Versatile Duelist Half-orc Brutal Scoundrel Rogue/Shadow Assassin/Demigod 1-30

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Mission: To create a versatile duelist Brutal Scoundrel Rogue who consistently does good damage throughout an encounter. I will try to make more iconic choices as best I can, so this build can be used to help alongside the rogue handbook. I will build it as a "played" character, trying to make meaningful choices for every level, with maybe a little consideration for a couple levels ahead. This is not a build trying to achieve highest at-will DPR, or biggest nova. It does try for most possible damage during an encounter, with some consideration for a daily nova to turn the most difficult encounter of the day into something more manageable, with good reliability.

I will give DPR values at certain levels for the sake of comparison. But about novas, what's more important to be aware of during play, is how much average damage you do on a hit. This is all about conserving resources. If you know a monster has 80 hit points left, and you know that your nova does 90 DPR, you might be tempted to go for the nova, which is a good move. But if your nova actually does 120 points of damage on a hit, then you are potentially wasting some resources, and might be able to do the job with a more conservative nova. And similarly, if a monster has 200 hit points, and you know you won't be taking it out with a nova, then again, some resources are better saved to turn a less productive turn down the road into something more appreciable.

As any good striker, you should be keeping track of how much damage a monster has taken, and when they get bloodied, so you know which tools are right for the job. Especially watch your controller, to see what they have softened up.

The build turned out a little less defensive than I would have preferred for a real game, but a few good item selections cover that up, and being half-orc helps a bit as well. And there's hoping we have a defender and a leader in the party.

Which brings up another point, the build does assume operating in a reasonably balanced party of 5. So there is some attention to self sufficient combat advantage, but not a lot, because a good party will always support their rogue.

For items, it becomes too complex to optimize for each level, so I assumed I would get 1 item from my wish list about every 4 levels out of 5 (which is in line with DMG recommendation). And every 5th level or so I'll have enough coin to buy 1 item of my level, and something small from just cash and selling of older magic items.

And a final note, if and when frost cheese gets nerfed, I'll revisit this build and hopefully give it some more interesting options, until then, it's really difficult to build a striker without it (though you will see I did skip one element of frost cheese).

Without further ado...

Level 1
Quick discussion about some of the choices here:

Str 18 Con 12 Dex 18 Int 8 Wis 12 Cha 10

Considering Dexterity and Strength primary. Strength will also help us with basic attacks down the road. The extra healing surge from constitution can often be the difference between stopping for an extended rest and continuing the adventure. And Wisdom will be important for perception and some future considerations. At every opportunity we will increase Strength and Dexterity.

Background is Windrise Ports. There is no immediate benefit to it at level 1, other than an extra Language. But keeping options open is always good. Since this is not something that can be retrained, you probably don't want to lose out on it.

Feat - Versatile Duelist: From level 1, we want to focus on the big [W]. With Furious Assault this seems suitable. So we're starting with Versatile Duelist and a Longsword, and will upgrade to bastard sword at first opportunity. You will be using your versatile weapon two-handed for the +1 damage bonus.

At-Will 1 - Riposte Strike: When we don't have combat advantage, or have a target that attacks everything around it, this is the go to power.

At-Will 1 - Piercing Strike: Accuracy is good. For now.

I left Deft Strike out because I will mostly focus on melee, and I can't think of many situations where I'd be able to attack with deft strike, but not with charge. And for this build, charging is better than deft strike, since you at the very least get +1 to hit, and at the most can even get +2 movement.

Encounter 1 - Torturous Strike: 2d8+2d6+13 can compete with Avalanche Strike, and will quickly surpass it as we upgrade our weapon and sneak attack dice.

Daily 1 - Handspring Assault: Mobile, multiple [W], reliable power. There are better powers, but this one gives us a good flexible nova option, allowing us to charge a target, shift to its flank, then action point for Torturous Strike. Add Furious Assault for a bit of extra punch.


Level 1 Snap Shot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 1
Half-Orc, Rogue
Build: Brawny Rogue
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 18, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.

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


AC: 16 Fort: 14 Reflex: 16 Will: 11
HP: 24 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +9, Thievery +9, Intimidate +7, Perception +6, Acrobatics +9, Athletics +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana -1, Bluff, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +3, Heal +1, History -1, Insight +1, Nature +1, Religion -1, Streetwise

FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Duelist

POWERS
Rogue at-will 1: Riposte Strike
Rogue at-will 1: Piercing Strike
Rogue encounter 1: Torturous Strike
Rogue daily 1: Handspring Assault

ITEMS
Leather Armor, Dagger (5), Longsword, Hand Crossbow, Bolts (20), Thieves' Tools, Adventurer's Kit
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Tricks:
Handspring Assault to get in position for an action point Torturous Strike sneak attack is probably the best trick you've got at this early stage. You shouldn't feel like you have to charge though, just because you can, any time you have combat advantage, you can just do the 1-2 punch. If you can charge with combat advantage (into a flank or against a dazed target) all the better.

At-Will DPR:
Piercing Strike: +9 vs Reflex, 1d8+2d6+9
DPR = 0.8*20.5 + 0.05*29 = 17.85

Nova DPR:
Handspring Assault (w/Charge + CA): +10 vs AC, 3d8+5
Torturous Strike (w/CA): +9 vs AC, 2d8+9
Furious Assault: +1d8
Sneak attack +2d6+4
DPR = (0.75*34+0.05*53) + (0.8*(0.7*18+0.05*25)+0.2*(0.7*33.5+0.05*49)) = 44.41
(This is the first, and last level I'm calculating nova DPR. This value is pretty meaningless for us, and gets exceedingly difficult to calculate. All we need to know is how much damage we do if we can make the nova work. In this case, the answer to that question is, about 52 points of damage.


Level 2
Feat - Weapon Proficiency Bastard Sword

Utility 2 - Adaptable Flanker

Item (Level 3) - Subtle Bastard Sword +1


Level 3
Encounter 3 - Low Slash: I'm not retraining this power. Ever.

Item (Level 4) - Lucky Charm +1: Turning a near miss into a hit can be the difference between 0 and 30 points of damage.


Level 4
Feat - Backstabber: It's almost unfortunate we had to wait this long.

Item (Level 2) - Veteran's Armor +1: Yes there are better armors, but we want a bit of nova help


Level 5
Feat: Your DM didn't give you bonus expertise feat? *cry*

Daily 5 - Flashy Riposte: Rattling is kind of a waste on this power, but immediate attacks speed up your damage output, so this was the choice for the level.

Item (level 6) - Iron Armbands


Level 6
Feat - Expertise: Because your DM wouldn't let you have it for free.

Utility 6 - Ignoble Escape: A rogue does have to worry about mobility and safety. This accomplishes both.

Item (Level 8) - Subtle Bastard Sword +2
Item (Level 2) - Acrobat Boots


Level 6 Snap Shot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 6
Half-Orc, Rogue
Build: Brawny Rogue
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 19, Con 12, Dex 19, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.

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


AC: 20 Fort: 18 Reflex: 20 Will: 15
HP: 49 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 12

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +12, Thievery +12, Intimidate +10, Perception +9, Acrobatics +13, Athletics +12

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +2, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering +4, Endurance +6, Heal +4, History +2, Insight +4, Nature +4, Religion +2, Streetwise +3

FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Duelist
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 4: Backstabber
Level 6: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)

POWERS
Rogue at-will 1: Riposte Strike
Rogue at-will 1: Piercing Strike
Rogue encounter 1: Torturous Strike
Rogue daily 1: Handspring Assault
Rogue utility 2: Adaptable Flanker
Rogue encounter 3: Low Slash
Rogue daily 5: Flashy Riposte
Rogue utility 6: Ignoble Escape

ITEMS
Hand Crossbow, Bolts (20), Thieves' Tools, Adventurer's Kit, Lucky Charm +1, Veteran's Leather Armor +1, Subtle Bastard sword +2, Acrobat Boots (heroic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Tricks:
You have numerous ways to turn a miserable round (miss) into a productive round now.
- Low Slash: When you miss with CA, use this.
- Lucky Charm: When you're "so close", use this.
- Flashy Riposte: When nothing else worked, and you have CA, use this.

At-Will DPR:
Piercing Strike: +15 vs Reflex, 1d10+2d8+15
DPR = 0.85*29.5 + 0.05*48 = 27.475

Nova:
Handspring Assault (w/Charge + CA): +16 vs AC, 3d10+11
Torturous Strike (w/CA): +15 vs AC, 2d10+15
Low Slash (w/CA): +15 vs Refl, 1d10+15
Furious Assault: +1d10
Sneak attack +2d8+4
However in general, my recommendation is to not waste Low Slash in this manner unless you think you can finish off the target. It is much more valuable when used to turn a 0 damage round into a 30 damage round. Action point can be used the same way, but you get to make a judgement call based on how the encounter is going.


Level 7
Encounter 7 - Circling Predator: Two chances to apply sneak attack. This is the sort of consistency we are looking for.

Retraining: This is a time to consider retraining your at-will. Now that you have 2 standard action encounter attacks, check your at-wills to see which one you're using less of. In the case of this character, a balanced party is assumed, and there are defenders/controllers doing their job, so Riposte Strike doesn't get triggered much. We'll retrain that to Clever Strike, for use if needed after Adaptable Flanker has been expended.

Item (Level 9) - Skyrender Hand Crossbow +2
Item (Pocket Change) - Surprise Bullet +1 (5)


Level 8
Feats - Slaying Action: This will provide us with better novas.

Item (Level 9) - Lucky Charm +2
Item (Level 4) - Viper Belt


Level 9
Daily 9 - Knockout: This is the ultimate nova power. Just follow it up with the biggest thing you've got. Autocritting with the kinds of dice you're rolling, defines the rest of this character's career.

Item (Level 9) - Boots of Eagerness


Level 10
Feat - Weapon Focus: You're probably wondering why so late. I say it's just in time before the bonus goes up to a more appreciable +2 for paragon.

Utility 10 - Disruptive Stunt: I like this proactive mobility better than the reactive mobility options. It really helps a lot when facing large or huge monsters.

Item (Level 13) - Drowmesh Armor of Sudden Recovery +3: By this point we're facing a lot of ongoing damage dealers. There will be at least one encounter where you won't have to spend surges.


Level 10 Snap Shot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 10
Half-Orc, Rogue
Build: Brawny Rogue
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 20, Con 12, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.

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


AC: 24 Fort: 21 Reflex: 24 Will: 18
HP: 69 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 17

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +14, Thievery +14, Intimidate +12, Perception +11, Acrobatics +14, Athletics +14

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +4, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +6, Endurance +8, Heal +6, History +4, Insight +6, Nature +6, Religion +4, Streetwise +5

FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Duelist
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 4: Backstabber
Level 6: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 8: Slaying Action
Level 10: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)

POWERS
Rogue at-will 1: Clever Strike
Rogue at-will 1: Piercing Strike
Rogue encounter 1: Torturous Strike
Rogue daily 1: Handspring Assault
Rogue utility 2: Adaptable Flanker
Rogue encounter 3: Low Slash
Rogue daily 5: Flashy Riposte
Rogue utility 6: Ignoble Escape
Rogue encounter 7: Circling Predator
Rogue daily 9: Knockout
Rogue utility 10: Disruptive Stunt

ITEMS
Thieves' Tools, Adventurer's Kit, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Subtle Bastard sword +2, Drowmesh of Sudden Recovery +3, Viper Belt (heroic tier), Boots of Eagerness (heroic tier), Lucky Charm +2, Skyrender Hand Crossbow +2, Surprise Bullet +1 (5)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Tricks:
- Knockout gives a pretty obvious tool for taking down BBG's. Gain Combat advantage, knock it out with some decent damage, then coup de grace with something like Torturous Strike, adding in sneak attack again, as well as Furious Assault, on this auto crit. Should chew through a good chunk of an Elite's Hit points.

At-Will DPR:
Piercing Strike: +18 vs Reflex, 1d10+2d8+18
DPR = 0.80*32.5 + 0.05*51 = 30.175

Nova:
Knockout: +18 vs Fort, 2d10+2d8+18
Coup de grace with Handspring Assault including Furious Assault: +23 vs AC, 78+2d6
(add +1d6 to attack with either one if it barely misses)
Enough damage to take down a slightly damaged level 13 or 14 controller, or finish one off with Low Slash added. You obviously want to have some leader bonus if you can, when attacking with Knockout. If you don't want to waste two dailies, Torturous Strike or Circling Predator will probably do the job too, instead of Handspring Assault.


Level 11
Paragon Path - Shadow Assassin: While not a perfect match, the path fit my image of this iconic character better than anything else. Killer's Eye is a decent encounter opener. Shadow Assassin's Action is the biggest boon of the PP for this build. Shadow Assassin's Riposte is just gravy to the DPR train. Bloody Evisceration kind of falls short of certain other path's level 16 features, but we can live with it. Bad Idea is bad, just use it when the first chance presents itself to turn a hit into a miss, and forget about it. As for Final Blow, I'm not going to complain about a 5[W] power. I can coup de grace with it if nothing else.

Feat - Lasting Frost.

Retraining - Nothing. You're asking what? No Wintertouched? No thanks. We've gained combat advantage for 10 levels without it. Unless you have a very unsupportive party, you don't need it.

Item (Level 13) - Frost Bastard Sword +3: Duh.
Item (pocket change) - Transfer Enchantment from Subtle Bastard Sword +2 to dagger. You will no longer be using the Bastard Sword two handed, instead, off-hand the Subtle Dagger.


Level 12
Feat - Disciple of Divine Wrath: You knew there was a reason we started with 12 wisdom right? This feat just makes every melee striker more reliable with their best powers.

Item (Level 12) - Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold


Level 13
Encounter 13 - Stunning Strike. I debated if losing Torturous Strike was worth the sacrifice of 10 or so damage. But stunned enemies don't hurt your friends, and your friends get CA against them too, so it was too valuable to pass up.

Item (Level 12) - Eagle Eye Goggles (paragon tier)
Item (Pocket Change) - Surprise Bullet +2 (5)


Level 14
Feat - Battle Awareness: You knew we started with 12 wisdom for more than 1 reason right? Extra attack in an encounter, simply put, increases your encounter damage. This is the second best multiclass melee striker feat there is, when you have the stats for it (cause fighters are strikers, dontcha know).

Item (level 16): Iron Armbands (paragon)


Level 15
Daily 15 - Vicious Cooperation: This replaces Handspring Assault, which has surved us well till now, but a 4[W] power that gives an ally a basic attack, and regardless of which attack hits, lets you apply your sneak attack damage, is good.

Item (level 18): Frost Bastard Sword +4


Level 16
Feat - Paragon Defenses: If you somehow get this for free from a nice DM, great. If not, well, it's a matter of survival (briefly considered Bloodthirst to stack with Bloody Evisceration, but the bonus wasn't quite big enough, so went with something more defensive).

Item (Level 19) - Lucky Charm +4
Item (Level 11) - Gloves of Ice


Level 16 Snap Shot

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 16
Half-Orc, Rogue, Shadow Assassin
Build: Brawny Rogue
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 22, Con 13, Dex 22, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11.

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


AC: 28 Fort: 26 Reflex: 30 Will: 23
HP: 100 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 25

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +17, Thievery +17, Intimidate +15, Perception +14, Acrobatics +17, Athletics +17, Religion +12

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +7, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +8, Dungeoneering +9, Endurance +11, Heal +9, History +7, Insight +9, Nature +9, Streetwise +8

FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Duelist
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 4: Backstabber
Level 6: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 8: Slaying Action
Level 10: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 11: Lasting Frost
Level 12: Disciple of Divine Wrath
Level 14: Battle Awareness
Level 16: Paragon Defenses

POWERS
Rogue at-will 1: Clever Strike
Rogue at-will 1: Piercing Strike
Rogue encounter 1: Torturous Strike
Rogue daily 1: Handspring Assault
Rogue utility 2: Adaptable Flanker
Rogue encounter 3: Low Slash
Rogue daily 5: Flashy Riposte
Rogue utility 6: Ignoble Escape
Rogue encounter 7: Circling Predator
Rogue daily 9: Knockout
Rogue utility 10: Disruptive Stunt
Rogue encounter 13: Stunning Strike (replaces Torturous Strike)
Rogue daily 15: Vicious Cooperation (replaces Handspring Assault)
Rogue utility 16: Leaping Dodge

ITEMS
Thieves' Tools, Adventurer's Kit, Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (paragon tier), Gloves of Ice (paragon tier), Frost Bastard sword +4, Subtle Dagger +2, Drowmesh of Sudden Recovery +3, Lucky Charm +4, Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Viper Belt (heroic tier), Boots of Eagerness (heroic tier), Eagle Eye Goggles (paragon tier), Skyrender Hand Crossbow +2, Surprise Bullet +2 (5)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Tricks:
Not much subtlety at this point. We spent a bunch of resources on cold damage. The key will be making the best of out of turn attacks to inflict cold vulnerability to a target (Battle awareness and Flashy Riposte), before you go to town on the target. Party tactics will be important for this. Another Lasting Frost character in the party would be very useful. With a leader who grants attacks, make sure they know your needs, especially against fresher targets. Stunning Strike will be used more defensively than offensively. The damage mitigation it provides against an enemy controller is huge, so we want to identify those targets and use it there.

At-Will DPR:
Piercing Strike: +25 vs Reflex, 1d10+3d8+29
DPR = 0.85*48 + 0.05*77 = 44.65
DPR w/ Cold Vulnerability = 0.85*53 + 0.05*82 = 49.15

Nova:
Use boots of eagerness to flank enemy with ally
Oath of Enmity
Low Slash (for positioning into flank if needed, and/or to deliver cold vulnerability): +25 vs Reflex, 1d10+3d8+35
Knockout: +25 vs Fort, 2d10+34
Action Point coup de grace with Vicious Cooperation including Furious Assault and Frost Weapon Daily: +34 vs AC, 124+4d6
(use lucky charm to turn a miss into hit if needed with rolling 2d6, adding higher)
And the adjacent ally gets a basic attack.
This should be about 237 damage before your ally's basic attack if all goes well. Again, it's poor tactics to use this sort of nova in a solo fight, or a fight where enemies typically only have around 180 hit points. But in a tough fight where you're fighting lots of enemies, including maybe an elite controller or some such, the maneuver can turn the encounter around in a hurry.


Level 17
Encounter 17 - Dragon Tail Strike: We're taking a bit of a risk with this one. Circling Predator was possibly doing better damage. But it's a good power against enemy controllers who tend to attack everything around them, or swarms.

Item (Level 18) - Ring of Draconic Zeal: The flexibility of a free basic attack is unquestionable.


Level 18
Feat - Two Weapon Fighting: Why? We're already using two weapons, we should get some other benefits from it too. Opens the door for more two weapon feats.

Item (Level 20) - Dawn Warrior Feyleather Armor +4:


Level 19
Daily 19 - Snake's Retreat: 6[W] is the only reason to pick this power. We finally say goodbye to Handspring Assault.

Item (Level 19) - Skyrender Hand Crossbow +4
Item (Pocket Change) - Surprise Bullet +3 (5)


Level 20
Feat - Two-Weapon Defense: I figure in order for Shadow Assassin's Riposte to trigger more often, enemies should miss us more often.

Item (Level 23) - Frost Bastard Sword +5
Item (Level 13) - Subtle Dagger +3


Level 20 Snap Shot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 20
Half-Orc, Rogue, Shadow Assassin
Build: Brawny Rogue
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 23, Con 13, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11.

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


AC: 34 Fort: 31 Reflex: 34 Will: 27
HP: 120 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 30

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +21, Thievery +21, Intimidate +19, Perception +16, Acrobatics +21, Athletics +21, Religion
+14

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +9, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Dungeoneering +11, Endurance +13, Heal +11, History +9, Insight +11, Nature +11, Streetwise +10

FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Duelist
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 4: Backstabber
Level 6: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 8: Slaying Action
Level 10: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 11: Lasting Frost
Level 12: Disciple of Divine Wrath
Level 14: Battle Awareness
Level 16: Paragon Defenses
Level 18: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 20: Two-Weapon Defense

POWERS
Rogue at-will 1: Clever Strike
Rogue at-will 1: Piercing Strike
Rogue encounter 1: Torturous Strike
Rogue daily 1: Handspring Assault
Rogue utility 2: Adaptable Flanker
Rogue encounter 3: Low Slash
Rogue daily 5: Flashy Riposte
Rogue utility 6: Ignoble Escape
Rogue encounter 7: Circling Predator
Rogue daily 9: Knockout
Rogue utility 10: Disruptive Stunt
Rogue encounter 13: Stunning Strike (replaces Torturous Strike)
Rogue daily 15: Vicious Cooperation (replaces Flashy Riposte)
Rogue utility 16: Leaping Dodge
Rogue encounter 17: Dragon Tail Strike (replaces Circling Predator)
Rogue daily 19: Snake's Retreat (replaces Handspring Assault)

ITEMS
Thieves' Tools, Adventurer's Kit, Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (paragon tier), Gloves of Ice (paragon tier), Lucky Charm +4, Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Viper Belt (heroic tier), Boots of Eagerness (heroic tier), Frost Bastard sword +5, Subtle Dagger +3, Ring of Draconic Zeal (paragon tier), Dawn Warrior Feyleather Armor +4, Skyrender Hand Crossbow +4, Surprise Bullet +3 (5)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Tricks:
Not much exciting since last snap shot. But we did get a Ring of Draconic Zeal as one more tool to either get an out of turn attack when needed, or get sneak attack damage in, when other efforts have failed. Be careful though, you have a lot of items with dailies. If you're not in a game that goes through a milestone or two before the end of the day, you may want to re-examine the item selection.

At-Will DPR:
Piercing Strike: +28 vs Reflex, 1d10+3d8+32 
DPR = 0.80*51 + 0.05*83.5 = 44.975
DPR w/ Cold Vulnerability = 0.80*56 + 0.05*88.5 = 49.225

Nova:
Same as before, except you can use Final Blow for the coup de grace if you don't have a flanking ally for some reason, but have a dazed/stunned target. You also can use Ring of Draconic Zeal for an extra attack if you have reached a milestone.


Level 21
Divine Spark: Yes, more boosts for Dexterity and Stength.

Feat - Heavy Blade Mastery: Since we qualify for it, it's a no brainer.

Retraining - Robust Defenses: Standard stuff.

Item (Level 22) - Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (epic tier)


Level 22
Feat - Two Weapon Opening: Since our crits are more frequent now, especially against the oath target, may as well take that extra swing. This is one of the reasons why we took two weapon fighting few levels ago.

Item (Level 21) - Gloves of Ice (epic tier)


Level 23
Encounter 23 - Collapsing Riposte: We'll get rid of Dragon Tail Strike for Collapsing Riposte. This gives us another immediate attack. Target is also knocked prone, ripe for CA, and primed with cold vulnerability.

Item (Level 24) - Skyrender Hand Crossbow +5
Item (Pocket Change) - Surprise Bullet +4 (5)


Level 24
Feat - Ferocious Critical: With our numerous immediate actions and the odd free action, we can really capitalize on this half-orc bonus from crits. Also with two weapon opening, our off-hand attack was a bit weak in the accuracy department because we didn't have expertise with light blades (we were just relying on the +1 from rogue weapon talent). However, with this feat, We get a +4 on the Two Weapon Opening attacks, more than covering up any weakness.

Item (Level 28): Frost Bastard Sword +6
Item (Level 22): Eagle Eye Goggles (epic tier)


Level 25
Daily 25 - Cruel Pursuit: This will replace Vicious Cooperation. Nice two attack power, with a little bit of sliding and shifting. If there was someone with a really strong basic melee attack, staying with Cruel Pursuit may be better though.

Item (Level 26): Iron Armbands (epic tier)


Level 26
Feat - Epic Will: Sorely need to shore up that weak defense.

Item (Level 28): Subtle Dagger +6


Level 27
Encounter 27 - Perfect Strike: Perfect power. This will replace stunning strike, and do the same thing while doing 5[W] damage instead of 1[W].

Item (Level 29) - Ring of Free Time


Level 28
Feat - Martial Mastery: Multiple Perfect Strikes are a good reason to get this.

Item (Level 29) - Skyrender Hand Crossbow +6
Item (Pocket Change) - Surprise Bullet +5 (5)


Level 29
Daily 29 - Assassin's Point: This is replacing Snake's Retreat as the big damage dealing daily.

Item (Level 30) - Dawn Warrior Starleather Armor +6


Level 30
Feat - Triumphant Attack: Since this helps both you and your buddies, the more people have it in your party, the better this feat gets. By this time, a lot of people will have it.

Item (Level 29) - Lucky Charm +6


Level 30 Snap Shot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Half-orc Rogue30, level 30
Half-Orc, Rogue, Shadow Assassin, Demigod
Build: Brawny Rogue
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Dexterity
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Strength
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 28, Con 14, Dex 28, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12.

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


AC: 45 Fort: 42 Reflex: 45 Will: 41
HP: 171 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 42

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +29, Thievery +29, Intimidate +25, Perception +22, Acrobatics +29, Athletics +29, Religion +20

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +15, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Dungeoneering +17, Endurance +19, Heal +17, History +15, Insight +17, Nature +17, Streetwise +16

FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Duelist
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 4: Backstabber
Level 6: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 8: Slaying Action
Level 10: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 11: Lasting Frost
Level 12: Disciple of Divine Wrath
Level 14: Battle Awareness
Level 16: Paragon Defenses (retrained to Robust Defenses at Level 21)
Level 18: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 20: Two-Weapon Defense
Level 21: Heavy Blade Mastery
Level 22: Two-Weapon Opening
Level 24: Ferocious Critical
Level 26: Epic Will
Level 28: Martial Mastery
Level 30: Triumphant Attack

POWERS
Rogue at-will 1: Piercing Strike
Rogue at-will 1: Clever Strike
Rogue encounter 1: Torturous Strike
Rogue daily 1: Handspring Assault
Rogue utility 2: Adaptable Flanker
Rogue encounter 3: Low Slash
Rogue daily 5: Flashy Riposte
Rogue utility 6: Ignoble Escape
Rogue encounter 7: Circling Predator
Rogue daily 9: Knockout
Rogue utility 10: Disruptive Stunt
Rogue encounter 13: Stunning Strike (replaces Torturous Strike)
Rogue daily 15: Vicious Cooperation (replaces Flashy Riposte)
Rogue utility 16: Leaping Dodge
Rogue encounter 17: Dragon Tail Strike (replaces Circling Predator)
Rogue daily 19: Snake's Retreat (replaces Handspring Assault)
Rogue utility 22: Dazzling Acrobatics
Rogue encounter 23: Collapsing Riposte (replaces Dragon Tail Strike)
Rogue daily 25: Cruel Pursuit (replaces Vicious Cooperation)
Rogue encounter 27: Perfect Strike (replaces Stunning Strike)
Rogue daily 29: Assassin's Point (replaces Snake's Retreat)

ITEMS
Thieves' Tools, Adventurer's Kit, Viper Belt (heroic tier), Boots of Eagerness (heroic tier), Ring of Draconic Zeal (paragon tier), Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (epic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Frost Bastard sword +6, Subtle Dagger +6, Dawn Warrior Starleather Armor +6, Lucky Charm +6, Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Eagle Eye Goggles (epic tier), Gloves of Ice (epic tier), Skyrender Hand Crossbow +6, Surprise Bullet +5 (5)
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Tricks:
At this point we have lots of tools to act out of turn, some tools to act multiple times during the turn, and even a tool to act whenever we want. We also worked on getting better mileage out of crits, they are not as optimized as what a crit fisher could achieve, but they are respectable, especially considering we have lots of multiple big [W] attacks.

At-Will DPR:
Piercing Strike: +38 vs Reflex, 2d10+5d8+49
DPR = 0.75*82.5 + 0.10*(130+0.85*41+0.10*65) = 79.01
DPR w/ Cold Vulnerability = 0.75*87.5 + 0.10*(135+0.85*41+0.10*65) = 83.26

Nova:
Hasn't changed much, except getting bigger attack and two weapon opening on the auto crit. So it goes something like:
Boots of Eagerness (get in position)
Oath of Enmity
Knockout 2d10+5d8+49
Action point coup de grace with Assassin's Point 238+12d6 (+2d4+36)
Low Slash 1d10+58
Ring of Draconic Zeal 2d10+49
Approximately 527 damage. That's about what you need to take down an elite. So our nova usefulness is still at a respectable level.
Solid build, but...

a)I strongly suggest Dazing Strike over Torturous Strike. Why? It's freakin ice-cold. Let's look at the simple scenario:


I'm not including the to-hit thing, coz in both cases, there are 2 attacks, one vs. ac, second vs. ref. I am assuming there is nobody that can help Ya flank your target.

You attack a monster that have not yet acted during the encounter. You've got CA from first strike, you attack with Dazing Strike hit 1[w] + dex+ str + sneak, you can even shift, provided you have a minor action, to prevent your opponent from attacking you back (since he is dazed he can only use 1 action). in the next turn u attack with piercing strike 1[w]+dex+str+ sneak.

total is :
2[w]+2dex+2str+2 sneak

Same scenario with Torturous Strike. first round 2[w] +dex+ 2str+ sneak. Next turn, U probably get hit.  You hit with piercing strike for 1[w]+dex.

total is:
2[w]+2dex+2str+ sneak.

As you can see, in a long run Dazing strike is far more damaging, reliable and defensive.

b) Fleeting ghost (utility 2) - bread and butter for gaining CA. far more better that adaptable, in my opinion.

c) Have you considered Surprising Charge, or Dirty Fighting?

Shadow Assassin when Death Dealer or Kensei are there for the taking? Why?
I am assuming there is nobody that can help Ya flank your target.

I am assuming, there is always a target I can get combat advantage against. I preferred to go with the higher damage power, rather than the setup power in this case.

As you can see, in a long run Dazing strike is far more damaging, reliable and defensive.

Yeah, I have another build using Dazing Strike. It's a good power. But 2d10+Strength > 1d10 when it comes to damage now. And with d10 weapon, I couldn't resist the extra die.

b) Fleeting ghost (utility 2) - bread and butter for gaining CA. far more better that adaptable, in my opinion.

I do not understand the combat application of this power. And I hate trying to gain CA from Stealth once combat has started. There is a ton of conditions to satisfy. I'd rather just flank with someone and be done with it.

c) Have you considered Surprising Charge, or Dirty Fighting?

Yes, and that ends up being a completely different build since you have to use a light blade or spear.

Shadow Assassin when Death Dealer or Kensei are there for the taking? Why?

Kensei was out, because I wanted to go with a Rogue Paragon Path, trying to make this build more useful for those rogues who don't multiclass fighter. Also this build uses two weapon opening with an off-hand dagger. That tends to mess up the Kensei Bonus. Didn't want to deal with that.

My experience with Shadow Assassin is that enemies fear missing you, often to the degree they won't attack you, especially minions. This keeps you more maneuverable since you don't get surrounded. I think this is a better defensive measure than temporary hit points, which you already might be getting some from a leader, or just being half-orc.

The Death Dealer action point feature is fantastic. It would increase numbers in a serious hurry with Novas. However if I was building a Death Dealer, I would go a completely different direction with power choices, feats, and equipment. I'd go for the ongoing damage buffs, and save penalties, instead of big [W] powers, multi-attacks, and immediate actions.

I found Shadow Assassin to be the more "neutral" (if less powerful) paragon path that let me focus on what the best rogue powers/feats for a brutal scoundrel were, instead of an exercise in ongoing damage/condition tweaks.
What is this character's plan for dealing with flying foes, and other opponents who are outside of melee range?

The ordinary method for rogues is to hide and then deft strike with a ranged attack but without deft strike, that can't work for you. A hand crossbow and using surprise bolts on ranged basic attacks would probably do the trick.
How about a Grasping Javelin?
How about a Grasping Javelin?



He's not proficient and wouldn't get expertise--that might make it a bit painful waiting for a hit. He could still do it since both strength and dex are high, but it wouldn't be a very attractive option.

The hand crossbow plus surprise bolts is still a bit of a pain since he can't apply expertise to the crossbow, but it is more likely to hit, cheaper (provided the situation doesn't crop up too often), compatible with daily crossbow strategies like skyrender or targetting crossbows (use higher level magic ammunition and a +1 targetting or +2 skyrender crossbow to realize the savings), and allows sneak attack every round.

The character might want to combine the options by keeping a cheap grasping javalin around for the time when it seems like a better choice than the crossbow.
Currently through heroic, he'll have to rely on a crossbow or a thrown dagger. Thanks to rogue weapon talent, the dagger is not a bad option if the target is close enough. Through early paragon he can throw the subtle dagger. I think I can work in a Mage's Drow Long Knife that's a half tier or a tier below into his equipment to get more bonuses at late paragon and epic.

Max range of 10 is kind of unfortunate, but I can't justify a feat to boost that.

I hate expertise feat tax when a dilemma like this comes up. Have the same issue with my warlord, my javelin was good through low heroic, but from high heroic on, I can neither keep it's enchantment up to snuff, nor can I afford expertise, so it's a pointless javelin (pun intended).

This rogue clearly won't be a very good striker at range, it's not his focus and I can live with that, neither is an Avenger or a Barbarian. But he should have some ranged option. Surprise Bullets sound like a reasonable option, maybe also a Skyrender Crossbow? I'm open to other suggestions. Maybe just buy a flying mount? Or a regular mount and Skystrider Horseshoes?
This rogue clearly won't be a very good striker at range, it's not his focus and I can live with that, neither is an Avenger or a Barbarian. But he should have some ranged option. Surprise Bullets sound like a reasonable option, maybe also a Skyrender Crossbow? I'm open to other suggestions. Maybe just buy a flying mount? Or a regular mount and Skystrider Horseshoes?



What I plan to do with my rogue for situations where her rhythm blade dagger doesn't have sufficient range is to have a skyrender or targetting hand crossbow with surprise bolts. (Since AV 2 says you can get the various ammunitions for any weapon that uses ammunition). The crossbows will be cheap enough that I can have both by early to mid paragon and then I just need to keep some surprise bolts around.

Then again, my plan includes deft strike (enabling hide+deft strike sneak attacks at range) and walking wounded (to knock the target to the ground 1/day and keep it there if it can't hover) as well, so I do have some other options that this character does not.

The mounts are an interesting idea, (especially if combined with inpenetrable barding) but I'm not sure how durable they would be; it also seems to me that they would present a rather big expense compared to a limited number of magic bolts.
Since you're planning to be multi-weapon, maybe you can find some use in Weapon Master (d 382) ?

As for ranged at-will, disheartening strike fits better for your duelist.
Changed the treasure criteria to be less conservative, more on the dot with the rate an adventurer would be gaining treasure. Got Skyrender Crossbow and Surprise Bullets. Accuracy with that crossbow looked pretty bad paragon and up. So I changed my head slot item to Eagle Eye Goggles (didn't really have a good head slot anyway). This makes up the expertise difference. If there is more than 1 encounter a level with flying creatures, more surprise arrows will need to be purchased. But some of these can be conserved by using regular arrows when an enemy is dazed by an ally, or grants CA from some other source. And as long as you're buying arrows from half a tier below, they are relatively cheap.

With Eagle Eye Goggles, I want to be making basic attacks anyway, so no need to change at-will powers. 
Changed the treasure criteria to be less conservative, more on the dot with the rate an adventurer would be gaining treasure. Got Skyrender Crossbow and Surprise Bullets. Accuracy with that crossbow looked pretty bad paragon and up. So I changed my head slot item to Eagle Eye Goggles (didn't really have a good head slot anyway). This makes up the expertise difference. If there is more than 1 encounter a level with flying creatures, more surprise arrows will need to be purchased. But some of these can be conserved by using regular arrows when an enemy is dazed by an ally, or grants CA from some other source. And as long as you're buying arrows from half a tier below, they are relatively cheap.

With Eagle Eye Goggles, I want to be making basic attacks anyway, so no need to change at-will powers. 



I note that you went for a +6 skyrender hand crossbow. Since you use the enhancement bonus from the surprise bolts anyway, there isn't much reason for this. You could save a lot of cash by sticking with a +2 skyrender hand crossbow for your entire career and using magic bolts with it.
I note that you went for a +6 skyrender hand crossbow. Since you use the enhancement bonus from the surprise bolts anyway, there isn't much reason for this. You could save a lot of cash by sticking with a +2 skyrender hand crossbow for your entire career and using magic bolts with it.

Hmm, I was thinking I would occasionally use regular bolts against dazed targets or in surprise rounds, but you're right. Much more cash effective sticking with just the +2 skyrender. Maybe even get a +1 frost as well. That does confer the cold damage to the surprise bullet as best I understand it right?
I note that you went for a +6 skyrender hand crossbow. Since you use the enhancement bonus from the surprise bolts anyway, there isn't much reason for this. You could save a lot of cash by sticking with a +2 skyrender hand crossbow for your entire career and using magic bolts with it.

Hmm, I was thinking I would occasionally use regular bolts against dazed targets or in surprise rounds, but you're right. Much more cash effective sticking with just the +2 skyrender. Maybe even get a +1 frost as well. That does confer the cold damage to the surprise bullet as best I understand it right?



Yeah. Check out +1 targetting as well. There aren't many daily item powers that scream "buy me now!" but that one does.
Yeah. Check out +1 targetting as well. There aren't many daily item powers that scream "buy me now!" but that one does.

Sounds like a plan, I'll also get some scabbards for quickdraw and a bit of extra nova damage with the cash saved.

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