Saturday Night Sorcerer (Level 21): Rogue|Sorcerer/Arena Champion, Energy Strobing the night away.

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The following epic-level melee rogue|sorcerer build is intended to make optimal use of the Energy Strobe sorcerer at-will power from page 43 of Dragon Magazine #381. This, of course, can be substituted with Acid Orb without that great a loss, but Energy Strobe establishes the theme of the build much more appropriately. Before anything else, I must state that this is a highly, highly impractical build for a game starting below level 21. Half of this build hinges upon a certain level 16 paragon path feature, and the item-intensivity of the character (Jagged Dagger, Staff of Ruin, Siberys Shard of the Mage, Eagle Eye Goggles, Shadowdance Armor, etc.) makes it such that only at level 21 shall the recommended equipment loadout of the character be viable. For a sub-level 21 character, you would do well to remain with a traditional rogue|sorcerer/Daggermaster or a Storm Magic or Wild Magic sorcerer/rogue/Daggermaster. In fact, I do not even believe that this build is that much better than such an arcane Daggermaster. That said, in the event that you find yourself about to join a game starting at level 21, you could test out this build to deviate from the de facto standard of Academy Masters, Daggermasters, and Demonsoul Adepts for Dexterity/Charisma-based sorcerers.

The Seize Opening level 16 feature of the Arena Champion paragon path allows you to perform a basic attack as a free action whenever you successfully use Bluff to gain combat advantage in combat. Enter the Changeling Trick racial encounter power, the Battle Feint level 2 encounter utility power, and the Daring Performer heroic arena style feat. The former two each allow you to Bluff as a minor action in combat once per encounter, and the latter integrates a Bluff into your Deft Strike at-will power once per encounter. With a high enough Bluff bonus, this effectively translates into three free Energy Strobes each encounter. Thanks to Shadowdance Armor, these Energy Strobes do not provoke opportunity attacks. Since you happen to be a Dexterity/Charisma-based character who is trained in Acrobatics, Bluff, and Diplomacy, who uses options with names such as "Daring Performer" and "Shadowdance", who brings down prismatic lights onto the battlefield; and who is the champion of some form of "arena" that does not necessarily have to be a fighting pit, and moreover, since the Bluff skill description does not actually spell out how you use Bluff to gain combat advantage, why not declare your usage of Bluff to be the channeling of Saturday Night Fever?

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The other aspects of this build supplement the use of Energy Strobe even further. A Backlash Tattoo offers you a fourth free Energy Strobe each encounter, and your two-implement setup provides you with a massive damage bonus for your sorcerer powers. Three of your encounter attack powers are non-standard action encounter powers that allow you to inflict a decent chunk of damage and then continue on with the Energy Strobing with your standard actions, and your fourth encounter attack power is an Energy Strobe that weakens. Your daily attack powers follow suit, with two of them being immediate interrupts, one of them being an Energy Strobe that inflicts additional damage and a defense penalty, and the fourth being the almighty Prismatic Explosion, which I felt was too potent to forgo.

Your durability is not particularly lofty, though you can deflect one or two attacks each encounter thanks to Sudden Scales and Spirit's Eclipse. Dominant Winds is an at-will, move action utility that vastly, vastly increases the mobility of you and your party. Use it to fly 8 squares with a move action and then land safely, or perhaps offer the movement to an ally in a Knight's Move-esque manner. You also have two 1d6+6 damage Assassin's Shrouds each encounter for increasing your damage output just a bit. Speaking of which, as a rogue|sorcerer/assassin, you should have six trained skills to cover your out-of-combat needs, not to mention your respectably high Bluff bonus.

The battle tactics of this build are fairly straightforward. Establish adjacency with an enemy of your choice and then unleash a barrage of Energy Strobes, Bluffing the night away. Expend your non-standard action encounter powers as swiftly as possible, adding in a daily power should you deem it necessary, to bring the target down with great efficiency. Once all of these powers have been used, withdraw and then fall back on Energy Strobe potshots from afar, having been reduced to conventional Dexterity/Charisma sorcerer tactics.

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Level: 21
Race: Changeling, Eberron Player's Guide, pages 28-29
Class: Rogue|Sorcerer, Dragon Magazine #375, pages 98 and 100
Paragon Path: Arena Champion, Dragon Magazine #368, page 63
Epic Destiny: Demigod, Player's Handbook, pages 174-175
Background: Anything with a +2 bonus to Bluff checks

Ability Scores:

Level 1: Strength 8, Constitution 12, Dexterity 16+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 16+2
Level 4: Strength 8, Constitution 12, Dexterity 17+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 17+2
Level 8: Strength 8, Constitution 12, Dexterity 18+2, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 18+2
Level 11: Strength 9, Constitution 13, Dexterity 19+2, Intelligence 11, Wisdom 13, Charisma 19+2
Level 14: Strength 9, Constitution 13, Dexterity 20+2, Intelligence 11, Wisdom 13, Charisma 20+2
Level 18: Strength 9, Constitution 13, Dexterity 21+2, Intelligence 11, Wisdom 13, Charisma 21+2
Level 21: Strength 10, Constitution 14, Dexterity 22+2+2, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 14, Charisma 22+2+2


Feats:

Level 1: Armor Proficiency (Leather), Player's Handbook, page 193
Level 2: Hybrid Talent (Rogue Weapon Talent), Dragon Magazine #375, page 88
Level 4: Focused Expertise (Dagger), Dragon Magazine #375, page 24
Level 6: Weapon Focus (Light Blades), Player's Handbook, page 201
Level 8: Dual Implement Spellcaster, Arcane Power, page 125
Level 10: Daring Performer, Dragon Magazine #368, page 60
Level 11: Backstabber, Player's Handbook, page 194
Level 12: Paragon Defenses, Player's Handbook 2, page 191
Level 14: Toughness, Player's Handbook, page 201
Level 16: Shadow Initiate, Dragon Magazine #382, More Toys for Assassins
Level 16 (replaces Paragon Defenses): Skill Focus (Bluff), Player's Handbook, page 201
Level 18: Paragon Defenses, Player's Handbook 2, page 191
Level 20: Melee Training (Dexterity), Player's Handbook 2, page 187
Level 21: Epic Fortitude, Player's Handbook 2, page 194
Level 21 (replaces Paragon Defenses): Robust Defenses, Player's Handbook 2, page 194


At-Will Attack Powers:

Level 1: Deft Strike, Player's Handbook, page 118
Level 1: Energy Strobe, Dragon Magazine #381, page 43


Encounter Attack Powers:

Level 1: Bedeviling Burst, Player's Handbook 2, page 139
Level 3: Low Slash, Martial Power, page 76
Level 7: Darting Strike, Dragon Magazine #381, page 80
Level 11: Taxing Strike, Dragon Magazine #368, page 63
Level 13 (replaces Bedeviling Burst): Spark Form, Arcane Power, page 32
Level 17 (replaces Spark Form): Poisonous Evasion, Player's Handbook 2, page 145


Daily Attack Powers:

Level 1: Grounding Rebuke, Dragon Magazine #375, page 21
Level 5: Surefooted Retort, Martial Power, page 76
Level 9: Slaad's Gambit, Arcane Power, page 31
Level 15 (replaces Surefooted Retort): Bold Feint, Martial Power, page 81
Level 19 (replaces Grounding Rebuke): Prismatic Explosion, Player's Handbook 2, page 145
Level 20: Bloodletting Strike, Dragon Magazine #368, page 53


Utility Powers:

Level 2: Battle Feint, Dragon Magazine #379, page 8
Level 6: Sudden Scales, Player's Handbook 2, page 141
Level 10: Spirit's Eclipse, Arcane Power, page 34
Level 12: Hidden Reserves, Dragon Magazine #368, page 63
Level 16: Dominant Winds, Arcane Power, page 36


Equipment:

Main Hand: Jagged Dagger +5 (Level 22, Free), Adventurer's Vault, page 71
Main Shard: Siberys Shard of the Mage +3 (Level 13, 17,000 gp), Eberron Player's Guide, page 112
Off-Hand: Staff of Ruin +4 (Level 18, 85,000 gp), Adventurer's Vault, page 106
Armor: Shadowdance Feyleather +4 (Level 20, Free), Seekers of the Ashen Crown, Adventure Book One, page 26
Neck: Amulet of Protection +5 (Level 21, Free), Player's Handbook, page 249
Arms: Iron Armbands of Power +2 (Level 6, 1,800 gp), Adventurer's Vault, page 117
Feet: Acrobat Boots (Level 2, 520 gp), Player's Handbook, page 246
Hands: Feinting Gloves (Level 7, 2,600 gp), Adventurer's Vault 2, page 58
Head: Paragon-Tier Eagle Eye Goggles (Level 12, 13,000 gp), Adventurer's Vault, page 140
Waist: Viper Belt (Level 4, 840 gp), Adventurer's Vault, page 167
Wondrous: Backlash Tattoo (Level 9, 4,200 gp), Adventurer's Vault 2, page 84
Loose Change: 40 gp


Derived Statistics

Initiative: +18 (10 half level + 8 Dexterity modifier)
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal
Passive Insight: 24 (10 base + 10 half level + 2 Wisdom modifier + 2 racial)
Passive Perception: 22 (10 base + 10 half level + 2 Wisdom modifier)
Trained Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff (+2 racial), Diplomacy, Intimidate, Stealth, Thievery
Languages: Common
Special (Acrobat Boots): You can stand up from prone as a minor action.

Hit Points: 141 (112 sorcerer|rogue + 14 Constitution score + 15 Toughness)
Bloodied: 70
Healing Surge Value: 35
Healing Surges per Day: 8 (6 sorcerer|rogue + 2 Constitution modifier)
Special (Backlash Tattoo): The first time you're bloodied during an encounter, you can make a basic attack as an immediate reaction.

AC: 35 (10 base + 10 half level + 4 enhancement + 8 Dexterity modifier + 3 feyleather)
Fortitude: 33 (10 base + 10 half level + 5 enhancement + 2 Constitution modifier + 6 feats)
Reflex: 36 (10 base + 10 half level + 5 enhancement + 8 Dexterity modifier + 2 feats + 1 class)
Will: 36 (10 base + 10 half level + 5 enhancement + 8 Dexterity modifier + 2 feats + 1 class)
Special (Shadowdance Feyleather +4): Your area and ranged attacks don't provoke opportunity attacks.

Attack Bonus (Implement): +26 (10 half level + 5 enhancement + 8 Dexterity modifier + 2 Weapon Expertise + 1 Rogue Weapon Talent)
Attack Bonus (Energy Strobe): +28 (10 half level + 5 enhancement + 8 Charisma modifier + 2 Weapon Expertise + 1 Rogue Weapon Talent + 2 Eagle Eye Goggles)
Attack Bonus (Weapon): +29 (10 half level + 5 enhancement + 8 Dexterity modifier + 2 Weapon Expertise + 1 Rogue Weapon Talent + 3 proficiency)
Damage Bonus (Implement): +35 (5 enhancement + 8 Charisma modifier + 3 Weapon Focus + 8 Dexterity modifier + 3 Siberys Shard of the Mage + 4 Dual Implement Spellcaster + 4 Staff of Ruin)
Damage Bonus (Energy Strobe): +35 (5 enhancement + 8 Charisma modifier + 3 Weapon Focus + 8 Dexterity modifier + 3 Siberys Shard of the Mage + 4 Dual Implement Spellcaster + 4 Staff of Ruin)
Damage Bonus (Weapon): +18 (5 enhancement + 8 Dexterity modifier + 3 Weapon Focus + 2 Iron Armbands of Power)
Critical Extra Damage: Ongoing 20 damage, critical hits on a 19-20 (Jagged Dagger +5)
Bluff Bonus to Gain CA: +32 (10 half level + 8 Charisma modifier + 5 training + 2 racial + 2 background + 3 Skill Focus + 2 Feinting Gloves)
Special (Sneak Attack, Backstabber): Once per round, when you hit an enemy you have combat advantage against with a rogue power (Low Slash, Darting Strike), the attack deals an additional +5d8 damage.


That paragon path requires training in at least one arena fighting feat, which would you suggest for the build?
Edit: nevermind, you have daring performer later
Daring Performer is the Arena feat being used, but it seems like it's being taken too late to qualify for the Arena Champion PP.  So it just has to be moved up to 10.
Ad, I love this build.  Very creative, fun, and a strong touch of power as well.  Well done.
Daring Performer is the Arena feat being used, but it seems like it's being taken too late to qualify for the Arena Champion PP.  So it just has to be moved up to 10.


IIRC you can delay taking a PP for as long as you want -- which is usually not a preferable option. Since the build is only efficient at 21 and above, it wouldn't lose anything, though.
I don't think you can use Implement attacks with Taxing Strike... I honestly have no idea how that would work. It CLEARLY has the Weapon Keyword, so it's possible that instead of the Implement Keyword you'd have the Weapon one... /boggle

Also, I think the level 16 feature means you have to DIRECTLY use Bluff, the skill itself, to get combat advantage... not just anything that involves a skill check. But I am not sure o.O Weird.
I don't think you can use Implement attacks with Taxing Strike... I honestly have no idea how that would work. It CLEARLY has the Weapon Keyword, so it's possible that instead of the Implement Keyword you'd have the Weapon one... /boggle



I believe the dagger would be used as a thrown weapon.  It is a Rogue|Sorcerer build with plenty of Dex.