The Supreme Captain (a 1-30 archetype build)

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Updated build posted in new thread here.

People have noted the possibility of the Battle Captain + Supreme Inspiration combination before, but if anyone has posted a build featuring this combo, I haven't seen it.  So, here's a level by level look at a reasonably optimal build.  Compared with a standard TacLord/Battle Captain, the Supreme Captain has lower Int riders, but gets some compensation out of decent Cha riders.  It is, however, a little weaker until Epic.  This build wants strong basic attacks around it.  It will work best in a party with at least 2 strong melee basics, and with every ranged character having a good ranged basic.

Race
  I'll need Str for attacks, Int for bonuses, and an eventual Cha of 19 to qualify for Supreme Inspiration.  In a three stat build, it's all but mandatory to pick a race that boosts two of those stats.  My Int riders won't be nearly good enough to carry the character, so I'll be needing an 18 starting Str, and I can't afford to buy an 18.  That makes it a choice between Dragonborn and Genasi.  Both work well, but Dragonborn get a small boost on a utility I plan to take and have slightly better starting racial features while Genasi have more room to improve their racials with feats.  Neither race has class/race specific feats that I care about.  This build tends to be tight on feats, so I'll go with Dragonborn.  Str for Dragonbreath, and I'll pick Cold in case my party decides to Frostcheese.


Class
  Battle Captain requires Warlord with Tactical Inspiration, so that's the pick.


Ability Scores
Str 18 Con 11 Dex 10 Int 16 Wis 8 Cha 15. (Genasi use an identical post-racial array.)  This is the highest Int I can start with given a desire to have 18 Str and 15 Cha.  I could sacrifice a point of Int for 2 in Con if I'd like a bit more durability and earlier access to Scale.  If this were a priority, Genasi would be a better race, as I could sacrifice a point of Cha for 2 Con and get it back at level 18 (giving me 17 levels of slightly higher Int).


Skills
  Not a big deal.  I'll go with Athletics, Diplomacy, History, and Endurance.


Level 1:  Heroic Tier

At Will Powers Commander's Strike.  Granting attacks is a major component of this build.  I'd be a fool to ignore the power that lets me do it automatically and at will.
Wolf Pack Tactics.  Coinflip with Inevitable Wave, Viper's Strike, and Rousing Assault.  This slot can be adjusted to the party.

Encounter Power:  Warlord's Favor.  Granting bonuses to attacks is the other major component of this build, and this is the best encounter-level boost I'll have until mid Paragon.

Daily Power:  Lead the Attack.  As above, except delete "encounter-level".

Feat:  Tactical Assault.  +3 damage per ally action point is too strong to ignore.

Equipment:  Hide armor, light shield, and a longsword.  I'll switch to heavy armor eventually, but for now I can enjoy the extra mobility.  A shield is mandatory; this build needs all the defense it can manage.  Hitting is extremely important, so I want a +3 proficiency weapon and the longsword is the best available.  A couple of javelins will serve for an emergency ranged option.


Level 2

Utility Power:  Adaptive Stratagem.  A nice damage boost to go with the attack bonuses, and I even have enough Cha to make the saving throw boost an occasional consideration.
Feat: Weapon Expertise: Heavy Blade.  Hitting is even more important now that I can combo Warlord's Favor with Adaptive Stratagem.


Level 3

Encounter Power:  Hammer and Anvil.  This used to be an auto-pick, but now it's only slightly better than Devastating Offensive.  Attacking Reflex instead of AC is worth a bit more than the extra positioning and higher damage boost.  This power is another reason I prioritized Expertise last level.


Level 4

Stat bumps:  Str and Int.  I'll be doing this throughout the life of the character, with one important exception.
Feat:  Heavy Shield Proficiency.  I've taken care of the immediate offensive needs, so it's time to improve my defense.  Toughness is a worthy consideration, as is Scale Proficiency if I qualify.


Level 5

Daily power:  Stand the Fallen.  I'm a bit light on healing, and this is a nice emergency power to have.  If my party already has emergency healing, I'll want Concentrated Attack here instead.
Equipment:  If I haven't gotten it already, I'll be looking to switch to Chain/Scale and pick up Tactician's Armor here.  The boost to basically all of my bonuses is too good to pass up.


Level 6

Utility Power:  Dragon's Tenacity.  A solid bonus and one of the few ways to boost my own attacks.  If I'm the only healer in a largish party, I'll take Rousing Words instead.
Feat:  Weapon Proficiency:  Bastard Sword.  Generally superior to Weapon Focus for boosting my damage.


Level 7

Encounter Power:  Surprise Attack.  My first attack granting power that can benefit ranged allies, and one that I'll never give up.  The attack bonus on the extra attack is untyped, so it stacks with my other attack bonuses.


Level 8

Stat bumps:  Str and Int.
Feat:  Lend Might.  I grant a lot of attacks with this build, and almost all of them are against adjacent enemies.


Level 9

Daily Power:  Warlord's Recovery.  Large boost to my ability to grant attacks in an extended encounter, or an immediate nova with a strong ally encounter power.
Equipment:  Boots of Eagerness are great for any melee character.  In this build, with its melee focus, speed of 5, and high number of minor actions, they're amazing.


Level 10

Utility Power:  Instant Planning.  Strong now, and even better next level when my Cha mod goes to 3.
Feat:  Improved Tactics.  A nice boost to ally nova potential, although this will leave the build again for a few levels.
Equipment:  Helm of Heroes is strong for any Warlord, but for a build that is this focused on granting attacks, it's a necessity.


Level 10 recap


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 10
Dragonborn, Warlord
Commanding Presence: Tactical Presence
Dragon Breath Key Ability: Dragon Breath Strength
Dragon Breath Damage Type: Dragon Breath Cold

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 20, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 15.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 13.


AC: 25 Fort: 23 Reflex: 22 Will: 20
HP: 68 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 17

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +9, History +16, Athletics +14, Diplomacy +12

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +4, Arcana +9, Bluff +7, Dungeoneering +4, Heal +4, Insight +4, Intimidate +9, Nature +4, Perception +4, Religion +9, Stealth +4, Streetwise +7, Thievery +4

FEATS
Level 1: Tactical Assault
Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 4: Shield Proficiency (Heavy)
Level 6: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 8: Lend Might
Level 10: Improved Tactics

POWERS
Warlord at-will 1: Wolf Pack Tactics
Warlord at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Warlord encounter 1: Warlord's Favor
Warlord daily 1: Lead the Attack
Warlord utility 2: Adaptive Stratagem
Warlord encounter 3: Hammer and Anvil
Warlord daily 5: Stand the Fallen
Warlord utility 6: Dragon's Tenacity
Warlord encounter 7: Surprise Attack
Warlord daily 9: Warlord's Recovery
Warlord utility 10: Instant Planning

ITEMS
Tactician's Finemail +2, Boots of Eagerness (heroic tier), Helm of Heroes (heroic tier), Dynamic Bastard sword +2, Amulet of Protection +2, Light Shield, Magic Javelin +1
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Level 11:  Paragon Tier

Paragon Path:  Battle Captain.  Half of this build's motivation is the level 16 feature, Battle Inspiration.  In the meantime, I get a minor action point benefit, a nice ally boost on the first round of combat, and a decent encounter power.
Encounter Power:  Force Retreat.  It's a decent power, nice repositioning and occasional multi-attack, but it's not that great for the build.  So I'm replacing it.
Feat:  Combat Commander.  Improved Initiative for the party that stacks with Improved Initiative.  TacLords in general are at their best when they're helping the party kill the enemy before the enemy can inflict serious damage, and this build is hyper focused around that concept.  I want my party acting before the enemy.
Feat:  Reserve Maneuver:  Devastating Offensive (retrained from Improved Tactics).  Remember my comments about Devastating Offensive being nearly as good as Hammer and Anvil?  That makes it better than Force Retreat, and it's worth the feat to pick it up.


Level 12

Utility Power: Bolt of Genius.  Not the greatest power in the world, but in a prolonged fight it occasionally comes in handy.
Feat:  Tactician's Word.  Tactician's Word is no Battle Inspiration, but it stacks, and I can have it now.


Level 13

Encounter Power:  Invitational Assault (replaces Hammer and Anvil).  This actually replaces Devastating Offensive, as Hammer and Anvil is now my Reserve Maneuver power.  A straight upgrade, as I deal more base damage, get to bring in an ally from further away, and get an attack bonus instead of a damage bonus.
Equipment:  Targeting myself with Inspiring Word now carries a high opportunity cost, and that cost will only get higher.  The Cord of Divine Favor lets me heal myself without targeting myself, and occupies a rather lackluster equipment slot.


Level 14

Stat bumps:  Str and Int.
Feat:  Improved Tactics.  Getting this back now that I have all of my priority Paragon tier feats.


Level 15

Daily Power:  War Master's Assault (replaces Stand the Fallen).  Anticipate Attack is excellent, but I prefer nova powers that don't rely on the enemy taking certain actions.  If I'm afraid of the lack of emergency healing, this can replace Warlord's Recovery for a level.
Equipment:  Allies who can't make use of Iron Armbands/Bracers of Archery will want to look at Rapidstrike Bracers to take better advantage of the attacks I'm giving them.


Level 16

Path Feature:  Battle Inspiration.  3 times per combat, as a minor action, I grant a large attack and speed bonus to an ally.  That bonus lasts for an entire turn, making it easy to exploit across multiple attacks.  As of now, this build kicks into overdrive.
Utility Power:  Decisive Timing.  Forget healing.  Dead and debilitated enemies deal no damage, and this power will let me set up every battle exactly the way I want it to maximize the chances of those things happening as quickly as possible.
Encounter Power:  Pincer Maneuver (retrained from Invitational Assault).  Attack bonuses are now easy to come by, making damage bonuses and extra attacks to capitalize on those bonuses more desirable.  This power grants two guaranteed attacks with potential damage bonuses.  (If I still have Stand the Fallen, retraining it to Warlord's Recovery takes priority over this retrain.)
Feat:  Improved Initiative.  Helps ensure high initiative numbers in the party to exploit with Decisive Timing.


Level 17

Encounter Power:  Hail of Steel (replaces Surprise Attack).  This actually replaces Hammer and Anvil, as Surprise Attack becomes my Reserve Maneuver power.  I just commented on how desirable extra attacks are, and this offers 3-4 of them!  If battles are typically playing out so that this will only grant 1-2 attacks, I'll instead take Thunderous Fury replacing Warlord's Favor.


Level 18

Stat bumps:  Str and Int.  If I had chosen Genasi and 13 Con/14 Cha, then I would need to bump Cha instead of Int here.
Feat:  Saving Inspiration.  It's nice to have some ability to grant extra saves.  If no one else in the party had the ability to grant saves, I'd probably have taken this over Weapon Proficiency and waited on that feat until now.


Level 19

Daily Power:  Victory Surge (replaces Lead the Attack).  Most Warlord guides will tell you to hold on to Lead the Attack until level 29.  In this build, I want it gone at level 21, but I have better things to do with my retraining at that point.  In any case, Victory Surge continues the theme of extra attacks, in a big way.
Equipment:  Have I mentioned the importance of hitting with my attacks recently?  Tenacious Weapons become available here, and an encounter double roll is exactly what I'm looking for to help land key attacks.


Level 20

Daily Power:  Cunning Flurry.  Pretty lackluster for the build, but we're already reaping the real benefits of the paragon path, so I can live with a sub-par daily.
Feat:  Weapon Focus: Heavy Blades.  Filler feat, destined to be retrained.


Level 20 recap


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 20
Dragonborn, Warlord, Battle Captain
Commanding Presence: Tactical Presence
Dragon Breath Key Ability: Dragon Breath Strength
Dragon Breath Damage Type: Dragon Breath Cold

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 23, Con 12, Dex 11, Int 21, Wis 9, Cha 16.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 13.


AC: 34 Fort: 31 Reflex: 30 Will: 28
HP: 119 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 30

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +15, History +22, Athletics +20, Diplomacy +18

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +9, Arcana +15, Bluff +13, Dungeoneering +9, Heal +9, Insight +9, Intimidate +15, Nature +9, Perception +9, Religion +15, Stealth +9, Streetwise +13, Thievery +9

FEATS
Level 1: Tactical Assault
Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 4: Shield Proficiency (Heavy)
Level 6: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 8: Lend Might
Level 10: Improved Tactics (retrained to Reserve Maneuver at Level 11)
Level 11: Combat Commander
Level 12: Tactician's Word
Level 14: Improved Tactics
Level 16: Improved Initiative
Level 18: Saving Inspiration
Level 20: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)

POWERS
Reserve Maneuver: Surprise Attack
Warlord at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Warlord at-will 1: Wolf Pack Tactics
Warlord encounter 1: Warlord's Favor
Warlord daily 1: Lead the Attack
Warlord utility 2: Adaptive Stratagem
Warlord encounter 3: Hammer and Anvil
Warlord daily 5: Stand the Fallen
Warlord utility 6: Dragon's Tenacity
Warlord encounter 7: Surprise Attack
Warlord daily 9: Warlord's Recovery
Warlord utility 10: Instant Planning
Warlord encounter 13: Invitational Assault (replaces Hammer and Anvil) (retrained to Pincer Maneuver at Level 16)
Warlord daily 15: War Master's Assault (replaces Stand the Fallen)
Warlord utility 16: Decisive Timing
Warlord encounter 17: Hail of Steel (replaces Surprise Attack)
Warlord daily 19: Victory Surge (replaces Lead the Attack)

ITEMS
Boots of Eagerness (heroic tier), Helm of Heroes (heroic tier), Tenacious Bastard sword +4, Tactician's Forgemail +4, Healer's Brooch +4, Gloves of the Healer (paragon tier), Cord of Divine Favor (paragon tier), Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (paragon tier), Healer's Shield Light Shield (heroic tier), Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords (paragon tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Level 21:  Epic Tier

Epic Destiny:  This build wouldn't be viable without the Demigod/Chosen double stat bump.  Chosen of Selune is probably the best L26 utility for me.
Stat bump:  +2 Str/+2 Cha.  An argument could be made for +2 Int over +2 Str, but too many of my powers require me to hit for me to be comfortable with that plan. 
Feat:  Supreme Inspiration.  The reason this build has gone through contortions.  Double the healing.  Double the attack/speed bonuses.  No one should be surprised by this choice.
Feat:  Call to Glory (retrained from Weapon Focus: Heavy Blades).  Supreme Inspiration is strong enough to make this build reasonable.  Call to Glory is strong enough to make it arguably superior to a standard TacLord build in epic levels (albeit significantly worse during heroic and paragon).  I hand out so many extra attacks with high attack bonuses that this feat represents hundreds of extra hit points in prolonged battles.  The character who inspired this build once fought back-to-back level+3-4 encounters and didn't even need to pop his third Inspiring Word, largely thanks to this feat.


Level 22

Utility Power:  Quickening Order.  This is for those battles where, if you lose initiative, you are in serious trouble.  This is for literally ending battles before they start.  Still a close call with Rush of Battle.
Feat:  Martial Mastery.  This build loves its encounter powers, and this way it can double-dip the best of them.
Feat:  Robust Defenses (retrained from Tactician's Word).  A welcome boost to the NADs.  With my granted bonus up to +7 now, the extra effect from Tactician's Word is definitely diminishing returns


Level 23

Encounter Power:  Sudden Assault (replaces Warlord's Favor).  Granting extra attacks is good.  Granting extra standard actions is excellent.  Giving those standard actions a bonus?  Amazing.  (In some parties, I'll want Warlord's Favor instead of Surprise Attack as my Reserve, or Thunderous Fury over Hail of Steel.  It depends on how willing we are to spend surges for attack bonuses early in combats, whether the DM lets us do that at full HP, and exactly how the balance between attack bonuses and extra attacks is playing out.)


Level 24

Stat bumps:  Str and Int.
Feat:  Weapon Focus:  Heavy Blades.  A nice damage boost that I would like to have fit in earlier, but it's just been less important than other needs.


Level 25

Daily Power:  Warlord's Resurgance (replaces Warlord's Recovery).  Just a straight upgrade.  If the party has strong critical chances, Relentless Assault is superior here.


Level 26

Utility Power: Waxing Fortune.  A welcome if inconsistent boost to my attacks.
Feat:  Epic Will.  Can't hand out bonuses if I'm crippled by status effects, and the epic NAD feats are a strong boost to avoiding them.
Equipment:  Remember Tenacious Weapons?  Two rolls at +4 yield a higher hit chance than one roll at +6.  Level 19 weapons are relatively inexpensive, and Ruby Scabbards are dirt cheap.  As long as I don't mind a bit of cheese, I can up my hit chances on multiple powers.


Level 27

Encounter Power:  Brutal Setup (replaces Pincer Maneuver).  If I have Thunderous Fury, this replaces that instead, despite the synergy.  If I have Warlord's Favor as my Reserve, it becomes Surprise Attack.  This power is all the attack bonus granting that I need, and probably more, but it's too strong to pass up.  It turns every dazing power in the party into a temporary unlimited range Lead the Attack, and it dazes up to two enemies while it's at it.


Level 28

Stat bumps:  Str and Int.
Feat:  Epic Fortitude.  Continuing to shore up my defenses.
Equipment:  Violet Solitaires are strong for anyone, but particularly so in a group with a Warlord.  My group is no exception, and I'll be wanting these for any allies who are good at getting crits.


Level 29

Daily Power:  Perfect Front (replaces War Master's Assault).  I just advocated a pretty cheesy equipment setup to get this effect on a few attacks each encounter.  Now I can have it for a full encounter and grant it to most of my allies.  It's not extra attacks, but it's still too good to pass up.


Level 30

Feature:  Divine Miracle.  Obviously amazing.  It's worth noting that Uplifting Assault regains a use of Inspiring Word on a hit, allowing for unlimited Inspiring Words in a combat.  Probably more cute than good, and not actually worth retraining Brutal Setup.
Feat:  Epic Reflexes.  The last NAD booster.


Level 30 recap


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 30
Dragonborn, Warlord, Battle Captain, Chosen
Commanding Presence: Tactical Presence
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Strength
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Charisma
Dragon Breath Key Ability: Dragon Breath Strength
Dragon Breath Damage Type: Dragon Breath Cold

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 28, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 24, Wis 10, Cha 19.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 13.


AC: 45 Fort: 47 Reflex: 46 Will: 42
HP: 170 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 43

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +18, History +29, Athletics +26, Diplomacy +24

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +13, Arcana +22, Bluff +19, Dungeoneering +15, Heal +15, Insight +15, Intimidate +21, Nature +15, Perception +15, Religion +22, Stealth +13, Streetwise +19, Thievery +13

FEATS
Level 1: Tactical Assault
Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 4: Shield Proficiency (Heavy)
Level 6: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 8: Lend Might
Level 10: Improved Tactics (retrained to Reserve Maneuver at Level 11)
Level 11: Combat Commander
Level 12: Tactician's Word (retrained to Robust Defenses at Level 22)
Level 14: Improved Tactics
Level 16: Improved Initiative
Level 18: Saving Inspiration
Level 20: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade) (retrained to Call to Glory at Level 21)
Level 21: Supreme Inspiration
Level 22: Martial Mastery
Level 24: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 26: Epic Will
Level 28: Epic Fortitude
Level 30: Epic Reflexes

POWERS
Reserve Maneuver: Surprise Attack
Warlord at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Warlord at-will 1: Wolf Pack Tactics
Warlord encounter 1: Warlord's Favor
Warlord daily 1: Lead the Attack
Warlord utility 2: Adaptive Stratagem
Warlord encounter 3: Hammer and Anvil
Warlord daily 5: Stand the Fallen
Warlord utility 6: Dragon's Tenacity
Warlord encounter 7: Surprise Attack
Warlord daily 9: Warlord's Recovery
Warlord utility 10: Instant Planning
Warlord encounter 13: Pincer Maneuver (replaces Hammer and Anvil)
Warlord daily 15: War Master's Assault (replaces Stand the Fallen)
Warlord utility 16: Decisive Timing
Warlord encounter 17: Hail of Steel (replaces Surprise Attack)
Warlord daily 19: Victory Surge (replaces Lead the Attack)
Warlord utility 22: Quickening Order
Warlord encounter 23: Sudden Assault (replaces Warlord's Favor)
Warlord daily 25: Warlord's Resurgence (replaces Warlord's Recovery)
Warlord encounter 27: Brutal Setup (replaces Pincer Maneuver)
Warlord daily 29: Perfect Front (replaces War Master's Assault)

ITEMS
Boots of Eagerness (heroic tier), Tenacious Bastard sword +4, Cord of Divine Favor (paragon tier), Tactician's Spiritmail +6, Tenacious Bastard sword +6, Healer's Shield Heavy Shield (epic tier), Helm of Heroes (epic tier), Healer's Brooch +6, Gloves of the Healer (epic tier), Ring of Tenacous Will (epic tier), Ring of Action Reversal (paragon tier), Solitaire (Violet) (epic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


t~
Great build.  I'll definitely be adding this link to my handbook.

High Strength and good NADs at the sacrifice of 4 Int (when compared to most Taclord builds).  Honestly, when you're using heavy armor (you bridge the Int gap with the Tacticians armor too, although at the cost of another enchantment), the high Int mod at Epic can be overkill when applied to attack bonuses.  Obviously, more Int is good, but the sacrifice here is well worth it with your Inspiring Word benefits and Supreme Inspiration.  Most Taclords are generally stuck taking some Charisma powers anyway, so the Charisma investment is not a waste at all.

I like most of the build, granting out extra attacks is awesome.  Unfortuneatly, I think your feat choices are SLIGHTLY subpar, but that may just be my opinion.  I think this build would be greatly improved by adding Epic Will to your feat list (just one of the few things on my mind).
My Warlord Handbook: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/21004845/Leading_the_Attack_Warlord_Tactics My Feycharging Taclord build: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/21817401/My_Eladrin_Feycharging_Tactical_Warlord
In the new Dragon (#381) there is a Feat called Tactician's Word, which is basically half of the Battle Captains 16 feature as a paragon feat. It's untyped, so it should stack.
Great build.  I'll definitely be adding this link to my handbook.

Thanks!

High Strength and good NADs at the sacrifice of 4 Int (when compared to most Taclord builds).  Honestly, when you're using heavy armor (you bridge the Int gap with the Tacticians armor too, although at the cost of another enchantment), the high Int mod at Epic can be overkill when applied to attack bonuses.  Obviously, more Int is good, but the sacrifice here is well worth it with your Inspiring Word benefits and Supreme Inspiration.  Most Taclords are generally stuck taking some Charisma powers anyway, so the Charisma investment is not a waste at all.

I like most of the build, granting out extra attacks is awesome.  Unfortuneatly, I think your feat choices are SLIGHTLY subpar, but that may just be my opinion.  I think this build would be greatly improved by adding Epic Will to your feat list (just one of the few things on my mind).

Reasonable.  It's likely a better choice than Aggressive/Protective Leadership.  I tend to block out the existence of the Epic NAD feats, which isn't good when I'm working on a RAW CharOp build.

In the new Dragon (#381) there is a Feat called Tactician's Word, which is basically half of the Battle Captains 16 feature as a paragon feat. It's untyped, so it should stack.

I pick that feat up at level 12 and never retrain it, although it's possible it should be retrained sometime after Battle Inspiration hits.  It only applies to 1 attack, and somewhere between +6 and +12 you have definitely reached the point of diminishing returns on attack bonuses.

Speaking of retraining, it might also be a good idea to retrain Heavy Shield Proficiency to Scale Proficiency for a +3 to physical skills at the cost of +1 Reflex.  Or, it might be worth the feat to just pick up Scale Proficiency.

t~

1 AC is good for 1 feat
1 NAD > any armor check penalty
My Warlord Handbook: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/21004845/Leading_the_Attack_Warlord_Tactics My Feycharging Taclord build: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/21817401/My_Eladrin_Feycharging_Tactical_Warlord
This is the way I was planning on making my warlord, however I ended up playing a shaman instead. The only thing that differed was my feat selection; i'm a big proponent of the epic defenses, if you can spare the room.

I never understood the "max int at all costs" mentality of most taclord builds.  A '19' in charisma seems to open up a lot of doors in epic levels, and the hit to int isn't very severe.
Agree with above. In a fairly optimized party you have very diminishing returns after +6/7 to hit unless your enemies are way above your level. The +8 Int bonus to get +4 vs +3 on action points is great, but for encounter powers +8 attack is overkill so in general I think this build is well worth the tradeoff.

You should definitely check out the Warlord item set from AV2. The Helm from that set (forget what it's called, it's lv14 or 15) is pure gold and maybe worth keeping into epic. +2 attack and damage to all basic attacks you grant. Makes Hail of Steel and Pincer Maneuver (anything that grants more than one attack) turn your party into a blender.
The biggest cost to an 18 Str - 16 Int - 15 Cha setup is how tightly it constrains your other options.  You have to have a race that gives both +Str and either +Int or +Cha, which right now is Dragonborn or Genasi.  Your other stats are 11-10-8, so forget about feats and other benefits based on them.  Plus, you virtually lock in as Battle Captain (not much of a cost, admittedly).

You can open up your options if you're willing to start with a 14-15 Int or a 13-14 Cha, but those options carry a much higher relative cost to your Int mod benefits.

The Golden Crown of Battle Command is a solid item.  However, it only applies to melee basic attacks, so it won't help things like Sudden Assault or Warlord's Recovery, and it won't help ranged attacks granted through powers like Surprise Attack, War Master's Assault, and Hail of Steel.  I like the nova potential of the Helm of Heroes, but if your party has three or more other people with decent melee basics, the Golden Crown is a worthy contender.

I'd like it better if I were excited about any of the rest of the Regalia of the Golden General items, but the weapon is polearm only and I strongly believe this build wants to sword and board, the waist item is a daily power to do what the Cord of Divine Favor does as an encounter, the ring is unexciting, and the mantle is merely decent.

t~
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that tiefling is actually the best option for this build. Here are the stats:

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 26, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 26, Wis 10, Cha 19.

With the expenditure of one feat (hellfire blood) and one item slot (flaming weapon), you get to make up the -1 attack penalty from a lower strength.

Plus you get bloodhunt and infernal wrath for even more accuracy. Also, your int could hardly be considered gimped (a final int of 26).

I do agree that a bastard sword and heavy shield is probably the best bet for this build.  As much as I love glaives, I just don't think that's much of an option here.  Cry
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that tiefling is actually the best option for this build. Here are the stats:

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 26, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 26, Wis 10, Cha 19.

With the expenditure of one feat (hellfire blood) and one item slot (flaming weapon), you get to make up the -1 attack penalty from a lower strength.

Plus you get bloodhunt and infernal wrath for even more accuracy. Also, your int could hardly be considered gimped (a final int of 26).

I do agree that a bastard sword and heavy shield is probably the best bet for this build.  As much as I love glaives, I just don't think that's much of an option here. 



To get the Str 26, Int 26, Cha 19 with a tiefling, as I understand it, you start with Str 16, Int 18, Cha 15 and bump Cha rather than Int with the level 21 demigod bump.

That is one way to approach the problem (prefering Int to Str at high levels). You can, however, reach the same goal with:

Genasi:
Str 18, Int 16, Cha 15 (16/14/15 preracial)
or
Str 16, Int 18, Cha 15 (14/16/15 preracial)

This gives you the option to prefer Str to Int at either low levels (the first build). You can end up with the same epic array either by using the second stat array to begin with or by taking the first array and boosting Int rather than Str with demigod at level 21.

You can also have the same stats with Dragonborn though you don't have the option to go with higher Int than Str pre-epic. However, at level 21, you can choose to equalize Int and Str by boosting Int rather than Str to achieve the same epic stats as your tiefling.

As a mostly irrelevant sidenote, changelings can also achieve any stat array usable by tieflings.

As a highly relevant sidenote, I would argue that claims for tiefling accuracy based on hellfire blood are misleading and that hellfire blood is actually a trap. The reason for this is that flaming weapons are level 5/10/15/etc items. Therefore, a tiefling will typically be able to get a +x+1 magic weapon one level after he would be able to get the +x flaming weapon. So the tiefling really only gets the accuracy boost for 6 or 7 out of 30 levels. When you consider that, it's a lot less impressive. When you add up the costs (one feat, not stacking with other feat bonuses to damage, restricted to one specific weapon enhancement thereby denying you the opportunity to use other weapons, etc), it sounds like it is worth it if you assume that it will always amount to +1 to hit and damage vis a vis a tiefling using another weapon type. However, when you consider that about 5/6 of the time, the tiefling who didn't bother with the feat will just be using a magic weapon with a bigger plus, it looks an awful lot more like a wasted feat.
I like it muchly.  If I ever go Warlord, I think I would go with this build. 

I wonder how it compares to the Tenacious Troudabour in terms of super duper bonusy nova round goodness. 

I would be suprised if it matched the Troudabout in a nova round brawl, if for no other reason then the troudabout granting 2 extra actions from an action point. 

But it seems like it might be more leader-y on average throughout the day...

As a highly relevant sidenote, I would argue that claims for tiefling accuracy based on hellfire blood are misleading and that hellfire blood is actually a trap. The reason for this is that flaming weapons are level 5/10/15/etc items. Therefore, a tiefling will typically be able to get a +x+1 magic weapon one level after he would be able to get the +x flaming weapon. So the tiefling really only gets the accuracy boost for 6 or 7 out of 30 levels. When you consider that, it's a lot less impressive. When you add up the costs (one feat, not stacking with other feat bonuses to damage, restricted to one specific weapon enhancement thereby denying you the opportunity to use other weapons, etc), it sounds like it is worth it if you assume that it will always amount to +1 to hit and damage vis a vis a tiefling using another weapon type. However, when you consider that about 5/6 of the time, the tiefling who didn't bother with the feat will just be using a magic weapon with a bigger plus, it looks an awful lot more like a wasted feat.



That's a good point, especially since flaming is in the most expensive batch of enchants.  However, the same argument could be made about utilizing any weapon enchant over a plain ol' "magic weapon +X", so I don't think the cost is quite as bad as you make it out to be (although there certainly is a cost).

Also, I greatly favor tieflings for their flavor and racials, but that's is my personal preference.


As a highly relevant sidenote, I would argue that claims for tiefling accuracy based on hellfire blood are misleading and that hellfire blood is actually a trap. The reason for this is that flaming weapons are level 5/10/15/etc items. Therefore, a tiefling will typically be able to get a +x+1 magic weapon one level after he would be able to get the +x flaming weapon. So the tiefling really only gets the accuracy boost for 6 or 7 out of 30 levels. When you consider that, it's a lot less impressive. When you add up the costs (one feat, not stacking with other feat bonuses to damage, restricted to one specific weapon enhancement thereby denying you the opportunity to use other weapons, etc), it sounds like it is worth it if you assume that it will always amount to +1 to hit and damage vis a vis a tiefling using another weapon type. However, when you consider that about 5/6 of the time, the tiefling who didn't bother with the feat will just be using a magic weapon with a bigger plus, it looks an awful lot more like a wasted feat.



That's a good point, especially since flaming is in the most expensive batch of enchants.  However, the same argument could be made about utilizing any weapon enchant over a plain ol' "magic weapon +X", so I don't think the cost is quite as bad as you make it out to be (although there certainly is a cost).

Also, I greatly favor tieflings for their flavor and racials, but that's is my personal preference.




The argument could indeed be made against other weapon enhancements than flaming. It's why I think that 90% of the weapon enhancements published by WotC are complete garbage not worth the paper they're printed on (and half of the ones that remain are broken .

However, the argument is significantly stronger for tieflings with flaming weapons because:
1. No one thinks flaming weapons are worth their cost for anyone other than tieflings
2. Flaming weapons are being advocated for tieflings specifically because a feat can make them perform as +(X+1) magic weapons.
3. Did we mention that this costs a feat?
4. Did we mention opportunity cost?
5. Did we mention resistance to fire?

But really #2 is the reason why the comparison with +(X+1) magic weapon needs to be made explicit. A +(X+1) magic weapon does everything that people claim the +X flaming weapon does for tieflings, but does it for everyone without costing a feat and it is only one level higher. Even tieflings with hellfire blood will need to make the comparison: "I've got a +1 flaming sword and just found a +2 vicious sword--should I take it?" or "I have a +5 holy avenger and just found a +5 flaming sword--should I take it?" In neither case is the flaming weapon is an obviously superior choice.


The argument could indeed be made against other weapon enhancements than flaming. It's why I think that 90% of the weapon enhancements published by WotC are complete garbage not worth the paper they're printed on (and half of the ones that remain are broken .

However, the argument is significantly stronger for tieflings with flaming weapons because:
1. No one thinks flaming weapons are worth their cost for anyone other than tieflings
2. Flaming weapons are being advocated for tieflings specifically because a feat can make them perform as +(X+1) magic weapons.
3. Did we mention that this costs a feat?
4. Did we mention opportunity cost?
5. Did we mention resistance to fire?

But really #2 is the reason why the comparison with +(X+1) magic weapon needs to be made explicit. A +(X+1) magic weapon does everything that people claim the +X flaming weapon does for tieflings, but does it for everyone without costing a feat and it is only one level higher. Even tieflings with hellfire blood will need to make the comparison: "I've got a +1 flaming sword and just found a +2 vicious sword--should I take it?" or "I have a +5 holy avenger and just found a +5 flaming sword--should I take it?" In neither case is the flaming weapon is an obviously superior choice.



I see your point.  While applicable to warlords, your observation seems to me to be more pertinent to a tiefling fighter or ranger (or whatever).  Personally, I just want accuracy.  Also, I don't find this build feat starved particularly, so no big loss there.

Anyways here is the build of I was thinking of.  When compared to the OP, I can tell I'm much more defense-oriented (as evident by the higher NADs and item selection), but I have to pay for it in other areas.  This is assuming a party doesn't optimize crits.  If the party does, I'd replace Precision Stance with Relentless Assault and Stand Invincible with Perfect Front.  The items are a mess; I haven't really been able to keep up with all the item choices.

level 30
Tiefling, Warlord, Battle Captain, Demigod
Build: Tactical Warlord
Commanding Presence: Tactical Presence
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Strength
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Charisma
Background: Occupation - Military (+2 to Endurance)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 26, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 26, Wis 10, Cha 19.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 13.


AC: 45 Fort: 48 Reflex: 47 Will: 44
HP: 170 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 42

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +20, Intimidate +24, Athletics +25, Diplomacy +24

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +13, Arcana +23, Bluff +21, Dungeoneering +15, Heal +15, History +23, Insight +15, Nature +15, Perception +15, Religion +23, Stealth +15, Streetwise +19, Thievery +13

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 2: Shield Proficiency (Heavy)
Level 4: Tactical Assault
Level 6: Lend Might
Level 8: Improved Tactics
Level 10: Hellfire Blood
Level 11: Combat Commander
Level 12: Fleet-Footed
Level 14: Saving Inspiration
Level 16: Great Fortitude (retrained to Epic Fortitude at Level 21)
Level 18: Lightning Reflexes (retrained to Epic Reflexes at Level 22)
Level 20: Iron Will (retrained to Epic Will at Level 23)
Level 21: Supreme Inspiration
Level 22: Call to Glory
Level 24: Robust Defenses
Level 26: Irresistible Flame
Level 28: Protective Leadership
Level 30: Aggressive Leadership

POWERS
Warlord at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Warlord at-will 1: Wolf Pack Tactics
Warlord encounter 1: Warlord's Favor
Warlord daily 1: Lead the Attack
Warlord utility 2: Knight's Move
Warlord encounter 3: Hammer and Anvil
Warlord daily 5: Stand the Fallen
Warlord utility 6: Tactical Supervision
Warlord encounter 7: Surprise Attack
Warlord daily 9: Warlord's Recovery
Warlord utility 10: Defensive Rally
Warlord encounter 13: Beat Them Into the Ground (replaces Hammer and Anvil)
Warlord daily 15: Anticipate Attack (replaces Stand the Fallen)
Warlord utility 16: Warlord's Banner
Warlord encounter 17: Thunderous Fury (replaces Warlord's Favor)
Warlord daily 19: Victory Surge (replaces Warlord's Recovery)
Warlord utility 22: Quickening Order
Warlord encounter 23: Sudden Assault (replaces Surprise Attack)
Warlord daily 25: Precision Stance (replaces Anticipate Attack)
Warlord encounter 27: Brutal Setup (replaces Beat Them Into the Ground)
Warlord daily 29: Stand Invincible (replaces Lead the Attack)

ITEMS
Flaming Longsword +6, Tactician's Spiritmail +6, Healer's Shield Heavy Shield (paragon tier), Diamond Cincture (paragon tier), Boots of Speed (epic tier), Bracers of Escape (paragon tier), Ring of Tenacous Will (epic tier), Mantle of the Golden General +6, Golden Crown of Battle Command (paragon tier), Ring of the Phoenix (epic tier), Gloves of the Healer (paragon tier)


Feat:  Supreme Inspiration.  The reason this build has gone through contortions.  Double the healing.  Double the attack/speed bonuses.  No one should be surprised by this choice.

Looks like a great build!
I currently have a TacLord with rolled stats who will get Call to Glory at Epic and could take Supreme Inspiration if I take charisma as my Demigod/Chosen bonus.
Unfortunately, I'm not completely convinced (and I should to convince my DM) that Supreme Inspiration actually doubles the bonuses from Battle Captain.


Supreme Inspiration

Epic Tier
Prerequisite: 21st level, Cha 19, warlord
Benefit: Whenever you use inspiring word, you can heal two targets instead of one (either two allies or one ally and yourself ).

As far as I read the feat, it doubles only the healing, not any additional effects. If it would say "you can affect two targets", the case would be clear, but the way it is worded I'm not completely sure.
Do you have a ruling from CS on this issue?
I can see where you're coming from here, and you had me wondering for a second.  However, if you want to read the fine lines on Supreme Inspiration, you should at least glance at Battle Inspiration (level 16 Battle Captain feature).  It specifically targets "allies you heal" when you use Inspiring Word.

This combination definitely works.
My Warlord Handbook: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/21004845/Leading_the_Attack_Warlord_Tactics My Feycharging Taclord build: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/21817401/My_Eladrin_Feycharging_Tactical_Warlord
I like it muchly.  If I ever go Warlord, I think I would go with this build. 

I wonder how it compares to the Tenacious Troudabour in terms of super duper bonusy nova round goodness. 

I would be suprised if it matched the Troudabout in a nova round brawl, if for no other reason then the troudabout granting 2 extra actions from an action point. 

But it seems like it might be more leader-y on average throughout the day...

I'm not familiar with the Troubadour, but this build is definitely built around encounter-level novas as opposed to daily-level novas.  You pretty much set up to have every fight go basically the same way:  your controller wins initiative and cripples half of the enemy (possibly with an action point), then you grant an attack bonus to the striker and give them an extra attack (readying an action if you have to wait for them to move into position), then the striker can drop an encounter-level nova with attack and damage boosts which cripples or kills the enemy you focused on.  Rest of the party does useful stuff, rinse and repeat over the next couple of rounds.

Of course, in some fights it will be better to have a striker or defender win initiative, or to be giving the boosts to a defender or controller.  Decisive Timing is the key to always making those things happen the way you want them to.

Anyway, reformatted with stat blocks and tweaked epic feat selection to fit in the Epic NAD feats.

t~
Somebody please update this one-man-army with MP2 and other fresh warlord stuff
I'll try to get a full update when I have time, but off the top of my head, the only thing that stands out as a mandatory addition is Fight On.  Tactician's Word should be acquired at level 11, Fight On at level 12.  Reserve Maneuver can replace Weapon Proficiency for a while.  Improved Tactics is probably the best feat to eventually lose from the build for an epic NAD feat.

I think initiative is important enough to make Combat Commander worth the loss of Armored Warlord.  That said, Battlefront Leader + Armored Warlord would let me start with a heavy shield and upgrade to scale, which I never find room for in the current build.  I'd also gain a feat at paragon since Improved Battlefront Shift is probably not worth the feat in this build.  Again, I prefer the initiative boost, but there are definite advantages to the other approach.

I don't remember any of the new powers jumping out at me for this build when I flipped through them, but I'll definitely take another look when I have a chance.

As far as race and ability scores, it occurs to me that a Genasi could start with Str 18, Int 18, Cha 13 for a standard Int bonus during heroic tier.  Both paragon stat bumps would become Str/Cha.  This might be the best choice for playing the character from 1 through epic.

t~