I finished leveling my GW2 Revenant to 80 while watching Puppy Bowl 2021. I loaded up with all the buffs I could find, then went map-by-map doing Hero Points and any events I ran across. It was a Good Time.
Honestly, I haven’t been too impressed with Revenant up to this point. Like, it’s… fine? I still would rather be playing my Guardian/Firebrand, if only because I’ve played it for years, and I am very lazy.
However, I have been assured that Renegade brings a lot to Revenant, so I felt obliged to at least try it out.
By the time I hit 80, it was reset on a Sunday night. This is a great time to find a Hero Point train on LFG. Many commanders run HP trains on Saturday and Sunday nights. These are a fantastic, low-stress way to level up your Elite spec.
Don’t forget to tip your commander! I tipped 2 Gold because the entire train only took an hour, and the commander was very helpful with ports and map markers.
Soon I was ready for a proper Renegade build. I picked the Shortbow Renegade build on Metabattle. (You had me at “low mechanical input to play.”)
Gearing Up Renegade
Ah yes, the gear grind. No brag, but it’s been so long since I geared up an elite spec, I had forgotten what a hassle it can be.
I had a few pieces of stat-selectable Bladed armor in my bank, so I switched those to Viper’s and put them on. I then used my Armorsmith character to create the Viper’s Draconic pieces I was missing.
I happened to have six of the recommended runes (Superior Rune of the Nightmare) sitting in my bank.
These account-bound runes drop from the Twilight Arbor dungeon which I used to run a lot with guild mates back in… oh, 2015 or so. Apparently I chucked them into my bank where they sat for six years waiting for just this day. Hooray for digital hoarding!
Alas, I didn’t have enough Spiritwood Planks to craft an ascended shortbow just yet. So I grabbed the first shortbow I found as a random drop and started using it, if only to start building the muscle memory for the rotation. This Masterwork-level shortbow had all the wrong stats and runes, but it was better than nothing.
I hit the open world, ready to rock, but also feeling a little bit exhausted at the thought of learning a whole new rotation. “Oh well,” I thought, “I’ll try it and if I hate it, I’ll never go back.”
Friends, I tried it. I am here to tell you, I did not hate it.
I grabbed my Season 4 Portal Tome and went to Crystal Desert to kill mobs, looking for Skyscale Treat drops.
I was using the shortbow exclusively, mainly skills 1 (Shattershot) and 3 (Sevenshot). I spent most of my time in Legendary Assassin Stance, using Impossible Odds off cooldown and the Elite skill Jade Winds as an “oh shit” button.
Dearest reader, I try not to swear on this site, but I must tell you, I melted everything’s fucking face. Like holy HELL does this build and rotation do a number on level 80 mobs in Crystal Desert.
An Embarrassing Confession
I spent two full real-world days using this garbage green shortbow while I worked on crafting an ascended shortbow.
Then I remembered I already have the legendary shortbow The Dreamer. A few years ago I crafted it and Quip, and put them both on my Thief, because Dreamer/Quip-Quip is the most hilarious loadout in the entire game. Then I promptly forgot about it because I never play Thief.
I sheepishly swapped The Dreamer to my Renegade, switched the stats to Viper’s, added the recommended sigils (Superior Sigil of Bursting and Superior Sigil of Malice), and went back to Crystal Desert.
Let’s just say, switching from a Masterwork shortbow with garbage stats to a Legendary shortbow with the recommended stats and sigils? I noticed the difference. In fact, it was staggering.
This Renegade build is so good, it made me wonder why I’ve been playing in Hard Mode for so long. All this time I could have been kicked back and Renegading all over the place, instead of playing my little heart out on other (less good) classes. I mean, damn.
To Be Continued
I still want to test out my Renegade in a few other game modes, particularly drunken dungeons. (That’s like running regular dungeons, but way more fun.)
The only down side is, I’m not sure how to integrate the Dreamer with my character’s overall look. Still working on that.