Anthem is out for 6 days now and I’ve already maxed out to level 30 and already reached Epic status for my Ranger Javelin. At the time of this writing, I recently finished the mission where I have to find Haluk at the Fortress of Dawn, completed Tyrant Mines in Grandmaster Level 1 once (two Missions and one Agent Contract on Grandmaster Level 1 difficulty), already got five Masterwork weapons (two Wyvern Blitz, one Artinia’s Gambit, one Elemental Rage, and one Avenging Herald), one Masterwork Frost Grenade, and one Masterwork Component (Airborne Advantage). I still have to write my review before this week will end though.
I stumbled upon countless guides and noticed that they may not be as thorough. I won’t name names, but I’d rather read the ones from players who have at least completed a Grandmaster challenge a couple of times.
My 29 hours with Anthem using the Ranger Javelin needs to be worth something. So here’s a guide on how to power through the tougher bits of the game as the “jack of all trades” Javelin.
The Ranger Javelin is the standard suit there is in Bastion. It’s not as bulky and spongy like the Colossus, it’s not as fast as the Interceptor, or even cast lightning bolts on top of an enemy group, but a balanced Javelin that’s great for players who wanted to still pack a lot of damage and can easily outmaneuver enemies.
It has an Assault Launcher, a Support Gear, and can pack Grenades. You have to utilize what you have equipped, change loadouts when needed, and have the right mix of Components to maximize your play using the Ranger Javelin in Strongholds, World Events, Missions, and Agent Contracts.
If you get tired of changing Assault Launchers to Pulse Blast and other gears, you can use the extra 4 loadout slots to switch back and forth easily in the Forge. In my case, I have four specific saved Ranger loadouts with their own armor customizations (for the sake of looking cool) and named them for certain scenarios: Frost Defensive (Missions/Agent Contracts), Offensive (Agent Contracts), Standard (Missions), and Tyrant (for Tyrant Mine Strongholds) – I’ll get into specifics about my different Ranger loadouts in a separate article.
The most important core aspect of each Javelin is its Component. Some of these Components are unique for each type of suit, and this is where you have to get the right mix of gears to get the most out of your Ranger Javelin.
You can equip up to 6 Components per loadout, however, you have to make sure to progress at Level 4, Level 6, Level 12, Level 14, Level 18, and Level 23 to unlock slots.
There are 11 Components in total exclusively for the Ranger Javelin, each with its unique features that can be proven useful in combat.
Standard (Common to Epic)
Ranger Combat Augment – Increases combo damage by 50% of base damage.
Useful for: Doing combos, initiating with a Primer Grenade (like a Frost or Inferno Grenade) or Assault Launcher (like the Venom Darts) then setting the combo off with a Frag Grenade or a Pulse Blast can increase only its base damage by 50%.
Advanced Circuitry – Increases melee damage by 30% of base and electric effect by 30% of base.
Useful for: The Shock Mace (pressing Triangle) melee attack will get additional damage with an elemental effect.
Assault Augment – Enhances the assault launcher to increase damage by 5% of base damage.
Useful for: All Assault Launchers like the Blast Missile, Pulse Blast, Spark Beam, Seeker Missile, and Venom Darts will all get a slight increase in damage.
Convergence Core – Increases impact damage by 35% of base and decreases blast damage by -35% of base.
Useful for: Seeker Missiles and Blast Missiles. With the Seeker Missiles equipped, damage dealt by impact will be at around 135% on a single enemy. However, with the Blast Missiles equipped, its area-of-effect damage will decrease from 100% to 75% while maximizing its impact damage to the targeted enemy by 35% at the same time.
Crossed Arms – Increases blast damage by 50% of base and lowers impact damage by -20% of base.
Useful for: Blast Missiles, Frag Grenades, and Sticky Grenades.
Firearm Calibration Core – Increases damage with all guns by 25% of base damage.
Useful for: All weapons.
Grenade Augment – Increases grenade damage by 5% of base damage.
Useful for: Frag, Sticky, Inferno, and Seeker Grenades. The Gambit and Grand Opening Masterwork grenades also get increased 5% base damage.
Grenadier Inscription – Increases grenade recharge rate by 35% of base speed.
Useful for: Frag, Sticky, and Seeker Grenades. Most effective when Inferno (and its Masterwork variation, Explosive Blaze) and Frost (and its Masterwork variation, Cold Blooded) Grenades are equipped.
Thermal Regulator – Increases fire damage max heat capacity by 20% of base values, and fire resistance by 20%.
Useful for: Spark Beam.
Vented Thrusters – Increases the threshold before overheating occurs by 35% of the base threshold.
Useful for: Flights.
Airborne Advantage – Increases impact damage by 50% and decreases blast damage by -20%. Hovering increases all resistances by 10%.
Useful for: Seeker Missiles and Frag Grenades for higher damage since it does not have Blast effects.
Understanding each feat is significantly important as this shows how strong your Javelin will become.
Assault Launchers provide tactical strengths for your Javelins, especially with the Ranger. Since most of its ability is to set off combos to maximize the damage dealt to an enemy, the Ranger Javelin can effectively dominate the battlefield when its Assault Launcher is used properly.
Standard (Common to Epic)
Blast Missile – Clear the field with a missile that damages a huge area around the point of impact.
Seeking Missile – Fire a projectile that seeks out a single target and others immediately around them.
Pulse Blast – Blast a single target with a massive energy burst
Spark Beam – Unleash a beam of energy that does continuous damage to anything it touches.
Venom Darts – Inflict burning acid damage with a volley of darts.
Argos Mace – Upgraded Blast Missile that explodes on impact. This also detonates an electric explosion when defeating an enemy
Avengers Boon – Upgraded Pulse Blast with the Striker’s Strength effect, which increases melee damage by 110% for 20 seconds when hitting an enemy with this weapon.
Grenades are pretty standard for basic troopers, and in Anthem, it’s only the Ranger who gets to use them.
Standard (Common to Epic)
Frag Grenade – Blast everything in a large area with massive damage.
Frost Grenade – Freeze your opponents in place.
Inferno Grenade – Set your enemies on fire, dealing immediate and continuous damage.
Seeker Grenades – Lob in one grenade that splits into multiple.
Sticky Grenade – Hit an adversary with a grenade that latches onto them, dealing damage with extreme prejudice.
Explosive Blaze – Upgraded Inferno Grenade that detonates a fire explosion after applying the fire effect to 2 enemies.
Grand Opening – Upgraded Seeker Grenade that splits into seeking submunitions. Has the Ambusher’s Fury effect, which grants 75% increased weapon damage for 20 seconds when defeating enemies from above.
The Gambit – Upgraded Sticky Grenade. Hitting an enemy with this grenade detonates an ice explosion.
Rangers can act like supports too in certain situations. Need a place to take a breather? No problem! The Ranger can deploy a dome shield. If you need an increase on weapon damage, the Ranger can set up a spherical shield that enhances it for a short period of time but the caveat is that it does not protect you from incoming enemy fire.
While this doesn’t seem like much, both support gears that the Ranger have can be vital to your expedition’s success.
Bulwark Point – Keep enemies out of your bubble with a spherical shield that protects your squad.
Major tip for using the Bulwark Point: If you want to use the Bulwark Point as means to block incoming attacks for a long period of time, it won’t work. The Bulwark Point can help sometimes especially reviving downed squad members, but not when Legendary and Elite enemies are throwing everything they have at your shield. If they’re melee based attack units, they’ll just waltz right inside. In short, use the Bulwark Point to defend against heavy attacks and then in a second or two, fly out and look for a place where you get proper cover; and to also repair your fellow Javelin since it gives you the right amount of time to bring them back up and escape.
Muster Point – Cover your teammates with a spherical shield that increases weapon damage.
Major tip for using the Muster Point: When deploying the Muster Point to gain more damage, you have to put in mind that it does not protect you from the enemies’ attack. Strategic positioning is key to maximize the usage of the Muster Point for everyone in the squad including yourself.
One of the greatest feats of Anthem is its Combo mechanic. Meaning, you can use a combination of attacks – may it be from you or your squad members – to increase the damage output onto enemy units. Teamwork is key when taking expeditions in higher difficulty levels, especially in Grandmaster due to the fact that they’re harder to kill and you have to take them out as fast as you can.
Unlike the Colossus, Storm, and Interceptor, the Ranger basically initiates the combo by throwing Primer attacks at the enemy so fellow squad members can set off the combo for maximum damage. It doesn’t mean you are not able to do this as a Ranger, you can since there are Assault Launchers and Grenades that can be Primer and Detonators.
Seeking Missile – single target.
Pulse Blast (or the Avenger’s Boon) – single target.
Frag Grenade – blast/area damage.
Sticky Grenade (of the Gambit) – blast/area damage.
Venom Darts – single target, can fire twice.
Frost Grenade (or Cold Blooded) – blast/area effect, no damage.
Inferno Grenade (or Explosive Blaze) – blast/area damage.
Grand Opening – blast/area damage, the only variation of the Seeker Grenade that can be a primer.
Best Combo Mix As A Ranger:
Venom Dart (Primer) + Frag Grenade (Detonator)
With the ability to fire twice using the Venom Dart Assault Launcher, you can get to trigger a combo on two enemy units affected with a blast detonator like the Frag and Sticky Grenades. Even if there are only two enemies for the damage combo, all other enemy units nearby will be affected with the Frag/Sticky Grenade’s blast damage. It’s a win-win situation but this requires a lot of skill and timing.
Forst Grenade (Primer) + Pulse Blast (Detonator)
Some may say the Frost Grenade paired with the Pulse Blast is highly effective against enemy units, this is partly true – but only for some cases. If you’re up against tons of hard-hitting Elite units, especially Legendary brutes, you can’t take them alone with just the Frost Grenade and a Pulse Blast combo. With the Pulse Blast really short cooldown (which is better if your goal is to trigger combos, this is why Seeking Missile isn’t a viable choice), you can only take them out one at a time, provided that your Grenade cooldown duration is quick, you can take out 2 to 3 max. The Frost+Pulse combo is deadlier if you focus on a single target, not groups of enemy units.
I hope this basic guide will help you through your adventure as a Freelancer Ranger in Bastion! After my review of Anthem by the end of the week, I’ll have an article out that focuses on builds and share to you what I have for my Ranger Javelin.
Note: All screenshots captured using a PS4 Pro.