Ender's Game - the Battlemind Handbook

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Ender's Game
The Battlemind Handbook



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Speed is of essence in war.
Punish their mistakes before they even make them !


1.1 Playing a Battlemind


So, you have come here, still believing all that mind over matter nonesense those finger trickster told you ? Let me tell you, the mind makes a damn fine weapon - but so does a good hammer !
The real game is that you win a battle neither by swinging the hardest nor by having all fancy strategies. No, you go out there, look your enemies deep into the eyes and let them know that no matter what they do, you already have the counter in place, and no matter how long and hard they fight, you will still be standin'.

You want to play a Battlemind, if...
... you exult im being the toughest guy (or gal) out there.
... you like acting fast and decisive and enforcing your plan onto the enemy.
... you prefer a tactical challenge and getting the most out of it.
... you think mobility is the key to victory.
... you want to be flexible yet always use the best tool for the job.


1.2 Reading the Guide


This guide is aimed at optimisation for actual play and not for theoretical char-op, although it definately can function as reference for it. The structure is such that reading it from start to end should give you a good idea how to build a good BM for your individual tastes and needs, without any foreknowledge except the very basic understanding of how D&D 4e is played.
While you should definately read about #2.1-2.2 the BM's basics and carefully consider #4.1 your choice of powers, you can let the good ratings carry you for the rest of the handbook. Mind that, except for anything directly connected to the BM, I skipped things that are either weak or not relevant, because the sheer amount of choices available these days is beyond the purview of any single handbook.
Furthermore Skills, Rituals and anything else not significantly related to combat or the class itself were skipped, because I cannot tell you how to roleplay your character or what his story of life is. Nor do I know how much emphasis you or your DM puts on capabilities beyond combat, so you have do decide yourself how you want to balance these to aspects. For example the feat Agile Athlet is still a strong choice for any character interested in physical fitness, because it is flavourful and helps in and out of combat, but it simply isn't what this guide is about.
At last be reminded that a high rating does not stand for an interesting but just a universally good option.

Rating System
Note: Contrary to some other guides I don't rate in a vacuum, but under the assumption that however your particular build may look like, it will be synergetic in itself, and particularly dependent options are marked as such. My ratings thus are concerned more with how well you will be able to apply your capabilities in-game independent of circumstances beyond your control.
Hazardous: This choice is a trap ! It's either very weak, has some glaring issues or is completely superseded by another pick.
Situational: There are definately better choices, but under certain circumstances this might be beneficial.
Useful: While there are usually stronger selections, you should be able to contribute well enough.
Strong: By all means a solid pick, good at its job and without problems. This should be considered the baseline for well built characters.
Great: A great selection indeed, doing excedingly well or being broadly applicaple.
Fantastic: What a choice ! Classes are defined by these picks, and you'll have to actively justify not taking it.


1.3 Key


I will mark any item which has certain additional requirements to be used (or used well).
- Attribute: C/CC = some/high Cha; D/DD = some/high Dex; I/II = some/high Int; S/SS = some/high Str; W/WW = some/high Wis
- Tier: H = Herioc Feat; P = Paragon Feat; E = Epic Feat
- R = other requirements as specified

Sources
AP - Arcane Power
AVX - Adventurer's Vault X
DrXXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DMAXX - Dragon Magazine Annual 20XX
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
DP - Divine Power
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MMX - Monster Manual X
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MPX - Martial Power
PHBX - Player's Handbook X
PHHX - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series X
PHR:X - Player's Handbook Races: X
PrP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power

Glossary
AP - action point
BD - Battlemind's Demand, a Class Feature
BM - this class, the Battlemind
BR - Battle Resilience, a Class Feature
BS - in this case just Blurred Step, a Class Feature
CA - Combat Advantage
ED - Epic Destiny
Frostcheese - The combination of Wintertouched, Lasting Frost, and a Frost Weapon to impose CA and Cold Vulnerability 5 on an enemy.
HP - Hit Points
HS - Healing Surges
LX - Level X
MBA - Melee Basic Attack, relevant for Charges, Opportunity Attacks and some Leader Powers
MC - Multiclass
Mob - short term for monster
MS - Mindspike, a Class Feature
NAD - non-AC Defense
OA - Opportunity Attack
PH - Persistent Harrier, a Class Feature
RBA - Ranged Basic Attack
Rider - an additional effect of an Attack Power, aside from doing damage on a hit
pA - following a number, referring to an X point Augmentation
PP - Paragon Path OR Power Points (depends on the context)
SoT - Speed of Though, a Class Feature
tHP - temporary Hit Points
WF - Wild Focus, a Class Feature

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The following two sections also include valuable information on how to get the most out of the BM in actual play.
You should read them !


2.1 Class Traits & Features


Traits

Attributes:
Using Con as primary stat is the dream of every Defender, as you can rely on plenty of HP and HS. Your secondary is Wis or Cha, which is again very useful as it improves your very important Will defense.
The problem with this setup is, that you have a weak MBA and need to compensate for that with powers or by buying Melee Training (Con). You will also need some Str and/or Dex for many Weapon and Armor related feats.

Proficiencies: You get all defensive proficiencies except Plate, and that is more nice to have than a must.
You have the full set of military weapons, which means you are well armed from the start. The lack of military ranged is no loss, as you lack the stats to properly use them anyway.

Defenses: You get the usual alotment of HP and HS for a Defender, which is very solid.
The real winner is that your NAD bonus is a +2 to Will, which is very nice as Defenders in particular are a common target of control effects, and the nastiest of them more often than not target Will.

Skills: You sadly get only three starting skills, which is rather low. The good side is that the list of Class Skills is at least quite solid, which is helps for your Background selection and all Humans. Consider getting a MC feat early to aquire an extra trained skill together with a nice freebie.


Psionic Augmentation

Augmentation is what differnciates you from the vast majority from other classes.
Your basic set of available powers for each encounter is significantly smaller than that of other characters. The benefit on the other hand is that you can use one particular power repeatedly, if it should be particularly helpful. Your at-will attacks also tend to be a bit more powerful as you grow in level.
The key is to balance the suggested and beneficial specialisation with enough versatility to be able to handle all situations. You can find out more about the specific issues and strategies at #4.1 psionic power selection.


Psionic Defense

This feature is the classic trinity that all Defenders recieve to fulfill their core job. It consists of a mark, a stickyness feature and a punishment feature.

Battlemind's Demand: Your mark is very good. It is applied in an easy and flexible way, it sticks with the victim and you can even mark multiple people, and add any general mark for a full effect, no matter if with BM, MC'ed or other powers. A good trick, if you employ powers that mark on a hit, is to fire BD after attacking to mark those mobs you missed.
In general you should mark aggressively (using BD and other methods), because that -2 penalty adds up and with good tactics you can potentially punish more than one mob as well.

Blurred Step: Your stickyness feature is a bit backward, as it doesn't keep the mob in place but let you follow a marked mob. That has some unusual repercussions on its usage, but also allows you to exploit it for serious threat if you're tactically savvy. (Mind the improved timing as Free Action 1/turn from the July 2010 update.)
Staying adjacent to one marked mob is quite straight forward, although you have to pay attention to difficult terrain - while normally that would stop the other mob from shifting as well, there are situations where either the mob is not affected by difficult terrain or it can shift out of difficult terrain while you would have to shift into such. At last you should note that following the mob might put you into a tactically undesireable position.
On the other hand if you fight a melee mob you could well shift such that you simply cut off all its charging trajectories instead (physically or by the threat of an OA) or even use it defensively to shift out of a flank and into a position that you are in its charge deadzone. As you can see, BS offers a huge range of tactical possibilites and probably is the most important BM feature to learn to use well. It's also a prime target to enhance, be it by increased shift distance, ignoring difficult terrain or more exotic uses like Boots of the Fencing Master for a defense boost, Staff of the Traveller for teleports instead of shifts (with all assorted exploits), or or or...
In any way, if you are adjacent to a mob after it has shifted, it usually is in a lose-lose situation. A melee mob can either concede and just attack you, attack an adjacent ally of yours and eat a MS, or charge and eat an OA and possibly even fail at all depending on how you improved your OA. A ranged mob can either use his melee attack, which already is a bad option, use a ranged attack against you and eat an OA, or attack an ally of yours for an OA and MS. In any way, this (and the opportunities Lightning Rush provides) shows why it is very important for a BM to have a strong OA, both in terms of damage as well as possible associated control.
The most important part though is that with strong multi-marking and good positioning (that's why forced movement is a very strong tool for BMs and allied Controllers), you can keep many mobs in check at the same time... as long as you have a good OA !

Optimal Blurred Step Positioning
If you (B = BM) can isolate yourself with three marked mobs (m) as follows...
[....]
[.mm.]
[.Bm.]
[....]
... each of them, no matter the order in which they take their turns, cannot escape you. When one shifts away, you shift in its former square staying adjacent to it. Now it either must attack your or eat an OA, as already explained. Because you also stayed adjacent to the other two who haven't taken their turn, and both BS and OA are just limited to once per turn (and not per round like MS and other mark punishments), you can repeat that trick against the other two as well.
You won't always achieve such favourable positioning, but you often can try to use BS to "hop" between marked mobs and use good positioning to cut off any charge trajectories or escape points in case of ranged attackers.


Mind Spike: And at last this is your class feature to punish mobs who don't behave - although you usually will use OAs much more often, as explained above. The good thing about it is that you automatically hit, and it does damage equal to the damage the mob did to your ally, so in case of high damage mobs, a crit or other damage enhancements you can send a lot of punishment back. If the mob fails to hit, you cannot punish him - but this deal is fair enough, because no damage was done, and you still threaten any other mob with miss-or-suffer.
The real problem is that it is weak against any multi-attack or control heavy mobs. Also the need to be directly adjacent at the moment of the attack makes it sometimes difficult to apply. On the other hand if your DM regularly employs Brutes, Artilleries or generally mobs using the update damage formula, MS is strong as it threatens with significant enough damage.


Psionic Study

Your Study feature is made to help you during the crucial first round of an encounter, and as such is a unique boon no other Defender possesses. It also is flexible towards your build, that while it profits from a higher associated attribute, it doesn't rely on it, and the very most power, feat and PP choices later are independant of your selection here.
There are a few feats depending on each feature, which is considered in the rating. All those feats are thematically linked towards and often improve that feature. None of them is crucial for any build, although some are certainly benefical - but in the end you can only spend each feat once, and there are many good feats out there.
Please note that all features except Speed of Thought have some timing issues as disccused in the #3.3 rule issues section.

Battle Resilience (Wis): (PHB3) If you hate to be focused fired into bloodied right in the very first round, this feature is for you, as it provides you with a sizeable resistance against any initial volley and helps you to get into position afterwards, as you can easily shrug off any OA during the turn it's active.
But be warned, it doesn't help against any conditions often applied at the beginning of an encounter, it in no way forces the mobs to actually focus on you, and in the way it triggers it can often enough have little or no effect. If you can somehow gaurantee that you reliable surpass every mob in the initiative count, this feature becomes a strong choice.

Persistent Harrier (none): (PsP) A very aggressive approach to combat, that let's you advance right accross the ranks towards a tasty target and begin your mayhem, getting a free attack on top as bonus - really great if you tend to fight on big battlefields. This feature goes well with a high initiative, so you can start your mayhem before other mobs act - in case you get the highest roll consider delaying until after PH has triggered.
There are quite a few issues though that make this feature not very reliable and thus lower its value. First you naturally have to hit to teleport, so you cannot count on it to function. Even worse due which mob targets whom, and because you have no way to control that, you don't really know where and against which mob you'll end up.

Speed of Thought (Cha): (PHB3) Initial positioning is a decisive factor in every encounter. SoT gives you a liberal option to reposition yourself before anybody can do anything - not even OAs because it's nobodys turn yet - and thus allowes you to perform tricks like claiming an important position such as a choke point or to cornering dangerous mobs right away.
While it certainly pairs very well with a high initiative, alone standing there and being able to make OAs and possibly use Immidiate powers is a significant threat. You should consider to invest into enough defenses to safely survive at least a full round of focus fire, as you will become a prime target (as you should) - after that your Leader can patch you up if needed, relying on your high pool of HS.
If you favour a Wis build, you can still use SoT well with a small investment into Cha and the Improved SoT feat. Also consider ways to avoid or overcome surprise, to turn any attempt to ambush your group back on the ambushers.

Wild Focus (Cha): (DSCS) The ability to mark a mob and pull it out of its formation and thereby dictating its initial positioning will often enough ruin its plans. If you start close enough to pull it adjacent and thus fully control it that's a jackpot.
Furthermore it will make the life of your Leader/Striker fellows much easier, as they just recieved a juicy target on a silver platter. Even better if you already pulled the target through some hostile squares and thereby hastened its demise.
Once your pull distance is large enough to reliably draw mobs adjacent, or if you play with a nova oriented group, this feature is great. In case you always work on large battlefields though, you might want to consider another feature.

2.2 Roles


Defender
This is your main role, but as any class your performance varies in different situations. Defending can be devided into four different scenarios that cover almost all situations encountered in combats. Your basic capabilites in each vary, so consider where you want to improve or specialise in, depending on your campaign and group set-up.
A general consideration for Defenders is always the balance of defense and threat. Defense is both pretty straight forward and also something you already have ample of as BM. Only invest further into it if you find in play that it's still not sufficient, because the more you invest into defense... the less you invest into threat. Threat is what the usual Defender has to work for most - other roles have damage (Strikers), buffs and healing (Leaders) or nasty conditions (Controllers). Typical Defender mechanics evolve around triggering any of those as punishment if mobs misbehave. But if you can build up any of these unconditionally it's even better - and BMs do have quite some potential there as well.

Bodyguard: A BM who can stay close to a buddy or two performs at his best. You can easily apply your punishment, and that punishment is good against heavy melee hitters. You also have plenty of powers to protect nearby allies or provide them with extra opportunites.
You can apply this tactic in either a regular mixed party, as long as you can prevent mobs from circumventing your frontline, or in an all ranged party by staying with your group. Be careful against mobs capable of AoE though, and either have your allies eliminate them quickly or switch to Man to Man defense.

Field: A plain field where everybody can run around wildly is the bane of every Defender except the Swordmage. Other Defenders have a trick or two to deal with such situations inherently and can improve in that part more easily. It's not that you would be different, but if you want to become great at Field Defense you have to work for it.
Because in this kind of encounter the highest mobility usually wins you need to exploit Blurred Step and possibly Lightning Rush as good as possible, and both depend on getting good OAs. The other part is to inhibit the mobs' mobility and at the same stop them from doing the same to you - for both you have options, but naturally these block you from other choices. If you encounter such a situation unprepared, work with your Controller and try to turn it either into a Bodyguard or Man to Man situation.

Man to Man: This strategy evolves around seperating a mob or two from the rest of the group, so your allies finish off the rest easily due their tactical advantage. This is commonly employed either against particularly dangerous mobs such as those with AoE capabilites, against strong single mobs to first remove their support or in cases when there are two Defenders available.
The BM is well suited for the job due his inherent toughness and his many repeatedly useable powers that actively lock down mobs or let him separate them from their group. Just note that in case you face a controller, you have to be either extremly aggressive cover the weakness of MS against those and avoid being locked down yourself, or remove the mob's Line of Effect/Sight from the rest of your group.

Point: Defending a chokepoint or important site on the battlefield is the favourite tactic for a classic Defender.
Your ability to mitigate much punishment due your high HS paired with your Psionic Study feature allow you to easily reach such a point and stay there. Your weakness in that regard is that you lack a bit native ability to stop mobs from either swarming you or past you beyond a standard OA, but you have ample opportunity with your builds to can become great in this regard as well by improving your resilience and OAs.

Please also refer to my Monster Handbook for an in-detail discussion of good combat tactics.


Other

Controller: Imposing conditions and creating pseudo-zones around you is how you complement your basic defending capabilites. By focussing on this aspect with powers and feats you can even become quite strong at controlling.

Leader: Except a few stray powers or the ability to extend a defensive benefit around you to your allies, you have really no abilites in this regard - and not even the option to gain any in class. If you want a Leader aspect you'll have to rely on significant MC'ing or play a Hybrid.

Striker: You have a plain avarage damage output. With the right feats and a solid power selection you can become strong, and if you really optimise for it even great enough to compete with the best of them.



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2.3 Races


There are a number of racial handbooks available, which you might want to take a look at.

Player's Handbook 1
Dragonborn: Perfect stats, big HS and lots of support - you can't go wrong with them. Dragonbreath is always good and has more support, but Dragonfear is a solid control focused choice, despite its slight to-hit problems later on.
Dwarf: Always great for Defenders, and no less so for the BM. Matching stats with a choice, good class traits and some over-the-top feats leave nothing to be desired here.
Eladrin: The sole loser from PHB1, very little synergy. Play a Swordmage instead.
Elf: While they only bonus to Wis as secondary, their Dex bonus for armor feats, Elven Accuracy and their mobility advantage, in particular in combination with BS, just bring them up to a useful pick. In case your DM loves Difficult Terrain, they're in fact a strong option, because you can rely on BS to always work.
Half-Elf: A double match in attributes, the extra at-will choice and access to Human feats (see there) make them a prime selection. Their choice of your Dilettante power is a science by itself and can produce vastly different builds. Defaults are Warlock picks with Eldricht Strike for a great MBA and Dire Radiance / Hellish Rebuke for some ranged capabilities, but thanks to Adept Dilletante you have vast amount of options to explore.
Halfling: All their features and feats are quite defense oriented and their stat bonus matches just as well. Their true power is that they are the more mobile than any other race on the battlefield, because they can move through any large and larger enemies, so can hardly be blocked, and can mostly ignore OAs due their high AC - while this is quite useful for any melee class, it truely shines together with mobility focused powers like Lightning Rush. And Rapiers are not only a good weapon, but with the Goblin Totem enchantment can put out real good damage. Don't underestimate these tiny little buggers !
Human: As usual a great selection due their flexibility, and Defenders especially like their NAD bonus and their good choice of defensive feats. The extra at-will is great for Psionic classes to mitigate their more limited regular power choice, and the reactive bonus to a crucial is just as tempting.
Tiefling: And another perfect match for the stats, and a slew of feat support - and even more for Warlocks and Paladins, which are prime MC / Hybrid options anyway.

Player's Handbook 2
Deva: Again a race with only Wis as secondary bonus, their racial resistance, defense bonus and flexible die-roll bonus and some solid feats bring them squarely up to useful.
Gnome: Just Cha as useful bonus, small and slow they offer no great defender features.
Goliath: Matching in Con and having Str for better weapon feats, they are a defenders by nature and have a great feat support. Strongly consider MC Warden for a round of guaranteed hard lockdown each encounter.
Half-Orc: Con and Dex are a solid match, as the latter is an opener for feats like Heavy Blades and Polearms.  Their regular tHP help, but the feats are rather geared towards Strikers.
Shifter (both): Again a Wis race with bonus to one of the two tertiary attributes. Longtooth come out slightly ahead, but the single racial features nor the feats are enough to bump them up one category. Consider getting a Blood Fury Weapon to reliably trigger your Shifting.

Player's Handbook 3
Githzerai: Another Wis plus Dex race this one marks the clear winner due their laundry list of racial defense oriented features and one of the best feat selections in the game for both defenders and Psionic charaters.
Minotaur: Another Str/Con race that really stands out due their feats, which perfectly fill the rather weak side of BMs regarding OAs / charges. Goring Charge has a slight problem, as it lacks the accuracy bonus from Expertise - while that is easily #3.3 houseruled, without it Minotaurs drop to just a strong race by the end of Paragon, and any related feats fall off even more drastical.
Shardmind: Usually a Psionic-affine race, neither their stats nor their features match really well with the BM.
Wilden: The double hit with a attribute bonuses and the flexible NAD bonus stand out. Useful racial features and good feat support bring them to the top tier.

Dragon Magazine
Gnoll: (Dr367) Another race profiting from an enhanced Con. Paired with Dex, a high speed and good racial features gives you another strong choice.
Revenant: (Dr376) The same very useful bonuses to Con and Dex and the sheer exploitability of having a second race to pick feats from and their general refusal to go down make them one of the very top choices.
Shadar-Kai: (Dr372) The attributes don't really help, and the a few useable racial features, feats and special PPs won't spare them the worst rating.

Monster Manuals
All of these races lack feat support, which often lowers the rating by one step.
Bugbear: (MM) Wrong stats hardly compensate for the bit of extra damage they might do.
Bullywug: (MM) If you can live with being a giant walking frog more power to you. Just don't expect your racials to be widely useable.
Doppelganger: (MM) For someone interested in infiltration the race is golden, but the BM only profits from the Cha bonus. You should play a Changeling instead.
Duergar: (MM2) Matching attribute bonuses together with nice albeit situational racial features offer you a very playable race. The choice becomes great if you DM let's you take Dwarf feats.
Githyanki: (MM) The Con bonus sure helps and the racial features are OK for a defender, but nothing much sticks out. Successfully lobbying your DM for Githzerai feats brings them up to great, too.
Goblin: (MM) Small and the racial often interfering with MS don't help much despite the relatively useful attribute bonuses.
Hobgoblin: (MM) Two matching attributes and a set of well rounded racial traits mitigate the lack of feats.
Kenku: (MM2) If they had actual wings they sure would be great, but as it is they are not really good.
Kobold: (MM) Good stats and shifting as minor make them a nice pick, despite being small.
Orc: (MM) Would be better if their racial wasn't tied to Str. Now their main seller is the Con bonus and the possibility to grab some good weapon feats.

Other Books
Bladeling: (MOTP) If you're into razors, this is your pick - but from an optimisation point nothing really stands out.
Changeling: (EPG) A few fancy racial features and a Cha bonus make this playable, but no feats and no racial helps at being a defender. Nice if you want to do game heavy on infiltration and social aspects, as the BM has a solid choice of Cha skills.
Drow: (FRPG) Usually better suited for other roles, the bumps in Cha and Dex definately help, and due the huge support to your two racial powers in feats, items and a racial PP you can make a quite serviceable defender.
Genasi: (FRPG) A well supported and usually very defender friendly race, their bad attribute placement leaves them to be desired, although not unplayable. Earthsoul is the best all around defender Manifestation, although all have definate advantages one way or another.
Kalashtar: (EPG) The bonus to Wis and Cha hurts their NADs but is nice for flexibility, especially as the BMs powers riders are not tied to choices of class features. Due a solid selection of class features and feats they still make capable defenders.
Mul: (DSCS) Another one of those extra-tough races, and this one comes with an option to shed those debuffs any Defender dreads. While Dwarfs feats are the more aggressive picks, and you should consider a Martial MC for Second Wind action optimisation, Humans have some great choices with Persistent Thread and Frantic Recovery as well.
Thri-Kreen: (DSCS) Nothing really useful here, but at least a few secondary features as consolation prize.
Warforged: (EPG) Why be a squishy meatbag when you can be a robot instead ? Especially if those other meatbags need something to stop them from going 'squish' at the first sign of danger ? Look forward to a solid set of attributes, racials, feats and especially items which you can implant into your body !

2.4 Attributes


Strength: At first glance this is a dumpstat, as you already have Con to keep up your Fortitude. But almost all relevant weapon feats require a significant amount of Str, as does Plate Armor Proficiency and Atheletics. A decent score can also help you in Heroic with MBAs. Recommondation: 12-15 for feats, 8-10 if not
Constitution: Your main attribute, and a great one for a defender none the less, as it boosts HP and HS as well. Start high and boost at every occasion. Recommondation: 18 usually, 20 if you can still meet all your other needs

Dexterity: While nothing of your class directly requires Dex, the boost to Initiative and Reflex shouldn't be discounted. It also is required for some feats and a few skills, although non of the latter are on your class list. Recommondation: 12-15 for feats, 10-13 if not
Intelligence: The alternative to Dex for your Reflex Defense, but nothing important relies on it. Still if you're interested in boosting some skills or plan on a special MC or Hybrid build, this can become relevant and a useable replacement. Recommondation: 8 usually, 10-15 if you prefer it to Dex

Wisdom & Charisma: One will be your secondary attribute. Both have the nice effect to also give you a good Will Defense. Start with a decent score in the secondary and bump it often. The other is a useful investment as some good powers, feats and skills key of both. Recommondation: 14-18 in the secondary, 10-14 in the other

Common Arrays (22 point buy)
16,16,12,12,10,8 (16,16,13,11,10,8): A very common spread to balance your primary and secondary attribute. It keeps up a modicum in your third NAD and some basic options to qualify for feats by a stray attribute bump and/or waiting for Paragon. A good pick if you have a racial Con bonus.
18,13,13,10,10,8 (18,14,11,10,10,8; 18,12,12,12,10,8): An array more focused on keeping your main attribute high, usually not recommended for defenders, although it can work. You gain a better hit rate and even more HS, but you usually give up options to diversify in powers, buy feats and lose important NADs. A good pick if you lack a Con bonus but have a bonus to your secondary and a tertiary attribute.
16,14,14,13,10,8 (16,15,14,11,10,8; 16,14,13,13,12,8): A build focused on keeping many options open in regard to powers and skills. Often required if you plan being able to aquire certain feats. A save pick for races with a Con bonus, although others can still work with it if they keep their slightly recuded accuracy in mind.
17,15,13,10,10,8 (17,14,14,10,10,8; 17,14,13,12,10,8; 17,16,11,10,10,8): Usually an inferior selection, it can give you the benefits of starting with an 18 in Con before racial bonuses without paying the full cost for it in certain situations. Only recommended if you know that the major part of your game will play in a level range that would leave you with an odd Con score.


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2.5 Armor


Light Armor: You normally should avoid Light Armor at all costs, as it will massively drop your AC. The exception is if you hybrid with a class that has Dex or Int primary, in which case it can work out, although you have to mind that you will have a whole set of different enchantments available. A rare but strong combo are those Primal classes that offer you Hide and Con to AC, as you can well keep up your defense and get access to some particularly good Hide feats.
Chainmail (Dex): It's not your first choice, but hybriding with classes that have just Chainmail proficiency, the need to buy back into heavy armor without paying too many feats or certain enchanments particularly for Leaders can make it a consideration. All together an acceptable loss if you still have a shield, but without it you will be dangerously low on AC.
Scale (Dex): The default choice for BMs and a very solid one. Good enchanments, low or after specialisation even no penalties combined with solid AC leave nothing to be desired.
Plate (Str): A solid choice if you favour Str over Dex, but you will have to buy it with a feat first. Also mind that it carries noticable penalties while worn and the speed penalties will even stay after specialisation. On the good side it's the only armor that allows you to trade pure AC for Resist All, which is particularly interesting for Cha BMs, and it also has a few unique enchantments.

Shield (Dex): The defaul choice for every BM, as you have no high-W powers and thus the defense gained is just too good to pass up usually. If you need to buy it back with feats due hybriding, you will need Str.
Two-Handed Weapon: Normally not worth the loss in defense, you only should consider using two-handed weapons if you plan on regularly employing multi-target attacks and crave for every bit of damage. If you MC or hybrid to get access to feats and powers based around two-handed weapons, it can become a strong pick, and the same is true if you're willing to pay the price in feats and attributes for a Polearm build.
Two-Weapon Fighting (Dex): You have neither powers nor feats based on wieldung two weapon, and the vanilla feats don't offer enough to justify the investment. Certain hybrid or multiclass build can make it a useful fighting style, as does a DPS focused build based on multi-attacks/crits and Two-Weapon Opening.


2.6 Weapons


Axes (Str): While they rival Hammers for damage if you crit often, they require more Str and also have more circumstancial feats.
Flails (Str, Dex): They have solid basic statistics, but they lack good feat support. The exceptions are the Whip and Spiked Chain which offer unique options (but costing a feat for being surperior), and any Martial multi-class (particularly Fighter) - all options which make Flails a great choice.
Hammers (Str): The most damaging weapon in the game and their great feats mostly rely on Con and require only a modest Str investment.
Heavy Blades (Str, Dex): A precise weapon that gives up as little damage as possible and also offers great ways to improve your OAs if you can spare the attributes.
Light Blades (Dex, Str): While they can be even more presice than their Heavy cousins, that bonus is circumstancial and you lack the strong feat support. The weapon of choice for any small shield using BMs.
Maces (Str): Anything that a Mace can do, a Hammer can do better for you. (The exception is a MC Fighter specific build that employs Dizzing Maze - then it's in fact great.)
Picks (Str): Weak weapons that have nothing to offer.
Polearms (Str, Wis, Dex): Reach itself certainly has its uses even on a Defender, but what really makes them useful is their feats and the fact that all also belong to another weapon group (Axes, Heavy Blades or Spears). A truely great build can be made if you MC Fighter for Polearm Momentum.
Spears (Dex, Str): By itself they're pretty avarage, although they have a few solid feats and enchantments. Their main usefulness stems from that many of them can be thrown (if you have the stats or powers for it) and that the Greatspear is a very good Polearm.
Staffs (Wis, Str): Usually not a good choice, it come in handy if you MC or hybrid with a class that uses Staffs as Implements.


2.7 Skills


Class Skills
Arcana (Int): In itself a good skill, but you lack both Int and Ritual Caster to make the most out of it.
Athletics (Str): Always a solid pick to get around the battefield and also into some other interesting spots.
Bluff (Cha): One of the two good skills for anything social, which will probably come up sooner or later.
Diplomacy (Cha): ... and the partner for the more honest minded folks.
Endurance (Con): While this skill may or may not come up often, depending on your DM to merit stacking it on top of your high Con, it features a few simply great Skill Powers that you should consider.
Heal (Wis): A solid choice for first aid and against some longterm effects. At Paragon you probably want to retrain it, when your basic bonus is high enough for first aid and you can do the healing with Rituals.
Insight (Wis): Very good to not be fooled by anyone (and thus also avoid ambushes), and it features a few nice Skill Powers.
Intimidate (Cha): Usually the lesser choice for social interactions, it makes up for it by having good use in combat and some nice Skill Powers.

Non-Class Skills
Acrobatics (Dex): It's good to have but short of Agile Recovery nothing you'll need often or will be good at.
Dungeoneering (Wis): A solid knowledge skill and of course most useful to deal with the Dungeon part of this game.
History (Int): Not really strong by itself, it particularly lacks synergy with your stats.
Nature (Wis): This is the pick for all outdoor activity, and a good way to learn details many different kind of mobs.
Perception (Wis): Probably the most commonly used skill in the game.
Religion (Int): Another skill with some uses but little synergy.
Stealth (Dex): Even if you don't have a good Dex, being able to at least be somewhat stealthy never hurts.
Streetwise (Cha): It's quite useful to get around anywhere non-hostile, and it features a few solid Skill Powers.
Thievery (Dex): Not a bad skill, but you usually are the one to keep mobs busy while someone else uses it.


2.8 Backgrounds


Note: While you can take up to six Backgrounds, you can only gain the benefit of one, although you still can meat certain prerequesits with your other picks.
Note: Due the sheer volume of possibilites, I'll exclude racial backgrounds. Check these yourself after you have selected your race.

General
Any Skill or Language related: This is the default background benefit, which gives you access to a non-class skill, bonus small bonus to any skill or sometimes even a reroll for a certain skill. You can also get an extra trained language you might need, but that you don't want to pay a feat for. It's always a solid choice, and if you look enough you can find a Background for any need, and sometimes even one that gives you a little extra benefit.
R Adventurer's Scion: (Dr371) Rolling twice on every monster knowledge check is quite potent - if you make sure to pick up enough of those skills, as most aren't on your class list.
Necromancer's Chattel: (Dr371) A small bonus to save against Fear conditions can come in handy.
R Restless Dead: (Dr371) Some extra damage against Undead definately helps if you expect many of them.

Eberron
Any Skill or Language related: This is the default background benefit, which gives you access to a non-class skill, bonus small bonus to any skill or sometimes even a reroll for a certain skill. You can also get an extra trained language you might need, but that you don't want to pay a feat for. It's always a solid choice, and if you look enough you can find a Background for any need, and sometimes even one that gives you a little extra benefit.

Forgotten Realms
Any Skill or Language related: This is the default background benefit, which gives you access to a non-class skill, bonus small bonus to any skill or sometimes even a reroll for a certain skill. You can also get an extra trained language you might need, but that you don't want to pay a feat for. It's always a solid choice, and if you look enough you can find a Background for any need, and sometimes even one that gives you a little extra benefit.
Akanûl: (FRPG) Free damage resistance is always great !
Climshan: (FRPG) Some solid fire resistance and even more Endurance for your BM.
Chessenta: (FRPG) A little Action Surge for free - solid enough for a Background.
Cormyr (General): (FRPG) A bonus to Insight and against Fear Effects ? Tasty !
Cormyr (Wheloon): (FRPG) The bonus against Charm effects is solid, but the Thievery bonus is more flavourful than powerful.
Dalelands: (FRPG) Some extra Initiative never hurts, and the bonus helps even if you don't have Nature trained.
Monshae Isles: (FRPG) A bonus against two nasty effect types plus learning Elven is a package to consider.
Myth Drannor: (FRPG) Charm effects include nasty things like Dominate, so this can save you in the time of need.
R Sarifal: (Dr376) If you expect your campagin to be mostly in one type of area, this is just great. It not only helps significantly with general mobility, but it in particular lets you shift (eg with BS) even in that type of Difficult Terrain !
Tarmulane: (Dr376) A solid boost to speed for two rounds - not much, but it can help. And you also get a nice bonus to Diplomacy.
Vilhon Wilds: (FRPG) A perfect choice for any Underdark campaign and any other characters with a knack for musty caves.

Scales of War
Any Skill or Language related: This is the default background benefit, which gives you access to a non-class skill, bonus small bonus to any skill or sometimes even a reroll for a certain skill. You can also get an extra trained language you might need, but that you don't want to pay a feat for. It's always a solid choice, and if you look enough you can find a Background for any need, and sometimes even one that gives you a little extra benefit.
Arcane Student who Saw too Much: (Dr366) A small bonus, but it's against some of the worst effects that can hit you.
R Crusading Zealot: (Dr366) A good bonus if you plan on stacking saving throw bonuses, but too fickle to be used alone.
Former Gladiator: (Dr366) Not spectecular, but because you sometimes will go down as Defender, this can be the edge to save you.
Gritty Sergeant: (Dr366) The Initiative bonus is small but nice. Pick a military ranged, it might not be much, but it can help if you get into a situation.
R Monster Hunter Background: (Dr366) A solid all around bonus for a very common usage of many skills - if you have the basics for it.
Officer who Came out of Retirement: (Dr366) Another Initiative booster, and if you're interested in History, this certainly is solid.
Recent Convert: (Dr366) Charm effects include nasty things like Dominate, so this can save you in the time of need.
R Scorned Noble: (Dr366) If you defend for a party of ranged characters or share the duties with another Defender and thus often go Man to Man, this can be a significant boost to rid yourself of conditions.
Trained from Birth for a Specific Prophecy: (Dr366) Rerolling Initiative once per day, just when it's important and your roll was bad, can save your group quite some trouble.
Wandering Mercenary: (Dr366) Not spectecular, but because you sometimes will go down as Defender, this can be the edge to save you.

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3.1 Archetypes


The Brick
-- Style: You're the toughest guy between here and the Nine Hells - or at least you haven't met anyone tougher... yet. You might not be the quickest or strongest, but like a mountain you'll eventually crush anyone and anything.
-- Qualities: No matter what the enemy throws at you, your resistance, high HP, ability to negate conditions and other defensive tricks negate it all and let you punish them for even trying.
-- Area of Expertise: You excel at Point Defense, because once you have taken a spot, it's yours for good, and you can also go Man to Man with anything while your allies take care of the rest. You are Defender first, second and third, and maybe then a bit of Striker.
(example build pending)

The Companion
-- Style: You like to stay close to your allies, intercept any harm heading for them and set them up for the kill.
-- Qualities: You rely on your high HS to take the brunt of the enemy force and use your powers to keep them off your allies, while they can unleash their full might unhindered onto the opposition.
-- Area of Expertise: You are the typical Bodyguard, although you are flexible enough to employ a Point Defense if the opportunity arises. Your main role is a strong Defender and you lean towards Controller as secondary.
(example build pending)

The Hunter
-- Style: You select a target - usually nothing but the biggest, baddest foe on the battlefield - and then chase it down and corner it mercilessly until it is destroyed, and you can move on to your next victim.
-- Qualities: You have mobility and significant lockdown abilities to go for your chosen foe, while you use your inherent toughness to survive any retaliation.
-- Area of Expertise: You are the perfect going Man to Man, although having an ally along for a quicker kill doesn't hurt you, as you still can play a Bodyguard well enough. You're a Striker first while you balance Controller and Defender as secondaries.
Example build: Achilles (see link)

The Jack-of-all-Trades
-- Style: You are the embodiment of flexibility, no matter what situation or enemies you face, you always have the perfect answer.
-- Qualities: You have a varied selection of at-will powers and use the flexible PP system to always use exactly that Augmentation, which is most beneficial to your party. Your other powers and feats are carefully selected to give you special leverage in any uncommon situation or to cover any weaknesses your allies might have.
-- Area of Expertise: Because you don't favour any particular scenario you can always defend in the way that is the most beneficial in that situation. You are a typical Defender, but don't focus on any secondary role.
(example build pending)

The Polearm Master
-- Style: You use a Polearm as tool to rearrange the battlefield as you see fit and create a death zone around you.
-- Qualities: You recieve many extra OAs due your reach and combine those with Forced Movement and proning, thereby denying the opposition free movement about the battlefield.
-- Area of Expertise: Your prefered way is to dominate the Field and intercept enemies early, although you are fully capable of mounting a sturdy Point Defense. While being a Defender first, you have significant Controller elements and even a bit of Striker in your build.
Example Build: Ronin (see link)

The Strategist
-- Style: You always think one step ahead, shutting down opportunities from the enemies before they arise and at the same time creating new ones for your allies.
-- Qualities: Your powers affect an area or multiple mobs at once and place them in lose-lose situations, while you rely on your toughness and mobility to always be at the right spot to maximise the effect of them.
-- Area of Expertise: You can mount a strong Field Defense, but you work equally well near your allies as Bodyguard. You are a Defender that uses tricks of Controllers to narrow the options of enemies even further.
(example build pending)

The Whirlwind
-- Style: You are all over the battlefield to keep your enemies off balance and exploit any weakness they offer to bring swift death to them.
-- Qualities: You combine mobility with hard hitting powers, and you are as elusive as you are dangerous to ignore.
-- Area of Expertise: Your speed makes you at home at Field Defense, but you're certainly able to go Man to Man with any enemy if the chance or need arises. You're as much Defender as you're Striker, while you certainly like a bit of Controller abilities to further disrupt your enemies.
(example build pending)


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3.2 Example Characters



Achilles (Goliath, MC Warden / Son of Mercy / Reincarnate Champion) for a full Defender, full Striker build that exploits Brutal Barrage to the max - by myself


Ronin (Dwarf, MC Fighter / Talaric Ironjack / Topaz Crusader) for big Polearm proning paired with high mobility to control the whole battlefield (note the updates for PsP at the end of the thread) - by myself


Half-Elf Whirlwind (MC Psion, Dreamwalker) - by Kergma
"Here's a Whirlwind build. It uses the Staff of the Traveler and the Dreamwalker PP to be pretty much everywhere."

Level 16 snapshot
Mari, level 16 Half-Elf, Battlemind (MC Psion), Dreamwalker
Build: Quick Battlemind
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Psionic Study: Speed of Thought
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Staff)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 9, Con 22, Dex 12, Int 18, Wis 11, Cha 18.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 15, Wis 10, Cha 14.

AC: 32 Fort: 29 Reflex: 28 Will: 27
HP: 127 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 31
TRAINED SKILLS Arcana +17, Endurance +19, Athletics +12, Perception +13
UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +9, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +14, Dungeoneering +8, Heal +8, History +12, Insight +10, Intimidate +12, Nature +8, Religion +12, Stealth +9, Streetwise +12, Thievery +9

FEATS
Level 1: Melee Training (Constitution) (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Mark of Passage
Level 6: Hafted Defense
Level 8: Spring Step
Level 10: Disciplined Talent
Level 11: Predictive Defense
Level 12: Repel Charge
Level 14: Lightning Reflexes
Level 16: Opportunity Sidestep

POWERS
Battlemind at-will 1: Whirling Defense
Battlemind at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Dilettante: Eldritch Strike
Disciplined Talent: Dishearten
Battlemind daily 1: Steel Unity Strike
Battlemind utility 2: Telepathic Challenge
Battlemind at-will 3: Visions of Terror
Battlemind daily 5: Nightmare Vortex
Battlemind utility 6: Psionic Ambush
Battlemind at-will 7: Psionic Speed (replaces Twisted Eye)
Battlemind daily 9: Inexorable Death Strike
Battlemind utility 10: Shadow Ally
Battlemind at-will 13: Lightning Rush (replaces Visions of Terror)
Battlemind daily 15: Paralyzing Fear Strike (replaces Inexorable Death Strike)
Battlemind utility 16: Sudden Rush

ITEMS
Amulet of Protection +3, Antipathy Gloves (heroic tier), Eladrin Boots (paragon tier), Staff of the Traveler +3, Summoned Stormscale Armor +4, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Rushing Cleats (heroic tier), Baldric of Tactical Positioning (heroic tier), Helm of Opportunity (heroic tier)
RITUALS
Phantom Steed

"Note that the dream form probably can't take normal OAs* (I don't think movement next to them provokes). However, the daily stance powers will allow the dream form to make attacks with opportunity actions (not technically Opportunity Attacks) because there the trigger is part of a power, which you can use "as if you were there."

I decided on Lightning Rush +Psionic Speed rather than a level 13 power. The versatility of that combination is hard to give up.

Predictive Defense is a Psion paragon feat that gives a +2 bonus to all defenses against melee attacks after hitting with an unaugmented psionic at-will attack.

I took Shadow Ally because I thought it was funny. ("Now there's three of me! But this one's walking away!")"

* Comment #1: I think it can, as an OA allowes you to do an MBA (which is just another power).
Comment #2: This build can be modified into a Shift-Slasher (a variantion of the Arcane Slasher).


Dwarven Strategist (Whip Training, Son of Mercy) - by amebushi
"The basic idea I had was to try a different approach to making a Battlemind sticky, yet still be able to dish some damage. Using Battlemind's Demand, Whip training, Psychic lock, mark of warding and a whithering whip Ghost in the Steel at will does some damage (1d4 + 15 or 21 of it is subject to lawbreakers doom) but imposes a -2 to next attack (psychic lock) -2 to next attack vs target of my choice (whip training) -3 to hit anyone except me (Battlemind's Demand + mark of warding), takes 6 points of damage if it attacks any of my allies and a cumulative -1 to ac (save ends) totaling a possible -7 to hit ally, -2 to hit me and a -1 to ac until end of next turn as an unaugmented at-will. If it is the subject of Lawbreaker's Doom it is also slowed, adding to the stickiness. Psionic speed gives the ability to multi-mark and take better advantage of the reach granted by a whip. The rest of the build was made heavily for survivability."

Comment: Advised power selection for level 17 is Battle Vortex in exchange for Twisted Eye. Repel Charge is a suitable feat at level 18.

Level 16 snapshot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Defendo, level 16
Dwarf, Battlemind, Son of Mercy
Psionic Study: Battle Resilience
Background: Arcane Student Who Saw Too Much (Arcane Student Who Saw Too Much Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 22, Dex 14, Int 9, Wis 22, Cha 11.


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



AC: 20 Fort: 24 Reflex: 20 Will: 26
HP: 127 Surges: 17 Surge Value: 37


TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +21, Athletics +14, Heal +19


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +10, Arcana +7, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +8, Dungeoneering +16, History +7, Insight +14, Intimidate +8, Nature +14, Perception +14, Religion +7, Stealth +10, Streetwise +8, Thievery +10


FEATS
Level 1: Melee Training (Constitution)
Level 2: Whip Training
Level 4: Mark of Warding
Level 6: Forgeborn Heritage
Level 8: Iron Hide Resilience
Level 10: Weapon Focus (Flail)
Level 11: Psychic Lock
Level 12: Skill Power
Level 14: Dwarven Durability
Feat User Choice: Weapon Expertise (Flail)
Level 16: Combat Anticipation


POWERS
Battlemind at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Battlemind at-will 1: Whirling Defense
Skill Power: Reactive Surge
Battlemind daily 1: Aspect of Elevated Harmony
Battlemind utility 2: Telepathic Challenge
Battlemind at-will 3: Spectral Legion
Battlemind daily 5: Nightmare Vortex
Battlemind utility 6: Psionic Ambush
Battlemind at-will 7: Ghost in the Steel (replaces Spectral Legion)
Battlemind daily 9: Aspect of Disembodiment
Battlemind utility 10: Shadow Ally
Battlemind at-will 13: Psionic Speed (replaces Whirling Defense)
Battlemind daily 15: Mind Blade (replaces Aspect of Elevated Harmony)
Battlemind utility 16: Shield of the Iron Mind


ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Belt of Blood (heroic tier), Cloak of the Walking Wounded +3, Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Antipathy Gloves (heroic tier), Boots of Free Movement (heroic tier), Withering Whip +3, Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor +4, Heavy Shield, Cryptspawn Potion (paragon tier) (2)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



Revenant Survivalist/Multimarker (Half-Elf/Deva Origin) - by yargon
Level 6 snapshot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Lilith, level 6
Revenant, Battlemind
Build: Quick Battlemind
Psionic Study: Speed of Thought
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 20, Dex 15, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 17, Dex 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 15.


AC: 25 Fort: 19 Reflex: 18 Will: 19
HP: 65 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 16

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +13, Intimidate +15, Diplomacy +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +3, Arcana +3, Bluff +6, Dungeoneering +2, Heal +2, History +3, Insight +2, Nature +2, Perception +2, Religion +3, Stealth +3, Streetwise +6, Thievery +3, Athletics +1

FEATS
Level 1: Focused Expertise (Longsword)
Level 2: Marked for Death
Level 4: Deva Heritage
Level 6: Radiant Recovery

POWERS
Battlemind at-will 1: Whirling Defense
Battlemind at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Battlemind daily 1: Steel Unity Strike
Battlemind utility 2: Telepathic Challenge
Battlemind at-will 3: Spectral Legion
Battlemind daily 5: Beckoning Strike
Battlemind utility 6: Winged Weapon

ITEMS
Heavy Shield, Screaming Drakescale Armor +2, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Amulet of Life +1, Sunblade Longsword +1
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Things I'm liking
  • getting 5 (CONMOD) temp hit points everytime I hit - using a sunblade, and have Radiant Recovery, (need Deva heritage first, so not a complete wasted feat) - which can only get better with con, but does tie me to lightsabers

  • doing 1d8 +5 (CONMOD) damage to a target usually 1/enc with Dark reaping, and then having every marked target take 5 (CONMOD) damage due to marked for death, very nice minion killer!

  • having +13 to hit @level 6, means most of my powers hit


simple tatics include, when a creature dies, use Telepathic Challenge, then hit a target using dark reaping, generating Marked for death... main target take + 1d8+5 +5 again if he's marked and all marked creatures with in 2 take 5 damage, plus any others I've marked with battlemind's demand, its alright...


Dragonborn Strategist (MC Warden & Fighter, Iron Vanguard) - by concretebuddha
"The best I could come up with a battlemind pusher:"

Level 16 snapshot
NB: Due the update to Windrise Ports this build is no longer valid as-is. It still is a very good demonstration though, and if needed can be created in a similar way as Hybrid.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 16
Dragonborn, Battlemind, Iron Vanguard
Psionic Study: Speed of Thought
Student of the Sword: Student of One-Handed Weapons
Dragon Breath Key Ability: Dragon Breath Constitution
Dragon Breath Damage Type: Dragon Breath Acid
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 20, Con 22, Dex 11, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 14.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 18, Dex 10, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 11.


AC: 33 Fort: 29 Reflex: 25 Will: 27
HP: 127 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 37

TRAINED SKILLS


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +6, Arcana +8, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Dungeoneering +7, Endurance +12, Heal +7, History +10, Insight +7, Intimidate +12, Nature +7, Perception +7, Religion +8, Stealth +6, Streetwise +10, Thievery +6, Athletics +11

FEATS
Level 1: Defender of the Wild
Level 2: Student of the Sword
Level 4: Sudden Roots (retrained to Hindering Shield at Level 11)
Level 6: Crippling Crush
Level 8: Weapon Expertise (Hammer)
Level 10: Weapon Focus (Hammer)
Level 11: Draconic Arrogance
Level 12: Paragon Defenses
Level 14: Hammering Iron
Level 16: Hammer Rhythm

POWERS
Battlemind at-will 1: Bull's Strength
Battlemind at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Battlemind daily 1: Allies to Enemies
Battlemind utility 2: Telepathic Challenge
Battlemind at-will 3: Visions of Terror
Battlemind daily 5: Nightmare Vortex
Battlemind utility 6: Psionic Ambush
Battlemind at-will 7: Lightning Rush (replaces Twisted Eye)
Battlemind daily 9: Intellect Hammer
Battlemind utility 10: Battle Aspect
Battlemind daily 15: Mind Blade (replaces Allies to Enemies)
Battlemind utility 16: Shield of the Iron Mind

ITEMS
Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Avalanche Boots (heroic tier), Gauntlets of the Ram (heroic tier), Heavy Shield, Magic Wyvernscale Armor +4, Knockback Warhammer +3, Cloak of Resistance +4
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


"The real kicker here is bull's strength: the augment 2 you can use three times an encounter, which is a close blast 3, push 5 (with items), slows, and does 1W + (con x3) + str. Any monster in that blast can't shift charge anyone, and you can pretty much guarantee that they do nothing for three rounds."


The Ghost in the Shell (Half-Elf Monster Perplexer) - by ShakaUVM
(NB: Due the update to Windrise Ports this build is no longer valid as-is. It still is a very good demonstration though, and if needed can be created in a similar way as Hybrid.)


Shock & Awe (Half-Elf Mark of Storms Trickster) - by Auspex7


Revenant Brick (Longtooth Shifter Pastlife & racial PP) - by Algarad
"Revenant/Longtooth Shifter
Battlemind/Moonstalker/Free Soul
Battlemind has many powers that knock foes prone. Moonstalker grants bonuses for that.
Longtooth shifter grants regeneration. Rapid Regeneration keys off of CON and enhance regen.
Free SOuld help with saves, hopefully your DM gives you a Nullifying Ring.
Heavy Blade Opportunity + Might of the Ogre = Win"


Level 30 snapshot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Ash, level 30
Revenant, Battlemind, Moonstalker, Free Soul
Build: Resilient Battlemind
Psionic Study: Battle Resilience
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Crossbow)
Choose your Race in Life: Longtooth Shifter
Background: Geography - Mountains (+2 to Athletics)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 26, Dex 18, Int 12, Wis 22, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 16, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.


AC: 48 Fort: 48 Reflex: 46 Will: 48
HP: 250 Surges: 17 Surge Value: 62

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +20, Insight +26, Endurance +26, Perception +26

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +15, Arcana +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +21, Heal +21, History +16, Intimidate +17, Nature +21, Religion +16, Stealth +15, Streetwise +15, Thievery +15

FEATS
Level 1: Headsman's Chop
Level 2: Defender of the Wild
Level 4: Warden's Endurance (retrained to Superior Initiative at Level 22)
Level 6: Versatile Expertise
Level 8: Shifter Soul
Level 10: Longtooth Spirit Shifter
Level 11: Beasthide Shifting (retrained to Blind-Fight at Level 25)
Level 12: Fleet-Footed
Level 14: Shield Mastery (retrained to Long Step at Level 24)
Level 16: Paragon Defenses (retrained to Heavy Blade Opportunity at Level 21)
Level 18: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade) (retrained to Epic Will at Level 23)
Level 20: Toughness
Level 21: Rapid Regeneration
Level 22: Armor Proficiency (Plate)
Level 24: Armor Specialization (Plate)
Level 26: Robust Defenses
Level 28: Epic Fortitude
Level 30: Epic Reflexes

POWERS
Battlemind at-will 1: Iron Fist
Battlemind at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Shifter Soul: Longtooth Shifting
Battlemind daily 1: Aspect of Elevated Harmony
Battlemind utility 2: Feather Step
Battlemind at-will 3: Mind Snare
Battlemind daily 5: Aspect of Living Stone
Battlemind utility 6: Winged Weapon
Battlemind at-will 7: Lightning Rush (replaces Twisted Eye)
Battlemind daily 9: Intellect Hammer
Battlemind utility 10: Guardian's Speed
Battlemind at-will 13: Brutal Barrage (replaces Mind Snare)
Battlemind daily 15: Mind Blade (replaces Aspect of Elevated Harmony)
Battlemind utility 16: Insightful Riposte
Battlemind at-will 17: Battle Vortex (replaces Iron Fist)
Battlemind daily 19: Relentless Strike (replaces Aspect of Living Stone)
Battlemind utility 22: Indomitable Maneuver
Battlemind at-will 23: Might of the Ogre (replaces Lightning Rush)
Battlemind daily 25: Deadly Haste Strike (replaces Intellect Hammer)
Battlemind at-will 27: Brilliant Recovery (replaces Battle Vortex)
Battlemind daily 29: Mind-Sundering Burst (replaces Mind Blade)

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Nullifying Ring (epic tier), Agile Godplate Armor +6, Shield of Ultimate Protection Heavy Shield (epic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Boots of Quickness (epic tier), Great Hero's Gauntlets (epic tier), Circlet of Indomitability (epic tier), Brooch of Vitality +6, Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Diamond Cincture (epic tier), Eager Hero's Tattoo (epic tier), Lifedrinker Longsword +6
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


"I'm not sure about my skill selection, or all of the feats. Any suggestions?"

Comment: Get a simple Blood Fury Weapon +1 early, so you can always enjoy your Shifting.
I'd also take Couragous Example, as it's great way to help allies. If nothing else, switch it for Longtooth Shifter Spirit at Epic, when you already have 6+Con Regen. A litte bit more offensive punch doesn't even hurt for a Brick - at least Fleet Footed could go, as you're not the type to move around much. Also consider the Revenant feats that turn you into a true Undead - they're very stylish and helpful, and you can get some nice resistances like Necrotic.
At least during leveling I'd also rather grab either a Cloak of the Walking Wounded / Amulet of Life / Cloak of Survival.
For power selection I'd have a different pick here or there, but all together they're very solid for your playstyle, although you might strongly consider going Frostcheese (Weapon, Gloves, Siberys Shard) if you're already mining Brutal Barrage. Or at least use a Jagged Sword - that should boost your damage quite a bit with all the attacks you get, and you can exploit the crits with Solitaires and the like.

"ALso, I'm not that impressed with the 48 AC - what can I do about that?"

Comment: Your defenses are rock solid - the CB just forgot to add the +3 Dex from your Agile Godplate, although the NADs are the real kicker. Any other bonuses would need to come from situational feats and some item shenangians, I guess.


Half-Elf Hunter (MC Warden, Son of Mercy) - by Jp596
"Obviously I didn't Optimize the gear as much as I could have and will optimize it better if this is the version that I play. Law Breakers doom target gets Con Modifier 3 times to damage if you are in guardian form, which you will be 3 encounters/day*. I'd like to get Weapon Proficiency(Mordenkrad) at level 14, but from there the build is free to go wherever**. This is a legitimately playable, defender/Striker build that would be relatively fun. I could also play around with the ability scores a little more to get a bit more Wisdom in the build for extra law-breaker doom damage. I think just eyeballing the build I'd probably goto a Craghammer+Shield build as it helps your defenses and most of your damage is static."

* This tactic has become invalid since the change to Salve of Power in the March '10 Update.
** For the Defender/Striker route Brutal Barrage at L13 is a powerful choice. If you take it, you should put one point into Str at 14 to be able to take Hammer Rhythm.

Level 12 snapshot
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 12
Half-Elf, Battlemind, Son of Mercy
Build: Quick Battlemind
Psionic Study: Speed of Thought
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 23, Dex 11, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 18.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 18, Dex 10, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 13.


AC: 28 Fort: 26 Reflex: 19 Will: 25
HP: 104 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 26

TRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +17, Endurance +16, Athletics +12, Perception +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +6, Arcana +5, Bluff +10, Dungeoneering +6, Heal +6, History +5, Insight +8, Intimidate +10, Nature +6, Religion +5, Stealth +5, Streetwise +10, Thievery +5

FEATS
Level 1: Defender of the Wild
Level 2: Hide Armor Expertise
Level 4: Weapon Focus (Hammer)
Level 6: Weapon Expertise (Hammer)
Level 8: Dilettante's Mark
Level 10: Adept Power
Level 11: Versatile Master
Level 12: Crippling Crush

POWERS
Battlemind at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Battlemind at-will 1: Whirling Defense
Dilettante: Eldritch Strike
Battlemind daily 1: Allies to Enemies (retrained to Form of Winter's Herald at Adept Power)
Battlemind utility 2: Telepathic Challenge
Battlemind at-will 3: Spectral Legion
Battlemind daily 5: Nightmare Vortex
Battlemind utility 6: Winged Weapon
Battlemind at-will 7: Lightning Rush (replaces Twisted Eye)
Battlemind daily 9: Intellect Hammer
Battlemind utility 10: Shadow Ally

ITEMS
Magic Earthhide Armor +3, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Acrobat Boots (heroic tier), Amulet of Protection +3, Salve of Power (heroic tier) (2), Maw of the Guardian Maul +3
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


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3.3 Rule Issues


Encounter Powers
Other powers, feats and features often let you use encounter attack powers - which you don't have any aside from your singular PP power. It's a save consideration to instead use any augmented Psionic at-will power, and if the encounter power would not be expended instead not expend any PPs either.
If you would be allowed to regain an encounter power, the equivalent would be to regain an equal amount of PPs instead, although that might create certain rule imbalances and thus should be discussed with your DM beforehand.

Expertise and other "Math Fixes"
The +1 to-hit bonus per tier all the Expertise feats provide is usually considered a "math fix", because without it player attacks simply would lack behing mob defenses over time. For that reason it often is given for free to players, as simply everybody would take it sooner than later.
Some groups even hand out free bonuses to other defenses, in particular NADs, and then remove feats like Epic Will or the like, because problems exist there as well. It's a commendable houserule in general, but clarify that before with your DM - you can find plenty of more detailed discussion on this topic in this and other forums.

Lightning Rush
A common discussion is wether LR allows you to also make an OA when you move adjacent to a mob performing a ranged attack, which is one (but not the only) selling points of the power. There are two very strong indications for that. For one it let's you debuff the attack / redirect the attack to yourself, which by common sense needs to happen before the attack is actually performed. Second LR triggers on the mob targetting an ally - while D&D 4e doesn't have a strong step-by-step attack resolution, you naturally must aquire a target before you can make the attack (which is the moment you roll that d20).
A second gray area is if the redirection applies to all targets of a multi-target attack or not, and a strong case can made for both sides. But in any case, it's a win for the BM - if the redirection applies to all targets, the BM can force dangerous multi-targets attacks (like Dragon Fear, Githzerai Mindslicer, ...) solely on him. If not the target restrictions of close blasts and area bursts have to obeyed, which often allows the BM to force the mob to attack either itself or another mob with its area attack as well.

Melee Training
While you recieve some band-aids (conditional Daily Stances, certain at-wills that work as OA at PP cost), it simply cannot be denied that a Defender without a working MBA is not a good Defender at all - particularly if he relies on OAs as much as you do.
As such it is more than prudent that you not only take Melee Training (Con), but in fact recieve it for free, because if not it will - like Expertise - become another yet very annoying feat tax. Your lack of Str and Dex already hits you hard enough when taking weapon and armor related feats.

Multiple Augments
A power can always only profit from one Augment. That means you neither can use both Augments of a power at the same time, nor that you apply a regular Augment of a power and one gained from say a Aspect Daily at the same time.

Psionic Study Triggers
There are two problems for all excluding SoT.
The first is that the trigger is not very reliable and/or vague. BR trigger of just any attack, and that means in the you might not get anything out of it because you were just missed and/or your turn came up right after, thereby lowering its value. For PH and WS the text isn't clear if it's just any enemy that can trigger them, or a specifc one you choose at the moment when you have to decide when to actually take the trigger. The former, as the FAQ states it, lowers their value quite a bit, as it can make using them a bad move or just impossible - hence talk to your DM first.
All of these three also share the issue that they don't work when they would be needed most and which according to the fluff should be your particular experise. In a surprise round the trigger will most likely come up, but because you're incapable of taking actions (even free ones), you cannot use them and hence losing them for the fight.


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4.1 Psionic Power Selection


The special mechanic of most Psionic Classes is their Psionic Augmentation feature.
This means that you don't get any Encounter Attack Power from your class, although you still can take Encounter Utility Powers as usual and still get Encounter Attack Powers from any other source as for example your PP.
This is compensated by getting three At-Wills, which each have three versions - one regular At-Will and two Augmented. So you can choose each time you use a power in which of the three versions you want to use it - if you use it Augmented, this will drain your PP reserve, which you get as encounter resource instead of your normal three class Encounter Attack Powers. While all three versions of an Augmentable At-Will largely cover the same objective, they individually can vary from only adding some damage to doing something related but still quite different.

For the BM in particular you thus need to keep in mind two issues when building your character:
-- You must be able to effectively engage the enemy in all situations with a comparetively smaller set of powers.
-- Because your at-wills alone are more potent than those of classes, your class features are a bit weaker and you have to rely more on active defending.

Remember: You can always select (or just keep) powers from lower levels when gaining new powers. This can help you to achieve your favoured set of powers as well as increase your PP efficiency at higher levels.

The Problem: Breadth
Other Defenders can pick some more situational encounter powers to cover particular problem, and then rely on their at-wills to carry them through the rest of the combat. The challenge when building a BM is thus to cover all #2.2 possible defense scenarios well with just your three at-wills, so that you can reliably do your job to defend your party.
There is no general truth how to do that perfectly. The key instead is to find the right balance between powers that lock down, debuff, improve tactical positioning, deal with both strong single as well as multiple weaker enemies, do straight damage and help your own defense. You generally prefer powers that have more varied effects in their three different version above narrow repetitions of the same trick, effects over on-hit riders, broad applicability over conditional use and many targets over single targets. Also consider what you can already do without your powers using class features, feats, etc. If you then have decided on a combination, evaluate its quality by considering how your performance in the four defense scenarios would be to decide if your choice is valid.
The good news is of course that you don't have to fight alone, and you can and should consider the rest of your group. If you have an awesome Controller the rather problematic Field Defense might not be much of an issue at all, or two very mobile or ranged Strikers can probably take down any dangerous mob fast enough, so you will never need to go into Man to Man defense.

The Advantage: Depth
The strong point of the Psionic Augmentation system is that while you don't have the sheer amount of different tools available, once you have found a good tool you can use it over and over again, while other classes only can use their best trick once, and then need to employ lesser attacks.
The first way to maximise this benefit comes natural for any Psionic Class. If you have for example an attack that blinds, like Twisted Eye, you usually would use it to waste one round for a dangerous mob, and then need to fall back to other options. You instead can pool all your PPs into this one power and completely neuter that teleporting Elite Artillery and leave your other powers untouched and for other occasions when they suit you best instead.
The other way to exploit your unusual power structure is that by having a smaller but reusable set of powers, you can much easier optimise your other choices like feats or equipment. That could be a feat like Psychic Lock to constantly debuff your targets, or an item like Gauntlets of Brutality to add some extra damage to your favourite Brutal Barrage.
At last two minor benefits are that your at-wills will become stronger as you grow in level. You can also keep a good or synergetic lower level power and make use of your increasing PP pool, and recover PPs more easily than other classes recover encounter powers. Both might cost you a bit of damage, but the possible extra optimisation and stronger effects are more than worth it.

Active Defending
Compared to other Defenders the BM is geared more towards active defending due his relatively weaker class features and stronger powers.
The BM cares in particular about positiong, to threaten with both OAs and MS a broad as possible. That means that you should actively reposition yourself each round, and you also can employ numerous powers to both enhance your mobility and excercise Forced Movement on the mobs.
Furthermore, depending on your build, you have control oriented powers to actively hinder mobs, strike oriented powers to kill mobs faster and make it an even worse idea to ignore you, and defensive powers in case you don't need neither control nor damage and mainly are interested in outlasting the opposition. No matter what you do, don't sit idle or just throw some damage without any rider at your foes !
And while your powers play a significant role in your overall performance, don't neglect what your #2.1 class features can do for you. And thus consider carefully if you really need a power if some similar benefit can also be gained by using one of your class features.

Adding all that together you'll find that the choice of your three at-wills makes the core of your build, compared to traditional classes that are much stronger influenced by their choice of class features and feats.


Dailys, Utilitys and other Powers
It's not as bleak as things may seem after you read about the problem of breadth.
You still get Daily Attack Powers as everybody else, and the BM has a nice selection of encounter long benefits tied to them. These Dailys can cover any hole that you might have in your build due your At-Will selection and the composition of the rest of your group. The other possible application is to not so much try to cover every possible contingency, but to really have some big guns and enforce a quick and decisive, albeit probably bloody, resolution of the encounter - and enforcing his plan onto the enemy is a playstyle the BM excels at.
Utility Powers help you in the same way Dailys do, although they are less aggressive and more defensive in use and usually focused on you and your allies in application. You can either choose a daily usage to be able to have a back-up for harder encounters, or an encounter usage to provide you with often needed benefits like increased mobility. At last while they have definately a strong combat application, many Utilitys offer you a solid benefit for situations not combat related, or the greatest of them even find application in both areas, so consider what you want your character to excel at. Also note that Skill Powers can significantly widen the choice provided by your base class.
Beyond that your PP, your race, your equipment and sometimes some sources provide you with powers both on encounter and daily basis, being attack or utility in application, and thus can provide any need still left unfulfilled by the BM class itself.

Concerning Lightning Rush (L7 At-Will)
It is likely that you already have heared of it, up to the statement that only this power makes the BM playable.
Simply said, this is not true. It's definately is a very strong power due its Immediate nature, it's movement and target redirecting capabilities. But you give up your chance to MS, you give up a potentially good position and sometimes even risk OAs (although that might be well worth it). It's also one example where some - but certainly not all - of its effects can also be replicated by simply using your class features intelligently.
The real problem is that it takes away one of your three At-Will slots and tends to be a significant drain on your PPs or Standard Actions. Thus while it is a firm choice, keep an open mind and be assured that there are a good number of valid BM builds without that power.


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4.2 Heroic Disciplines


Level 1, At-Will
C Concussive Spike: (DSCS) Solid way to rearrange mobs and get your allies out of trouble. The 1pA offers flexibility and the 2pA is a bit situational but good for setting up a kill. A great combination with Heavy Blade Opportunity and one the ways to set-up a forced movement based power combo.
Conductive Defense: (PsP1) A precise power that slaps a solid debuff (that can even trigger multiple times per round) on the target - what's not to like ? Skip on the 2pA for other powers, but the 1pA can be used nicely against multi-shifting mobs, which are often a problem. Probably a keeper for Humans, and all those who want to abuse Mark of Storms. Just be careful about the fixed reach if you use a Polearm.
Bull's Strength:
(PHB3) A little push can be handy to line up mobs, and doing it in a Close Blast only to your enemys is definately solid, just the 1pA is rather situational. It is a good basis for a power combo based on forced movement, particularly as the 2pA is a rare source of a repeatable Weapon based AoE push.
Demon Dance: (PHB3) This power seems nice in theory, but in practise will rarely be used - if you want to stop a mob from making OAs use Twisted Eye instead. Might become relevant at Paragon, when things like Blindsight enter play and you can start abusing the Psychic and Fear keywords.
W Iron Fist: (PHB3) Getting scaling resist at-will and as effect is definately a winner. The downside is that the augments are quite situational and that you often want to use your attacks for more aggressive purposes, because you are already very resilient. A sweet pick for Humans as extra at-will.
Renewed Focus: (PsP1) A nice power in theory... until you realise that you have to be able to use the power and hit to dump those conditions - which usually is the problem in the first place. Both augments are nice, but really situational in use as well.
Twisted Eye: (PHB3) A blind right at level 1 ? Tasty ! The basic version is still nice if you have some melee buddies to pile up on a dangerous single mob. The 1pA might not be stellar, but it can help you in your first few levels if you haven't picked up Melee Training... yet.
Vicious Cobra Strike: (PsP1) Reduced damage but a lot of marks, and good to finish off wounded mobs and Minions. The 2pA is a superb combination of AoE, marking and debuffing. And on top of it it's even Psychic ! While the option on the regular attack looks like normal damage (and probably should be), heed this warning - your DM might call you out on the exact RAW of extra damage for really only 1W+Con.
C Whirling Defense: (PHB3) A good power, but (almost) everything it can do, Vicious Cobra Strike can do better. The MS damage boost is just a bit too situational.
World Slipping Advance: (PsP1) It really doesn't do much, but mobility and positioning - particularly for a BM - are important, which is somewhat of a saving grace.

Level 1, Daily
Accelerating Strike: (PsP1) A relatively plain attack, but before you get a good mobility boost. And on top of that, it makes you even more mobile for the rest of the encounter - including shifting... which solves the problems of all those encounters with difficult terrain and the like. Still strong but not so overwhelming once you have picked up Blurred Speed or similar feats.
Allies to Enemies:
(PHB3) Getting a mob to attack its ally is not the best in the world, but once per day you can possibly use it on an Elite or a Controller to impose a status effect on one of their allies. Sweet if you have another Defender in the party to exploit this.
Aspect of Bitter Ice: (PsP1) An AoE push plus immobilise is already top tier for a Daily of this level. But you also get the option to slow all adjacent mobs as effect(!) for one PP per round and as cherry topping a bit of resistance as well.
W Aspect of Elevated Harmony: (PHB3) Spending a HS as Effect is already quite good for this level. But the encounter long 1pA is a real game changer - a quite significant boost of automatic tHP and some tasty extra damage, both will find good use through all Heroic. If you don't have any Wis it's still strong, but nothing overwhelming.
Corona of Floating Force: (DSCS) A rather plain attack with a decent encounter benefit. I'd still recommend Accelerating Strike - but great for true Dark Sun players, who expect Hazardous Terrain on a regular basis.
Living Fortress: (PsP1) A boost to defense, particularly nice against area attackers, that you can cash in for an emergency resist - solid.
Psionic Anchor: (PHB3) Being able to teleport a target around at the end of its turn isn't really good - the damage has been done by that time, and it's even only a save ends compared to an encounter long effect.
Steel Unity Strike: (PHB3) Decent initial damage and gives your OAs some punch for the encounter, which is particularly strong if you lack Melee Training. The downside is that you rarely know when you will make many OAs until you actually get them.
Stolen Grace: (PsP1) The attack is arguably stronger when it misses than when it hits, but the interesting part is the stance anyway. By itself it's OK, but strong if you like battlefield mobility, in particular once Lightning Rush enters play - and great for all Polearm users once they hit Paragon.

Level 2, Utility
Concussive Response: (DSCS) Weak and situational buff - meh.
Dimension Slide: (PsP1) Get an ally out of trouble and/or overcome an immobilise on yourself - you will probably find good use for this every encounter. Can also be exploited with Agile Opportunist once you hit Paragon.
Evade Explosion: (PsP1) It might not come up every encounter and burns your immediate, but aside from the nice damage reduction part it lets you avoid an attached debuff. But it's even better for your party members, as now any potential mark on the target applies with at least the debuff, and potentially every secondary effect you might have attached.
Feather Step: (PHB3) Can be useful if your DM likes to go crazy with Difficult Terrain or you often face large bodies of water or the like. Still you're better served by getting some equipment to solve these problems in the long run.
Oaken Resilience: (PsP1) Small but solid resist all for one encounter per day - just remember to retrain it for something better by the end of Heroic.
C Psionic Vigor: (PHB3) A good chunk of reliable tHP every encounter is very nice to relieve your Leader. Consider retraining it for something with better scaling by Paragon.
Telepathic Challenge: (PHB3) Marking everything in a melee furball or in the first round of combat when your allies want to take some better positions is big fun, it potentially allows lot of punishment and it also helps you to better manage your few PPs during early levels.
Wild Savagery: (PsP1) A big buff to your OAs and a sweet extra interrupt mark punishment once - the only problem is that it has some annoying activation clause. (You could cheese your way around that with a Blood Fury Weapon.)

Skill Powers
W Anticipate Maneuver (Insight): (PHB3) A solid way to gain CA, as only the fewest of mobs will have a good Bluff.
Endure Pain (Endurance): (PHB3) As Defender you will get focused fired often enough - this compared with your great Con will help you survive a dangerous onslaught.
Fast Hands (Thievery): (PHB3) Good for your action ecenomy, particularly if you if you lack Quick Draw and usually don't have a free hand.
Inspiring Fortitude (Endurance): (PHB3) When you get the power the tHP you give to your group are worth about half of their HP total, which means it can completely turn the tide of an encounter. Its strength drops with higher levels because it doesn't scale that well - consider retraining it, although it still stays strong far into Paragon. Oh, and you could ask your DM if you can use it as Minor if you are a Dwarf...
Agile Recovery (Acrobatics): (PHB3) Always a solid choice to avoid losing valueable mobility after falling prone.
R Nature Sense (Nature): (PHB3) If you expect a good part of the campaign to be in natural environments, you definately should consider this. A huge bonus for all your party for the first (and possibly also the surprise) round is hard to pass up. The initiative bonus is just icing the cake.
C Nose for Trouble (Streetwise): (PHB3) A daily initiative reroll with a bonus - useful but nothing more.
Scrambling Climb (Atheltics): (PHB3) This power let's you scale a huge distance - and as melee combatant there's nothing worse than being sniped at from above.
I Strategist's Epiphany (History): (PHB3) If you have the Int to back it up, this can help everybody to get an at least decent initiative. Strong but not special in case you lack a good Int.

Level 3, At-Will
Cast the Net: (PsP1) Basic relocation, with the option for a little extra distance as 1pA and a chasing option as 2pA - but that burns your immediate and thus MS. Strong if you have a reach weapon to begin with.
Harrier's Dance: (PsP1) Would be solid on a Striker, but it makes you look like a silly sizzy.
Mind Snare: (PHB3) Another nice in theory power, which gets into problems in practise due other mobs still being able to direct the target once they know about the particular effect. The upsides are solid augments, good performance against ranged mobs and a certain way to grant your ranged allys CA.
Lodestone Lure: (PsP1) A good and reliable way to keep an extra mob in check, but you do give up damage for it. Both augments are quite solid. You can set-up a great more-than-immobilise if you hit and then stay away at least two squares (just skip the pull), but expect to get slapped for it by your DM.
Mist Weapon: (PHB3) Both Augments are very situational, but can be strong in the right campaign. If you're just seeking a precise attack better go with the L1 Conductive Defense.
Momentum Swing: (PsP1) Very solid and reliable mobility power and a good one-two punch as 2pA, that finally gives at least a little love to charging BMs. Remember that shifting adjacent to another mob doesn't mean you couldn't also stay adjacent to the first one - on the contrary...
C Spectral Legion: (PHB3) Giving your allies CA when they can't get into a flank is helpful, particularly if you have a buddy like a Rogue who makes frequent use of it. The 1pA can help you surive for some rounds if you have to face a nasty melee mob while your allies clear the field, and the 2pA is great to waste a round of melee mobs or forces ranged mobs to use a weak melee attack.
C Visions of Terror: (PHB3) An at-will push is definately useful, the 1pA turns the victim into a pinball if your allies join the club, and the 2pA lets you play billard for a round. Don't underestimate how reliable and significant battlefield rearrangement can change a fight, particularly the great synergy if difficult / hazardous terrain, zones or AoEs from allies are present. You can also build this one into a power combo if you either abuse the forced movement or get some Assassin or Tiefling fear related feats.
C Wrenching Claw: (DSCS) And another mob rearrangement power, normally inferior to Ludestone Lure and Cast the Net, but with a good Cha the 2pA option it can offer a useful blend of those two.

Level 5, Daily
Aspect of Living Stone: (PHB3) A good opener combined with a solid encounter long 1pA. It's usefulness is a bit limited though, due the fact that Wis builds could rely on Iron Fist instead and Cha builds won't get much out of the bonus damage.
Aspect of Unspeakable Horror: (PsP1) Useless attack and an encounter augment that is decent, but not more. Strong if you specialise in multi-target attacks that work unaugmented like Psionic Speed.
Beckoning Strike: (PHB3) Medicore damage and fills your Stance slot on a OA that lets you pull the enemy back you just after your ally took the hit. Maybe decent if you have lots of squishy allies that use ranged attacks that might provoke OAs themselves.
Empathic Feedback: (PsP1) Big burst (literally) of out of turn damage, guaranteed forced movement that let's you get allies out of trouble, and some nice tHP on top.
Fated Confrontation: (PsP1) Flashy... and very very useless.
Inconstant Location: (PsP1) A free teleport of 2 (or more with bonuses) at the start and end of your turn ? Wow, that's what I call mobility - and it becomes real vicious once you can easily lock mobs down (Brutal Barrage says hello) to execute devastating in-out attacks.
Nightmare Vortex: (PHB3) The opening burst is decent, but the encounter long control effect can really screw mobs, from killing flanks, forcing them to take OAs and preparing AoEs of your allies. Fantastic if you have more marking abilities than just BD, as you can keep all your marked mobs close.
Predator to Prey: (PHB3) A really weak effect, further marginalised due being save ends - take Nightmare Vortex instead.
Wild Speed: (DSCS) Weak opener and a stance that has unreliable and potentially superflous benefits.

Level 6, Utility
Energy Transformation: (PsP1) Just makes it into the decent area because it's a free action. The shining effect can be helpful or hindering depending on the encounter.
Mental Triumph: (PsP1) You hate being locked down and not able to chase down mobs ? Hate no further...
Psionic Ambush: (PHB3) A solid encounter teleport that also helps you to get around your weakness against movement imparing effects or to chase down an important mob, and you get CA on top of it. Be careful that it provokes OAs, as the power itself is ranged. You can even abuse it out of combat as your BD can target your allys, too.
Relentless Hostility: (PsP1) The trigger is not reliable (although it does work off Minions) and it neither works in between turns (due OA / MS), but if you get the triggers, it's solid repositioning or a chance to close in to your next victim.
Sense Minds: (PHB3) A package of OK but not overwhelmingly good perception flavoured effects that still offers an occasional out of combat use.
R Stag's Leap: (PHB3) A solid mobility enhancer to get over difficult terrain or get up some heights, and it is at-will to boot - but you will need a decent Athletics score to start with. Depending on your DM that might be anything from situational to really great.
Surging Durability: (DSDC) Single digit tHP for a Daily ?! What a joke !
Warning Premonition: (PsP1) Overcoming surprise, even if it's occasional, is very good - and the shift useful, even if you don't reach any target. SoT users will like the extra distance and the guaranteed action from turn zero onwards, and all others like that the can reliably use their Psionic Study even in surprise situations.
Winged Weapon: (PHB3) It's a way around your weakness being stuck away from enemies and even works with any attack. But better get back to your allies quickly, as defending an empty corner won't help them, and see that you get something against these conditions sooner than later. To boot Psionic Ambush will better in the very most situations.

Skill Powers
Eyes of the Deep Delver (Dungeoneering): (PHB3) Blindsight for two turns per encounter can be a significant help if you often face dark halls or stealthy enemies.
Everbody Move (Intimidate): (PHB3) An automatic Push as Minor - very nice ! This let's you rearrange any battle line to your favour.
Insightful Counter (Insight): (PHB3) This let's you keep your defenses when you're swarmed - a rather common experience as Defender.
Insightful Warning (Arcana): (PHB3) Area attacks are a favorite way of mobs to hit your allies without violating your mark - this power will make it more difficult for them.
Mighty Sprint (Athletics): (PHB3) A big increase in the distance you can cover, particularly useful at the beginning of combat.
R Practiced Rider (Nature): (PHB3) If you plan on using a mount, this helps you to stay flexible in combat.
Prescient Maneuver (Insight): (PHB3) Interrupt movement can easily ruin a mob's turn or potentially even the full round for them. The downside is that you won't be able to use your mark in that round, either.
Quick Switch (Thievery): (PHB3) This can help to get an ally out of a bad spot.
R Slow Pursuit (Streetwise): (PHB3) Being able to selectively create Difficult Terrain is a huge help to make the life of the mobs difficult. Just make sure that you will be in a suitable environment often enough.
Stirring Speech (Diplomacy): (PHB3) Quite a nice bonus if you know the upcoming encounter is tough.
Swift Recovery (Heal): (PHB3) Good for your group's action economy, particularly if you're low on Leaders. It can even get an ally back on his feet after he dropped, if he still has his Second Wind available.
Third Wind (Endurance): (PHB3) A solid extra healing for tough encounters, and it even works as minor.
Walk it Off (Endurance): (PHB3) You will take Ongoing Damage often enough as Defender, so this can keep it from doing too much damage. A strong pick if you have a bonus to saves against it.

Level 7, At-Will
Body Double: (PsP1) A tricky power that lets you be in two places at once. While it helps defending a lot, the downside is that the power itself doesn't do anything beyond it. Furthermore by the letters it only allows you to attack and flank from there... until the start of your next turn - but if your DM sees things more flexible and lets you also move (hint: BS), then this power becomes great indeed.
Ego Crush: (PHB3) Stopping CA is decent against certain mobs that require it for their good shots, but often you know that just after they're through with it and it's still very specific. The 2pA is decent AoE damage, but Psionic Speed is a much better all around power if you're just interested in that.
Flowing Weapon: (PsP1) Take L3 Lodestone Lure instead - lower level and actually enhances your Defender abilities.
Forceful Reversal: (DSCS) Cheap source of a lot of extra damage, and a solid control rider packed on top of it - sweet !
WW Ghost in the Steel: (PHB3) This is a nice way to encourage the target to stay focused on you and only you. The augments are a bit specific, but both have potential to be put to good use against either strong melee or control heavy mobs. Being a Psychic power open be used with Psychic Lock at Paragon is definate icing to the cake.
Give Chase: (PsP1) Let's you mark, and also improves BS to chase down the mob. While it's not bad, its use is both situational and can largely be replicated by feats.
Lightning Rush: (PHB3) This power looks innocent, but it completely changes the way you play. Trading your Immediate (which governs MS) and possibly your next turn's attack for an attack now looks like a questionable deal. But when you realise that you can follow up this attack with an OA against that pesky Artillery half the room away, because your interrupt triggers before the actual attack is made, this becomes a whole lot different. Now add that you can do more damage and still fully take your next turn by using the 2pA, have strong intra-turn repostioning, don't rely on a mark and potentially redirect any attack (yes, that includes any nasty Burst 2 nukes that this Elite Controller might throw at your party) on you and with the right positioning only at you - and you see, why we have a winner here. Even if you skip it now, strongly consider picking it up during Paragon. Please also consult the #3.3 rule issues for questions that might come up.
Psionic Speed: (PHB3) Wow, attacking up the three creatures at will is Dual Strike on crack ! And throw in some extra marks for good measure. The 1pA is a good deal to make sure you really get to all of them, and the 2pA packs even more punch and makes sure those marks connect.
Stone Squire: (PHB3) An at-will prone is a good way to keep a mob next to you, but you pay for it by giving up damage. The 1pA is a very specific use and the 2pA gets you a bit more damage, but offers no new tricks. If you have a decent Wis and often need to control Fort-weak mobs like Artilleries, this is a strong choice.
Violent Ubiquity: (PsP1) Some battlefield rearrangement with a dial to finetune to your needs - decent, but not something that's going to win you battle on its own.

Level 9, Daily
R,W Aspect of Disembodiment: (PHB3) A very decent debuff, but to truely shine you want to have strong save ends effects in your party and probably further ways to debuff saves. There is a way out for the target, but in that case you still have forced it to waste a full round, so no loss. The 1pA is definately useful to increase damage and mobility, but nothing particularly strong and as such more a nice bonus to the opening attack.
Baleful Teleport: (PsP1) Some decent control, but really not that special for a Daily of such level.
CC Cascade of Rippling Force: (DSCS) A good movement enhancer and solid source of extra damage - if you have the Cha for it. If not you're better off with L5 Inconstant Location.
Inexorable Death Strike: (PHB3) An incredible specific OA Stance - Aspect of Disembodiment is much better and more reliable at debuffing saving throws.
Intellect Hammer: (PHB3) Weak damage with a decent rider, but it at least let's you reuse some of the nice augmentable powers you have by now. Save this for the long bossfight.
Iron Tomb: (PHB3) A Stun is always useful to take a dangerous mob out of combat. Losing the damage on both the attack as well as the Stun duration seriously impacts the net gain, although it will never be a complete loss.
R Lion's Charge: (PsP1) If you run one of the rare charging builds, this is OK - but don't except to find three targets lined up for your on a regular basis.
Shattered Time: (PsP1) Lays claim to a sizeable spot which makes every mob suffer for ignoring you - you punish with an OA and even can double up with a MS afterwards. The sustain minor stings, but it's a fair price to pay. Downright fantastic if you have improved OAs or often fight in enclosed quarters where the mobs cannot easily escape.
Strength of My Enemy: (PsP1) Low damage but reliably delivers a solid debuff. The buff is rather short lived, but can be decent enough if you regularly employ powers like Brutal Barrage or Psionic Speed.
Whelm: (PHB3) Some damage and a weak push are all but a joke for a Daily of this level.

Level 10, Utility
Battle Aspect: (PHB3) That's all your defender'ish needs packed into one solid power for a whole encounter. Not only you gain a significant resist, but you also can teleport as move action, so suffer no more from being immobilised or restrained.
Guardian's Speed: (PHB3) You usually should keep your immediate action for MS instead and make sure that squishy ally doesn't get into such a bad position in the first place, as it's only a reaction and so doesn't prevent the attack. It has some niche benefit against multi-attack mobs and together with Agile Opportunist.
C Hands of the Titan: (DSCS) A solid damage boost and it lets you exploit quite a few elemental tricks and vulnerabilities. Great if you have some nova oriented build.
Hone Weapon: (PsP1) Really really weak - it at best gives you +1 dmg per W. Not something you'd expect out of a Defender Daily...
Iron Warding: (PHB3) A nice damage reduction, particularly against a crit, at the cost of your immediate action and only being useable once per day.
Shadow Ally: (PHB3) The mechanics of this power are odd at first, but if you hide your Shadow Ally around corner or behind your allies, you can get a very solid +4 bonus to all defenses for the encounter, or at least until the enemies go chasing it down with single target attacks, potentially wasting a few attacks and eating some OAs / MS in the process. Just make sure to read the conjuration rules so you don't lose your ally mid combat.
Subjective Gravity: (PsP1) A fancy power, and quite good in the right encounter (or some non-combat situations) - but it's a daily and not guaranteed to see good use regularly.
Ubiquitos Vision: (PsP1) A decent buff, and while flanking often is an issue for Defenders, you have much less problems with it thanks to BS.
Uncanny Senses: (PsP1) Solid buff to two important skills, that find good use even out of combat, and very good to hunt down Lurkers - you won't regret taking this.

Skill Powers
Conviction (Religion): (PHB3) A solid bonus to ensure a success on a saving throw. The problem is just that the many of the severe conditions you will suffer don't leave you with a Minor to spend.
Crowd Cover (Stealth): (PHB3) Being victim of ranged attacks from the second line is a common occurance for Defenders - this let's you turn it against your enemies.
Cry for Mercy (Diplomacy): (PHB3) A rather silly image, but a very good way to get someone out of a tight spot.
Disruptive Stunt (Thievery): (PHB3) A solid combination of repositioning and debuff - just remember that you still provoke from other targets.
Incredible Stride (Athletics): (PHB3) A big boost to speed - but usually you need such a boost only once or twice per encounter, but then again more than once per day.
WW Insightful Comment (Insight): (PHB3) A great boon for social encounters, this can even help well in combat for any Intimiate builds and a few other tricks.
Navigate Crowds (Streetwise): (PHB3) This power let's you reposition yourself to the most beneficial spot, no matter the enemies' formation.
Prescient Defense (Inisght): (PHB3) This let's you avoid one hit per encounter, which is solid enough.
Reactive Surge (Endurance): (PHB3) Reliable per encounter healing at a low action cost - just remember that you can't fire your mark when you use it. The best part is that as Reaction it lets you still use all your abilites that trigger on becoming bloodied.
Perfect Sight (Perception): (PHB3) Two turns of Blindsight are definately useful to overcome stealthy mobs, but a better version is available at level 6 (Eyes of the Deep Delver) if you have Dungeoneering trained.
Snap out of It (Intimidate): (PHB3) The conditions it helps to overcome are severe, but the need to be adjacent right then makes it often hard to use.
Spot the Path (Nature): (PHB3) Ignoring Difficult Terrain, even with shifts, can easily turn a tight situation. If your DM includes Difficult Terrain often, this is actually a great power.
Spot Weaknes (Perception): (PHB3) A nice damage boost, but you lack the multiattacks to fully exploit it.
Stall Tactics (Bluff): (PHB3) A huge penaltie to the enemies' initiative that can help you get a good start in an important encounter. Remember that you need line of sight, but that usually isn't an issue with SoT.
R Time Out (Heal): (PHB3) If you are in a party with low healing available, this can help a buddy who has recieved focus fire in an encounter.
W Uncanny Instincts (Nature): (PHB3) A solid insurance against a weak initiative in a crucial moment. If you have invested enough into Perception this can gaurantee you a top spot, which is just great.

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4.3 Paragon Disciplines


Level 13, At-Will
Brutal Barrage: (PHB3) A quite reliable way to prone targets and do consistent damage, particularly with the 1pA. Great if you have Hammer Rhythm, and there's a multitude of ways to add damage to turn this into one of the games most damaging power combos. The 4pA is usually a waste of PPs though, and beyond consistent medium damage/proning this power isn't very flexible and single target as well.
Dizzying Strike: (PHB3) A slide or a 4pA Daze is useful but nothing really special. The 1pA can mess up those increasingly common multi-attacks you will be facing though.
Intellect Snap: (PsP1) Daze at-will is solid, but you trade in a lot damage for it. Both augments are situational, but very worth it. The real strength comes with the great combination with the Fighter's Dizzying Mace (and Dark Sun's Singing Stick), and the fact that you can build a power combo using the non-damage-roll damage upgrades.
CC,R Kinetic Fist: (DSCS) Some damage spreading ala Cleave. The real draw comes from the spamable 1pA option that let's you set-up a solid catch-22... if you have your target's in a lockdown already (... and if not Luring Steel might just be the power for you). The 4pA is probably a waste of precious PPs though. There's some decent synergy with the Fighter's Iron Vanguard (and Dragonborn / Draconic Arrogance).
Kinetic Shield: (PsP1) A relaxed trigger for a power to save your allies or maybe finish off a mob. But positional requirements, the fact that it doesn't help yourself and the significant cost to keep your Standard lower its potential quite a lot in the end. Consider either L7 Forceful Reversal or everybody's favourite L7 Lightning Rush.
CC Luring Steel: (PHB3) The effect of both the basic and the 1pA are quite nice, giving all adjacent allies a nasty anti-melee aura (particularly if your group has a source of Psychic vulnerability). The 4pA is a bit situational, but if you can catch three or four mobs and thus mark them for the rest of the encounter, thats a big boost. And on top of all that you can use this goody with Psychic Lock. Beware of clumping up against AoEs and losing your former marked targets if you use the free action BD.
Overwhelming Lunge: (PHB3) All of the options are very situational and hardly worth a power of this level.
Parting Shot: (PsP1) A movement oriented power that in the end has sadly very little gain for you - take L3 Momentum Swing or L7 Psionic Speed instead.
Unwavering Concentration: (PsP1) A good power to boost your defense, and both augments are worth it, even though they just increase the base effect.
Web of Betrayal: (PHB3) Now that's a real fluke - weakly forcing the mobs to spread out is just encouraging a tactic that is very smart anyway.

Level 15, Daily
WW Aspect of Enlightening Flame: (PHB3) Compared to the other Aspect upgrades this is a rather weak one, mainly offering some extra damage. In case you have Psychic Lock it can be a strong choice as it allows you to tack the debuff on some non-Psychic power.
W Aspect of the Raging Tempest: (PsP1) The opener is weak, and while sliding some far away yet marked target has some uses, they're marginal. If you have one of the few multi-attacks like Psionic Speed or Brutal Barrage, this becomes a strong choice as you can slide and damage a mob multiple times per turn.
Aspect of the Desert Storm: (DSCS) A solid and reliable way to set-up one target for a kill and then move onward to control the next group of mobs.
Crushing Wave Strike: (PsP1) One and a half attacks attacks against the main target, and a solid control AoE - too bad you also hit your allies, which negates the idea to get them out of trouble with this attack.
Intellect Sunder: (PHB3) Gives you a mark plus for a short amount of time, only strong if you have an ally who can debuff saves.
Mind Blade: (PHB3) Getting a target to fall unconcious is certainly nice, but you give up potential damage for it and suffer from a rather weak miss. You can perform a Coup de Grace afterwards, but you yourself can't exploit that so well. In case you have some melee Striker ally though (preferable a Ranger or Barbarian) to exploit it, this power is absolutely fantastic and can easily set-up an Elite for a quick kill. Mind that at some tables damage to an unconcious target will always wake it up.
Paralyzing Fear Strike: (PHB3) The opener is solid as it's quite precise, and the Stance is crippling against enemies who rely on mobility.
Precognitive Eye: (PsP1) A mix of a sticky encounter mark and assorted buffs against all marked targets - while certainly all benefical, this powers lacks a certain kind of punch or synergy to really shine.
Sonic Burst: (PsP1) Some enemy repositioning and a good movement boost, but that's about it - but it's very flashy, if that counts for anything...

Level 16, Utility
Extend the Mind's Eye: (PHB3) A plain skill boost itself is probably not the strongest option at this level, but as Free Action useable on demand and features two very useful skills. Still consider the L10 Uncanny Sense as alternative.
Intertial Barrier: (PsP1) A superb defensive power, particularly as you don't have to use push. The downside is that you have to sustain as minor and the zone is static and and an invitation for AoEs.
Instant Move: (PsP1) A supercharged move action for free, every encounter ? Oh yes, please !
Mind of Endurance: (PHB3) Healing plus regeneration is always solid, but the amount could be larger and it suffers from the restriction of only working when bloodied.
Resolute Recovery: (PsP1) A mix of little but solid defensive pieces - it's probably going to spare you a turn of doing little or nothing each day, which is worth something.
Savage Intent: (DSCS) This power basically reads "if you have marked it, you can smack it" - that's just what you want ! Even better it's a Minor, so you can do something not directly related to defending your allies with your Standard.
Shield of the Iron Mind: (PHB3) Fire and forget for a huge bonus to your defense against Will attacks and conditions, both things handed out like candy by mobs at your level.
Sudden Rush: (PHB3) Similar to L6 Psionic Ambush, but without range limitation (which might or might not make a difference) and without provoking an OA. But it also takes up a 10 level higher slot and lacks the bonus CA.
Teleport Trigger: (PsP1) A very tactical power and thus hard to judge, and it's probably going to help your allies more than you... but still it's a big mobility enhancer if you manage some good placement. Just mind to stay in range.
Skill Powers
Die Hard (Endurance): (PHB3) This power lets you stay in the game quite some time longer, but being Dazed definately hurts your performance as Defender.
Indomitable Ally (Diplomacy): (PHB3) Sometimes even the best Defenders can't stop the monsters from ganging up on an ally - this let's the poor guy keep going and get a heal or potion.
Insightful Riposte (Insight): (PHB3) Turning one miss into a hit each encounter is very good !

Level 17, At-Will
R Battle Vortex: (PHB3) All different kinds of incentatives for the mobs to stay close and focus on you. Hence only take it if you expect to regularly fight seperated from the rest of your party - if you rather expect fighting together instead consider Could of Dancing Blades. The at-will is solid and the 4pA expensive but effective. The 1pA is somewhat specific, but it's a solid debuff against against ranged mark breakers or AoE attackers. It has good synergy with intra-turn mobility from BS and Lightning Rush, and it also works with Psychic Lock.
R Cloud of Dancing Blades: (PsP1) The counterpart to Battle Vortex for times when you, the mobs and some allies are all clumping up. The basic version is a bit boring, but in melee you're most like to get your MS. The 1pA is a cheap and reliable multi-marker if you still need one. The real draw lies in the expensive but effective 4pA - burst 2 is already good for mass mob nuking (particularly if you have good damage or strong hit riders), and in case somebody leaves the zone and goes for your squishy allies, you get to relocate yourself and try to stop it... even getting a second try with your OA in case you miss.
C Dancing Strike: (PsP1) Mark and chase power - not bad, but need to hit and the 4pA is only a damage upgrade. On the bright side the benefit works independent of whom you targeted.
Dazzling Assault: (PHB3) A solid power in itself. None the less you probably get more out of the right combination of L7 Lightning Rush, BS and some other lockdown power, as you need to use the expensive 4pA to keep your Standard.
Entangling Weapon: (PHB3) Another movement controlling power - while it's not bad in itself, it is largely outclassed by the options available, if you're not looking for a particular benefit.
Festering Wound: (PHB3) A power with a very weak damage boosting potential - not worth such a high level slot.
Gravity Well: (PsP1) Slow at-will is always decent, but it's sad that you had to wait so long to get it... as by now you have more potent more options available for both single target lockdown and mass mob control. Both augments are quite situational, which really doesn't help. Strong for Crippling Crush users due high damage thanks to double Con.
Open the Way: (PsP1) Now that's finally a good mobility power, and one with reach to boot in case you get stuck. Both augments are verstile and worth their PPs.
Ruinous Grasp: (DSCS) Solid forced movement and a great 1pA. The 4pA slaps a solid debuff on the target, and in case you reliably exploit damaging zones (ask your friendly Wizard), this has the potential to severely hurt the mob...
Step of the Pursuer: (PHB3) A solid chase power, which gets its real use from the cheap and spamable 1pA to knock out mobility debuffs.

Level 19, Daily
Aspect of Squamous Horror: (PsP1) Unspectecular opener (although it does kill Minions) and an Aspect with only niche benefit. But it makes a strong combo with melee allies to set-up multiple OAs or damaging zones.
Aspect of Stolen Identity: (PHB3) The 2pA Aspect effect is what makes this power shine. Now you can severly exploit any nasty at-will of high level mobs, which is either a big damage kicker or solid extra control. Great in combination with Psionic Speed, Brutal Barrage and other powers that offer multi-target or precise attack options in their base version.
Dimensional Ambush: (PsP1) Not totally pointless due the mobility it offers - yaah...
Focus Bind: (PsP1) Wait... a power that your enemy and debuffs yourself ? W... T... F... ?!
Indomitable Presence: (DSCS) Don't expect much extra damage out of the initial attack. The encounter long automatic retribution is intereting enough, although such defensive use of Minors can be quite hindering.
Mind Wrack: (PHB3) It's just another power that deals a bit of extra damage as Daily - you'd expect something more here. But it does make a strong combo if have Brutal Barrage and some saving throw debuffs in your group.
Relentless Strike: (PHB3) The opener itself is nice. The OA stance completely ruins everyone's turn who tries to move away. The first really useful OA Stance after 19 levels - consider me impressed...
Temporal Regression: (PsP1) A weak double attack now and lose your whole next turn ? No, thank you very much...
Vengeful Mind: (PHB3) A selfstacking accuracy boost against any enemy who's fond of AoEs or doesn't care about MS punishment - sweet. That enemy will either attack only you sooner than later, or you will be able reliably retaliate with your big guns.

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4.4 Epic Disciplines


Level 22, Utility
Deaden Blow: (PsP1) Fair damage reduction, but only once a day and only one round.
Fearless Mindset: (PsP1) Big junk - did the author even look at L16 Shield of the Iron Mind ?!
Immortal Endurance: (PHB3) It's just tHP, but then again it's quite a bunch of them for those really hard encounters.
Indomitable Maneuver: (PHB3) A big shift that let's you move through your enemies each encounter is a solid choice.
Mental Haven: (PsP1) Lose a whole turn and recycle some utility power ? Nope - take Immortal Endurance if you want extra survivability.
Perfect Eye: (PHB3) I'm pretty sure that power sneaked into the wrong class as you just do not posses any ranged attacks. Then again the Psion and even more so Archer Rangers and some others will plain love it.
Psychic Feast: (DSCS) Now that's big tHP - possibly every encounter. The problem is just that you might just not trigger them, or might get them when you don't need them any more. And while your Leader will definately be happy, your high HS count makes them not as necessary as it would for other classes.
Tactical Supremacy: (PHB3) Free CA for an encounter is good by all means, although you probably will have aquired other means to achieve that by now. Certainly a favourite for some multiclassers though.
Wings of Elevated Thought: (PsP1) Daily flight with all kinds of limitation - just use an Elixier of Flying instead.

Level 23, At-Will
Armor of Blades: (PHB3) Wants to be the big brother of Lightning Rush but lacks the crucial mobility aspect and has overpriced augments - stick to original instead.
Blade Tremor: (DSCS) Knocking prone is decent rider in general, but compared to how much more effective (get an OA when they stand up !) and less situational Might of the Ogre is, this power is not a great pick. It get's some situational benefit for its 6pA that might knock a mob or two at range, and for not losing the Con bonus to damage.
R Crushing Vortex: (PsP1) Getting a full features Cleave at this level is... well... late, but nonetheless it's still decent. The 2pA is a waste of PPs, but the 6pA while expensive can yield big, big damage numbers. First it gives you some backslash abilitiy when mobs hit you - but most probably they just won't stay. The better trick is to round up like three mobs, shift away and let your Sorc nuke it with two attacks... suddenly you added up to 6 times Con mod damage to those three mobs ! Requires a solid multi-attacker or better AoE attacker in your party though.
Double Vision: (PsP1) Slapping CA on something is useful, as is some teleporting around or dazing. But that's not exactly impressive for a level Epic power.
Iron Presence: (PsP1) Yet another marking power... at least it's an effect and a solid one to boot, and the 6pA has a sweet big burst. Tactically L1 Vicious Cobra Strike or L13 Luring Steel are still better.
Might of the Ogre: (PHB3) This can seriously mess with somone's day and provides a very good mix of damage and control, sometimes even profiting from your OA Stances, depending on the enemy's action. The 2pA is a bargain, but the 6pA is probably just overkill.
Press the Battle: (PHB3) The at-will hardly does anything to control the mob, and all augments are plainly overshadowed by cheaper lower level powers.
Reality Shuffle: (PsP1) Another move around power - too bad it's either very restrictive or expensive.
Spring Assault: (PHB3) Stop wasting you PPs and just use a good old fashioned charge.
Veil of Mind's Eye: (PHB3) It's really sad that a Blind for 2 PPs is available to you at first level !

Level 25, Daily
W Aspect of Luminous Thought: (PHB3) Decent autodamage paired with a 2pA option for a solid boost to damage and defense makes it a good pick.
Blazing Offensive: (PsP1) Aside from being flashy and having slightly more initial damage, Deadly Haste Strike is better in about every way.
C Corona of the Sunsphere: (DSCS) The opener is solid damage and pushes. But the real draw is the Stance - OAs dealing damage as effect is fancy, although probably not as good as you can do with a regular OA by now. But look again... now you can use an OA to punish mobs for ignoring you, stacking it with MS (best used in big melee battles) and even without you having them marked !
Deadly Haste Strike: (PHB3) Great mobility and decent damage from the opener and the Stance let's you repeat this as a little version with an OA - enjoy !
R Psychic Hammer: (PHB3) Accurate Domination paired with serious repositioning ? Yes, please. The only catch is you're still subjects to Saving Throws, but even without means of debuffing those (from yourself or the party) it still is a strong choice. If you're willing to sink two Dailys into one encounter, you can potentially steamroll it together with Inexorable Death Strike (which incidentially is one of the rare good uses for that power).
Stolen Vigor: (PsP1) Psychic Hammer's dominate is just better at single target control, but this one has at least a few minor advantages - better miss effect, small healing and an integrated save debuff, which together still make it an OK power to choose.
Sublime Fury: (PsP1) There we have it - another self debuffing power... The Stance even doesn't help dedicated Brutal Barrage spammers, and you cannot voluntarily end it. So better keep your hands off.
Temporal Reiteration: (PsP1) A small delayed bonus attack attack with a little teleport back - I'm not impressed.
Vitality Theft: (PHB3) A big and reliable regain of valueable PPs to fuel your tricks - nice !

Level 27, At-Will
Brandished Promise: (PsP1) Oh jeez, yet another marking power. There are tons of better powers to do that out there - don't waste your highest at-will on this one.
Brilliant Recovery: (PHB3) An at-will minor action attack is great, even if it's just some vanilla damage, but you often need your move/minor for other things and it only triggers on a miss. The 2pA is more damage with more precision, and the 6pA packs a punch and gives a refund if you miss again. A must have for anybody building a power combo with Brutal Barrage.
Cage of Cowardice: (PHB3) It's funny that while a Stun is always good, this power is completely outclassed by Mind of Mirrors.
Elusive Ghost: (PsP1) And another movement power - the only speciality that it has is the free target square you get combined with a teleport. But the distance is short or you pay lots of PPs.
Imprisoned Mind: (PsP1) Not really special at this level, but having the ability to deny shifting at-will is decent enough. The augments are very situational though.
Mind of Mirrors: (PHB3) A full Dominate not even subject to nasty saves and that possibly three times per encounter make this a real winner. And even if you don't have the PPs for the 6pA both the at-will and the 2pA apply a huge debuff to the target. Just watch out for the rare mob immune to Charm.
R Obsidian Shield: (PsP1) If you have Psychic Lock it's an easy to use AoE debuff. But that's about it - and powers at your level should be rather about full actional denial than mere debuffing, and the damage is a bit lackluster if you seek that.
W Psionic Storm: (PHB3) Both the at-will and the 2pA provide very decent damage and improved marking and punishment. The 6pA makes your MS really dangerous if you can stay adjacent to multiple mobs or a single dangerous one - but the price is high so you can't keep it up for long.

Level 29, Daily
R Aspect of Annihilation: (PHB3) Reliable applying an auto-fail to a save opens up all kinds of nice combos. And even for the very rare chance neither you nor your allies have a good effect, you still can at least keep your own nice ongoing damage from the attack ticking for the encounter.
Darting Grace Strike: (PsP1) Not spectecular, but a multi-target daze and then an encounter long defense bonus plus some triggered mobility are solid enough.
Fatal Barrage: (PHB3) Just some extra damage for a level 29 Daily, haven't we been there ? Aspect of Annihilation probably beats this damage wise, and that's before the encounter long bonus.
Focused Ramapage: (DSCS) Turning your at-wills into MBAs is always beneficial - from OAs to other uses. A nice topping for any at-will optimising power combo, but situational if you already have Heavy Blade Opportunity.
Killing Wind Assault: (PsP1) The speedbuff is useful, but the invisibility when moving basically translates into just not triggering OAs... if the mobs don't have any way to get around invisibility. You can't hide with it - but if you really managed a charge & stealth build, this is a strong buff.
Many Doors Curse: (PsP1) A debuff to be slapped on a BBEG to set it up for a kill. Can add decent damage if timed right, and the repositioning is certainly useful as well. A strong combo if you have a multi-attacker in your party and can slap it on a prone / non-flying mob to make it take extra falling damage, even if it saves agains the forced teleport a good number of times.
Mind-Sundering Burst: (PHB3) A very good combat opener, especially if you have PH / SoT, and the Stance is quite passable. Just make sure not to fry your allys in the process.
Nova Strike: (PHB3) The same as Fatal Barrage - just not worth it...
Omniscient Strike: (PsP1) Interrupt an attack and negate it if you hit, and maybe even regain 2 PP - solid. Just mind that the target might shake off the stun right awards.

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5.1 General Feats


Class Feats
Heroic
Blurred Speed: (PsP1) You want this, because now difficult terrain doesn't stop you from using BS, and you can chase down those annoying Skirmishers much better. If you have problems with that before you can spare the feat, take a look at L1 Accelerating Strike.
Bolstering Spike: (PsP1) As you're not guaranteed to trigger MS that often, and if you trigger it, you just didn't get hit, so it's not as good as it seems. Strong if you spend most of the in melee together with allys, which make triggering MS more likely.
Deceptive Mind: (PHB3) An extra defensive bonus never hurts, but due the volatile and short lived nature of BR this isn't particularly useful. Best if you have problems with first round debuffs, but by Paragon Prescient Dodge gives you more bang for your buck (although the feats do stack). Strong by Paragon if you have Defiant Fire.
R
Harrying Step: (PsP1) Being able to teleport right next to any target trying to escape your wrath, no matter the debuffs on you and no matter how fast it's going, is without comparison, and also the only reason ever you might skip Blurred Speed. Just mind that for utilarian and defensive purposes Blurred Speed is surperior due Harrying Step's target restriction.
R Immovable Resilience: (PsP1) Forced movement is annoying, but not all that common - and considering the short duration of BR this feat probably won't help you much.
R Improved Speed of Thought: (PHB3) Usually you should get far enough to shield your allies without it, but except for very high Cha you will often have a chance to reach a much better spot with this feat. Builds combining Wis with SoT or weak on the Initiative side are the main targets for this feat.
R Kinetic Reel: (DSCS) These 2 squares might well be the cruical difference between just getting a mob close and getting it into melee range and locking it down right away.
Lure of Iron: (PHB3) Repositioning after MS is useful, but it suffers from the same problems as MS in the first place and unless it's a multi-attacking mob it only applies when the damage is already done.
Punishing Spike: (PHB3) Meeting all of the conditions for this to come to use seems like a win in a lottery.
Pursuing Step: (PHB3) Effectively a punishment (getting CA) for even trying to escape you. But mobs will learn soon and it's not always the best course of action to stay adjacent with BS. Great if you have a strong OA though (and I hope you do).
R,CC Quick Reactions: (PsP1) Potentially better than Improved Initiative, stacks with it and gives you a speed bonus on top, that helps reaching the backlines of the enemy if necessary - great combination.
R
Resilient Demand: (PsP1) A bonus to defense is solid, but it won't come into play that often. Becomes strong by Paragon if you have a low PP consumption, so you can just spam BD for the defense bonus. Still consider if Prescient Dodge might not be the better alternative.
R Telekinetic Savant: (DSCS) Good way to further push your forced movement. Some powers and situations might need it, some others might not. The clause to apply to all BM powers can also increase class powers, but on the other hand doesn't help in case you have Hammering Iron, as a MBA is not a BM power.

Paragon
R Blurring Speed: (PsP1) Solid boost to defense for the important first round, and can make a fun combination in case you have good Stealth - but Prescient Dodge will better most of the time (although they do stack). Becomes situational if you already invested in a high initiative.
Defiant Fire: (PHB3) An extra package of solid resistance is always helpful, but it still suffers from the volatile nature of BR.
Demand's Reach: (PHB3) Can be beneficial to establish a good mark right at the beginning of the combat without running too far ahead, but usually three squares is quite enough.
R Ferocious Resilience: (PsP1) A damage bonus never hurts, but this one will see little benefit in play, as it doesn't apply to your AoE attacks. Useful enough if you also have Defiant Fire.
R Harried Recovery: (PsP1) Using up all your PPs will happen sooner or later - in that case you potentially get out a decent extra attack. It has a few problems though, as you might not like the target attacking you (giving up a good position) or you want to keep your Immediate ready for either MS or some other (non-PP based) power or even just an Immediate it with your last PPs.
R
Harrier's Control: (PsP1) Dramatically improves your positioning with PH, and also makes sure that your target does not shift away right after you jumped it.
R Iron Propulsion: (PsP1) Get Scale Specialisation or Fleet Footed instead. And I sincerly doubt if investing more into speed improvement is really beneficial for a Defender.
R
Linebreaker: (PHB3) It might help you to round up mobs with SoT, but on the other hand it makes it impossible for you to just move through their spaces in case they are huge (or large if you're small). Can be strong in the right combination of high initiative and AoE powers.
Staggering Spike: (PsP1) For once a good upgrade to MS, as it helps to get the mobs off the board quicker if they ignore you.
CC/WW Steel Rebuke: (PHB3) It will be rather rare that the enemies cluster up enough to get much use out of it. It can happen if you are often in melee together with allys, which makes it useful enough to improve your threat or kill Minions.
R Thundering Force: (DSCS) Not so useful by itself, it is the basis for getting Resounding Thunder (PHB1) to work. You might also need a Force Weapon to apply it to certain attacks. Expensive but great combo with some of the top tier burst powers like Vicious Cobra Strike or Might of the Ogre once you have the PPs to spam these.
C Unstoppable Speed: (PsP1) A good benefit to by itself, and free in between turn positioning is almost always quite beneficial. While you might not provoke from the melee mob who bloodied you, others can still hit you with a OA - although even that might well be worth it.

Epic
Battlemind Menace: (PsP1) A nice feat to put the mob into a lose-lose situation for even trying to escape you. Just mind the they'll probably learn quick enough and that it is another power bonus to defense.
Devouring Demand: (PHB3) Handing out three sticking marks at once is exactly what a Defender wants to do.
Fearsome Spike: (PsP1) Too situational all things considered, and you better pick up Devouring Demand or one of the many other ways to hand out more marks.
R Inexorable Speed: (PsP1) Your SoT doesn't provoke anyway, and it's rare that the mobs clustered tightly enough and still are only large, that you couldn't reasonable reach your prefered destination. You'll usually fare better by just taking Improved SoT.
Invigorating Demand: (PsP1) Definately a useful buff for you - the problem is just that by now those tHP will be all but a drop in the bucket.
Precient Retaliation: (Dr387) Punishing before the damage is done can sometimes kill a mob, so it might come in handy - although usually mobs will start to play "nice" at such low HP. But the true power lies in its great synergy with Lure of Iron to potentially negate an attack all together.
Rapid Mind Spike: (Dr387) Applying their punishment twice is the dream of every Defender. For you it's more dependent on positioning, so it might or might not come into play that often. On the other hand you can now savely use your Immidiate actions for other purposes (like Lightning Rush), and still threaten the mobs with MS.
Strength Through Challenge: (Dr387) Yes, please, I'd like free Resist 5 All for just a feat and maybe a PP or two every fight !
Vengeance Spike: (PHB3) Adds insult to injury and makes sure you're not ignored.

Psionic Augmentation Feats
Heroic
R Beguiling Torment: (PsP1) You have a few ways to Daze and Stun enemies (Intellect Snap in particular), and while spamming this ability is costy, it can often turn out beneficial - particularly to landlock mobs so they cannot attack at all.
Psionic Celerity:
(PsP1) A medicore bonus, but sometimes that +2 speed can be the difference between a productive and a wasted turn. You probably still want to retrain it by Paragon for Fleet Footed or just Scale Specialisation.
Psionic Fortune: (PsP1) A save bonus is always solid, and while the upgrade is expensive for just 10% extra chance, you sometimes really want to make sure or suffer a ton of conditions.
Psionic Initiative: (PsP1) Slightly less bonus than Improved Initiative, but you can up it if you really need it - solid.
Psionic Reflexes: (PsP1) The base benefit is a bit meager and the upgrade expensive - and OAs seldom make that much of a difference. Still not a bad investment.
Psionic Skill: (PsP1) One of the better ways to pump a skill, particularly as you don't have much use for your PPs out of combat. Mind that the bonuses are both typed, which stops them from stacking with certain other easy sources.
Psionic Toughness: (PsP1) Toughness is just mathematically better - the only benefit here is that you in fact can buy both, if you really want to push your HP.

Paragon
R Prescient Dodge: (PsP1) If you regularly rely on unaugmented attacks (see p216, PHB3) during your round or especially if you have Heavy Blade Opportunity, this is just cheap and very efficient way to boost your defenses. If you tend to blow your biggest guns right away, it might be useful for later combat, but nothing more.
Psionic Rush: (PsP1) One of the better ways to improve your PP economy. Mind that it only works during the extra action itself (so AFAIK will only work on one power - but feel free to post any combo to apply it to more), and that it doesn't work with Psionic Augmentation feats.
Threefold Fortitude/Reflex/Will: (PsP1) The base benefit is small and doesn't even stack with Robust Defenses, so keeping it up is expensive and of comparatively little gain. Still might be worth it in case you have problems with your weak Reflex.

General Heroic Feats
S Armor Proficiency (Plate): (PHB1) If you have the Str to actually get it, you'll probably lack the Dex to get Scale Specialisation at Paragon. So get Plate for extra AC, and you can even raise your AC further by specialising into Plate later, which keys of Con. But mind the -2 check penalty that comes with Plate.
W Alertness: (PHB1) Helps avoiding surprise and lessens the impact of it if you still become surprised. Take this feat if you want to push Perception, which is a definate option for Wis builds.
Battle Hardened: (PHB3) The initiative boost is useful while the save bonus is a bit special, but at least rather significant if it comes up.
R Battering Shield: (PHB3) A solid way to increase your forced movement if you have a build specialising in it.
C Bloodthirsty Mien: (DMA09) If you're going for an all Intimidate build, this can be the icing to the cake. Just make sure your DM actually lets you use the Intimidate rules in combat.
Courageous Example: (Dr377) As defender you try to be as good with saving throws as possible, and you often are hit by conditions, so this is a decent way to share some love with your allies.
R Deadly Draw: (PHB3) You don't have many slide or pull powers, but by careful selection of any sources not related to your class you can probably aquire quite some. Getting CA this way a few times per combat is certainly helpful.
Defensive Mobility: (PHB1) A seemingly odd pick for a defender, but you will propably take some OAs when using Lightning Rush. Also sometimes risking an OA can get where you need to be, where just going around of shifting wouldn't. Pairs well with your high base AC.
Durable: (PHB1) I wonder how you manage to go through so many HS, but if you do, feel free to get it.
Focused Mind: (PHB3) A big bonus to saves against those conditions that impair you most at doing your job - great if you have a leader to grant you saves between your turns or you picked up a Circlet of Arkohsia.
Impending Victory: (PHB3) It's a bit special, but should still see use in Heroic and maybe early Paragon. Helps if you struggle with your accuracy. The good part is that your MBA also counts as at-will, which means it applies to charges and OAs as well.
Improved Initiative: (PHB1) Going early in combat is good, going early as defender before the mobs start eating your allies is even better.
Low Crawl: (PHB3) If you regularly have problems due being knocked prone, this can be a nice help - particularly as it lets you continue to use BS even while prone.
R Lucky Start: (PHB3) If you somehow have invested heavily into initiative and maybe even a have groupwide buff, this is a nice way to ensure you make the most out of your start and reliably land your combat opener.
Melee Training (Con): (PHB2) You need this, the sooner the better. A defender without threatening OAs is not much of a defender. Being able to charge never hurts, and your leader will probably thank you, too. If you started with at least decent Str and/or have other options to get off some good OAs, you can pick up some other feats before this.
D Quick Draw: (PHB1) An alternative to Improved Initiative if you qualify. Good for your action economy, particularly for things like drinking potions in combat.
Rapid Assault: (PHB3) If you like first round novas this certainly is for you, particularly if you selected SoT.
R Scrappy: (Dr379) In case you are small and want to go for the big damage with two-handed weapons, this feat is an absolute must have.
Skill Power: (PHB3) A feat for a power is a very good trade, and Skill Powers in particular contain some really good picks that fit any build and skill selection. Note that if you take it early you can still retrain for higher level powers later as you rise in level.
Spring Step: (PHB3) If you have mobility problems from going prone and can't obtain a way to stand up as minor action, this can help out.
Teamwork Defense: (PHB3) The bonus is solid, but the condition is a bit special. Still if your party shoots for it, your combat style definately lends itself to join the fun.
Timely Respite: (PHB2) Getting an extra saving throw in a turn when you are unable to contribute (due a Daze or Immobilise usually) helps to make sure you at least can perform your Defender duties unhindered afterwards, instead of potentially suffering the condition another round.
Toughness: (PHB1) More HPs are good for a defender, but your high Con already gives you an edge, so you might need other feats more.
R Unfailing Vigor: (PHB3) Not the strongest choice, it can certainly help if you pick up a few other bonuses to Death Saving Throws - and it certainly makes for a cool visual.
R Vicious Advantage: (PHB3) Gaining CA against a movement impaired mobs is definately a good thing, as you as Defender will still be close to them often enough. That is, if either you or your allies can actually apply those conditions regularly.
Warding Defense: (PHB3) You usually shouldn't be using your standard action for a full defense, but considering your very limited ranged options, this feat can turn it into a viable choice instead of abandoning your allys and heading alone into a crowd of mobs.
Weapon (or Versatile) Expertise: (PHB2) Hitting more often means putting out more hurt while also throwing out some nice buffs and debuffs - get it, probably sooner than later. It's often considered a math fix and thus #3.3 houseruled.
Weapon Focus: (PHB1) More damage never hurts, and makes sure those mobs take don't just ignore you.
Weapon Proficiency: (PHB1) Yes, more damage - slightly worse than Weapon Focus, because you usually roll rather few weapon dice. Great to pick up weapons with traits not available as military, like the Whip or the Greatspear.
R Wintertouched: (PHB1) Not much of a boon on its own, it is an essential part of Frostcheese.

General Paragon Feats
R Agile Opportunist: (PHB2) If you have an Inspiering Bard, a Preserving Invoker or any other ally with regular forced movement for allys in your party, this is a nice source for extra attacks. But it gets in the way with MS and Lightning Rush, so make sure another melee ally picks it up, too.
D/S Armor Specialisation (Scale/Plate): (PHB1) A bonus to AC and a good secondary benefit - you should get this. Only go for something else if you didn't manage to get either Str or Dex 15 by now or really want to save feats.
Back to the Wall: (PHB1) It's a very nice bonus if you often play in cramped quarters.
Blood Thirst: (PHB1) If you really need more damage output and have no other source like MCing, this is probably your best bet, as you want to finish everything bloodied of as quickly as possible.
Combat Anticipation: (PHB1) If you don't want to invest in both Armor Specialisation and Paragon Defenses, this is a cheap way to make up for it.
Critical Reserve:
(PHB3) More PPs are always useful. The trigger is a bit unreliable but still reasonable, and it's quite good if you already have an improved critical range.
Danger Sense: (PHB1) More and even stacking bonuses to Initiative - it never hurts. It can be great if you have BR, because there are situations when it would make sense to actually lower your Initiative.
R Defensive Advantage: (PHB1) In the rare case you qualify for it and have any power combo going that regularly grats you CA, get it.
Eys in the Back of Your Head: (PHB3) It removes the most common reason for granting CA, including the nasty bonuses many mobs recieve beyond the attack bonus itself.
Fleet-Footed: (PHB1) Depending on your build you move around quite a lot, so this sure helps.
Gritty Determination: (PHB3) If you're really shorthanded Leader wise, those tHP can sure be a welcome help.
R
Lasting Frost:
(PHB1) If you're going for Frostcheese, here is your winner. Really great if your whole group goes for it.
Lightning Reflexes: (PHB1) If you feel that you're lacking too much in the Reflex department, this is your alternative to Paragon Defenses, although with a little less bang for your buck.
Paragon Defenses: (PHB2) A Defender should definately consider his defenses...
Opportunistic Sidestep: (PHB3) Thanks to BS you should get OAs often enough, and being able to reposition yourself in the process can be of great tactical value.
Overwheling Critical: (PHB3) A critical hit is not too reliable, but if you get one this makes your the mobs stays right next to you.
R Psychic Lock: (PHB1) If you have enough powers with the Psychic keyword, this is a definate pick. Be careful that it won't work with MS.
Repel Charge: (PHB3) As Defender you will likely be charged at least a few times combat, so this will give you some nice extra attacks - which is always good. Even better your recieve all potential OA bonuses you have, and if you can push with your OA you can even waste the whole charge attempt on a hit !
Roll with It: (PHB3) Forced movement by mobs is not too common, but when it occurs you as Defender will often be the victim to brake your formation. This feat will foil those attempts.
Shield Mastery: (PHB3) Your Fortitude should already be quite solid, but pushing it further by all means won't hurt.
D Shield Specialisation: (PHB1) Another option (if you qualify) in case you only want to invest one feat to boost your defenses, as it helps with both AC and your weak Reflex.
Solid Sound: (PHB1) In case you hunt for every last bit of NAD, this is your option to work together with MS.
Uncanny Dodge: (PHB1) A solid pick as you will grant CA often enough and this feat works for all defenses. Just remember that effects like bonus damage will still trigger.
Unfailing Courage: (Dr377) You certainly have the HS to make use of it, and it a great help if you have a shortage of Leaders.
Vexing Flanker: (PHB2) You will be a flanking partner quite often, so your party will thank you. Only skip this if you have no melee buddy at all or your party has another way to regularly grant CA to everybody.

General Epic Feats
W/R Blind-Fight: (PHB1) Solid choice if your group doesn't have some other way to make those buggers visible.
R Boundless Enthusiasm: (PsP1) PP recovery is always solid, but you'll need an improved Crit range or multi / multi-target attacks to make it work reliably. Also 2 PPs is relatively little by Epic, so consider how often you'll really need it.
Epic Fortitude/Reflex/Will: (PHB2) A sad feat tax (particularly for your notoriously low Reflex), but one you'll probably want to pay sooner or later, in case you haven't introduced a #3.3 houserule for the NAD problem.
R Epic Resurgence: (PHB1) A good feat, but only take it if you have an improved crit range and a really good PP or any other encounter attack.
Indomitable Will: (PHB2) Doesn't stack with Robust Defenses, but helps against the most nasty conditions in the game. Get it if you took some other route than Robust Defenses, and even consider it if you have them.
Long Step: (PHB3) Being able to shift two square or at least one in difficult terrain is already quite good. Combined with powers as BS, Psionic Speed and the fact that difficult terrain won't hamper your shifting anymore and others you can become an actual tactical nightmare for your enemies. You probably won't need Blurred Speed and this, although both do stack. Strong but not mandantory for PHs, as they can rely on Harrying Step.
Opportune Reflexes: (PHB2) As with Indomitable Will it doesn't stack with Robust Defenses, but it might be a consideration if you regularly face ongoing damage, as it quickly adds up. Still you probably want to consider getting a resist item or potions against that, if it's somewhat predictable what you'll face.
Pure Mind: (PsP1) Psychic Damage shows up often enough by Epic - the point is just the between Robust Defenses and Strength Through Challenge the net effect of the feat will often be rather small.
Rapid Regenration: (PHB3) Considering your very high Con score this gives any regeneration quite a boost. You might not have many powers available to offer regeneration for now, but at Epic you have enough money and HS to load up on the cheaper Regeneration Potions and laugh at the mobs that try to bring you down.
Robust Defenses: (PHB2) Epic sees already many NAD attacks, and they usually are nasty. Considering your NADs already lack behind a bit, this is a must have. Retrain it for Paragon Defenses in case you got those.
Surperior Initiative: (PHB3) Now that's a boost to a rather important stat for a Defender - you will like this !
R
Triumphant Attack:
(PHB1) Good synergy if you have any kind of improved crit range (for example due a Jagged Weapon), and just great in combination with multi / multi-target attackes.

Weapon Feats
Axes
H,R Headman's Chop: (PHB3) Quite some extra damage against prone targets. Even though you have a solid selection of powers to knock prone, remember that it only applies when the target is already prone before the attack.
P,SS,R Deadly Axe: (PHB1) In the rare case you both have the Str, an improved crit range and not already a high-crit axe... then this actually is quite useful.
E,SS Axe Mastery: (PHB1) If qualify for it, get it - but only put so much into Str if you have some other benefit from it, too.
E Cleaving Axe: (PHB3) Getting extra attacks is always a good idea.

Flails
P,D,S,R Sweping Flail: (PHB1) If you face mostly humanoids in your campaign, this can offer a decent attack bonus against hard to hit targets.

Hammers
H Hammering Iron: (PHB3) Pushing with your OAs lets you mess in many cruel ways with your victims, particularly if you pick up items that increase the distance you push to toally ruin the mobs' turn.
P,S
Hammer Rythm: (PHB1) It's quite possible to qualify for it, and it offers a significant damage increase as you will have a very good Con.
E,SS Bludgeon Mastery: (PHB1) It's not easy but quite possible to qualify for this - if you go, get it.

Heavy Blades
H,D,S Blade Opportunist: (PHB1) Gives your OAs more punch, which plays a significant part of your defending capabilities.
H,R Headman's Chop: (PHB3) Quite some extra damage against prone targets. Even though you have a solid selection of powers to knock prone, remember that it only applies when the target is already prone before the attack.
P,D,S Heavy Blade Opportunity: (PHB1) A powerful combination with your strong at-wills. Getting the stats to qualify for it isn't easy but definately possible.

Light Blades
H,D,S Blade Opportunist: (PHB1) Gives your OAs more punch, which play a significant part of your defending capabilities.
H,D Nimble Blade: (PHB1) Attack bonuses are very good, the only problem is that you often will not be able to get CA if you want to defend efficiently.
P,D Light Blade Precision: (PHB1) Another damage bonus to pick up, if you shoot for it. You can expect to apply it often enough, particularly because you as Defender like to go for the big targets.

Maces
P,S Hammer Rythm: (PHB1) It's quite possible to qualify for it, and it offers a significant damage increase as you will have a very good Con.
E,SS Bludgeon Mastery: (PHB1) It's not easy but quite possible to qualify for this - if you go, get it.

Picks
E,SS Pick Mastery: (PHB1) If qualify for it, get it - but only put so much into Str if you have some other benefit from it, too.

Polearms
H Hafted Defense: (PHB3) Getting a shield bonus while using a two-handed weapon is a very good bonus.
H Polearm Flanker: (PHB3) Losing the CA bonus from flanking from reach is one aspect that hurts Polearm builds. This feat mitigates that problem, but note that it only applies for your own attacks, not those of your allies.
P,S,W
Polearm Gamble: (PHB1) This feat is what makes Polearms so good - it will likely generate a huge amount of extra attacks. To make the most of it, though, get either Heavy Blade Mastery in combination with a Glaive or multiclass into Fighter or Warden to pick up weapon or OA related feats. Also keep in mind that if the mob manages to reach you, the CA will hurt you.
P,D,S,R Spear Push: (PHB1) If you plan to make a forced movement build, this is a good way to increase the distance you can shove mobs around.

Spears
P,D,S,R Spear Push: (PHB1) If you plan to make a forced movement build, this is a good way to increase the distance you can shove mobs around.

Staffs
H Hafted Defense: (PHB3) Getting a shield bonus while using a two-handed weapon is a very good bonus.
H,W Staff Fighting: (DMA09) A solid way to further increase your defenses, and the benefit of wielding a double weapon can come in handy with certain feats or powers from other classes.
E,SS
Bludgeon Mastery:
(PHB1) It's not easy but quite possible to qualify for this - if you go, get it.

Dragonmark Feats
Mark of Finding: (EPG) Considering it requires CA and you have BS its uses are somewhat limited, although it is away to keep up with runaways and then smack them with an OA if needed.
Mark of Passage: (EPG) This significantly improves your BS and also a few other powers you have available like Psionic Speed.
Mark of Sentinel: (EPG) A solid way to repostion yourself between your turns.
R Mark of Storm: (EPG) You require a special weapon or another way to make good use of it, but it let's you build all kinds of neat combos.
Mark of Warding: (EPG) A classic Defender choice, the buff to your mark is really good. Sadly you won't get much out of the other part at the moment.

Other Feats
Tribal
All feats not mentioned here are barely better than regular feats, even if taken by the whole party. So proceed with care.
Bloodied Spear: (PP) If taken by the whole group, you will build up a sizeable bonus to OAs, which can become quite nasty for mobs. Consider retraining out of it at higher levels, though, when the relative bonus (it's 'feat' typed) isn't so great anymore.
Courageous Heart: (PP) Fear and charm effects are often quite nasty in nature, and with this feat your group can build up a significant bonus against them.

Deva Heritage
Deva Heritage: (Dr374) The Stance can help you well through a hard encounter - just remember to start healing early to keep it up. The skill bonus is nice if you feature that particular campaign.
H,WW Heavenly Heritage: (Dr374) This gives you in practise a resistance equal to your Wis, which is quite good, considering that those two damage types are quite common.
H,R Radiant Recovery: (Dr374) If you wield a Radiant Weapon or have another way doing Radiant damage, this is a huge amount of tHP. But outside an evil campaign or one featuring many divine opponents, so taking the feat just for avoiding Radiant damge is useful at.

Vampiric Heritage
Vampiric Heritage: (DMA09) Being able to self-heal is nice, but in Heroic you don't have any power that let's you grab a target and often not the Str for a regular grab either, so it's a bit problematic at first. You can overcome that problem at Paragon, though.
H Night's Sight: (DMA09) Low-light vision is useful, if you don't already have it, but nothing overwhelming.
H Vampire Alacrity: (DMA09) Access to improved speed already at Heroic - solid enough.
P Bloodied Regeneration: (DMA09) Regeneration is nice, but this has rather steep requirements. Your best use is to take this to get rid of a useless PP utility power.
P Dominating Gaze: (DMA09) Even if it costs you a bit - it's still a Dominate, and one with a solid aftereffect to boot.
P Savage Bite: (DMA09) It costs you an extra feat, but it now lets you use your Blood Drain without major problems.
E Scent of Blood: (DMA09) This feat lets you gain CA for free a significant amount of time - don't pass it up !

Vistani Heritage
Vistani Heritage: (Dr380) With proper positioning you can completely waste the turn of a mob - very nice !
H,R Advantageous Eye: (Dr380) If you have many ranged allies, they will appreciate the CA for one turn.
H Eye of Paranoia: (Dr380) For those occasions - usually boss fights - when you cannot deadlock the mob for a whole turn, this still is a significant debuff for many elites and solos.
H,R Vistani Fencer: (Dr380) This tries to improve the set-up of your Evil Eye. It requires careful deployment, but it pull that off it will give you quite a damage boost.
E Persistant Eye: (Dr380) A good way to excert even more control over a mob. Be careful if you also have Vistani Fencer, as this feat can actually shorten the duration you can use that damage buff.
E Vistani Foresight: (Dr380) An extra Action Point is a huge benefit - and even better it comes with an untyped initiative boost as well !

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5.2 Racial Feats


Racial Feats: A-F
Deva
Auspicious Lineage: (PHB2) A useful pick to make those rolls count, but still suffers from its volatile nature.
H,W Battle Intution: (Dr374) You have good wisdom anyway, and going early as defender is a huge benefit.
H,WW Heavenly Heritage: (Dr374) This gives you in practise a resistance equal to your Wis, which is quite good, considering that those two damage types are quite common.
Immortal Skill: (Dr374) Definately nice for skill checks, this is mainly the gatekeeper to higher tier feats.
Potent Rebirth: (PHB2) A very good benefit on a relatively unrelyable trigger, although it can well come up as defender. The good part is that you can let your Leader save his heals for emergencys and you also have an extra benefit for those encounters where things really go wrong.
H,R Radiant Recovery: (Dr374) If you wield a Radiant Weapon or have another way doing Radiant damage, this is a huge amount of tHP. But outside an evil campaign or one featuring many divine opponents, so taking the feat just for avoiding Radiant damge is useful at.
Ascendant Lineage: (PHB2) Now this is great ! It lets you use your bonus roll whenever things might call for - and if you didn't get the desired results you can just try again on your next turn.
Astral Renewal: (PHB2) Another good benefit relying on a trigger. If you know that you'll be fighting lots of Undeads, Angels or similar, then by all means get it.
P,R Immortal Resilience: (Dr374) Let's you often turn important Saving Throws into a success without failing - that never hurts.
Remembered Mother Tongue: (Dr374) If you somehow shoot for an Intimidate build, you probably want this to make sure your message gets home. Has some nice uses out of combat, too.
E,R Immortal Prowess: (Dr374) The pinnacle of the line and definately worth it.
Transcendent Lineage: (PHB2) Another good pick to make your bonus roll count, if you feel you need it.

Dragonborn
H,R Avowed Dragonfoe: (FRPG) Considering that many more creatures that Dragons itself count to the Dragon family, this can be quite a boon in the right campaign.
H,R Adaptable Breath: (PHR:DrB) Alone this feat isn't worth much, because you should simply select a rare damage type. But together with the Paragon feats to carry effects, this can offer important flexibility.
H Bolstering Breath: (PHR:DrB) Increases your targeting capacity by a good margin and gives your allies a nice buff on top of it.
Broken Shackles: (FRPG) If you're really scared about being dominated you can take this one.
H,R Daunting Breath: (PHR:DrB) Another way to hand out more marks - good for a Defender.
H Dragonborn Frenzy: (PHB) A solid damage booster, just don't gamble too much with being bloodied.
Dragonborn Senses: (PHB) Solid improvement, but you still need some light to see, so it's a bit dependant.
H Enlarged Dragon Breath: (PHB) A bigger blast means more victims. Consider if you need both this and Hurl Breath - the latter is more flexible but provokes OAs.
H Hurl Breath: (PHR:DrB) Increases the area and range not only for extra minion clearing and damage, but also as good combat opener together with Paragon Breath feats.
H Surprising Breath: (PHR:DrB) A nice way to set-up for an important power.
P,R Admixture Breath: (PHR:DrB) This not only lets you get around damage resistances, but actually apply two status effects at once with your Breath, given you have the feats.
P,R Burning Breath: (PHR:DrB) Adds some focused damage to your breath - nice.
P,R Corrosive Breath: (PHR:DrB) Combines a solid damage type with a good debuffs for two rounds - you want that one.
P Critical Breath: (PHR:DrB) And another way to add some damage, but this is far less reliable.
P,R Dragonborn Zeal: (PHR:DrB) If you have a weak PP utility power, this gives you a good alternative for Defenders.
P Empowered Dragon Breath: (PHB) Some extra damage for your Breath is always good.
P,R Frost Breath: (PHR:DrB) Mass slowing is great to keep mobs in check.
P,R Thundering Breath: (PHR:DrB) Major battlefield with your Breath is really nice.
P,R Toxic Breath: (PHR:DrB) Only one target, but weakened is still a major condition. Be careful that it usually won't work on undeads and constructs.
E,R Concussive Breath: (PHR:DrB) Being dazed and victim of huge push usually means a whole wasted turn for most mobs.
E,R Conlagration Breath: (PHR:DrB) Signifcant bonus damage paired with control is pretty neat.
E,R Debilitating Breath: (PHR:DrB) A big weaken to mess with a bunch of mobs - first class.
E,R Dissolving Breath: (PHR:DrB) A major debuff to all defenses to help both yourself and your allies.
E Draconic Restoration: (PHR:DrB) Regaining your Breath can make it worth alone to use your Second Wind.
E Draconic Triumph: (PHR:DrB) And another way to regain your Breath - and equally solid.
E,R Freezing Breath: (PHR:DrB) Immobilise and watch them suffer as they can't do anything good for a round.

Drow
H Clutch of Darkness: (FRPG) A good boost to your Cloud of Darkness.
H Darkfire Dancer: (Dr382) Improves your mobility for two rounds per combat if you like Darkfire.
H Instinctive Darkness: (Dr367) An extremely nice combination you can fire after you have positioned yourself with SoT - way to waste your enemies' turns after initiative has gone bad for your party.
H Knife in the Dark: (Dr382) A possible damage increase for nova rounds, but remember it doesn't stack with Weapon Focus.
H Lolth's Meat: (Dr367) Not your schtick, but if your DM likes Minions you'll probably get something out of it.
H Secret Recovery: (Dr382) Decent mobility boost after your turn, and actually quite strong if you have an ally to regularly grant you out of turn Saving Throws. The chance to Stealth is rather conditional, though.
H Shadowslip: (Dr367) A nice mobility boost, particularly useful with Instinctive Darkness.
Cloud of Poison: (Dr382) Auto Minion kills and a sweet damage bonus against all the other mobs - hard to pass up.
P,R Darkness Reign: (Dr382) Can be a bit situational, but if you have found a sweet spot and invested a bit into your Cloud of Darkness, it can absolutely divide and conquer an encounter.
Eyedark Strike: (Dr373) A good effect and more party friendly, but it doesn't work well together with most other Cloud of Darkness feats.
Flickering Shroud: (Dr367) A good, reliable defense and saving throw bonus for your ally once per encounter. It's a viable alternative use and has the advantage you don't need to hit.
Master of Fire and Darkness: (FRPG) Let's you also use Darkfire or Web of Darkness after you have abused Cloud of Poison - an extra power never hurts.
Merciless Killer: (FRPG) Situational but devastating if you can exploit it.
P,R Venom Master: (Dr382) Five free damage for an encounter against one target is good, but you have to hit with Darkfire, do poison damage and accept malfunction against certain enemies as Undead. If you can manage these conditions, then by all means get it.
Venomous Heritage: (FRPG) Resistance against a very common damage type and a saving throw bonus ? Hard to pass up.
Fist of Night: (Dr382) Free attacks are always good, even if a bit situational.
Lolth Blessed: (Dr382) Use Cloud of Darkness twice per encounter ? I'm sure you'll find use for that.

Dwarf
H,R Ancestral Wrath: (Dr383) If you really feel you need more speed, this let's you brigde the gap till better feats become available at Paragon.
H Dodge Giants: (PHB) Not as big in Herioc, it will easily apply against half the mobs at Paragon, particularly those that you want to keep in check.
Dwarven Weapon Training: (PHB) Two great feats for the price of one, and both Hammers and Axe synergise very well with Con, too.
H Forgeborn Heritage: (Dr383) A useful bit of resistance and an equally useful bit of damage boost, and it opens up a lot of other good feats.
H,R Iron Hide Resistance: (Dr383) This boosts those four resistances you get by a very signifcant amount - really great for a Defender.
H,R Keen Hatred: (Dr383) A good way to set-up an important power, particularly if you also have Wrathful Legacy.
Shield the Fallen: (FRPG) A very nice and untyped bonus which works well with your modus of defense to stay close to your allies.
H,R Wrathful Legacy: (Dr383) Gives you even more bonus damage per encounter, and pairs nicely with any other feat triggering off Elemental Legacy.
Dwarven Durability: (PHB) A big boost by all means, just make sure you really need it with all your Con.
P,R Improved Legacy: (Dr383) Yet another way to improve burst damage, and even better together with Wrathful Legacy.
P,R Wrathful Resurgence: (Dr383) Now that's a solid boost to your self sustaining abilities, and even better if you also took Dwarven Durability and possibly Toughness.

Elf
H Elven Precision: (PHB) Helps to make sure that your important reroll connects - which is nice.
Wild Elf Luck: (FRPG) The same as Elven Precision - the good thing is they stack.

Racial Feats: G
Genasi
H,R Eyes of Dying Light: (Dr380) Darkvision is always useful.
H,R Earthshock Master: (Dr367) Earthsoul and Earthshock are great picks for a Defender, and being reliable with Earthshock is surely worth a feat.
H,R Empty Mind: (Dr380) A bit specific, but on the other hand creates a nasty loss-loss situation for the mobs and makes relevant encounters much easier.
H Extra (Corrupt) Manifestation: (FRPG) Getting this once or twice let's you adapt for your current environment enemies, which can make a huge difference.
H,R Fast Manifestation: (Dr367) If you already have bought an extra Manifestation, it's good to be able to adjust it on the spot for specific needs of the Encounter.
H,R Firepulse Master: (Dr367) Decent and more reliable damage, but still at the cost of your Immediate Action.
H,R Manifest Resistance: (FRPG) More resistance never hurts, but this is already rather specific and pushing it.
H Primordial Surge: (Dr367) A good source of quite some extra tHP, particularly if you have a Manifestation that either is reliable or automatically works.
H Versatile Resistance: (FRPG) A solid base of one very common and two average resistances for just one feat - you probably want this sooner or later.
P,R Foul Torrent: (Dr380) A very good boost to both your mobility as well as your damage of your Acid Surge.
P,R Shocking Flame: (FRPG) A significant damage boost and a nice way to make use of some elemental feats like Mark of Storm - take if you like the Fire or Storm Manifestation.
P,R Stoneguard: (FRPG) A rather specific boost to AC, and many ranged attacks target NADs anyway. Still Earth is solid for Defenders and the bonus is untyped.
P,R Stormrider: (FRPG) A speed bonus is solid, and the ability to hover is maybe special but really great if you can somehow exploit it.
E,R Double Manifestation: (FRPG) It's a bit of a feat investment, but stacking two Manifestations with a solid encounter power each is just too good to ignore.

Githzerai
H Alhahn's Mindful Relocation: (PHB3) Increases your mobility with Shifting Fortunes, which is definately a boon together with the other feats relating to it.
H Dakshai's Body-Mind Union: (PHB3) A good alternative against attacks that hit you anyway, but that carry a condition you just don't want to bear with now.
H Githzerai Blade Master: (Dr378) A choice of two surperior Heavy Blades together with an improved Weapon Focus ? You just cannot say no !
H Iron Resolve of Zerthadlun: (PHB3) A good bonus to all saves, even better together with your racial, for a condition that you will meet for most of the relevant part of each combat ? Hardly a choice.
H Marked Fortunes: (Dr378) Now your Second Wind becomes something you can use aggressive and just defensive.
H,W Marked With Iron: (Dr378) Iron Mind might lead the mobs to the idea that now would be a good time to start going after your allies - prove them wrong...
H,WW Miryath's First Strike: (PHB3) A solid damage booster for the opening round.
H Zuwoth's Enlightened Step: (PHB3) Useful to get to the best spot, especially if you have opted for SoT. Retrain it for Githezerai Mobility at Paragon.
Energy Transference: (Dr378) Useful if you often face creatures with typed damage - becomes better if you already have Tempered Iron Mind.
P,W Githzerai Mobility: (Dr378) Now that's what I call a defense bonus. You are a lot more mobile if you practically ignore OAs, and it's makes using Lightning Rush a lot easier.
Iron Hands: (PHB3) A good way to set up a nova round, even more so if you have Tempered Iron Mind.
Shared Danger Sense: (PHB3) A very good benefit that stacks with Improved Initiative, if you're willing to sacrafise a feat slot for the party.
Tempered Iron Mind: (Dr378) Now you don't lose the action you usually use to punish people, and you can trigger all those nice other feats you have taken whenever you like - what's not to like ?
Wind's Fortunes: (PHB3) Even more mobility with Shifting Fortunes, yey !
E Adamantine Mind: (PHB3) Another significant boost - can make you survive almost anything for a round.
Iron Body: (PHB3) Take it with or instead of Adamantine Mind to make it impossible to bring you down.
Peerless Reaction: (PHB3) A great feat for your action economy and to trigger the cascade of Shifting Fortunes between turns, just keep in mind that some feats to improve Iron Mind might not apply. But even if you have both, it's great to have a choice.

Gnoll
Carrion Eater: (Dr367) A particular but decent bonus.
Fierce Charge: (Dr367) Using an at-will on a charge attack opens up for quite some good combos.
Swift Bite: (Dr367) Some extra damage is always welcome.
Brutal Charge: (Dr367) It costs you another feat, but using almost any attack on a charge can be simply devastating.

Goliath
H,R Goliath Greatweapon Prowess: (PHB2) A Weapon Focus plus if you want to go for two-handed weapons, although you don't need the proficiencies. It's ambigous if it works with Surperior Weapons - if your DM thinks it does, it's great.
Markings of the Blessed: (PHB2) A solid saving throw bonus against the nasty conditions some mob encounter powers bestow.
Markings of the Victor: (PHB2) That's a feat for you - it let's you get out and get home your big gun right in round one, without having to wait for your leader to help you with a to hit buff.
Unyielding Stone: (PHB2) This is about the same level of Thoughness in surviveability boost - take your pick, or take both if you really want to be thaat tough.
Ancient Stone: (PHB2) An extra round of very solid resistance if well-placed on a defender.

Racial Feats: H
Half-Elf
Remember that you have access to all Human (and Elf) feats, too.
H Half-Elf Insight: (PHB) A decent leader'ish bonus.
Versatile Master: (PHB2) If you haven't found a power that this one is worth taking for, you're not looking hard enough !

Half-Orc
H Anger Unleashed: (PHB2) A good bonus with a hard to control trigger - but one that should come up regularly enough (and if it doesn't, you probably didn't need it anyway).
H Savage Assault: (PHB2) Can be nice to gang up on one mob, when everybody starts spending Action Points etc.
H Thirst for Battle: (PHB2) Another more than one feat in one package. Take this one instead of Improved Initiative, but don't sweat for it, you probably have enough HS.
Strength from Pain: (PHB2) The same as with Anger Unleashed - in synergy they're actually great, just keep an Action Point or a nice multi-attack ready for when you get the trigger.
Unrelenting Assault: (PHB2) A bit damage on a miss might just finish off a creature. It's not totally clear if you recieve all bonus damage, but if your DM thinks it does, it's great !
E,R Ferocious Critical: (PHB2) A very good boost if you have managed to get an improved crit range and possibly even follow-up attacks - and still useful without it.

Halfling
H,R Defensive Bluff: (Dr381) A bit special, but some nice extra CA if you are good in Bluff.
H Halfling Agility: (PHB) Solid improvement to make sure that reroll becomes a miss.
H Indomitable Halfing: (Dr381) A rather particular bonus, but strong if it applies, as Fear and Charm together cover many of the worst mental effects like Domination.
H Lost in the Crowd: (PHB) You should be able to get it most of the time as defender - and the best thing is it stacks with everything else !
H Rigged Chance: (Dr381) This almost makes sure that you turn one attack against you per encounter into a miss.
H Second Step: (Dr381) Some very good extra mobility if you need to get somewhere else between turns or to brake some multiattack combos of mobs. Interacts very well with Rigged Chance, too.

Human
H Action Surge: (PHB) Makes sure those important attacks hit - even better if you have some multi-attacks.
H Die Hard: (Dr383) If you're really afraid of dying (and are short on the the leader side), this is for you.
H Don't Count Me Out: (Dr383) A bit more specialised, but covers the worst conditions and stacks.
H Frantic Recovery: (Dr383) Never again waste an Action Point just to get off your Second Wind - this almost turns you into a Dwarf in that regard.
H Human Perseverance: (PHB) Save bonuses are always good, especially on defenders.
H Human Resolve: (Dr377) Some extra tHP on demand never hurt, but make sure to take Toughness first.
H Stubborn Survivor: (FRPG) A bit more conditional for the bonus, but it's bigger and stacks instead.
Action Recovery: (PHB) That can be a lot of extra Saving Throws at just the right time to get you out a turn wasted.
Skill Swap: (Dr383) Usually you like any extra powers with Psionic Classes, but sometimes getting a certain Skill Power can be even more useful, particularly if you don't have a god Wis.
Pain Doesn't Hurt: (Dr383) Another useful Saving Throw related feat, but there are better.
Persistent Threat: (Dr383) You will get Dazed as defender - often. This makes sure monsters don't start running willy-nilly to your allies if it happens. Still being able to flank is a nice topping, particularly together with Vexing Flanker.
Perfect Recovery: (Dr383) Automatically ending bad effects is huge, as there will be enough in Epic. You might not need it if you have stacked enough other bonuses and already have Action Recovery.

Racial Feats: I-R
Kalashtar
H Group Mindlink: (EPG) If your DM is strict on in-combat communication, this can help a lot. Also has some good out of combat applications.
H Quori Shield: (EPG) A free and scaling resist doesn't hurt, even if it isn't the most common damage type.
H Telepathic Sensitivity: (EPG) A huge bonus for a common application of the valueable Perception, but still consider regular Skill Specialisation instead.
Extended Telepathy: (EPG) If you have Group Mindlink you might get this one as well.
Quori Backlash: (EPG) The main kicker is the auto-damage against being dazed. The other effects are nice, might be nullified by the resist of the attacker.
Quori Desperation: (EPG) A solid insurance against going down, but make sure to have a potion or another heal at hand.

Minotaur
Bloodied Ferocity: (PHB3) An almost free MBA each encounter is quite good - and absolutely nuts if your DM lets you apply all your Ferocity feats on it (then you should even consider Brutal Ferocity).
H,S Goring Shove: (PHB3) An extra push seems to be not much at first glance, but due the combination with prone you can completely waste the turn of a melee mob if applied correctly.
H,R Greathorn: (Dr369) A small damage bonus to your Goring Charge - but it adds up combined with your other feats.
H,R Natural Cunning: (Dr369) Skill Specialisation for Perception is still a fair investment, and the extra bonus is nice enough.
Opportunity Gore: (Dr369) Wow, this not only relieves you of the need to get Melee Training (Con), but it also knocks prone and potentially pushes with your OA, which is simply devastating for any victim - talk about action denial !
Springing Charge: (PHB3) It's another potential free charge, but BMs are usually not good at charge builds. Should you somehow manage to build one, this is great for you.
Beast Within: (PHB3) A conditional but solid bonus.
Bloodborn Recovery: (PHB3) It's a gamble, but anything that can save you from going down shouldn't be dismissed.
Bloody Gore: (PHB3) Getting a second use of Goring Charge is very good, considering how much control it offers.
Vicious Feriocity: (PHB3) Might not come up often, but a nice bonus due your improved at-wills.
Mythic Senses: (PHB3) This is a very easy way to skyrocket your initiative and makes even more out of the already valuable perception. You should get it (and pump perception, of course !)
E,R Uncanny Scent: (PHB3) A slightly improved Version of Blind-Fight - take this one if you can.
Vicious Stomp: (PHB3) An extra MBA on a hit with Goring Charge is just vicious, particularly combined with Opportunity Gore.

Revenant
For feats concerning your Past Life Race please refer to that racial section instead.
H Chill of the Grave: (Dr376) Helps to get around the common necrotic resistance.
H Dark Feasting: (Dr376) A good supply of tHP each encounter.
H Death's Blessing: (Dr376) Aside from the convinience and roll playing benefits, not counting as living creatue can be something very, very beneficial against traps and some other effects.
H Death's Quickening: (Dr376) More actions are always good, and this one in particular let's you get back on your feet again if you already have Quick Draw.
H,R Empowered Reaping: (Dr376) A bit on the weak side on its own, it truely shines if you have already bought other feats to upgrade your Dark Reaping, like Dark Feasting.
H Marked for Death: (Dr376) Now that is a lot of free damage, and it only gets better if you have any multi-marking ability. Also a nice way to slaughter Minions.
H Past Life Flashbacks: (Dr376) Going early is a good thing as Defender, but you are a special case. If you have BR and a good initial position you often don't mind waiting a bit with your first turn, or if you have SoT you can rely on getting in a good position without actually acting early. In both cases giving up your early turn for a nice accuracy benefit can relieve you of the usual burden to improve your Initiative.
H,R Reaper's Resistance: (Dr376) One more step on the way to become a true Undead - a good chunk of valuable Necrotic resistance.
H X Soul: (Dr376) The core feature of Revenants, this one lets you get access to one of the best qualities of your Past Life Race. Just mind that this access can usually blocks your Dark Reaping, so be mindful if you plan on a build around that feature - Humans are the noteable exception there.
Death Scorned: (Dr376) An extra ensurance against dying can be a good investment for defenders.
Double Reaping: (Dr376) A good bit of extra damage never hurts.
Fierce Vitality: (Dr376) Significantly prolongs the time you stay upright, but you usually shouldn't need it.
Reaper's Strike: (Dr376) A very good bonus to make sure both that attack as well as Dark Reaping connect.
P,R Reaping Burst: (Dr376) BMs are not a class who regularly hit many mobs with a Burst or Blast, but if you have gone down such a road, this is a solid alternative to the regular effect.
P,R Resilience of Death: (Dr376) And the last step for full benefits of being Undead - no more disease and a sizeable chunk of Poison resistance - very nice !
P,R Thin the Herd: (Dr376) A definate pick if you have invested a bit into your Dark Reaping, and even without that a strong option.
Unnatural Stamina: (Dr376) HS are nice, and the resist is conditional but very useful in its effect, and you have the HS to actually keep it up.
Eerie Resurgence: (Dr376) More insurances against death - nice when it comes up, but hopefully that's seldom.
Ghostly Vitality: (Dr376) Let's you take your full turn until someone patches you up again, which is nice.
Reaping Renewal: (Dr376) Nice extra damage, particularly as by now you should have picked up a few feats working with Dark Reaping (except if you took the X Soul road instead).

Racial Feats: S
Shardmind
H,R Cleanse the Madness: (PHB3) The bonus is special but large and stacking, so get this feat if you campaign features a large amount of Aberrants.
H Liberating Shard Swarm: (PHB3) You often will be keeping your Shardswarm to get around mobility issues, so this is a nice way to rid yourself of those in the process.
H,R Psychic Focus: (PHB3) If you aim for a Psychic build, this one beats Weapon Focus.
H Warding Shard Swarm: (PHB3) It's a useful bonus, but as Defender you will often use your Shard Swarm on different considerations, so you might not get much out of it.
P,R Expanded Fragments: (PHB3) Alone it can help battle coordination, but the true power is to increase the reach of all your other Telepathy related feats. Mind the condition, though.
Guarded Mind: (PHB3) Your Psychic Resistance should usually be high enough, but if you really often face those particular foes, this does help.
Healing Fragments: (PHB3) You will spend many HS, so this is an excellent way to help out your allies.
Psionic Rejuvenation: (PHB3) Regaining a PP when using Second Wind is nice, as that often is the difference you need to get another fully augmented power out.
Clarifying Presence: (PHB3) At Epic many mobs daze and stun, so this is a big help for your allies.
Rejuvenating Shardswarm: (PHB3) Spending a HS on demand is by all means helpful.
Telepathic Sustenance: (PHB3) If your DM pesters you with under water encounters, gas traps and similar things, this is an enourmous help.

Shifter
Many feats rely on your Shifting to be active. If you have some trick to be temporarily considered bloodied, bump all their ratings by one step, as the effect of your Shifting will stay active no matter what. Consider getting a Blood Fury Weapon.
H Blurring Claws (Razorclaw only): (PHB2) A bit conditional to be truely good.
H,R Gorebrute Charge (Longtooth only): (PHB2) If you somehow manage to make a charge build, this sure helps.
H Sturdy Shifter: (EPG) Toughness is better, but they can work together.
H Wild Senses: (PHB2) A worthy improvement compared to Improved Initiative.
Beasthide Shifting: (PHB2) A very solid improvement to your survivability.
Cliffwalk Shifting: (PHB2) A Climb Speed is very useful to scale any heights - at least in case you often have to face such obstacles.
Burst of Savagery: (PHB2) Useful, and particularly nice as you can apply it to any crit to maximise it.

Racial Feats: T-Z
Tiefling
H Diabolic Soul: (Dr381) It sure is a cool show and a useful benefit, but you're likely better of by optimising your regular Infernal Wrath.
H Ferocious Rebuke: (PHB) A chance to reposition someone if you really need it, but hopefully your group has better methods for Forced Movement.
H,C,R Furious Demand: (Dr381) The Intimidate bonus is good for builds focussing on it, and a Tiefling BM certainly has the basis for it. The power's biggest perk is that you can apply it before you even enter combat in the right situation. But if that's the only reason for you to take it, it is strong but not overly so.
H,R Guardian's Mishaps: (Dr383) Another way to add insult to injury and spread your mark loving even further.
H,R Hellfire Blood: (PHB) If you use one of the builds revolving around Fear attacks, this is simply a must have.
H,R Hellish Defiance: (Dr381) A redicolous way to set-up an enemy for a catch-22 situation, and you can repeat that stunt each and every encounter - just make sure your party can actually make those OAs count.
H,C Imperious Majesty: (Dr381) Let's you go early in combat and bestow a significant debuff onto your enemies right at the same time - just what a defender wants to do.
H Mantle of Misfortune: (Dr383) Creating a nice debuffing zone around you is a Defender's wet dream, and the forced movement just tops it. Just remember to use you inherent mobility to keep the mobs caught in it.
H,R Lucky Misfortune: (Dr383) A good way to for a retaliation round after you debuffed your enemies.
H Scion of the Gods: (FRPG) A toned down version of Paragon Defenses, but available at Heroic, very nice - simply retrain it once you hit Paragon.
Fiery Rebuke: (PHB) That's good chunk of damage you can add on a hit with your Hellish Rebuke, the only downside being that fire is often resisted.

Warforged
H,R Component Modification: (EPG) A useful tHP bonus if you have enough components, but pick up Toughness first.
Improved Warforged Resolve: (EPG) The same again, useful but not before you have Toughness.
Warforged Tactics: (EPG) An attack bonus with a condition that is very easily fulfilled ? Get it !

Wilden
Burden of Guardianship: (PHB3) A solid way to further increase your toughness.
Burden of Rejuvenation: (PHB3) This let's you compensate for encounters when the mobs overcome your line of defense, particularly if they have just downed your sole Leader. The best part is that you can use one of your plenty HS for your allys' benefit. You can retrain it for Aspect of the Cultivator at Paragon or keep it for more healing and greater power flexibility.
H,R Cleanse the Madness: (PHB3) The bonus is special but large and stacking, so get this feat if you campaign features a large amount of Aberrants.
Improved Aspect of Nature: (PHB3) A decent boost to your racial powers, but nothing spectecular.
Secret of Reawakening: (PHB3) As Defender you should expect to go down sometimes - this helps you to turn the tide after getting on your feet again. This feat excels if you also have Burden of Rejuvenation (you should), so you can help up any other suffering ally, too.
Aspect of the Cultivator: (PHB3) A stalwart Defender capable of off-healing is a powerful combination. You best trade it for Voyage of the Ancients, which is rather little use for you, anyway.
Awaken Aspect: (PHB3) Usually the parameters for your Aspect decision as feats, powers and group composition don't change mid day. But in case you regularly find yourself with the wrong Aspect mid day, this feat is for you.
Secret of Escape: (PHB3) When you hit the dirt as Defender, it's often because you got seperated from your allies and they had hard time supporting you - this feat corrects that problems.
Burden of Vision: (PHB3) It's not easy to time it well, but if you do (the best power to do is Pursuit of the Hunter), it lets you overcome some of the nasty tricks Epic mobs can employ.
Champion of Nature: (PHB3) Extra powers to use are always good.
Secret of Enduring Vigor: (PHB3) You will get put down as Defender as matter of your job - this feat let's solve this little problem. You might even want to keep that after you have aquired your similar ED feature.

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5.3 Multiclassing & Hybrids


Remember to use the other guides as well in general, as covering everything is just impossible, and the Hybrid Handbook in particular.
I also cannot cover any particular race-class combinations - they're simply too numerous. Please use the links above to do such research yourself.


Multiclassing
Multiclassing is usually pretty straight forward - you have exactly one choice here.
You usually want to pick up some feats / PP / ED only available to another class, sometimes you are simply interested in the good MC feat itself (including free Skill Training), or at best both. Actual power swaps are not only feat intensive, but except for a few rare examples are not a good idea for BMs anyway, particularly in the encounter power area. Only Half-Elfs can get access to more classes, and there are some MC options like Spell-Scarred, which are not actual classes.
If you want to perform Paragon Multiclassing you're on your own - because I can only recommend to keep your hands far, far away from that.



Hybrids
With Hybrids it becomes much more complicated.
The big problem is that you lose a big part of the BM's advantages. You can't exploit low level powers with increasing PPs easily - you either have to take one low and one high level power, get by on very low Augmentation or just rely on the true At-Wills. You also have to depend on the other class to keep your good armor (or buy it back at significant price, and you lose both part of your Defender mechanic and your full Psionic Study.
On the plus side Con is a quite common secondary and also useful attribute and even the remains of your features can enhance certain builds that bring a strong second half quite a bit... if all is well constructed. Naturally you gain flexibility, particularly in the weak ranged-attack area, but usually the price just for versatility's sake is too high.
At last going Paragon Hybrid for a second pick of Hybrid Talent is usually not recommended, but it can work if you either desperately need to pump your AC or the other class offers two top choices for Hybrid Talent.
Psionic Defense - Blurred Step vs Mind Spike: As already discussed MS is rather weak and only circumstancial in its trigger, and even harder to enforce without BS. But everybody can make an OA and in fact make it even sting - and if your other half is a Defender class as well, there's no contest. There might be a few specialised builds, that for example rely on created Difficult Terrain or Shift forbidding debuffs that prefer MS as the mob can't shift away, but they're pretty niche.
Hybrid Talent (Battlemind Armor Proficiency): Your goal should usually be to either keep good armor proficiencies by selecting a matching class, have a proper stat distribution to get by in light armor. If neither is the case this pick is a necessary evil, as it can get back your AC cheaply but also blocks your Hybrid Talent. Consider in how far you might be able to compensate a little loss of AC and/or if you might get by with just taking normal feats instead. Remember that you can switch your pick later as Hybrid Talent is just a feat - so this can give you good AC early and let you get something more useful later, when you covered the gap with regular feats and the like.
Hybrid Talent (Psionic Study): We already know that the start of combat is a crucial moment. As such this feature can make a big difference that you shouldn't underestimate. The big use here is that you either get an insurance against the initial mob barrage or have various ways to reposition either yourself or a mob, fitting the taste of every possible combat role you might aim at.


Controllers
Druid: MC | Hybrid
Hybrid
There are a lot of issues to solve here. First you have to get your AC back up - either by BM Armor Proficiency, or by selecting Primal Guardian to get some extra access to Druid feats and riders - you'll skip Shields, but you probably can't use them anyway due mixing Weapons and Implements. Then you have to decide if you want to lean more towards.
The solid option is to take the Druid's caster powers, largely ignore Beastform and its associated problems, and thus add some versatility and ranged capability to your rather classic BM build.
You can instead try to play a Beastform primary Druid, but that means giving up all your regular BM attacks for most of the time, including all the associated problems - particularly having only half a class available at all times. This is also one of the rare cases when you might want to consider Mind Spike over Blurred Step (Grasping Claws plus Ruthless Killer is very nice). All together this combination is situationally viable at best.
Humans are in luck here, because they can select both a Beastform and a regular Druid power and make this combination work strong.

Invoker: MC | Hybrid
Hybrid
A great choice due a full attribute match with Con/Wis and the fact that you become very versatile, mixing melee and range as needed to keep mobs in check. You keep most of your armor as well - if you want to go for the full selection remember that you need a combined Weapon and Impelemtn to wield it in one hand.
While Covenant of Wrath is natural choice, both other Covenants have enough going for them that is independent of attributes, that you might want to consider them.

Hybrid Talent
Channel Divinity: (PHB1) You get a solid but not overwhelming power. If you plan to make a Channel Divinity based build, this can become strong.

At-Will Powers
NB: All these can be improved quite well by a whole number of feats.
Divine Bolts: (PHB2) Solid two target attack for fair damage - the real kicker is that Lightning Powers can be abused quite well.
Hand of Radiance: (DP1) More targets and better damage type than Divine Bolts, so usually the better power - even if with little control.
Mantle of the Infidel: (DP1) Makes your mark sting quite a bit, as it has no duration limitation - but costs you a Standard action.
Sun Strike: (PHB2) Good damage type, basic control and useable as RBA - a solid package.
Visions of Blood: (DP1) A solid and well rounded power in itself, it becomes great once you invest a a feat or two (Power of Earth and Psychic Lock).

Psion: MC | Hybrid
Multiclass
You don't gain so much straight fighting prowess, but due the fact that most Psion feats work with any Psionic atttack there's some potential. Furthermore you gain access to some PPs that offer really unique tricks, and at last Psions have some highly useful Utilitys available.

I Disciplined Talent:
(PHB3) Because you probably lack a good Int, you should select Static Mote (PsP1), as the automatic slow can easily ruin a melee mob's turn - with a good Int you naturally have more possibilities. The Implement proficiencies won't help much, but an Orb of Nimble Thoughts for initiative boost or an Orb of Karmic Resonance for forced failed saves still provide decent benefits regardless.

Feats
Heroic Feats
Controlling Advantage: (PHB3) Increasing forced movement is solid - having CA is conditional, but not too hard to achieve, particularly in combination with Deadly Draw.
Precise Mind: (PHB3) A seemingly conditional accuracy boost, but it works very well in combination with Lightning Rush or Heavy Blade Opportunity.

Paragon Feats
Desperate Renewal: (PHB3) One of the more reliable and significant ways to regain PPs - but probably only worth it if you have ways to use your Second Wind as non-standard action.
Predictive Defense: (PHB3) A conditional but still solid (and untyped !) defense boost.
R Targetting Force: (PHB3) If you like Spectral Legion, this is a good way to increase your accuracy.

Epic Feats
R Psychic Bastion: (PHB3) If you selected many Psychic powers and have an increased crit-range (eg due Jagged Weapons), this is a solid way to buff your defenses.
R Resilient Shield: (PHB3) Works like Psychic Bastion, this time only with Force powers and resist. Somewhat weaker due fewer good Force powers and the fact that Strength Through Challenge offers easier resist all.

Utility Powers
L2 C Intellect Fortress: (PHB3) One of the best defensive buff powers you'll ever get your hands on.
L6 I Intellect Prism: (PsP1) A good way to control the battlefield by being in more than one place. (NB: OAs are MBAs, which are attack powers, too.) Even if it gets destroyed, the enemies have wasted a lot of effort to do that.
L10 Dimensional Shortcut: (PsP1) Huge relocation power to crack those annoying ranged encounters.
L10 Mind over Flesh: (PHB3) A wildcard to avoid some of the most crippling debuffs in the game - very good.
L16 Psychic Chirurgery: (PHB3) It just delays a debuff, but it works any time even between turns, and can foil the common mob tactic to debuff you and then swarm your allies.
L22 WW Forceful Repositioning: (PsP1) A great way to kickstart an encounter and overcome difficult terrain as well. Can generate many extra attacks if your allies have Agile Opportunist.
L22 Interdicting Thoughts: (PsP1) Buffs your allies and stop mobs from shifting away - what's not to like ?
L22 W Warding Shield: (PHB3) Mobs often will try to dodge your mark with area attacks - turn their tricks against them by popping a big defense boost.

Paragon Paths
Mind that the attack powers are usually throw-away for you due a lack of Int, but there are some PP with very good features what are still worth considering - and you always get two extra PPs. Hybrids naturally get more out of them.
Dreamwalker: (PHB3) Gives you a clone that allows you to be in two places at the same time, which dramatically increases you Defender performance.
Timebender: (PHB3) Let's you frontload your move actions to close in, and the quasi free re-roll and the daily buff are nothing to sneeze at either.
II Thrallherd: (PsP1) If you have the Int for it, this is nasty battlefield control. Your Thrall not only can use all your OA tricks and act as a big HP spounge, but because he is your own ally, mobs will even trigger your mark or Lightning Rush when attacking that annoying road block.


Hybrid
The big synergy lies in the fact that you keep your full PP amount and can easily mix melee and range to control and disable mobs at any distance.
But for that you have to push Int as secondary, which brings Cha or Wis down to only a minor bonus and forces you to dump Str and Dex. You also have a crappy armor, which likely means that you have to spend your Hybrid Talent on just getting it back.

Hybrid Talent
Expanded Discipline Focus - Telekinesis: (PHB3) If you play it smart this lets you ruin a mobs turn by messing his movement - or get yourself or an ally into position, or trigger Agile Opportunist, or or or... Make sure to pick up Discipline Adept (PHB3) to use it twice per encounter.

Seeker: MC | Hybrid
Do it at your own risk...

Wizard: MC | Hybrid
Hybrid
You certainly can build a viable combination of the two classes, particularly as the Wizard loses rather little as Hybrid and is well supported.
On the other hand you run into a number of trade-offs, from little stat synergy, keeping your armor up and getting feats from both sides together. Wizard at-will and encounter powers are not weak, but unless supported their biggest strength lies in their Dailys, which does help you little on regular duty.


Defenders
Fighter: MC | Hybrid
Multiclass
The Fighter gives you access to a lot of different especially weapon related feats (read: the biggest choice in the game) and some strong PPs.
That's also why it's rated gold - not because you must MC into Fighter, but because in case you don't plan on any other specific MC, this one always is a winning move.

S,W Battle Awareness:
(MP1) A free MBA each encounter in cases you can't use MS that even doubles with BS - very nice.
S Student of the Sword: (PHB1) The accuracy bonus is nice, but will rarely matter as you have to take before the roll. More important is that you get an extra mark for free - not the greatest thing, but certainly useful.
Wrathful Warrior: (MP2) Nice free tHP and doesn't require any particular attribute you wouldn't have anyway.

Feats
Heroic Feats
W Focused Superiority: (Dr378) More punch to your important OAs - very solid.
R,W Martial Freedom: (MP1) Some focused but solid bonus to saving throws if you really have problems with your mobility.
R Nimble Dodge: (MP2) Makes your your Halfling Second Wind get's its job done.
R,D,W Polearm Momentum: (MP1) The reason to use Polearms (and Spears) and then naturally MC into Fighter - turns you into a proning machine.
R Savage Axe: (Dr378) One of the few reasons to use Axes - makes your OAs hurt like hell.
R Swift Spear: (Dr378) Solid itself, and a must if you have Polearm Momentum and don't use a Glaive with Heavy Blade Opportunity.
WW Wary Fighter: (Dr378) Potentially a solid boost to initiative combined with a bonus to two very important skills.

Paragon Feats
R Deft Blade: (MP2) Good accuracy boost for all Light Blade users out there.
R Dizzying Mace: (Dr378) While Maces lack some punch, there are some ways for you to Daze at-will, and slapping such an attack debuff on a target is just vicious.
Grit: (MP1) Extra tHP on your HS make your Leader happy.
R Hammer Shock: (MP2) More MBA (read: OA) goodness when using Hammers.
R Hindering Shield: (Dr378) Considering how many ways you have to trigger forced movement, you should seriously consider this, as it can landlock melee foes baaadly.
R Impaling Spear: (MP2) More precision for Spear users - which tend to generate many OAs thanks to Polearm Gamble
R Dragging Flail: (MP2) Sliding on OAs is a sure way to mess with mobs' plans.
Strinking Resurgence: (MP2) This one takes the sting out of having to use you Second Wind - solid.
Ubiquitous Shield: (Dr385) Less hit bonuses against you - but thanks to BS you can often avoid flanking as the most common CA source.

Epic Feats
R Knock-Back Swing: (MP1) Auto-pushing with OAs is just great stuff. Note that some other things might not trigger on a miss.
R,W Martial Resolve: (MP1) Finally a way to get rid of some of the most dreadful and by now common conditions before they do too much harm - even better if you have bonuses to your important saves.
R,DD Mobile Warrior: (Dr378) If you have the stats for it, you want it, as by now you should know that position is everything for BMs.
R Overwhelming Impact: (MP2) Great in combination with Hindering Shield, but too bad it requires hitting with with a hammer on a melee attack, which limits its abuses somewhat. But it's still great for OAs and a number of other occaions.
R Stoneheart Warrior: (MP1) Getting your SW as free instead of minor seems small as Dwarf - but because you can give yourself +2 vs an attack at just the right moment, this feat is very much worth it. Becomes even better as you can use your SW more often.
WW Slahing Storm: (MP2) Nice auto-damage for hitting with a melee attack.

Utility Powers
L2 Battle Fury Stance: (Dr382) Hurts your AC, but you can take it - and the only source of a constant and significant power bonus to damage, if you seek such.
L10 Fighter's Grit: (MP2) A reliable per-encounter way to deal with those dreaded conditions.
L22 Instant Getaway: (MP1) A solid way to regain mobility and works at-will, even better once you have save bonuses. Too bad it doesn't work against the dreaded until end of next turn conditions.

Paragon Paths
Mind that the attack powers are usually throw-away for you due a lack of Str, but there are some PP with very good features what are still worth considering. Hybrids naturally get more out of them.
R Draeven Marauder: (Dr365) Solid damage and mobility boost for Spear users, and one of the ways to an improved crit range on a BM.
Dreadnought: (MP1) A solid mix of resists and ways to overcome save ends effects - you have the HS to take it.
R Iron Vanguard: (PHB1) A classic PP for forced movement and knock prone abuse. As you can do both, sometimes even combined, this can net you some rock solid extra DPR and a bit of extra resilience.
Kensei: (PHB1) Strong and veryyy booring boost to your accuracy and damage.
R Kulkor Arms Master: (MP2) Steep entry requirements and mostly interesting for its free attack at L16 - but you have a few ways to knock mobs prone and thus might abuse it to good effect.
R Polearm Master: (MP1) Solid improvements for Polearm lovers, but some of it is more doubling up on effects you can gain in other ways as well. Also works well with the Spiked Chain and partially with the Whip.

Epic Destinies
Adamantine Soldier: (MP1) Very solid defense and resist - but although both help, these are not your primary concerns in Epic or couldn't be gotten otherwise.
Undying Warrior: (MP1) A way to finally use all your HS, but nothing too exciting.


Hybrid
You keep all your armor and get access to, as already shown, a great list of feats and powers. The attached mark punishment is rock solid and some strong extra features are available as well.
The only downside is the loss of a second good NAD.

Hybrid Talent
W Combat Speciality - Combat Superiority: (PHB1) Stopping mobs from moving on an OA is just great, and the attached to-hit bonus is always welcome. Combined with BS you can stop even multiple shift-charge attempts a round.
Fighter Combat Talent - Batterager Vigor: (MP1) A large amount of free tHP each round adds up quite fast.
Fighter Combat Talent - Fighter Weapon Talent (either): (PHB1) Hitting more often is always good, and there's some strong feats that require this option.

At-Will Powers
NB: All these can be improved quite well by a whole number of feats.
R Brash Strike: (MP1) Hits hard and accuracte - a great power.
Cleave: (PHB1) Not outstanding, but can be well boosted by feats and a few nice uses like Minion clearing.
Crushing Surge: (MP1) Solid if you feel your group is on the light of healing, and great if you are a Battlerager.
Footwork Lure: (MP1) Solid way to reposition yourself, and special enough for forced movement that you don't have easy access to it on your BM power list.
Tide of Iron: (PHB1) Usually your own forced movement is better, but the shift afterwards has some uses, as does putting out an extra mark.
Threatening Rush: (MP2) Weak damage, but the ability to combine it with a charge and thus throw out good marks from round 1 has some good potential uses.

Special: If you MC Bard and go Daring Blade as PP you can change all Fighter power to key of Cha.

Paladin: MC | Hybrid
Multiclass
Paladins are a good match because they get good use out of Cha and Wis, which is an easy match for feats. Furthermore you can wear a Holy Symbol, which doesn't take a slot, and get access to some great good general Divine feats.

S,C Soldier of the Faith:
(PHB1) An extra mark per encounter, which is sticky, auto-punishes and only requires little maintenance - very good.
W Soldier of Virtue: (DP1) Remove some of the worst conditions in the game - can get more uses at Paragon with Untiring Virtue.

Feats
Heroic Feats
R Draconic Challenge: (DP1) You must be a Dragonborn, but that's a lot of free marking and punishment you throw around.
R Group Defense: (DP1) As if Half-Elfs weren't good enough, they can even further improve their mark debuff, even if mobs use area attacks - very sweet !
W
Virtous Recovery: (DP1) Free resist when you heal, so exactly when you need it ? Very nice !
R,CC Wrath of the Crimson Legion: (DP1) If are a Tiefling and intend to pump Cha all the way, this way you get at least very something useful out of the mandantory Melee Training.

Paragon Feats
C Hero's Pose: (Dr388) Great to help out your party, because usually you'll be the one to suffer the most conditions - and hopefully the best to recover from them.
R Pervasive Light: (DP1) If you have a party that employs Radiant vulnerability, this is your free entry ticket.

Epic Feats
Divine Health: (DP1) Large Poison resist, but sadly still subject to Poison effects - still a solid pick.
R
Champion's Countenance: (Dr388) A great bonus for your allys, but a bit situational to get - still there are ways thanks to resists and tHP, for example by getting the Paladin's Virtue.
Paladin's Truth: (DP1) Although you can only use Divine Challenge once per encounter, this deserves mention. There are some builds that rely on typed damage, and some more of your devastating powers (like Mind of Mirrors) have keywords that mobs sometimes have immunities to. With this feat you can completely strip those away and make any big bad roll up in the corner and cry.
R Weakning Challenge: (Dr378) Even if you can only use on Divine Challenge per encounter, this is just great. Use your own marks to keep the regular mobs in check and slap your DC on the biggest, baddest one out there.
Icon of Purity: (DP1) Necrotic is very, very common as damage - resist against such hence is superb.

Utility Powers
L2 Virtue: (DP1) Turn a HS into tHP - a good way to use all those you have and help your Leader. Great if you picked some of the feats the synergise like Virtous Recovery and Champions Countenance.
L6 CC Wrath of the Gods: (PHB1) A huge boost to damage for your whole party - can easily swing a whole encounter.
L22 R Gift of Resistance: (Dr387) Considering how easy you can get Resist All (for example with Strength Through Challenge), this just turns one encounter into "Hit Me or Suck".

Paragon Paths
Mind that the attack powers are usually Cha based, which means that you need to keep your Cha at least somewhat up to level to make full use of them. Some (even Str based) have such great features though, that you still can reasonably take them.
R,D Champion of Corellon: (DP1) Solid overall PP with a great bost to your AC and mobility.
SS Champion of Order: (PHB1) If you have a somewhat decent Str or a good Leader, you can completely take one mob out of the fight due your sticky mark - great for Str based Hybrids.
Dragonslayer: (DP1) A solid all around path with mixed features, even if you're not hunting Dragons.
R Heartwarder: (FRPG) You must worship Sune, but you get an Encounter Domination power and a few mixed goodies on top.
W Hospitaler: (PHB1) Turns you into a pseudo Shielding Swordmage - great for Hybrids due at-will Divine Challenge.
R Morninglord: (FRPG) Your entry to the Radiant Mafia if you like Amaunator - huge damage potential, enjoy !
Questing Knight: (DP1) Provides some ways to deal with conditions and to selfheal.

Epic Destinies
Saint: (DP1) Solid defensive boost at first, but nothing really strong for you later on. Still great flavour and great if you play a play a Leader focused Hybrid.


Hybrid
A top choice due well matching attributes with Con/Cha and due keeping good armor proficiencies. You also get a great selection of powers with solid Leader focus to choose from, and Divine Challenge / Sanction are effective, sticky and punishing marks that pair well with your focus on OAs to keep mobs in check.
You can also take a Con/Str approach, but you lose some of the better powers and only have one strong NAD.

Hybrid Talent
Channel Divinity: (PHB1) Divine Mettle is solid, but nothing to go nuts about. If you plan to make a Channel Divinity based build, this can become strong.

At-Will Powers
NB: All these can be improved quite well by a whole number of feats.
CC/SS Ardent Strike: (DP1) An extra mark on a hit and can even be used with a charge - solid.
CC Enfeebling Strike: (PHB1) Stack another hit debuff on top of your mark - way to make mobs cry.
SS Forbidding Strike: (PHH2) Let's you reliably protect an ally in trouble.
SS,W Holy Strike: (PHB1) A little extra damage and the option to do Radiant damage to Undeads and the ilk.
CC Virtous Strike: (DP1) Doubles as MBA, gives a bonus to saves and not only does Radiant but can even create vulnerability to that with Power of Sun.

Swordmage: MC | Hybrid
Hybrid
The combination works well because Swordmages lose very little when going Hybrid, and because they have ranged sticky marks, that you can enforce while you are pestering some other mobs on the far side of the battlefield.
Mind to take care of your armor. Also note that if you only take Weapon Swordmage powers, you don't need to stick to Light / Heavy Blades.
Swordmage Aegis - Aegis of Assault: (FRPG) The weaker kind of mark and the riders build on Str, but it's more aggressive and has some builds capitalising on it, so it can work.
Swordmage Aegis - Aegis of Shielding: (FRPG) One of the best marks in the game to neutralise heavy hitters - sadly again nothing that works against conditions. But let's you keep your position, makes good use of your Con and has great associated powers.

Hybrid Talent
Swordmage Warding: (FRPG) You'll need either this or BM Armor Proficiency - decide depending on your stats and weapon preference which you prefer, and check the associated Paragon feats before you decide.

At-Will Powers
NB: All these can be improved quite well by a whole number of feats.
Booming Blade: (FRPG) Good damage threat to keep mob adjacent - on more you can keep in check without marking.
Frigid Blade: (Dr367) Big debuff to speed, even beyound slow. But some powers and shifting can still let the mob get away.
Frostwind Blade: (PHH2) Nice minion killer and good synergy in Frost heavy parties.
Lightning Lure: (FRPG) Let's you round up mobs, which you as BM like.
Sword Burst: (FRPG) Big AoE damage and a very good upgrades available as well - possibly one of the most abused at-wills in the game.

Warden MC | Hybrid
Multiclass
A Warden doesn't offer much, but what he offers is great, so it's still a worthy pick.

S Defender of the Wild:
(PHB2) A free AoE mark is already something very useful, and the ability to pull that trick off-turn, right when you just need it, can ruin the turn of unsuspecting mobs.

Feats
Heroic Feats
R Crippling Crush: (PHB2) Big extra damage when you use a Hammer (or Mace) and slow and immobilise - sadly something you're not that good at - although it makes your OAs hurt a lot. Fantastic if you go Son of Mercy and exploit Brutal Barrage, you are a Hybrid and have access to the Fighter's Hindering Shield, or or or...
R Guard of Stone: (Dr379) Marvellous catch-22 for Goliaths - get resist and make the mobs unable to hit anybody except you. Combine with multimakers like Telepathic Challenge for best performance.
Sudden Roots: (PHB2) Slowing with your OAs is extremely useful to make mobs stick, and the definately reason why to MC Warden in the first place.
Warden's Endurance: (PrP1) A mini version of the Warden's Font of Life - only once per encounter, but still a solid way to get rid of an effect that would ruin your turn.

Utility Powers
L6: Bear's Endurance: (PHB2) The earliest chance for you to get a full stay upright power, in case all things go wrong. Still consider just taking Endure Pain instead.
L10: Shared Font of Life: (PrP1) Hand out bonus saves each encounter - somewhat cheese, but as you don't have Font of Life you don't lose anything.
L10: Warding Vines: (PHB2) Big resist for everyone in fair sized zone - very useful in quite a few situations like enclosed spaces.

Epic Destinies
Perfect Guardian: (PrP1) A solid mix of Defender features, with the free prone / extra damage sticking out.
Reincarnate Champion: (PrP1) Getting access to another race's feats and powers lets you pull all kinds of crazy shenangians. You get the important stat bump a little later, but L24 is still fair enough.


Hybrid
A solid choice to get some flexibility and breath. Issue is that due Con/Str your two other NADs will be rather low. As weapons consider either Hammers due great feat synergy or Polearms because your mark doesn't require being adjacent.
You need to do something about your armor, but you can do it at a fairly reasonable cost, even if you rely on regular feats.

Hybrid Talent
Font of Life: (PHB2) If you can spare the feats to buy back into heavy armor in the regular way, this is just great - getting rid of conditions before they do the real hurt, and a few related feats and power are just a top choice.
Warden's Armored Might (Earthstrength or Stormheart): (PHB2) A solid investment as it not only brings up your armor without losing speed, but you also get a nice SW bonus and access to a number of feats that rely on that class feature.

At-Will Powers
Strength of Stone: (PHB2) Stack up some extra durability - always useful.
Tempest Assault: (PrP1) A little AoE damage - not exiciting but certainly has its uses.
Thorn Strike: (PHB2) Round up more mobs to keep in check. Considering you just care that they start adjacent and marked and can rely on OAs to do the rest, that's a certain way to lock down targets.
Warden's Lunge: (Dr379) Mark on a charge or just an extra mark - boring but solid.
Weight of Earth: (PHB2) Premptively stop a mob from reaching your allies - great if you also have Crippling Crush.



[spoiler=Strikers]










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5.4 Paragon Paths


None-Psionic PPs lack the usual two extra Power Points at L11, and thus must offer some comparably better features to attain the same rating as a Psionic PP.

Battlemind PPs
W Blackstone Guardian: (PsP1) A mix of solid but not outstanding options focused on resilience and movement control. If you can either reliably finish mobs (even Minions) or if your DM allowes you to apply the estimated errata of Monolithic Vision to apply to BD instead, this is great.
Eternal Blade: (PHB3) The path offers solid features to bring a mob down is either hard to hit or employs the anti-Defender tactics of multi-shifts / close attacks. The AP and L16 features are very good additions as well.
Iron Guardian: (PHB3) A very well rounded defense oriented PP. The Utility Power is what makes it special - you sacrafise offensive potential, but it reduces the damage you take to about 20%, which can make you survive through a lot of onslaught once you have taken a good position, or just helps you to last some longer until your allies can come to your aid.
C Quicksilver Demon: (PsP1) A big boost regarding all kinds of mobility, especially the bonus vs OAs.
C Steel Ego: (PHB3) Two things stick out. The first is that you get a solid upgrade to your Mind Spike in a few ways, with the encounter power even allowing some devastating double punishment. The second is the L16 feature that allows you to regain PPs - great if you can regularly get that to work by a mix of increased crit-range (Jagged Weapon, etc) and multi-(target) attacks like Brutal Barrage or Bull's Strength.
Storm Disciple: (PsP1) Like Quicksilver Demon a mobility focused PP, but it just lacks the effectiveness and synergy compared to it and often is situational. Still a few good pieces regarding Lightning/Thunder, a potentially quite long encounter flight, and a very stylish (although only moderately effective) Daily. Strong in case you focus on Lightning abuse and striking.
Talaric Ironjack: (PsP1) Can you spell "defense" ? Solid for most, and great for those whole like play it Bodyguard style or combine it with Heavy Blade Opportunity.
DD Unbound Nomad: (PsP1) And another mobility focused PP, again not really good - although with two solid redeeming features. The AP feature & L11 encounter are great to set-up a mob for the kill, and the L16 feature is a good upgrade for BS - if you lack the Dex or took PH the other benefits are situational at best.
Wielder of the Way: (DSCS) The L11 feature is a throw away and the rest is OK, but the powers are solid enough to somewhat make up for it, particularly if you live to see the Daily to enjoy a redicolous Dominate as effect !
CC Zephyr Blade: (PHB3) A few solid pieces for surviveability, and a boost to speed is welcome as well. The real draw in it lies in the bonus damage - too bad you'll have hard time exploiting it as BM (no at-will combination is possible). If your allies regularly slow mobs for you, or if you can wait till L17 for Gravity Well, it's a strong pick (and begs to be combined with Vicious Advantage).

General PPs
WW Son of Mercy: (Dr370) This is a way to make the demise of your enemies miserable and swift. And even aside from Lawbreaker's Doom the PP provides some good benefits, just the Encounter Attack will usually be a bit wasted. You might consider MC'ing Warden for Crippling Crush and using multi-attack powers like Brutal Barrge to exploit this PP the most. Should you lack a good Wis, this PP remains strong, but nothing really special.
R Traveler's Harlequin: (Dr371) This path offers some solid bits of rerolling and also gives you the ability to MC more than once. While some of the strongest aspects of multiple PPs are blocked because you can only take one PP, still being able to pick strong feats from multiple classes and also the good MC feats themselves make this a worthy feature. The powers are not remarkable but solid, with the free choice at L20 standing out.

Racial PPs
Changeling: R,CC Changeling: (EPG) Certainly an interesting and flexible PP, even if some your allies can provide a few good powers to copy, the overall problem between maintaining enough Cha, possibly getting implements and the rather weak other features of this PP stop it from becoming actually good.
Dragonborn: Scion of Arkhosia: (PHB2) Improves your draconic traits and is all around solid.
Dragonborn/Genasi/Half-Orc/Human: R Steelsky Liberator: (FRPG) It's good if you really want to hunt Dragons, but not really suited for about any other situation.
Drow: CC Curseborn: (Dr367) A good set of improvements to your racial powers, which are the strong side of your race. The attack powers suffer a bit from lowered accuracy, but are still fairly useful.
Dwarf: R Fireforged Champion: (Dr383) It's a solid DPR enhancing PP. What makes it somewhat special is that you can become virtually immune to Fire, ignore largely any resistance to it and also get a chance to get back on your feet after being knockout out once per day.
Elf: WW Twilight Guardian: (PHB2) A few solid bonuses and fair powers, but the need to push Wis will cost you important points elsewhere.
Genasi: R Elemantal Tempest: (FRPG) If you already have an extra Manifestation, this allowes you to get the most out of it by using both simultaniously. You later also get a bonus to your resistances and the powers of the PP are solid, too. Just see which of your Manifestation feats may be superflous and which become especially potent.
Genasi: R,II/SS Scion of Absence: (Dr380) If you are a Voidsoul and benefit from high Str or Int (e.g. due hybriding), this PP offers a mix good defensive benefits and loss/loss situations for enemies. Without sufficient attribute support, it's still useful, but severly weakens two of its main selling points.
Genasi: R,II/SS Soul of Erosion: (Dr380) A special coupling of Causticsoul and Watersoul, it increases your mobility significantly. Again you will need high Str or Int to get most out of the Defender friendly powers - without those the PP is useful but not really special.
Genasi: R,CC/WW Whirlwind Genasi: (FRPG) A PP focused on improving your Windsoul. It certainly has useful benefits, but except the L16 feature nothing really sticks out.
Genasi: R Wildfire Genasi: (FRPG) Certainly a nice PP for Firesouls that works well with a Defender who is surrounded by mobs. The powers are solid and the features make you as dangerous to attack as to ignore and help your allies with extra resistance.
Githzerai: Rrathmal: (PHB3) All features are very solid for your job as Defender in one way or another. The powers are equally good, although the Utility is a bit in conflict with BS/MS.
Githzerai: Storvakal: (Dr378) More defensive oriented than the Rrathmal, it has a bit more situational benefits focused on keeping you going. Both attack powers have a nice leader'ish touch that your allies will certainly appreciate.
Goliath: Stoneblessed: (PHB2) The main seller is the permanently increased melee and the ability to get threatning reach for a round. While that is a solid benefit, the rest of the path is rather lacking in general or in particular for use by BMs.
Halfling: Halfling Scoundrel: (PHB2) A few useful benefits, with the retroactive bonus and the Daily Power standing out. The rest of the bonuses is OK but not really special.
Human: Adroit Explorer: (PHB2) A solid defensive minded package. Depending on your DM concerning the #3.3 rule issue with encounter powers this can actually be really great.
Revenant: Avenging Haunt: (Dr376) A PP focused on taking pain and staying alive. The ghostly forms are certainly a nice additions. And lastly a great choice to abuse the maximum out of your Unnatural Vitality if you can collect enough (Death) Saving Throw bonuses.
Shardmind: Shard Disciple: (PHB3) A Psionic PP that increases both mobility and resilience - a very good pick. And although the damage part of your attack powers is rather wasted (still remember that any of your implement works for PPs), the Zones are still quite useful to keep enemies in check.
Shifter: R,WW Moonstalker: (PHB2) If you have a build focused on knocking mobs prone, this is quite solid damage buff for your group. The rest of the features are solid, but too situational to be taken as sole benefit.
Tiefling: R Broken Mirror: (Dr383) You need to have the Mantle of Misfortune feat (but honestly, why haven't you taken it by now ?), as this PP gives you some solid upgrades to it. The powers and AP feature also provide some kick-ass control effects, particularly for Defenders, and as they mechanically upgrade your at-will powers they're in perfect synergy with the BM.
Tiefling: CC Turathi Highborn: (PHB2) A good damage boost and a dangerous anti-melee aura are the main benefits of the PP. The encounter power suffers a bit from you being unable to fully max Cha, but it at least provides you with a solid ranged option.
Warforged: R Warforged Juggernaut: (EPG) A favourite of charger builds and rightly so. Too bad BMs don't make particularly good chargers, although this PP definately helps - and without a charge build there's not really much to see here.
Wilden: Nature's Avatar: (PHB3) A few solid ongoing and triggered bonuses, the powers tie well into your structure and you can also change your Aspects mid combat - a good package.




5.5 Epic Destinies


Topaz Crusader: (PsP1) Wow... just wow ! This ED literally makes Demigod and Ceaseless Guardian (two formerly undisputed abolute top tier EDs) go home and cry. And after it has taken their stuff, it adds some more - boosts to Con and defenses, outright immunity to the most common and nasty conditions in the game, quite some extra PPs, a big group buff and some extra bonuses against Abberants.
If that's not gold, then I don't know what is - and you as well should consider long and hard to take any other ED but this. And just to boot, when you're done adventuring, you get to pay Cthulhu a visit... on his home turf ! I could close the section right here, but if you still want to tempt your safety and sanity, here are some alternatives...

Battlemind EDs
Ceaseless Guardian: (Dr387) A top defense oriented ED for your BM, no question. All the necessary bonuses, and the absolute highlight is the L24 feature to overcome the most crippling Defender debuffs - and even better it interacts extremely nice with Lightning Rush against stuns !
Invincible Mind: (PHB3) If you want to play your BM with a maximum of aggression, this is your pick. With a modicum of investment into initiative (consider Supreme Initiative / Danger Sense) you should get the drop on all of your enemies. You also recieve a lot extra accuracy and free PPs, and the L30 feature absolutely makes you Very Hard To Kill.

General EDs
Champion of Prophecy: (EPG) The attribute bump at L21 is quite good, but the rest of the features are rather situational and hard to enforce yourself.
Bahamut's Vessel: (Dr378) You get a nice stat bump, but only to your secondary, but the rest of the L21 and the utility are very defender'ish, too. And the L24 feature is a good way to help your allies to keep going, of course being particularly great if you have any Divine healer in your party.
CC Deadly Trickster: (PHB1) A solid all-around ED that any Cha focused BM can qualify for. Very solid all around features, but the strongest at L24 interacts poorly with Psionic classes. If you DM lets you treat augmented powers as encounter powers as discussed the #3.3 rule issues section, this is a great pick.
Demigod (Chosen): (PHB1/FRPG) A classic prime pick due its double attribute boost. The default Regeneration Utility is solid for Defenders, although there are a few other good picks from the Chosen.
Dispossesed Champion: (EPG) The L21 feature interacts extreme well with your BS, which is the prime reason for the rating. Still all the other features work very well together with the BM style of play, too. Probably the best pick for any particularly tactical minded BM player.
Eternal Seeker: (PHB1) Usually an at least strong choice due its flexibility, it interacts poorly with the Psionic class and the fact that for your attribute spread isn't very synergetic with weapon powers of other classes.
Godmind: (PHB3) A generic Psionic ED, it has rather limited synergy (particularly the L21 and L24 features) with the BM. If you use a weapon or other way to regularly deal Psychic damage and have repeatable and easy access to your Second Wind (for example being a Dwarf), this ED can become a strong choice.
Harbinger of Doom: (PHB2) All the features of this ED are rather weak, but at least they work well together with Defenders.
R Harper of Legend: (FRPG) A free bonus encounter power helps you with versatilty, but beyond the L24 AP feature there are no really strong points. If joining the Harpers is good or bad it up to yourself, though.
Prince of Hell: (Dr372) A set of solid bonuses at L21, but then it's rather dry till L30. If you somehow are doing a fire build, this becomes a strong choice due the ability to overcome resistances.
Prison of the Winds: (Dr371) Another very good L21 feature with three static bumps, and all the rest of the ED is very solid for Defenders as well, particularly BMs with their high Con.
R Punisher of the Gods: (DMA09) Still a solid pick for any crit focused build, particularly with multi-attacks. If you don't have one and with most features tied Immortal Curse it becomes rather situational.
R Raven Knight: (Dr380) If you love The Lady she will love you back with a lot of static bonuses and an ongoing attack penalty aura. Everything that follows is very good, too, including the fun ability to run through freak'n walls !
Storm Sovereign: (Dr372) And another ED with a Con bonus. All the other features a solid, but nothing particularly strong among them.

Racial EDs
Dragonborn: Avatar of Io: (PHR:DrB) A solid bonus to your Breath and some attribute bumps - while those are not to Con, they certainly help with qualifying for feats. And at L24 you'll get to Fly (Hover) - now that's a bonus I say !
R Revenant: Free Soul: (Dr376) This ED is rather defensive minded, but if you collect enough bonuses to saving throws you can ignore a large potion of rather debiliating conditions that will fly around in Epic. Lacking those bonuses, the ED is still useful, but the unreliablility hurts.




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5.6 Equipment


Quicklist
(until proper write-up)
Armor: Dwarven Armor, Armor of Eyes, Hydra Armor, Reinforcing Armor, Armor of Resistance (or: Black Iron Armor / Bonegrim Armor / Demonscale / Defender's Armor / Frostburn Armor / Lifegiving Armor / Tombforged Armor)
Weapon: Mage's Weapon, Jagged Weapon, Blade of the Eldritch Knight, Frost Weapon for Frostcheese, Githyanki Silver Weapon for Psychic Lock, Radiant Weapon / Sunblade for Deva Heritage / Morninglord, Lightning Weapon for Mark of Storms
Neck: Cloak of Resistance, Cloak of the Walking Wounded, Amulet of Mental / Physical Resolve, Evil Eye Fetish, Periapt of Cascading Health, Cloak of Distortion, Amulet of Health / Cloak of Survival / Raven Cloak / Tenebrous Shroud
Arms: Iron Armbands of Power
Feet: Acrobat Boots, Boots of Free Movement, Boots of Quickness, Spark Slippers, Rushing Cleats for Polearm builds
Hands: Gauntlets of Blood, Strikebacks, Antipathy Gloves, Gloves of Ice for Frostcheese
Head: Casque of Tactics / Helm of Battle, Skull Mask, Horned Helm, Coif of Mindiron / Focus, Circlet of Mental Onslaught, Circlet of Arkhosia
Ring: (none in particular)
Waist: Viper Belt, Diamond Cincture
Tattoo: Demonskin Tattoo, Backslash Tattoo
Potions: Potions of Healing (or better), Potion of Resistance, Gravespawn Potion, Potion of Regeneration, Cognizance Crystal, Talent Shard
If you look for particular inspiration also refer to the Item Guide (by Soulliard).


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6.1 Building for Specific Goals


Quicklist
(until proper write-up)
Surviveability: pick any BM power or feat to suit your fancy - plenty out there
Damage: usually L13 Brutal Barrage (see #6.2) for single target (preceed with Spectral Legion or Mist Weapon at L3 and any Aspect Daily), L7 Psionic Speed / L23 Might of the Ogre for multi-target
Control: Whips, multi-marks (L1 Whirling Defense, L7 Psionic Speed), mass proning / psychic lock (see #6.2 - just powers or for full implementation), L1 Twisted Eye, L3 Spectral Legion
Stickyness: Mark of Passage, Apathy Gloves, control, L7 Lightning Rush, L17 Step of the Pursuer, MC Fighter & Hidering Shield, MC Warden & Sudden Roots, MC Paladin for Divine Challenge, good tactics ;)
Also check the Guide to Mounts and Mounted Combat (by RuinsFate) and the Guide to Skill Challenges (by Ignis_Fatuus).



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6.2 Power Combos


Quicklist
(until proper write-up)
Lightning Rush: mainly tactics - get yourself out of areas, reposition in between turns, double smash against ranged attacks for a bonus OA, ...
Brutal Barrage: Hammer Rhythm, vulnerabilities (Frostcheese / Radiant from Morninglord), prone exploiting (Moon Stalker, Headman's Chop - better for allies as it triggers later for you), crit fishing (Jagged Weapon, Two-Weapon Opening, other triggered actions), MC Warden + Hammer + Crippling Crush + Son of Mercy, L27 Brilliant Recovery
Psychic Lock: L7 Ghost in the Steel, L13 Luring Steel, L17 Battle Vortex, add keyword with L15 Aspect of Enlightening Flame / Githyanki Silver Weapon (opens powers as L1 Whirling Defense, L7 Psionic Speed, L23 Might of the Ogre, L27 Psionic Storm)
Mass proning: combine Bull's Strength / Visions of Terror with a Polearm / Spear, Rushing Cleats / Battering Shield, MC Fighter & Polearm Momentum; expand with Polearm Gamble, increased forced move, slow
Constant tHP: Deva Heritage & Radiant Recovery, Sunblade / Radiant Weapon
Also check the Modularity Guide to CO Tricks and Tactics (by AlphatheGreat).



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7. Appendix


7.1 Further Readings
-- the Monster Handbook (by myself) for good party tactics in combat
-- the Art of Defending (by mkill) for strategies how to fulfill the job as defender well
-- Party Building (Dr373, p24) as primer on gathering a well rounded party

References
In-Play Experiences:
-- low level encounter series, detailed log (by myself)
-- gathered impressions (various posters down the thread)

General Discussions:
-- Discussion: "What's wrong with the BM ?" (longish, much ranting and myths, a few good facts)
-- Analysis: "Spamming of low-level Psionic Augmentations"

Char-Op Builds:
-- a stickyness / DPR BM (by SanityFaerie)
-- Lightning Rush / Brutal Barrage abuse (by Adslahnit)
-- crit-fishing with Brutal Barrage (by Theziner)


7.2 Guide Status
Version History
0.1 - posted skeleton on 22.02.2010
0.5 - completed a fully useable version on 05.04.2010

To-Do
-- add the last build options (equipment and MC / Hybrids)
-- update the new post-PHB3 options (Dr384ff)
-- address specific things in the optimisation chapter
-- provide more textual advise in chapters 4 and 5
-- employ more hyperlinking within the guide
-- provide sample builds for the archetypes
-- add more flavour

Looking For
-- more in-play experiences
-- more example builds
-- any flavour material, particularly regarding Ender himself
-- power combos (eg: Brutal Barrage)
-- handbooks, articles and posts on specific topics (races, weapons, scenario analysis, ...)
-- summaries on rule issues (eg: Blurred Step)


7.3 Remarks
Thanks for Contributions: Lord_Ventnor, A_Man_In_Black, zeratulcraft, lordduskblade, chadley, Jp596, Chimerasame, Khift, Kergma, psikus, Ordrek, Sefrit, yargon, Misma, SanityFaerie, Mastyrial, ChaosMage, MindWandererB, Algarad

In-play experiences, criticism and suggestion are always welcome.
This guide has been and is a lot of work. If you have used it, please have the courtesy to drop a line here and tell me how you liked it !

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Alright, all my helper posts are gone.

Hope this goes well for you. Smile 
Thanks, I'll probably to races and the introduction today.
From there I'll see that I mange to do at least one or two sections each day, so I'll be done in early March...

Still Looking For
- suggestions on pics and quotes, particularly featuring Ender himself
- example builds
- power combos (eg: Brutal Barrage)
- summaries on rule issues (eg: Blurred Step)

PS: Wheee, doubled my postcount. Tongue out
You win at life SO much because of your Handbook title, bro.

Good to see someone take up the Battlemind's banner.
reserved (#16)

Ender's Game is a literary reference to awesomeness, so I think it's a great name for the handbook, far less generic than anything else too.




Feel free to throw my some specific quotes to integrate into the guide. Though I have to find a picture of Ender that would fit the BM theme, too.




Only reason I came into this guide was to say, great guide name. Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time. I am just sad there is no ebook version of it available, I have like all of my favorite books on my nook(even got the D&D ones to work) yet there is no Ender's Game(or Jurrasic park).
One combo is Zephy's Blade's Beguiling Advantage (+Cha damage vs dazed, slowed, or stunned enemies) + Net Training (Slow on hit with a Net) + Brutal Barrage. There's also Brutal Barrage + Hammer Rhythm, Brutal Barrage + Frostcheese and Brutal Barrage + Radiant Chesse
OK, Races and Attributes are in, as is the rating scale and the key.

The races from PHB1 were surprisingly suitable for playing a BM.
Although I confess that there is still a certain spread within each rank, especially the sky blue one. Depending of your feedback I might bump a few down to blue, other races following accordingly. (Being: Dragonborn, Halfling, Githzerai, Gnoll; Elf, Tiefling, Shifter, Deva; Half-Orc)
Move every race down at least one notch on the color scale if you can. If most every race is above average, that just degrades the meaning of the ratings. Keep Half elf and Dwarf as sky blue.  


Just a minor nitpick, I find that the green color for "average" choices is unclear, and would prefer black. Red is the opposite of green, so if red = worst, it would seem natural to me that green is the best, but that's not what you mean.
I also prefer black. I speak for the red-green colorblind community when I say that the red and green look the same to me.

Also, Dwarf = Gold? That's crazy-talk. Sure, they're awesome, but to say that you have to justify not taking a dwarf when there's other excellent picks for races is taking them a bit too far.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
I have to agree with the others.  I think dwarves are great (I'll even build a dwarf rogue, given half a chance), but the race rankings are inflated.  Turn most of the sky blue and blue down a notch, and rank dwarves sky blue.  Anything green or lower you'll have to think about more carefully--most of them should probably stay where they are.
Echoing the sentiment about toning down the race ratings. Blue or Sky Blue should always be reserved for MINIMUM one stat in the right places, weighing much more heavily on primary stat. Halflings? Sorry, can't get behind that for such a high rating.

I can get behind Dragonborn as still being Sky Blue, given the huge benefit for pumping their CON (Surge value + Dragon Breath), but they're an exception.
I'd suggest Dwarf, Half-elf, and Human for sky-blue, maybe Dragonborn due to their excellent follow-on effects to Con.

Battlemind puts a lot of emphasis on Con, since the secondary stats don't come up in many power choices, and nearly all of those choices are viable even with low secondary stats.
  Goliath and Warforged are both good due to Con bumps and solid defender racials, but maybe not sky-blue good.  Human gets the sky-blue vote from me because it can bump the stat it cares about, has the always-awesome feat support, and because an extra at-will is *very* strong on a psionic character for most of its lifetime.

(fwiw, in case you haven't seen it:  the other build's power choice is presented in the Dark Sun preview battlemind pregen.  Basically, you get 3+CHA squares of movement when you roll initiative, or Resist all 3+WIS until ENT when you first get hit or missed in an encounter; either choice is a free action encounter power.)
A second pass at races and stats. Take or discard at your whim.

A few WTFs: Minotaurs have excellent control-related feat support, better than goliath support, even. What's so great about half-orc feat support? What's so great about kalashtar feat support?

Player's Handbook 1
Dragonborn***: Dragonborn have some nice racal properties, especially +1 to hit when bloodied. They also have ridiculous feat support, particularly breath feats and Draconic Arrogance (covered in greater detail in their handbook. The cha boost is useful for cha-based dragonborn, and the str boost is nice for feat qualification. In fact, they have everything you'd want...except for a con boost. That hurts.
Dwarf*****: Excellent racial abilities, stats in the right place for a wis-based battlemind, and some very nice feat support. The only shortcoming is the speed disadvantage in paragon and later, compared to other races with Armor Specialization (scale).
Eladrin*: The biggest loser from PHB1, very little synergy. Play a Swordmage instead.
Elf**: They have a wisdom bump, and dex is nice for polearm feat qualification. Other than that, their feat support is generically useful but not especially defender-focused (more detail in their handbook).
Half-Elf*****: A double match in attributes, the extra at-will choice and access to Human feats (see there) make them a prime selection.
Halfling***: An odd rating at first glance, but Cha is a good secondary and Dex a solid tertiary. Furthermore Second Chance and a nice feat selection offer great a defensive boost. With, Nimble Reactions they can move anywhere on the battlefield relatively unharmed, as it takes a solid wall of medium (or small) sized creatures to stop them. On the downside, they have inferior weapon damage and weapon selection, they don't have a con boost, and their feat support is abysmal.
Human*****: As usual a great selection due their flexibility, and defenders especially like their NAD bonus and their good choice of defensive feats. An extra at-will is especially powerful for psionic characters
Tiefling**: They get...a charisma boost. Their Int bonus isn't particularly helpful, although still isn't much inferiour to Dex for keeping up NADs. If you're a tiefling, you're probably here for the feat support, and their handbook has more detail on that.

Player's Handbook 2
Deva**: Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes rocks, the end. A wisdom bump is nice but you don't have a con bump, and the feat support is mostly barren.
Gnome**: Cha is the only useful bonus, and the mediocre racial features leave much to be desired.
Goliath****: They've got a racial bump to con, their feat support is mostly devoted to hitting people in the face, and str is helpful for feat qualification. Goliaths are defenders by nature.
Half-Orc*: No relevant stat boosts. The racials and feat support are relevant, but nothing here is worth -1 to hit and damage.
Shifter (both)**: Again a Wis race with bonus to one of the two tertiary attributes. Longtooth have a slightly stronger power, but BMs not as dependant on regeneration and Razorclaws have a better straight defensive boost. There are some nice feats available and the stats especially help if you want to go down the Polearm road. Make sure to visit their handbook.

Player's Handbook 3
Githzerai***: This is probably the best of the wis/dex races, their excellent defender-oriented racial features and the large selection of feats for both defenders and psionic charaters.
Minotaur****: Con as primary is good, but Str secondary only medicore and the wasted racial and low feat support drop them down in the rating. (might improve with PHB3)
Shardmind: (rating postponed till PHB3)
Wilden*****: Both attribute bonuses, a flexible NAD bonus, and a mix of solid class features and feats make them a great choice.

Dragon Magazine
Gnoll****: (Dr367) The con bump is there and the racial abilities are interesting. The feat support is only slightly better than nonexistent, and dex is chiefly useful for feat qualification.
Revenant*****: (Dr376) This has a bump to con, and can poach the feat support of any race in the game. This race overshadows many of the races you might want to choose for feat support alone. Near-immunity to death-by-damage is handy, too.
Shadar-Kai*: (Dr372) The attributes don't help, and a few useable racial features, feats and special PPs won't spare them the worst rating.

Monster Manuals
All of these races lack feat support, which often lowers the rating by one step.
Bugbear*: (MM) Wrong stats hardly compensate for the bit of extra damage they might do.
Bullywug***: (MM) If you can live with being a giant walking frog, more power to you. You've got a con bump, but the racial power is pretty lame.
Doppelganger**: (MM) For someone interested in infiltration the race is golden, but the BM only profits from the Cha bonus. You should play a Changeling instead.
Duergar****: (MM2) Matching attribute bonuses together with nice albeit situational racial features offer you a very playable race. If you were planning on taking Armor Specialization (scale) and weren't planning on taking dwarf feats, this is even better than a dwarf, because of the minor-action racial attack which inflicts an attack penalty.
Githyanki****: (MM) The Con bonus sure helps and the racial features are OK for a defender, but nothing else much sticks out.
Goblin**: (MM) You're small, the racial isn't useful, and there's no con boost. This is halfling only less.
Hobgoblin*****: (MM) Two matching attributes and a set of well rounded racial traits mitigate the lack of feats.
Kenku**: (MM2) If they had actual wings they sure would be great, but as it is they are rather not top tier despite some useful features.
Kobold****: (MM) A con boost and shifting as minor make them a nice pick, despite being small.
Orc****: (MM) Would be better if their racial wasn't tied to Str. Now their main seller is the Con bonus and the possibility to grab some good weapon feats.

Other Books
Bladeling*: (MOTP) If you're into razors, this is your pick - but from an optimization standpoint nothing really stands out.
Changeling**: (EPG) A few fancy racial features and a Cha bonus make this playable, but no feats and no racial helps at being a defender. Nice if you want to do game heavy on infiltration and social aspects, as the BM has a solid choice of Cha skills.
Drow**: (FRPG) Usually better suited with other roles, the bumps in Cha and Dex definately help. The feat support is interesting, but mostly oriented towards other roles.
Genasi*: (FRPG) A well-supported and usually very defender-friendly race, their extremly bad attribute placement leaves them to be desired, although not unplayable.
Kalashtar**: (EPG) This has a bump to both rider stats, but the racials are decidedly not defender-oriented and the feat support begins and ends with their telepathy.
Warforged****: (EPG) Why be a squishy meatbag when you can be a robot instead? Especially if those other meatbags need something to stop them from going 'squish' at the first sign of danger ? Look forward to a con boost, excellent racials, decidedly defender-oriented feat support, and even unique items!

First of all, thanks for all the feedback.
Before I go through all races in detail again, I'll probably go through powers and feats, as those things must always be considered in concert. Still I'm not forgetting this, and please keep it coming.

I also have a few general questions about your opinion on ratings:
1) I agree that a 20 in a stat is definately nice, but it comes at a significant cost. I'm wary about it with the BM due his generally big problem of qualifying for important feats, the NAD issue and the fact that MS doesn't care about Con at all.
2) I consider a medium rating (black or green) something that is OK, but not stellar. As such I would it give it to a match at secondary scores. A match on the primary would be blue, and a double match sky blue. Good synergy with racials, feats and the off-stat can bump it up by one, or the opposite might throw it down one step. In special cases even two steps are merited. I looked over a good deal of other guides to get a basis for comparison and IMO kept to these rating levels (aside from minor personal different opinions).
3) My emphasis on Cha/Wis and Str/Dex seems to be greater than that of many of you. My reasoning is that Cha/Wis help with the very important Will defense, while they also provide good riders on a few powers. Str is important to qualify for about any weapon related feat (and Plate, if you can't afford the Dex), while Dex is needed for Scale (or Shield) Spec, Init, Reflex and a few others. In that case the BM probably suffers somewhat from a hidden MAD problem, at least until we get some special class support, similarly to the Avenger. Due that fact the BM gets significant power out of MCing, which again favours pushing other stats to a lesser or great extend.

(fwiw, in case you haven't seen it:  the other build's power choice is presented in the Dark Sun preview battlemind pregen.  Basically, you get 3+CHA squares of movement when you roll initiative, or Resist all 3+WIS until ENT when you first get hit or missed in an encounter; either choice is a free action encounter power.)



Thanks, I indeed missed the DS preview. Could somebody help out with a link ? I can't find it on the WotC site.
But it's good to know that the Wis feature is really solid, too.

I also prefer black. I speak for the red-green colorblind community when I say that the red and green look the same to me.



I used the recent proposal of replacing black with green, as I find it better sets itself apart in the text and I like to occasionally bold other thinks.

The issue you raise is a good point, though. Could you tell me if you can distinguish any of the following:
RED1 - RED2 - RED3 - RED4 - RED5 - RED6
GRE1 - GRE2 - GRE3 - GRE4 - GRE5 - GRE6
First of all, thanks for all the feedback.
Before I go through all races in detail again, I'll probably go through powers and feats, as those things must always be considered in concert. Still I'm not forgetting this, and please keep it coming.

I also have a few general questions about your opinion on ratings:
1) I agree that a 20 in a stat is definately nice, but it comes at a significant cost. I'm wary about it with the BM due his generally big problem of qualifying for important feats, the NAD issue and the fact that MS doesn't care about Con at all.


If you don't hit, you don't accomplish anything. You need a con boost to make 16 primary (like in the hopelessly MAD 16,14,13,13,10,8 array) work. Plus, you don't get the fighter's inherent +1 to hit.

2) I consider a medium rating (black or green) something that is OK, but not stellar. As such I would it give it to a match at secondary scores. A match on the primary would be blue, and a double match sky blue. Good synergy with racials, feats and the off-stat can bump it up by one, or the opposite might throw it down one step. In special cases even two steps are merited. I looked over a good deal of other guides to get a basis for comparison and IMO kept to these rating levels (aside from minor personal different opinions).


If you chilled out the whole scale by one rank, you'd get results a lot closer to what people are expecting. Right now, you're doing silly things like ranking Revenant (a con-boosting race with inherently better feat support than any single race) the same as dragonborn and githzerai.

When Half-Elf and Dragonborn have the same rating for a con-wis/cha defender class, your rating system is inflated to uselesness.

3) My emphasis on Cha/Wis and Str/Dex seems to be greater than that of many of you. My reasoning is that Cha/Wis help with the very important Will defense, while they also provide good riders on a few powers. Str is important to qualify for about any weapon related feat (and Plate, if you can't afford the Dex), while Dex is needed for Scale (or Shield) Spec, Init, Reflex and a few others. In that case the BM probably suffers somewhat from a hidden MAD problem, at least until we get some special class support, similarly to the Avenger. Due that fact the BM gets significant power out of MCing, which again favours pushing other stats to a lesser or great extend.


It's not any more MAD than the fighter. In fact, the fighter seems to get more out of the dex/wis kickers than battleminds get out of cha/wis.
The issue you raise is a good point, though. Could you tell me if you can distinguish any of the following:
RED1 - RED2 - RED3 - RED4 - RED5 - RED6
GRE1 - GRE2 - GRE3 - GRE4 - GRE5 - GRE6



RED6 and GRE6 work best for me.

I also have a few general questions about your opinion on ratings:
1) I agree that a 20 in a stat is definately nice, but it comes at a significant cost. I'm wary about it with the BM due his generally big problem of qualifying for important feats, the NAD issue and the fact that MS doesn't care about Con at all.



Whether or not to start with a 20 stat is simply a matter of personal taste -- there is no logical argument that can make it `right' or `wrong'.  Some classes come by it more easily than others -- the Battlemind falls entirely on the `easy' side.  An 18 starting Con, though, is so obviously called for that doing anything lower is probably a mistake for most people.


3) My emphasis on Cha/Wis and Str/Dex seems to be greater than that of many of you. My reasoning is that Cha/Wis help with the very important Will defense, while they also provide good riders on a few powers. Str is important to qualify for about any weapon related feat (and Plate, if you can't afford the Dex), while Dex is needed for Scale (or Shield) Spec, Init, Reflex and a few others. In that case the BM probably suffers somewhat from a hidden MAD problem, at least until we get some special class support, similarly to the Avenger. Due that fact the BM gets significant power out of MCing, which again favours pushing other stats to a lesser or great extend.



As for the riders... we only have the preview version, but there are startlingly few rider that care about secondary stats at all.  Many of those are the underwhelming/extremely situational lesser augments.  Nearly all of them produce totally reasonable effects with a +0 or +1 bonus. 

As to prereqs, I won't outright disagree with you, but most of the things you're talking about require a 13 stat.  How many of these are you going to be able to take at 1st level?  For most of the things that you want, you can reach it with low starting stats and level-based stat bumps (to go with the ever-increasing Con).  Sure, you can choose a build that pushes Cha or Wis also, but that's just one choice, and it's really not required.  Compare it to any other defender, and the value of the secondary stats is quite low.  This makes human even better (you don't really need that second stat bump), and is a big change from the swordmage (requires at least 2 stats), the fighter (probably requires 2, often 3) and the paladin (really wants at least 3, often 4 stats).  The Battlemind is the least MAD defender so far, and might be one of the least MAD classes so far.

Put another way, you're not going to hate those high secondary stats, but you're very rarely going to miss them if you choose to go for something else instead.  Many of the things you're talking about picking are things that you'll be taking after 2-3 one-stat bumps and one all-stats bump.   They can wait for 4th/8th/11th if you're hitting more and harder and better in the meantime.  IMHO, of course.


Thanks, I indeed missed the DS preview. Could somebody help out with a link ? I can't find it on the WotC site.
But it's good to know that the Wis feature is really solid, too.




www.wizards.com/dnd/files/DNDXP_Characte...

The class feature is called Battle Resilience.  It's a fun ability, about on par with the (excellent) Stone's Endurance.  Combining the two... well, let's just say I expect to see a lot of half-giant (which is to say, goliath) battleminds once Dark Sun hits (depending on what they eventually decide to do for the mul; rias of the preview, it didn't really have any racial abilities/traits, supposedly because they realized that letting it take both Dwarf and Human feats was waaaaaay too good.).

In general, there's a lot of material that's already written that we haven't yet seen.  From what we have seen, though, I would actually think that an 18/14/14 build lightly hitting both secondaries might be better than the 18/18 I would normally suggest even with a double-bumping race. 
Powers are up in posts #9 to #11.

If you don't hit, you don't accomplish anything. You need a con boost to make 16 primary (like in the hopelessly MAD 16,14,13,13,10,8 array) work. Plus, you don't get the fighter's inherent +1 to hit.



Agreed. But each good rating I gave for a non-Con Race was with the fact in mind that it could still start with an 18.

When Half-Elf and Dragonborn have the same rating for a con-wis/cha defender class, your rating system is inflated to uselesness.



The problem is that I somehow would need at least one more rating step in the range of green/black and dark blue, which I don't have, so in either way I'll have to underrate or overrate some races. I'll just have to find a point where both I am satisfied with it and I meet expectations of both regular and casual board visitors - where that point is exactly I still have to figure out.

It's not any more MAD than the fighter. In fact, the fighter seems to get more out of the dex/wis kickers than battleminds get out of cha/wis.



Again I'm not referring only to Wis/Cha, but also to Str/Dex. Without a basic investment into at one if not both, the BM is of worse than even a basic PHB1 Fighter ! 

Edit: Thanks for the link and the input, chadley. I'll get back to the races after I have worked through the feats, which seem to be the strongest factor left at the time being.

The issue you raise is a good point, though. Could you tell me if you can distinguish any of the following:
RED1 - RED2 - RED3 - RED4 - RED5 - RED6
GRE1 - GRE2 - GRE3 - GRE4 - GRE5 - GRE6



RED2 and GRE6 work best for me.



I changed the color - please let me know if it helped.
I'm joining a 12th level game in a few weeks and I've been messing around and testing the battlemind and its abilities and crunching numbers. Here are my initial thoughts/input for the guide.

Speed of Thought(Class Feature) Intially I thought this would be 1 of the more superior abilities of the class, but effectively with Dexterity being basically a dump stat for Battleminds it meant taking substantial first round damage as most of the encounter would go before you. Yes as a defender its nice taking the first round burst, but essentially this ability should have a rider effect that says Party's Healer must spend his 2nd rounds minor action to heal you.

Mindspike(Class Feature). As an oppurtunity action triggering on an ally taking damage it might be useful or even strong
as it would chain well with lightning rush, but as an immediate reaction its really not very good, and its so situational that you will probably forget to use it when you can.Basically the conditions for this to be good are,1)The enemy must be adjacent, 2) The enemy must be marked, 3) The enemy must hit, 4) The enemy must do enough damage to make it worth it, 5) You must not have lightning rushed, or planned to lightning rush this turn.

Blurred Step(Class Feature). The inherent stickiness of the class, it a really solid power. Spirit of the rules would suggest that the marked target completes its shift then you shift. With shift enhancing items it becomes really good.

Level 1 At-Wills

Demon Dance(At Will) The only thing I like about this power is that it has the psychic keyword

Twisted Eye(At Will) using it as a MBA on an oppurtunity attack is solid although costly.

Whirling Defense(At Will) The only level 1 At-Will that is worth taking...and the great thing is that it doesn't have to be augmented to be the best of the 3.

Level 1 Dailies

Allies to enemies
(Daily) It has the psychic keyword.../shrugs. The MBA against the target of your choice is situational and if you're the only target adjacent to it...you get the idea.

Steel Unity Strike(Daily) well, its the only other choice...and its also pretty situational.

Level 2 Utilities

Feather Step(Util) Eh, I mean there are situations when being able to walk on water are useful, but if you find yourself in those situations alot there are magic items that mimic this effect and you get a much better utility power.

Telepathic Challenge(Util) I still supsect that with the full class released this will be the best level 2 utility.

Level 3 At Wills

Spectral Legion(At Will). Augmented [1] with a secondary in charisma, this power really shines.

Visions of Terror(At Will) I've never really liked push/slides on melee classes...as effectively it takes you out of Oppurtunity action range.

Level 5 Dailies

Beckoning Strike(Daily). This is you're bread and butter daily, its the best of all the heroic tier dailies by far.

Nightmare Vortex(Daily). Under the right circumstances with the right group make up this could challenge beckoning strike, but it would have to be a group dedicated to forced movement triggers...Bloodmages, Storm Pillars and the such.

Level 6 Utilities

The level 6 Utilities don't deserve to be talked about in that I seriously considered taking the very situational level 2 utility over either of the currently available level 6 utilites. I chose winged weapon, just because I could think of more situations when needing a ranged attack for 1 round would be useful than being able to move 3 squares across liquid every round would be.

Level 7 At Wills

Here is the thing that sucks about the level 7 atwills, Psionic Speed is actually really good...

Lightning Rush
(At Will). Well there you have it, Lightning rush is the 1 ability in heroic tier that makes them as good, if not better than every other defender. Augmented Lightning Rush[2] effectively makes you a pseduo-assault swordmage and a pseudo-shielding swordmage at the same time. Changing Mindspike to an oppurtunity action triggered off of an ally taking damage would make unaugmented lightning rushes attractive...and actually give a more realistic chance of using mindspike.

Level 9 Dailies

Intellect hammer basically reads, if you hit you do some damage and gain an additional use of lightning rush, if you miss you get to use spectral legion again. I read inexorable death strike, then read it again...then looked for save ends conditions and couldn't find them.

Level 10 Utilities
Yawn

Guardian's Speed(AtWill) Slide an enemy that takes damage, against monsters that multi-attack at melee 1 is decent I suppose...but if an ally is getting multi-attacked and you are adjacent to said monster you probably aren't doing your job as a defender anyway.

Shadow Ally
(Daily) I've read this power, and re-read this power and its really pretty decent, inline with what I'd expect from a daily utility of this level.

This is where my testing has ended as we are level 12 and I don't have access to any of the paragon tier powers yet. Take this as you may, but this is my perspective with the research and testing I've done. In conclusion as the class currently stands its only semi-playable and you are basically a 1 or 2 trick pony...but once you get to 3rd level you have spectral legions which is a good defender ability and once you get to level 7 you get lightning rush which is a great defender ability.
Agreed. But each good rating I gave for a non-Con Race was with the fact in mind that it could still start with an 18.



The more MAD the build, the more necessary a con bump is. A con bump makes 16,14,13,13,10,8 possible, but without it you can only use 18,13,13,10,10,8.

Again I'm not referring only to Wis/Cha, but also to Str/Dex. Without a basic investment into at one if not both, the BM is of worse than even a basic PHB1 Fighter !



And the PHB fighter needed to invest heavily in two, if not three, tertiary stats to make certain builds work, just like the battlemind.

What source of feats are you trying to cram into one build such that a dragonborn is a good race? Such that a dragonborn is better than a revenant? I don't think the advantages you imagine actually exist when the rubber meets the road and you're trying to make a build.
First half of the feats are up (post #12).
Anything I forgot ? MC feats will be dealt with in their own post, which covers all MCing.

Speed of Thought(Class Feature) Intially I thought this would be 1 of the more superior abilities of the class, but effectively with Dexterity being basically a dump stat for Battleminds it meant taking substantial first round damage as most of the encounter would go before you. Yes as a defender its nice taking the first round burst, but essentially this ability should have a rider effect that says Party's Healer must spend his 2nd rounds minor action to heal you.

Level 1 At-Wills

Twisted Eye(At Will) using it as a MBA on an oppurtunity attack is solid although costly.

Level 3 At Wills

Visions of Terror(At Will) I've never really liked push/slides on melee classes...as effectively it takes you out of Oppurtunity action range.

Level 5 Dailies

Beckoning Strike(Daily). This is you're bread and butter daily, its the best of all the heroic tier dailies by far.

Nightmare Vortex(Daily). Under the right circumstances with the right group make up this could challenge beckoning strike, but it would have to be a group dedicated to forced movement triggers...Bloodmages, Storm Pillars and the such.



Thanks for the input - it's good to hear a second opinion. We seem to agree on most, but not all - but I have a few questions in particular.

Speed of Though: I found in actual play it always helped to get into an advantageous position before the great melee started and then keep that position. Yes, sometimes you would take some beating - but still better then the rest of the group as you have the defenses and Con for it, and they can patch you up afterwards. So I would rate it at least blue - or am I missing something ?

Twisted Eye: Have you considered the option to blind ? -5 to melee / ranged, can't make OAs and and grants CA - quite strong for a (as BM reusable) level 1 power. And even the at-will is solid enough.

Visions of Terror: Aside from building a combo around it, pushing is useful to round up more mobs together so you can either bind them or prepare them some allys AoE - you'd just have to close again afterwards. Both augments also offer considerable control, IMO. Have you considered these possibilites ? (Remember that Forced Movement always allows you to move them less or even zero squares.)

Beckoning Strike: This is the only power where I'm really at loss with your rating. The opener is really weak, and those OAs are not only very situational, but their benefit only triggers just after the damage to your allies was done. On the other hand Nightmare Vortex actually does what Beckoning Strike attempts to, much better - that is keep mobs rounded up close to you.