Of all the combat archetypes covered by Conqueror’s Blade weapon specialisations, the scout is most evident in the Short Bow. Allowing for fast movement and rapid-fire ranged attacks, the Short Bow is not an especially dangerous weapon. But, with the right skills unleashed at the right moment against the right opponent, the Short Bow-wielding warlord can be lethal. Moreover, despite not allowing for high levels of armour and health, Short Bow skills feature some impressive feats of escapology that can help keep all but the most persistent pursuers at arrow’s length.
If you plan to fully specialise in the Short Bow, it’s not worth putting many Attribute points into Armour or Toughness. The Short Bow limits you to light armour, which means you’re not going to last long in any toe-to-toe encounters. Far better and much more skilful to try and wriggle your way out of them than to soak up the damage.
Most Short Bow users would urge you to put the majority of your Attribute points into Agility, primarily because the weapon deals Piercing Damage, which is maximised by having a high Agility Attribute. However, it’s not a bad idea to invest in Strength to some degree, as despite being the attribute preferred of most brawlers, improved Strength helps with increasing your Piercing Armour Penetration, making you more effective at taking down individuals with heavier armour.
The Short Bow is a very versatile weapon class. You can be set up for dealing sustained damage over a long period of time or to deliver intense damage over a shorter period in a kind of ranged assassin-type role. Others prefer taking on a support role, acting as a skirmisher to draw enemies out of position, using their escape skills to stay alive, or by using debuff skills to blunt an enemy vanguard. It all depends on your playstyle as to what you prefer - find what you enjoy and stick with it.
- Poison Arrow: Only grants a small amount of bonus damage to a successful shot, but in addition delivers persistent damage over seven or eight seconds, which is often enough to take down a rapidly retreating enemy.
- Stunning Shot: A potentially devastating strike that has the potential added effect of slowing down an enemy by 50% and even leaving them concussed.
- Steel-tipped Arrow: Against a heavily-armoured foe, this skill can reduce Defence by 30%, making this a good skill to use when building up to a devastating Ultimate.
- Parting Shot: One of two skills to favour when trying to get yourself out of a sticky situation. It’s also a versatile one, in that by activating its extra effects fully, you can turn a disadvantage to your advantage with a 30% damage boost
- Throw Bola: The only Short Bow skill that employs Blunt damage, and in significant amounts. Also has the added effect of causing enemy riders to involuntarily dismount.
- Rolling Escape: An evasive manoeuvre that has extra effects that can remove Concussion and Daze, as well as increase movement speed for a short time.
High damage and long cooldown times of course characterise these Ultimate abilities, which add an automatic weapons fire-type flavour to the Short Bow arsenal. Good positioning and timing are essential to creating the most chaos with these.
- Angry Hornets: A dispersed attack with six arrows, which when aligned correctly can devastate a single enemy, if not with the first strike then with the effects of any lingering poison.
- Wrath of Artemis: Loose five arrows in quick succession, each with high bonus damage. Land them all and even the hardiest foe will wither at your feet.
The Short Bow requires users to be agile and have a full range of movement to be able to aim and nock a new arrow quickly. This limits them to Light Armour, probably the most suitable of which is the Rogue’s Armour set. With two items equipped, you can enjoy a boost to Piercing Damage and Piercing Armour Penetration. With four items, you can make the most of an increase in the value of your critical hits, making your successful shots considerably more effective.