Ranger build: Shotgunner
Abilities: Slash, Phantom, Shadowstep, Run and Gun, Implacable, Untouchable, Rapid Fire
Gear: Spider/Wraith Suit, Talon Rounds
Accessories: Speed or Perception, Laser Sight, Autoloader (Bonus: Hair Trigger)
The Ranger is one of the most powerful units you can command. Phantom’s extended stealth allows constant recon of the enemy, allowing you to position and ambush with perfect intel. Shadowstep with Run and Gun lets you hit anyone, anywhere, anytime with powerful (and accurate) shotgun blasts, while Implacable and Untouchable get you out of the dangerous situation you just charged into.
Rapid Fire is the crown jewel—doubling your potential damage every single turn for a paltry -15 aim penalty. The shotgun’s inherent accuracy at close range combined with near-guaranteed crits from Talon Rounds and a Laser Sight ensure you won’t regret the trade off. The Spider/Wraith suit’s mobility and grapple only enhances this lethal combination of speed and power, and an Autoloader offsets your constant ammo dumping, keeping you ready to kill at all times.
A Speed PCS further boosts your mobility for flanking, or Perception will let you Rapid Fire reliably from longer distances. What you value more is your call.
Ranger build: Blademaster
Abilities: Slash, Blademaster, Shadowstep, Conceal, Bladestorm, Untouchable, Reaper
Gear: Spider or Wraith Suit – Hazmat Vest, Plated Vest, Overdrive Serum
Accessories: Speed or Perception or Conditioning, Laser Sight, Repeater (Bonus: Hair Trigger)
Melee-focused Rangers don’t get the same raw damage as a Shotgunner, instead providing versatility and multiple target capability. Grabbing Blademaster is a given, and Shadowstep lets you charge targets while ignoring enemy overwatch. Conceal provides Phantom’s power in an active ability instead of a passive, and with no need for Run and Gun it’s an easy pickup. Bladestorm lets the Ranger control his immediate area and Untouchable keeps you safe after your aggressive charges leave you exposed.
Reaper is huge—if your squad can lower the health of enough enemies to within the Blademaster’s kill range, you can chain kill all of them in one go. The key is mobility and grappling, as both will allow you to reach more enemies for your kill chain. A Laser Sight is still mandatory for your Shotgun, and a Repeater means when a new pod stumbles into your Blademaster’s overwatch, you’ll have a chance to instantly kill one of them, which is well worth the slot on a weapon we’ll otherwise rarely use.
Speed, Perception and Conditioning are all great PCS choices here—charge enemies from further away, ensure you never miss a sword strike, or have extra health to survive a brutal melee brawl.
More of our recommended XCOM 2 soldier builds: Sharpshooter / Specialist / Grenadier / Hybrid builds