Reaching 100% Critical Hit Rate

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I'm reasonably sure this works, as always, let me know if it's busted ;)

You will need: 

1 or 2 epic characters.  One of which must be level 26, with the "Lord of Fate" ED.  The other is an Avenger with the Ardent Champion PP.  This can even be the same character, with a little multiclassing.

The Lord of Fate uses her epic destiny utility, Golden Mean.  While within the zone, all attacks are resolved as if that player had rolled a natural 10.

The Ardent Champion PP states that you score a critical hit if you roll the same number on both die against your Oath target. 

So, provided you could hit on a natural 10, I believe you would score a critical hit on every attack within the zone.

This effectively gives you a 100% crit rate within the zone, for 1 encounter/day (more if you can get the utility back somehow).  Thoughts? 
Builds and Guides The Cosmonaut a build that teleports foes into space. November Errata Item Guide a guide to equipping Avengers and Strikers after the November errata. 100% Crit Rate Ardent Champion an Avenger combo that autocrits and/or inflicts infinite damage at level 11.
The main problem with this is that the zone shrinks and vanishes, however you can bypass this problem with a set of spell anchors. Normally you'd have better gloves at epic tier, but what is normally a weakness is now a strength.

Consider: Spell anchors 'sustain until end of encounter' a power. This is usually decent with zones, but it's usually NOT good with powers that do stuff when you use the sustain action. Since you're not sustaining it anymore, the on-sustain stuff doesn't happen. Similarly here, the power is 'sustained until the end of the encounter'. The zone does not shrink or vanish.

Otherwise, this appears to work, and is a hilarious 1/day thing. Good god.
Oh Content, where art thou?
Won't work. Holy Ardor speaks of "dice rolls that come up equal", whereas Golden Mean says "don't roll but assume 10".
Won't work. Holy Ardor speaks of "dice rolls that come up equal", whereas Golden Mean says "don't roll but assume 10".



Disagree. Golden Mean actually says "[the] rolls are resolved as if the creature rolled a 10 on the die." (Emphasis mine)

Thus, when the time comes for the Ardent Champion to roll his Oathed attack, instead of rolling he treats his rolls as if they both came up as 10s, triggering Holy Ardor.

Had Golden Mean been worded more similarly to your version, this would not work. Instead, we get this quite silly (but entertaining) trick 1/day. Can the Ardent Champion get his AB high enough to hit on-level epic creatures?
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It's the whole damage rolls vs. fixed damage value issue all over again. In my opinion, it is an universal rule that fixed values never trigger any events that would apply to roll.

If that rule is untrue, this is as clearly broken and a candidate for errata as the old Punisher of the Gods, so don't expect it to garner much attention.
Good stuff.
When I saw this one, I knew AlterFrom would show up ... and he did before I could post.

Kerrus - interesting. I was working on Mord's Lucubration for the same (item) reason: auto- Sustain.

Now that I read your wording I'm wondering ... some of the Sustain blocks have additional info in them.
If something is auto- Sustained , when does the extra stuff in the Sustain block happen ??

(a) ... all at once
(b) ... during your normal turn
(c) ... not at all
(d) ... at the start of every turn
each one of these answers has problems.

A deliberate House-rule, would be to have the Sustain happen at (b),
simply to keep arguing / book-keeping to a minimum.

You feeling me?

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

I'm not, ADMG.  I read it as triggering exactly when it says to; for example, in the case of the Lord of Fate, I read it as triggering exactly once -- you use the item to sustain it until the end of the encounter, and the zone shrinks when it is sustained.
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It's the whole damage rolls vs. fixed damage value issue all over again. In my opinion, it is an universal rule that fixed values never trigger any events that would apply to roll.

If that rule is untrue, this is as clearly broken and a candidate for errata as the old Punisher of the Gods, so don't expect it to garner much attention.



I know of no such rule. This combo seems to work by RAW.

Also, are you trying to say that a Wild Magic Sorcerer would not gain any benefit from the auto-10 roll?

What about Focused Chaos? It changes the even/oddness of a roll for you in a static manner?
Hm. You make a good case. Very well, a new item to top the list of horrendously broken things, then.
A new item to top the list of horrendously broken things, then.


Oh, I agree with you.  I think this is cheesier than a cheesecake.  I'd never run this character in a real campaign (at least, not one I didn't want to get kicked out of), and even if I wanted to, I'm pretty sure my DM sock me in the jaw just for suggesting it ;).  Still, I think it's a good thing to point out combos like this, for several reasons:

1) Confirmation - Sometimes you read something, and you just need to find out if it's really as broken as you think it is. 

2) GMs are made aware of the issue.  Now that it's been brought up, GMs will be aware of the combo, and can decide in advance if they want to ban it or allow it into their game (rather than receive an unpleasant surprise). 

3) Likewise, the game developers themselves can take note of the issue, and decide if they want to take steps to errata/rebalance it.

4) If the GM allows the combo, hey, the PCs get to have a bit of silly fun ;)

Personally, part of my enjoyment of 4E is simply discovering stuff like this; the strange synergistic quirks of the game. 

That said, It's not the worst thing I've ever seen, either.  At least this combo has a limited duration, barring item workarounds.  It only works during one encounter per day for most characters, too.  Furthermore, you still need to be able to hit on a natural 10, which isn't guaranteed against high level solos and elites; you might need to crank up your attack bonus.  Not as bad as pre-errata Divine Miracle, anyway ;). 




Builds and Guides The Cosmonaut a build that teleports foes into space. November Errata Item Guide a guide to equipping Avengers and Strikers after the November errata. 100% Crit Rate Ardent Champion an Avenger combo that autocrits and/or inflicts infinite damage at level 11.
Oh, I agree with you.  I think this is cheesier than a cheesecake.  I'd never run this character in a real campaign (at least, not one I didn't want to get kicked out of), and even if I wanted to, I'm pretty sure my DM sock me in the jaw just for suggesting it ;).:


I'm not so sure.  
As per your last paragraph:
That said, It's not the worst thing I've ever seen, either.  At least this combo has a limited duration, barring item workarounds.  It only works during one encounter per day for most characters, too.  Furthermore, you still need to be able to hit on a natural 10, which isn't guaranteed against high level solos and elites; you might need to crank up your attack bonus.  Not as bad as pre-errata Divine Miracle, anyway ;).  


Furthermore,
--if the devs eliminate critical-dependent recursiveness (as the updates seem to be leaning towards), all this will do is stimulate a certain level of nova damage.  Given that we have already seen crit-fishing builds with a crit rate of 65%+ (or whatever rate was needed to produce infinite attacks pre-errata), I'm not sure we're actually gaining all that much with the 100%.

--the character needs to stay within the zone.  Now I know you can build parties and characters to utilize it, but the requirement that your melee avenger stay within a certain area to make use of this trick would make me a bit nervous in combat.  Except perhaps unity folks, avengers should be free to roam, and making any melee character stay within a certain physical boundary puts an inherent limit on the usefulness of the trick.

It seems to me this may simply be one among many powerful epic synergies, rather than broken (assuming, of course, that all infinite crit triggers get fixed)
Oh, I agree with you.  I think this is cheesier than a cheesecake.  I'd never run this character in a real campaign (at least, not one I didn't want to get kicked out of), and even if I wanted to, I'm pretty sure my DM sock me in the jaw just for suggesting it ;).:


I'm not so sure.  
As per your last paragraph:
That said, It's not the worst thing I've ever seen, either.  At least this combo has a limited duration, barring item workarounds.  It only works during one encounter per day for most characters, too.  Furthermore, you still need to be able to hit on a natural 10, which isn't guaranteed against high level solos and elites; you might need to crank up your attack bonus.  Not as bad as pre-errata Divine Miracle, anyway ;).  


Furthermore,
--if the devs eliminate critical-dependent recursiveness (as the updates seem to be leaning towards), all this will do is stimulate a certain level of nova damage.  Given that we have already seen crit-fishing builds with a crit rate of 65%+ (or whatever rate was needed to produce infinite attacks pre-errata), I'm not sure we're actually gaining all that much with the 100%.

--the character needs to stay within the zone.  Now I know you can build parties and characters to utilize it, but the requirement that your melee avenger stay within a certain area to make use of this trick would make me a bit nervous in combat.  Except perhaps unity folks, avengers should be free to roam, and making any melee character stay within a certain physical boundary puts an inherent limit on the usefulness of the trick.

It seems to me this may simply be one among many power epic synergies, rather than broken (assuming, of course, that all infinite crit triggers get fixed)



I'm inclined to agree that this isn't terribly broken. There are oodles of ways a DM can foil this without being a jerk: multiple enemies adjacent to the avenger, move the monsters out of the zone before re-engaging, ranged attackers. This is one of those combos that really shines at tofu whacking but is probably on par with other powerful things for a 1/day effect at epic.
The main problem with this is that the zone shrinks and vanishes, however you can bypass this problem with a set of spell anchors.


I'm reasonably sure that sustaining via spell anchor does exactly the same thing as sustaining with your own actions, so would likewise cause the zone to shrink.

Hrm- upon rereading, yeah- I don't know if they changed the wording or I always misread it, but it looks like spell anchors just sustains it for that turn as a daily power, not 'until the end of the encounter' as I'm certain it used to. Or it may- it doesn't specify a duration, but it's definitely leaning towards functioning similarly to the sustain action.

Mordenkainen's Lucubration, however, has no such unspecificness- it's very specific in how it functions, and using it would certainly bypass the normal sustain line of a given power. Your powers last 'until the end of the encounter' instead of their normal durations- so the sustain line just doesn't happen. Good for Zones, less good for summons with a sustain activation.
Oh Content, where art thou?
Ahh, and Tsuyo's post.
The dreaded : (e) ... not an idea I thought of

It is still useful, sustain once and go do stuff.
There might be a few other powers floating around, with things happening on th sustain line, besides the sustain.

Personally, I don't see how Crit of 100% is all that worthy of bork-whining.
A monster reduced to zero hitpoints is helpless, meaning +7 to hit, and auto-crit.
This has been there, since the very start.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 



Personally, part of my enjoyment of 4E is simply discovering stuff like this; the strange synergistic quirks of the game.





Quoted for da- Truth !!

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

Just noticed that Dujin of Erathis, a MP Warlord PP, has a similar effect to Golden Mean on it's Lv 11 Attack Power.  Another "take 10" on your attack effect, this time limited to at-wills. 

The wording on the attack power is a little different, though, probably on shakier ground.  Can anyone confirm or deny the validity of this combination?  I haven't got AP on hand to scrutinize the wording of Golden Mean. 

It would be somewhat interesting if it worked.  Like Divine Oracle-lite.
Builds and Guides The Cosmonaut a build that teleports foes into space. November Errata Item Guide a guide to equipping Avengers and Strikers after the November errata. 100% Crit Rate Ardent Champion an Avenger combo that autocrits and/or inflicts infinite damage at level 11.
For extra cheese add Two Weapon Opening and Rending Axes.  That first Crit generates 3 extra MBAs, all of which also crit, generating extra attacks.  The only exception should be Rending attacks with the off hand weapon.

Rending Waraxe: Crits- Waraxe Ardent Fury, Waraxe Rending, Handaxe Opening triggered.
Waraxe Ardent Fury crits- Waraxe Rending2, Handaxe Opening 2 triggered.
Waraxe Rending 1 crits- Handaxe Opening3 triggered.
Handaxe Opening 1 crits- Handaxe Rending3 triggered.
Waraxe Rending2 crits- Handaxe Opening 4 triggered.
Handaxe Opening 2 crits- Handaxe Rending 4 triggered.
Handaxe Opening 3 crits- Handaxe Rending 5 triggered.
Handaxe Rending 3 crits- nothing triggered.
Handaxe Opening 4 crits- Rending 6 triggered.
Handaxe Rending 4 crits- nothing triggered.
Handaxe Rending 5 crits- nothing triggered.
Handaxe Rending 6 crits- nothing triggered.

Main attack Crit, Main MBA crits x 3, Offhand MBA x8.  12 (Critting) attacks every round presuming a 10 hits.  Yeowch!  Plus Punishing Radiance and Pervasive Light add effectivly 10 extra damage per attack.  One round of effect sounds like enough, particulary as any additional initial attacks trigger 7 more each (you can't gain Ardent Fury again that round)!

-----------------------------
Golden Mean states that when the zone is sustained it shrinks one, and when it reaches 1, it cannot be sustained.
For extra cheese add Two Weapon Opening and Rending Axes.  That first Crit generates 3 extra MBAs, all of which also crit, generating extra attacks.  The only exception should be Rending attacks with the off hand weapon.

Rending Waraxe: Crits- Waraxe Ardent Fury, Waraxe Rending, Handaxe Opening triggered.
Waraxe Ardent Fury crits- Waraxe Rending2, Handaxe Opening 2 triggered.
Waraxe Rending 1 crits- Handaxe Opening3 triggered.
Handaxe Opening 1 crits- Handaxe Rending3 triggered.
Waraxe Rending2 crits- Handaxe Opening 4 triggered.
Handaxe Opening 2 crits- Handaxe Rending 4 triggered.
Handaxe Opening 3 crits- Handaxe Rending 5 triggered.
Handaxe Rending 3 crits- nothing triggered.
Handaxe Opening 4 crits- Rending 6 triggered.
Handaxe Rending 4 crits- nothing triggered.
Handaxe Rending 5 crits- nothing triggered.
Handaxe Rending 6 crits- nothing triggered.

Main attack Crit, Main MBA crits x 3, Offhand MBA x8.  12 (Critting) attacks every round presuming a 10 hits.  Yeowch!  Plus Punishing Radiance and Pervasive Light add effectivly 10 extra damage per attack.  One round of effect sounds like enough, particulary as any additional initial attacks trigger 7 more each (you can't gain Ardent Fury again that round)!

-----------------------------
Golden Mean states that when the zone is sustained it shrinks one, and when it reaches 1, it cannot be sustained.




I think rending weapon can be triggered by itself, so just a rending weapon + 100%crit will keep on generating mba till the death of the target.



I think rending weapon can be triggered by itself, so just a rending weapon + 100%crit will keep on generating mba till the death of the target.



Or the death of the player pulling it.  Wink
I think you choose which dice to use, and then the golden mean turns it into 10, so no help there.
Golden Mean- Effect: The burst creates a zone of balanced fate that lasts until the end of your next turn. Each creature within the zone doesn’t make d20 rolls to resolve attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. Instead, these rolls are resolved as if the creature rolled a 10 on the die.

Oath of Emnity- Effect: When you make a melee attack against the target and the target is the only enemy adjacent to you, you make two attack rolls and use either result.

Holy Ardor (11th level): Whenever you make two attack rolls because of your oath of enmity, you score a critical hit if both dice have the same roll, except if both rolls are 1.

Hrm, maybe this does work.

Cheesy.
And of course, you wouldn't need more than a round with this anyway.  Rending weapon.  Instant dead.
It's still not as broken as say demi-god+twinned spell+steal time. (Infinite guaranteed stun, every encounter, at no real action cost). But that's a lvl 30 thing, and there's plenty of broken lvl 30 things.
Looks like you don't even need to hit on a 10, since it says "resolved as a crit", and a crit is always a hit.

It's a pretty cheesy effect though, yes Cool

Anyway... that "assume 10" power sounds pretty overpowered at any rate. Even a simple -1 to saving throws will perma-sleep all normal creatures, and a -3 takes out elites.

If you can get to -6 (Orb of imposition alone can do that, right?) you can drop the whole encounter with a level 1 Daily (it should be managable to increase the burst size at that level to catch everyone)

The power seems a lot more broken when you do not think "what can I do with a 10 each round?" but with a "what can't I do with a 10 each round?" 
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Looks like you don't even need to hit on a 10, since it says "resolved as a crit", and a crit is always a hit.



I'm reasonably sure that only a natural 20 is an automatic hit.  Critical hits are a seperate effect that occurs when you roll within a given threat range; it just seems like a crit is an auto hit because usually it occurs on the same roll (nat 20 until your threat range expands).

Man, I hadn't even thought about penalizing saves to make enemies auto-fail.  Brutal.  Golden Mean for top tier. 

Anyway, I'm reasonably confident this combo works with Golden Mean, but I discovered another power with a similar effect, but with perhaps shakier wording.  It's the encounter attack, Graded Assault, from the MP Warlord PP "Dujin of Erathis". 

It's limited to at wills and only occurs for a single turn, but auto-crit on an at-will (At level 11) is still pretty cool.  Sort of like Divine Oracle-lite.  I guess you could crit twice with an AP. 

The comment about Rending Weapon is mean, too!  If you could hit on a nat 10, you would do infinite damage with a Rending Weapon, as far as I could tell. You'd just keep critting on the generated MBAs, each time gaining another MBA to crit on. 

If you had an At-Will that you could use as a MBA (Virtuous Strike, Eldritch Strike, etc.) you could do infinite damage at level 11!  Ouch.  Mercifully, the effect persists for only a single turn =P.   



Builds and Guides The Cosmonaut a build that teleports foes into space. November Errata Item Guide a guide to equipping Avengers and Strikers after the November errata. 100% Crit Rate Ardent Champion an Avenger combo that autocrits and/or inflicts infinite damage at level 11.
The comment about Rending Weapon is mean, too!  If you could hit on a nat 10, you would do infinite damage with a Rending Weapon, as far as I could tell. You'd just keep critting on the generated MBAs, each time gaining another MBA to crit on.



Yup.  Pretty sick combo.
Heh, 11th level Warlord/Djunn of Erathis paired with an 11th level Pursuing Avenger/Ardent Champion with Overwhelming Strike, Power of Skill to make it an MBA, and a Rending weapon to auto-slay any creature the avenger can hit on a 10 1/encounter. Spiffy.
1) non-str class
2) worst rending axe possible (no proficiency in axes)
3) no weapon focus etc
4) close eyes
5) use Martial Supremacy (382)
6) use a MBA on target
7) be happy about bad wording of Martial Supremacy (no recursion catcher / delimiter for MBA)
8) ... Cool

(yes, you really can read the power like this, and no, no sane DM would let it fly after the initial laugh)
Looks like you don't even need to hit on a 10, since it says "resolved as a crit", and a crit is always a hit.

 


Per the Divine Power FAQ:

4. If an Ardent Champion with the Holy Ardor class feature rolls two 2s do I automatically hit?



A critical hit is not an automatic hit. You will have to roll high enough to meet or beat the defense you are attacking.




You always have to beat a target's defense to crit.  Only a natural 20 is an automatic hit (unless something specifies otherwise).

1) non-str class
2) worst rending axe possible (no proficiency in axes)
3) no weapon focus etc
4) close eyes
5) use Martial Supremacy (382)
6) use a MBA on target
7) be happy about bad wording of Martial Supremacy (no recursion catcher / delimiter for MBA)
8) ...

(yes, you really can read the power like this, and no, no sane DM would let it fly after the initial laugh)



It's not bad, but unless you match your foes AC exactly at nat 20 this isn't an infinite damage combo.  If nat 20 doesn't reach his AC the attack still hits but doesn't crit, and the rending effect does not trigger.

Now, once you know the monster's AC (if, for example, a 30 hits but a 29 doesn't, you know the AC is 30) it's possible you could buff/debuff your attack bonus until it is exactly -19 to his AC.  Power attack and feats like it are good for this, keeping a few different levels of rending axes on you, maybe a whetstone or two, etc.

Per the Divine Power FAQ:

4. If an Ardent Champion with the Holy Ardor class feature rolls two 2s do I automatically hit?



A critical hit is not an automatic hit. You will have to roll high enough to meet or beat the defense you are attacking.




You always have to beat a target's defense to crit.  Only a natural 20 is an automatic hit (unless something specifies otherwise).




Ooo... I did not know a FAQ entry popped up about this.

I agree with their ruling and think it is RAW, but disagree with the result. I think double 2s should crit.

As it is, you are only going to be adding ~2.5% extra chance to crit (hitting on a 9, normally critting on a 20) and that is only vs your oath target and only if you can benefit from the oath. The higher your normal crit range is, the less payoff you get from this feature.

Compare that to Daggermaster or Student of Caiphon. They let you crit all the time on 18-20--an increase of 10% (vs. an increase of 4.75%, the absolute best possible increase from Holy Ardor, which counts double 1s as a crit). The 10% increase from Daggermaster or SoC is against a non-oath target while the 4.75% from HA is only against your oath target.

With 18-20 crit range against your oath target, you have a 27.75% chance of critting (an increase of 18% over the 9.75% chance to crit against your oath on a 20 only).

So... 10-18% bump vs the current 0-~2.5% bump.
I see where you're coming from, Suo.  I think this feature is balanced this way intentionally, though, because you can use this feature in addition to other effects that increase crit range.

You can crit on both non-1 doubles and single 19-20 if you have a mastery feat, for example.  It's only a 2.5% crit rate increase by itself, but that's in addition to whatever crit rate you already have/will obtain. 

Builds and Guides The Cosmonaut a build that teleports foes into space. November Errata Item Guide a guide to equipping Avengers and Strikers after the November errata. 100% Crit Rate Ardent Champion an Avenger combo that autocrits and/or inflicts infinite damage at level 11.
I see where you're coming from, Suo.  I think this feature is balanced this way intentionally, though, because you can use this feature in addition to other effects that increase crit range.

You can crit on both non-1 doubles and single 19-20 if you have a mastery feat, for example.  It's only a 2.5% crit rate increase by itself, but that's in addition to whatever crit rate you already have/will obtain. 




This is true, but to get that extra 2.5% you have to sacrifice the potential for an extra 18% (and an extra 10% against a non-oath target).

Also, the higher your normal crit range, the lower the bonus from the double numbers. If you crit on a 19-20, then double 19s and double 20s do nothing for you now. Each number below 20 that you normally crit on takes away an extra 0.25%.

Apart from the crit increase, Ardent Champion is not very good.
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