Righteous Wrath: The Avenger's Handbook
Jules Winnfield, Pulp FictionWell, there's this passage I've got memorized, sort'a fits the occassion. Ezekiel 25:17?
"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.
And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers! And you will Know I am the lord, when I lay my vengeance upon thee."
- Do you like bringing the wrath of your god down on unbelievers?
- Do you like sneaking around and walking through walls and being a Ninja?
- Do you like beating on one opponent until it's down?
- Do you like wielding impossibly large swords?
- Do you like being more self-sufficient than most 4e characters?
If so, you might want to be an avenger. But call now, supplies are limited! Also, if you like
- Not missing?
- Getting critical hits?
- Tactical maneuvering?
- Did I mention hitting?
- How about consistent, good, even DPR?
Then you might want to be an Avenger. Call now!
If you want to be tricky and fool people, the Rogue is over thataway. If you want to randomly do insane amounts of damage in a round, the Barbarian is the other way. If you want to Win D&D combat encounters, I think you know where to find the Ranger. If you like your waifs knowing Kung-Fu, there's the monk, and the Assassin gets even more Ninja-ness than the Avenger. So that should cover most of the competition.
This page is the overview page of a fairly comprehensive guide to building Avengers for 4th Edition D&D. Much of the guide will be written in the first person, and represents the subjective opinions of the author(s). This ain't Wikipedia. I don't see any way to lock pages, so I don't think I can prevent people from ripping out everything and replacing it with inappropriate pictures... so don't do that. k'thx.
This guide uses the traditional CharOp color coding standards for ratings:
- Red: Garbage, Trap, or overshadowed by another option. Don't take this.
- Purple: Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
- Black: Ok. You could do worse.
- Blue: Good stuff. You probably want this.
- Sky Blue: You want this. Period.
- Gold: Mandatory. Feat tax or equivalent.
- Green: Too campaign specific to usefully rate.
I have generally avoided the new scheme of Gold for now, but do sometimes use Gold
to indicate feat taxes and other mandatory elements.
In general, things that are black, blue, or sky blue are all things you can choose. You may avoid a sky-blue selection if it doesn't fit your character. It's still a choice. If you don't take things that are gold, you won't fulfill your function.
Sometimes very good options will be rated red
. That's because there's some other option that is strictly better (better in all ways, worse in no ways). In this situation, the rating will point out the other choice. Sometimes things that are red are actually decent at what they do, but they promote bad tactics. They get downgraded to represent the negative second-order effects. And sometimes they just suck.
Options that are underlined
are links to the entry in the Compendium (D&D Insider access required).
Ratings are on an "average, but interested" basis. So for example, a feat to help chasers is rated assuming you have Censure of Pursuit and a high dexterity. As another example, in the at-will power section, there are a lot of blue powers that require Intelligence. So a weapon focused Censure of Pursuit Avenger will have to pass them by and pick up a purple power instead. They are blue for people who are interested, but not universally.
I have a few biases of note:
- I rate for hard encounters/DMs. If things are easy, you don't need optimization.
- I rate for encounters that run 7+ rounds. See above. Yes, I know that if you blow up you can shorten combats: I assume that the DM will add monsters to compensate and you'll end up in a long combat anyway.
This is increasingly becoming a bad assumption, due to MM3 damage expressions and the increasingly rocket-launcher tag nature of combat. So I may be revisiting some elements with an increased appreciation of reset button abilities.
- I put on my striker lens when rating things. The Avenger's main role is striker, and so that's my focus.
Table of Contents
This Handbook covers the following sources:
- AP - Arcane Power
- AV - Adventurer's Vault
- AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
- BoVD - Book of File Deeds
- DXXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
- DA20XX - Dragon Magazine Annual 20XX. "DA" is the 2009 version.
- DP - Divine Power
- DMKit - DMs Kit (Essentials DMG)
- EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
- FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
- HotEC - Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
- HoF - Heroes of the Feywild
- HotFL - Heroes of the Forgotten Lands
- HotFK - Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
- MME - Mordenkainen's Magical Emporium
- MM - Monster Manual
- MM2 - Monster Manual 2
- MOTP - Manual of the Planes
- MP - Martial Power
- MP2 - Martial Power 2
- NWCS - Neverwinter Campaign Setting
- PHB - Player's Handbook
- PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
- PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
- PHH1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
- PHH2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
- PP - Primal Power
- PsiP - Psionic Power
- brother - When talking about powers, refers to powers that have very similar side effects but are at different levels and do different amounts of damage.
- DPR - Damage Per Round. At-will average damage, including hit chances and Crit chances.
- dump stat - An attribute that provides no real value, and can safely be left at 8 without hurting the majority of builds.
- kicker - The extra effects of an attack power other than the damage.
- lightsaber - A weapon that does at-will Radiant Damage. Radiant Weapon and Sunblade are two known examples.
- lycan - Having one of the "wereX" themes, so that you can be in beast form while wielding large weapons.
- mastery - When used as a keyword, refers to the Weapon Mastery series of feats in the PHB that increase the critical range.
- nova - A high damage turn that expends as many resources as possible to do as much damage as possible in as short a time as possible. "Spike" is sometimes used similarly.
- Orbizard - A wizard build that specializes in penalties to save-end conditions, resulting in enemies being permamently affected by them. In this guide, refers to stacking save-ends penalties.
- permafrost - The combination of Lasting Frost, Wintertouched, and a Frost Weapon to add 5 damage and Combat Advantage to all your attacks.
- RRoT - Righteous Rage of Tempus. A Channel Divinity feat from FRPG that once allowed you to turn your next hit into a critical hit. Nerfed in July 09, but made even more powerful in certain combinations.
- uteoynt - Until The End Of Your Next Turn, a common duration of kickers on encounter powers.
- Warshovel - A snarky name for the Gouge, the high damage axe-spear from Dark Sun.
- MP2 Powers.
- Deity Reference.