Darth Vader, Swordmage|Defenderlock

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"No.  Leave them to me.  I will deal with them myself."



Darth Vader


Darth Vader is, in fact, a hybrid Swordmage|Defenderlock.  He uses the dark side of the force to curse and then control his enemies.  He is tough and strikes from both range and close up.
He is a superior defender for any troops he leads into battle.
He is of course human, and is an Infernal Pact to represent the evil that dwells within, and Vestige Pact because the secrets of the Dark Side are known only by a few.
All of this is beside the point, however.

Taking into account his Armor of Dark Majesty, Warding Curse, concealment from his Phantom Chausseurs, Trick of Knowledge and Mark of Warding, his defenses sit at roughly 55ac/52f/53r/54w.  White Lotus Riposte will make him painful to attack early on, and the Baldric of Shielding will kick in after that gets trained out to generate some personal thp.  He also has resist 5 all from Strength Through Challenge. 


Defending his minions:
1. He gets the Swordmage's massive mark with Total Aegis, which hits his enemies for -3 to hit his allies.  Protective Hex throws down another -2, setting marked/cursed enemies he hits at -5 to attack his allies.
2. He is a shielding swordmage with TWO uses of his aegis each turn thanks to the latest defender article.
3. All marked enemies take 5+conmod fire damage when they try to attack his allies.
4. All his attacks deal half psychic damage, which triggers psychic lock, throwing a -2 debuff on his target's next attack.  Swordburst makes that an area debuff.
5. Eyes of the Vestige with the Vestige of Leraje immobilizes at-will.  Do I need to explain why sticking people in place is a Good Thing? 
6. Eyes of the Vestige lets him unload his curse more easily, getting a wide variety of bonuses thereby.
7. When he gets his Baldric of Shielding, Shared Pact lets him share his wealth of temp hps with his allies.  If I can find room for Bloodied Boon after that, the amount of thp flying around will be insane.
9. He is loaded with nasty debuffing and controlling powers, which will ruin his enemies' day.  He is truly a master of the Force.


He is tough, he is powerful, he controls the battlefield and he ensures that the only one killing his troops...is himself.
Darth Vader
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 30
Human, Swordmage|Warlock, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Shielding
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Vestige Pact (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Light Blade)
Twofold Pact: Infernal Pact
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power
Vestige Mastery: Vestige of Leraje
Background: Arcane Sentinel (+2 to Arcana)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 26, Dex 12, Int 24, Wis 14, Cha 10.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 8.

AC: 46 Fort: 43 Reflex: 44 Will: 45
HP: 184 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 46

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +28, Thievery +21, Athletics +22, Arcana +44, Intimidate +26
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +16, Bluff +21, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +23, Heal +17, History +34, Insight +17, Nature +23, Perception +17, Religion +34, Stealth +16, Streetwise +15

FEATS
Human: Hybrid Talent
Level 1: White Lotus Riposte (retrained to Shared Pact at Level 19)
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Improved Initiative (retrained to Superior Initiative at Level 22)
Level 6: Mark of Warding
Level 8: Shield of Hestavar (retrained to Double Aegis at Level 21)
Level 10: Wrathful Warrior (retrained to Battle Awareness at Level 12)
Level 11: Twofold Pact
Level 12: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 14: Psychic Lock
Level 16: Protective Hex
Level 18: Improved Defenses
Level 20: Twofold Curse
Level 21: Vestige Mastery
Level 22: Warding Curse
Level 24: Rapid Aegis Reaction
Level 26: Epic Will
Level 28: Skill Focus (Arcana)
Level 30: Strength Through Challenge

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Eyes of the Vestige
Hybrid at-will 1: Sword Burst
Infernal Pact: Hellish Rebuke
Hybrid encounter 1: Clarion Call
Hybrid daily 1: Armor of Agathys
Hybrid utility 2: Channeling Shield (retrained to Charm of Hearts at Level 6)
Hybrid encounter 3: Dimensional Vortex
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Transposing Lunge
Hybrid daily 9: Vestige of Ilmeth
Hybrid utility 10: Ethereal Sidestep
Hybrid encounter 13: Soul Flaying (replaces Clarion Call)
Hybrid daily 15: Vestige of Leraje (replaces Armor of Agathys)
Hybrid utility 16: Painful Transference
Hybrid encounter 17: Sea Tyrant's Fury (replaces Soul Flaying)
Hybrid daily 19: Ward of Scales (replaces Vestige of Ilmeth)
Hybrid utility 22: Shackled Warding
Hybrid daily 25: Quicksilver Blade (replaces Ward of Scales)
Hybrid encounter 27: Zutwa's Incandescence (replaces Sea Tyrant's Fury)
Hybrid daily 29: Waves of Languor (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)

ITEMS
Swordwing Armor of Dark Majesty +6 - for defenses
Far-Step Amulet +6 - for mobility
Phantom Chaussures (paragon tier) - concealment
Sorrowsong Blade +6 - psychic lock
Bracers of Mental Might (heroic tier) - makes Avernian Knight's powers usable
Baldric of Shielding (paragon tier) - thp
Zehir's Gloves (epic tier) - set bonus
Avandra's Ring (epic tier) - set bonus + mobility
Opal Ring of Remembrance (epic tier) - arcana + swordmage accuracy
Eye of Awareness (epic tier) - init, Will defense
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


*Double Aegis is retrained to Total Aegis at level 21.

As a variant, you can swap out psychic lock and the sorrowsong blade for a radiant weapon and some form of radiant support, so that Vader will be wielding an actual lightsaber.

Notes about defenses
Of the defenses listed, these are the conditionals:
2/2/2/2 against cursed targets from Armor of Dark Majesty
2/2/2/2 against cursed targets from Warding Curse
3/3/3/3 from Trick of Knowledge(Sage of Ages encounter utility)
2/2/2/2 from concealment

-Eyes of the Vestige is important to getting curse spread around, twofold curse comes in before Warding Curse, etc.  This is the biggest deal.
-Trick of Knowledge is a minor action on your turn, so yeah you have to activate it.  The probability of getting the features you need is pretty good, 93.6-97.7% depending on how much of a hurry you're in.
-Phantom Chaussures are the primary source of concealment.  With Ethereal Stride and Farstep Amulet, you should be able to get a teleport in every turn, but obviously this is the most unstable source of defenses for Vader.


Variants:
Warforged Vader
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 30
Warforged, Warlock|Swordmage, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Star Pact (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Shielding
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Light Blade)
Twofold Pact: Infernal Pact
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Background: Arcane Sentinel (+2 to Arcana)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 26, Dex 12, Int 26, Wis 14, Cha 10.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 8.

AC: 47 Fort: 42 Reflex: 44 Will: 45HP: 184 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 46

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +45, Thievery +21, Endurance +30, Intimidate +22
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +23, Heal +17, History +35, Insight +17, Nature +23, Perception +17, Religion +35, Stealth +16, Streetwise +15, Athletics +17

FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Improved Initiative (retrained to Superior Initiative at Level 22)
Level 6: Mark of Warding
Level 8: White Lotus Riposte (retrained to Shared Pact at Level 19)
Level 10: Wrathful Warrior (retrained to Battle Awareness at Level 12)
Level 11: Twofold Pact
Level 12: Double Aegis (retrained to Total Aegis at Level 21)
Level 14: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 16: Psychic Lock
Level 18: Protective Hex
Level 20: Improved Defenses
Level 21: Warding Curse
Level 22: Rapid Aegis Reaction
Level 24: Bloodied Boon
Level 26: Epic Will
Level 28: Skill Focus (Arcana)
Level 30: Strength Through Challenge

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Booming Blade (retrained to Sword Burst at Level 11)
Hybrid at-will 1: Eldritch Strike
Infernal Pact: Hellish Rebuke

ITEMS
Shadow Warlock Swordwing Armor +6,
Far-Step Amulet +6,
Sorrowsong Blade Longsword +6,
Baldric of Shielding (paragon tier),
Bracers of Mental Might (heroic tier),
Zehir's Gloves (epic tier),
Avandra's Ring (epic tier),
Opal Ring of Remembrance (epic tier),
Eye of Awareness (epic tier),
Phantom Chaussures (paragon tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======




update: 11/27/10 - changed a bunch of stuff that needed changing, made him more viable at all levels (including extensive retraining), and switched him over to infernal/vestige for greater control ability.
update: 11/28/10 - moved vestige to heroic and infernal to paragon, freeing up some feat and retraining space.  Revamped his power selection.
update: 3/14/11 - added the new warforged  variant of Vader.  You can be more machine now, than man.  The variant is mostly the same, but skimps on a couple desired feats, and brings in bloodied boon at the end for a big boost to shared pact.
Those defenses are unreal. o.o
Nha, my party's Warlord had them at 30, like 54/49/48/50... Just matter of feats and magic item (and the shield can push up them by a +3 for 1 encounter/day).

Btw, nice build... Ever if I would had made Darth an Assault or Esnaring for flavour. Shielding is sooooo light-sided! ;)
Actually Play'ng: Nothing. My old party is full of short-sighted racists and sexists (on their own admission), so I left.
Fantastic build ! I'm interested by a Assault version too.

Please can you detail the progression of the character level by level ?

(Excuse me for mistakes, english is not my mother tongue)
Looks like a really fun build, and my swordmage|warlock might go this route if slashers get blown up -_-.
Fantastic build ! I'm interested by a Assault version too.

Please can you detail the progression of the character level by level ?




Would it even need to be different for assault? With a Con MBA, and with most of the riders (as far as I'm aware) not being keyed to Aegis type, it seems like the build could do pretty well just by switching out Shielding for Assault and leaving the rest as is. Unless there's some Shielding-dependent element I'm missing.
Fantastic build ! I'm interested by a Assault version too.

Please can you detail the progression of the character level by level ?




Would it even need to be different for assault? With a Con MBA, and with most of the riders (as far as I'm aware) not being keyed to Aegis type, it seems like the build could do pretty well just by switching out Shielding for Assault and leaving the rest as is. Unless there's some Shielding-dependent element I'm missing.


There are some powers with Shielding riders that would need to be switched, but nothing too drastic I don't think.

The assault version would also need to change the Baldric of Shielding, perhaps to a Baldric of Assault.  Assault might also benefit from swapping Aegis Vitality for Aegis Accuracy, to make your assaults more potent.
Why don't you use Radiant One for the ED?  +7 damage on all hits (requires CA), +7 to all defenses for the encounter and 40 Radiant/Fire resist to top it off.  Also clears up a feat (Skill Focus Arcane).
Radiant One is more damaging, but with Keeper's Presience you get a constant reroll and Trick of Knowledge gets you a bonus to defenses/attacks/et all per encounter.  Star Flesh is awesome and all, but its once per day (though the resist is pretty sweet).
I've been working to create a Swordmage/Warlock of my own, and this gives me a lot of material to work with. Thanks a lot.
Your abilities are off-balance. You're operating with the 16/16/12 build, but without the human +2 bonus to an ability score. You could toss that score bonus anywhere you like to bolster your powers. I actually recommend putting it in Intelligence, which makes you better with your defender powers and improves your AC.

EDIT: Oh, I see. You put it in Con. I didn't realize that you treated Starting as Unmodified At All. 

The original core books said that this was our game too. It doesn't feel like that anymore.

How do you get both Twofold pact and Hybrid Talent:Swordmage warding?

Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Twofold Pact: Star Pact 

Using the character builder i can only qualify for the Two fold pact feat when I use the hybrid talent option for 'Warlock Pact Boon'

Character Builder's a bit wonky. Rules As Written, Twofold Pact grants you the pact boons of both your current pact and the pact you select. They might errata that soon, but for now, yeah...

The original core books said that this was our game too. It doesn't feel like that anymore.

Twofold Pact

Paragon Tier
Prerequisite: 11th level, Eldritch Pact class feature
Benefit: You gain a second Eldritch Pact. You gain the at-will spell and pact boon of both pacts. You can use only one of your pact boon benefits at a time, however.



ELDRITCH PACT
You have forged a pact with mysterious entities that grant you your arcane powers. Choose one pact. The pacts presented in the Player’s Handbook are the fey pact, the infernal pact, and the star pact. Other products present additional pacts. The pact you choose determines the following warlock abilities:
    At-Will Spells: Your pact determines one of the at-will spells you know.
    Pact Boon: Each pact includes a pact boon. The pact boon is a granted power you can use to further hex your enemies.
    The pact you take also provides bonuses to certain warlock powers. Individual powers detail the effects (if any) your Eldritch Pact selection has on them.

ELDRITCH PACT (HYBRID)
This class feature functions as the warlock class feature, except that you don’t gain the at-will attack power or the Pact Boon granted by it. This means you meet prerequisites that require the pact you choose, and you can use the benefits tailored for it in certain powers.

---------------------------------------------------

My problem is with the prerequisites for Twofold Pact. I'm not sure if having the hybrid version qualifies you for the feat?

My problem is with the prerequisites for Twofold Pact. I'm not sure if having the hybrid version qualifies you for the feat?



Hybrid gives you a pact, you just don't get the boon or At-will associated with it. It currently works in CB as my girlfriend plays a hybrid Warlock|Swordmage with Hybrid Talent on Swordmage Warding and has Twofold Pact for Fey and Infernal. 

My problem is with the prerequisites for Twofold Pact. I'm not sure if having the hybrid version qualifies you for the feat?



Hybrid gives you a pact, you just don't get the boon or At-will associated with it. It currently works in CB as my girlfriend plays a hybrid Warlock|Swordmage with Hybrid Talent on Swordmage Warding and has Twofold Pact for Fey and Infernal. 



I have the character builder open, and can't do it unless i take the Hybrid Talent: Pact boon before i take the twofold pact feat. Does she have the latest version of the CB? Maybe it is something they changed? 
I have the character builder open, and can't do it unless i take the Hybrid Talent: Pact boon before i take the twofold pact feat. Does she have the latest version of the CB? Maybe it is something they changed? 


My CB is fully updated and it works.

However, CB does NOT add the at-will for the original pact, just the second one. 

I have the character builder open, and can't do it unless i take the Hybrid Talent: Pact boon before i take the twofold pact feat. Does she have the latest version of the CB? Maybe it is something they changed?


I just created a 11th level Warlock|Swordmage in the most current version. For the sake of brevity I left most of the feats blank.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======level 11Githzerai, Warlock|Swordmage, Feytouched
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Fey Pact (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Reflex
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Assault
Twofold Pact: Infernal Pact
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 17, Dex 11, Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 21.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 11, Wis 8, Cha 18.
AC: 17 Fort: 18 Reflex: 18 Will: 21
HP: 80 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 20
TRAINED SKILLS
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +7, Arcana +7, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Dungeoneering +5, Endurance +8, Heal +5, History +7, Insight +5, Intimidate +10, Nature +5, Perception +5, Religion +7, Stealth +5, Streetwise +10, Thievery +5, Athletics +7
FEATS
Level 11: Twofold Pact
POWERS

Ok, clearly on lots of drugs sorry.
Those defenses are unreal. o.o



I can get a monk to 61/57/58/57. So while it's really good, it can get higher if one really wants to crank out the defences. It does take two daily powers and a daily item power to do but I'm missing a few things that can help but I'm too lazy to spend the time to improve

OT: I like the build, though I have to agree that Assault would be more Vader-like


level 30
Human, Warlock|Swordmage, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Light Blade)
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Infernal Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Shielding
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Twofold Pact: Star Pact
Background: High Imaskar (High Imaskar Benefit)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 26, Dex 13, Int 24, Wis 13, Cha 10.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 16, Wis 11, Cha 8.

AC: 46 Fort: 42 Reflex: 43 Will: 41HP: 184 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 46



Unless there's something I'm missing you can drop 1 point out of your DEX, bump wisdom to an even 12 and gain a +1 to your wisdom NAD at epic as well as being able to qualify to retrain wrathful warrior to the superior battle awareness at lvl 11 while losing nothing.

Also does this build lose anything from human other than the +1 to NAD's, 1 feat, and 1 skill by just going gythyanki and evening out the int and con?


Hybrid daily 29: Hurl Through Hell (replaces Infectious Curse)



Why are you using Hurl through hell as opposed to Transdimensional invasion if all you want is damage? single target 7[w] vs party friendly burst 5 5[w] with the potential for 2d10 falling damage off the teleport.


Hybrid utility 22: Shackled Warding



What is the reasoning for using shackled warding? It seems like like if you wanted a swordmage utility at this level either giant's might for the increased reach and damage/attack bonus' or oni's gift to effectively blind your enemies would be better for your stacking penalty strategy.


Hybrid encounter 13: Soul Flaying (replaces Vampiric Embrace)



Silverlight strike at this light seems better than soul flaying and continues your penalty stacking theme i.e. invisible = blind for the purposes of attacking your enemies. It also doesn't seem to mess up the hybrid power progression you have selected.


Hybrid daily 9: Infectious Curse



Seems like if you really want a warlock daily at this level based off con ooze incarnate is better. Multiple attacks against reflex that allow you to push and randomly useful you can squeeze with no penalty if you need to. At the same level you could choose either Blade Bolt for a permanent double mark or Troll Rampage for con mod + 2 bloodied regen both with decent damage from the sword mage selection without screwing up the hybrid power scheme for later levels.


Hybrid utility 6: Dark One's Own Luck



I like this choice but as alternate if you wanted something more tanky you could take Red Leeches of Nehal to get double your surge in temps when anyone spends a surge or an AP enemy or friend.


Hybrid daily 15: Blasphemous Utterance (replaces Armor of Agathys)
Hybrid encounter 17: Despair of Zhudun (replaces Infernal Moon Curse)



Side note I don't like any of these but I'm pretty sure you picked them for the penalties they give even though there are arguably stronger powers you could have gone with.

Evil Expulsion, Tendrils of Thuban or even Thirsting Maw at 15.

Life Force reclaimed, Warlock's Bargain, or Sea Tryant's fury seem generally better at 17.


Hybrid utility 10: Ethereal Sidestep



Also realized you took this with zero ways to increase your total teleport speed so this is basically a teleport shift. Could just take Impenetrable Warding to boost your NAD's once a day.


Swordwing Armor of Dark Majesty +6 - defenses



Also I can't seem to find this anywhere in the compendium and I have no idea what the armor does other than the basic enhancement.
Its in the new Class Acts: Warlock in Dragon 386.  Gives you +2 to all defenses against cursed targets. (4/9/14/19/24/29)

Unless there's something I'm missing you can drop 1 point out of your DEX, bump wisdom to an even 12 and gain a +1 to your wisdom NAD at epic as well as being able to qualify to retrain wrathful warrior to the superior battle awareness at lvl 11 while losing nothing.


At the moment, the dex is to enable taking Improved Swordmage Warding at epic.  If I decide to abandon that, it would be easy to do as you suggest.


Also does this build lose anything from human other than the +1 to NAD's, 1 feat, and 1 skill by just going gythyanki and evening out the int and con?

 
You also lose one at-will power, and don't underestimate that +1 to NADs.  Those aside, that feat is pure gold for a build as tight on feats as Vader. 
Also, githyanki is not an official race.  Vader is LFR legal, but he would not be if you switched to gith.


Why are you using Hurl through hell as opposed to Transdimensional invasion if all you want is damage? single target 7[w] vs party friendly burst 5 5[w] with the potential for 2d10 falling damage off the teleport.

 
I have been playing Vader in some games, and I will be revising my power selection according to my observations.  I have noticed some weaknesses in some powers, and continue to love others.

What is the reasoning for using shackled warding? It seems like like if you wanted a swordmage utility at this level either giant's might for the increased reach and damage/attack bonus' or oni's gift to effectively blind your enemies would be better for your stacking penalty strategy.

 
Giant's Might only benefits melee attacks, which Vader has few of.  Oni's gift only makes me invisible, I don't know where you got the idea that it effectively blinds.  Shackled Warding is a great stance to deal with teleporters (which are terrible to deal with otherwise), and provides great lockdown for one encounter.  Don't knock it, it's one of the best stances in the game.


Silverlight strike at this light seems better than soul flaying and continues your penalty stacking theme i.e. invisible = blind for the purposes of attacking your enemies. It also doesn't seem to mess up the hybrid power progression you have selected.

Seems like if you really want a warlock daily at this level based off con ooze incarnate is better. Multiple attacks against reflex that allow you to push and randomly useful you can squeeze with no penalty if you need to. At the same level you could choose either Blade Bolt for a permanent double mark or Troll Rampage for con mod + 2 bloodied regen both with decent damage from the sword mage selection without screwing up the hybrid power scheme for later levels.

I like this choice but as alternate if you wanted something more tanky you could take Red Leeches of Nehal to get double your surge in temps when anyone spends a surge or an AP enemy or friend.

Side note I don't like any of these but I'm pretty sure you picked them for the penalties they give even though there are arguably stronger powers you could have gone with.

Evil Expulsion, Tendrils of Thuban or even Thirsting Maw at 15.

Life Force reclaimed, Warlock's Bargain, or Sea Tryant's fury seem generally better at 17.

 
As with Hurl through Hell. 

Also realized you took this with zero ways to increase your total teleport speed so this is basically a teleport shift. Could just take Impenetrable Warding to boost your NAD's once a day.

 
Through most of Vader's career he carries around an Eladrin Ring of Passage.  It's only when the Ring of Free Time becomes affordable that he dumps it.

Also, I am in the process of rigging up a way to have an Incisive Dagger to swap in and out to extend teleport distance (okay, it's finished: Thievery+Fast Hands+Deep-pocket Cloak).

Also I can't seem to find this anywhere in the compendium and I have no idea what the armor does other than the basic enhancement.


Armor of Dark Majesty was in a recent CA: Warlock article.  It grants a +2 item bonus to all defenses against cursed targets.
Edit: ninjaed! 

Unless there's something I'm missing you can drop 1 point out of your DEX, bump wisdom to an even 12 and gain a +1 to your wisdom NAD at epic as well as being able to qualify to retrain wrathful warrior to the superior battle awareness at lvl 11 while losing nothing.


At the moment, the dex is to enable taking Improved Swordmage Warding at epic.  If I decide to abandon that, it would be easy to do as you suggest.



Unless the build you have posted on the front page isn't uptodate then the only warding feat you take is at lvl 14 in paragon Greater Swordmage Warding which requires STR and CON. You do not have improved swordmage warding listed in your feats atm.


Also does this build lose anything from human other than the +1 to NAD's, 1 feat, and 1 skill by just going gythyanki and evening out the int and con?

 
You also lose one at-will power, and don't underestimate that +1 to NADs.  Those aside, that feat is pure gold for a build as tight on feats as Vader. 
Also, githyanki is not an official race.  Vader is LFR legal, but he would not be if you switched to gith.


It's actually not LFR legal because you have a dragonmark but other than that your correct.

What is the reasoning for using shackled warding? It seems like like if you wanted a swordmage utility at this level either giant's might for the increased reach and damage/attack bonus' or oni's gift to effectively blind your enemies would be better for your stacking penalty strategy.

 
Giant's Might only benefits melee attacks, which Vader has few of.  Oni's gift only makes me invisible, I don't know where you got the idea that it effectively blinds.  Shackled Warding is a great stance to deal with teleporters (which are terrible to deal with otherwise), and provides great lockdown for one encounter.  Don't knock it, it's one of the best stances in the game.


I didn't confuse oni's gift with providing blindness. What I did imply is that because you are invisible for the duration of the power you are effectively providing blindness to anyone who wants to attack you giving them a -5 penalty to attack you ontop of everything else. In addition when you attack while invisible it gives you CA. I will however concede that Giant's Might probably isn't that useful given the propensity for non melee attacks.
Avernian Knight is excellent for this character, but going with an artificer multiclass and Self-Forged would be more Vaderly...making him more machine than man....
Avernian Knight is excellent for this character, but going with an artificer multiclass and Self-Forged would be more Vaderly...making him more machine than man....



In addition to being more machine than man, D. Vader is also a former Jedi Knight who cast aside the light and followed a darker path to power.

Avernian Knight is entirely appropriate by flavor.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Though the idea of Assault may seem more appropriate, Vader himself could do Force-shieldy things, but could not teleport, so I believe Shielding is truer to Vader. 

In terms of pure effectivess too, such a indomitable bulwark of defense as Vader can prevent a massive amount of damage with Shielding 2x per turn, which will probably be more beneficial to the party as a whole since Strikers with similar levels of optimization to Vader will tend to have DPR or Encounter Novas far beyond his damage capability.  In a situation where Vader is defending high octane Slashers, Fishers, and Multiattack abusers, the enemy will be far more hampered by their extended survival than by some extra punishment DPR from Vader.
The Direct Damage Sorcerer of 3.5e: The Mailman
Though the idea of Assault may seem more appropriate, Vader himself could do Force-shieldy things, but could not teleport, so I believe Shielding is truer to Vader. 

In terms of pure effectivess too, such a indomitable bulwark of defense as Vader can prevent a massive amount of damage with Shielding 2x per turn, which will probably be more beneficial to the party as a whole since Strikers with similar levels of optimization to Vader will tend to have DPR or Encounter Novas far beyond his damage capability.  In a situation where Vader is defending high octane Slashers, Fishers, and Multiattack abusers, the enemy will be far more hampered by their extended survival than by some extra punishment DPR from Vader.

Someone had to keep the Emperor safe while he blasted his enemies with lightning ;)
If you want more Defences (and who doesn't?) you could swap out your Deep-Pocket Cloak of a Cloak of Translocation - +2AC/Ref whenever you teleport (and with Ethereal Sidestep, that can be constantly).
If you want more Defences (and who doesn't?) you could swap out your Deep-Pocket Cloak of a Cloak of Translocation - +2AC/Ref whenever you teleport (and with Ethereal Sidestep, that can be constantly).


I swapped OUT my cloak of translocation, for 2 reasons:
1. Money.  Translocation is much more expensive than the Deep-pocket cloak.
2. Fast Hands.  With Fast Hands we can draw/stow 1 item per round, with the cloak we can draw/stow another item per round.  Between the two of them, we should be able to draw an incisive dagger, make our teleport to get concealment, and stow it again to keep our swordmage warding. 
What's giving you thievery as a class skill or the ability to pick up fast hands?
What's giving you thievery as a class skill or the ability to pick up fast hands?


Warlocks get thievery as a class skill, according to CB.
You just need thievery to take Fast Hands.
How did you qualify for Avernian Knight? Isn't that a Fighter Paragon Path?

Avernian Knight
Prequisities: Fighter and either Eldritch Pack (Infernal) class feature or Pact Initiate (Infernal Pact) feat.

Your character is a Swordlock, but not a Fighterlock, it isn't an option to skip over not being a fighter, you're either one with warlock potential or your not.
How did you qualify for Avernian Knight? Isn't that a Fighter Paragon Path?

Avernian Knight
Prequisities: Fighter and either Eldritch Pack (Infernal) class feature or Pact Initiate (Infernal Pact) feat.

Your character is a Swordlock, but not a Fighterlock, it isn't an option to skip over not being a fighter, you're either one with warlock potential or your not.


Read the build.  He *is* a fighter.  Wrathful Warrior, level 10.
Then his sheet should reflect that (Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages) as that is typically what you will get with a Hybrid Character. Otherwise not many errors, and it looks quite fun to play this. Heck you could probably mop the floor with Orcus or Tiamat if you felt like it.
Then his sheet should reflect that (Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages) as that is typically what you will get with a Hybrid Character. Otherwise not many errors, and it looks quite fun to play this. Heck you could probably mop the floor with Orcus or Tiamat if you felt like it.


It doesn't have any errors, and it's not listed like that because that's not how the CB does it.
Then his sheet should reflect that (Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages) as that is typically what you will get with a Hybrid Character. Otherwise not many errors, and it looks quite fun to play this. Heck you could probably mop the floor with Orcus or Tiamat if you felt like it.


It doesn't have any errors, and it's not listed like that because that's not how the CB does it.


I said not many errors, who said it had errors? A lot of characters tend to have errors with how they function, this one actually has much thought put into it and still works in recreating a well known character into a D&D setting.

Fine not how the CB does it, but you are still a Swordlock / Fighter regardless as you multiclassed into being a Fighter even if the CB does not say so.


Then his sheet should reflect that (Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages) as that is typically what you will get with a Hybrid Character. Otherwise not many errors, and it looks quite fun to play this. Heck you could probably mop the floor with Orcus or Tiamat if you felt like it.


It doesn't have any errors, and it's not listed like that because that's not how the CB does it.


I said not many errors, who said it had errors? A lot of characters tend to have errors with how they function, this one actually has much thought put into it and still works in recreating a well known character into a D&D setting.

Fine not how the CB does it, but you are still a Swordlock / Fighter regardless as you multiclassed into being a Fighter even if the CB does not say so.




Not many errors ==> one or more error. This build doesn't have any.

Yes, it's a swordmage/fighter, but CB doesn't use that notation. You said that it should say Swordmage/Fighter, but that's just not how the CB works. I don't see why he should change it when fighter MC is clearly listed in his feat choices.
Then his sheet should reflect that (Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages) as that is typically what you will get with a Hybrid Character. Otherwise not many errors, and it looks quite fun to play this. Heck you could probably mop the floor with Orcus or Tiamat if you felt like it.


It doesn't have any errors, and it's not listed like that because that's not how the CB does it.


I said not many errors, who said it had errors? A lot of characters tend to have errors with how they function, this one actually has much thought put into it and still works in recreating a well known character into a D&D setting.

Fine not how the CB does it, but you are still a Swordlock / Fighter regardless as you multiclassed into being a Fighter even if the CB does not say so.




Not many errors ==> one or more error. This build doesn't have any.

Yes, it's a swordmage/fighter, but CB doesn't use that notation. You said that it should say Swordmage/Fighter, but that's just not how the CB works. I don't see why he should change it when fighter MC is clearly listed in his feat choices.



Hmm for listing an error, how about the lack of a price for how much everything costed if you were to play this, that would be nice to know some numbers.

How about for an error, the lack of explanation like what were this character's pro's and con's throughout the adventures this character was being played.

How about for an error, the also lack of explaning of what each part of the character was great, sure a brief description the defenses is nice, but the OP could give the readers reasons for his choices on powers, equipment, feat, etc as well. What I see in the first post is basically a brief reasoning and a character sheet, the nuggets of his explanation have to be described in later on posts that are reactive to what others say.

Ugh... I said a Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, obvisously you skipped over the Warlock part. I never said make it a Swordmage/Fighter, as I said also a Swordlock/Fighter, whenever you add Lock onto the end of something in D&D that is a HINT HINT that is usually a WarLock of some sort of build.


Hmm for listing an error, how about the lack of a price for how much everything costed if you were to play this, that would be nice to know some numbers.


Failing to include "nice to have" info isn't an error.


How about for an error, the lack of explanation like what were this character's pro's and con's throughout the adventures this character was being played.



Not including an explanation of pros and cons isn't an error.


How about for an error, the also lack of explaning of what each part of the character was great, sure a brief description the defenses is nice, but the OP could give the readers reasons for his choices on powers, equipment, feat, etc as well. What I see in the first post is basically a brief reasoning and a character sheet, the nuggets of his explanation have to be described in later on posts that are reactive to what others say.



Providing fewer details than you would like isn't an error.


Ugh... I said a Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, obvisously you skipped over the Warlock part. I never said make it a Swordmage/Fighter, as I said also a Swordlock/Fighter, whenever you add Lock onto the end of something in D&D that is a HINT HINT that is usually a WarLock of some sort of build.


Swordlock isn't a common portmanteau around here, FYI.

Also, you may want to consider changing your screen name.
Then his sheet should reflect that (Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages) as that is typically what you will get with a Hybrid Character. Otherwise not many errors, and it looks quite fun to play this. Heck you could probably mop the floor with Orcus or Tiamat if you felt like it.


It doesn't have any errors, and it's not listed like that because that's not how the CB does it.


I said not many errors, who said it had errors? A lot of characters tend to have errors with how they function, this one actually has much thought put into it and still works in recreating a well known character into a D&D setting.

Fine not how the CB does it, but you are still a Swordlock / Fighter regardless as you multiclassed into being a Fighter even if the CB does not say so.




Not many errors ==> one or more error. This build doesn't have any.

Yes, it's a swordmage/fighter, but CB doesn't use that notation. You said that it should say Swordmage/Fighter, but that's just not how the CB works. I don't see why he should change it when fighter MC is clearly listed in his feat choices.



Hmm for listing an error, how about the lack of a price for how much everything costed if you were to play this, that would be nice to know some numbers.

How about for an error, the lack of explanation like what were this character's pro's and con's throughout the adventures this character was being played.

How about for an error, the also lack of explaning of what each part of the character was great, sure a brief description the defenses is nice, but the OP could give the readers reasons for his choices on powers, equipment, feat, etc as well. What I see in the first post is basically a brief reasoning and a character sheet, the nuggets of his explanation have to be described in later on posts that are reactive to what others say.



Failing to cater to your personal preferences is not an error with the build.


Ugh... I said a Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, obvisously you skipped over the Warlock part. I never said make it a Swordmage/Fighter, as I said also a Swordlock/Fighter, whenever you add Lock onto the end of something in D&D that is a HINT HINT that is usually a WarLock of some sort of build.


I figured the warlock part would have been implied from context (as it should be). Look at the context you responded to:

How did you qualify for Avernian Knight? Isn't that a Fighter Paragon Path?

Avernian Knight
Prequisities: Fighter and either Eldritch Pack (Infernal) class feature or Pact Initiate (Infernal Pact) feat.

Your character is a Swordlock, but not a Fighterlock, it isn't an option to skip over not being a fighter, you're either one with warlock potential or your not.


Read the build.  He *is* a fighter.  Wrathful Warrior, level 10.



Then his sheet should reflect that (Swordmage|Warlock/Fighter, Avernian Knight, Sage of Ages) as that is typically what you will get with a Hybrid Character.



The pertinent addition would be adding /Fighter due to confusion over whether or not he counted as a fighter. The warlock part has nothing to do with it.

Also, warlock is listed on the sheet, so idk what you want from him.