Someone please explain Charging?

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I do read these boards a fair bit, but I miss alot, so some things I don't really understand.

I gather there is some sort of Feycharging build that tries to take advantage of a few feats so that you get multiple attacks in a single action, and i'm not asking about that.

I've seen a couple of builds on here where people seem enthused that it can charge each turn, but I can't figure out why.

I've only played up to level 4, so I'm also missing alot of the game thus far, but why is charging such a great thing? isn't it pretty much the same as normal attacking? I know some powers you can use on a charge, but if you're already in melee, arn't they pretty much just as good just using them instead of trying to work out how you can get a charge in?

Well, aside from the +1 to hit you gain from charging, there are items such as the Horned Helm and Vanguard weapon which add extra damage on a charge. Those 2 weapons stack with each other also. There are also feats that enhance charge attacks. 
You are probably referring to the arcane fey charger. It comes in many variations, but the basic trick is a Eladrin swordmage who MC's into fighter and takes Fey Charge, which allows him to do teleport during a charge practically all the time, and then Eladrin Swordmage Advance, which gives him a free attack whenever fey stepping next to a target. There are more tricks to it, particularly when MC'ing into more than one class - possible with Windrise Ports for example. It's quite an abuse of combos that were never intended to be.

Then there is a more toned down fey charger, which works without Sword Mage. Just an Eladrin Fighter who uses Fey Step to charge through enemies and gain some other benefits.
Just to explain what exactly gets so powerful about a feycharger, the current top damage-per-round build is the Long Night Feycharger, an Arcane Feycharger variation.

The arcane feycharger is a Warlock hybrid Swordmage, Multiclass Fighter, Multiclass Rogue (windrise ports allows 2 Multiclass feats).

Important Elements:
Fey Charge(fighter) allows you to use  Fey Step as part of a charge
Fey Gambit(rogue) gives combat advantage whenever you fey step next to a target
Roundabout charge(rogue) lets you go wherever you want on a charge, as long as you end up next to your target. 
Eladrin Swordmage Advance(swordmage) gives you a free melee basic attack when you use fey step to teleport next to an enemy.
Eldritch Strike(warlock at-will): an arcane at-will that counts as a melee basic attack
Planestrider Boots(level 18 item): when you teleport with a power, you can split the teleport into two teleports whose sum is the total distance allowed.

The process:
1. Charge the target, activate Fey Charge
2. Split the fey charge teleport so you end the first teleport next to the target, which grants an MBA with ESA with combat advantage.
3. Finish your teleport to end next  to the target again, triggering another ESA mba, and then take your Fey Charge mba.
That's three arcane at-will melee attacks in one charge.  By comparison, Twin Strike does only two attacks that don't benefit from your attribute bonuses, whereas Eldritch Strike does.  That's powerful enough. It gets worse, because Eldritch Strike being an arcane at-will means you can tag in a lot of extra stuff.

Added stuff:
1.  Arcane Admixture lets you change the damage type of Eldritch Strike to frost(for use with Lasting Frost), or Thunder(for use with other things, like Echoes of Thunder).
2.  Lasting frost adds static damage in the form of frost vulnerability.  Need I elaborate?
3.  Echoes of Thunder gives a stacking +1 bonus to hit until the end of your next turn whenever you hit with a Thunder power.  3 attacks from fey charge means you get a +3 if you hit with all three.  Next turn you keep stacking, for a potential +5 on your actual fey charge.  It gets worse if you add a Dancing Weapon.
4.  Dancing Weapon.  Not exclusive to feychargers, but if you have 5 of them you will get another melee basic attack(albeit less accurate one, as we can only afford 5 +4 versions at level 30), which is cumulative with and benefits from Echoes of Thunder.  That's 4 arcane melee attacks each turn.
5.  White Lotus Riposte and White Lotus Master Riposte.  Requires you to hit with an arcane at-will attack power.  Combined with Aegis of Assault, your opponent is forced into choosing between attacking you and triggering Riposte(stat damage) and Master Riposte(hit them with the same arcane at-will, in this case Eldritch Strike), or making a break for one of your allies and take an Assault mba(eldritch strike), which benefits from Echoes of Thunder... you get the drift.
6.  Radiant vulnerability exploitation.  There's a whole mess there.  Suffice to say it can stack up fast.  Rod of Starlight, Pelor's Sun Blessing(divine boon), etc.
7.  Arcane Slasher tactics(see my sig).  The Long Night Feycharger takes the Long Night Scion PP and the Radiant One ED.  Whenever he teleports he does a "slash" which deals con cold damage which benefits from lasting frost, which triggers Radiant One's int radiant damage, which benefits from radiant vulnerability....
You can see how that would be intense with the Arcane Feycharger.
*Start with a move action split-teleport(Ethereal Sidestep) to slash them twice, ending the teleport 2 squares away.
*Sustain your Dancing weapon with a minor action.
*Fey Charge, activating the first ESA attack 
*finish your teleport which gives another slash, and triggers another ESA
*Your dancing weapon attacks
*on their turn they either attack you and take Riposte Damage+Riposte Attack, attack no one and be effectively stunned for the round, or shift and charge an ally.
In the last instance you can split your Aegis of Assault teleport to get another slash in before you hit them with your Eldritch Strike.  It turns out that the Riposte does the same expected damage as the Assault total.

It gets well over 500 expected damage per round.

In sum, the arcane feycharger gets all the benefits of a multiattacker, all the static-damage bonuses that arcane attacks give, gets a catch-22 worth up to 100 damage per round, all the benefits wizards has built in to combo off teleporting, and can "plug in" to a high percentage of the more cheesy CO tactics.  It's absurd that one build can abuse so many different tactics at the same time.
I do read these boards a fair bit, but I miss alot, so some things I don't really understand.

I gather there is some sort of Feycharging build that tries to take advantage of a few feats so that you get multiple attacks in a single action, and i'm not asking about that.

I've seen a couple of builds on here where people seem enthused that it can charge each turn, but I can't figure out why.

I've only played up to level 4, so I'm also missing alot of the game thus far, but why is charging such a great thing? isn't it pretty much the same as normal attacking? I know some powers you can use on a charge, but if you're already in melee, arn't they pretty much just as good just using them instead of trying to work out how you can get a charge in?



The +1 to hit from Charging can make a big difference - so much so, in fact, that if you have a strong Melee Basic Attack and can Charge without it costing you anything or preventing you from doing something else, you always should Charge.

As well, there are a large number of things that trigger on a Charge that are just plain nice.  There are ways to get tons of bonus damage on Charges, there are a number of classes and Feats that do things like let you Push or Knock Prone on a charge, Warlords tend to grant a lot of free Charges, Bravura Warlords cause any target they charge to grant Combat Advantage.....

The point is, Charging is generally good, and there are ways to make it REALLY good.

The discussion on "Feychargers" is a separate issue.  There are, as I'm sure you've seen here, a couple of builds that rely on Charging that are REALLY crazily powerful.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
The trick in low level games is being able to charge every round.  It's really tough when there's only 1 guy because you need to be 2 squares away when you charge so you typically provoke an Opportunity attack when you move(not shift) away to charge and thus get all those lovely charging bonuses.  With a level 6 dire boar mount and mounted combat you get lots of extra damage from him, he's prone and pushed 2 squares preparing him for next round.  You will probably want to only push him 1 square so he has to get up(move) and charge someone else, being too close to charge you.  With a focus on charging you can get huge benefits.  A simple gander at the heroic section of my DPR king candidates thread will show you the superiority of charging.  With a level 2 neck slot item, badge of the berzerker, you can get superior battlefield maneuverability.
DPR King Candidates 3.0
How much damage should I shoot for?
You're fired : 1 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .2 KPR Fair Striker : 2 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .4 KPR Highly Optimized : 3 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .6 KPR Nerfbat please : 4 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .8 KPR It's OVER 9000!!!!!: 5 Kills Per 5 Rounds = 1+ KPR
DPR? KPR? KP4R? Bless you
DPR = Damage Per round ~= Chance to hit * damage on a hit KPR = Kills Per Round. 1 Kill = 8*Level+24 damage = DPR/(8*level+24) KPNR = Kills Per N Rounds. How many standards can you kill in N rounds?
Cheers for all the information.

I know with the character I'm playing I'd never make it a feycharging build, but I was looking at some stuff that would make charging easy and was wondering if I should be trying to take advantage of it.

Unfortunatly, I don't have an At-Will I can use on a charge, so it might be something to consider for Encounter powers, or see if I can get one of my At-Wills to be charge useable (which I don't think is possible).

Although, since i'm playing an Avenger I could just pick up Melee Training and the damage would be the same since none of the Avenger At-Wills have a second rider on them anyway... although since i'm a hybrid, I don't get to use OoA on basic attacks.
Well, if you worship a deity with skill domain, you can take Power of Skill and use Overwhelming Strike on a charge. Otherwise, you probably shouldn't charge, though I can't be sure without running the numbers (I do think using OoE is more valuable)
The other rather obvious but perhaps overlooked benefit to charging is that it is basically a full move and an attack in one standard action.  A character built to charge can have greater mobility with that extra move action, and is less affected by being knocked prone.  It's also just fun and very flavorful for certain races and classes (my dwarf barabarian is definitely a "charge first, ask questions later" kinda guy).
I was just flicking through the books, and I'd some how missed the domain feats. I do worship Ioun, so I can indeed pick up Power of Skill!

It does look however like I can't pick up much else that'll help on a charge, but getting +1 to hit and being able to move and attack on a Standard will be helpful, just not as awesome as someone built for it.
If you are hidden from an enemy, moving up to them will end the hidden status at the end of that action - meaning that when you go to attack, you're no longer hidden and don't get combat advantage.

If you charge, however, you don't lose hidden until after the whole charge action, so you get combat advantage for the charge attack.
You can also use your standard actions for charging with your at-will and only pick encounter and daily powers that are minor actions and immediates...
Being 4th level a warhorse is a great option for charging.  Getting a avalanche warhammer which deals +1[w] on a charge.  Many of your encounter powers are 2[w] so with this avalanche hammer you get 3[w] which is quite a bit.  You don't need much more than take power of skill, mounted combat, get an avalanche warhammer(level 4 item) and a warhorse(level 3 item), boots of adept charging(level 2).  Now you're double rolling for attacks, frequently getting 3[w] attacks and adding 5 to that damage roll and shifting them around and preparing them for the next attack.
DPR King Candidates 3.0
How much damage should I shoot for?
You're fired : 1 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .2 KPR Fair Striker : 2 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .4 KPR Highly Optimized : 3 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .6 KPR Nerfbat please : 4 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .8 KPR It's OVER 9000!!!!!: 5 Kills Per 5 Rounds = 1+ KPR
DPR? KPR? KP4R? Bless you
DPR = Damage Per round ~= Chance to hit * damage on a hit KPR = Kills Per Round. 1 Kill = 8*Level+24 damage = DPR/(8*level+24) KPNR = Kills Per N Rounds. How many standards can you kill in N rounds?
Avalanche Hammer only works with melee basic attack, so unless you've optimized your MBA or are a Warlock with Eldritch Strike your SOL.  That being said...  My character is a warlock that is charge optimized so my Avalance Craghammer is my best friend.

Lvl 12 Warforged Warlock/Warforged Juggernaut.
43.5 damage average on a charge with Eldritch Strike, push 2, slide 2 (rushing cleats + eldritch strike + Juggernaut) + Rattling (hammer shock MP2) + -2 to hit penalty against my allies on melee and close attacks (Protective Hex Dragon 384) 

Plan on White lotus feats for damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. 
Cheers for all the information.

I know with the character I'm playing I'd never make it a feycharging build, but I was looking at some stuff that would make charging easy and was wondering if I should be trying to take advantage of it.

Unfortunatly, I don't have an At-Will I can use on a charge, so it might be something to consider for Encounter powers, or see if I can get one of my At-Wills to be charge useable (which I don't think is possible).

Although, since i'm playing an Avenger I could just pick up Melee Training and the damage would be the same since none of the Avenger At-Wills have a second rider on them anyway... although since i'm a hybrid, I don't get to use OoA on basic attacks.

Another type of charger: Half-elf Ranger, starts working at lvl 11
Str 18+3=21
con 15+1=16
wis 13+3=16
Pick up Howling Strike and horned helm. Get plate armor and plate spec (base 19ac, comparable to a fighter) and use a great sword.
This was pre-Martial power 2, so I might edit the build once I get a copy of it. This build also only uses ph1 and ph2. Anything else is extra and not needed
This was my turn: Move 2 squares away to LET the monsters attack me if they were marked (shielding swordmage=+2 to defenses and damage reduction 13, maybe 20 at this lvl and the encounter counter attacks). Minor action: quarry (or attack previous quarries). Standard action: charge. I had a +18 to hit, so hit on 6-9s depending on monster (9 was an elite soldier, one of the highest ac monsters), and do 1d10(wound)+2d8(quarry and lethal hunter)+2d6(howling strike)+1d6(horned helm)+5 (feat/magic) for a total of 30 damage on hitting occasionally hitting on 4s and almost all 6s.

This build also allows you to multiclass to anything and pick any PP. Another option is to pick any race.

There are also several classes that have basic attack at-wills, so it is a free +1 to hit, +1d6 per tear (in late tear), and +2 per tier (early).