Ultimate Catch22? (Assault)SM|ConLock w/Hellish Rebuke & Slashing Wake.

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
I'm posting this out of curiousity as much as anything. I would imagine that this angle has been worked before, but I'm curious to see how this holds up.

This is an Assault SM|Con-Lock/Feytouched/Sage of Ages, using:
-- Arcane Fire + Wintertouched, and making both Hellish Rebuke & Eldritch Strike Cold+Fire attacks
-- White Lotus Master Riposte
-- Slashing Wake
-- Keeper's Prescience-- which can often be used for saves, etc, since Eldritch Strike nearly auto-hits.

The idea is simple: Once you hit your target with Hellish Rebuke, it's choices are:
1. Play it Safe! (hold still, try to ignore the SM|Lock, and hope he it's all a bad dream). This drops your DPR dramatically, but... it's self-inflicted perma-stun.
2. Lash out! Attack the SM|Lock! This risks tripping Hellish Rebuke's secondary, as well as eating ANOTHER Hellish Rebuke, plus Slashing Wake.

--and the most likely option--
3. Find a scapegoat! Attack the other target with a -2 penalty, and eat Eldritch Strike + Slashing Wake.

DPR: I've included attack & damage breakdowns below. With all of the factors going into this, I have no idea how to calc the exact DPR, but I'm 100% positive it exceeds 110 unless your target screams "I AM A LAMP!" and 'stuns' itself. This figure is based on its base Hellish Rebuke, Slashing Wake, and Eldritch Strike figures. I have noooo idea how to factor in 'residual' effects of Keeper's Prescience (ie, when both HR and K'sP turn up as hits/crits and it 'floats' to ES) or secondary Hellish Rebuke + second application of Hellish Rebuke.


L30
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Trapt, level 30
Human, Swordmage|Warlock, Feytouched, Sage of Ages
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Assault
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Fey Pact (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Reflex
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Arcane Admixture Damage Type: Arcane Admixture Cold
Arcane Admixture II: Arcane Admixture Fire II
Arcane Admixture Power: Hellish Rebuke
Arcane Admixture II: Eldritch Strike

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 26, Dex 15, Int 24, Wis 12, Cha 12.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 9, Con 16, Dex 13, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10.


AC: 44 Fort: 44 Reflex: 42 Will: 36
HP: 204 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 51

TRAINED SKILLS
Streetwise +21, History +33, Arcana +33, Athletics +20

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +17, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Dungeoneering +22, Endurance +23, Heal +16, Insight +16, Intimidate +16, Nature +22, Perception +16, Religion +28, Stealth +17, Thievery +17

FEATS
Human: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 1: White Lotus Riposte
Level 2: Hybrid Talent
Level 4: Focused Expertise (Bastard sword)
Level 6: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 8: Arcane Fire (retrained to Lasting Frost at Level 11)
Level 10: Wintertouched
Level 11: Arcane Admixture
Level 12: Arcane Admixture II
Level 14: Paragon Defenses (retrained to Robust Defenses at Level 21)
Level 16: Dual Implement Spellcaster
Level 18: White Lotus Master Riposte
Level 20: Improved Swordmage Warding
Level 21: Quickened Spellcasting
Level 22: Risky Aegis
Level 24: Reckless Curse
Level 26: Student of the Athanaeum
Level 28: Aegis Accuracy
Level 30: Escalating Assault

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Sword Burst
Hybrid at-will 1: Hellish Rebuke

Hybrid utility 10: Ethereal Sidestep

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Frost Bastard sword +6, Shadowdance Starleather Armor +6, Brooch of Vitality +6, Ankhmon's Bracers (paragon tier), Siberys Shard of the Mage (epic tier), Gloves of Ice (epic tier), Eladrin Boots (paragon tier), Diamond Cincture (paragon tier), War Ring (paragon tier), Quickcurse Rod +6, Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Now At-Wills:

Hellish Rebuke
+35 vs Reflex, 2d6+1d10+3d6+37

Attack breakdown: 87.8% hit rate vs avg level 30 enemy.
+15, 1/2 level
+8, Con
+3, Expertise
+6, Enhancement
+2, Combat Advantage
+1, Reckless Curse
Double Roll (Keeper's Prescience)

Damage breakdown:
+8, Con
+6, Enhancement
+6, Off Hand Enhancement
+3, Feat bonus-- Weapon Focus
+5, Shard of Merciless Cold
+4, Gloves of Ice
+1d10, (when you have CA), spelling error's bracers.
+5, vulnerable 5: Cold
+3d6, Curse


Eldritch Strike
+42(to +44) vs AC, 2d10+1d10+33 (plus 3d6 from Curse if you somehow missed your Hellish Rebuke and the target still attacked someone else)

Attack breakdown:
+15, 1/2 Level
+8, Con
+6, Enhancement
+3, Expertise
+3, Proficiency
+1, Reckless Curse
+2, Combat Advantage
+1, Aegis Accuracy
+2, Risky Aegis
+1(to +3), Escalating Assault
(double roll) when Keeper's Prescience & Hellish Rebuke both turn up as hits.

Damage breakdown:
+8, Con
+6, Enhancement
+3, Feat bonus- Focus
+4, Gloves of Ice
+5, Shard of Merciless Cold
+5, vulnerable 5: Cold
+2, Risky Aegis
+1d10, (when you have CA), still-can't-spell-it Bracers
+3d6, (Curse-- see note above about extreme fluke miss on HR)


Ethereal Sidestep

Range 3-- Ethereal Sidestep + Eladrin Boots

Deals 7 damage to anyone in a square adjacent to one you exit via teleportation.


It's also worth mentioning that this build is a functional (and mean) Striker starting at level 1 with White Lotus Riposte + Bastard Sword.

It also occurs to me that there are probably a few improvements to be made. Feel free to point them out.
It seems a waste to admixture Hellish Rebuke to cold if you're casting it through a frost sword anyway; the sword will give it the cold damage and keyword without needing the feet.  Likewise, you don't need to admixture Eldritch Strike to fire if you retrain Arcane Fire to Lasting Frost- which you want to do anyway since 1) every power through that sword is cold and 2) lasting frost applies the vulnerability for a round, while Arcane Fire only applies it to the next attack.  That saves you two feats; it would be a waste not to pick up Twofold Pact.  You could actually rearrange things to start with a different pact (infernal or vestige, for riders on con powers) and then take twofold pact (fey) at 11 to qualify for the PP; that way you'd get Misty Step for extra slashing wakes and wouldn't miss out on using Patron's Favor.

You might take Reserve Maneuver so you have something to use intstead of the PP encounter power, since it's Cha based.
Weapon powers only confer keywords for Weapon attacks, correct? Not implement attacks made with the weapon?

Good point @ Lasting Frost, though. I should retrain Arcane Fire --> Lasting Frost.

I didn't sweat reserve maneuver because of the AP feature of Feytouched, which is like having an extra 8 points of Cha, and because of Sage of Ages allowing me a double roll. Also, the 11E dazes on the Effect line. It actually works out pretty well this way.
Weapon powers only confer keywords for Weapon attacks, correct? Not implement attacks made with the weapon?




No, once you activate the power, any power using the sword- weapon or implement- does cold damage and gets the cold keyword.

I guess you do have enough accuracy boosts in play that you could keep the cha based power; just remember that you won't use an AP every encounter and once you hit 20 you'll be wanting to use the AP bonus with the PP daily power.  Once you hit 24 you just need to wait for a round you have a good Sage of Ages roll to use Will of the Feywild, though, so I can see how it wouldn't be a problem after that point.
Weapon powers only confer keywords for Weapon attacks, correct? Not implement attacks made with the weapon?




No, once you activate the power, any power using the sword- weapon or implement- does cold damage and gets the cold keyword.

I guess you do have enough accuracy boosts in play that you could keep the cha based power; just remember that you won't use an AP every encounter and once you hit 20 you'll be wanting to use the AP bonus with the PP daily power.  Once you hit 24 you just need to wait for a round you have a good Sage of Ages roll to use Will of the Feywild, though, so I can see how it wouldn't be a problem after that point.

Things I noticed:

You have both Swordmage Warding and Dual Implement Spellcaster. That means you're only getting +1 AC and the right to take Improved Swordmage Warding for the feat.

Your PP is pretty crippled. Two powers that key off your nonexistent Cha, and your level 16 is nonfunctional because you don't have Misty Step.

Why does your target take Slashing Wake damage on their turn? Attacking you doesn't trigger it as far as I can tell, and attacking your ally will only cause enemies who are currently adjacent to you to take it.

As written, you need two minor actions to pull this off (mark and curse); the range restrictions mean that you need to be exactly 2 squares away (no more or you can't mark, no less or you provoke).

Some ideas:

A disembodied hand/Rakshasa claw familiar would let you quick-draw a second implement, get the damage bonus for DIS, and quick-sheathe it again in time to get Swordmage Warding back at full power. You can also use this to quick-draw a Rod of Corruption +1 to help save minor actions.

Reserve Maneuver can be used to swap Will of the Feywild for a level <=7 warlock or swordmage power.

Ultimately... you're maximizing an at-will. That's all very well and good, but this is a 30-level build. While you're gloating over your punish-lock round after round after round, your allies get to use encounters and dailies that are probably just as effective and, before long, more fun.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

Go shielding Swordmage|Con-lock/Sigil Carver and never look back.
Responding to these point-by-point, my words bolded for easy job discerning who said what:

No, once you activate the power, any power using the sword- weapon or implement- does cold damage and gets the cold keyword. This issue came up awhile back when I was trying to use a Radiant Bastard Sword + Admixtures to turn an Avenger|Swordmage's Swordburst into a burst 3 Radiant/Thunder attack for fun with Punishing Radiance + Symbol of Divine Light. It got pretty adamant opposition.

 Things I noticed: You have both Swordmage Warding and Dual Implement Spellcaster. That means you're only getting +1 AC and the right to take Improved Swordmage Warding for the feat. It also means I lose 1 AC compared to a Swordmage using a 1h weapon, and that I pick up +6 in statics on Implement attacks.

Your PP is pretty crippled. Two powers that key off your nonexistent Cha, and your level 16 is nonfunctional because you don't have Misty Step. You're correct about Misty Step, but I'm not worried about it. Taking PPs for specific features is hardly a rare practice here, and 7 auto-damage every turn is a pretty nice feature.

Re: crippled powers-- Yep, they're going to miss a lot from mid-Paragon through early Epic. Luckily, the Encounter Dazes on the Effect line, and the Action Point feature gives +4 to hit, which is like having 8 extra points of Cha. As of 24th, my chance to hit on an AP turn goes WAY up. By 30th, the AP turn makes the 11E and 20D 64% to hit, with Effects on a miss. That beats the pants off what most people get-- and this build doesn't need its Action Points for burst turns since it's already double-attacking every turn. In all honesty, though... I wouldn't play this for anything but a one-shot, just because of how redundant it is. If I were going long-term, I'd go Shielding SM|Con-Lock and throw in as many Warlock powers as possible. I've played a variant of that before at Paragon and had an absolute blast with it.

Why does your target take Slashing Wake damage on their turn? Attacking you doesn't trigger it as far as I can tell, and attacking your ally will only cause enemies who are currently adjacent to you to take it. The target doesn't take Slashing Wake on their turn. It *does* eat Slashing Wake on every one of *my* turns, however. This build is put together to dismantle melee enemies, and the vast majority of them end their turns adjacent to whomever they attack. So... if they attack me on their turn, I Ethereal Sidestep to start my turn, and Hellish Rebuke. If they attack someone else, I teleport adjacent to them after their attack is resolved, hit them with Eldritch Strike, and then on my turn... Ethereal Sidestep away and Hellish Rebuke.

As written, you need two minor actions to pull this off (mark and curse); the range restrictions mean that you need to be exactly 2 squares away (no more or you can't mark, no less or you provoke). Thanks to my armor, I don't provoke with Ranged or Area attacks. Quickcurse Rod gets my Curse on as a Free action. Once my first target is hit with Aegis & Curse, I can use Minor actions to spread curses around to set up subsequent targets.

Some ideas: A disembodied hand/Rakshasa claw familiar would let you quick-draw a second implement, get the damage bonus for DIS, and quick-sheathe it again in time to get Swordmage Warding back at full power. You can also use this to quick-draw a Rod of Corruption +1 to help save minor actions. Reserve Maneuver can be used to swap Will of the Feywild for a level <=7 warlock or swordmage power. This portion is full of very good suggestions...

Ultimately... you're maximizing an at-will. That's all very well and good, but this is a 30-level build. While you're gloating over your punish-lock round after round after round, your allies get to use encounters and dailies that are probably just as effective and, before long, more fun. Optimizing At-Wills happens a lot in CharOp. A lot of the time, this is because the At-Wills (Barbarian charges with At-Wills, Avenger Bond of Retribution craziness, obvious Ranger Twin Strike stuff, multiple Hellish Rebuke variants, etc) will outperform many and/or all Encounter powers in terms of pure damage. But... as I said earlier, this particular one was just a problem-solving/theory build that I threw together to try to make a concept that was high-performing from 1-30. Your point about fun is one I agree with 100%. As for the 'gloating' line... I'm not the kind of guy who would be there at the table shouting my name and pounding my chest. There wouldn't be any gloating going on, even if a one-shot came up and I actually dusted this off for use.

If we're being honest, though... If the hypothetical one-shot came up, I'd almost definitely play an Avenger. After playing two of them very extensively (both Avenger/Radiant Servants, no less), my enthusiasm hasn't diminished.

the only text supporting frost weapons as implements (et al) granting keywords to implement attacks is developer commentary in (iirc) either Sorcerer Essentials or Class Acts.  It's been debated ever since, and likely won't be officially ruled (one way or another) until PH3.  the FAQ still doesn't support this interpretation, iirc. 
the only text supporting frost weapons as implements (et al) granting keywords to implement attacks is developer commentary in (iirc) either Sorcerer Essentials or Class Acts.  It's been debated ever since, and likely won't be officially ruled (one way or another) until PH3.  the FAQ still doesn't support this interpretation, iirc. 


The FAQ response is, unfortunately, incomplete.  It doesn't make mention of item powers.  This has been a subject of debate since the start of 4e.
the only text supporting frost weapons as implements (et al) granting keywords to implement attacks is developer commentary in (iirc) either Sorcerer Essentials or Class Acts.  It's been debated ever since, and likely won't be officially ruled (one way or another) until PH3.  the FAQ still doesn't support this interpretation, iirc. 



By default you can use the power on any item you come across.  You need a specific rule to keep you from using an item power, like those on various implement types; holy symbols have a rule that you have to be able to use holy symbols as implements before you can use their powers, for instance.  There is no specific rule removing the ability to use item powers from someone using a weapon as an implement, either in the text or in the FAQ.  Absent such a specific rule, you follow the general rule, and the character can use the item powers.

That the lead designer of 4e mentioned the ability to use those powers to alter implement powers in a Sorcerer Essentials article is a confirmation that it's RAI to allow it, but it's not the basis of the RAW.