The Alchemical Tempest Fighter

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Hey all.  Long time lurker, fist time poster, yadda yadda.  Anyway, I've been messing around with a build for a Tempest Fighter that might be interesting to people.  It shows a way to create a tempest fighter built on a pure Strength / Intelligence path that can give you some tactical options and can help in a small controlling capacity.  I've built the character with the standard rules, though there are some other items you may want to get quickly.  I've got the core items set up in this build as though I created the character at Level 10 and played it for a level to level 11.


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Smart Tempest, level 11
Genasi, Fighter, Alchemist Savant
Build: Tempest Fighter
Fighter Talents: Tempest Technique
Elemental Manifestation: Earthsoul
Earthshock: Earthshock Strength

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 21, Con 13, Dex 13, Int 21, Wis 11, Cha 9.

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


AC: 25 Fort: 26 Reflex: 23 Will: 17
HP: 88 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 22

TRAINED SKILLS
Heal +10, Endurance +13, Athletics +15, Thievery +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +6, Arcana +10, Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +5, History +10, Insight +5, Intimidate +4, Nature +7, Perception +5, Religion +10, Stealth +6, Streetwise +4

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Whip) (retrained to Whip Training at Level 11)
Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Flail)
Level 4: Weapon Focus (Flail)
Level 6: Deva Heritage
Level 8: Earthshock Master
Level 10: Skill Training (Thievery)
Level 11: Mark of Making

POWERS
Fighter at-will 1: Footwork Lure
Fighter at-will 1: Dual Strike
Fighter encounter 1: Steel Serpent Strike
Fighter daily 1: Lasting Threat
Fighter utility 2: Pass Forward (retrained to Fast Hands at Level 10)
Fighter encounter 3: Sweeping Blow
Fighter daily 5: Dancing Defense
Fighter utility 6: Agile Approach
Fighter encounter 7: Come and Get It
Fighter daily 9: Bloodspike Sweep
Fighter utility 10: Disruptive Stunt

ITEMS
Staggering Whip +1, Diamond Cincture (heroic tier), Alchemy Gloves (heroic tier), Deep-Pocket Cloak +2, Battle Harness Leather Armor +2, Dynamic Whip +3
FORMULAS
Jolt Flask, Clockwork Bomb
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

How it works:

You are not a damage dealer in your party, not in any serious capacity.  You've got some nice alright static mods, but you're using a 1d4 weapon, so you should put away any illusions of doing major damage right now.  The build takes awhile to shine, as you're building towards the Whip Fighter retrain at level 11, because that is when you get the +1 to Dex to get it to the required 13.

Skill Training Thievery is required to gain the powers Fast Hands and Disruptive Stunt.  Fast Hands gives you extra item drawing power while Disruptive Stunt helps you be more mobile and give attack penalties.  When you combine this with attack penalties from your whips at level 11, you can start making life very difficult for your enemies.  It's also even less incentive for them to provoke your Combat Challenge or Opportunity Attacks because you've got those whips waiting for them right there with their penalties to attack.

Most of the powers center around bursts and pulling the enemy towards you.  Come and Get It is essential to this build.  You follow that up with an Earthshock, Bloodspike Sweep, or Sweeping Blow and you're making groups of enemies miserable.  Lasting Threat helps you out with Solos while Dancing Defense and Astral Splendor (aka Deva Heritage) can crank your defenses or grant extra attacks.  Agile Approach and Disruptive Strike are nice movement options.

The Staggering Whip helps you out with bumping your slide distance.  Add that in with Footwork Lure and the reach property of the whip and you can now start puling enemies wherever you like.  This build only has a +1 Staggering Whip.  You'll want to get that better soon.  Dual Strike for a Tempest Fighter is the other obvious choice.

Your gear selection is essential to making this work.  The Battle Harness is the core piece of equipment.  With it's free weapon drawing property combined with the Fast Hands power and the Deep-Pocket Cloak's ability to put an item away, this sets the stage for using Alchemical Items to devestating effect.  You can now put a whip away with Deep-Pocket Cloak, freely draw out an alchemical item, and attack with it.  Alchemy Gloves give you a +2 to it and grant you a bonus to healing surge values in conjunction with the Deep-Pocket Cloak's item set bonus.

Now, alchemical items have low to-hits, but the Alchemical Savant paragon path gives you a very nice bonus to hit based off your Int mods.  The turn could then look something like this:

Standard: Burst Power for mass marking (Come and Get It being the ideal)
Minor: Prone your new buddies with Earthshock Master
Free Action: Put your whip away (Deep-Pocket Cloak).
Free Action: Draw out an alchemical item (Jolt Flask)
Action Point: Launch Jolt Flask at prone, marked enemies.  Gain a bonus from Alchemical Savant paragon path + alchemy gloves.
Free Action: (Optional) Draw another alchemical item.
Minor (downgraded from Move): Use Level 11 Encounter from Alchemical Savant to attack either those enemies or another bunch with it.
Free Action: Draw your whip.

Result: A bunch of dazed + prone + marked + -2 to hit from whip enemies.

Other gear you might want with this build includes Iron Armbands of Power, a better secondary whip, a level 13 Desiccating Whip or Withering Whip to reduce enemy defenses, and Gadeteer's Goggles to improve your Gadgeteer's Garb bonuses.

Feel free to leave suggestions, thoughts, etc....
You should really try picking up Alchemical Opportunist ASAP, in my opinion.  It really fits the theme of the build.  For more high-mobility defending, maybe pick up dual manifestation: causticsoul.  Shift 3 squares (including through enemy spaces) and make an attack against all of them.  With a feat, it can be shift 6 squares (7 if you also take fleet-footed).  Personally, I've always thought that genasi alchemists ought to have multiple manifestations.  The Elemental Tempest paragon path works well if you take this option.

Free Action: Draw out an alchemical item (Jolt Flask)
Action Point: Launch Jolt Flask at prone, marked enemies.  Gain a bonus from Alchemical Savant paragon path + prone + alchemy gloves.


Minor quibble.  The prone condition only grants CA to melee attacks.  The Jolt Flask makes an Area attack.  No penalty though.
You should really try picking up Alchemical Opportunist ASAP, in my opinion.  It really fits the theme of the build.  For more high-mobility defending, maybe pick up dual manifestation: causticsoul.  Shift 3 squares (including through enemy spaces) and make an attack against all of them.  With a feat, it can be shift 6 squares (7 if you also take fleet-footed).  Personally, I've always thought that genasi alchemists ought to have multiple manifestations.  The Elemental Tempest paragon path works well if you take this option.



Alchemical Opportunist is on the list to eventually get for sure, though I'm not sure when it'll be possible to grab.  It's a feat heavy build, and honestly I'm just as happy hitting with a whip on my OAs as I am with Alchemical items.  I'm not sure I could fit in three more feats for the causticsoul shifting, honestly.  You could take out Deva Heritage, but I'm not sure if there are other spots you can free up feats in this build and you lose some defensive options there.

The Elemental Tempest paragon path doesn't work for this build because you need the Alchemical Savant paragon path to make the alchemical items really shine in this build.  A to-hit bonus at level 16 plus free formulas and the action point bonus are all features of the paragon path. 


Free Action: Draw out an alchemical item (Jolt Flask)
Action Point: Launch Jolt Flask at prone, marked enemies.  Gain a bonus from Alchemical Savant paragon path + prone + alchemy gloves.


Minor quibble.  The prone condition only grants CA to melee attacks.  The Jolt Flask makes an Area attack.  No penalty though.



Good point, didn't catch that at first.  Thanks!
I'm failing to see how this build uses alchemical items for "devastating effect". In fact I am not aware of any alchemical items printed that can have a "devastating effect" and would rank nearly all of them as a money sink. Thus, I'm wondering how this build significantly improves alchemy usage.
You should really try picking up Alchemical Opportunist ASAP, in my opinion. It really fits the theme of the build. For more high-mobility defending, maybe pick up dual manifestation: causticsoul. Shift 3 squares (including through enemy spaces) and make an attack against all of them. With a feat, it can be shift 6 squares (7 if you also take fleet-footed). Personally, I've always thought that genasi alchemists ought to have multiple manifestations. The Elemental Tempest paragon path works well if you take this option.



Alchemical Opportunist is on the list to eventually get for sure, though I'm not sure when it'll be possible to grab. It's a feat heavy build, and honestly I'm just as happy hitting with a whip on my OAs as I am with Alchemical items. I'm not sure I could fit in three more feats for the causticsoul shifting, honestly. You could take out Deva Heritage, but I'm not sure if there are other spots you can free up feats in this build and you lose some defensive options there.

The Elemental Tempest paragon path doesn't work for this build because you need the Alchemical Savant paragon path to make the alchemical items really shine in this build. A to-hit bonus at level 16 plus free formulas and the action point bonus are all features of the paragon path.


Free Action: Draw out an alchemical item (Jolt Flask)
Action Point: Launch Jolt Flask at prone, marked enemies. Gain a bonus from Alchemical Savant paragon path + prone + alchemy gloves.


Minor quibble. The prone condition only grants CA to melee attacks. The Jolt Flask makes an Area attack. No penalty though.



Good point, didn't catch that at first. Thanks!




Too bad it's so feat-heavy - but yeah, I'd personally trade out deva heritage if you did want causticsoul.  Among other things, it just doesn't work well fluff-wise (though a good backstory could of course make an exception).  Deva heritage implies something holy.  Causticsoul is a corrupted genasi - abyssal heritage and angelic heritage don't work too well together.  Personally, I'd say the caustic surge racial power works well with your plan for controller-style defending: attacking multiple targets -> multiple marks.

I suppose Alchemist Savant is needed - too bad you can't get a little of both...

Have you considered blinding bombs as an alchemical item?  It's my favorite, especially for avengers - it really plays up the "holy ninja" feel.
One way you can free up a feat is by taking one of the backgrounds that allow Thievery as a class feat. 


Too bad it's so feat-heavy - but yeah, I'd personally trade out deva heritage if you did want causticsoul.  Among other things, it just doesn't work well fluff-wise (though a good backstory could of course make an exception).  Deva heritage implies something holy.  Causticsoul is a corrupted genasi - abyssal heritage and angelic heritage don't work too well together.  Personally, I'd say the caustic surge racial power works well with your plan for controller-style defending: attacking multiple targets -> multiple marks.

I suppose Alchemist Savant is needed - too bad you can't get a little of both...

Have you considered blinding bombs as an alchemical item?  It's my favorite, especially for avengers - it really plays up the "holy ninja" feel.



Sorry for the delayed replies.  Holidays and all do that.

Blinding Bomb is something I'll probably use, yeah.  I just picked Jolt Flask for it's dazing effect.  There's a list of items I'd like to be able to make that could prove useful.

I'm not sure if Causticsoul Acid Surge works better than the Earthsoul Earthshock.  The former is a shift six and gain resist 10 acid while Earthsoul is a reliable burst 1 effect.  Causticsoul seems to work better if I don't do the Earthshock Master cheese of tying it to a bad attribute and failing it repeatedly for easy marking.  However, Foul Torrent isn't available until Level 11 (Paragon Level).  Not a big deal, just requires some feat shuffling.  Going to have to play with the builder for a little bit.

One way you can free up a feat is by taking one of the backgrounds that allow Thievery as a class feat. 



Yeah, that is an option for the build.  Our DM doesn't allow those (we agreed as a group not to take them when we started), so I didn't include it.
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