K well it seems that ever since Dream came out, Brigands have been replaced and overshadowed by Haruspex's as the best bow-users. But in my experience, brigands are still on top. Seeing as the other brigand guides I see focus on the spear (ew) or don't max Marksmanship (wtf?), I decided to create a new one to show all of you guys which class is still boss. My current Brigand is Level 56 in Legendary Asia and doesn't afraid of anything. No but seriously, nothing gives him any problems at all. I personally have tried a number of great class combos, but nothing plays quite as smoothly or is quite as fun for me as my trusty Brigand.
The bow-using Brigand class seeks to abuse the awesome powers of Mandrake and Nightshade poisons to the fullest by combining them with quick-shooting bows with puncturing arrows for maximum poison spreading. If played right, the mobs of enemies should be too confused and slow to even get to you, let alone hit you (ridiculous defensive ability to dodge attacks).
Please note that because Brigand is such a naturally good class, this guide does NOT need to be taken word-for-word. As long as you have your basics set, you can basically f*** around with the rest of your skill points.
The Basic Build:
This is the basic build for a Brigand archer. As I said before, after this you can basically do whatever the hell you want.
Getting There: For the greatest ease, you probably want to start off with the Hunting Mastery. Max out Wood Lore immedietly just for the hell of it. Later it's vital, and since the game is so easy right now, just do it. After that, head up an extra three and go for Marksmanship, dipping a point into Art of the Hunt. Then you can either dump more into Art of the Hunt, or go immediately into Rogue for poison. Either way, get Art of the Hunt maxed by the time you hit Normal Asia. Max out Envenom Weapon, as early on it gets you tons of damage. Then go up Rogue for Nightshade. The game should still be nice and comfortable, so it isn't that big a deal if u go into a couple stupid active skills for fun. After this, you really want to head back up Hunting until you hit the 16 marker. Once there dip into Find Cover, Gouge, and Study Prey, whilst maxing out the all-important Puncture Shot. Puncture Shot should keep the game extremely easy for a while to come once it's maxed out. Next, head up the Rogue tree to Toxin Distillation and max that out, dipping a point into Open Wound along the way just cuz. Then head up to 24 and MAX MANDRAKE IMMEDIATLY. Just as the initial ease of Puncture Shot was beginning to wear off, you get another absolutely ridiculous skill. And this ease pretty much never wears off. Now you can head up Hunting again to max out Volley and Scatter Shot. Then you're good to go.
The Full Build:
Full Level 75 Build here. As I said you can basically do whatever you want once you're done with the basics, but this just adds some minuscule poison and bleeding damage by maxing all that out, as well as adding Herbal Remedy (so nice at a full 10, lasts basically forever), Call of The Hunt, and maxed Study Prey tree. Exploit Weakness is focused on over the basic Call of the Hunt because your attack speed should already be maxed out or close to it by then.
Attributes: Don't even touch Intelligence, Health, or Energy (maybe a few points into Energy if Mandrake and Marksmanship are eating you alive later in the game). Brigands are stupid and frail as shit, but rock all the same cuz you can't touch 'em. Focus of Dexterity and Strength in around a 2:1 ratio, with maybe even a little more Dexterity focus than that.
Items: I'm not gonna go in depth into specific items here, but I will lay out the guildlines. Basically, what you look for in items are: +%Attack Speed, +%Movement Speed, +%Total Speed, +%Pierce Damage, +%Damage, +%Dexterity, +%Strength, +All Skills, +Rogue Skills, +Hunting Skills, +%Chance to Avoid Projectiles, +%Chance to Dodge Attacks, and +%Defensive Ability. Pretty obvious really. Oh and later you might be wanting for some Energy and Health recovery.
Attack Speed % is the most major thing here, as you need to be able to stuff your enemies with as many arrows as possible for the greatest possible Mandrake abuse. Plus it works wonders for your DPS. Even when a certain item might improve your DPS a bit but significantly lower your Attack Speed, your might not want to take it because you'll find Mandrake is a lot harder to abuse when you can't shoot super fast.
Attack Speed is followed closely by Pierce Damage %, Damage %, + Hunting and Rogue Skills, and Movement Speed %. The first two help a ton with simple DPS; Movement is absolutely vital to run around dodging meteors from bosses and to simply make the gameplay more action-packed; + Hunting Skills makes Marksmanship, Puncture Shot, and Wood Lore even more ridiculous; and + Rogue Skills mean literally off-the-charts Mandrake abuse.