And you could easily pick up the Ritual Caster feat to add yourself some out of combat magical utility, or Alchemist to add to your tricks. I think it makes a lot of sense that a Ranger would fight with strength and steel, but just pick up random tricks for solving problems out of combat.4e. Playing one felt competent at a cool niche (striker) with lots of fun mechanical elements. Not a supernatural nature paladin, but a cool competent low armor alternative fighter.
So 4e.I prefer spell-less rangers, so I would cast my vote for the editions where the ranger lacked spells.
The best rangers I've seen were entirely about the person playing it, not the class itself.
Even the best game mechanics in the world don't result in good characters if the person playing it isn't a very good player. This is why white-room analysis to me is absolutely pointless. Because no player plays their character in a white room.