As you gain experience and level up in Bound by Flame, you earn points to use toward the skill trees for each stance. Using your points wisely will make the game significantly easier to traverse. Each skill tree is divided by overall level. Novice is levels 1-5, Amateur is levels 6-11, Expert is levels 12-23 and you reach Master at level 24. New skills become available for purchase as you increase from Novice all the way to Master.
Novice: Rain of Blades
Expert: Gift of the Viper
One of the big differences between a Ranger and a Warrior is that a Warrior inflicts more damage, while a Ranger is more agile. However, leveling up Rain of Blades will help even out the two classes. The first upgrade increases damage and makes it more difficult for an enemy to interrupt your attack, while the subsequent upgrades increase the Ranger’s attack speed, allowing them to inflict damage at a much faster rate.
Deviousness increases the chance of landing a critical blow, and makes it even easier to land a critical from behind an opponent. Once again, this is primarily a boost to the Ranger’s damage. All of these skills should be a high priority solely to get more damage from the Ranger Stance.
Amateur: Ravaging Assault
Expert: Gift of the Viper
Assault is very similar to the Circular Attack in Warrior Stance. It’s useful, but only when you have enough time to charge up. By going through the Assault skill tree, you can make the attack far more useful. Expeditious allows you to change targets, lowers the charge time and increases the chance of superhuman dodging (automatic dodging).
Ravaging Assault increases your chance of interrupting an attack during Assault, increases the damage of the Assault and increases the chance of landing a critical blow. If you use Assault often, these upgrades should be a high priority. However, many Rangers will opt to avoid charging and stick with the Fast Attacks skill tree.
Gift of Viper
Once you reach Expert levels, you can add poison to your attacks, which is another damage increase. If you continue to upgrade the Gift of Viper, you can also lower the damage of a poisoned enemy’s attack, and lower an enemy’s physical attack resistance. If you’re going to do anything with the Gift of Viper, you should upgrade it completely. All three abilities are extremely useful during combat, especially against large groups of enemies, where you can poison one, then move on to the next enemy.
Expert: Thirst for Blood
Stealth is one of the key aspects of the Ranger Stance. It allows you to sneak up on a target and strike them for big damage. The main drawback is that your movement speed is greatly reduced while in this state. Invisibility fixes that issue by allowing for faster movement speed, and improving the stealth ability as a whole so it works on more enemies.
Surprise increases the damage of a stealth attack by 200 percent, then guarantees a critical hit with a fire spell or crossbow attack with the second upgrade. The third upgrade reduces the noise from a surprise attack when you kill an enemy with a single hit. This makes it easier to remain in stealth even after taking down the first enemy. Finally, Thirst for Blood increases the chance of a critical blow and provides additional experience points.
You don’t need to use stealth to dispatch most enemies in the game. If this isn’t something you use often, it should have very low priority. Even if you use it frequently, it takes awhile to get to the good stuff (Amateur level and above), so be sure you’re ready to put a lot of points into Stealth before you begin upgrading the skill set.
Blocking is something that a skilled Ranger won’t use much. It certainly comes in handy, but for the most part, Rangers prefer to dodge instead of blocking or parrying. However, the Blocking skill set only has one upgrade path, so it doesn’t take many points to max it out. The first upgrade allows you to sprint while in combat, the second provides faster movement speed in the parry stance, and the final upgrade reduces the damage inflicted while moving or dodging by 10 percent, which is the best upgrade of the set.
Dodging is one of the key traits of Ranger Stance. When you upgrade the Reflex skill line, you get more time to riposte, and the chance of getting a superhuman dodge are increased. Rancor (the final upgrade set for Dodging) increases the number of riposte hits from two to three, and increases the chances of landing a critical blow during a riposte. All of these abilities are very important as you will almost certainly dodge as your primary form of defense while in Ranger Stance.
The Master level upgrade set for the Range Stance is called Speed Demon. It slows down time while you move at the same speed, essentially making it so that you move much faster than the enemies around you. Upgrading it further increases your speed even more, and the final upgrade increases the duration of the attack. By the time you reach Master levels, you should already have many of the skills you need as a Ranger. Unless you need to upgrade skills in the Warrior or Pyromancer sets, this should take priority.