Edit Guide

Control Marksman (Multiplayer Support) Build Guide

Posted By Niche on March 7, 2023
Last updated on March 16, 2023



This is a guide for the control marksman, a build devoted to debuffing, stunning and snaring enemies. Instead of the need to supply some of these debuffs like a well rounded solo character would, the other members of your group can focus on pure damage, buffing, healing or utility since you will provide virtually any debuff they require while stunlocking anything that isn’t a boss. This isn’t a glory spec. Your damage will be low, but you will be fast and using 4 skills constantly and positioning will be important. I find it a fun and active support, rather than just following the group with auras active. This build can do solo content decently, but not fast!

The character is easy to gear, but there are specific requirements in order to do the job correctly. There are no build enabling uniques required, or desired, frankly. Certainly the gear listed on the planner could be improved with legendaries, or perform just fine with no exalted items. I have simply elevated the stat I felt was most important on each item to tier 7. Some of the affixes on the gear do not matter, such as the dexterity on the rings, gloves, quiver and relic, but are the best of what is left to choose from.

Essentially your goal is to stack health, resistances, attack speed, and have one source of as many debuffs as possible. You will be attacking very fast and with many projectiles so even a low chance is plenty. Additionally the build uses a lot of mana once you become a Marksman, so you will need to build a decent size pool and have enough regen to feel comfortable between trash packs or boss abilities.

*Note on the build planner - click Conditions button (bottom left) and tick "is channeling" for resists to show correctly.

What this build covers:

  • Shock
  • Blind
  • Chill - reduces mob attack/cast/move speed by up to 32% (multiplicative with itself)
  • Frailty - reduces mob damage by up to 17% (multiplicative with itself)
  • Slow - reduces mob move speed by up to 51% (multiplicative with itself)
  • Shred Armour - reduces mob damage reduction vs physical (100% effect) and elemental (70% effect) hits
  • Focus Fire - reduces rare/boss dodge rating by 32%
  • Wound Maker - increases mob chance to be crit and reduces mob crit avoidance, up to 10 stacks (20% crit)
  • Stun - stun locks anything not a boss
  • Freeze - On demand short duration freeze via Decoy skill tree

Extras if desired:

The bread and butter of this build is the armor shred and crit vulnerability. It is capable of extreme amounts of shred in very little time due to the armor shred chance we have access to via skills and can stack in addition on gear/idols. A single Multishot can apply 4 stacks of crit vuln and approximately 100 stacks of armor shred. Your carry dps can focus on crit multiplier and less on crit chance since you will be giving them 20% crit after just a couple shots.

Speaking of carries, the ideal pairing would be a physical melee build, since armor shred works best for physical, and we provide some melee damage buffs with smoke bomb (and doom if desired). However many skills are elemental, or in their scaling, convert to elemental, which would work fine, just not optimally. Elemental ranged would be the least desirable, yet still great. Builds with small amounts of damage over time can work and we can even buff them with Acid Flask specialization, however builds with all or mostly DoT are not advisable to pair with control marksman as armor works on hits only.

Pros & Cons


  • Extreme armor shred
  • Stun lock everything (but bosses)
  • Fast crit vulnerability stacking
  • Access to almost any debuff required
  • Easy to gear
  • Very tanky due to not needing to worry about dealing damage
  • Fast with a short CD movement skill and high potential move speed


  • Soloing is possible but slower - very late game content probably just takes too long
  • Not the typical ranged playstyle for a bow build
  • Group leveling takes time to feel like you are contributing

Gameplay / Mechanics

You are essentially playing a melee distance build, so you’ll want to Shift or run into melee range of the boss or pack of mobs, drop Smoke Bomb to start shredding armor and applying slow/blind as well as buff Dusk Shroud on yourself and allies and apply Smoke Blades if your carry is a melee. You can Decoy if you wish, but I would mostly keep it for an emergency taunt into freeze to buy time or to refresh Frailty while running away.

Once you’ve done that, open up with Flurry channeled Multishot to get your kit into action. Keep an eye on your buffs and recast your Flurry to capture those attack speed buffs from Marksman mastery bonus, Arrow Storm, and Adrenaline Rush, as well as to take advantage of the 10 stack of Sharpshooter for armor shred. Flurry’s channel has a static mana cost over time, and it can also gain benefit from increased attack speed, however it will not dynamically update. You must recast it to get the benefits of those buff procs. The bonus of doing this is that the mana generation from Sap Willpower in the Flurry tree is per hit, thus the faster you attack during the channel, the better your mana sustain will be as you are adding mana faster and faster while your channel cost remains the same. This can make a difference of several seconds of channel time on a high health boss, or in the arena when you have constant streams of mobs.

The build is pretty tanky so you should be able to soak a lot of damage, but you’ll still need to avoid 1 shots, naturally. Get into the fray and lay down those shotgun blasts.



Stat Priorities

Build Variants


If you plan to level up solo, follow any of the good marksman leveling guides on youtube, such as this recent one from TriKster, then switch your skills when your group is ready to play, after the campaign for instance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlzu7bzoAiQ

If you plan to level with a group, this section is for you. I have tested several paths, prioritizing group support, and found that this should work well. There are certainly other ways to do it, including simply being a full damage dealer, but we’ve got a theme to uphold, right? I am also not supremely knowledgeable about every unique or skill interaction, so this may not be the most optimal way that exists but it worked for me. Speaking of working for me, I did test this leveling on the 0.8.5F client solo, and yes it is doable with some spots that are kind of painful (mana consumption and damage). This changes for the better around level 40 where the build comes online and you are playing like you will the rest of the game.

Group leveling steps

Grab the bow from the mob that always drops it and use Flurry

First Specialty Skill (level 4) - Smoke Bomb

Thick Smoke 1/1, Eroding Fumes 4/4, Shrouded in Darkness 1/1, Lingering Fumes 5/5, Smoke Blades 5/5, Rapid Concealment 3/4, Shared Concealment 1/1

Level 7 - Switch to Cinder Strike as main skill

Second Specialty Skill (level 8) - Cinder Strike (main objective - crit vulnerability)

Soot and Ash 1/5, Pocket Sand 1/1, Soot and Ash 5/5, Eagerness 3/3, Blast Wave x/4

If you can craft or find a bow and quiver with blind on hit chance, you can skip ahead to Eagerness after Pocket Sand, then finish Soot and Ash afterwards. You can swap to a different bow/quiver at this point, but blind on hit chance is still good to maintain higher average stacks of crit vulnerability. Do not spend more than 20 points in the base rogue passives. Hold extras until you gain your mastery or pay to respec them at that time.

Third Specialty Skill (level 20) - Shift

Velocity 2/3, Momentum 3/3, Swift Recovery 3/4, Shadowslip 1/1, Swift Recovery 4/4, Elusive 4/4, Shadow Recuperation 3/4, Breathing Technique 1/2, Rebound 1/1, Breathing Technique 2/2

When you attain Marksman Mastery drop all saved up points into MM tree and unlock Multishot. Respec Cinder Strike for Multishot and grab Bodkin Points. You’ll lose your crit vuln from Cinder Strike temporarily, but you’ll now be shredding armor with every arrow you fire. Start picking up flat mana and mana regen on gear as you will be using a lot, and that will never change from here on.

Second Specialty Skill RESPEC (approx level 25) - Multishot

Efficient Draw 1/3, Bodkin Points 4/4, Quick Draw 2/4, True Strikes 2/4 - Hold until 3 points available - Large Quiver 2/2, Giant Slayer 1/1, Piercing Shots 3/3, Back to Back 1/1, Repeater Bow 2/2, Sniping 1/5, No Easy Way Out 1/4

Multishot will feel bad and be a mana hog, but the armor shred is worth it, especially for larger packs and bosses.

Fourth Specialty Skill (level 35) - Flurry

Alacrity 1/3, Blood Revelry 2/2, Second Wind 1/3, Sap Willpower 2/2, Alacrity 3/3 - Hold until 4 points available - Boundless Blows 1/1, Pavise 2/5, Fusillade 1/1, Arrow Storm 1/1. Choose survivability or more attack speed: Pavise 5/5 for resists or Relentless 2/2, Adrenaline Rush 2/5 then get whichever you did not take first.

Use Flurry to generate mana, holding points before Boundless Blows (which makes Flurry no longer generate mana). Once you can spec fully to Fusillade you’ll no longer fire Multishot manually and it can be removed from your bar if you wish.

Control Marksman is effectively fully online around level 39-40 once you get those specialization points for Flurry's Fusillade. You’ll have access to most of your debuffs and crowd control. The rest of the progression will simply give you faster and more armor shred, more projectiles and more survivability.

Fifth Specialty Skill (level 50) - Decoy

Efficient Construction 2/3, Sonic Detonation 1/3, Ear Shatter 5/5, Sonic Detonation 3/3, Boom 2/5, Frostfire Powder 1/1, Freezing Blast 5/5, Boom 3/5

By the end of the campaign you should have flat mana on 2-3 items (aim for 125-175 total mana), mana regen on 4-5 items (only rings, belt, amulet, relic) giving you around 18-20 mana regen. You should have one instance each of chance to shock, blind, and chill on your bow/quiver and frailty on amulet, gloves or relic (1 affix total). The unique boots Foot of the Mountain can help with mana issues as well, however you give up a decent chunk of movement speed.


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  • Updated skill paths with new tree available
  • Forgot to re-path Shift in Variant
  • Added Even Tankier Variant
  • Build guide was published


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