The Acme of Excellence - A Warlord's Handbook

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The Acme of Excellence - A Warlord Handbook

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.


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I'll describe the warlord class here at some point.


Right, first things first. We've all seen one of lordduskblade's guides, or one of the many guides that poached his format. This is another one of the latter. I don't go in for quite as many rating levels, and note that I won't be rating anything that isn't an actual choice. I also don't go in for gold ratings; other than a few feat tax feats, warlord builds are varied enough that little is a must-take.


Ratings:
Note that I omit both the typical purple and gold ratings. Most items which would be purple are instead rolled into red; red options aren't necessarily as bad as they are in other guides. Anything which would be gold is sky blue and called out in prose.
Red: You probably don't want this. This option is either uncommonly weak or actively harmful to most builds, and generally you will be best off avoiding these choices. Choices with zero synergy whatsoever with warlords will typically be omitted entirely.
Black: This is a situationally useful choice. Perhaps it's power-neutral, perhaps it's situationally useful but comes at an opportunity cost, perhaps it's just boring.
Blue: A solid choice. This will almost always make you appreciably better.
Sky Blue: These are near-obligatory choices which fit into nearly any build. Some of them are so strong that you'll want to structure the entire build around them.


Sources

AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DDM - Power cards packed in with Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures packs
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
MM - Monster Manual
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP2 - Martial Power 2
AP - Arcane Power
DP - Divine Power
PP - Primal Power
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHR - Player's Handbook Races

Terminology

Dumpster-diving - The process of digging through many books (or articles or issues of Dragon or whatever) to look for the One True Feat/Power/Paragon Path/item/whatever that will make your character work. Basically, the work involved in writing these guides. Frostcheese - The combination of Frost weapons, the Wintertouched feat, and the Lasting Frost feat, all from PHB. This effect turns all of your attacks into cold-typed attacks, gives any enemy you hit vulnerability 5 to cold, and gives you combat advantage against any enemy vulnerable to cold.
Kicker - An extra ability or effect attached to some other ability or power. An extra effect based on a intelligence would be an "int-based kicker", whereas a Bravura Warlord-only extra would be a "bravelord kicker." Stunlock - The tactic of debuffing enemies such that they cannot take any useful actions. In particular, the tactic of applying a condition like stunned or immobilized, then stacking save penalties so that enemies never lose that condition.

Inspirations and Credits (aka stuff I just ripped off and people who did the work for me):
Thanks to lordduskblade for the format, and to lordduskblade, Armisael, Elder_basilisk, and everyone else who wrote a (better) guide or did the theorycraft on which this guide rests. Anything that sounds especially insightful or clever in this guide was probably their idea first.

Base Stats and Class Features


Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.


Warlords are martial controllers who rely on strength and one of intelligence, wisdom, or charisma. Most of their abilities are aimed at melee builds, although using material from Martial Power 2 it's also possible to build a ranged warlord, if you prefer. Warlords' broad weapon access and melee emphasis allow access to nearly any weapon's feat support, and their strength primary makes it possible to be fairly well-armored with a feat investment.


HP, Surges, and Proficiencies
Hit Points - 12 + Con score at 1st level; 5 at each level thereafter. This is the typical melee striker/leader HP score. You're tough enough to risk melee, but you'll want to avoid drawing too much attention to yourself.

Healing Surges - 7 + Con modifier. This is the typical leader total, although the warlord's lack of a con-based build and melee focus mean that you'll want to be a bit more sparing than many melee classes.

Proficiencies - All warlords have at least hide armor, simple and military melee weapons, and simple ranged weapons. By default, they also have chainmail armor and light shields. Int-based warlords may find they get better results from hide armor, especially if they have invested heavily in intelligence, but most melee warlords will wear chain (or better) armor and wield either a two-handed weapon or a one-handed weapon and a light shield.

Ranged warlords, on the other hand, will take the Archer Warlord option from Martial Power 2, which swaps the chainmail and light shield proficiencies for proficiency with military ranged weapons and allows the warlord to use strength instead of dexterity on ranged basic attacks with bows. (Note that this doesn't apply to other ranged weapons, such as crossbows.)


The main choose-your-own-class-feature of warlords is their Commanding Presence. Each presence grants a special effect when an ally uses an action point to take an additional action, and grants extra kicker effects on certain powers. Inspiring Presence (insplords or occasionally bardlords) is cha-based and focuses on healing and defensive abilities, and Tactical Presence (taclords) is int-based and focuses on sizable bonuses to hit, and Bravura Presence (bravelords or bravolords) is nominally cha-based and its effects have sizable bonuses on success but penalties on failure. Resourceful Presence (reslords or resourcelords) is a mixed int- and cha-based presence, with offensive effects generally tied to int and defensive effects generally tied to cha. Insightful Presence (insightlords or sightlords) is an cha- or wis-based presence with defensive abilities, and Skirmishing Presence (skirmishlords) is an int- or wis-based presence with repositioning abilities.


Commanding Presences

Template (PHB) - Yes, I am wimping out on this for now. Nice of you to notice.




Warlords also have another class feature, Combat Leader, an initiative boost for the entire party. Martial Power 2 introduced some new options to swap out this ability, either for Canny Leader a boost to Insight and Perception checks, or Battlefront Leader, which includes heavy shield proficiency and fight-starting shift for one party member.


Leader features
Combat Leader (PHB) - The default choice for most warlords. The main reason to not take this are because the party has another major source of power bonuses to initiative (such as another warlord).

Canny Leader (MP2) - Skill boosts just aren't as useful as initiative boosts. Perception is a powerful skill, but Insight is not.

Battlefront Leader (MP2) - I'm not a big fan of the fight-starting shift; usually, you're using it to pull a weak party member out of a bad starting position or push the defender forward to meet a charge. Heavy shield proficiency (and the option to gain scale proficiency with no stat prerequisites with Armored Warlord) is an acceptable plum to offset the loss of the initiative boost. Presumably, you can't get the heavy shield proficiency if you are also an Archer Warlord.


Placeholder text describing Inspiring Word


Races


Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.


An ideal warlord race will have a strength bonus and a boost to a kicker stat (intelligence, wisdom, or charisma). Genasi, dragonborn, and longtooth shifters are effective in this simple and straightforward way.


Such races are not the only optimal choices, however. Warlords have three different kicker stats with often-powerful effects attached to each, many no-attack-roll attacks, and a great deal of powerful race-specific feat support. Thus, a race which doesn't necessarily have perfectly-allocated stats may be nearly-as- or just-as-optimal as a +2 str race. Eladrin, half-elves, and warforged in particular make up for less-than-optimal stat arrays with excellent racial feat support and powerful racial abilities.


Races

Bugbears (MM) - Strength/dexterity. Str/dex isn't a bad set of stats, and their racial abilities are extra damage. There's no feat support, however.

Dragonborn (PHB) - Strength/charisma. The ideal bravelord race, but they also make great insplords. Their stat boosts are perfect, the feat support is amazing, and their racial attack power is an off-action attack.

Drow (FRPG) - Dexterity/charisma. Their racial powers are interesting effects for a leader, and they have some worthwhile feat support.

Dwarf (PHB) - Constitution/wisdom. Their stats are subpar and most of their racial abilities aren't anything to write home about, but they get some absolutely mindblowing feat support, including the only way to add +wis to Inspiring Word.

Eladrin (PHB) - Dexterity/intelligence. Eladrin get excellent feat support and an int boost, and the best taclord paragon path is eladrin-only. Eladrin are the taclord master race.

Elf (PHB) - Dexterity/wisdom. Despite their subpar stats, an elf makes an fairly decent ranged int-based warlord or melee wis-based warlord, due to some powerful-yet-specific feat support.

Genasi (FRPG/D380) - Strength/intelligence. The stat boosts are perfect for an int-based build, and nearly any racial ability set you might pick is fantastic. Earthsoul, Windsoul, and Voidsoul are my favorites.

Githzerai (PHB3/D378) - Wisdom/(dexterity or intelligence). Functional but not impressive. Their weapon training feat and a couple of interesting paragon paths are the main reasons to consider a githzerai.

Goliath (PHB2) - Strength/constitution. Between the str boost and Goliath Greatweapon Prowess, goliaths makes fine warlords. Stone's Endurance is normally difficult to use, but bravelords will often be able to predict when a lot of pain is incoming. Contrast with warforged.

Half-elf (PHB) - Constitution/charisma. A half-elf warlord can use a Dilettante power from nearly any melee class, and that's huge. Combine that with full access to the high-quality human and elf feat support and you have a winning race.

Half-orc (PHB2) - Strength/dexterity. Their stats are well-suited to polearm builds, but their racial powers and feats are thoroughly underwhelming.

Halfling (PHB) - Dexterity/charisma. Being small sucks as a weapon-using class, but halflings are insanely durable in crowded melee fights if you take their racial feats.

Human (PHB) - Any one stat. Warlords cry out for the third at-will, and are often feat-strapped at heroic. The feat support includes gems like Action Surge and Adroit Explorer.

Longtooth Shifter (PHB2) - Strength/wisdom. Their racial power is amazing and their stats are perfect for a wis-based build. Their feat support isn't anything special, but that's not a dealbreaker.

Minotaur (PHB3/D369) - Strength/(constitution or wisdom). Their stats are in the right place, but their racial feat support is almost entirely devoted to charge optimization. You're almost certainly better off with another race unless you're planning to build a charge-focused build.

Orc (MM) - Strength/constitution. They have a strength boost, and almost nothing else going for them. They can make passable warlords, but they're strictly worse than warforged and minotaurs.

Revenant (D376) - Dexterity/constitution. The stat boosts are in the wrong place, and the racial abilities do almost nothing for you. Because dex/con is the worst possible stat array for you, you're almost always playing a living member of the race whose feat support you're after.

Tiefling (PHB) - Intelligence/charisma. The best of the int/cha races. Their superior feat support marginalizes gnomes, changelings, and dopplegangers, which have the same stats but lack the interesting feat support.

Warforged (EPG) - Strength/constitution. Between their strength boost, Warforged Tactics, and racial durability abilities, warforged make excellent bravelords and quite passable warlords of any sort.




Ability Scores


To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength; to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.


Strength is your primary stat, and the stat that all of your attacks are based on. This is is your chief stat, and an 18 after racial adjustments is non-negotiable. You'll also want to raise this stat at each opportunity. (Recommended Starting Score: 16-18, before racial adjustments)


Intelligence - Adds ref defense, and AC as well if high enough to allow the use of hide armor. Many warlord kickers, particularly offensive ones, are based on intellect, so the rewards for having a high intellect are large. That said, it's possible to live without high intellect, especially if you're focusing on cha-based effects. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-16, before racial adjustments)


Charisma - Adds will defense. The other warlord kicker stat, many effects are based on charisma, and there's a decent mix of defensive effects and risky offensive effects, depending on your tastes. That said, there's not quite as large a benefit to focusing on charisma. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-14, before racial adjustments)


Wisdom - Adds will defense. The other other warlord kicker stat. The wisdom kickers are few and always allow a cha- or int-based alternative. That said, Pit Fighter adds wis to damage and wisdom is used for certain weapon feats, so a str/wis build isn't necessarily suboptimal. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-13, before racial adjustments)


Dexterity - This will affect your reflex defense and initiative, but is unlikely to affect your AC. You'll only want dex for feat qualification; you can dump it if you don't need it for that. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-13, before racial adjustments)


Constitution - Adds fort defense, HP, and surges. This is the closest thing to a universal dump stat that all warlords share, but it's not a good idea to actually dump constitution. Barring a build that is going for armor feats or some unusual weapon feats, this will get your second- or third-worst stat. (Recommended Starting Score: 10-13, before racial adjustments)


Typical arrays

18/13/13/10/10/8
Feat-qualifier array. 18 goes in str, 13 goes in a kicker stat, and the other 13 goes somewhere that qualifies you for a feat. This is also a decent array for a reslord.

18/14/11/10/10/8
SAD array. 18 goes in your primary stat (which is probably str), 14 goes in your kicker stat, 11 goes in dex/con. This is handy for a race which boosts your kicker but not your primary.

16/16/13/11/10/8
MAD array. 16 in str, 16 in kicker stat, 13 in a feat-qualifier stat, 11 in another feat-qualifier stat (likely boosted by a racial). This array is for some sort of feat tree with involved stat requirements, like polearms.




Skills


He who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven.


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Backgrounds


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At-will powers


In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack - the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.


Melee warlords have more top-quality at-will powers than most classes have at-wills of any quality. You can make a hundred different melee warlord builds who all choose two of Commander's Strike or Direct the Strike (almost never both), Intuitive Strike, and Wolf Pack Tactics, without ever suffering for never taking a second look at the other options.


A few of the other at-wills have significant feat support, enough to bring them up to the level of the high-rated staples. Opening Shove, in particular, combines with Polearm Momentum (and possibly Hunting Spear Student or Spear and Shield Style) to serve as a knockdown-and-grant-attack alternative to Commander's Strike or Direct the Strike. Harlequin Style adds a huge cha-based defensive bonus against one foe to Brash Assault. Steel Vanguard Student make Viper's Strike a 19-20 critting attack, with a defender-helping rider.


Should you choose Commander's Strike or Direct the Strike? Probably Direct the Strike. The ability to get any ally you can see to attack anyone you can both see, with either a melee or ranged basic attack... that's almost always worth shifting out of melee to avoid an opportunity attack. Even if the party is all melee, that doesn't necessarily mean that you yourself are going to be in melee reach of every enemy on whom you'd like to focus fire. Int-based melee warlords with an ally who can benefit from the granted melee attacks are still going to want Commander's Strike, and melee warlords in games with exceptionally busy melee battles will also want to give it a second look.


Ranged warlords are a completely different - and much simpler - ball of wax. Unless you're using a thrown weapon as your ranged weapon, take Direct the Strike and Risky Shot, with Paint the Bull's Eye as the third choice for humans. Risky Shot just plain outweighs Bull's Eye, as you'll need allies to hit your target twice to justify the lost damage from not using Risky Shot. For a power you're going to be spamming for mop-up, most of the time you're not going to see that sort of party-wide coordination, and on nova turns, you're probably using something more potent than your at-will powers. If you are using a thrown weapon as your ranged weapon, give the melee at-wills some consideration; Intuitive Strike or Wolf Pack Tactics may give you much more mileage than Risky Shot.


At-will powers

Commander's Strike (PHB) - Melee, int-based kicker. This is the basic grants-a-basic-attack at-will, and while Martial Power 2's Direct the Strike competes with it now, it still mostly holds up after all this time. Int-based melee warlords and warlords with Heavy Blade Opportunity will still want this.


Feat support

Arkhosian High Style (D368) - A decent rider, although cha-based warlords are more likely to be using Direct the Strike now.
Corellon's Wrath Style (D373) - It's a large, powerful bonus, but it's very situational. It's red for most characters, but if you fight enough drow, demons, orcs, or spiders, go for it.
Executioner's Style (D373) - Overly situational and based on a dump stat.
Expert Charioteer (D368) - I have never played in a game where this would have any effect whatsoever.
Nerathi Vanguard Style (D368) - Shield required. Spammable untyped defensive boosts are handy, but generally you'll want to flank instead of standing next to allies.
Spirited Rider (D368) - Unless you're playing a complete pacifist, your melee basic attack will be better than your mount's.
Undead Hunter (D371) - This is probably too situational even if you do fight lots of undead.
Vigilante Justice Style (D383) - Too situational, too small a benefit.
Warborn Fury Style (D368) - It's the handy half of Wolf Pack Tactics, attached to one of the nicer at-wills. If you have CS and qualify this, there's no reason not to have this.



Furious Smash (PHB) - Melee, cha-based kicker, targets fort. The weaker brother of Commander's Strike. They both exist to add an additional hit you wouldn't have had anyway and a secondary stat to damage, but CS is more reliable and doesn't require you to hit with an attack in the first place. Before Martial Power 2, this was suboptimal but worth considering in cha-based builds, but Intuitive Strike leaves this in the dust.


Feat support

Black Hood Student (MP2) - Two-handed axe required. A lame, situational damage boost to a lousy at-will, when you're wielding a bad weapon. That's about five strikes.
Cruel Cut Style (D373) - Well, you can use Furious Smash with a wis-based warlord, too, I guess. Yay?
Grudge Style (D368) - This rides just on the line between worth taking only if you have another reason to take this at-will, and powerful enough to justify taking the at-will on its own. I don't think it's quite enough to justify Furious Smash on its own over Intuitive Strike, myself.
Moradin's Forge Student (MP2) - Two-handed axe/hammer/pick required. Unless multiple members of the party toss out save-ends effects, a save penalty isn't worth a +2 proficiency weapon and a very lame at-will.
Turathi Assault Style (D368) - Con mod? A crit-based trigger? Only grants combat advantage? This is a complete trainwreck.



Wolf Pack Tactics (PHB) - Melee, targets AC. Much more powerful than it appears on paper. These little shifts can rescue a ranged class who moved up to use a close burst, set up flanks, or pull someone out of a bad spot.


Feat support

Arkhosian Fang Student (MP2) - Bastard sword, broadsword, or greatsword required. A situational attack boost on a gold-standard at-will isn't a bad feat investment.
Catspaw Style (D368) - A small shift very rarely isn't worth a feat.
Hunting Wolf Style (D383) - A situational maneuvering tool. Useful in a party of mostly ranged classes.
Kulkor Battlearm Student (MP2) - Versatile axe, hammer, or mace required. More damage is always nice, but you need a +2 proficiency weapon to get it.
Lolthdark Style (D383) - Drow only. Too situational. Possibly more interesting if you have a way to reuse or maintain Cloud of Darkness.
Zombie Veteran (D371) - What do shifts have to do with zombies? In any case, the benefit is too situational to justify this feat unless you fight undead all the time.



Viper's Strike (PHB) - Melee, targets AC. It makes you sort of sticky, if there's an ally around. This is situational, but it does do real damage as well as possibly granting an additional attack, and it helps defenders who have trouble with shift-charge (like wardens and battleminds).


Feat support

Battle-Scarred Veteran (D368) - It's extra damage, but it's very situational and based on a dump stat.
Desert Moon Student (MP2) - Falchion or scimitar required. Well, a falchion is more or less as good as greatsword for a goliath. Maybe you've got a setup where you help pin down enemies for a defender who has trouble with shifts? ...yeah, I got nothin'.
Exotic Fighting Style (D368) - Exotic weapon required. A tiny, lame benefit.
Fluttering Leaf Style (D368) - This turns Viper's Strike into a pseudo-Combat-Challenge mark, but it's not synergistic with Viper's Strike's inherent effect.
Hunting Spider Style (D368) - A small bonus, granted under exceedingly rare circumstances. There are easier ways to get combat advantage.
Longhand Student (MP2) - Two-handed polearm/spear required. Another pushborg tool, this time giving you the option of dropping a foe adjacent to an ally and making sure they stay there. The ability to reposition the foe you're sticking in place makes Viper's Strike much more interesting.
Nerathian High Blade Student (MP2) - Versatile heavy blade required. It's always +1 damage, and usually it's more. Who doesn't like damage?
Partisan Polearm Student (MP2) - Nonspear polearm required. Just too unreliable.
Rending Chains Student (MP2) - Flail required. This doesn't open up new options the way Longhand does; it just makes the base power a little more flexible. Are you using Viper's Strike enough to justify this?
Serpent's Fang Style (D383) - It's probably possible to make a more situational power, but you'd have to try pretty hard.
Steel Vanguard Student (MP2) - Two-handed heavy blade required. It's easily-accessible expanded crit from level 1 on.
Trickster's Blade Style (D368) - You'll need a lot of melee to justify this, but if you do, it turns Viper's Strike into WPT lite. You won't often get to use it otherwise, since you'll need to be flanking while simultaneously standing adjacent to an ally.



Brash Assault (MP) - Melee, targets AC. This only works if the GM politely chooses to make the free attack despite punishment for doing so outweighing the extra damage you take. Even if the GM does allow that to happen, this is only a good idea when you can set things up such that the punishment outweighs the extra damage you take! A power which is situational even when you have GM consent to make it worthwhile is a bad choice.


Feat support

Daring Performer (D368) - This won't happen enough to justify the feat.
Elsir Hammer Student (MP2) - One-handed hammer or pick required. Attacking reflex with a weapon is powerful, but it's applied to a terrible power and you need to be wielding a +2 proficiency one-handed weapon. That's a pretty brutal set of limitations. Black with Harlequin Style, since you can actually use this, but, again, you need to be using a suboptimal weapon and you can't use BA all day.
Expert Chainfighter (D382) - Shadar-kai only, spiked chain required. Too situational and not compatible with Harlequin Style.
Harlequin Style (D383) - This turns the power completely inside out. If enemies know about this bonus, then Brash Assault creates a shield against the nastiest thing nearby. If enemies don't know about this bonus, this is Commander's Strike glued to a melee basic attack while wearing rocketskates.
Impending Doom Style (D383) - Too unreliable, even if you weren't relying on the GM to be polite enough to activate this for you.
Ironstar Student (MP2) - Flail or mace required. Inflicting -2 to hit is fairly powerful, although this is tempered by the fact that you can't safely use this at-will on many enemies you'd actually want to inflict a -2 upon. Blue with Harlequin Style.
Menacing Brute Style (D368) - Setting up combat advantage is generally easier than this. Ranged allies won't be in range for the benefit, and melee allies can just flank.
Mocking Knave Style (D368) - Crits aren't common enough to justify this tiny benefit.
Mountain Thunder Student (MP2) - One-handed hammer/flail/mace required. It's a solid accuracy boost, assuming you're using a flail.
Ogremight Student (MP2) - Two-handed hammer/mace required. I like these sorts of at-will defense penalties, but the iffy power it's attached to and the inaccurate weapon required both hurt.
Reaving Axe Student (MP2) One-handed axe required. Inaccurate weapon, wrong stat kicker, lame attached power. Three strikes.
Untamed Berserker Style (D368) - Highly situational and based on your con mod.



Opening Shove (MP) - Melee, targets ref. It's a mix of Wolf Pack Tactics and Commander's Strike...except that it requires two attack rolls to work. Even with weapon vs. reflex, the flexibility isn't usually worth the reduced effectiveness. Certain builds which can tack on extra effects to the push, like Draconic Arrogance builds or polearm builds, may find a use for this, though.


Feat support

Arena Specialist (D368) - A very lame, very situational bonus.
Hunting Spear Student (MP2) - Spear required. Another part of the push-borg. Slowed and prone is a pretty brutal combination, especially when you can move an ally away from where you dropped the enemy.
Spear and Shield Style (D368) - One-handed spear and shield required. This lets you set up a flank for the follow-up attack. It's not enough to justify the weapon set if you aren't already, but if you're already going hoplite and using Opening Shove this is just too handy.
Warding Shield Style (D368) - Shield required. Nerfed to uselessness by the Player's Handbook 3 change to Weapon Expertise. It's +1 to hit at heroic only if you use a heavy shield.



Direct the Strike (MP2) - Ranged. Ranged Commander's Strike. You can use this with any sort of basic attack, you can use it from range, and you don't need a melee weapon. This is the new default choice for a grant-an-attack at-will for all warlords.


Feat support

Ninth Legion Student (MP2) - One-handed pick/spear required. This lets you convert your OAs into a basic attack from...well, anyone handy, be they melee or ranged. This is such a cool little combo tool that there has to be a build of some sort in here, I know it.



Intuitive Strike (MP2) - Melee, wis- or cha-based kicker, targets will. This is an accurate power which grants allies a sizable bonus to hit. Humans now have a sky-blue third choice, and Wolf Pack Tactics has some competition.


Paint the Bull's-Eye (MP2) - Ranged, int- or wis-based kicker, targets AC. Not nearly as cool as it looks. Unless you are sure that the party is going to get more than two hits on the target before your next turn, Risky Shot is the better choice. Damage is damage, it doesn't matter where it comes from.


Feat support

Adamant Arrow Student (MP2) - Longbow or greatbow required. Small pushes on a mediocre power aren't worth a feat.
Harrowing Swarm Student (MP2) - Bow or crossbow required. Inflicting -2 to hit on the target is worth a feat, however.
Leaf Runner Student (MP2) Hand crossbow, repeating crossbow, shortbow, shuriken, or sling required. The benefits for using an inferior weapon with an inferior at-will need to be large, and these don't cut it.



Risky Shot (MP2) - Ranged, int- or wis-based kicker, targets AC. It's a boring striker-style at-will, but there's a shortage of usable warlord ranged at-wills, and this does its job ably. Granting combat advantage is not usually a major disadvantage at range.


Rousing Assault (DDM) - Melee, targets AC. This power is from PHB Heroes series 1, in the Martial Heroes 2 pack. - Adding +cha to healing powers until EONT has potential if you're willing to chase down the relevant healing powers. Anything that heals multiple times or heals multiple allies is a good bet. That said, the at-will competition is so tough that you may have trouble making room for this.


Inevitable Wave (DDM) - Melee, targets AC. This power is from PHB Heroes series 2, in the Martial Heroes 4 pack. If your party is all melee and willing to work with you, you can do some amazing things with this power. Most of the time, though, you won't be able to find room for this and the party won't be the right mix of classes to use it.


Ranged, int- or wis-based kicker, targets AC.

==Level 1 encounter==
Powerful Warning and Vengeance is Mine loom large for any warlord. Negating attacks and making out-of-sequence attacks are powerful effects, and much more powerful than anything else you can get from a level 1 encounter power. That said, Pin Cushion, Race the Arrow, and Warlord's Favor are all decently-effective nova-enablers, and may fit into your build if you're not a big fan of reactive powers.

Guarding Attack* (PHB) - Melee, cha-based kicker (Inspiring), targets AC. This might negate one attack, assuming the enemy attacks the target you designate. These weak defensive encounter powers are living in the shadow of Powerful Warning.
Hammer and Anvil** (PHB) - Melee, cha-based kicker, targets ref. The old staple. It's still solid, but the gain of using this over an at-will is one attack and cha damage. Contrast with Powerful Warning, which can negate an enemy attack and grant an additional attack, or Vengeance is Mine, which can grant two attacks (albeit not necessarily every fight). It's hard to justify this in the face of that competition.
Hammer Formation* (MP) - Ranged (heavy thrown required), cha-based kicker (Resourceful), targets AC. This is just too situational and requires too much setup. You'll need a closely-clustered party of weapon users, but you can't be in melee because this is a ranged power, and...bleh. This doesn't actually fit into any build.
Leaf on the Wind* (PHB) - Melee, targets AC. Blandity bland bland bland. I can't imagine this weak repositioning effect ever mattering much.
Luring Focus* (MP) - Melee, cha-based kicker (Bravura), targets fort. The obligatory WTF level 1 encounter power. Completely useless.
Myrmidon Formation* (MP) - Melee (shield required), targets AC. This is weaker than Shielded Assault and Guarding Attack, and that's saying something.
Nimble Footwork* (MP) - Melee, targets AC. Don't you have Wolf Pack Tactics?
Pin Cushion*** (MP2) - Ranged, int- or wis-based kicker, targets AC. This is a large and powerful boost, but it only helps the ranged members of the party. In most parties, that's only about half the party at most, but in an all- or nearly-all-ranged party, this goes up to sky blue****.
Powerful Warning**** (MP2) - Wis- or cha-based kicker (Insightful), no attack roll. Force a miss and grant an out-of-sequence attack? This is an amazing power, and is rated for all warlords, not just Insightful ones.
Race the Arrow*** (MP2) - Ranged, int- or wis-based kicker (Skirmishing), targets AC. Hammer and Anvil for ranged warlords, but the kicker bonus is much better. It's nice if you have someone who can abuse a granted charge, but it doesn't play nicely with ranged allies.
Seize the Upper Hand*** (MP2) - Melee, cha-based kicker, targets AC. It's hard to make this bonus stick against enemies you flank, so it takes some other source of CA or immobilization or difficult terrain or initiative shenanigans to make this work. This isn't much at level 1, before you have such tricks, but it comes into its own as you get more ways to make this stick.
Shielded Assault* (MP2) - Melee (shield required), targets AC. A very boring defensive boost. Powerful Warning is more likely to prevent damage than this.
Vengeance Is Mine**** (MP2) - Melee/ranged. It's Immediate Reaction Hammer and Anvil, giving you a basic attack and your ally a move and melee basic attack. Feel free to shoot the target in the face if you're ranged, since OAs can't be made during your own turn (although mind anyone else around). How often do you get two attacks out of an out-of-sequence encounter power?
Warlord's Favor*** (PHB) - Melee, int-based kicker (Tactical), targets AC. A solid nova-enabler, undiluted by time.

==Level 1 daily==
Create a Target**** (MP2) - Melee, int-based kicker, targets AC. That's...baffling. An ally who can force movement with a basic attack gets to make infinite attacks until they miss? Really? Enjoy the Dragonfrost or Mark of Storm cheese while it lasts, but don't expect this to survive the next wave of errata.
Expert Timing* (MP2) - Melee, targets AC. I've never seen a fight won because someone got to move an extra square. This just doesn't have enough of an impact.
Inspiring Shot (MP2) - Ranged, int- or wis-based kicker, targets AC (reliable).


==Level 2 utility==

==Level 5 daily==

==Level 6 utility==

==Level 7 encounter==

==Level 9 daily==

==Level 10 utility==

Placeholder plaaaaaaceholder! 
Rock OUT. Okay, back to making placeholder posts. I would totally put a layout here like people who are organized, but I'm not that organized, and I mostly write guides organically.
Inevitably, I'd just make some sort of plan that wouldn't even survive contact with my first fully-written section. 
Da, komrade Shaoiken.
Here's another placeholder.

This is a home for the odds'n'ends I haven't found a use for yet. Right now, that's...pretty much everything.


Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.

When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped.

Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.

Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.

Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

To ensure that your whole host may withstand the brunt of the enemy's attack and remain unshaken - this is effected by maneuvers direct and indirect.

In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.

In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack - the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.

The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will even roll stones along in its course.

Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.

Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat.

Stopped at vi.

Feats


In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.


Heroic-level Feats


General heroic feats

Armor Proficiency (plate) (PHB) - Some builds will be able to find room for the 13 con for this, if only to qualify at epic.
Armor Proficiency (scale) (PHB) - Once a staple, now overshadowed by Armored Warlord and somewhat obviated by ranged builds. If you still want the initiative boost for the party and you can swing the 13 con for this, it's still a good choice.
Barreling Charge (MP2) - Mildly interesting if you use a reach weapon. Why wasn't this just errata'ed in to the charge rules?
Directing Inspiration (MP2) - A tasty little boost for ranged allies or against ranged attacks when you heal an ally.
Distant Advantage (PHB2) - If you're a ranged warlord in a party with enough melee characters to set up flanks, you should take this early on. Otherwise, skip it.
Double Team (D368) - Like Power Attack, but even worse. Skip, skip, skip.
Draw First Blood (MP2) - You won't have the minor attacks to justify this, but any ally with a decent wisdom modifier in your party should take this, since you'll be giving them lots of opportunities to use it.
Durable and Toughness (PHB) - Melee staples, and especially desirable if you couldn't afford to get con very high.
Formation Fighting (MP2) - Only interesting if you make a lot of opportunity attacks. Rated for its interaction with Polearm Gamble; most other build won't have any use for it.
Guide the Shot (MP2) - Nothing special, most of the time, but interesting if you're granting ranged attacks out of turn (such as with Polearm Gamble / Heavy Blade Opportunity or Ninth Legion Student) and don't have the luxury of picking your targets.
Hafted Defense (PHB3) - An excellent and cheap defensive boost for polearm warlords.
Improved Inspiring Word (MP) - A must-take in any cha-based build.
Lend Might (MP) - A staple of melee warlord builds, albeit not an indispensable one. If you've got the melee in the party to justify taking this, go for it.
Lend Strength (MP2) - Don't take this before Lend Might, but do take this. More damage is more damage.
Mark of Finding (EPG) - I'm fond of the stickiness this grants, although there are better dragonmarks.
Mark of Healing (EPG) - If you can take this, take it, and if your GM restricts this to halflings only, give serious consideration to being a halfling. Granting saves whenever you heal an ally is huge.
Mark of Hospitality (EPG) - Restful Healing with some limited ritual casting attached. It's better than Restful Healing, but if dragonmarks are available, you'll probably be better off with some other mark.
Mark of Sentinel (EPG) - Somewhat interesting in a Polearm Gamble / Heavy Blade Opportunity build, although it is overshadowed in polearm builds by Mark of Storm.
Mark of Storm (EPG) - You'll need a lightning weapon to make it work, but shifting on every single hit is useful. This comes into its own in polearm builds, where Polearm Momentum and an increase to the slide distance (usually from Rushing Cleats) turns every attack you make into a knockdown.
Mark of Warding??? (EPG) - Pending research
Martial Ploy (MP2) - "When you use aid another on an ally's weapon attack roll..." You're almost always better off just using a basic-attack-granting at-will.
Mounted Combat (PHB) and Mark of Handling (EPG) - Don't get me wrong, these are actually awesome feats. Unfortunately, 4e's mounted combat system is basically nonfunctional, so you'll likely never get to actually use them.
Power Attack (PHB) - A dead feat in most builds, and using it is a trap. It's only useful if you somehow have so much accuracy that you can afford to waste some, and that doesn't happen often.
Powerful Charge (PHB) - A modest bonus even in builds that focus on charging.
Redoubled Efforts (MP2) - A secret dwarf-only feat, this turns spare healing surges into offensive boosts. This is red if you can't take a healing surge as an off action, though.
Restful Healing (PHB2) - This shouldn't be a heroic feat, since it's not much of a bonus at heroic levels. That said, it's more and more extra out-of-combat healing as you level. Never let anyone use their second wind out of combat!
Shield Proficiency (heavy) (PHB) - With Martial Power 2 out, it's possible to get this without spending any feats, so spending a feat on it is questionable. If you're going sword-and-board, just go ahead and take Battlefront Leader.
Timely Respite (PHB2) - This is secretly a dwarf-only feat, and it's rated for them. If you can't take your second wind as an off action, don't bother taking this.
Vistani Heritage (D380) - Nothing special on its own, but Vistani Foresight at epic is excellent and requires this feat as a prerequisite.
Weapon Expertise (PHB2) - Yes, yes, it's a boring feat tax. You're taking it and liking it.
Weapon Focus (PHB) - An essential choice. More damage may not be of immediate importance, but you're going to want this at some point.
Weapon Proficiency (PHB/AV/EPG) - Another essential choice unless you're using a racial weapon feat or some weapon without a good exotic equivalent, like a trident or a glaive. Excellent choices include fullblades, triple-headed flails, bastard swords, rapiers, greatspears, superior crossbows, drow long knives, or Talenta sharrashes. (Some of these weapons are in Adventurer's Vault or Eberron Player's Guide.)
Wintertouched (PHB) - Worthless at heroic, but a key part of the "frostcheese" or "wintercheese" combo at paragon, when combined with Lasting Frost. More detail in the Lasting Frost entry.


Archer Captain (MP2) - Archer Warlord required. Nothing special if you're using a bow or crossbow, but this comes into its own if you or an ally uses thrown weapons a significant amount of the time.
Armored Warlord (MP2) - Battlefront Leader required. Well, warlords get scale armor now. This is almost a feat tax for melee warlords; just go ahead and take it.
Expert Combat Leader (MP2) - Combat Leader required. Combat Commander lite, but too small to matter much. If you do take this, retrain it to Combat Commander at paragon.
Prepared for Anything (D381) - Combat Leader required. Initiative boosts and defensive effects which end at the end of your first turn are antisynergistic. This will rarely if ever help.



Presence-specific heroic feats

Bold Gamble (D381) - Bravura Presence required. A small, rare bonus. It's just too easy to get combat advantage without a feat that stings you half the time.
Courageous Word (D381) - Bravura Presence required. Extra damage is always handy, especially when you use this on a ranged ally, mooting the drawback.
Improved Bravura (MP) - Bravura Presence required. +1 to hit on a basic attack only is a pretty lame benefit.
Risky Charge (D381) - Bravura Presence required. A debuff attached to any charge. The risk is fairly high, but knockdowns are powerful, especially if a significant chunk of the rest of the party can take advantage of the prone foe.

Improved Insight (MP2) - Insightful Presence required. This is almost always going to be AC, but it's...a short-duration situational defensive bonus! Meh.

Emboldening Presence (D381) - Inspiring Presence required. The autosave benefit is nice, but ideally allies aren't using Second Wind much. This is more useful if you're taking powers to grant Second Wind on off actions or out of sequence, or if the party has a dwarf or two.
Improved Inspiration (MP) - Inspiring Presence required. A tiny, lame boost. Why doesn't this scale?
Inspired Aid (D381) - Inspiring Presence required. This makes Aid Another worth using, but the feat itself isn't worth taking. You don't want to use Aid Another enough times to justify this, even with the doubled benefit.
Inspired Recovery (PHB) - Inspiring Presence required. Granting saving throws becomes more and more important as you go up in levels. Contrast with Saving Inspiration and Mark of Healing.
Rousing Resurgance (D381) - Inspiring Presence required. Again, your job is to keep people from using Second Wind. Unless the party has a warden or dwarf, don't bother with this.
Stirring Word (D381) - Inspiring Presence required. Not quite as nice as Improved Inspiring Word, but a decent chunk of THP on an ally who clearly is taking hits can be handy.

Covered Retreat (D381) - Resourceful Presence required. Too hard to make useful. Even if enemies provoke attacks often enough to justify this, you're probably better off just hitting them.
Improved Resources (MP) - Resourceful Presence required. More damage is more damage, although I have to wonder why this doesn't scale, either.
Resourceful Donation (D381) - Resourceful Presence required. This is lame in combat, but it allows allies to tap your healing surge pool out of combat, and that's handy.
Rousing Charge (D381) - Resourceful Presence required. If another party member has really impressive charges, sure, okay, take this. Usually, you're better off just hitting with your charge.
Imaginative Reaction (D381) - Resourceful Presence and Combat Leader required. This lets you set up initiative more or less the way you want it.

Improved Skirmishing (MP2) - Skirmishing Presence required. It's not quite Improved Tactics, but it's enough of a benefit to be worth taking.

Improved Tactics (MP) - Tactical Presence required. +1 to hit when it really counts is absolutely welcome.
Tactical Adjustment (D381) - Tactical Presence required. Handy for when an ally is ducking into melee to drop a close AOE, or to set up a attack-and-charge turn. This isn't huge, but it has a bunch of sly little uses, if you're creative.
Tactical Assault (PHB) - Tactical Presence required. Your specialty, piled higher and deeper.
Shrewd Positioning (D381) - Tactical Presence and Combat Leader required. Too tiny to matter. If you like this, why aren't you a Battlefield Leader?


Weapon-specific heroic feats

Headsman's Chop (PHB3) - Axe or heavy blade required. It's quite a lot of extra damage, if someone in the party can set up prone foes for you. It's near-impossible to use on your own, and isn't worth using without help.

Speed Loader (MP2) - Crossbow required. Unless you have a compelling reason to use a bow, eventually you're going to want Superior Crossbow proficiency and this.

Blade Opportunist (PHB) - Heavy/light blade required. If you've got the stats and you've got the feat slot and you find yourself making a lot of opportunity attacks, sure, go ahead. This is more interesting in conjunction with Polearm Gamble.

Nimble Blade (PHB) - Light blade required. The only reason you'd want to use light blades at all. This is something to consider if you're going with a +dex small race, like halfling or goblin.

Polearm Flanker (PHB3) - Polearm required. A feat tax to fix flanking for polearm warlords. This makes it easier to get CA from the second rank, so go ahead and pick this up if you're doing that often.

Whip Training (D368) - Whip required. This eats your multiclass feat and means you won't be doing much damage, but it grants whip proficiency and adds a Psychic-Lock-like rider to all of your attacks. The other whip feats aren't anything special, however.


Race-specific heroic feats

Scrappy (D379) - Any small race required. If you're small and using a versatile weapon, might as well pick this up, since it's always-on extra damage.

Shared Memories (MP2) - Deva only. More opportunities to make memory of a thousand lifetimes useful, but I never have any trouble finding a use for it.

Adaptable Breath (D365/PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. A low-value prerequisite feat.
Bolstering Breath (PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. This doesn't just make your breath ally-friendly, it gives them an untyped bonus on attack rolls. Fantastic.
Bravura Spirit (MP) - Dragonborn only, Bravura Presence required. Improved Bravura is a lame feat because it is too situational. This is a more-situational version of Improved Bravura.
Daunting Breath (PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. This is useful if you're tough enough to justify the marks.
Dragonborn Channeling (MP2) - Dragonborn only. If you don't go in for breath feats, this turns your breath into a once-a-fight damage boost, saving you the need to expend the minor action and roll to hit. That's not mindblowing, but it's something.
Dragonborn Frenzy (PHB) - Dragonborn only. It's untyped extra damage. If you spend enough time bloodied to justify this, go for it.
Enlarged Dragon Breath (PHB) - Dragonborn only. One of the many breath boosters, but it's mostly overshadowed by Hurl Breath.
Hurl Breath (D365/PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. Not too amazing on its own, but it comes into its own when you take other breath feats.
Inspiring Breath (MP2) - Dragonborn only. A nice little nova-enabler. Use it with Bolstering Breath.
Powerful Breath (PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. A must for breath-focused builds, but this shouldn't be the first breath feat you take.
Breath of Life (DP) - Dragonborn only, cleric multiclass required. A fun little bonus if you're already using Bolstering Breath.
Draconic Challenge (DP) - Dragonborn only, paladin multiclass required. Adding a sanction mark to your breath is a fairly powerful effect, as long as you're tough enough to weather the pain it will invite.

Clutch of Darkness (FPRG) - Drow only. I never find myself in a situation where I wished I had this feat, but some people swear by it.
Ruthless Hunter (FRPG) - Drow only. Possibly interesting in combination with Two-Fisted Shooter (a rogue-specific feat from Martial Power), although if you're sinking two feats on crossbows as a ranged warlord you're almost certainly better off with Superior Crossbow proficiency and Speed Loader.
Xen'drik Weapon Training (EPG) - Drow only. The boomerang is garbage, but the drow long knife is the only +3 proficiency heavy thrown weapon. It's even nicer than the tratnyr. Eberron drow can conceivably walk the line between ranged and melee builds.
Darkfire Vitality (DP) - Drow only, cleric multiclass required. This does amazing things when you drop Darkfire on a tough elite or a solo.

Bolstering Inspiration (MP) - Dwarf only. It's two sky-blue feats in one, now that wisdom is a possible kicker stat.
Dodge Giants (PHB) - Dwarf only. Untyped defensive boosts are nice, especially at paragon and beyond when nearly every foe of consequence is Large or larger.
Dwarven Weapon Training (PHB) - Dwarf only. It's proficiency with exotic hammers and axes with Weapon Focus glued on for free (at least until epic), but there aren't any +3 proficiency hammers or axes. Even as a dwarf, you'll get more out of the more-accurate weapons.
Mror Stalwart (EPG) - Dwarf only, axe/hammer required. It's a trap. This is fiddly and eats a valuable feat when you could just use a +3 proficiency weapon and be done with it.
Shield the Fallen (FRPG) - Dwarf only. It's a situational defensive boost, but it lasts as long as it needs to and it's fairly controllable.

Eladrin Soldier (PHB) - Eladrin only. This is proficiency with the greatspear, a +3 proficiency polearm/spear with reach, and the tratnyr, one of the nicer throwing weapons, with free Weapon Focus glued on. This is just one of the perks of being an eladrin.
Tactical Inspiration (MP) - Eladrin only. Eladrin taclords get to poach one of the perks of cha-based warlords. Just another benefit of being the taclord master race.

Elven Precision (PHB) - Elf only. A solid boost to an AP turn or a daily, or just whenever you really want that attack to hit.
Guiding Step (MP2) - Elf only. Too situational, unless difficult terrain appears frequently in your game.
Leading Fire (MP) - Elf only, Combat Leader required. Once a junk flavor feat, this is now a +1 ranged to-hit aura for elven and half-elven archer warlords. Awwwwww yeah.
Valenar Weapon Training (D385) - Elf only. This makes a falchion nearly identical to a fullblade, and thus saves you a feat. Don't bother with scimitars, though.
Wood Elf Luck (FRPG) - Elf only. More powerful than Elven Precision, but less reliable. (But you can't take Wood Elf Agility! What a shame.) Which you choose is a matter of taste. They stack, but I don't recommend taking both.
Word of the Ancestors (D385) - Elf only. Improved Inspiring Word for int-based builds, but elves don't get a bonus to int. Odd. Still a great feat for elven int-lords.

Earthshock Master (D367) - Earthsoul genasi only. Most GMs won't let you reuse earthshock unless you miss every target, but even with that limitation this turns it into a damage roll (allowing miscellaneous damage mods) and encourages you to use this aggressively instead of waiting for the perfect turn to use it. Rules-as-written, this allows you to use and reuse earthshock until you hit everyone you target with it, and under those circumstances it's a sky blue feat.
Extra Manifestation (FRPG) - Genasi only. A dump feat you take to qualify for other, more-interesting feats.
Explosive Leader (MP2) - Genasi only. A nice little rider on what is already a decent nova-enabler, if you're earthsoul. Not worth it if you're firesoul or stormsoul, and unusable with other manifestations.
Fast Manifestation (D367) - Genasi only. A slightly fiddlier heroic-level Dual Manifestation. This isn't worth two feats, but if you have Extra Manifestation for RP reasons and two manifestations with worthwhile encounter powers (like earthsoul, windsoul, cindersoul, or voidsoul), this is worth a feat on its own.
Primordial Surge (D367) - Genasi only. It's important that you not die.
Rumbling Earthshock (MP2) - Genasi only. Some extra damage on an attack you were using anyway.
Speed of Sea and Sky (MP2) - Genasi only. Interesting when closing to an appropriate defensive position or making an escape, but that's awfully situational.

Githzerai Blade Master (D378) - Githzerai only. Quite possibly the best racial weapon mastery feat in the game. This is fullblade/bastard sword mastery with super-weapon-focus attached. An excellent, must-take feat.

Feyborn Shroud (MP2) - Gnome only. It's a situational defensive boost, so that's less than exciting, but it's a situational defensive boost where and when you need it, so that's nice.
Armored Warrenguard (D384) - Gnome only. Dodge Giants for the other giant-haters.

Goliath Greatweapon Prowess (PHB) - Goliath only. Weapon Focus (heavy blades) with rocket boosters. This makes a greatsword better than a fullblade (unless you also have Heavy Blade Mastery or 19-20 crits from some other source), and it applies to glaives, too.

Group Insight (PHB) - Half-elf only. Unless the party is heavily invested in going first for some reason, this bonus is just too tiny to make much of a difference.
Inspired Tactics (MP) - Half-elf only, Inspiring Presence required. Tactical Presence lite for half-elf insplords. It's a to-hit bonus when you need it, so you might as well pick this up.
Martial Dilettante (MP2) - Half-elf only. Versatile Master lite. Take this if you picked up a ranger or fighter at-will, but retrain to Versatile Master at paragon.

Savage Assault (PHB2) - Half-orc only. I'm a big fan of these little free-action boosts for the entire party.
Warpath Leader (MP2) - Half-orc only. Very situational and non-synergistic with Inevitable Wave.

Bold Command (MP) - Halfling only, Bravura Presence required. I like untyped bonuses to attack, but this isn't likely to go off too terribly often.
Halfling Agility (PHB) - Halfling only. Completely overshadowed by Nimble Dodge.
Halfling Short Bow Hunter (D381) - Halfling only. Extra damage is always handy, even if it is a feat tax to buy off your racial disadvantage.
Lost in the Crowd (PHB) - Halfling only. A big, easily-activated typeless bonus to AC.
Nimble Dodge (MP2) - Halfling only. Once per encounter, an attack just %&$#ing misses you. The main reason to be a halfling is for RNG-breaking defensive boosts like this one.
Talenta Weapon Training (EPG) - Halfling only. The Talenta sharrash is +3 proficiency and pretty cool. While you should absolutely take this feat if you're trying to make a halfling polearm build work, this isn't an absolute must for all halfling builds the way most racial Weapon Training feats (for +3 proficiency weapons, anyway) are.

Action Surge (PHB) - Human only. This is one of the best reasons to be a human. It's an excellent feat for any class.
Human Perseverance (PHB) - Human only. An unconditional bump to saving throws. You'll start to feel the difference by paragon.
Inspired Defense (MP) - Human only. A ho-hum benefit, but defense where you need it helps.
Stubborn Survivor (FRPG) - Human only. A situationally-better version of Human Perseverance. I prefer Perseverance at heroic, but once I pick up Action Recovery I retrain to this.

Group Mindlink (EPG) - Kalashtar only. I know it has zero combat effect, but untappable silent communication is just so incredibly useful.

Gorebrute Charge (PHB2) - Longtooth shifter only. Charger builds might want this, but it's not even as good as Powerful Charge.

Springing Charge (PHB3) - Minotaur only. A fairly decent chargeborg combo piece.

Blurring Claws (PHB2) - Razorclaw shifter only. Half of the benefit of the longtooth's shifting ability. This is a nice feat, but why aren't you a longtooth shifter?

Hellfire Blood (PHB) - Tiefling only. This is overrated by most. +1 to hit with a flaming weapon is a nice way to make up for your lower strength, but you're usually better off using some other, cheaper sort of magic weapon and freeing up the feat slot.
Imperious Majesty (D381) - Tiefling only. Initiative boosts aren't hugely important for leaders, but this can be a very large bonus to initiative.
Infernal Might (MP2) - Tiefling only. It's scaling extra damage, albeit not a lot of it.
Scion of the Gods (FRPG) - Tiefling only. Mildly interesting at heroic, if you have the feat to spare. Retrain this to Paragon Defenses at paragon, of course.
Unbalancing Wrath (MP) - Tiefling only. You wouldn't want this unless you're in a party of mostly ranged classes. Combat advantage is just too easy to get.
Rites of Spirits' Blood (PP) Tiefling only, primal multiclass required. If you're already in a primal multiclass for some reason, might as well pick up a couple conditional bonuses to hit.

Immutability (D364/EPG) - Warforged only. What is this, 3e? This is a lovely feat, but you need to take Improved Warforged Resolve first, and that's junk. If you're taking this, go ahead and take Improved Immutability as well.
Improved Warforged Resolve (D364/EPG) - Warforged only. A dump feat you take so you can take Immutability and Improved Immutability.
Warforged Tactics (D364/EPG) - Warforged only. An amazing feat. This feat is the best possible reason to play a warforged.


Multiclass heroic feats

Polearm Momentum (MP) - Fighter multiclass and polearm/spear required. The prerequisites are absolutely brutal, but they're essentially the same as the prereqs for Polearm Gamble / Heavy Blade Opportunity, so you may have them already. With Mark of Storm or Opening Shove, this adds a bit of controller to your leader. Knocking enemies prone before the free attack from Shove is terribly fun.

Reckless Charge (PP) - Primal multiclass required. A nice addition to a charger build.
Skins of the Slain (PP) - Primal multiclass required. Forcing surrenders is handy, and archer warlords often use hide armor.



Paragon-level Feats


General paragon feats

Armor Specialization (various) (PHB) - It's a nice boost if you qualify, but you probably won't. Polearm builds might have the dex for chain or scale specialization, and any build that has taken plate proficiency can take plate specialization.
Back to the Wall (PHB) - A nice situational boost. This is better for ranged warlords, who can stand next to a wall for the AC boost and shoot whoever they want.
Blood Thirst (PHB) - Situational untyped melee damage. It's nice, but you're unlikely to have the room for it.
Combat Anticipation (PHB) - It doesn't stack with Paragon Defenses (or Armor/Shield Specialization, but that's less important). Ranged warlord builds might risk it and take this instead of Paragon Defenses, but I don't recommend it.
Defensive Surge (MP) - If you're going "Man, I wish I could take this, if only I had 15 con!" then you're either completely insane or some sort of baffling warlord genius, so incredibly awesome that you don't need my advice. Either way, stop reading the guide now.
Devastating Critical (PHB) - Small and lame. Not even interesting in a build with a weapon mastery feat except as filler.
Eyes in the Back of Your Head (PHB3) - A somewhat weaker Uncanny Dodge alternative for warlords who don't have the wisdom for that.
Fight On (MP2) - More uses of Inspiring Word? Yes please.
Great Fortitude/Iron Will/Lightning Reflexes (PHB) - I do know people who still swear by these instead of Paragon Defenses. I don't think triple the feats for twice the benefit is a good trade.
Impetuous Charger (MP) - One of the few pieces of the charge-feat Voltron that you might want on its own. Combat advantage is pretty easy to get, but this helps you get it early on.
Insightful Preparation (MP2) - You'll need initiative optimization to make this work, and warlords don't win initiative often. Plus, if you're melee, you'll need to lead the charge, due to the limited range.
Lasting Frost (MP2) - By combining this feat with Wintertouched and a frost weapon, every attack you make inflicts 5 cold vulnerability on the target. Once you've done this, you gain combat advantage against the target, as well as doing an extra five damage. +2 to hit and +5 damage on every attack after the first isn't a bad use of two feats at all.
Opportunity Sidestep (PHB3) - Marginally interesting in Polearm Gamble / Heavy Blade Opportunity builds. Most other builds won't make enough opportunity attacks.
Paragon Defenses (PHB2) - Another boring feat tax, but you should pick this up.
Phalanx Warrior (MP) - Mostly, you're trying to set up flanks if you don't have reach. That means you don't spend a lot of time adjacent to allies.
Psychic Lock (PHB) - You'll need a Githanki Silver Weapon (heavy blades only) or a Mindiron bow/crossbow to use this, but untyped penalties to hit are delicious.
Reserve Maneuver (PHB2) - This is for turning a lousy paragon path encounter power into something you'd actually want.
Saving Inspiration (MP) - Cleaning save-ends effects off of allies is a core leader specialty. Mark of Healing does this and more, although they do stack. (That's probably overkill, though.)
Shield Specialization (PHB) - If you qualify for this, go right ahead. Since the reflex bonus doesn't stack with Paragon Defenses, this isn't better than Armor Specialization (chain) or (scale) unless you're not taking Paragon Defenses for some reason.
Uncanny Dodge (PHB) - Might as well take it if you qualify. Blue for bravelords who qualify for it, but most won't.
Vexing Flanker (PHB2) - The debate between this and Distant Advantage rages eternal. If the party has few melee, take this. If the party has few ranged, go with Distant Advantage. Either way, this is handy if someone will benefit from it a significant amount of the time.
Warlord's Formation (MP) - "When you use the aid another action..."

Combat Commander (PHB) - Combat Leader required. The best possible argument against Battlefield Leader. Any int-based or cha-based warlord will certainly want this.
Improved Battlefield Shift (MP2) - Battlefront Leader required. I find myself not needing the one shift I do get, but it's going to come down to playstyle and your GM's style.



Presence-specific paragon feats

Defense of the Inspired (D381) - Inspiring Presence required. Don't encourage your allies to waste time using total defense.

Reliable Resources (MP) - Resourceful Presence required. "When an ally who can see you spends an action point to take an extra action and doesn’t use that action to make an attack..."
Versatile Word (D381) - Resourceful Presence required. A powerful save for an ally when you heal them. Either bonus is great.

Agile Command (MP2) - Skirmishing Presence required. Situational, short-duration defensive boosts and they don't even stack with Paragon Defenses and Armor Specialization. *sigh*

Tactician's Word (D381) - Tactical Presence required. A scaling attack boost on command? Amazing.



Weapon-specific paragon feats

I need to come back and research the MP2 basic attack feats. I'm not yet sure how useful they are.

Sly Hunter (PHB) - Bow required. Far too situational to be worth using, unless you're in an all-ranged party or something.

Heavy Blade Opportunity (PHB) - Heavy blade required. Painful stat requirements, and it only works on an opportunity attack. Buffing your allies with OAs is nice, but most builds won't take this except to buff Polearm Gamble.

Light Blade Precision (PHB) - Light blade required. More untyped situational damage. Take it if you have room, don't sweat it otherwise.

Polearm Gamble (PHB) - Polearm required. In combination with Heavy Blade Opportunity, this allows you to use an at-will to keep enemies off of you. Notable combinations include using Opening Shove and Polearm Momentum to knock down enemies who try to approach you, or using Commander's Strike to have an ally make the OA for you.

Spear Push (PHB) - Polearm/spear required. This is an alternate way to activate Polearm Momentum, but you're probably better off just using Rushing Cleats.



Race-specific paragon feats

Ascendant Lineage (PHB2) - Deva only. I fit this into pretty much every deva I make. It's not hugely awesome, but it's just so handy.
Commander's Memory (MP2) - Deva only. If you took Shared Memories, you might as well retrain it to the longer-ranged paragon replacement.

Bloody Inspiration (MP) - Dragonborn only. Con mod? Seriously?
Corrosive Breath (PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. A nice nova-enabling boost.
Dragon Breath Tactician (MP2) - Dragonborn only. Int mod? For a dragonborn? This is kind of cool if you're playing a dragonborn int-lord, but why would you do a silly thing like that?
Dragonbreath Warrior (MP) - Dragonborn only. Possibly interesting if you're refreshing your breath somehow, but otherwise it's just a small amount of extra damage.
Empowered Dragon Breath (PHB) - Dragonborn only. A minor damage boost once a fight. Don't bother with this unless you're refreshing your breath somehow.
Opportunity Breath (PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. Interesting in combination with Polearm Gamble.
Draconic Arrogance (MP) - Dragonborn only, fighter multiclass required. Yet another gear for the incredible polearm machine. Extra damage is always welcome. Worst case, this makes Opening Shove somewhat worthwhile.

Master of Fire and Darkness (FRPG) - Drow only. You get a pretty cool encounter utility power for the cost of a feat.
Merciless Killer (FPRG) - Drow only. More situational extra damage. A good place for extra feats, but not a showstopper.

Dwarven Durability (PHB) - Dwarf only. It's Durability, only, you know. Dwarven. It's also a good reason to be a dwarf, regardless of your class.
Dwarven Recovery (MP2) - Dwarf only. Cleaning off save-ends effects is essential at paragon, and this will clean off the bulk of them.
Steadfast Tactics (MP) - Dwarf only. Do you find yourself saying, "Man, I wish those monsters would stop shoving the party around with small forced-movement effects?" I don't.

Fey Step Trailblazer (D366) - Eladrin only. Fun with Fey Tactics and Fey Charge, or just handy to help get an ally positioned.
Fey Tactics (MP) - Eladrin only. An amazing chessmaster power. If you want an ally somewhere, you get them there.
Feywild Protection (PHB) - Eladrin only. A situational and short boost, although it is more interesting in combination with Fey Charge.
Fey Charge (MP) - Eladrin only, fighter multiclass required. This isn't very interesting on its own. It's interesting with Fey Tactics, if you're careful to line up charges in useful ways. There's a whole school of theorycrafting around combining this with Eladrin Swordmage Advance, but that won't fit into most warlord builds.

Martial Accuracy (MP2) - Elf only. This stacks with Elven Precision and the like, but I can't see using more than one feat to boost your Elven Accuracy usage. I'd just retrain Elven Accuracy to this for the greater reliability and greater chance to crit.

Elemental Companions (MP) - Genasi only. A save-bonus aura is cool if you're Earthsoul, but otherwise this is red-quality junk.
Shocking Flame (FRPG) - Firesoul/stormsoul genasi only. On the downside, you have to take a dump feat (Extra Manifestation) and two manifestations that offer pretty much nothing to a warlord. On the upside, this is a lot of always-on (scaling!) extra damage. This is more of a striker/controller feat but some warlords may make room for it anyway.
Stoneguard (FRPG) - Earthsoul genasi only. I love this feat. It's even nicer for ranged warlords.
Stormrider (FRPG) - Stormsoul/windsoul genasi only. Only interesting if you can get at-will flight somehow.

Githzerai Healer (D378) - Githzerai only. Granting saves is quite important, even if the range of things you can grant saves against is limited.
Shared Danger Sense (D378) - Githzerai only. This is just enough to matter, although you may not find room for this.

Fading Forces (MP2) - Gnome only. Too situational. Since gnomes can't use reach weapons, they won't be spending much time adjacent to allies.
Feyborn Strategem (MP2) - Gnome only. Interesting for a gnome ranged build in a ranged-heavy party.

Avalanche Reaver (MP2) - Goliath only. The charge-borg meets the push-borg. Somewhere, there is a goliath charging glaive build, and this is perfect for that. Otherwise, this is a small situational push.
Cragborn Courage (MP2) - Goliath only. It's Improved Inspiring Word...on a dump stat?

Versatile Master (PHB2) - Half-elf only. Dilettante with rocket boots. Poaching an at-will from another melee class is an absolutely incredible ability.
Vital Inspiration (PHB2) - Half-elf only. Your job as a leader is to keep people from using their second wind. This might be useful with dwarf or warden allies, but it's probably not worth a paragon feat even then.

Underfoot (PHB) - Halfling only. A powerful tool for setting up flanks and escaping bad situations.

Action Recovery (PHB) - Human only. A lifesaver. Save-ends effects start to stack up at paragon, and a second crack at cleaning them off is always helpful.
Avenging Spirit (MP) - Human only. You are: a class with healing abilities. This is: a feat which only works if someone doesn't get healed in time. Hmmmmmmm.
Bloody Tenacity (MP) - Human only. I'm not a fan of these situational, short-duration defensive boosts.

Beast Within (PHB3) - Minotaur only. I'm not a big fan of only-when-bloodied effects, but this is a fairly powerful one.

Bravura Shroud (D382) - Shadar-kai only, Bravura Presence required. It's a situational defensive bonus, but at least it's one that triggers when it might be needed.
Ghostly Rejuvenation (D382) - Shadar-kai only. A powerful, easily-triggered defensive ability.

Beasthide Shifting (PHB2) - Shifter only. A nice little defensive boost, but I can never seem to make room for it.

Improved Immutability??? (D364/EPG) - Warforged only. Need to research the powers it competes with

Aspect of the Cultivator (PHB3) - Wilden only. An extra encounter-schedule heal is always handy.
Burden of Liberty (PHB3) - Wilden only. A useful repositioning power hampered by the situational triggers of wilden racial powers.



Multiclass paragon feats

Maneuvering Attack (PP) - Warden multiclass and polearm/spear required. A no-stat-required addon to polearm shenanigans, but it's mostly redundant to Polearm Momentum.



Epic-level Feats


General epic feats

Aggressive Leadership (MP) - It's situational untyped damage. I find if I take too many of these feats I forget half of them.
Call to Glory (MP) - Controllable, repeatable THP for an ally. Yes please.
Driven Leadership (MP2) - I never feel tiny boosts to speed, especially conditional ones. Your mileage may vary.
Enabling Shot (MP2) - A must-take for ranged warlords. Note that you always qualify for Bow Mastery.
Long Step (PHB3) - Longer shifts aren't essential, but they are awfully handy.
Martial Mastery (MP) - Refreshing limited-use powers is always amazing.
Perceptive Leadership (MP2) - A powerful defensive ability. This goes a long way to defanging minions and skirmishers.
Protective Leadership (MP) - An int-warlord-only option, this is a small defensive boost where it counts, as long as you need it.
Reliable Action (MP2) - This doesn't play nicely with certain classes, like AOE-happy wizards and invokers or rangers with their off-action encounter powers, but for most classes if you can train people to use their encounter powers on their AP actions this takes the sting out of a bad roll and generally ups overall party damage.
Robust Defenses (PHB2) - Retrain Paragon Defenses to this. Don't even bother with the Epic Fort/Ref/Will feats.
Shared Resources (MP2) - AOE THP for int-based invokers. Don't let charismatic warlords have all the healing fun!
Supreme Inspiration (MP) - Doubling all of your inspiring words is handy.
Tactical Cunning (MP) - It's a situational, short-duration defensive boost, but it's one you can activate with Wolf Pack Tactics, so it's not all bad.

Shift the Field (MP2) - Battlefield Leader required. Repositioning the entire party after initiative is rolled is worth a feat. Retrain Improved Battlefield Shift (if you took it) to this.



Presence-specific epic feats

Bold Spirit (MP) - Bravura Presence required. It makes you an unattractive target, assuming you have the cha to justify it.
Fate Favors the Bold (MP2) - Bravura Presence required. It's only slightly better than Improved Bravura, two tiers later.

Action Grant (MP) - Resourceful Presence required. Your allies tend to have more-potent nova tricks, and you don't benefit from your own Commanding Presence.

Tactical Action (D368) - Tactical Presence required. You get to add Bravura Presence to your presence, without the drawback. Delicious.



Weapon-specific epic feats

Cleaving Axe (PHB3) - Axe required. A fairly powerful effect, but you need to be using an axe.

Bow Mastery (PHB2) - Bow or crossbow required. Every archer warlord build should have this.
Deft Aim??? (PHB3) - Bow or crossbow required. Awaiting research

Flail/Light Blade/Spear Mastery (PHB) - Appropriate weapon required. You won't qualify, and it's not worth going up to 19 or 21 dex to try. The only reason you'd take this is if you had the dex for some other reason, and for the life of me I can't think of any. Spear builds in particular may want to consider switching to a polearm/heavy blade (such as a glaive or Talenta sharrash and taking Heavy Blade Mastery if they want the expanded crit range.

Heavy Blade Mastery (PHB) - Heavy blade required. Polearm builds using a glaive or Talenta sharrash will qualify for this, and should pick this up. Other builds generally won't have the dex, and won't get much mileage out of it.



Race-specific epic feats

Dissolving Breath (PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. Like Corrosive Breath, but moreso. Near as I can tell, this stacks with Corrosive Breath.
Draconic Triumph (PHR Dragonborn) - Dragonborn only. A must for breath builds. Other builds can do without.

Double Manifestation (FRPG) - Genasi only. This is rated assuming you have two cool racial powers from your manifestations (two of earthsoul, windsoul, cindersoul, or voidsoul). It's sky blue if you've got firesoul/stormsoul and Shocking Flame; if you've gone this far, might as well go all the way. If you don't have two cool racial powers or Shocking Flame, this is red.
Elemental Warrior (MP) - Genasi only. If you've got expanded crit range and a cool racial power, this isn't a bad pick.

Vicious Stomp (PHB3) - Minotaur only. Not as strong as it appears. Doubling up on the attacks for one weak encounter power isn't much unless combined with other charge/Goring Charge tools.



Multiclass epic feats

Overpowering Charge (PP) - Barbarian multiclass required. A fairly powerful boost to charging shenanigans.

Shared Healing (DP) - Cleric multiclass required. A communal pool of surges is more useful for you than for a cleric, since warlords don't generally have as much surge-free healing as clerics.


Bonus unformatted art gallery. This time with bonus MTG art and lots of brooding men and women.

New unformatted art gallery:
www.waynereynolds.com/Osprey1A/4.jpg
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www.waynereynolds.com/Card%20Art%20(inc%20MTG)/Thumbnails/Norwood%20Ranger.jpg
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Unformatted old art gallery go

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I am a handbook writer and I fully endorse more Warlord love, especially when it comes with an art gallery. :P

More seriously though, good luck with this. Warlords are, perhaps, THE most flexible class out there bar none, so prepare to defend your position on stuff fervently as people with a dozen equally valid and different viewpoints come out to discuss ratings and ideas with you. ;)
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
More seriously though, good luck with this. Warlords are, perhaps, THE most flexible class out there bar none, so prepare to defend your position on stuff fervently as people with a dozen equally valid and different viewpoints come out to discuss ratings and ideas with you. ;)

Pretty much the only reason I play 4e is the Warlord class, so I spend a lot of time reading the Warlord Handbooks.  I am left to wonder, why does no one write a handbook for just a particular type of warlord?  Given their flexibility, why try to contain it all in one thread?
Because nobody reads build handbooks. Have you ever seen those praised a lot here, or heck, even with some activity? >_>

That, and all of us have such huge e-peens that we think we can tackle all of the class at once.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
More seriously though, good luck with this. Warlords are, perhaps, THE most flexible class out there bar none, so prepare to defend your position on stuff fervently as people with a dozen equally valid and different viewpoints come out to discuss ratings and ideas with you. ;)

Pretty much the only reason I play 4e is the Warlord class, so I spend a lot of time reading the Warlord Handbooks.  I am left to wonder, why does no one write a handbook for just a particular type of warlord?  Given their flexibility, why try to contain it all in one thread?



Well I think Squirreloid or scrurulous did a tactical warlord's handbook and I did a bravura warlord handbook that I should probably update to account for MP2 and the last couple dragon magazines. That said, it'll be a lot of work because MP2 changed warlords dramatically even though the two new presences aren't worth spit. Actually, it probably changed bravura warlords more because the new presences aren't worth spit--I think the best way to make a Str/Wis warlord (which is well supported by at-will and daily powers) is to take bravura presence.

But neither my build handbook nor the other one seems to have received the attention that the full warlord handbooks did.

I should also say that I look forward to seeing what Man in Black does with this handbook. I like what he did in the invoker's handbook.
I've got a start on the guide, including a first draft on races and a start on at-will powers. Any advice on races would be greatly appreciated, since I know genasi rock but I haven't yet done all of the research on the other races.

I welcome hate-mail on my at-will ratings. Yes, I do mean that Brash Assault is red, period. 
Kudos on your project.  More handbooks mean more love as far as I'm concerned!

I'm sure I won't be the first to say this, but on a 4 star rating, eladrins merit 4.5 stars Wink
Brash Assault, red?

...Yeah, gonna wait for L_D to finish remaking his guide, thanks. Just...so wrong there.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
On the races, I think you are underselling half-elves at two stars. Half elves can get most of the same charisma based stat arrays as humans and dilletante is a powerful ability. They deserve the full four stars.

Prior to the release of MP2, I would have agreed with you on dwarves, but no more. With the release of wisdom based warlords and a group of new non-presence dependent powers like vengeance is mine, the dwarves "sorry you suck at this" feat to add wisdom to their inspiring words or allow a saving throw for the target makes dwarves pretty good at the wisdom based warlord thing. I'd give them three stars now. (Recommended array: Str 18, Con 13, Wis 16)
Quick Question: Why aren't Changelings mentioned in the races? You seem to have mentioned just about every single other race but overlooked one with pluses to both secondaries.

EDIT

Ah, missed the mention under Tieflings. Well, true enough Tieflings have far far superior feat support. It might bare mentioning that, at least for Cha-based warlord, Changelings can easily pick up Heavy Blade Mastery.
Brash Assault, red?

...Yeah, gonna wait for L_D to finish remaking his guide, thanks. Just...so wrong there.


I was hoping for responses more useful or enlightening than "Nuh uh, dude." How do you make a power work when it has no effect at all without explicit GM permission? Everything is good when the GM goes out of his way to make it useful.

Brash Assault competes with CS and a simple MBA. The extra damage from the weaker of the two needs to outweigh the extra damage you take from the enemy's attack. I'm abstracting extra effects from the attack like pushes/knockdowns/whatnot, particularly as the warlord can't make use of such abilities (or else the enemy won't bother attacking or cannot attack); they're part of the damage for all intents and purposes. Thus:
  • Ally's damage from extra attack < Enemy damage from extra attack: Under these circumstances, using BA at all is a bad move. Nobody uses BA on soldier solos/elites.

  • Ally's damage from extra attack > Enemy damage from extra attack & Ally's extra damage > Warlord's damage: You were better off with CS, because the enemy isn't going to attack you and grant your ally the extra damage.

  • Ally's damage from extra attack > Enemy damage from extra attack & Ally's extra damage < Warlord's damage: BA is identical to a melee basic attack, because the enemy isn't going to attack you and grant your ally the extra damage.


When is the enemy going to make an attack that grants you the advantage, without the complicity of the GM? How do you make the GM make an attack to the enemy's detriment? Previous guides have alluded to the GM playing "recklessly" or "taking the gamble," but there's really no tactical decision for the GM. It's always a bad play for him to take the extra attack unless you use BA at an absolutely moronic time. If the GM is playing badly, you've already won the fight.

BA is only a good play when you make the right decision and the GM makes the wrong decision: if you make the wrong decision it's never beneficial for you, and it's only beneficial to you when you make the right decision in the right situation and the GM makes the wrong decision. That's a trap.

I'm open to being convinced, particularly with some description of how and when you make it work, but between your question mark and your ellipsis you forgot to add an argument.

On the races, I think you are underselling half-elves at two stars. Half elves can get most of the same charisma based stat arrays as humans and dilletante is a powerful ability. They deserve the full four stars.

Prior to the release of MP2, I would have agreed with you on dwarves, but no more. With the release of wisdom based warlords and a group of new non-presence dependent powers like vengeance is mine, the dwarves "sorry you suck at this" feat to add wisdom to their inspiring words or allow a saving throw for the target makes dwarves pretty good at the wisdom based warlord thing. I'd give them three stars now. (Recommended array: Str 18, Con 13, Wis 16)


Could you share some example arrays on the half-elf? I'm inclined to say a boost to a specific kicker and an ability that doesn't properly mature until paragon is enough to keep it at three stars at most, but I'm open to being convinced on that point.

I'll look into dwarves; I haven't dug into a bunch of the racial feat support yet.
On the races, I think you are underselling half-elves at two stars. Half elves can get most of the same charisma based stat arrays as humans and dilletante is a powerful ability. They deserve the full four stars.

Prior to the release of MP2, I would have agreed with you on dwarves, but no more. With the release of wisdom based warlords and a group of new non-presence dependent powers like vengeance is mine, the dwarves "sorry you suck at this" feat to add wisdom to their inspiring words or allow a saving throw for the target makes dwarves pretty good at the wisdom based warlord thing. I'd give them three stars now. (Recommended array: Str 18, Con 13, Wis 16)


Could you share some example arrays on the half-elf? I'm inclined to say a boost to a specific kicker and an ability that doesn't properly mature until paragon is enough to keep it at three stars at most, but I'm open to being convinced on that point.

I'll look into dwarves; I haven't dug into a bunch of the racial feat support yet.



Half elves are actually a bit better stat-wise than the "boost to a kicker" would imply because their second stat boost falls into a very useful place for a warlord. Most charisma warlords want con in order to be able to wear scale armor and to prop up their vulnerability in the healing surge department.

Half elf: Pre-racial: Str 18, Dex 10, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 14
Post racial: Str 18, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16

By comparison, the typical post-racial stat array for a human charisma warlord is probably Str 18, Dex 11, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16. The only difference is one point of dex.

That's the array I like the most for half-elves. You could also do Str 16, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 11, Wis 8, Cha 18 (which cannot be done with a human) but I prefer strength to charisma for charisma warlords.

WRT Dilettante, it doesn't just get nice at paragon. It is nice from the get-go. Righteous brand is a decent choice as an encounter power--almost certainly more useful than a third at-will would be. There are quite a few other solid choices: hurl and stab (especially if you can use the same weapon as the thrown and the melee weapon), twin strike (if you dual wield), ardent strike (if you want a mark), knockdown assault (if you want some more control), blazing starfall (if you are willing to MC to get an implement), etc. It gets very nice at paragon, but it is a solid option during heroic. The ability to choose both human and elven feats is also nice. Action surge is always worthwhile.

The end result is that, if you want it, half elf can play almost exactly like a human who trades his +1 NAD, feat, and extra at-will power for low-light vision and dilettante. That's a fair trade. If humans are a four star race, half-elves are too.
I'm lost on the races part. What does half orcs and eladrin have to do with polearm wielding warlords. Polearms typically uses wis, and neither half-orc nor eladrin have a booster to that particular stat. Not to mention that eladrin taclords are considered good becos of their racial feats which includes one that add their int mod to their inspiring word.
The end result is that, if you want it, half elf can play almost exactly like a human who trades his +1 NAD, feat, and extra at-will power for low-light vision and dilettante. That's a fair trade. If humans are a four star race, half-elves are too.


Well, you're also trading off the potential for a 20/14 start, as well, but that doesn't diminish your point. I'm definitely taking half-elves up to three stars for now, and I'm going to ponder whether I want to bump half-elves up or humans down.

I'm lost on the races part. What does half orcs and eladrin have to do with polearm wielding warlords. Polearms typically uses wis, and neither half-orc nor eladrin have a booster to that particular stat. Not to mention that eladrin taclords are considered good becos of their racial feats which includes one that add their int mod to their inspiring word.


Polearm Momentum needs 15 dex/wis, and Polearm Gamble/HBO needs 15 str/dex/wis. That's not happening without a bump to two of str, your kicker stat, dex, and wis. (Going no-kicker Brash or wis-kicker is a little easier, admittedly.)

I think I need to skip ahead and start in on feats. Trying to evaluate races without evaluating feat support at the same time is silliness. Feel free to kick in more advice on races or at-wills, though.

Ah, missed the mention under Tieflings. Well, true enough Tieflings have far far superior feat support. It might bare mentioning that, at least for Cha-based warlord, Changelings can easily pick up Heavy Blade Mastery.


I missed this post.

Dextrous changelings are up against drow, smart changelings are up against tieflings. Is there some changeling feat support I should know about?
There's not. Changelings have very little feat support, and nothing of particular interest to Warlords. I would argue, however, that they should still be on the list, even at one star, for largely emotional reasons, despite being pretty much inferior to Tieflings. Basically, most warlord powers have somewhat similar flavor, or are easy to mutate the flavor of. You hit something with a weapon, and your allies get a bonus or an enemy gets a penalty, or some allies get to attack. For the most part, a character's flavor isn't affected too strongly by a choice of power, so a power that's very directly mechanically inferior to another (like Changelings are to Tieflings or Drow) deserves to be panned down to the bottommost rating. (Red for powers, off the list for Races.) But races aren't like powers. There's a much stronger flavor pull towards particular races than there are towards particular powers or feats or pretty much any other character options. From a cold mechanical standpoint, there's not much more reason to play a Changeling Warlord than there is to take Scorching Burst over Winged Horde. But people don't pick races the same way they pick powers. It's just my personal experience, but people seem vastly more likely to pick "inferior" races for flavor reasons than any other character option. For that reason, I would rate every race "in a vacuum", even if they're "obsoleted" by another race. It may be that Changelings are a zero-star race in your opinion, in which case they shouldn't be on the list anyway, but I wouldn't leave them off just because they're inferior to Tieflings, because of the way that people tend to choose their race. It's a philosophical thing.

(Also, Warlords are really a pain to think about in terms of stats, since there are legit uses for all six stats. Con, while not an official Warlord secondary, is useful for any Wis or Cha Warlord who isn't a Battlefront Leader for Scale, and Dex is useful for weapon feats, even for non-archers. (Battlefront Leaders have Armored Warlord, and thus ironically don't need Con to get Scale.))

(Although I'm normally hard to persuede with arguments about out-of-combat versatility, Change Shape is so useful that it really is worth considering from an optimization standpoint. But that's an aside.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I don't see any problem just excluding races that have zero synergy (like, say, bullywugs). If someone wants to make a kobald warlord, they don't need my blessing and they don't need me to explicitly tell them that that's a suboptimal choice. Most guides don't bother rating Skill Focus or Skill Training, but people take those for flavor reasons all the time. I was rating changelings and gnomes as a full zero stars, but that may bear reconsideration.

I need to redo races entirely anyway. One of the ideas I've been considering is cutting the list down to blue-and-above, then making an exhaustive list sorted by stats. Or possibly just clumping common stat pairs. I dunno.

I forsee finishing one section of the guide, then finding that what I've learned there forces rewrites of the rest of the guide. I'm still learning this as I go along. 
Thus:
  • Ally's damage from extra attack < Enemy damage from extra attack: Under these circumstances, using BA at all is a bad move. Nobody uses BA on soldier solos/elites.

  • Ally's damage from extra attack > Enemy damage from extra attack & Ally's extra damage > Warlord's damage: You were better off with CS, because the enemy isn't going to attack you and grant your ally the extra damage.

  • Ally's damage from extra attack > Enemy damage from extra attack & Ally's extra damage < Warlord's damage: BA is identical to a melee basic attack, because the enemy isn't going to attack you and grant your ally the extra damage.


When is the enemy going to make an attack that grants you the advantage, without the complicity of the GM? How do you make the GM make an attack to the enemy's detriment? Previous guides have alluded to the GM playing "recklessly" or "taking the gamble," but there's really no tactical decision for the GM. It's always a bad play for him to take the extra attack unless you use BA at an absolutely moronic time. If the GM is playing badly, you've already won the fight.

BA is only a good play when you make the right decision and the GM makes the wrong decision: if you make the wrong decision it's never beneficial for you, and it's only beneficial to you when you make the right decision in the right situation and the GM makes the wrong decision. That's a trap.


I don't have an especially strong opinion on Brash Assault, and I agree with your analysis in metagame terms, but what bothers me about it is that the enemy doesn't have access to this metagame knowledge. So what you're proving would be instead: a given enemy is unlikely to take the bait twice if your ally hits. Which is fine, as long as you're aware when you take BA that it's not something you're going to spam.
If your ally misses, you lost this time but it can mean the enemy is even more likely to take the bait next time.

Basically the warlord can't be 100% sure it is to his advantage when he uses BA. In turn, the enemy doesn't know if it's beneficial for himself and he can suspect the warlord isn't sure either. So yes, it does come down to taking a gamble, for both sides.
But people who don't like gambles shouldn't play a Bravuralord.
(In game theory terms BA would simply be a MBA under perfect information, but imperfect information on both sides makes it better.)

There's also Harlequin Style which provides a nice defensive benefit and which the enemy doesn't know about. That may make it usable against Elite/Solos (I haven't run the numbers) for a Cha-lord.

OoP's characters
My current character in Real Adventures Play-by-Post games:

 

  • Maeve in The Lost History of Istar


 
Basically the warlord can't be 100% sure it is to his advantage when he uses BA. In turn, the enemy doesn't know if it's beneficial for himself and he can suspect the warlord isn't sure either. So yes, it does come down to taking a gamble, for both sides.
But people who don't like gambles shouldn't play a Bravuralord.
(In game theory terms BA would simply be a MBA under perfect information, but imperfect information on both sides makes it better.)

There's also Harlequin Style which provides a nice defensive benefit and which the enemy doesn't know about. That may make it usable against Elite/Solos (I haven't run the numbers) for a Cha-lord.


With imperfect information, the right play for the warlord is to never use BA at all, since Team Monster rarely gets more actions than Team PC over the course of a battle, so a 1:1 action trade is a poor one.

With imperfect information, the right play for the monster is to never take the gamble, because if the warlord made the right play your punishment for taking the gamble is real, while if the warlord made the wrong play your punishment for not taking the gamble is an opportunity cost.

The best move for both sides under these circumstances is to not use BA, and not take the offered extra attack even if it is used. 

That said, like with the invoker guide I rate at-wills without the feat support, then discuss the feat support separately. If Harlequin Style turns BA into the Flaming Second Coming of Jesus on Rollerskates, then that doesn't make BA good, it just makes Harlequin an amazing feat. I intend to do collapsable sublists of relevant feats in the at-will section, just like how I did the domain power feats for the invoker guide.
With imperfect information, the right play for the warlord is to never use BA at all, since Team Monster rarely gets more actions than Team PC over the course of a battle, so a 1:1 action trade is a poor one.


You get to heap more damage on a single creature, and potentially double-dip on buffs (triple-dip if the Warlord benefits from them) though certainly less reliably than with Commander's Strike. 

With imperfect information, the right play for the monster is to never take the gamble, because if the warlord made the right play your punishment for taking the gamble is real, while if the warlord made the wrong play your punishment for not taking the gamble is an opportunity cost.


An opportunity cost is real if one is fighting for one's life.

With imperfect information the outcome depends on the estimation of the reward by each side (and on the estimation of the other's estimation, etc...), so it's anything but clear. Hence, a gamble.

And in the "monsters don't metagame" category, I call "most monsters don't make game theory analyses in the split second it takes for them to decide on the gambit". The arguments above still apply to epic monsters with godlike intelligence. ;)

On Harlequin Style: no problem. It sounds like a good way to present things.

OoP's characters
My current character in Real Adventures Play-by-Post games:

 

  • Maeve in The Lost History of Istar


 
With imperfect information the outcome depends on the estimation of the reward by each side (and on the estimation of the other's estimation, etc...), so it's anything but clear. Hence, a gamble.



And here we are back at "You win if the GM plays badly." You always win if the GM plays badly. You don't need to invest one of your precious at-will powers and actions and possibly feat support and the effort to set up situational positioning to politely ask the GM to throw the fight for you. Nor do you need a power that occasionally screws you because you've played badly.

If you are smarter than the GM or if the GM is not playing tactically optimally, you just win anyway. All good powers, feats, etc. make bad situations better and good situations better, while Brash Assault only makes good situations better.
Brash Assault, red?

...Yeah, gonna wait for L_D to finish remaking his guide, thanks. Just...so wrong there.


I was hoping for responses more useful or enlightening than "Nuh uh, dude." How do you make a power work when it has no effect at all without explicit GM permission? Everything is good when the GM goes out of his way to make it useful.

Brash Assault competes with CS and a simple MBA. The extra damage from the weaker of the two needs to outweigh the extra damage you take from the enemy's attack. I'm abstracting extra effects from the attack like pushes/knockdowns/whatnot, particularly as the warlord can't make use of such abilities (or else the enemy won't bother attacking or cannot attack); they're part of the damage for all intents and purposes. Thus:
  • Ally's damage from extra attack < Enemy damage from extra attack: Under these circumstances, using BA at all is a bad move. Nobody uses BA on soldier solos/elites.

  • Ally's damage from extra attack > Enemy damage from extra attack & Ally's extra damage > Warlord's damage: You were better off with CS, because the enemy isn't going to attack you and grant your ally the extra damage.

  • Ally's damage from extra attack > Enemy damage from extra attack & Ally's extra damage < Warlord's damage: BA is identical to a melee basic attack, because the enemy isn't going to attack you and grant your ally the extra damage.


When is the enemy going to make an attack that grants you the advantage, without the complicity of the GM? How do you make the GM make an attack to the enemy's detriment? Previous guides have alluded to the GM playing "recklessly" or "taking the gamble," but there's really no tactical decision for the GM. It's always a bad play for him to take the extra attack unless you use BA at an absolutely moronic time. If the GM is playing badly, you've already won the fight.

BA is only a good play when you make the right decision and the GM makes the wrong decision: if you make the wrong decision it's never beneficial for you, and it's only beneficial to you when you make the right decision in the right situation and the GM makes the wrong decision. That's a trap.

I'm open to being convinced, particularly with some description of how and when you make it work, but between your question mark and your ellipsis you forgot to add an argument.

On the races, I think you are underselling half-elves at two stars. Half elves can get most of the same charisma based stat arrays as humans and dilletante is a powerful ability. They deserve the full four stars.

Prior to the release of MP2, I would have agreed with you on dwarves, but no more. With the release of wisdom based warlords and a group of new non-presence dependent powers like vengeance is mine, the dwarves "sorry you suck at this" feat to add wisdom to their inspiring words or allow a saving throw for the target makes dwarves pretty good at the wisdom based warlord thing. I'd give them three stars now. (Recommended array: Str 18, Con 13, Wis 16)


Could you share some example arrays on the half-elf? I'm inclined to say a boost to a specific kicker and an ability that doesn't properly mature until paragon is enough to keep it at three stars at most, but I'm open to being convinced on that point.

I'll look into dwarves; I haven't dug into a bunch of the racial feat support yet.



Short answer to all that: Harlequin Style. Tradeoff? Naaaaaaaah.

But really, the reason I didn't even dignify that with an argument at first is that it indicated a lack of knowledge. Art of the Kill made the power really good by completely eliminating the tradeoff, and it came out almost a year ago, plus your analysis assumes the monsters know how much damage your allies can do. They don't, all they know is that they can opt to smack you back for hitting them. Not the defense boost you get, not the extra attack your ally gets, nothing. The RAW is clear on this. That's why I was so disappointed: this isn't some old debate or arcane combo we're discussing, it's something that has been pointed out a billion times.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Short answer to all that: Harlequin Style. Tradeoff? Naaaaaaaah.

But really, the reason I didn't even dignify that with an argument at first is that it indicated a lack of knowledge. Art of the Kill made the power really good by completely eliminating the tradeoff, and it came out almost a year ago, plus your analysis assumes the monsters know how much damage your allies can do. They don't, all they know is that they can opt to smack you back for hitting them. Not the defense boost you get, not the extra attack your ally gets, nothing. The RAW is clear on this. That's why I was so disappointed: this isn't some old debate or arcane combo we're discussing, it's something that has been pointed out a billion times.


I've been having this argument for longer than I've been playing 4e, and the consensus in the community I come from is exactly the opposite.

Combat, taken as a whole, is a zero-sum game. Team Monster's goal is to do as much damage before they die, and Team PC's goal is to take as little damage as possible before Team Monster dies. There's no play which is good for both Team PC and Team Monster; plays which are beneficial to one are detrimental to the other, and all plays are beneficial to one team and detrimental to the other. It's not possible for parties to succeed in a zero-sum game except at the expense of their opponents.

Monopoly is a similar zero-sum game. The goal of the game is to reduce opponents to zero dollars, and plays which make money make it more difficult for opponents to win, while plays which reduce your opponents' resources move you towards the win condition. A two-player game of Monopoly isn't very interesting because you can't practically trade. Offering a trade to your opponent is a waste of time, because your opponent will never accept an offered trade because they know you wouldn't make offer that trade unless it was beneficial to you. In fact, the only time your opponent would ever accept a trade is when you make one which is damaging to yourself, which is not a useful play for you to make, or if you can trick your opponent into thinking the trade is damaging to yourself, in which case you completely dominate the game because you are smarter than your opponent.

Brash Assault is expensive in resources (as it competes with CS/DTS, WPT, Intuitive Strike, etc.) and it's nothing but a chance to offer the GM a trade in two-player Monopoly. Now, the GM may have non-metagame reasons to accept that trade, usually roleplaying ignorant or just plain stupid monsters, but if the GM is already roleplaying the monsters as ignorant of your capabilities or just plain stupid then you've already won the fight, since you're going to run rings around your opponents.

So Brash Assault only works when the fight is going to be easy. Now, assuming enemies take the extra attack regardless of whether it is to their detriment, it's a good play for you X% of the time, where X < 100. Sometimes, foes will hit too hard to justify using it, or allies won't be in position, or whatever. We can quibble about what the value of X is, but it's not 100, that's indisputable.

So we're left with a power which only works on some easy fights, a power which competes with at least three sky-blue choices. I feel justified in rating that red, in the absence of useful rider effects from feats.
Uhh...dude, I've JUST pointed out a tremendously useful rider effect from feats. I think you're being intentionally obtuse here, especially considering you're contradicting yourself. The goal of monsters is doing as much damage as they can before dying, ne? In that case, taking attacks is ALWAYS beneficial, since they CAN'T know about the defense bonus or attack and the more damage they deal the closer they get to victory, right (especially if they slap good status effects on top, so Efreet Karadjinni will always want to take the gamble for a chance at stunning, for instance)? If so, BA's gamble is going to get taken every turn. Obviously, this won't be the case at the table because ideally, roleplay considerations will tweak this either in favor or against BA, but those points really don't work. >_>
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Uhh...dude, I've JUST pointed out a tremendously useful rider effect from feats. I think you're being intentionally obtuse here, especially considering you're contradicting yourself. The goal of monsters is doing as much damage as they can before dying, ne? In that case, taking attacks is ALWAYS beneficial, since they CAN'T know about the defense bonus or attack and the more damage they deal the closer they get to victory, right (especially if they slap good status effects on top, so Efreet Karadjinni will always want to take the gamble for a chance at stunning, for instance)? If so, BA's gamble is going to get taken every turn. Obviously, this won't be the case at the table because ideally, roleplay considerations will tweak this either in favor or against BA, but those points really don't work. >_>


Four posts up I said I was rating at-wills without feat support, and rating feats separately.

The goal of Team Monster isn't to do the most damage possible right now, it's to do the most damage possible total. Taking an efreet karadjin for example, his plan is going to involve not taking the gamble ever because preserving his own life guarantees him the most attacks. (Plus, he doesn't stun anyway.) If we're looking at RP considerations, then only dumb foes take the gamble at bad times, and dumb foes are easy.

My argument is vulnerable if you break this chain.
  • Brash Assault is only a good play if the enemy makes a bad decision.

  • The only enemies who will make a bad decision are dumb enemies. (Whether this is the fault of the GM's lack of skill or the monster's qualities is immaterial.)

  • Dumb enemies are easy to defeat.

  • Optimizing to win easy fights even harder is less useful than optimizing for hard fights or all fights.

  • There exists alternate at-will options which are more useful in hard fights or all fights.

  • Thus, Brash Assault is a suboptimal choice.

Whoops, it's Daze, isn't it? My bad. >_<}

And rating feat and power support independently is a bad choice. They're intertwined, and it makes things misleading. If BA is only half-decent without Harlequin Style but great with it, a Red rating will confuse those who do not read everything in extreme detail.

Anyway, let's attack that logic chain:

1) Correct, but how do you define "bad decision"? Is it an absolute, taken from the perspective of an omniscient third party, or derived from the non-metagamed, limited knowledge of the enemy? If it's the latter, this makes the following point flat-out wrong.
2) See above. Uninformed enemies make bad decisions. Even the smartest foe will take the gamble if it seems advantageous to him (+30 damage and a multiattack, does not know he can only hit you on a 20 now).
3) Absolutely not. The Skeletal Tomb Guardian is a mindless undead foe, but properly boosted it'll tear a party to shreds in two seconds flat. That's just one example among many.
4) Why would that be the case? The goal is to make the damage taken 0 with a minimal number of resources spent. If BA helps accomplish that, then it is a great choice.
5) This is true, but the issue is that it's unlikely you'll be able to take all of those options and gain their full effect. Hence, Brash Assault can be very useful if you've got the stats to boost it.
6) Choice yes, suboptimal no, as all the comments above show.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
With imperfect information, the right play for the warlord is to never use BA at all, since Team Monster rarely gets more actions than Team PC over the course of a battle, so a 1:1 action trade is a poor one.


You get to heap more damage on a single creature, and potentially double-dip on buffs (triple-dip if the Warlord benefits from them) though certainly less reliably than with Commander's Strike. 

With imperfect information, the right play for the monster is to never take the gamble, because if the warlord made the right play your punishment for taking the gamble is real, while if the warlord made the wrong play your punishment for not taking the gamble is an opportunity cost.


An opportunity cost is real if one is fighting for one's life.

With imperfect information the outcome depends on the estimation of the reward by each side (and on the estimation of the other's estimation, etc...), so it's anything but clear. Hence, a gamble.

And in the "monsters don't metagame" category, I call "most monsters don't make game theory analyses in the split second it takes for them to decide on the gambit". The arguments above still apply to epic monsters with godlike intelligence. ;)

On Harlequin Style: no problem. It sounds like a good way to present things.



A few relevant factors here: Does the DM play team monster or does the DM play a team of monsters. If the DM is going for the maximum tactical advantage for monsters as a whole then brash assault is not as good as it is if the DM is playing a team of individual monsters because it is quite possible that taking the gamble is the right move for the individual monster but the wrong move for team monster. For instance, taking the attack might give the individual monster a better chance of inflicting damage or escaping (for example, a monster might be able to push the warlord away with the basic attack and then run away without provoking OAs on its turn) which are both good for the individual monster even if they are bad for team monster. (It is quite possible that team monster would rather have the monster clog up the battlefield for half to one and a half rounds--even at the potential cost of not inflicting another attack).

Other relevant factors: how does the DM play team monster? Does the DM prefer total damage inflicted? If so, there are a number of situations where encouraging the distribution of damage via brash assault might be worth it even if the total damage your party sustains is greater than it would be otherwise. Additionally, while I think it is unlikely that you will bait a monster into taking the attack when it is marked by the fighter and under inspired belligerence, there are some times when it can be rational for you to give the opportunity and for the DM to take it if you weigh uncertainty differently. (Yes, this is an area where you're counting on outsmarting the DM, but it is an area where I think that a good player has a decent chance of outsmarting the DM--especially considering that you may have more information (your future plans) than the DM does). For instance, if you have a monster that will probably die before its turn but which you could kill one action earlier by using brash assault, the DM has the incentive to take the attack--otherwise it will probably not get one--but your party has incentive to offer the attack if that monster is in the way (for instance, if it is preventing you from using a doorway that will soon be clogged).

As far as the DM goes, the assertion that he is always better off ignoring the option--even assuming that he is playing team monster rather than a team of monsters--is not necessarily accurate because it assumes that you never make a mistake with brash assault. If the DM does not assume that you will not be stupid or miscalculate the odds, then he is best off keeping his options open.

Now, for my part, I'm only a fan of the power in relatively early heroic or if most of your powers are immediate actions (which is now possible as a warlord). My experience with the power is that, once I hit 7th level or so, I have encounter powers to use in most of the situations where I would have used brash assault earlier. But it does present some good options in the earlier levels.

Also, I think the release of new warlord powers such as direct the strike makes brash assault less desirable. But that is a matter of having more blue and light blue powers available rather than whether brash assault is black or red.
Whoops, it's Daze, isn't it? My bad. >_<}

And rating feat and power support independently is a bad choice. They're intertwined, and it makes things misleading. If BA is only half-decent without Harlequin Style but great with it, a Red rating will confuse those who do not read everything in extreme detail.



There are just too many feats, many of them build-specific feats, to try and do that. Granting that HqS makes BA worth using, a comparable situation is Sun Strike with Power of Sun for invokers. Read this post and tell me if you think I didn't make it clear enough that SS/PoS is a valid choice, despite not adding garish bright blue to the Sun Strike entry.

There's only so much you can do with colored ratings, and I'm erring on the side of rating the powers for their own sake before assuming the reader is familiar with not-yet-described other options.

(I'm just skipping the rest since it seems the bulk of your argument is that BA is fine with Harlequin Style, and that's not currently in dispute. Whether there are dumb enemies you wouldn't ever want to use BA on is immaterial.)
I don't see any problem just excluding races that have zero synergy (like, say, bullywugs). If someone wants to make a kobald warlord, they don't need my blessing and they don't need me to explicitly tell them that that's a suboptimal choice. Most guides don't bother rating Skill Focus or Skill Training, but people take those for flavor reasons all the time. I was rating changelings and gnomes as a full zero stars, but that may bear reconsideration.

I need to redo races entirely anyway. One of the ideas I've been considering is cutting the list down to blue-and-above, then making an exhaustive list sorted by stats. Or possibly just clumping common stat pairs. I dunno.



A lack of feat support makes Changelings as bad as bullywugs and kobolds? I'm not sure I buy that. If Gnolls are worth 1 star with horrible feat support and stats all in the wrong spots, I don't know why gnomes and changelings aren't worth at least one as well.

That being said if you are just going to mention the blue or better races, everything's gravy.

A lack of feat support makes Changelings as bad as bullywugs and kobolds? I'm not sure I buy that. If Gnolls are worth 1 star with horrible feat support and stats all in the wrong spots, I don't know why gnomes and changelings aren't worth at least one as well.

That being said if you are just going to mention the blue or better races, everything's gravy.


Gnolls are likely to disappear as zero-star options either way. Right now, there's really no organization below two stars, and a lot of those ratings are going to change dramatically once I'm done with feats.

BTW, I did a big update of the at-will powers, including rating them all and rating the fighting style student feats. I also posted a huge draft feat list in the scratchpad post. (I am aware that I forgot Lasting Frost; I've got it in my personal version and it'll go into the next update.) Input/suggestions/ideas/arguments/verbal abuse are all welcome. 
Brash Assault is better if your DM likes to 'roleplay' the monsters to a degree instead of treating every combat like it's a german-style tactical board game wherein the game pieces don't have their own personalities. Different styles, I suppose.

I don't disagree with the red rating (I'd probably give it purple in the 'standard' color system), but I do disagree with the notion that 'taking the gamble' so to speak is the same thing as 'playing badly.'
The world is a mess, I just need to... rule it.
Brash Assault is probably a situational pick in some Bravelord builds.

That said, in a general sense it's clearly inferior to WPT, CS, Intuitive Strike, and Direct the Strike.

Harlequin Style does make this power usable, so I think a fair compromise would be to rate it somewhere below the aforementioned 4. Keep in mind that the AC bonus from HS applies whether or not the monster takes the gamble from BA. And as a leader (and possibly the party's only healer), you want as few monsters targeting you as possible. The BA/HS combo does accomplish that, so IMO it's not useless (and therefore not red). Perhaps make a comment in the power description mentioning that HS is a feat tax if you take BA?

Other general comments mostly involving Intuitive Strike, consider the following:

Intuitive Strike + Inspired Belligerence is the equivalent of War of Attrition, a few levels early. In fact, it's better than War of Attrition because you can decide to use Inspired Belligerence AFTER you hit with Intuitive Strike, thus eliminating the possibility of missing with an encounter power. Furthermore, the to-hit bonus from Intuitive Strike is universal (it applies to dailies/encounter powers), and Intuitive Strike itself targets Will.

Intuitive Strike + Vexing Flanker = 1+Cha to-hit for your party whenever you want, as long as you can get flanking. For melee Cha-based leaders, you may want to consider rating Vexing Flanker as indispensible.

One of Direct the Strike and Commander's Strike is indispensible, IMO, since a lot of your buffs affect your party and not yourself. Thus, giving your attack to someone else during a nova turn or follow-up nova turn is a more efficient use of resources.

Cha-based warlords in general got a big boost with MP2, to the extent that you may even consider using charisma as your primary ability score. More specifically, the Battlelord of Kord has gotten even better in light of new feat/power support. With the feat Fight On and the daily power Force of Fellowship, you can potentially use Inspiring Word FIVE times in one encounter. If your party has a reckless striker that takes a lot of damage in addition to what is dished out (who're we kidding, mostly every party's got one of those), this is a very effective combo - heal and boost accuracy and damage using just one minor action.

If you're going to talk about hybrid options at some point, I think Bard|Warlord (the classic Bardlord) deserves special mention. Guiding Strike (possibly with White Lotus Enervation) as your bread and butter lets you set up your nova turns far more easily, and the daily Slayer's Song gives Lead the Attack a run for its money when in combination with Intuitive Strike.
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