for an Magick Archer.

When playing an Magick Archer (Lone Wolf) you will want 10 points into Warfare, 10 points into Ranged, 10 points into Huntsman, 2 points in Scoundrel, 1 point in Polymorph and whatever is left into Huntsman. You will need to put some points into Huntsman, Scoundrel and Polymorph early to get the necessary Skills, and then you’ll just start pumping Warfare and Ranged as high as you can. In testing Elemental Arrows, I found that Warfare affects their damage the most, then Huntsman and then Ranged. However, it isn’t always possible to be above your target and you will lose Critical Chance without Ranged, thus Huntsman is prioritized last. Strangely you can increase the tooltip of certain Arrows by placing points into their matching element, but the actual damage is not affected and thus this is not recommended. If this ever changes then you could probably specialize in one Arrow type that would deal insane damage.

As far as Talents go I’d recommend the following:

Lone Wolf – This is the obvious Talent here, and what makes the Lone Wolf Build possible. Take this one whenever you are ready to make the jump to Lone Wolf.

Executioner – This Talent is just so damn good with this Build. You’ll get 2 extra AP nearly every round because you are that strong. Take it early and don’t ever unslot it.

Arrow Recovery – Probably the only Build I would ever seriously recommend this Talent for, because your damage for these Arrows will be 100% optimized, and in Lone Wolf you’ll need to be able to deal the optimal damage type for the situation.

Far Out Man – This Talent adds range to all your attacks which never hurts. This is always a solid choice with any ranged Build and works nicely here.

Glass Cannon – If you don’t take Lone Wolf, this Talent can work extremely well with this Build. Just be sure to Stealth at the end of your turn so that you can’t be attacked during the enemy turns.

Hothead – A great Talent for increasing your Critical Damage and Accuracy, both of which are great. Can’t go wrong with this one.

Torturer – Does work with DAMAGING Status Effects applied by Elemental Arrows, as well as those your Bow or Crossbow may inflict. Definitely worth considering.

Magick Archer Skills

Now that you’ve decided which Talents and Abilities you want, you’ll need to identify just which Skills work best with this kind of setup. Magick Archers will use a mix of Huntsman Skills, Elemental Arrows, and miscellaneous Skills. This allows them to deal any sort of damage they want and be able to escape to higher ground or Stealth away. Since Builds evolve over the course of the game, I’m going to put the Skills in order from earliest obtainable to latest, because you won’t be able to get them all right way.

Huntsman Skills

First Aid – While generally not needed it’s still a good idea to keep on your bar for emergencies. It only takes up one space and fights don’t always go according to plan, so this one skill could save your ass.

Tactical Retreat – A must have for any ranged Build, as getting above your target increases your damage, and this goes for Elemental Arrows as well. This is the best way to increase your damage once the battle begins.

Ballistic Shot – This is extremely powerful because it adds 5% damage for every meter you are from your target. This skill is a great way to take down a target in a single Bow shot from up high. Probably the best all around Bow skill there is.

Sky Shot – Not as good as Ballistic Shot, but still pretty good. Can give you a height advantage when you don’t have one. Since Huntsman doesn’t have a ton of Skills, this is another one that’s just good to keep on your bar because you may need it.

Marksman’s Fang – I typically use this skill on enemy summons or targets that have high Armour but low health. Can hit multiple targets and is just all around really good.

Assassinate – Not as good as Ballistic Shot, and costs one more AP, but still useful to this Build. If you Stealth at the end of the first turn, this should be your first attack turn 2.

Miscellaneous Skills

Adrenaline – This is simply a great skill in general and one that most Builds can benefit from. It only costs 1 point in Scoundrel, which you’ll probably have from gear anyhow. Use it if you need and only if you need.

Cloak and Dagger – Another great mobility skill that allows you to maintain Stealth. I like to use Chameleon Cloak and then use this to move. Only costs 1 AP and 2 points into Scoundrel.

Chameleon Cloak – Use this skill at the end of your first turn to hide from enemies. You can even wait a turn before attacking, helping to reduce some cooldowns if you need.

Enrage – This skill works AMAZING with this Build because it will make all your attacks Critically Hit for the turn you cast it and the turn after, including Elemental Arrows. However, you won’t be able to Teleport or Stealth.

Peace of Mind – This skill goes really well with this Build because it increases your Finesse and Wits by a lot, which will help to increase the damage of your Elemental Arrows. Costs 1 AP and lasts 3 turns. Doesn’t work with Enraged though.

Dominate Mind – A great skill to add to this Build because you will constantly be stripping Magic Armour. Requires 2 points into Summoning to use, but you can probably get that with gear without sacrificing too much damage (or any).

Final Tips

I don’t recommend Elemental Ranger for this Build because it doesn’t work with Elemental Arrows, and when you are dealing physical damage, adding some other damage type isn’t particularly helpful. I also don’t recommend Guerilla for this Build because it only works with basic attacks and not Elemental Arrows or Huntsman Skills, making it much better for a Assassin sort of Build (which I will cover in another Guide) than a Magick Archer.

Venom Coating adds a decent amount of Poison to your Bow attacks for 1 AP, and does damage to your Elemental Arrows. Elemental Arrowheads does add damage, much the same way Venom Coating does. Note that the damage is buffed before it is converted, meaning the best possible way to buff any Elemental Arrow with these two Skills is by placing points into Geomancer and using Elemental Arrowheads on a Poison or Oil surface. Firebrand does not work with Elemental Arrows and it does even less damage and cost 3 points into Pyrokinetic to be able to use.

firebrand and venom coating
Firebrand doesn’t work with Elemental Arrows, and Venom Coating does, but scales with Geomancer.

You do not need Savage Sortilege with this Build because Elemental Arrows use regular Weapon Critical for their Chance. You can do some really good elemental damage by increasing your Critical Chance and by placing yourself higher than your target. This is the same approach that Elementalists use, and is one of the reasons the Huntsman bonus is to all damage types, not just physical damage.

If you want to absolutely max out damage on this Build, with not thought to anything else, you could drop points from Ranged and place them all into Huntsman. Get up high at the start of each encounter that you know will be a fight and pop Enrage and trigger the fight with an Arrow. Keep unloading until Enraged ends, and then pop Skin Graft from Polymorph, reapply Enraged, and rain destruction for another turn. This will leave you vulnerable to attacks, but you can deal some massive damage.

You can use this to refresh Enraged if you really want. It requires 3 points into Polymorph.

Lastly, be sure to craft more Elemental Arrows when you run low or when you’ve run out of a certain type. It’s always important to be prepared for each fight having at least 1 Arrow (if not more of each type, just in case). Be sure to check the Recipes page on the Wiki and keep it open when you are crafting so that you have a reference on what you need to make what.

Be sure to check out our other Build Guides! Good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!

About the Author



15 responses to “Divinity Original Sin 2 Builds – Magick Archer”

  1. Question, since definitive edition is out this build has yet to be updated. Will this be updated soon? Did they ever fix the scaling of the elemental arrows and magic tooltip?

  2. However since Ranged will buff both physical and elemental damage, doesn’t it make more sense to prioritize maxing out Ranged first? Unless Warfare also boosts the damage of the special arrows.

  3. Hey Cas !

    About Elemental Ranger : “Only works with basic attacks and special Arrows, not Skills”

    So realy not worth it ?

    Thanks !

  4. I really like this ranger build, but have problems creating a hole team that suits my interests and is balanced at the same time.
    What do you think of this comp:
    Eternal Warrior, Magick Archer, Crytalline Cleric, Elementalist?
    I really like the idea of the Elementalist, but i just played DOS 1 and can’t say, how well this comp might work. Any thoughts or ideas?

  5. Some thoughts:

    Arrow Recovery is totally unnecessary. You can craft unlimited numbers of Water, Poison, Slowdown, and Charming arrows, and large numbers of Shocking arrows as well. It’s easy enough to ration the remaining arrow types so that you’re never in danger of running out.

    Instead, take the Guerrilla talent. This combined with the Assassinate skill results in insane amounts of damage, making it easy to one-shot just about any one of your enemies to begin a fight. If you are far enough away, the combat may end immediately, allowing you to sneak again and repeat.

    For physical damage, your go-to arrow (once you’ve used up Ballistic shot and/or Sky Shot) is Slowdown. It does the most damage, converts your bow’s elemental damage to physical, and can be crafted in unlimited quantities. The slowdown effect is a nice perk, but will rarely come into play, since it is blocked by magical armor.

    I rarely use Marksman’s Fang, because my opponents rarely arrange themselves in a convenient line, and the damage is rarely enough to one-shot a single opponent, so I’ll have to get through their armor anyway to finish them off.

    Ricochet is great when facing an opponent with Deflection. Aim the skill at the non-deflecting enemy next to the one with Deflection, and the deflection will rebound on your original target, usually resulting in a one-shot.

    In a Lone Wolf run, this synergizes really well with the Stormchaser build, thanks to unlimited Water arrows and plentiful Shocking arrows.

  6. I was wondering why you have this Lone Wolf build but recommend it for your Hydromania mixed party-would you change anything?

  7. So I never made the Sniper build, but I have done some work on it. Unsure if I’ll publish it just yet. I’ve heard reports that Assassinate now works from Chameleon Cloak as of the Definitive Edition, but I cannot confirm this myself yet, as I am not level 16.


  8. Nice build, I’m kinda torn between this one and warden… Also, did I miss it, or did the sniper ranger never arrive? :) I’m just asking because I love that kind of builds… Assassinate is kind of lacking, so I am thinking about making a mod so the increased dmg works from invisibility (chameleon cloak) too, or deals piercing dmg…

  9. I think a Summoner would work well because it can use the Arrows to create any Incarnate you want.


  10. Loved this build in the base game and planning on using it in a two-man Lone Wolf run in the definitive edition. Any builds you think would pair particularly well with this?

  11. To the above post, it is not that simple. Stats will always give less damage than a school combat ability. For example, a point of STR/FIN will give less damage than one point in Warfare, due to the order of priority. One point of INT will give less damage for fire skills than a point in Pyrokinetic. Similarly, weapon skills like Ranged/Dual Wielding will give less damage than Warfare, but will likely give more damage than a stat point. All of this is due to the order of priority in which damage is calculated.

    TL;DR stats < weapon combat abilities < school combat abilities

  12. If everything is finesse-dependent, is there any reason you wouldn’t just dump as many of your points into Polymorph instead and level the hell out of your Finesse/Wits before heading into Warfare/Ranged? Seems like it might be more efficient.

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