Dirty Deeds... Done Dirt Cheap: The Rogue's Handbook

1425 posts / 0 new
Last post
Dirty Deeds... Done Dirt Cheap: The Rogue's Handbook


female-pirate1.jpg



Which is more painful: a sword in the gut, or a knife in the back? -Unknown



Get up, you snot-nosed rascals! You think you guys are ready to be true rapscallions and scoundrels? Well, you've got spunk, which is the first step, but you need a lot more than that! I'll be in charge of making sure that you don't go out and embarrass yourselves out there. And yeah, I see you guys hidden in the corner, you're not getting off the hook either! Don't worry, though; I'll make it worth your while. After you get through my training, you'll be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want! Sound good? Thought so. Now, about those clothes...



Selling Points: Why You Would Want To Play A Rogue




Strikers are the most prevalent role in the system. Therefore, every Striker has to have a particular niche in order to set itself apart form the rest. Here are a few things that I feel make the Rogue special and thus worthy of consideration:

Rogues are versatile - Rogues have the distinct advantage of being able to switch combat styles essentially on a whim. Additionally, your powers cover a variety of offensive methods, from mobility to heavy damage to status effects. If you like bringing pain to your opponents in a plethora of different ways (sometimes all as part of the same action), this is your class.

Rogues are tactically rewarding - Some degree of tactics is required to play a Rogue  because of his focus on being a stealthy, mobile Striker. The better you are at that, the better your Rogue will be. If you enjoy the tactical aspect of the game, the Rogue will not disappoint you.

Rogues are team players - Rogues are iconic in the fact that working with allies makes them a whole lot better, because it makes the conditions they require to thrive easy to achieve. In return, a Rogue in his element takes a lot of pressure off of the rest of the party. If you want to be a character who works in tandem with those around him to devastating effect, this is your stop.


This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:


Red - Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Purple - Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Black - OK. You could do worse than pick this.
Blue - Good stuff. You probably want this.
Sky Blue - You want this. Period.
Gold - Why haven't you taken this yet? A defining choice for a build, or even the whole class.



This Handbook covers the following sources:


AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DMA 2009 - Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
DP - Divine Power
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
HotFK - Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
MM - Monster Manual
MM 2 - Monster Manual 2
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP 2 - Martial Power 2
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHH 2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
PHR: DB - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHR: TF - Player's Handbook Races: Tieflings
PrP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power
SAC - Seekers of the Ashen Crown Adventure Module

Glossary

AP - Action point.

BBEG - Big bad evil guy.

Burst/Nova/Spike Damage - Generally understood to mean the highest amount of damage a character can inflict in the space of a single round. Usually, calculations for this allow 1 round of setup before the actual damage.

CA - Combat advantage.

DPR - Damage per round, which is generally meant to mean the character's expected damage value using At-Will powers against a standard enemy of the same level (eloquently described by Adslahnit as the Official CharOp Inanimate Block of TofuTM).

ED - Epic destiny.

HP - Hit points.

LX - Level X.

MAD - Multiple attribute dependency, which is defined as needing 3 or more ability scores for a given build.

MBA - Melee basic attack.

MC - Multiclass or multiclassing.

NAD - Non-AC defense.

OA - Opportunity attack.

PP - Paragon path.

RBA - Ranged basic attack.

SAD - Single attribute dependency, which is defined as a build that really only needs 1 ability score.

THP - Temporary hit points.





Props to:


Everyone posting

NOTE: This is a Handbook concerning itself with the standard 4e Rogue. If you're looking for advice on the Essentials build (the Thief), I'd recommend a peek at tsuyoshikentsu's Thief's Handbook.


Power Source and Role: Why You Do Dirty Deeds

Your power source is Martial, and your role is Striker. The Martial power source as a whole is more aggressively oriented than other power sources, and the tendency is further expanded upon by the Striker role, which is perhaps the most aggressive by nature. To that end, the Rogue is geared toward bringing things down, by any means necessary. You'll find that you have a lethal cocktail of effects to bring about that end, as is described here:

Burst/Nova/Spike Damage
- This is usually defined as the highest amount of damage you can come up with on short notice. You actually have a decent enough of a collection of double-up attacks and minor action swings to be very solid at this (though Ranged Rogues are markedly worse at it). Additionally, you have access to a coup-de-grace oriented combination of attacks for a very different approach to the same problem.

Damage Per Round (DPR) - Usually referred to as the damage value that you can consistently rely on producing round after round, your combination of high accuracy, the ability to tag defenses other AC, combined with the most damaging Striker feature means you have quite the talent for this.

Debilitating Effects - And now we come to what you're really good at. You'll find that your power list endows you with the ability to use just about every status effect that carries a keyword, and then some. Among the Strikers, only the Warlock is a match for you here.

Survivability - And now we come to the Rogue's Achilles' heel: your average hit points along with your weaker armor proficiencies, combined with a middling set of defensive powers and abilities means that the Rogue's ability to survive is something that you have to bear in mind as you do your things and take your risks. This is obviously a bit easier to do if you mostly engage in Ranged combat or can provide enough disincentives to anyone thinking of attacking you (like being hidden or hitting him back), of course.

Targeting Capacity - Despite the fact that your extra damage feature is conditional to having CA against your opponent and that you're comparatively fragile, the fact of the matter is that CA is not all that hard to get, and some rudimentary tactics will get you where you need to go with all of your limbs still attached. Not your area of expertise, but you are good at it.

Secondary Role Effectiveness

Controller - Given their plethora of status effects and ways to make the opposing party's life miserable in general, it's really no surprise Rogues are a good fill-in for this role. This isn't even build-specific; just about any Rogue will be packing enough incapacitating effects to do this and do it well.

Defender - Rogues aren't even renowned for being particularly tough Strikers, let alone being able to stand up to the blistering punishment a Defender typically endures. This is a job best left for others, though Brutal Scoundrels with the right feat investment can be serviceable.

Leader - The role of the Rogue is mostly to take advantage of opportunities, though on occasion you can grab a power to help others. However, don't expect to make up for not having a full Leader or even a strong backup Leader with a Rogue: he's just not equipped for that.



Baseline Mechanics: How Dirty Your Deeds Are

You have infiltrated the majority of the 4E D&D classes in that you follow the "A-class" model, which consists of all builds within the same class having the same primary ability score, but having different secondary ones. Given that most effects that rely on a secondary attribute are build-specific, you likely gain little from focusing on other builds' attributes anyway.

Your basic game mechanics are pretty standard-issue, with the notable exception of Weapon Talent: an accuracy bonus makes certain options much more appealing and forms part of the core Rogue identity.

Game Mechanics

Hit Points - 12 + Con score at level 1, and 5 each level thereafter. You got the standard-issue Striker hit point total, which is all you could really expect, honestly.

Healing Surges - 6 + Con modifier. Standard issue for the role, and you'll be glad to have them.

Defense Bonuses - +2 to Reflex means your strongest defense is very strong, but the other two were kind of left hanging. Ah, well.

Proficiencies

Armor - Only having Leather and no shields means you got almost nothing on this deal.

Weapons - You don't even gain access to a whole category of weapons, only a set of named ones. If it weren't for the fact that you're usually good with that, this would be terrible.



Class Features

First Strike - Getting a free round of Combat Advantage (since, barring horrible luck, you should be very high up on initiative orders) is never a bad thing.

Sneak Attack - The most damaging extra damage Striker feature, it does have a caveat in that requires a status effect and specific weapon groups to work properly. Apart from that, it's still a hell of a feature, especially because it can be used every turn, so even a Dagger-wielder's Opportunity Attack will have some bite to it.

Rogue Tactics

Artful Dodger (PHB) - A huge AC buff against opportunity attacks is very welcome, as it allows the Rogue to move with impunity against certain enemies.

Brutal Scoundrel (PHB) - A straight extra damage feature is welcome in the hands of any Striker.

Cunning Sneak (MP 2) - Keeping yourself hidden and moving about unseen with few problems, this build has the advantage of that its class feature doesn't require a secondary stat to work better.

Ruthless Ruffian (MP) - While at first glance it seems that this is a less conditional version of the Brutal Scoundrel, the fact of the matter is that the weapons it offers you are horrible for a damage-focused character, its attribute needs pull your character in many different directions simultaneously, and the primary effect for the power line it favors (Rattling) is not even build-specific, which means that other builds will do what it does, do it better, and be able to do something else as well. Whatever you do, please don't subject yourself to this.


Weapon Talent

Rogue Weapon Talent (PHB) - An extra +1 to hit for a Dagger makes it very worth using. The Shuriken bonus is pretty much wasted, though.

Sharpshooter Talent (MP 2) - While of a lesser general application than Rogue Weapon Talent, it is more valuable for Rogues that want to stick to a pure Ranged strategy and thus favor the Crossbow over the Light Blade.




Skills: A Knack for Dirty Deeds

As in the last edition, Rogues are the kings of default skill acquisition: you get 6 (count 'em, 6) skills, which is more than anybody else. While two of those are non-choices, believe me when I say no Rogue with a shred of sanity would have gone without them anyway.

Class Skills

Acrobatics - Given the bonkers amount of nice powers that require you have this skill, as well as general Rogue flavor, combined with the fact that it keys off your most important ability score, this is as much a non-choice as the other Dexterity-based skills.

Athletics - Kind of redundant with Acrobatics in some aspects, but it can do things the other can't, and it keys off a prime stat for Brutal Scoundrels.

Bluff - The classic con-man skill, any Rogue with a positive Charisma modifier should be considering picking it up.

Dungeoneering - In all likelihood, the party radar should have this skill covered. If you're the party radar, grab it.

Insight - No one likes falling for their own tricks; this skill ensures that won't (at least not as often).

Intimidate - This skill is vital if you plan to use Rattling powers, and if you want to have a wide plethora of social skills.

Perception - While your Wisdom may or may not be awesome, there really is little reason to skip out on this skill.

Stealth - A non-choice, though I can't fathom a character refer to itself as a Rogue and not having this.

Streetwise - While its usefulness does vary by campaign, you likely will be one who will be very good at it, and at the very least it's a good fluff fit.

Thievery - Again, the Rogue concept pretty much demands having this skill.


Recommended Non-Class Skills

Diplomacy - Helps round out your social arsenal.
Ability Scores: Nature of the Dirty Deeds


Ability scores vary according to an exact build, but these guidelines hold for the average Rogue.

Strength - As a Brutal Scoundrel, you want this to be as high as you can afford it to be. It also bears merit for an a Rogue who doesn't use Daggermaster, and thus needs Light Blade Mastery to get improved criticals. No one really wants to dump this all the way down, though: Athletics is an important skill.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-16, before racial adjustments.

Constitution - More HP and surges are nice for the rather squishy Rogue, and you can also use it to afford an armor upgrade, though your ability score needs likely call you elsewhere. Regardless of what you do with your Rogue, I wouldn't recommend bottoming this out: you have to stay upright somehow.
Recommended Starting Score: 12-14, before racial adjusmtents.

Dexterity - This is your main stat. No exceptions. Boost it every chance you get.
Recommended Starting Score: 16-18, before racial adjustments.

Intelligence - Despite having a build whose powers have secondary effects keying off it (the Cunning Sneak), the fact of the matter is that Rogues have little to no use for this ability score, since the class feature itself doesn't require it. A rudimentary investment should be enough for Cunning Sneaks looking to use the secondary effects on their powers, and everyone else can just flat-out dump it.
Recommended Starting Score: 8-12, before racial adjustments.

Wisdom - Despite not being useful to you in powers, this is a major player in your skill list, affecting 3 skills (and two key ones in Insight and Perception), so it's another ability you score you don't want to dump, at least not all the way down. Arguably more important than Charisma for Brutal Scoundrels.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-14, before racial adjustments.

Charisma - Boosts quite a few social skills, and helps out Artful Dodgers' mobility to keep you safe as well while you manever about the battlefield, as well as some rider effects for their powers, so it's very necessary for them. Brutal Scoundrels could also use it to round themselves out on the skill and defense fronts.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-16, before racial adjustments.


Races: Doers of Dirty Deeds

Races - Player's Handbook

Dragonborn - It carries both secondary ability scores, which makes it a serviceable candidate. Plus, +1 to hit when you're beaten up and a sweet area attack power can't be a bad thing.

Dwarf - The fact of the matter is that the race has many things that aren't appealing to the average Rogue: they're slow, they only boost a secondary ability score, and in general have abilities better suited to more stand-and-bang sort of characters. However, they do bring toughness to the not-that-tough Rogue, and they have racial support to back them up, and that does count for something.

Eladrin - The Dexterity bonus is gold, as is the extra skill and +1 to Will defense, but the Intelligence bonus is of a more limited use (certain Cunning Sneaks only). A strong choice nevertheless, especially because the teleport opens up a huge amount of tactical options for you.

Elf - The Dexterity bonus is good, but the Wisdom is only appealing to certain Cunning Sneaks. However, it does feature a top-notch racial ability in Elven Accuracy to make sure your important stuff lands and some quality racial support to make its case.

Half-Elf - While +2 to Charisma is nice, +2 to Constitution is really not all that to most Rogues, so the only real redeeming feature this race possesses is Dilettante, which is good enough to make them a decent choice (hellooooo, Twin Strike), but not a top contender.

Halfling - Given that you can use almost every weapon that's good for Rogues (so the main detriment of being Small doesn't apply), and that your support is mind-blowingly good for keeping the rather fragile Rogue upright, this is a prime racial choice.

Human - The extra At-Will buffs your tactical options in a big way (as can Heroic Effort), you're good at just about any Rogue build you want to try, and the bonus feat and skill make you extra awesome. To boot, your racial support for this class is actually pretty good (gasp!). A very strong pick for this sort of thing.

Tiefling - You get a secondary attribute, a decent "revenge" feature, and a tasty bonus to hit when your opponent is bloodied. Additionally, the racial support offers an opportunity to make up for some of the lower Dexterity. A serviceable choice overall.


Races - Player's Handbook 2

Deva - Yeah... this just feels like a bad version of the Elf, all the way down. Not their line of work.

Gnome - While it does provide the all-important Dexterity bonus, and it has some strongly related racial abilities and feat support, the fact of the matter is that the race is Small and slow, which holds it back a bit.

Goliath - A bonus to a secondary, and +2 Con and a tough-guy sort of racial power makes it a serviceable choice.

Half-Orc - +2 Str and +2 Dex means you're an awesome Brutal Scoundrel, especially with an extra damage feature and some buffering against getting beat down. A prime pick for a Rogue.

Shifter, Longtooth - This provides both secondary attributes for the average Brutal Scoundrel, as well as a racial power that will make you a heck of a lot harder to take down. This can work.

Shifter, Razorclaw - Dexterity is nice to have, Wisdom is decent for a Brutal Scoundrel and sweet on the right Cunning Sneak, and the power is mobility heaven. A bit overshadowed by the Elf and his great racial support, though.


Races - Player's Handbook 3

Githzerai - Though similar to Elves with regards to their attribute bonuses, they trade in some of that shifty elusiveness for some straight-up toughness, making them more appealing to Rogues who like to gamble, though the archetype they are best suited for (Cunning Sneak) is not much of a gambler.

Minotaur - With the advent of its latest (and most official) write-up, the Minotaur gets the same stat boosts as the Longtooth Shifter if you choose, which can make you a decent Brutal Scoundrel.

Shardmind - You get more skill bonuses than anybody else (good), but you only get a secondary attribute (not so good). The racial power hands you free CA, which is nice to have. Not the worst pick you could make.

Wilden - The Aspect of the Hunter in particular is appealing, and you do get the oh-so-important Dexterity bonus. A very nice pick for you.


Races - Other Rulebooks

Bladeling (MOTP) - While it does have the Dexterity bonus you so crave, the lack of racial support means that while it's a good choice, I'd be looking at any of the races with the same attribute bonuses (quite a few right now) to do the job first.

Changeling (EPG) - This is one of the prime races for your line of work. While the utility of the disguise feature is rather campaign-dependent (though I imagine the average campaign will have at least a few opportunities to use it), the rest of the features are rock-solid for any Rogue.

Drow (FRPG) - Another top-notch race, it has a power to grant CA at Melee and at range, along with the perfect ability scores for the job and some very powerful racial feats. Doesn't get much better than this for a Rogue.

Genasi (FRPG) - +2 Str is great for Brutal Scoundrels, +2 Int... not so much. The manifestations are lots of fun for you, though. Firesoul, Stormsoul, and Watersoul in particular are good for you.

Kalashtar (EPG) - +2 to Charisma is nice, but +2 to Wisdom is of more limited use, and its abilities seem to be more Leader-oriented than anything else. Not the line of work for them.

Mul (DSCS) - Strength is nice for some Rogues, Constitution is so-so, and partaking in Human or Dwarf support is nice but not mindblowing. A middle of the road race for Rogues.

Revenant (HoS) - Sweetly placed stats in Dexterity and Charisma, and it has some potential in that it can mooch off another race's goodies. An excellent idea.

Shade (HoS) - Stealth training for free is redundant on you, and losing a surge hurts the already fragile rogue, plus the racial Utility can be replicated in various ways. It has the right stats for the job, but not much else.

Thri-Kreen (DSCS) - Bonuses to Strength and Dexterity make you a super Brutal Scoundrel, and you can even go the Darkstrider Cunning Sneak route with Dexterity and Wisdom. Toss in some Elf-like base speed and a minor action attack, and you have a favorite.

Vryloka (HoS) - Has the right ability scores, higher-than-average speed, and an excellent racial power. Blood Dependency can be a bit annoying, but it doesn't hurt this race too much.

Warforged (EPG) - These guys are tough as nails, have a Strength bonus, and a bunch of useful racial abilities. A solid pick for a Brutal Scoundrel Rogue.


Races - Dragon Magazine

Gnoll (D 367) - Dexterity and Constitution are good bonuses to have, and that high speed and charging bonuses make you a "shoot first, ask questions later" kind of Rogue. Overall, very solid, especially after the Dragon article, which actually makes charging a better idea than normal.

Shadar-Kai
(D 372) - About the same as Eladrin, though the shorter range on the teleportation racial power is not quite as useful (though the bonus to all defenses is).


Races - Monster Manuals

Bugbear (MM) - +2 Dexterity, oversized, and an extra "sneak attack" kind of ability make a fantastic case, and +2 Strength only sweetens the deal. A dominating choice for a Brutal Scoundrel.

Bullywug (MM 2) - Swampwalk looks promising, but that's about the end of the positives for that race. The racials are unimpressive and the aura is overkill (few, if any, monsters spend healing surges). Nah.

Doppelganger (MM) - It feels like a slightly weaker version of the Changeling, which means it's a solid choice, but not quite a top contender.

Duergar (MM 2) - It's the Dwarf... minus some of the toughness and all the great racial support. NO.

Githyanki (MM) - Meh. +2 Con is OK, +2 Int is a waste, +2 initiative is nice, but I'm just not sold.

Goblin (MM) - Slightly weaker than the Halfling because of no racial feats, it has the same racial stat allotments, which are very awesome for Rogues. A great choice regardless of the lack of support.

Hobgoblin (MM) - These guys are about the same as Half-Elves, sans the beauty that is Dilettante, so they're pretty mediocre Rogues.

Kenku (MM 2) - Stat bonuses in the right places, and extra bonuses to hit for flanking? A tasty choice for a Rogue.

Kobold (MM) - While the ability score bonuses may not match up in ideal fashion, the fact of the matter is that Shifty is an incredibly powerful tool in the hands of a Rogue, allowing him a lot more tactical flexibility. As such, there's no way I can justify NOT giving them the nod for a top ranking.

Orc (MM) - It has no skill bonuses, the only attribute it boosts that you care about is Strength, and its racial power is useless to any Rogue who doesn't boost it. Skip this one.

At-Will Powers: Simplest of the Dirty Deeds

A key difference in Rogue powers is their range: some powers are Melee, others are Ranged, and still others are both. Therefore, the powers have been separated to bear that in mind. Rogues in particular are interesting in that there are few At-Wills that are truly must-haves. Charisma-based Rogues will want Sly Flourish, whereas their Strength-based counterparts will like Riposte Strike. Most Melee Rogues will likely keep Piercing Strike through Heroic Tier at the very least, and I am partial to Acrobatic Strike and Deft Strike for the tactical options they open up. Beyond that, it's likely build-specific.

Melee:



Acrobatic Strike (MP 2) - Escaping grabs At-Will is nice, but the real draw is that you get a shift outside your move action. This is especially nice for a Strength-based Melee Rogue or anyone who indulges in the feat support to make it better, since they get a pain-free way to maneuver into flanking consistently, mostly without having to sacrifice a move action. Pretty cool.

Clever Strike (PHH 2) - This At-Will power can be pretty good in certain situations, because it allows you to get your CA (and thus your Sneak Attack damage) in regardless of how hard it may be to get a flank and stay standing. However, the fact that it does little for your ally's accuracy and that you'll still need CA to use every other power in your list at full steam means that it has its limitations as well.

Duelist's Flurry (D 381) - To put it simply, a trap as far as damage is concerned. Sneak Attack + Dexterity modifier damage is Defender-level damage, not Striker-level. Obtaining Combat Advantage is not hard enough to merit using this At-Will, and even if it were, it is only the superior option to only having your normal weapon damage for a few levels at most. The only thing that this At-Will truly offers is the ability to disengage from Melee efficiently by sliding the enemy as well as allowing you to shift.

Piercing Strike (PHB) - Hitting a NAD At-Will is very sweet, because it will usually be several points below AC and will thus be significantly easier to hit. It does become obsolete for Light Blade users willing to take Deft Blade at Paragon (note: this may likely require Melee Training as well to be of full use), but it's still a great At-Will to have around during Heroic, and it's a keeper if you don't have the feats to spare to make the Deft Blade combo happen.

Riposte Strike (PHB) - While this At-Will has a few hoops you have to jump through in order to use it effectively, this can either provide a hefty disincentive to attack you (which can help the Rogue hold his own in combat better), or let you put out some nice extra punch on your attacks. Either way, this is pretty good for Strength-based Rogues, especially if they go ahead and partake in its support.

Ranged:



Preparatory Shot (MP 2) - Unnecessary; CA is not impossible (or even hard) to get as a Rogue, and the damage this attack carries is just plain pitiful.

Melee or Ranged:



Deft Strike (PHB) - A basic "move + hit" At-Will, it can open up plenty of tactical options for you as well as flat-out make you more mobile (both very good things). Additionally, if you can use this and your move actions to constantly dart in and out of cover while attacking and/or you indulged in some of its feat support, this At-Will becomes even better.

Disheartening Strike (MP) - While a power with this control context seems a bit out-of-place on a Rogue at first glance, giving an enemy -2 to hit can help the Rogue stand in combat for a bit longer, and it becomes better for a Ranged Crossbow build looking to wreak havoc from the back rank. Plus, it allows the Rogue to be a better backup controller, which is never bad.

Gloaming Cut (MP 2) - A "hit-and-hide" power, it takes a cut of your damage in exchange for allowing you to make a Stealth check outside your move action, along with a shift (admittedly, the shift is based on what is kind of a dump stat). If you buff your Intelligence (most of you won't), this can be a good way to get out of Melee and jump into a hiding spot, otherwise it's a bit conditional to having a hiding spot very close by.

Probing Strike (PHH 1) - Very underwhelming. +1 to hit on the next attack likely means little to the already accurate Rogue, and Combat Advantage is already good enough a setup for you.

Sly Flourish (PHB) - A basic +damage At-Will for Charisma-based Rogues. Pretty much a must-have for that build, though it doesn't scale as well as some of these other powers.
Powers - Heroic Tier: First Dirty Deeds

To make discussion for different archetypes more efficient, I will be separating powers in whether they are Melee, Ranged, or both.



Level 1, Encounter




This level seems to be dominated by one choice for most Rogues: Dazing Strike just does so much for you in the span of a single standard action that it's almost crazy. Should you feel that's not for you, King's Castle offers a very viable alternative (especially if you like Ranged combat, though Unbalancing Shot is my favorite for a pure Ranged Rogue), though Opening Move and Positioning Strike have their virtues for Artful Dodgers.

Level 1 Encounter List


Melee:



Acrobat's Blade Trick (MP 2) - While this is certainly a nice "save your skin" button, there is really no excuse to get yourself in that kind of hot water in the first place. Still a serviceable power, though.

Dazing Strike (PHB) - Dazing is a nasty debuff to be handing out at L1: it disables opportunity attacks so you and your allies can move about with impunity, only allows 1 action (so be sure everyone ends their turns 1 square away from the target so he can't hit anybody if he has Reach 1), and grants you CA (so you get a free Sneak Attack next round regardless of your positioning). Beautiful.

Fox's Gambit (MP) - A Piercing Strike that allows Artful Dodgers to make a huge shift across the battlefield. A solid way to get in a better position in a hurry.

Guarded Attack (MP) - The upgrades this power has over Riposte Strike are very minimal, so I'm sure I wouldn't spend the selection on it.

One-Two Punch (MP 2) - While it is a Rattling multitarget attack, the fact of the matter is that this deals less damage than an At-Will by default, and getting double Sneak Attack damage relies on having CA against both targets. I'm not sold on this one.

Opening Move
(D 381) - Kick the combat off with a big defensive buff that should allow you to go wherever you want to go without fear of retribution. Very good for Charisma-based Rogues in general, though everyone else likely doesn't want it.

Positioning Strike (PHB) - A weapon attack against Will defense is very likely to score a hit, and a slide of the magnitude granted to an Artful Dodger can easily be used to set your opponent up for something ugly. A good power overall.

Sly Lunge (MP) - You have to have CA to even use this power, and all it does is the same damage as an At-Will and set up CA for the next turn, which you likely won't even need, given that you already have CA. With that in mind, not even the extra damage from Brutal Scoundrels makes this palatable.

Termination Threat (MP) - For most Rogues, this is equal parts Disheartening Strike and Sly Flourish. For Ruthless Ruffians, it's a living example of why the build doesn't work: the power requires a tertiary ability to be any good, and it forces you to spam Rattling attacks (some of which aren't worth a lick). Nah.

Torturous Strike (PHB) - Hooray for a straight damage power! This is better if your Rogue uses a bigger weapon, such as a Bastard Sword or a Rapier.


Ranged:



Distracting Shot (MP 2) - Given the fact that combat advantage is actually easier to obtain in Melee, this will likely provide little to no benefit for your ally, and offer no more damage than an At-Will. Cunning Sneaks get to hide under certain circumstances, but that's not enough for a very underwhelming power.

Impact Shot (MP) - So you get a little extra damage over an At-Will, and a square of pushing. Rather situational, by itself, and pretty much garbage compared to what's available. Not my choice.

Skip the Rock (MP 2) - So... this power basically hits two targets, and I have to choose between who gets respectable (not even good) damage and who gets dazed? The condition and the fact that it's at range are the only redeeming factors.

Unbalancing Shot (MP) - Slowing is nice for a pure Ranged Rogue facing Melee opponents, as it means you can move away with no fear of them catching you. Plus, you can take Vicious Advantage to get some CA out of this deal as well.


Melee or Ranged:



King's Castle
(PHB) - The power description pretty much says it all: get yourself out of a hot water position and set your Defender ally up for some lockdown. Heck, you could even use your move action to set up a flank if you're in Melee. A very versatile power that hits Reflex for decent damage, and overall a strong choice.

Shadow Strike (MP 2) - Hitting and hiding is nice, but this deals the same damage an At-Will does. Unimpressive.




Level 1, Daily




The Rogue Daily list gets things started with a bang: a lot of these powers are rock-solid, so you will have to make some choices. If you're in Melee and you're looking for pure damage, you really can't beat Press the Advantage, since it attacks outside your standard action. If you feel that's too conditional, you can take Handspring Assault or Spinning Blade Leap. If you feel like long range is the place for you, Trick Strike will give you good damage and mess with your opponent from afar. Most Rogues won't be starved for options here.

Level 1 Daily List


Melee:



Checking Jab (MP) - Essentially Disheartening Strike with a (save ends) slow + CA combo benefit attached. The damage is piddly compared to the competition, and slow + CA is nice, but not essential.

Duelist's Prowess (D 381) - While this power seems awesome at first glance, it does have a flaw in that the power granted doesn't have the Weapon keyword. As such, it'll fall behind as your magic gear gets better. Not my choice because of this flaw.

Handspring Assault (MP) - A charging attack (which is nice for the extra accuracy and mobility it brings) for good damage, and a shift back to safety. This is a good surgical strike power, but it does require a bit of setup, which is about the only thing I can find wrong with it.

Pommel Smash (MP) - Some nice damage, and a penalty to attack rolls for the opponent. Serviceable, and even good for those carrying a big weapon like a Bastard Sword or a Rapier.

Precise Incision (MP) - Being Reliable and hitting Reflex is overkill in my mind, but you can never be too certain. I'm not the biggest fan of the power, but it does pour on plenty of pure damage for those of you carrying a larger weapon (which tend to be less accurate than the Dagger).

Press the Advantage (MP) - Tagging someone outside your standard action is how you get real damage done. A prime choice for any Rogue who plans being in Melee and hacking things to pieces.

Spinning Blade Leap (MP 2) - WHOA. You get to shift your speed BEFORE and AFTER the attack, and a decent-damage hit? Talk about hit and run. The damage is just OK, but the mobility is downright nuts. A good choice.

Twilight Menace (MP 2) - While I can appreciate Stealth tactics on a Rogue, this only hides you from one enemy, and only until he makes a save (then there's no concealment to hide behind, unless you high-tailed it out of there). Not what I'd be looking for.


Ranged:



Scattering Shot
(MP 2) - It's Reliable if you're hidden, does OK damage, and imposes penalties on all enemies adjacent to the target. The fact that it requires clustering to be effective and it's not impressive statiscally makes me not like it.


Melee or Ranged:



Blinding Barrage (PHB) - The latest update has ripped the damage roll off this power, transforming it from a crossover power (do damage + lay down some control while you're at it) to something you only pick if you're dabbling in another role. Decent, but that shouldn't be what most Rogues should be doing with their power selection.

Confounding Attack (MP) - The "Making your opponents hit their allies" powers are pretty nice to have, but bear in mind this does require setup to be fully effective.

Easy Target (PHB) - Some decent damage, combined with ongoing CA and Slow. I give it an edge over the very similar Checking Jab because of the ability to use it in Ranged combat, where it's harder to get CA than in Melee.

Hounding Assault (MP 2) - You get a Rattling hit that turns all your Melee attacks Rattling for the encounter. Obviously not that good if you're a pure Ranged Rogue and thus don't plan on engaging in Melee.

Trick Strike (PHB) - Good damage on a power with Ranged capability, and sliding 1 square on every hit can allow you to set him up for something very ugly with your party. I like this power.




Level 2, Utility




The Rogue's first Utility power has a lot of options, but I find myself drawn only to a select few alternatives. The majority of you will like Sneak in the Attack for some tasty extra damage (and great incentive for your flanking buddies) or Tumble for some straight-up extra mobility, although some builds will want Fleeting Ghost instead.

Level 2 Utility List

Adaptable Flanker (MP) - You get a turn's worth of CA against someone you weren't supposed to get CA against. Not the flashiest benefit, but it's not useless, either.

Agile Footwork (D 381) - If he ends his turn next you, you move away. It won't help you dodge an attack, but out-of-turn repositioning is nice to have, though a bit unreliable.

Arm and Edge (MP 2) - Given that thrown weapons and slings have shorter range than say, bows and crossbows, this is actually a serviceable choice, though I'm not too sure how often it'll come up.

Cunning Step (MP 2) - This is an interesting power is that it's pretty lame for the average Rogue, yet can be quite good if you're willing to pump the otherwise dump stat that is Intelligence. I'm not a fan, though.

Deadly Knowledge (MP 2) - Adding an extra stat to damage is nice, but only during a crit or when you bloody someone (and only for 1 attack) makes it decidedly less appealing, especially when the stat added is a dump stat for most Rogues.

Double Take (MP) - This can make sure some Rogues nail that key Perception check, so it can see use.

Fleeting Ghost (PHB) - Taking the movement penalty off Stealth checks is nice, and being an At-Will is even nicer. To boot, it has a great deal of out-of-combat utility. A must for certain types of Rogues, and a strong choice for everybody else. Something of note is that it is redundant for Cunning Sneaks, so if you chose that feature, look around for something else that may be of actual use to you.

Great Leap (PHB) - Making Athletics checks instead of moving may sound cool, but it really only pays off in combat when you can reliably clear a distance greater than your speed (the DC for 7 squares is 35, so it will take a while). The fact that it's an At-Will and that it will very likely see use outside of combat make up for that, though.

Hop Up (MP) - Standing up and shifting away after getting knocked on your arse is good to have, but some feats and powers let you do this At-Will as a minor action. The reason why this power is still worth talking about is because it doesn't consume actions on your turn to do it.

Lurker's Cloak (MP 2) - Given that cover and concealment already provides you with +2 to all defenses, this can certainly help you turtle up for a couple of turns. It's better if getting that cover or concealment didn't entail sacrificing the ability to attack.

Master of Deceit (PHB) - Rerolling a Bluff check can certainly save a social situation or skill challenge, as well as have some marginal combat utility (feints). Not a bad choice for most Rogues.

Quick Fingers (PHB) - Not sure when Thievery's action expenditure comes up outside of combat, and I'm even less sure of when making a Thievery check in combat will come up at all (barring your DM getting Tomb of Horrors-level trap-happy). Not sold on this one.

Reap the Rattled (MP) - It requires a rattled enemy, only grants CA for two turns, and it's a Daily? Garbage.

Sneak in the Attack (MP) - Handing out your Sneak Attack damage to your flanking partner without having to give it up yourself is a strong benefit to have. The best thing about this power is that it doesn't specify who gets the free Sneak Attack damage, so anyone can come in and deliver.

Sudden Leap (HotFL) - A minor action move equal to half your speed can help advance your movement pretty nicely.

Switcheroo (MP 2) - While this may not be useful all the time, you can use it all the time, and sometimes you or your ally may need it to get where you need to go. This does get a lot better if your allies take the Agile Opportunist Paragon feat, since switching places counts as a slide.

Tumble (PHB) - Shift your speed, no questions asked. A very efficient way to get where you need to go, OA-free.




Level 3, Encounter




This level is essentially a two-horse race for most Rogues: Darting Strike and Low Slash are both excellent powers that attack outside your standard action. I give the edge to Low Slash, but the race is pretty close. If you're allergic to close combat, you may want to take a look at Fleeting Spirit Strike or Shadow Steel Roll instead, depending on how keen you are on Stealth and if you're a Cunning Sneak or not.

Level 3 Encounter List


Melee:



Bait and Switch
(PHB) - It attacks Will for decent damage, then Artful Dodgers get a good shift out of the deal. The switching positions is rather marginal IMHO, but this is a very good power even in the situations when that effect has no tactical impact.

Blade Vault (MP) - This power will have approximately the same damage as Torturous Strike for Brutal Scoundrels (maybe even more if your weapon is smaller), and it grants you 2 squares of shifting. Solid.

Brutal Trick (MP 2) - Big damage, but it provokes an OA (a bit of a no-no). Better for Artful Dodgers, who are very unlikely to get hit by that OA.

Darting Strike (D 381) - This is an excellent power to have, because it generates its own CA, only expends an opportunity action you weren't going to use anyway, and hands out a free shift. Particularly good at keeping pesky Artillery and the like locked down in Melee.

Defender's Cohort (MP) - Essentially Torturous Strike with Rattling, except the extra damage is Charisma-based and conditional on the enemy being marked. Solid enough.

Flailing Shove (MP 2) - A basic attack with a small push and some splash damage. Not what I'd be looking for, frankly.

Flamboyant Strike (MP) - Good damage, and a small shift for Artful Dodgers. Pretty much the same as quite a few powers on this list.

Jumping Blade Assault (MP 2) - A charge for decent damage that knocks the victim down regardless of what happens, and can hit Reflex if you're an Artful Dodger. Pretty nice if you ask me.

Low Slash (MP) - This power has it all: it comes in as a minor action, it attacks Reflex, it slaps on a status effect, gives you a free slide, and can even come in for extra damage for both builds. One of the best powers on the Rogue list, bar none, and one you'll likely keep for your entire career.

Maneuvering Strike (MP 2) - A slightly larger Piercing Strike that gives you a choice between handing out CA or grabbing it for yourself. Serviceable.

Nasty Backswing (MP) - Rogues don't miss all that often, so I'm not sure when you're getting to use this, but it does generate its own CA, allow a small shift, and give you a second chance at hitting, so it's obviously not a bad power.

Setup Strike (PHB) - A generic attack that gives you a turn of CA. Underwhelming.

Strike and Move (D 381) - A generic attack with a good shift attached if you're an Artful Dodger. Solid enough overall, and better for the build I just mentioned.

Topple Over (PHB) - Knocking prone is only any good for most Rogues if you plan to run away or burn an AP and attack again, because the opponent will stand up and negate the generated CA. As such, an unimpressive power, though it is better for Brutal Scoundrels because they are exceedingly unlikely to miss.


Ranged:



Flattening Shot (MP 2) - Push + prone on a Ranged attack? Nice, and it even has a bit of extra damage for Cunning Sneaks. Be warned, though: this is Sling-only, which does reduce its appeal.


Melee or Ranged:



Enforced Threat (MP) - A slightly more damaging Disheartening Strike that can generate its own CA if you're a Ruthless Ruffian. Unimpressive.

Fleeting Spirit Strike (MP 2) - Essentially Spinning Blade Leap (a L1 Daily), with a bit less shifting distance, but the ability to use it at range. Cunning Sneaks even get a free Stealth before and after the attack. Sweet.

Shadow Steel Roll (MP 2) - Very similar to Fleeting Spirit Strike, except that you get the shifting once and don't have to roll to hide twice. It also has a damage bonus for Cunning Sneaks. A bit better for them, but about the same for everyone else.

Trickster's Blade (PHB) - A generic hit followed by an AC buff. Decent, if a bit odd in outlook.



Level 5, Daily



At this level, I'm partial to Bloodbath if you want more damage and to Go for the Eyes if you prefer long-range combat or a more control-oriented approach, though you can certainly make a case for Driving Asault, Flashy Riposte, Surefooted Retort, or Walking Wounded as great utility powers.

Level 5 Daily List


Melee:



Bat Aside (MP 2) - It has solid damage, it has Rattling, it imposes a large shift, then you can use it for a pretty hilarious "bowling ball" effect against any enemies within 2 squares of each other. This power can be useful.

Clever Riposte (PHB) - An OK attack that lets you add a little extra damage and a shift as a reaction after you're attacked. The damage from the reaction can rack up over time, but it does take a while, and the shift after getting hit usually doesn't do much. A solid, but limited, power.

Compel the Craven (MP) - While this does require setup and appropriate terrain to be used effectively (otherwise the target will go around your allies and not get hammered by OA's, which is what you want), it has the highest damage potential at this level. The easiest way to do this is by having your party cluster around the target, and the target will get OA'd by everyone; if you can get that, this power is very good.

Deep Cut (PHB) - Some solid ongoing damage for Brutal Scoundrels, but the unreliable nature of ongoing damage and the fact that it's Melee-only means I'm not all that much of a believer.

Downward Spiral (MP) - A Rattling Close burst attack that knocks prone regardless of a hit. Unfortunately, the damage is just too piddly for me to recommend this in good faith, and you don't want to be in the situations where this power would be useful.

Driving Assault (MP) - Now this is a quality power! Single-target multiattacking is obviously strong, and you get some free repositioning to boot. As the cherry on top, you knock the target prone if both attacks hit. Sweet.

Duelist's Demand (381) - This is actually a very strong Defender-style power, since your opponent is literally forced to fight you. Given that you have CA, you have the edge here. A pretty good choice, especially if you tag someone like an Artillery, who doesn't like being in Melee.

Flashy Riposte (MP) - Tagging the opponent on his own turn and assuring CA for you and your allies is a nice power to have, even if you can't quite control who triggers it.

Mocking Strike (MP 2) - An attack against Will (so it's an easy hit) that nets you +3 to hit for the encounter. I like hit bonuses, but the Rogue is in less need of them than most, and to boot the attack itself is average, therefore the power is average.

Surefooted Retort (MP) - A counter move that provides some respite from conditions that would inhibit your positioning, and it happens as an interrupt, so you negate the attack altogether if you score a kill. Nice to have.


Melee or Ranged:



Bloodbath (MP 2) - This power is peculiar in that it has an Effect line for an extra attack, complete with modifiers. In my mind, that's an autohit, so you get an attack with some solid ongoing attached plus a guaranteed second hit. That's cool.

Go for the Eyes (MP 2) - It's not expended if you miss while hidden, and the effect is absolutely nasty, first blinding him then slapping on attack penalties, all the while disallowing shifting. A very powerful pickup for most Rogues.

Hobble (MP 2) - Reliable attack for low damage that knocks prone and disallows standing until a save. The duration is unreliable, which is my main problem with the power, and prone isn't the nastiesty status effect out there.

Lurker's Assault (MP 2) - You move in hidden, get a shot off, then stalk off and hide again. I'm not seeing how this is all that much better than Fleeting Spirit Strike for most Rogues, especially since only Cunning Sneaks can hide. Not impressed.

Staggering Assault (MP) - A hit with a (save ends) slow debuff attached. It also has a little more damage if the target wasn't bloodied when you hit it. Not as good as Level 1's Easy Target, and that was a middle-of-the-road power.

Walking Wounded (PHB) - This is a very nasty mobility debuff to slap on, especially against flying enemies who can't hover, as it effectively ruins most creatures' ability to position themselves. The damage is lower but that doesn't really matter.



Level 6, Utility



A very solid Utility level with plenty of powers, this offers some sweet mobility in Ignoble Escape, though Charisma-based Rogues will likely be tempted (and rightfully so) by Swift Parry. However, you're not out of options if you decide either of those is not for you: there are some other goodies worth picking here.

Level 6 Utility List

Blind Spot Advantage (MP 2) - Concealment against a single enemy sounds like an overly complicated way of getting CA for the average Rogue. However, it can be key for the Stealth lovers among you to get your act together even when the terrain is not conducive to your antics. Solid enough.

Chameleon (PHB) - This is a "think fast!" sort of Utility power: the most logical thing an enemy looking to kill a Rogue hiding behind something is to go look for him. This helps keep you hidden while you scramble around and look for another hiding place, and it can do so At-Will.

Ferret Out Frailty (MP) - You get CA against one enemy for one turn, or 2 turns if he's taking the Rattling penalty. Not flashy, but it does what you need it to do.

Fortuitous Dodge (MP) - A very thematic power, it can lead to some pretty funny sequences, though if the attack missed you, the odds of it tagging your opponent depend on the type of creature it is, since the attacker doesn't make another attack roll. A bit too unreliable to be a Daily IMHO.

Hidden Blade (PHH 1) - Sure it's conditional, and it only works for one attack, but CA without being target-specific leaves your options wide open, and that's got to be worth something.

Ignoble Escape (PHB) - A sweet apporach power for most Rogues. Shifting your speed is awesome, and eliminating marks on you is also nice, if a bit less necessary.

Mob Mentality (PHB) - A useful trick for skill challenges, especially if you're not the party face.

Nimble Climb (PHB) - So you can climb faster. In how many combats does this really come up? At least it's an At-Will, so you can use it outside of a fight (but even then, are you really measuring climb speed in an out-of-combat situation?).

Perfect Feint (MP 2) - 2 turns of CA against any adjacent enemy. This can come in very handy, as it gives you options as to who you're going to attack.

Sidestep Stance (MP) - +2 to AC against one enemy, and you can keep switching enemies. This can come in handy, though it is a bit limited.

Slip Aside (HotFL) - Given that AC is the most targeted defense, you're bound to get hit sometime, and at that point an ability to take half damage might save your skin.

Slippery Mind (PHB) - +2 to Will isn't all that and a bag of chips, but it's an Encounter power, so it's not all that bad (it IS one of the few defensive Utilities you have...).

Swift Parry (D 381) - Well, hello there. A defensive interrupt that nets you CA? A very powerful choice for a Charisma-based Rogue.

Threatening Glare (MP) - Half damage on OA's and CA against those enemies is pretty good for Brutal Scoundrels, who are at a greater risk of getting tagged by those same enemies.

Ugly Finish (MP 2) - It may be a Daily, but a mass -2 to attacks and CA for dropping someone or landing a crit is a good power to have in my book.

Vault Position (MP) - ...Huh? +1 to Reflex on a Stance is rather marginal, and an Athletics check is nice, but not as a Daily...

Vexing Flanker (MP) - Insta-flanking for your ally. It can be useful if multiple allies are gathering to bash a single enemy (you can use this and your own turn to make sure at least 2 of them get CA).



Level 7, Encounter



While this power list has some gems, there are a few stand-outs here: Imperiling Strike and Sand in the Eyes can cripple the enemy and set him up for something nasty, whereas Snap Shot is a Ranged attack outside your standard action. Which of these you favor will depend on how much combat you do in the front or back rank. If you don't like either, there are other worthy powers to look at as well.

Level 7 Encounter List


Melee:



Circling Predator (MP) - Another tasty double-up power, this one comes with free CA attached for the next turn. Sweet.

Dismaying Slash (MP) - A power that screams "combo me!" because it is obviously lackluster by itself. Fortunately for it, the Rogue has a few powers who could use the penalty it imposes well, and it does have Rattling. Serviceable.

Double Fall (MP 2) - A two-target prone attack, but the damage is kind of lacking. Better for Artful Dodgers because of the shift, though otherwise forgettable.

Imperiling Strike (PHB) - A devastating AC/Reflex penalty makes a round of party hits much easier to land, which can help you out of an otherwise sticky situation. Good to have around, and epic if your Strength is really high (about on par with your Dexterity).

Lashing Blade (D 381) - This looks like a fantastic power... until you notice that it takes a standard action to activate. To boot, it uses up opportunity actions to trigger, so it's not even a free shot. While the fact that you get Sneak Attack every turn makes it a bit more respectable, it's still not a #1 choice.

Leg-Breaker (MP 2) - A Rattling power with a little soft control attached. Solid, but not my first choice by any stretch of the imagination.

Pinning Blade (MP 2) - Low damage, but restrained hands out free CA and -2 to hit while immobilizing. A decent power, and better if you're a Dagger Rogue and thus don't depend on your weapon dice for the bulk of your damage.

Rogue's Luck (PHB) - While having a backup option should you miss is nice, the fact of the matter is you usually don't miss, and this power is a generic attack on a hit. Not impressive.

Sand in the Eyes
(PHB) - Blinded is a nasty status effect and hitting Reflex is good, but the damage is a bit lacking for a top rating at this level. Still a good power, especially if you favor a Dagger.

Shadow Boxer (MP 2) - As hilarious as tagging someone then hiding behind him sounds, the fact of the matter is that the damage of a basic attack with a Stealth check attached is not that great a power.

Slice Free (D 375) - Shifting half your speed is a very tangible benefit, though little else about the power impresses. Middle of the road.

Spring the Trap (MP) - A weak AoE with only 1 square of shifting, and only Rattling if you're a Ruthless Ruffian. Beyond underwhelming.


Ranged:



Painful Shot (MP 2) - Heavy damage, and free CA if you're a Cunning Sneak, but it's Sling-only (boo) and you get CA from being hidden from your opponent anyway.

Snap Shot (MP) - A Ranged attack as a Minor Action is nice for racking up the damage. A bit better if you have a large enough damage die to make it sting.


Melee or Ranged:



Cloud of Steel (PHB) - While it is an AoE attack (which is usually at odds with the focus fire credo of the Striker), and it is a pure damage power (and it doesn't even pack that much of it), the fact of the matter is this covers a need for the Rogue, which is dealing with multiple opponents. Also, builds that center around manufacturing criticals or that focus on Stealth attacks like it more.

From the Shadows (MP) - Move, shoot, move again, hide. Done to death by the powers before it, and those powers had more goodies (like bigger damage) attached. Serviceable for Artful Dodgers, lame elsewhere.

Hectoring Strike (MP) - It trades in a bit of Torturous Strike's damage for CA, Rattling, a slide, and Ranged capability. I can tell you that's a fair trade for a few higher levels of availability.

Killer's Ambush (MP 2) - Big damage for an Encounter power, and it even allows you to slink away afterward. Extra sexy for Cunning Sneaks, who get an easier time of the "hide afterward" business. Nice.




Level 9, Daily




This level provides a dominating choice for any Rogue planning to spend time in Melee in the mighty Knockout power, which provides one of the rarest status conditions in knocking folk unconscious. There are a couple of options if you're not into the KO business, though. Your best bet is likely Rogue's Recovery because of its synergy with attacks you can use outside your standard action, but a couple of other powers could also fill that void because unlike the one I just mentioned, they can work at full steam before you burn all your Encounter powers.

Level 9 Daily List


Melee:



Aerial Assault (MP 2) - It's solid damage v. Reflex that gives you a free move action and the option to manufacture CA should you need it before the attack. It can see use; though the movement aspect of the power is underwhelming, the entire move + hit package is actually pretty solid.

Crimson Edge (PHB) - Tags a NAD, has some ongoing damage and free CA attached, and some OK damage on the initial hit. Not impressive.

Deadly Positioning (PHB) - You slide him around (preferably into a flanking position with a nearby ally), then you tag him with an attack that will help you move him where you want him. Solid enough.

Into Harm's Way
(MP) - Channel your inner Warlord. The fact that it hits Will defense and provides a 1-2 punch makes it worth having.

Knockout (PHB) - Status conditions are a great way to take enemies out of the fight, and unconsciouness is second only to death in that category. A very powerful choice for a Rogue to set himself or an ally up for a devastating coup de grace moment, or just plain take someone out of the fight completely for a round (or more, if your opponent rolls a bad saving throw).

Not Worth My Time (MP) - Were this not a (save ends) power, I would have judged it as appropriate for an Encounter power, not a Daily. Not sold on this one.

One Hundred Knives (MP 2) - While this may seem lackluster at first glance (rolling for the extra damage feels a bit unnecessary when you first look at the power), this power does have some critical fishing potential in that you get 3 swings, and you also ensure your Sneak Attack damage this way. Serviceable.

Profit from Weakness (MP 2) - A rare defensive ability on a Rogue, followed by a shot that knocks prone. Nice to have around, and probably Knockout's toughest competition here.

Vexing Escape (MP) - Constantly shifting away when you get approached can have some use against an enemy without reach who you are forcing to expend lots of action to come after you, but in all likelihood the uses of the effect require some thought to truly extract benefit from them.


Ranged:



Agonizing Shot (MP) - While I'm a big proponent of mobility denial on a Ranged character and this does hit Reflex, it's At-Will level damage on a Daily. The ongoing damage makes up for it somewhat, but this is not a higher-echelon power.

Burst Fire (MP) - Ranged AoE against Reflex for only damage. Usually not the kind of power you want, but some builds could wring some use out of it.

Raining Death (MP 2) - Conditional targeting, piddly damage, and AoE focus. Not what I'd be looking for.


Melee or Ranged:



Bewildering Assault (MP 2) - I don't like the conditional target business (though some builds are quite proficient at hiding so it won't be an issue for them), and the benefits do make it a very usable power. Extra sweet if you have prolific multiattackers in your party.

Not It (MP) - I'm all for supporting the party Defender, but handing out a generic mark for him is something a Bard can do as an At-Will, and the attack they attached to this effect is not worth being a Daily.

Rogue's Recovery (MP) - Power recovery can work well with the access you have to attacks that don't require a standard action to use, and it can deal some decent damage if you choose not to go that route. Nice.

Swift Strike (MP) - A decent "opening salvo" sort of attack. Good at that niche role, but just a generic hit otherwise.

Vexing Sting (MP) - Precise Incision, with Ranged capability and an attack debuff attached. About the same relative power level as its predecessor.




Level 10, Utility




This level will likely be a choice between the escape button in Acrobat's Escape or the offense/defense buff of Counter-Step. That said, there are some additional powers here if that's not what you're looking for, though I have a marked preference for these powers over the rest on the list.

Level 10 Utility List

Acrobat's Escape (HotFL) - Whoa. This power gives you an instant bailout against a Melee opponent approaching you. An amazing power for any sort of Rogue.

Brisk Stride (MP) - +4 speed for one move and 2 turns of no difficult terrain as an Encounter power can come in handy.

Certain Freedom (PHB) - A daily for a guaranteed skill success? Not a wise investment in my book in most cases.

Close Quarters (PHB) - Always stay close to your victim, impose a big attack penalty against you, and at worst you trade your move action for his standard action (so action advantage for you). Conditional to being smaller than your opponent (and him being Large or bigger), which is not a good thing for a Daily, but at later levels almost anything qualifies anyway.

Combat Tumbleset (MP) - Another good mobility power, moving through enemy spaces while not risking OA's means you can pretty much go wherever you want, which is a good freedom to have.

Counter-Step (HotFL) - A defensive and an offensive buff for getting approached? Don't mind if I do...

Dangerous Theft (PHB) - Your DM is likely gonna have to jump through a couple of story hoops to get this power to actually see play in your game. Not recommended.

Daring Gamble (MP 2) - Limited because you likely can't coerce people to attack you and it only lasts a turn, but free CA for the whole encounter is worth finding a way to make trigger while not getting yourself in too much trouble.

Deadly Sacrifice (MP 2) - I see few Rogues as sturdy enough to take a hit for another class (Controllers or badly injured characters for the most part), and while CA and more Sneak Attack damage for the whole encounter is nice, it is a Daily, so it has its limitations.

Executioner's Mien (MP) - Every attack getting Rattling for an entire encounter can be a pretty welcome thing for a Rogue who wants to mess with opponents and live to brag about it.

Gap in the Armor (MP) - A nice "Solo-killer" style of power, since no one likes to miss their money shots in combat, especially against the tough opponents.

Nimble Fingers (HotFL) - Snatching an item of the enemy's is fluff gold, but its use is more subjective to what the target actually has on it (and is not using to whack you upside the head with). Pretty corner-case overall.

Peripheral Concealment (MP) - I get that this allows hiding any time you have some distance between yourself and everybody else, but that's not worth being a Daily.

Shadow Stride (PHB) - A decent upgrade for Fleeting Ghost for out-of-combat situations (lets you get through lighting without getting seen), except if you're a Cunning Sneak. For them, this is as obsolete as its predecessor.

Slip from the Grasp (HotFL) - A free save is always nice, especially when it comes with an automatic out against grabs, slowing, and immobilizing. A good pick.

Sneaky Roll (D 375) - I'd like this more if you could use it BEFORE you got hit, but you can't. Still, movement outside your turn that doesn't provoke OA's and disregards enemies being there is not all bad.
Powers - Paragon Tier: Very Dirty Deeds

To make discussion for different archetypes more efficient, I will be separating powers in whether they are Melee, Ranged, or both.



Level 13, Encounter




As far as Melee is concerned, there's little doubt in my mind that this level belongs to Stunning Strike, since a power that inflicts that status condition is absolutely brutal on a Rogue (or on any other character, for that matter), though Artful Dodgers have a hard choice between that and Vaulting Charge. If you're not intending to get your hands dirty in close range combat, Powerful Shot and Tornado Strike provide options to consider.

Level 13 Encounter List


Melee:



Cunning Cyclone (MP) - A Rattling close burst attack that gives you the option of dividing your Sneak Attack dice among the targets. Not impressed, since the damage is kind of low and the attack does nothing special.

Daunting Attack (MP) - Dazing Strike with Rattling attached, and it stuns if you're a Ruthless Ruffian. Unless you're one of them (and I highly recommend you don't be), Stunning Strike is straight-up better.

Fool's Opportunity (PHB) - This power could be quite interesting against Brutes, Skirmishers, and other heavy damage opponents, since it combined with your Sneak Attack damage could send them for a loop (too bad it doesn't copy status effects). Better if you favor a smaller weapon such as a Dagger, since you'll be more accurate and deal the same damage.

Strike of Dancing Shadows (MP 2) - A move that allows you to slip and get an attack off without losing your cover (automatically remaining hidden is very nice). Much better for Cunning Sneaks because the increase in shifting distance gives you a lot more options as to where you hide.

Stunning Strike (PHB) - Given that Stunning is one of the most powerful status effects you can slap on an opponent as it essentially buys you a whole free turn against it, having access to it every encounter is a very good thing.

Toppling Slash (MP) - Pushing, knocking prone, and Rattling is a pretty solid combination to have.

Unbalancing Attack (PHB) - A "backup Defender" power, I question its utility because usually, you're the one a monster's willing to eat an OA to get next to, and if you take that part out it's just a generic damage attack.

Vaulting Charge (D 381) - So you get a solidly damaging attack with a use of Combat Tumbleset and an AC buff attached. Genuinely competitive with Stunning Strike for an Artful Dodger.


Ranged:



Numbing Shot (MP 2) - Sure, it requires a Sling, but tagging a NAD, knocking the opponent prone, and weakening him on a pure Ranged attack is worth something.

Powerful Shot (MP) - Decent damage, pushes back, and slows. Nice to have for a Rogue who does not intend to get in Melee.

Skip Shot (MP) - A generic hit that inflicts a little damage to a nearby enemy. The only real use I can see for it is minion-popping without having to invest an action (or an attack) on it, and that's not good enough.

Veiled Missile (MP 2) - A Ranged attack against Reflex that packs solid damage and its own concealment. Cunning Sneaks don't even have to invest additional actions to hide. This can see use, but it adds little to the average Cunning Sneak's repertoire.


Melee or Ranged:



Bounding Escape (MP) - A generic hit that lets you jump away afterwards. Not only have other powers at earlier levels done this better, but the jump is Strength-based, yet the secondary effect requires a Charisma-based build. Kind of dysfunctional, this one.

Flitting Demise (MP 2) - An attack that has a condition to use, and it's just damage plus a Stealth check. There are better ways to do this sort of thing.

Tornado Strike (PHB) - You tag two enemies with a sliding attack, then move away. A nice way to get out of a jam or to wreak havoc among enemy ranks, especially for Artful Dodgers.

Wicked Reminder (MP 2) - Essentially a Disheartening Strike that slaps on vulnerability to weapon attacks, plus it hits a NAD if you're a Ruffian. The initial damage is lame, though, and the vulnerability doesn't play nice with implement users. Nah.




Level 15, Daily




And now, we come to the undisputed low point in the Rogue's power list: a lot of powers here simply are not up to the standard you would expect them to be, considering you're halfway through your career. You may want to take a look at another level's Daily powers again, because there's not much here, but if you must take something, Bloody Path isn't that terrible for Melee, and Arterial Slice or Courage Breaker are the best of a bad list for Ranged Rogues (though Slaying Strike can also be respectable).

Level 15 Daily List


Melee:



Bloody Path (PHB) - While this power doesn't require actual attack rolls from you, it does work by provoking OA's, so it's on this list since most OA's work at Melee range. It can be quite nasty against monsters with status effects on their MBA's (though you don't get any guarantees as to what effects the monsters are packing), and it can even focus-fire under the right circumstances. One of the few bright spots at this level, even if you don't get Sneak Attack damage from it.

Bold Feint (MP) - Turn a hit on you into a hit for an enemy. This power is nice to have, though it has its limitations in that you're likely unable to focus fire a single target with it (unless you are attacked by something else while you're hacking away at your main enemy), and that you have no guarantees as to when it's going off and what you're getting out of it.

Finish It (MP) - A generic entry attack for a Melee-only Daily (and conditional targeting as insult to injury), but an ongoing 5 your opponent can't shake off without healing does have some potential (effectively +5 damage every turn for the rest of the encounter). Not the best choice, but at least it's not totally useless.

Garrote Grip (PHB) - While it feels thematic, the fact of the matter is that only 1 build among you is really suited to hold down an opponent with a grab (that would be the Brutal Scoundrels who chose to keep Strength as a viable attack stat), and even then you have to hold him down three whole turns before this power is as effective as Knockout. Nope.

Lurker's Threat (MP 2) - Conditional targeting (and hiding in Melee is harder than it is at range), but it has some decent damage, slaps on a daze, slides, and makes others grant you CA. Not for every Rogue, but solid for the ones who can use it.

Ripple Effect (MP) - A hit vs. Reflex for a decent slide, and a little extra damage and a smaller slide for another opponent. Bascially an Encounter power effect with a little more damage on the primary attack. Not impressive.

Vicious Cooperation (MP) - Requires a bit of setup (and an ally with a decent MBA), but you were likely to be in this situation by default, and this can put up some pretty respectable damage.

Whirlwind of Blades (MP 2) - Spinning Blade Leap with a little extra damage and riskier movement. I waited half my career for this?!


Melee or Ranged:



Arterial Slice (MP 2) - Similar to Bloodbath, but with a slightly more robust initial attack (more damage, hits Reflex), the ability to be used at range, and minus an autohitting Effect line. Given that, it's solid, but not quite a top power unless you have improved criticals, which make it better.

Courage Breaker (MP 2) - Apart from having one of the larger keyword collections on an attack power, it does have solid damage, Rattling, and a (save ends) slow for Ranged folks, as well as an area attack penalty to inhibit clustering. Decent for a primarily Ranged Rogue.

Mind-Boggling Onslaught (MP) - It's low on the damage scale, and the penalty it slaps on can be resisted by fear-immune creatures, and you have to eat up your minor action to sustain it, or end the penalty for only one turn of dazing. Very mediocre.

Slaying Strike (PHB) - This power is very Jekyll-and-Hyde; it goes from being barely sufficient for a Level 1 Daily when your opponent is not Bloodied to being pretty nasty if they are. Not that great because you can't cut loose whenever you like, but not that bad either.

Vicious Slice (MP 2) - An attack penalty and some ongoing damage is a decent debuff collection, though the triggering attack is obviously nothing special.

Wounding Strike (MP) - Even under the best conditions, the attack is not very impressive. The fact that it imposes a condition for optimal usage is borderline insulting.




Level 16, Utility




This level compensates for Level 15's ineptness in a big way: there are plenty of cool powers here. I like Hide in Plain Sight for any Cunning Sneak or primarily Ranged Rogue, whereas Melee Rogues have a hard choice between Leaping Dodge (better for hit-and-run jobs or individuals) or Anticipate Attack (better vs. groups). There are also some other powers that could be useful, depending on your build.

Level 16 Utility List

Anticipate Attack (MP) - Requires Insight, but +4 to all defenses just because every encounter can mean getting hit one less time per encounter, and it works against crowds. A most excellent alternative to Leaping Dodge.

Clever Move (MP 2) - I'm of the opinion that this doesn't let you dodge the triggering attack, so it's sort of a consolation prize for getting hammered. Solid, but nothing special.

Defensive Roll (MP) - Requires you to get missed, and though out-of-turn repositioning is nice, it's a bit too unreliable for my taste.

Denying Stance (MP) - A Stance that makes your opponent more liable to miss every time it does so. The fact that it does nothing until you're actually missed makes me not like it.

Dishonorable Tactics (MP 2) - I see no reason to take this with Hide in Plain Sight being at the same level as this power.

Foil the Lock (PHB) - While thematically awesome, in almost every case it is absolutely unnecessary. It'd probably be better if it let you disable traps at that same speed.

Grasshopper Leap (MP) - How many times do you really need an auto-20 on a skill check as your only hope of success? If you do, the problem resides with the challenge, not the Utility choice.

Hide in Plain Sight (PHB) - Hiding, meet Easy Mode. A Crossbow user with Steady Shooter finds this especially appealing.

Leaping Dodge (PHB) - Whoa. Encounter avoidance of an attack (the enemy can't OA you because it's his turn)? This is awesome! It does have limitations, though: it will provoke OA's from any other adjacent enemy, and you must be trained in Athletics to use it. Otherwise, it's beautiful.

Magpie Filch (MP) - Again, a Daily for a free action auto-success doesn't come up enough for you to need a power for it.

Opportunistic Relocation (MP) - Strictly worse that Combat Tumbleset (L10) or Ignoble Escape (L6) if you have Acrobatics (you should, by the way), and still terrible otherwise. Why is this here and not at L2, where it'd actually be worth something?

Raise the Stakes (PHB) - Monster criticals are by and large nowhere near as dangerous as player criticals (so little risk for what could be the reward), and this is especially meant for any non-Daggermsters in the audience, even if it only lasts 2 turns (make 'em count: roll as many attacks as you possibly can during that span).

Shadow Master (MP 2) - You can ignore the need for superior cover/concealment for Stealth for 2 turns per encounter. A good way to get your hiding shenanigans (and thus guarantee said shenanigans) on in more barren terrain.

Trap Master (MP 2) - Traps sometimes show up in combat encounters, so an At-Will to not have to even spend your move action cracking one open is not all bad.

Vigilant Footwork (MP) - Only covers Melee attacks, and doesn't even boost all defenses. Blegh.




Level 17, Encounter




Another strong level of power, the dominant Melee choice is Tumbling Strike, which is probably one of the best powers on any Striker class. Ranged users get to choose between Excruciating Reminder and Surprising Assault, though some other, more niche options exist.

Level 17 Encounter List


Melee:



Audacious Strike (MP) - Move 4, deal your damage, then shift 2. A nice hit-and-run power to have every encounter, but it's out of its league compared to some other powers on the list.

Blistering Outburst (MP) - A close burst that hits a NAD for low damage and -2 to hit. There are signficantly better options at this level.

Escape Artist's Gambit (MP) - Condition removal is nice to have, as is a shift. Better for Artful Dodgers because of the size of said shift.

Leaping Dagger Kick (MP 2) - A charge that knocks prone regardless if you hit or not is nice, and dazing with it if you're an Artful Dodger is nicer.

Path of the Blade (D 381) - A shift, and two attacks that slide at any two points during the shift (so you get 4 attacks total. Very good to have.

Stab and Grab (PHB) - Replacing immobilize on a grab with restrain is good with the damage and NAD-hitting this attack carries, but few Rogues will be able to maintain this grab for an extended amount of time, plus some enemies can't be grabbed. Too conditional for my taste, but there's some potential here.

Stinging Squall (MP) - A close burst power with Rattling that imposes weakened against you, which is nice for escaping an ugly situation battered but alive. Markedly better for a Ruthless Ruffian, though I still don't recommend you take that feature.

Tumbling Strike (D 381) - Shifting your speed while ignoring enemies and difficult terrain, then dealing good damage would be good under normal circumstances, but this one shatters all expectations by being available as a minor action. Too good to not have.


Ranged:



Dazing Shot (MP 2) - Sling only, but dazing and knocking down if he chooses to spend the action on a move or an attack make it a virtual lock for the ones who use that weapon.

No Escape (MP) - Though it is a pure Ranged power, it's easier to use on a Rogue that engages in Melee because of the nature of the trigger. A good power overall, though I question the frequency it'll come up somewhat.

Unerring Shot (MP 2) - A generic attack that you don't lose if you miss. Borderline insulting, to be honest.


Melee or Ranged:



Dragon Tail Strike
(PHB) - A big Riposte Strike, but this time the attacks hit a NAD, it's Ranged-friendly, the riposte attack uses Dexterity, and it's super-accurate for Brutal Scoundrels. You could do a lot worse than pick this.

Excruciating Reminder (MP 2) - A Rattling attack for solid damage that carries the promise of more damage should the opponent miss with an attack (and you just provided -2 to hit). A nice toy for Ranged Rogues.

Guerrilla Blitz (MP) - Move your speed, do some solid damage, get a defensive buff. More applicable to Melee than Ranged, but a solid power nonetheless.

Houding Strike (PHB) - A nice tag against a usualy weak NAD, and free CA and a defense bonus that makes Artful Dodgers love this power.

Surprising Assault (MP 2) - A Ranged attack with dazing and a chance of stunning if you are a Cunning Sneak. Good overall, and great for them.



Level 19, Daily



This level has a beautiful gift for Melee Rogues in the form of the devastating Hilt Slam, which offers a stun condition. Their Ranged counterparts narrowly favor Snake's Retreat overall, though all Charisma-based Rogues get a pretty nice one in Feinting Flurry. If you didn't see anything you really wanted there, fret not: this level is loaded with enough talent to cater to plenty of different builds.

Level 19 Daily List


Melee:



Blood Squall (MP) - A close burst version of an attack that would never be worthy of being at this level otherwise. Still bad, but not worthless.

Bloodbath Attack (MP) - So this essentially gives you another ability score to damage rolls for the encounter, while sporting an OK entry attack. I like this for Strength-based Rogues.

Blurring Assault (MP 2) - Though it is situational, this can be used as a devastating alpha strike as well as a way to make a battlefield uncluttered in a hurry. It also has application in larger-scale battles. Not my top choice, but not a bad power.

Flying Foe (PHB) - You get some damage and a big slide, plus some damage if he runs into something (hint: you do want him to run into something; as a secondary damage roll on the power, any bonus that applied to the previous attack applies to this one), so this can be a pretty good power (since slide lets you move him wherever you want), provided you don't hit an ally with it.

Hilt Slam (MP 2) - Hooray for a (save ends) stun! You even get some forced movement out of the deal, so who cares if you grant CA for a turn? Your opponent is likely stunned and in the jaws of your Defender now; his life expectancy is now a matter of how many powers you had left before you landed this.

Merciless Cut (MP 2) - The attack is kind of underwhelming right now, but a free shift attached makes it a more palatable option, though it's decidedly not a top power (or something you haven't already seen ad nauseam).

Stolen Vitality (MP) - The damage and effect are underwhelming for a Melee power of this level, and THP don't sway my argument, especially when they're as few as the ones provided by this power.

Strong-Arm Vitality (MP) - A hit that offers a turn of domination. I don't like it all that much because of the fact that you don't get (save ends) to have the hope of another turn, you can't make him attack himself, and the clause that prohibits it from being attacked by your allies if you want to preserve the effect, though nobody can deny dominate is both awesome and rare on your list.


Ranged:



Demoralizing Shot (MP 2) - You tag an enemy with a solid Rattling attack, then have his allies move away from it and grant CA. Decent, but something feels kind of lacking.

Uncanny Ricochet (MP) - A flat-damage attack with a chance at another flat-damage attack should you miss. I'm not sold on this because of the lack of rider effects, and that Rogues overall don't miss a whole lot.


Melee or Ranged:



Daunting Barrage (MP) - A close blast attack that dazes. While dazing is not as devastating as Blinding Barrage's effect, this has the potential of lasting more than a turn, the presence of Rattling, and having more damage and more area. A worthy successor to the above mentioned power, though not a must-have.

Feinting Flurry (PHB) - ...By the gods! It hits Will defense, does some good damage, and then slaps on a nasty debuff (eats up your minor action, though). This is very good for Charisma-based Rogues in general, especially if they deviated from the typical high accuracy paths.

Maiming Strike (MP 2) - An interesting control power, it can be nice in keeping a shifty or mobile target from getting away from you or your Defender, at least not without taking a wallop. It's solid.

Marked Beating (MP) - I'm not a fan of conditional targeting, but that's literally the ONE flaw I found with this power. It's enough to be a bit of a concern, but this power is still a pretty nasty thing to do to your opponent regardless.

Snake's Retreat (PHB) - Some major weapon damage on this one, and a potentially strong, but fundamentally limited mobility effect (at these levels, everything is Large+ and thus has Reach 2+, so it's not negating many, if any, attacks). A pretty good power overall, though.
Powers - Epic Tier: Dirty Deeds For the Ages

To make discussion for different archetypes more efficient, I will be separating powers in whether they are Melee, Ranged, or both.


Level 22, Utility



This is the Rogue Utility list's last hurrah, and for the most part it does not disappoint. Mobility seems to be the name of the game here overall, because a lot of powers on this list focus on getting you around. My favorite is Indomitable Agility for letting you shift your speed whenever you want as well as removing status effects, but it does face some pretty stiff competition.

Level 22 Utility List

Clinging Shadows (MP 2) - You get an extra turn of concealment, which guarantees you get a free shot at hiding again, apart from the obvious defensive connotations. Workable, but items can replace this power to a much greater degree than they could its predecessors.

Cloud Jump (PHB) - Hooray for double jump! However, I don't believe it to be all that effective because you aren't considered to have a running start (and without it, the only way you're blowing by your normal speed is if you roll a 45 on your Athletics check or something crazy like that). Meh.

Dazzling Acrobatics (PHB)
- A huge shift, with extra AC in case they can counter shifts with an attack. If you picked a lot of mobility powers earlier, you may not need this: if you didn't, it is a godsend.

Hide from the Light (PHB) - So after you blow your Encounter powers, you can pop this to plink away at your opponent with no chance of being seen, and the ability to happily move about invisibly and re-establish your hidden state. Powerful in the hands of any Ranged Rogue, and it can be awesome in Melee if your opponent doesn't get wise to what you're doing fast.

Indomitable Agility (MP 2) - It negates status effects, can be used to shift your speed outside your turn, AND it has no trigger to satisfy: you can pop this off whenever you need to, even as a counter to any move your opponent might have made. This power is super awesome.

Invisible Stalker (HotFL) - At-Will invisibility with movement can combine with any source of concealment to keep you hidden forever. While it's not able to put the whole thing together on its own, it's amazing if you have that piece it's missing.

Killer's Instinct (MP 2) - Shift your speed outside your turn and gain CA vs. a Bloodied foe. This can be useful if you drop your opponent at the same time an ally bloodies one, but the trigger dampens my opinion of it.

Mountebank's Flight (MP) - This can allow you to do something your Defender likely can't, and that is respond effectively to enemy teleportation tactics. Bear in mind you're likely to take a shot to the face for stalking your opponent in this fashion, though. This is obviously better if the attacks that particular enemy is packing aren't all that fearsome, of course.

Scoundrel's Epiphany (MP) - It can be useful for story reasons, but if your DM is asking for a natural 25 on a d20 for you to be able to uncover some information, it's pretty likely you don't need it to complete the encounter in the first place, unless he's doing it just so you can use this power.

Seize the Moment (MP) - You go first without the shadow of a doubt, and you get a solid attack and speed buff for turn 1. It's a pretty cool power, but it faces some tough customers on the rest of the list.

Somersault Dodge (MP 2) - At-Will out-of-turn positioning is worth something, even though I'm not the biggest fan of the trigger, since it's after you get attacked.

Thief of Fortune (MP) - It won't help on death saves, but that's about the only thing it won't do. Not a top rating because I don't expect Rogues to miss all that much, but rerolling a crucial save (like one against a stun effect) and then slapping on a debuff can be useful.

Uncanny Aim (MP 2) - It can be awesome for Dagger wielders to extend their range for that opening salvo (think House of the Flying Daggers), but it is completely unnecessary for most Crossbow users, especially Superior Crossbow users (you likely can't even see as far as this powers extended range allows you to hit).

Unnerving Footwork (MP) - While attack debuffs are all fine and dandy, they need to end their turn adjacent to you, which makes this worthless against any opponent with Reach, which should be the norm at this level of play.

Wall Crawl (MP) - You can climb at your full speed (a bit less if you're in Hide and without Hide Specialization) without penalty. Not sure this comes up enough to merit taking this power.



Level 23, Encounter



This level is rather plain as far as Rogue powers go: I am partial to Dazing Double Shot and Steel Entrapment, though Crack Shot is certainly a competitive choice as well. While there isn't a huge range of options, it's not quite starved either.

Level 23 Encounter List


Melee:



Collapsing Riposte (MP) - Tagging someone in nasty fashion for missing you with a Melee attack is nice to have around, especially when you knock them down. Dazing is good for CA and preventing OA's, but in all likelihood it won't be around for their next turn, so it's not that groundbreaking a rider.

Cutthroat's Rebuke (MP 2) - Essentially a Riposte Strike that has more damage and Rattling on the initial attack, and knocks prone on the counterattack. While these are some nice improvements, the core of the power's problems remains unchanged.

Death Dance (MP) - An AoE for decent damage, plus a shift for Brutal Scoundrels. I wouldn't suggest putting yourself in a situation where this power will be a strong option, but sometimes you won't have a choice.

Felling Gash (MP) - An attack against Reflex that knocks prone is nice, but unless you're a Ruthless Ruffian (and you shouldn't be) it's not really at the level of the top options.

Killer's Retreat (MP 2) - A classic "hit and hide" Melee-only power, it doesn't really offer anything above from a little extra damage over previous versions of this ability. Unimpressive.

Scorpion Strike (PHB) - Unlike most interrupts in the Rogue's arsenal, this one triggers when an ally hits the enemy, which makes it much more useful in a focus-fire context. Additionally, it provides Brutal Scoundrels the ability to reposition for a new victim or a safe escape route in order to deal with another enemy or keep their nose clean. Better for them, but for most other Rogues it doesn't beat Low Slash or Tumbling Strike.

Shimmering Blade (D 381) - You consume your standard action to tag your opponent in response to a multitude of close-combat actions. Since it's an opportunity action, it essentially adds an effect to your OA's and makes them more reliable. To me that's not worth a standard.

Tendon Tear (MP 2) - Knocking down and restraining is one hell of a debuff, especially because you can simply step away with little fear of retribution and essentially waste their turn. Not quite as good as a full stun, but darned close.


Ranged:



Crack Shot (MP) - A Ranged Area attack that sends everyone in it down to the floor. Given the effect that knocking prone has on flyers and the general utility of an ally-friendly Ranged Burst (plus some solid damage), not even my dislike of deviating from the focus fire goal of a Striker can hold this power down.

Fell the Strong (MP 2) - Tagging the foe with a decent soft control effect and making him grant CA as a Cunning Sneak isn't very attractive at this level.

Fettering Shot (MP) - Immobilization is great to have as a Ranged character, since it forces the enemy to engage in Ranged combat (your strong suit) or not engage at all. It also comes with solid daamge to make it more appealing, though another power on this list can perform the same function against more foes should you choose to get a bit closer.


Melee or Ranged:



Blindside (MP) - The condition itself is easy to meet for you at this point in your career. However, you've had access to a dazing Encounter power since level 1, and all this offers over it is a few extra dice and the ability to be used at Range. Rather underwhelming given the options here.

Dazing Double Shot (MP 2) - Spreading the dazing love around, plus a shift for Artful Dodgers. Dazing makes you happy, so this power is good because it gives you options for next round, especially since it can be used at range.

Knave's Gambit (PHB) - A generic attack on a hit, an enemy "friendly-fire" equivalent on a miss. I'm not salivating off either use, but having a solid attack go off regardless of what the d20 feels like giving you is worth something.

Steel Entrapment (PHB) - A large-area attack, the real sell is the range of the power and the immobilized condition, which can really ruin a Melee opponent's day. A good choice, which can become a great choice if you are a Daggermaster and/or choose to invest in feat support for it as your go-to opening salvo.



Level 25, Daily



Unfortunately for Rogues, this level of powers is similar to L15: the field doesn't have many standouts. I like Visceral Strike in Melee for general utility and solid damage, while Rogue's Resurgence is the best of a very average list in Ranged.

Level 25 Daily List


Melee:



Acrobatic Assault (MP) - 3 generic hits, against 3 targets. Not the strongest thing your Rogue can be doing at this level of play.

Astounding Assault (MP 2) - A hit with a large slide, and a secondary effect which is almost certain to waste a Melee opponent's turn, and will hinder a Ranged one. While that sounds good on paper, the fact that the enemy chooses the option more palatable to it weakens the power.

Cruel Pursuit (MP) - A double whammy attack with a sizable slide and shift attached in between. This can see good use.

Ghost on the Wind (PHB) - A tag for very solid damage, plus a disappearing act in Melee that grants free CA after it's done. Nice to have, since it effectively means most enemies can't hit you on their next turn.

Gory Slash (MP) - This is a decent power for a Rogue that doesn't mind flitting in and out of Melee range, as you can land this then fall back and hack away at your opponent with Ranged opponents with little fear of retribution from a melee opponent. Not the strongest power, but it has its uses.

Persistent Menace (MP 2) - The damage on the initial attack is low, but the ongoing damage is high (which sort of cancels out), plus it has ways to make that ongoing damage stick, which is nice for making a rather unreliable way of getting your damage across less so. Not my first pick, but it works, especially if your allies lay some (save ends) effects that you can help last with it.

Reaching Blade (D 381) - Given that the trigger is when your ally lands an OA, this is VERY DM-dependent, thus limiting what could have been an absolutely brutal power, since it grants you free repositioning and At-Wills (not MBA's - At-Wills).

Shocking Execution (MP) - The raw numbers it brings up aren't gonna make me jump out of my seat, plus the stink of conditional targeting mitigates the awesome of an AoE attack debuff. Underwhelming, if you ask me.

Visceral Strike (MP) - A (save ends) stun is always a good thing, especially when it comes with an aftereffect that's almost as crippling. Slapping on weakened and slowed after being stunned means you have a decent shot at disabling the enemy for the whole encounter.


Ranged:



Perfect Shot (MP 2) - While it looks awesome at first glance (guaranteed hits have the ability to seem cool), it's only damage, the damage is low, and you're a Rogue: missing doesn't happen that much to you anyway. As such, I'm not impressed.


Melee or Ranged:



Biting Assault (PHB) - The damage is low for a Daily of this level, but ongoing plus weakened makes up for a lot of that. Uninspiring, but effective enough to be considered.

Bounding Assault (MP 2) - One big charge in Melee, and it can be used in Ranged if need be. Serviceable for playing nice with one of the best ways for any character to get extra damage.

Hamstring (PHB) - Fairly similar to other powers on this list, but with the weakest debuff (slow) of them all. As such, it's the least interesting one.

Magnetic Shot (MP) - Lots of dice, and 3 ability modifiers to damage. Given that powers at this level can packing the same or more dice, and that you probably won't have all 3 modifiers this adds to damage at a high level, I'm not impressed.

Ricocheting Strike (MP 2) - It lets you deal your Sneak Attack damage twice, which doesn't happen too often, and it provides solid damage against the primary target. Solid enough.

Rogue's Resurgence (MP) - This either offers Encounter power recovery (which is very good at this level thanks to things like Tumbling Strike) or the most weapon damage dice you'll roll with a single attack Rogue power. It looks good to me.



Level 27, Encounter



As this is your last level of Encounter powers, you expect a pretty good batch of powers here. Fortunately, most of the list passes with flying colors. Perfect Strike is the universal front-runner in my mind, though I can see arguments in favor of several other powers on this list. A very good level overall.

Level 27 Encounter List


Melee:



Craven's Bane (MP 2) - Given that you have to bloody the enemy with the attack for it to be anything but a generic hit and even the additional application requires setup, this is a very underwhelming pick.

Dance of Death
(PHB) - Don't be fooled by its description as a single-attack power: you can quite easily get a double-up out of the deal by walking around your targets (which should be reasonably close to each other) and provoking some OA's. Nice to have around for the ability to sow genuine chaos in enemy ranks.

Deflected Strike (MP 2) - While this power seems cool at first glance, its limitations are pretty apparent, which limits the things you can actually do with it, making it solid, but not spectacular.

First and Final Strike (D 381) - A nice power to have, it rolls in a use of Combat Tumbleset and a strong defensive buff with a good, damaging attack.

Hurling Pounce
(MP) - A hit with a push, and a hit for another enemy. Yawn.

Hurricane of Blood (PHB) - Just damage, but plenty of it and you're exceedingly unlikely to miss if you're a Brutal Scoundrel. You could do worse than this, especially if you favor large but less accurate weapons like Rapiers or Heavy Blades.

Sheathe the Blade (MP 2) - While a power that grants vulnerability seems more at home on a Controller or a Leader, you can make use of it, given your array of powers to that attack outside your standard action. This can also get really ugly if you have an ally that is capable of making a whole lot of attacks in a small time frame (*cough* Ranger *cough*).

Skirmishing Strike (MP) - Don't be fooled by the fact that it's a minor action: this power is worse than any minor action power already on your list because of the penalty to hit. Add in the fact that L17's Tumbling Strike has the same damage and flat-out better shifting (even if you're an Artful Dodger), and you have a recipe for disappointment.


Ranged:



From Pebble to Boulder
(MP 2) - A stun that knocks prone is good for inconveniencing your opponent for two turns' worth of actions, especially if it's a primarily Melee character. A prime pick for the Sling users.

Perfect Sniper (MP 2) - A only-damage attack with conditional targeting, whose only perk is remaining hidden if under total cover/concealment. Not enough to be good in my mind.


Melee or Ranged:



Killer's Gift (MP 2) - A stun with a slide compensates for the conditional targeting you have to put up with very nicely to make this a very good power, especially for Cunning Sneaks.

Perfect Strike (PHB) - Perfect, indeed. Three chances to land a hit (two of them against NAD's), with good damage on one hit, better damage on two hits, and a stun as the cherry on top for all 3. A prime way to take advantage of the famed Rogue accuracy.

Safe Bet (MP) - Behold what Riposte-style powers should look like. Both the initial and reprisal attack work at range, it triggers off an ally being attacked, and allows for significant repositioning before delivering your payload. Very nice, though most Rogues will need Melee Training if they want to use this in close combat.

Stunning Assist (MP) - Given that the other powers on this list offer stunning and some other goodies, this is not the flashiest power on this list. That said, it's not a bad choice, since the condition it requires is relatively easy to satisfy.

Stupefying Violence (MP) - Some decent damage, Rattling, and a slide. While it's certainly not going to win any "best power ever" contests, it's not a waste of space either.



Level 29, Daily



Your last power choice here offers a very good list of choices, headlined by the very strong Kiss of Death for Melee Rogues (though Charisma-based ones also have the option of Deathweaving Strike) and the nasty Cagey Killer or Killing Storm for Ranged, though there are certainly other options to be considered on this list for certain builds.

Level 29 Daily List


Melee:



A Murder of One (MP) - 3 hits against 3 dfferent targets that are a bit stronger if you didn't miss the ones before them. Pass.

Deathweaving Strike (MP) - Given that it moves the opponent about using a slide and allows allies to get potshots in anyway (thus requiring little setup from your allies as you will bring the enemy to them), this is a great power for any Charisma-based Rogue.

Kiss of Death (MP 2) - After the errata, the power no longer provides an infinite damage loop, but it still packs a mean punch by effectively allowing you to make an extra attack for every ally you have. Some Rogues may need Melee Training to use this at full steam, but that's a feat you want anyway.

Steel Nettle Rain (MP 2) - Shift your speed, then attack for solid damage. You have Encounter powers that can do this as a minor action: you deserve better as a Daily.

Throat Cut (MP 2) - Conditional targeting, and while ongoing 15 sounds nice, you can actually out-damage that with L5's Bloodbath pretty handily (and that provides an autohit). Not what you're looking for.


Ranged:



Killing Storm (MP 2) - This is a large, ally-friendly area power that makes your opponents run away (thus provoking OA's from any allies they may encounter along the way). This is a very versatile power, as it can be used as an opening salvo to shatter formations, a risk-free way to make sure the Opportunity Action the Defender gets during your turn doesn't go to waste, or a way to parade an enemy in front of your whole party if given setup. A very strong power.

Sight-Stealing Shot (MP) - Blinding and dazing can effectively neuter an opponent's offense (but it's still weaker than a stun), yet it lacks the aftereffects and overall muscle the better powers at this level have. Far from a bad choice, though.


Melee or Ranged:



Assassin's Point (PHB) - With the update clarifying what extra damage gets doubled, this power is firmly pushed into the category of powers where the multiplier on their weapon damage dice was clearly overrated.

Cagey Killer (MP) - Finally, a (save ends) stun that can be used at range! To boot, it has dazed as an aftereffect to ensure your enemy is pretty badly inconvenienced for quite some time. Probably the power of choice for Ranged Rogues at this level, because Melee has better options.

Immobilizing Strike (PHB) - A -5 penalty to saves will allow you to rely on this power a bit more than other (save ends) powers, especially with its aftereffect clause, and immobilizing is a beauty on a Ranged Rogue. A pretty solid choice for them.

Moving Target (PHB) - Though the strength of the damage and other effects dealt is very variable, the fact of the matter is that you turned something could have hit you into a guaranteed hit for your opponent, and that's good to have.

Treachery's Reward (MP 2) - Despite the fact that is has a reroll and the offering of staying hidden after the hit, the fact of the matter is that it's an only-damage power that doesn't offer as much raw damage as other options here. I wouldn't pick it.
Skill Powers: A Talent for Dirty Deeds

Skill powers here have been categorized into whether the skill is a class skill for your not. Within these categories, they have been split up into levels. Most of your powers are pretty good, though, so a Skill power will likely have to be real awesome to be a genuine option.


Class Skill Powers



Acrobatics Powers


Level 2:



Agile Recovery
(PHB 3) - Forever changes standing up to a Minor Action. Pretty cool.


Level 6:



Dodge Step
(PHB 3) - The trigger goes off too late to avoid a hit. Unimpressive.

Graceful Maneuver
(PHB 3) - You already got this at L2, only twice as good: it's called Tumble.

Perfect Balance (PHB 3) - It provides a small speed advantage while traversing narrow or difficult terrain, and doesn't require checks. Decent.

Tumbling Dodge
(PHB 3) - An example of a power that gets better as time goes on. Right now, you're likely getting a +2 bonus to all defenses at best (which is still good), whereas later on you'd be looking at +4 or so. Nice.


Level 10:



Drop and Roll
(PHB 3) - How often does this really come up? Not enough to occupy a Utility slot in my experience.

Rapid Escape (PHB 3) - The definitive answer to being grabbed; it allows you to escape as a Minor Action, grants you CA if you do escape, AND it’s an At-Will. It faces stiff competition and grabbing ain’t exactly the most common status effect under sun and moon, but this is awesome when it does come up.


Level 16:



Reflexive Dodge (PHB 3) - A solid DR ability, that comes with a shift attached.


Athletics Powers


Level 2:



Bounding Leap
(PHB 3) - A power that subs your move action for a jump that carries a bonus. Unless you optimize your Athletics check or roll very well, this is only worth it later on in your career when you can reliably clear an Athletics check equal to your speed + 1 (DC 30 for speed 5, DC 35 for speed 6, and a whopping DC 40 for speed 7). At least it’s useful out of combat...

Scrambling Climb
(PHB 3) - It's a great movement Utility if you have to climb up stuff a lot. The question is, will you? Not in most campaigns.


Level 6:



Mighty Sprint (PHB 3) - Speed +4 is nice. Ignoring difficult terrain is also nice. An Athletics bonus for whatever stunt you may want to pull off along the way is just gravy. This is a pretty decent pick.

Sudden Leap
(PHB 3) - Essentially, this is flanking without provoking OA's, no matter how big your opponent is, once per encounter. It can definitely see use on a Rogue.


Level 10:



Incredible Stride
(PHB 3) - Whoa. +4 speed for the encounter is a big buff. A very nice choice.


Bluff Powers


Level 2:



Battle Feint (PHB 3) - Not the flashiest thing in the world, but CA does have its uses for you.

Serpent's Tongue (D 389) - Getting a bonus after you fail can be of some usage.

False Bravado (PHB 3) - Shedding off a mark just because you want to is a solid benefit to have.


Level 6:



Confusing Blather (PHB 3) - It can potentially allow you and your allies to maneuver and disengage unmolested by your enemies. Nice.

Dirty Tricks (PHB 3) - This just seems like a lesser version of Confusing Blather to me, so just take that instead.

Fast Talk (PHB 3) - Saving you from yourself. Could be useful for those times you roll a 3 or less on a Diplomacy check, assuming you bother to train it.


Level 10:



Improvisational Arcana (PHB 3) - If you were to choose to use rituals, this has the handy effect of making sure you don't suck at them. Solid enough.

Stall Tactics (PHB 3) - It might as well say, "Once per day, your party wins initiative, no questions asked." This can set up some devastating tactical advantages for you and your allies.


Dungeoneering Powers


Level 2:



Deep Shadows (PHB 3) - Your Dungeoneering should never trump your Stealth. Ever.

Otherworldly Lore (PHB 3) - Though conditional (not only do you have to encounter an aberrant creature, you have to nail the check), it DOES hand out +4 to hit essentially for free...


Level 6:



Eyes of the Deep Delver (PHB 3) - Blindsight for a turn, just because you can. Usually, one turn is all you need.

Stonecunning (PHB 3) - There is no reason your Dungeoneering should beat your Perception by enough of a margin as to justify taking this power.


Level 10:



Trap Sense (PHB 3) - A sweet trap-redirection ability, it’s rather conditional, which is what holds it back against pretty stiff competition.


Level 16:



Practiced Mental Defense (D 385) - Keeping allies from getting stunned or dominated is nice to have, though dazed isn't a massive improvement and this is a Daily (which means this power has its limitations).


Insight Powers


Level 2:



Anticipate Maneuver (PHB 3) - Creating CA for yourself is something that's nice to have, at the very least.


Level 6:



Empathic Read (PHB 3) - Saving your allies from themselves is nice, but some of you will likely be the party face, which means that you'd much rather have someone use this to your benefit.

Insightful Counter (PHB 3) - A very nice way to negate disadvantages from running into a tight spot.

Prescient Maneuver (PHB 3) - This doesn't seem like your thing at first glance, but there are characters (like Riposters) that want to stay up close and personal, and can wring some use out of it.


Level 10:



Insightful Comment (PHB 3) - A very nice out-of-combat power, especially because it also affects you. Can effectively put a non-combat encounter on Easy Mode.

Prescient Defense (PHB 3) - A solid defensive bonus for you when you are attacked, which helps keep you around dangerous siuations.


Level 16:



Insightful Riposte (PHB 3) - Making an important power land can change the course of the encounter. A very strong ability, especially if your DM is more liberal with information as to how much you missed enemy AC's by or if you (or your party) have been able to land some Knowledge checks.


Intimidate Powers


Level 2:



Ominous Threat (PHB 3) - Freeing an ally from a mark while slapping on one of your own is a bit too risky for my taste.


Level 6:



Demoralize Foe (PHB 3) - A free debuff when you hit is always nice for keeping your allies up on their feet.

Everybody Move (PHB 3) - A mass push 1. It can be useful for rearranging the battlefield or allowing allies to escape situations they really don't want to be in.

Try the Stick (PHB 3) - Subbing Intimidate for Diplomacy every now and again can have some use on certain flavors of Rogue.


Level 10:



Snap Out of It (PHB 3) - Absolute flavor gold, and it can help you support your Leader on the saving throw department, which can be very important, especially at higher levels.


Perception Powers


Level 2:



Far Sight (PHB 3) - A nice way to pick your target without worry about what's around him.


Level 6:



Guided Shot (PHB 3) - Given that Reflex is usually a whole lot worse than AC, this can turn a few misses into hits for your allies, which can help you provide some support.

Trapfinding (PHB 3) - Understandably, this can help you in certain situations.

Warning of Peril (PHB 3) - Your Passive Perception covers a huge area. Can work better for you if your Passive Perception is a strong suit.


Level 10:



Focused Sight (PHB 3) - Far Sight's big brother. A solid choice if obstacles consistently give you the blues.

Perfect Sight (PHB 3) - Should you need to see an elusive enemy for a turn, this will help you get him in your sights.

Spot Weakness (PHB 3) - A hefty damage buff for your next attack. Pretty respectable.

Uncanny Instincts (PHB 3) - While it sounds nice at first glance, your Perception shouldn't be beating your initiative.


Stealth Powers


Level 2:



Obscured Avoidance (PHB 3) - You get At-Will mark avoidance, sans the conditional requirement, later, so this has less luster for you than for most others.


Level 6:



Concealed Shift (PHB 3) - Shift you when you’re missed if you have cover/concealment. Meh.

Shrouding Gloom (PHB 3) - A bit of action economy for your Stealth checks. Can be useful if you're scurrying from cover to cover or need a do-over on your last Stealth check.


Level 10:



Crowd Cover (PHB 3) - A pretty cool way to mess with enemy Ranged combatants, but it has its limitations (only works against ranged attacks, cover only provides +2 to all defenses). That said, it can be pretty cool if it does work.

Persistent Tail (PHB 3) - A decent power to keep yourself out of sight. Great out-of-combat utility for this one.


Level 16:



Deepening Gloom (PHB 3) - This is a nice one; making yourself invisible to the target instantly slaps on a hefty penalty for his attack, and given that this is an interrupt, it could potentially negate a hit.


Streetwise Powers


Level 2:



City Rat (PHB 3) - Your Streetwise shouldn't be beating your Stealth.

Nose for Trouble (PHB 3) - Your initiative check will rarely lose to your Streetwise check.


Level 6:



City Dweller (PHB 3) - Once per day is too steep a limitation for this level of power.

Slow Pursuit (PHB 3) - Rather conditional, but creating difficult terrain can help defend allies you're not standing in front of.


Level 10:



Navigate Crowds (PHB 3) - Functionally, this is a clone of Combat Tumbleset, and thus will be rated identically.


Thievery Powers


Level 2:



Fast Hands (PHB 3) - A miniature Quick-Draw Trick for anyone who’ll train in the skill. Could be useful.

Lock Tap (PHB 3) - Action economy on Thievery checks can be useful in certain situations, but I don't think those situations are all that common outside of combat, and you shouldn't be popping locks open in most fights anyway.

Quick Palm (PHB 3) - Again, action economy on a Thievery check, but for something you're more likely to need to do fast.


Level 6:



Hasty Retreat (PHB 3) - A decent emergency shift away, it could get you out of the range of a few traps' triggers, especially ones like poison needles in doorknobs and the like.

Quick Switch (PHB 3) - Though the effect doesn't cover all that much space, it could help you introduce your enemy to your Defender without an OA for either of you, which is nice.

Stolen Defense (PHB 3) - This is Anticipate Maneuver... Leader edition. You could just flank, you know.


Level 10:



Disruptive Stunt (PHB 3) - An attack debuff as part of an opportunity-free move action through an adjacent enemy's space. The movement likely won't be all that earthshaking, but a repositioning power with a free debuff can be decent.



Recommended Non-Class Skill Powers:



This category is kept from getting too out of hand by only talking about skill powers when it's already recommended that you pick the skill up.

Diplomacy Powers


Level 2:



Master Diplomat (D 389) - Rerolling Diplomacy checks ftw.

Soothing Words (PHB 3) - Essentially, you get a little extra bang for your buck on your healing surges while you rest. More on the Leader side than what you typically go for, and its benefits are not that great, anyway.


Level 6:



Haggle (PHB 3) - Redundant with Master Diplomat.

Stirring Speech (PHB 3) - Again, more on the Leader side of the spectrum than what you're typically comfortable with.


Level 10:



Befriend (PHB 3) - In skill challenges, this is a hefty boost to have. Otherwise, it's a bit marginal, but I like it as an aid for non-Charisma Rogues to be the party "face".

Cry for Mercy (PHB 3) - A very nice Leader-y power. +4 to all defenses and no OA's on movement for a Bloodied ally every encounter can be effective.

Noble Sacrifice (PHB 3) - While the spirit of helping others is nice tohave, you're not as capable of taking prolonged punishment as some members of your party are, so this is a gamble I'd rather not take.


Level 16:



Indomitable Ally (PHB 3) - Buying one more turn for your ally sounds all right to me.

Recommended Feats: Training for the Dirty Deeds

Due to the enormous amounts of feats available for a character to take, we'll only be talking about those which I consider Black or better. I would recommend feats for Rogues be taken with the following priorities in mind:

1. Accuracy bonuses - You make your living on being accurate: reinforce that aspect of your character early and often, since you usually only get one roll per attack and it's best to make it count.

2. Damage bonuses - Once you're assured of a hit, it's time to focus on landing the hardest hit you possibly can. Abilities that grant extra attacks and other ways to get additional damage to bear on your opponent fall into this category as well.

3. Mobility enhancements - The best defense you can employ is not being there when the opponent decides to hit you, so anything that improves your ability to slip out of your opponent's grasp is very appreciated.

4. Defense bonuses - You won't be able to run from everyone forever, so you'd best be ready for when they catch you and try to whack you upside the head. Defensive bonuses are a good way to accomplish this, since you don't have quite the array of defensive utilities other Strikers have access to.

5. Miscellaneous - Once you've taken care of the priorities I've mentioned above, you pretty much have free rein as to what you should get. I do recommend at least one power-recovery feat to reuse those attacks you can set off outside your standard action.

Class Feats


Heroic Tier:



Backstabber (PHB) - Improving your Sneak Attack offers a sizable amount of extra damage which most other feats at this level can't match. One of the really easy choices for a Rogue, and one that's almost unthinkable to go without.

Blade and Buckler Duelist (D 381) - While this feat seems identical to Heavy Shield Proficiency at first glance, it actually holds the distinct advantage of not imposing an armor penalty to your skills while providing you with said protection, which makes it nice to have a for a Rogue, because skills are an important part of your game.

Brutal Wound (MP) - A little extra ongoing damage for dealing Sneak Attack damage. Probably only worth it at Epic (+5 ongoing damage is nothing to ignore), though.

Buckler Duelist (D 381) - If you dedicate yourself to collecting powers that give you defensive buffs, this this is nice to have; otherwise, you may not have all that many powers that can take advantage of it.

Deadeye Slinger (MP 2) - Behold, the feat that makes Slings worthy of use. With this and Sharpshooter Talent, Slings will actually have better stats than Daggers with Rogue Weapon Mastery.

Duelist's Panache (D 381) - An excellent way to compensate for the low Athletics bonus that plagues an Artful Dodger, and it can also make your Acrobatics modifier quite ridiculously large. Nice.

Improved Cunning Sneak (MP 2) - Moving about less squares to achieve the same effect can be useful if you plan on occupying a small hidden area or if you have less room to maneuver about.

Irrefutable Blade (D 381) - A little miss damage on a Rapier. Rogues don't miss very often, though, so I question how many times you'll actually see this in play.

Martial Ploy (MP 2) - A reroll is usually significantly better than a flat +2 bonus, though you would prefer to be the recipient of this ability rather than the source.

Opportunity Knocks (MP 2) - A very easy (though kind of risky) way for a Rogue to get his oh-so-necessary combat advantage, though it's obviously less risky for an Artful Dodger thanks to his class feature.

Reckless Scramble (MP) - This feat is a good addition to an Artful Dodger's arsenal, as they are at less risk of getting hit during a move and can always choose to not gain the benefit if that's not the case.

Risky Shift (MP 2) - Risky, indeed. You're usually not that well off granting combat advantage, though shifting extra squares does have some nice implications for a charging Rogue.

Slaying Action (MP) - A hefty amount of extra damage by allowing you to Sneak Attack again after burning an AP. Probably not that worth it in Heroic, but definitely something to look at come Paragon or Epic.

Surprising Charge (MP) - While it may not seem like much, especially for a Dagger Rogue, this is one of the few pieces a charging Rogue can take advantage of to enhance his already formidable damage (obviously better for htem).

Swift Footwork (MP 2) - Extra shifting on Encounters and Dailies can be a very good thing for a Rogue, especially considering the huge arry of powers they have that can do that.

Trap Sense (MP) - A slight bonus against finding and dodging traps can be useful in the right campaign.

Two-Fisted Shooter (MP) - This feat makes Hand Crossbows awesome almost single-handedly. Free hits on a critical and the option of dual-wielding are very sweet bonuses.

Underhanded Tactics (DMA 2009) - Having the option of giving up a die of Sneak Attack in exchange for slapping on a -2 to hit debuff sounds like a good deal to me.

Versatile Duelist (D 381) - A borderline trap option, to be honest with you. The only reason I mention it is because it's around the same thing as going for the Rapier in Heroic, but once you get to Paragon Tier, get rid of it.


Paragon Tier:



Bleeding Backstab (MP) - Adding or enhancing existing ongoing damage on Daily powers is a worthy investment for a Rogue.

Deft Blade (MP 2) - With this feat, Light Blade users can officially kiss Piercing Strike goodbye: Not only does it allow you to hit Reflex at melee or range, it also plays nice with OA's or any other ability that grants basic attacks. Some Rogues may need Melee Training to use this at full steam, but it's a smaller price to pay than most for another At-Will IMHO.

Disheartening Ambush (MP 2) - Slapping on a penalty to hit as a rider on any attack is well worth burning a feat and a die of Sneak Attack damage for, especially if your primary focus is on making your opponents useless.

Evasive Footwork (MP) - A decent bonus to AC, especially if you've invested in extending your shifting distance. It shines brighter at higher levels, especially for Rogues interested in charging into combat.

Expert Sneak (MP 2) - Expanding your options for gaining combat advantage can't be a bad thing.

Rogue Weapon Mastery (MP) - High crit on a Dagger is a decent pickup for the Daggermasters in the audience, though only at Epic Tier.

Unerring Ambush (MP 2) - If you're the type that likes to put their best foot forward with regards to combat, this can be a decent pickup.


Epic Tier:



Brutal Advantage (MP) - While this feat may not seem all that useful at first glance (since your single attack powers will apply Sneak Attack damage on a hit), it does allow you add an additional ability score modifier to every attack you make in addition to that first attack, making this a very strong burst damage feat, and thus a very strong pickup.

Lasting Advantage (MP) - Combat advantage on a crit isn't the most powerful benefit out there, but it's serviceable enough to be worth looking at.

Martial Mastery
(MP) - Last I checked, power recovery was kind of good. Especially nice for reusing those powers that don't consume your standard action to activate.

Martial Resolve
(MP) - A very good way to help yourself out of certain conditions. If you have Martial Freedom, you're probably going to retrain it into this.

One with Shadow (MP) - This is a very nice mobility feat to get you where you need to go, much to your enemies' chagrin. It also has the perk of being absolutely hilarious in RP.

Whirlwind Sneak Attack (MP) - This goes a long way to making close and area attacks more worth taking, especially if you use them as opening salvos, where First Strike will supply the combat advantage.


General Feats


Heroic Tier:



Armor Proficiency (PHB) - The Brutal Scoundrels in the audience may want to pick up Hide armor, but that's about the end of the use of this feat.

Blindfighting Warrior (HotFK) - Helps you compensate against effect that rob you of your sight, which can be nice to have, if a bit encounter-dependent.

Crossbow Expertise (HotFL) - Ignoring cover can certainly be useful for someone who spends quality time in the back rank.

Cunning Stalker (HotFK) - An alternate method of obtaining combat advantage (this one gets you CA when you're alone) is a very welcome boost to have.

Deadly Draw (PHB 3) - While Rogues don't have to pull or slide enemies to themselves by default, this feat effectively grants a Melee Rogue eternal combat advantage when used with a Lightning weapon and Mark of Storm, and that's worth something.

Distant Advantage (PHB 2) - Discounting Stealth, this is a prime way for Rogues to get their Sneak Attack off while sticking to a primarily Ranged style of combat, and you can always retrain it out if you get a stronger or more consistent source of CA later on.

Grounding Shot
(PHB 3) - This prevents people from messing with your shots by dropping prone, and it's even better if you have allies that like knocking people prone, like Polearm Fighters.

Improved Defenses
(HotFL)
- A nice, scaling bonus to your NAD's. Something that I highly recommend you grab.

Improved Initiative (PHB) - Helps you go first, which is always good. Doesn't stack with Quick Draw. More important for you than for most others because of the free CA that winning initiative brings you.

Light Blade Expertise (HotFL) - A scaling accuracy bonus, and some extra damage if you have CA. A godsend for a Rogue.

Master at Arms (HotFL) - A +1 to hit per tier increases your base competence by a lot, and action economy on your drawing isn't half bad either.

Melee Training (PHB 2) - As a Melee combatant, it usually behooves you to have a good MBA to take advantage of any and all opportunities to hit something that come your way. It also has the pleasant side-effect of working well with Deft Blade for a Rogue whose Strength is on the low side.

Nimble Blade (PHB) - If you use a Light Blade (and most of you do), it's not a matter of if you pick this feat up, but when.

Quick Draw
(PHB) - A sweet feat for Melee Rogues, it comes with some initiative bonuses as well as a useful (and thematic) way to get your weapon options out there.



Rapid Assault (PHB 3) - If you can get to them fast, this bonus is big enough to allow you to lay a serious hurting on your opponent.

Resilient Focus (HotFL) - +2 to all saving throws can be pretty useful.

Shield Proficiency (PHB) - A bonus to AC and Reflex (typically your strongest defenses) can go a ways toward making you more able to ignore damage, which is a good respite for a typically squishy Striker like you.

Silvery Glow (D 386) - While it makes you worship a specific Deity and is worthless without Permafrost, this actually provides a little extra damage over Weapon Focus, which is excellent to have.

Skill Power
(PHB 3) - A nice way to expand your Utility repertoire, and keep a useful power in your back pocket.

Sling Expertise (HotFL) - The scaling bonus to attack rolls is obviously awesome, and not provoking OA's when shooting is the cherry on top. A godsend for Sling users.

Spring Step
(PHB 3) - Prevents people from knocking you prone, then hovering 1 square outside your reach, forcing you to crawl and attack.

Superior Fortitude (HotFL) - A scaling bonus to Fortitude, and it throws in some resist all against ongoing damage as a bonus. That's pretty sweet.

Superior Reflexes (HotFL) - Gets you free combat advantage on the first turn of every fight, as well as a scaling bonus to Reflex. This can help make sure that you get your first turn of free CA, even if you get boned by your initiative roll.

Superior Will (HotFL) - A big bonus to Will, and a better chance to shake off dazing and stunning. This one if tempting even if you're patching your NADs with Improved Defenses.

Toughness (PHB) - More HP is nice to have, but a lot of Rogues likely won't have froom for this.

Two-Weapon Defense (PHB) - A +1 bonus to AC and Reflex for a feat is a pretty good deal.

Two-Weapon Fighting (PHB) - Very unexceptional by itself... until you consider the feats it opens up access to.

Weapon Focus (PHB) - Damage bonus, which is absolutely golden for a Striker.

Weapon Proficiency (PHB) - Most Rogues will do just fine with their Daggers, but those interested in Parrying Daggers or Rapiers need this feat.

Wintertouched (PHB) - Useless until you pick up Lasting Frost, but mighty when you do. Best when retrained into or picked up right at the end of Heroic Tier.


Paragon Tier:



Agile Opportunist
(PHB 2) - A nice feat to work with your Leader if he can slide you around the battlefield.

Armor Specialization (PHB) - The majority of Rogues can't take this feat (it's not available for Leather), but the ones that can will like the elimination of armor penalty that Hide armor brings as well as for the +1 AC.

Critical Targeting (D 387) - A neat encounter-long bonus to damage on a crit. Pretty cool.

Danger Sense (PHB) - Rerolling initiative every time can help save you from those bad rolls.

Defensive Advantage (PHB) - Any defensive boost you can have is pretty important for a Rogue.

Fleet-Footed (PHB) - +1 to speed is a pretty nice use of a feat... provided you have the room.

Lasting Frost (PHB) - This feat grants you permanent CA and +5 damage if you combine it with Wintertouched and a Frost weapon; cold resistance is a hurdle, but it can be overcome. Even better for Rogues than for most other characters because of the importance CA has for you.

Light Blade Precision (PHB) - A decent bonus to damage, especially later on in your career, where just about every enemy falls under this category.

Point-Blank Shot (PHB) - A nice way to stop enemy frontlines from hampering your shots.

Psychic Lock (PHB) - While it may seem out of place at first glance, this can combine with certain weapon properties and feats to make a Rogue an attack-penalty machine.

Repel Charge (PHB 3) - This is a very nasty way to severely hamper opposing chargers. Extra brutal if you face another party of PC's with a charger (such as a Barbarian) in the lineup.

Reserve Maneuver
(PHB 2) - Versatility notwithstanding, this feat also allows you to swap out a lackluster Paragon Path power for something a touch more... palatable.

Steady Shooter (PHB) - +3 to crossbow damage for standing still. Works beautifully for most Crossbow Rogues, especially if you invest in Hide in Plain Sight.

Two-Weapon Opening
(PHB 2) - A major factor in why Two-Weapon Fighting is even worth mentioning. Free hits on a crit? Yes, please.

Unfailing Courage (D 377) - Healing on an AP is a good deal if you ask me.


Epic Tier:



Axe/Bludgeon/Heavy Blade/Light Blade/Pick Mastery
(PHB) - Whatever your weapon may be, now's the time to pick up the mastery feat. Improved criticals result in a very healthy damage bonus for you, thus earning a high rating. However, some very strong Paths, such as Daggermaster, don't need it, so it's not a true must-have.

Bow Mastery
(PHB 2) - Lets Bow and Crossbow users get in on the 10% crit rate fun the Melee players enjoyed by themselves for a time.

Blind-Fight (PHB) - Helps you deal with Invisible enemies in Melee. This is a pretty good idea, but you also have Utility powers that cover this need pretty well.

Deft Aim (PHB 3) - Having your Crossbow RBA's hit Reflex is a powerful benefit to have.

Epic Fortitude/Epic Reflexes/Epic Will
(PHB 2) - Now this is what I call defense-boosting. If you have the room for them, this is the best way you can keep yourself from getting hammered by a magical assault.

Epic Resurgence
(PHB) - A pretty sweet power recovery feat (though it is a bit too unreliable, at least for my taste). If you're a Demigod, retrain it out at Level 30; you won't need it after that.

Long Step
(PHB 3) - This feat allows you to to extend your shifting, which is fantastic for the great majority of you (read: any Rogue that's not fully invested in Ranged combat).

Superior Initiative
(PHB 3) - A nice upgrade for Improved Initiative. Prime real estate for retraining into.

Triumphant Attack
(PHB) - Encounter-long debuffs on a critical is very sweet, especially for someone like a Daggermaster. That said, Epic is a competitive time as far as feats are concerned.

Unfettered Stride
(PHB) - Ignoring difficult terrain permanently is never a bad thing to have, especially as a Rogue, and that's why this feat is very much worth the wait and investment.


Racial Feats


Dragonborn


Heroic Tier:



Brutal Teamwork (MP) - +2 damage for fulfilling a basic Rogue function? Sold!

Dragonborn Frenzy (PHB) - A spiffy damage bonus when you get beat up is nice to have.

Hurl Breath (PHR: DB) - A Ranged AoE attack can be a nice entry salvo for you.


Paragon Tier:



Corrosive Breath (PHR: DB) - An AC debuff on your Dragon Breath? Nice.

Dragonbreath Warrior (MP) - A bit of extra weapon damage after your Dragon Breath is not exactly a bad thing.

Dragon Breath Scoundrel (MP 2) - It's an AoE Sneak Attack before Whirlwind Sneak Attack, and you can even have them both. Nice.


Epic Tier:



Dissolving Breath (PHR: DB) - A -3 penalty to all defenses is very nice to have.

Draconic Restoration (PHR: DB)
- Second wind recovers Dragon Breath is solid.

Draconic Triumph (PHR: DB) - Dragon Breath is refreshed on a kill. Cool.


Drow


Heroic Tier:



Clutch of Darkness (FRPG) - Extending the range of your racial powers can be quite useful to you.

Drow Fighting Style (D 367) - Though you probably won't partake in this fighting style all that much, not provoking OA's in Melee with your Hand Crossbow is nice.

Instinctive Darkness (D 367) - Deploying your racial power as an immediate reaction can save you from multiattacking enemies, but it can allow the enemy to escape the cloud if it has not moved. Use with caution.

Ruthless Hunter (FRPG) - Behold, the reason why Drow are the kings of Hand Crossbows. This combined with Two-Fisted Shooter and Sharpshooter Talent make the Hand Crossbow quite formidable.


Paragon Tier:



Cloud of Poison (D 382) - A bit of autodamage from what is one of the most useful racial powers for a Rogue? Sweet.

Darkjumper (MP) - Combined with Clutch of Darkness, this can make your Cloud of Darkness a safety net as well as an offensive weapon.

Eyedark Strike (D 373) - Blinding as a free action is nice to have when Cloud of Darkness or Darkfire would be hard/impossible to pull off.

Master of Fire and Darkness (FRPG) - Getting to use either racial power is good. Getting to use them both is better.

Merciless Killer (FRPG) - While conditional, this damage bonus is simply too large to ignore. The fact that it applies regardless of whether you are in Ranged or Melee combat is just icing.


Epic Tier:



Lolth Blessed (D 382) - More uses of Cloud of Darkness or Darkfire are always welcome.


Elf


Heroic Tier:



Treetop Sniper (MP 2) - If you feel that Crossbows are not your thing, there's always this option, but beware: losing Sharpshooter Talent and +1 proficiency will make this a rather inaccurate option.


Paragon Tier:



Prime Slayer (MP) - +2 damage if you're willing to get up close and personal is a nice bonus to have.


Epic Tier:



Hawkeye Warrior (MP) - A great bonus to hit for using a great racial power.


Githzerai


Heroic Tier:



Githzerai Blade Master (D 378) - This feat makes you basically the only race that can justify taking Versatile Duelist.


Paragon Tier:



Githzerai Mobility (D 378) - A very respectable bonus to defend against OA's.

Iron Hands (PHB 3) - A damage bonus from a defensive Utility power? That's always nice to have.

Tempered Iron Mind (D 378) - This feat combines with Iron Hands to make your racial power amazingly versatile.


Epic Tier:



Adamantine Mind (PHB 3) - More defense on your racial power is always nice for the squishy Rogue.

Iron Body (PHB 3) - A decent improvement to your racial power.


Half-Elf


Heroic Tier:



Group Rattling (MP) - A decent buff for your allies which helps you in channeling your inner Controller.


Paragon Tier:



Versatile Master (PHB 2) - Whoa. Half-Elves just got a MAJOR boost. No reason to ever skip out on this feat, ever.


Half-Orc


Heroic Tier:



Anger Unleashed (PHB 2) - A nice attack bonus when you get banged up.

Menacing Thug (MP 2) - Turning your racial power into a CA-granting Utility power is a very sweet option for a Rogue.

Savage Assault (PHB 2) - A mild defense debuff for using a racial power is a solid benefit.

Thirst for Battle (PHB 2) - A very palatable alternative to Improved Initiative for a Melee Rogue.


Paragon Tier:



Strength from Pain (PHB 2) - A very hefty damage bonus for getting banged up can appeal to a Melee Rogue.


Epic Tier:



Ferocious Critical (PHB 2) - A very strong feat by itself, it becomes extra delicious in the hands of a Daggermaster and its improved critical rate.


Halfling


Heroic Tier:



Confounding Luck (D 384) - A penalty to hit AFTER making him miss is a pretty mean 1-2 punch.

Defensive Bluff (D 381) - Given your relative fragility, you may have to use second wind every now and again, and this makes it at least somewhat worth your while to do so.

Know When to Fold (D 381) - This is actually a very strong feat, as it virtually guarantees you won't provoke OA's while bloodied. A very nice pickup.

Lost in the Crowd (PHB) - A nice feat to counteract some of the effects of getting swarmed, and as usual, the condition of the enemies being larger doesn't really bother you.

Nimble Dodge (MP 2) - Now this is an upgrade for your racial power: it turns a second chance at not getting hit into a virtual certainty that you won't. Certainly a top-caliber racial feat.

Rigged Chance (D 381) - I rank this feat a bit lower because Nimble Dodge makes it exceedingly unlikely you will get hit twice in a row, but it's nice to not waste the try.

Second Step (D 381) - News flash: almost every enemy you'll fight will be bigger than you. Therefore, the condition for this is easy to fulfill, and the effect is very nice.


Paragon Tier:



Avandra's Gift (MP) - Free CA after turning a hit into a miss is the cherry on top of a very delicious turn.

Underfoot (PHB) - Not only is the mental image made of win, it's actually quite useful to scuttle between an enemy's space in your quest for flanking or protection via your Defender. Nice to have.


Human


Heroic Tier:



Action Surge (PHB) - Given that some Rogue Dailies are one big shot instead of a multiattack or the like, this feat is a pretty good insurance policy to nail that hit.

Stubborn Survivor (FRPG) - A big save bonus when your AP's are spent. Given that you are a Striker and alpha striking is pretty much part of your job description, this is pretty useful.


Paragon Tier:



Action Recovery (PHB) - A decent mass save feat that can help you shake stuff off.


Epic Tier:



Versatile Rogue (MP 2) - Picking up a class feature for a feat sounds like a good deal to me.


Shadar-Kai


Heroic Tier:



Devious Jaunt (D 372) - If you're a Cunning Sneak that favors Intelligence, this is a pretty decent use of a feat. Otherwise, don't bother.

Life on the Edge (D 372) - A bonust to every roll when you AP. Nice to have.


Paragon Tier:



Reactive Jaunt (D 372) - While it won't save you from the first hit, it can be of some worth if you happen to be pinned down by multiple enemies.


Epic Tier:



Deathless Warrior (D 372) - Essentially resist all 5 + Con against being dropped. It's nice, but your typical lack of emphasis on Con holds it back somewhat.

Spirit Jaunt (D 372)
- Phasing is rather hard to come by for a Rogue, so this can open a couple of cool options for you.


Shifter


Heroic Tier:



Sturdy Shifter (EPG) - Temporary HP for using a shifting ability can help you stick around a bit longer.

Wild Senses (PHB 2) - Reroll tracking checks, and +3 initiative. Sweet.


Paragon Tier



Beasthide Shifting (PHB 2) - A little damage resistance while shifting. Nice, especially combined with the regeneration if you're a Longtooth.

Cliffwalk Shifting (PHB 2) - Increases your movement options, which is always nice to have.


Tiefling


Heroic Tier:



Hellfire Blood (PHB) - A nice way to make up the gap for your lower Dexterity.

Icy Clutch of Stygia (PHR: TF) - A good feat to get mileage out of the eventuality of a save against an ongoing damage effect you create, it gets even meaner if you have a way to apply that ongoing damage consistently (such as a carefully tailored power selection or the Thuranni Shadow Killer's Paragon Path feature).

Tail Slide (PHR: TF) - A nice way to move allies about while you move.


Paragon Tier:



Dispater's Iron Discipline (PHR: TF) - A cool way to shake off annoying status effects.

Hellfire of Mephistopheles (PHR: TF) - Fire is your bread-and-butter strategy, so a way to beat fire resistance is pretty darn cool.

Secrets of Belial (PHR: TF) - A way to swap for any Utility power on any other class. Sweet.



Combat Style Feats

The Combat Style feats are an interesting brand of feats in that their purpose is to improve specific powers. In your case, the At-Wills you'll be improving will likely be movement-base (Acrobatic Strike and Deft Strike), though there should be goodies for just about all of them. The At-Will powers improved by the feat will be noted in the case of the Arena feats and the Technique feats from Dragon 373, as well as for the Lesser Style feats in MP 2.


Arena Feats



Arkhosian High Style (Piercing Strike) (D 368) - A decent benefit for Piercing Strike on a crit, it can see play in the hands of a Daggermaster.

Catspaw Style (Sly Flourish) (D 368) - Some nice extra damage on a critical can make this a pretty decent use of a feat.

Criterion of Balic Practice (Piercing Strike) (DSCS) - A shift after an attack against Reflex can help with shuffling around for position.

Daring Performer Style (Deft Strike) (D 368) - Subbing your move for a free action Bluff can be useful.

Deft Hurler Style (Sly Flourish) (D 368) - A very nice way to make your Second Chance power even more awesome.

Draji Palatial Practice (Deft Strike) (DSCS) - A penalty to attack rolls as part of a bread-and-butter At-Will is an excellent pickup for a Rogue.

Fluttering Leaf Style (Deft Strike) (D 368) - Requires off-stat investment or the Elf race, but +1 squares of movement can open more options.

Grudge Style (Riposte Strike) (D 368) - Again, requires off-stat investment, but the benefit is well worth it.

Mocking Knave Style (Sly Flourish) (D 368) - A very nice debuff on a critical. Can see play in the hands of a Daggermaster.

Nibenay's Glory Practice (Deft Strike) (DSCS) - Makes your Deft Strike hand out free CA once per encounter. Certainly useful.

Raam's Maw Practice (Piercing Strike) (DSCS) - Slapping on a push after an attack that hits Reflex is pretty respectable.

Trickster's Blade Style (Deft Strike) (D 368) - A decent mobility benefit on a critical.

Urikite Staff Practice (Riposte Strike) (DSCS) - An effective damage bonus for spamming Riposte Strike is very solid.

Warborn Fury Style (Riposte Strike) (D 368) - Again, requires investment in an off stat, but the benefit is well worth it.


Technique Feats (D 373)



Black Arrow Style (Deft Strike) - It seamlessly integrates a Cunning Sneak-style benefit into the power, which is a great way to get cheap and easy CA.

Ghostwalker Style (Deft Strike) - A nice way to add versatility to your Deft Strike, almost making it the equivalent of Acrobatic Strike.

Harlequin Style (Deft Strike) - A very strong benefit, it gives you more movement and virtually guarantees that movement will be safe for a Charisma-based Rogue. Nice.

Impending Doom Style (Riposte Strike) - It's arguably more powerful than Warborn Fury Style, and requires no off-stat investment. If you like Riposte Strike, you like this.

Vigilante Justice Style (Riposte Strike) - It makes Riposte Strike a hell of a lot easier to trigger, which is an awesome benefit to have. Combined with a Paragon Path such as Blade Bravo, which imposes a mark, you can have a Defender-style catch-22 loop going. Awesome.


Combat Style Feats (MP 2)



Harrowing Swarm Style (Bows and Crossbows)

Harrowing Swarm Student (Sly Flourish) - A great upgrade for a good power, now it can do damage and control simultaneously.

Harrowing Swarm Stalker - The power benefits are marginal, but not provoking OA's is sweet.


Kulkor Battlearm Style (Versatile Axes, Hammers, and Maces)

Kulkor Battlearm Student (Disheartening Strike) - While I highly recommend you don't go for Ruthless Ruffian, this feat offers a straight damage boost for that sort of Rogue.

Kulkor Battlearm Rattler - Some decent but nondescript benefits. Could be worse.


Leaf Runner Style (Hand Crossbow, Repeating Crossbow, Shortbow, Shuriken, and Sling)

Leaf Runner Student (Deft Strike) - A speed boosting rider for a Ranged combatant can be a decent bonus.

Leaf Runner Sneak - A rather average benefit, since it only extends to a specific power list instead of in general.


Midnight Blade Style (Melee Light Blades)

Midnight Blade Student (Gloaming Cut) - Making an attack against Reflex is a nice bonus to have.

Midnight Blade Whisperer - The general benefit is pretty vanilla, but the power list is actually rather attractive. A nice choice.


Mountain Thunder Style (One-Handed Flails, Hammers, and Maces)

Mountain Thunder Style (Disheartening Strike) - Again, I strongly recommend you don't make a Ruthless Ruffian, but if you do, this is a nice way to get some accuracy.

Mountain Thunder Crasher
- It expands the list of powers available to you by adding Rattling, and provides a nice save penalty benefit that can stack with a few others to make saving tough. Nice to have as a Ruthless Ruffian.


Red Cloak Style (Longswords, Rapiers, and Short Swords)

Red Cloak Student (Riposte Strike) - A nice defensive boost for sticking your neck out there.

Red Cloak Rake - The general effect is nice, but the power list is astoundingly mediocre. Average.


Silent Shot Style (Crossbows and Shortbows)

Silent Shot Student (Gloaming Cut) - Some nice +damage for Cunning Sneaks who pump Int. Sadly, that's a very rare sort of Rogue.

Silent Shot Phantom - A penalty to Perception allows your Stealth shenanigans to be better, so that's nice. The list is not all that great (only one good power, and it's the L27 one), though the benefit is considerable.



Exotic Weapon Feats

As the name implies, these feats give you capacities beyond and above those a normal Weapon Proficiency feat would grant you (including scaling powers you can swap yours for), but they also burn up your Multiclass slot, so choose carefully.

Blowgun (D 373) - Though the weapon itself is Sneak Attack-friendly, it doesn't have the support that Crossbows and Slings have, so it's a distant third choice.

Spiked Chain Training (DMA 2009) - It gives you access to the most damaging Light Blade in the game, and that does count for something. It also happens to be a Double weapon, so dual-wielding is easy as pie. It does cost some versatility though.


Dragonmark Feats (EPG)

Dragonmark feats are different from other Heroic Tier feats in that you: (a) can only have one of them at a time, and (b) they usually come with an associated race, which I will be noting. Note that the feat doesn't actually force you to be of that race, so if your DM agrees, you can take this feat while being a member of another race.

Aberrant Mark of Contagion (Any) - An encounter-long penalty to saves against ongoing damage when you hit with a Daily can be pretty solid.

Mark of Finding (Human or Half-Orc) - A benefit that can be very potent for a Riposte Strike user that seeks to keep his enemy adjacent, but the Paragon Path is not for you.

Mark of Passage (Human) - A nice bonus to shifting distance, but the Paragon Path associated with the mark is marginal for you.

Mark of Shadow (Elf) - Remaining hidden or invisible when missing is nice (if a bit infrequent), and it opens up access to one of the best Paragon Paths in the business. Nice to have.

Mark of Storm (Half-Elf) - If you use this with Deadly Draw and Lightning weapons, you have a permanent Combat Advantage combo as a Melee Rogue. Great for them, and any who will forsake their secondary for Lyrandar Wind-Rider's extra damage.

Paragon Paths: Exemplars of the Dirty Deeds

Rogues are outfitted with a rock-solid Paragon Path lineup, so you may not have to look around for the best Path to suit your concept. If you don't see anything you like, the Multiclass section houses the other alternatives.

Rogue Paragon Paths

Arcane Trickster (MP 2) - This path appeals to a Rogue who has a significant investment in an arcane class (likely Sorcerer or Warlock, as Wizard would spread you too thin for the most part). It has some mostly unimpressive abilities that can be replicated by feats or other paths, though, so it's not the best choice you could make.

Arena Champion (D 368) - A slight speedbump in the pre-requisites, but the added status effects and debuffing, along with the ability to wring some damage out of a feint, a solid AP feature, and a nice revival utility make this a solid investment for a Rogue.

Blade Bravo (MP 2) - A rather risky path for the traditionally fragile Rogue, this focuses on keeping your enemy's attention on you. It can be good if you're planning on milking Riposte Strike for what it's worth, though.

Cat Burglar (PHB) - While the non-Action Point features here would be classified as situational on a good day (and the fact that every Goliath has one of them is almost insulting), the powers are easy to use and quite effective. A pretty serviceable choice.

Cloaked Sniper
(MP) - A path made for those Rogues who favor a Crossbow, it combines a couple of useful features (which mimic feats and thus will result in having more of those left over) with some pretty nice powers to establish itself as a strong option.

Daggermaster (PHB) - Make no mistake; this is one of the premier Paragon Paths for a Dagger Rogue, as the greatly improved criticals make a very big impact on your damage, and it's a way for Rogues to get them without having to invest in Strength and wait until Epic. However, the recent errata has made it worthless for a Rogue who wishes to charge or use Deft Blade as a Piercing Strike replacement (which is a nice and easy way for big damage as a member of this class), so its former monopoly is no more, especially for Brutal Scoundrels.

Daring Acrobat (MP) - While this path certainly has some nice charge-oriented goodies, it also has some features that just meander about or are just plain not that good, which makes it a rather average choice overall.

Daring Slinger (MP 2) - A Paragon Path for one of the Rogue's iconic weapons, it offers a straight-up damage bonus, as well as some nice features and powers. A good Path, especially considering that Sling support was pretty solid even without this.

Death Dealer (MP) - This Paragon Path mostly focuses on ways to keep a Rogue upright. The ways it goes about it are by handing you a source of temporary HP and some nice and spammable penalties to hit you. While that's all well and good, the THP is conditional and the rest of the path overall is very average (a nice AP feature though).

Flying-Blade Adept (MP) - This path focuses on Ranged attacks with light blades. One of the key flaws in this is that Light Blade Ranged damage is just not as good as Crossbow damage, so you're better served with that. Also, high crit means pretty little on a 1d4 damage dagger.

Gatecrasher (MOTP) - This path is focused on making you even more mobile via the gift of teleportation. It packs a decent batch of abilities, though the rather conditional features make it a bit dependent on your opposition.

Ghost of Eventide (FRPG) - This Path is rather specific; not only do you have to be FROM the Forgotten Realms, you have to be from a specific region. Apart from that, it's a Melee path that focuses on being sneaky, which is kind of hard to do. Not only that, but the powers are pretty bad overall. I wouldn't take it.

Guildmaster Thief (MP) - This path has a big money feature in that it adds a stat to a flanking ally's damage, and some nice powers to make it a nice choice if you feel that channeling your inner Leader will be the way to go as far as adding to your party's damage total goes (though this does require having another good hitter in your party for maximum effect).

Hoard Raider (D 369) - A dragon-specific ED, and as such offers little for a Rogue not looking to loot dragon hoards, except for a decent defensive feature while in a flank.

Jack-of-all-Trades (MP 2) - This path is obviously focused on making you better at skills, so the features are pretty non-combat oriented (that said, a straight-up +2 to skills can be useful). That said, the powers are solid enough to make this an actual choice, especially a pretty awesome Daily power.

Master Infiltrator (PHB) - Barring the crit feature and the Utility, this path is standard fare or worse among most Rogues. Better for a Cunning Sneak and his Stealth shenanigans, but mostly unimpressive.

Master of Poisons (MP 2) - While this path certainly has an interesting outlook, it faces two big flaws in that the meat-and-potatoes damage bonus keys off what is a dump stat for almost the absolute majority of Rogues, and that immunity to poison is rather common. With that in mind, it's still a decent, though limited, path.

Master Spy (MP) - A path which is basically made to mess with enemy heads. It serves its purpose well, though some of the features will likely be searching for a trigger in some encounters.

Rakish Swashbuckler (MP) - A decent path for a Defender to MC into as well as for a Rogue, it provides incentives to keep your opponents marked, whether it be you or him. I'm not 100% on it given how Rogue durability typicaly goes, but it can be somewhat useful.

Raven Herald (MP) - A Path made to mess with undead (and bloodied enemies), it has Ritual Caster and radiant Sneak Attack damage as its major selling points, and the Daily is not too bad, but there's no real features that separate it from the rest.

Red Cloak (MP 2) - This Paragon Path has an interesting gimmick in that it likes to be attacked and missed even more than what is normal, as it can gain CA, free mobility, or a countershot out of the deal. Also, not wasting an immediate is nice too. However, the path faces problems in that its feature's can't be used in tandem and in that you're going to need some heavy AC investment in order to get missed enough to trigger these effects.

Shadow Assassin (PHB) - This path has some nice goodies on the features side, and though the attack powers are unimpressive, a good Utility power redeems them. All in all, a pretty good Paragon Path.

Strong-Arm Enforcer (MP) - It gives you a strong Daily power, but its favoring of a Rattling spam theme makes it more Controller-ish than other paths. Still a pretty solid choice given the proper investment, though.

Verdant Stalker (MP 2) - A decent Stealth-oriented Paragon Path, it provides a bit of reliability on Sneak Attack, some extra hiding, and some OK powers. Nothing to really get excited over here, though.

Whisperknife (MP 2) - While this PP has some nice and mean fluff, the mechanics are kind of odd (not provoking OA's while dagger tossing or granting CA while being flanked, that sort of deal). As usual, I'm really not too fond of going into full Ranged with a Light Blade, but you shouldn't be totally gimped by it.


Racial Paragon Paths

Here, I'll be marking the race that corresponds to the Path along with the source. We'll only be concerning ourselves with the recommended Paragon Paths here, that is to say, those rated Black or higher. If it's not on the list and it's in my sources, it's not a good idea.

Abiding Reaper (Shadar-Kai - D 372) - This Paragon Path has some neat features and powers (including shutting down resistance or regeneration on an AP attack), but nothing really sets it apart as an option. Solid, but unexceptional.

Adroit Explorer (Human - PHB 2) - Some good and solid features to make your sturdier and let you use your favorite powers one more time are nice to have, and having additional action points to spend is also cool. A pretty good path for a Rogue.

Bloodfury Savage (Half-Orc - PHB 2) - The flavor parallels are rather tenuous, but this path provides plenty of extra damage to a Rogue, and there is no such thing as too much damage for a Striker.

Chameleon (Changeling - EPG) - This Paragon Path is kind of swingy. If you have an ally whose powers complement your capabilities well, it's fantastic. Otherwise, you're likely better served elsewhere. This is more of a judgment call path.

Doomspeaker (Shadar-Kai - D 372) - This Paragon Path focuses on Rattling powers, and it provides some nice goodies like receiving the effect on a miss or a heal when you drop someone with a Rattling power. However, the Rattling power list is not always appealing, and while Rogues with the proper feat can potentially make any power Rattling, that requires taking away Sneak Attack damage. Still a decent path, though.

Dread Fang (Drow - MP) - This Paragon Path has a nice collection of useful features which will probably save you a feat or two, and the power list isn't bad at all. You could do much worse than pick this one.

Halfling Quickblade (Halfling - MP) - While the features are mostly a disappointing bunch, the L16 feature and a power list with no holes in it makes this a strong choice for one of the poster child races of the Rogue class.

Halfling Scoundrel (Halfling - PHB 2) - Apart from a particularly nasty Daily power, this path doesn't have much to offer to distinguish it from its fellow racial Path, but the power is good enough to make this Path worth taking.

Moonstalker (Shifter - PHB 2) - If you focus on an array of powers that can knock prone and/or decide to favor Wisdom a bit, this path can be worth having.

Rrathmal (Githzerai - PHB 3) - Automatic criticals are always fun (even if it does cost a standard action), as is rolling initiative twice, so this Paragon Path definitely has some perks, and the free repositioning the Rrathmal Pursuit offers is also very nice. A decent Path overall.

Storvakal (Githzerai - D 370) - While this Paragon Path may not seem like all that great at first glance, its L11 feature can enable you to use Power Attack with no restrictions at all, which can be good with some of the more unorthodox weapons on the Rogue list.

Tiefling Hellstalker (Tiefling - MP) - A decent Paragon Path for a race with plenty of Rogue flavor, but not all that much Rogue mechanics. Probably best on a Cunning Sneak, since it pretty much makes it a mission to slip out of sight.


Dragonmarked Paragon Paths (EPG)

Again, we will only concern ourselves with Paths that would make you better at what is expected of a Rogue. I also note the expected (note: not required) race for the Path, as well as the Dragonmark Feat you have to take to gain access.

Lyrandar Wind-Rider (Half-Elf, Mark of Storm) - While certainly unorthodox, a Rogue that invests in this route gains substantial reward in the form of accuracy and damage bonuses while wielding a Lightning weapon, which already offers a trick for eternal CA on Melee Rogues. Nice.

Thuranni Shadow Killer (Elf, Mark of Shadow) - This Paragon Path is definitely dripping with Rogue flavor, and it has a solid power selection and action point feature. A pretty nice pick, and it gets brutal if you decide to augment its already strong ability to hand out ongoing damage as a strong effective damage boost.



Epic Destinies: Pioneers of the Dirty Deeds

Rogue Epic Destinies

Same deal as before applies here: Black or higher choices only. If it's not here, it's not good for you.

Champion of Prophecy (EPG) - Pretty similar to Demigod, but with an emphasis on milestones. Not quite as good IMHO, but that's a high standard to meet.

Chosen (DP) - Essentially Demigod, with some leeway as to what Utility power you get.

Darklord (D 372) - Lots of Grim Reaper flavor, but you don't really get to the meat of the issue until the capstone power, so it's kind of average.

Dark Wanderer (MP) - While this Epic Destiny is nice and flavorful, the mechanics it carries don't quite measure up. Some features won't come into play that often, and others focus too much on how cool they sound instead of how cool they should be.

Deadly Trickster (PHB) - An Epic Destiny with flavor and mechanics merged into a harmonious whole. It's almost a given that you'll qualify, and it offers you plenty of goodies, including rerolls and power recovery. You can't really go wrong with this one.

Demigod (PHB) - Arguably the best Epic Destiny for anybody, and that includes you.

Destined Scion (HotFK) - Another off-shoot from the Demigod tree, a straight-up attack and save bonus along with the two ability score bonuses make it a strong choice.

Free Soul (D 376) - A decent Revenant-only ED to keep (save ends) effects off you, but it doesn't offer much apart from that.

Godhunter (MP) - A pretty nice ED for most Rogues, the features it offers will help you bring those really tough targets down.

Harbinger of Doom (PHB 2) - While none of the features are bad, none of them really stand out enough to separate this Epic Destiny from the pack.

Harper of Legend (D 367) - You can usually qualify without much of a hitch, and it has some cool stuff to offer you, especially related to action points. A decent choice.

Heir of Siberys (D 388) - A branch off the Demigod ED tree, this one offers a variety of effects to choose from as a Utility power. A Rogue will probably go for the powers for Finding, Scribing, or Shadow.

Hordemaster (DSCS) - An interesting spin on the classic Demigod Epic Destiny, this one has some nice Leader-y flavor and powers you could use to good effect.

Indomitable Champion (HotFL) - Essentially an expansion of the Demigod chassis, this ED offers some hefty extra HP and a bonus to NAD's, in addition to some neat defensive abilities and the traditional double stat boost.

Keeper of the Everflow (HoS) - A quality ED, it gives an ability score bump along with a variety of effects you can mix-and-match to fit the situation (and there's a good straight standby effect you can rock, too).

Martial Archetype (MP) - While it may not be an ED for the general public, the features this carries can make it plenty worth having on the right sort of Rogue.

Prince of Hell (D 372) - A nice alternative for some Rogues; while it may not offer a Dexterity bonus, but most of the other features it offers are applicable and actually pretty good.

Prison of the Winds (D 371) - While you're usually looking for bonuses in places other than Constitution, everything else about this ED is simply stellar for a Rogue (and there is a niche build that likes Constitution as well). A great choice.

Punisher of the Gods (D 372) - While powerful, this Epic Destiny is a consistent headache for the designers, receiving multiple versions of errata. I can't give it a top ranking in its current incarnation, especially because I don't think it will remain constant either.

Raven Knight (D 380) - Another stellar option for a Rogue, this Epic Destiny offers almost everything you could ask for with attribute bonuses and strong powers.

Reborn Champion (D 365) - A lack of a real money feature keeps from truly playing with the big boys, but this is still a very strong choice, especially because it makes you harder to keep down.

Redeemed Drow (D 367) - A surprisingly strong choice in a racial Drow Epic Destiny, only one feature is not applicable to the Rogue in general, and even then the storyline will swing some enemies that meet the criteria your way.

Star-Favored Warrior (MP 2) - While it's not quite a tailor-made fit for you, it does have some nice perks you can partake in. Not a bad choice overall.

Storm Sovereign (D 372) - It has some nice toys to offer you, but overall some features don't match up as well with you as those on other Epic Destinies.

Thief of Legend (D 388) - The ability scores align perfectly with a Rogue, and though the L24 feature is purely subject to DM fiat and the L26 power is not really combat-oriented, the L30 feature is good enough to make up for most of it. A good ED or you.

Winter Sovereign (D 372) - A solid Epic Destiny overall, it gets nicer if you decide to employ Frostcheese and have a fondness for (save ends) effects, which certainly is a possibility on a Rogue.
Equipment: Tools of the Dirty Deeds

This post is dedicated to choice of equipment, such as what weapon to wield and what armor to wear. Magic items are discussed in the following post.



Weapon Groups: Perpetrators of the Dirty Deeds




Axes - They're inaccurate (though they pack a big ol' damage die), they can't be used to Sneak Attack or use Rogue powers unless you're a Dwarf with certain feats, and they use attributes not all of you are into for their feats. Unless you're a Dwarf (and even then) you probably don't want this.

Bows - While it feels that the default statistics for the Bows are a bit better than they are for Crossbows, Sharpshooter Talent's +1 to hit make the difference for the Crossbows. Still, bows are serviceable.

Recommended Bows

Shortbow (PHB) - Not all that impressive-looking when it comes to raw stats, but the fact that it can get Sneak Attack damage without spending a feat to make it happen makes it pretty respectable.


Crossbows - They offer more range than any thrown weapon, some decent damage numbers (especially with Sharpshooter Talent), and some quality support. Probably the first choice for a Ranged Rogue, but it does face some competition from the Sling.

Recommended Crossbows

Hand Crossbow (PHB) - While it doesn't seem to be all that at first glance, the feat support for it can make this quite the powerful option for you. It squeaks out a win against the Sling thanks to the Bracers of Archery.


Flails - Nothing for you to be looking at, frankly.

Hammers - Arguably the same problems as Axes, except it's a bit more egregious because some of you can use Strength, but very few of you have any use for a Constitution as high as this weapon's feat support likes it to be.

Heavy Blades - They have a high proficiency bonus, decent damage and, for the nominal price of a feat, can be used for all Rogue powers if they're one-handed. I consider this a trap choice, actually: Light Blade support is so much better, that the great majority of Rogues will come up on the losing side by picking this over a Light Blade.

Light Blades - And now we come to the weapon group most of you are going to use. The feat support is right up your alley, it's usable with all your powers with no effort at all, and they also fit the classic Rogue flavor. This is your stop in almost all cases.

Recommended Light Blades

Dagger (PHB) - For most Melee Rogues, that +1 to hit drowns out the increased weapon damage dice on the other options. The classic Rogue weapon is a strong choice indeed.

Katar (PHB) - Extra damage and high crit compared to a dagger, but it loses the +1 to hit and costs a feat. Not quite as good overall, but some of you can make this work.

Parrying Dagger (AV) - I don't recommend actually attacking with it, but it's a nice choice for supplementing your AC while still qualifying for the two-weapon feats.

Rapier (PHB) - Though it costs a feat, it's good damage, and it has some support in its favor to make it plenty worth having.

Short Sword (PHB) - While +1 to damage over that is not really worth the +1 to hit, this is not the worst choice you could make.

Spiked Chain (D 372) - While this may seem like a mistake, it's not: Spiked Chain Training allows you to use this weapon as a Light Blade, and it offers Reach and some hefty weapon damage as major perks.


Maces - Even though the Ruthless Ruffian can use these with his powers and other Rogues can spend a feat to do the same, these are not as efficient or as supported as Light Blades, and they require different attributes from the ones you're likely to raise. Not that good an idea.

Picks - Don't do that to yourself.

Polearms - No real way to use them effectively.

Slings - While not quite at the level of Crossbows, these weapons do feature enough support and a unique power line to at the very least make them an interesting alternative.

Recommended Slings

Dejada (DSCS) - A straight damage upgrade over the traditional sling makes it pretty competitive with other weapons as far as stats are concerned.

Sling (PHB) - Some strong feat support makes this quite a solid choice.


Spears - No use for these things.

Staffs - Don't know why you'd even want to try using these; the stats are terrible.


Armor: Insurance for the Dirty Deeds



Cloth - No reason to wear this.

Leather - The best armor you're proficient with out of the gate, and likely the one most of you will stick around in. It offers a decent bit of extra AC with no penalty to skills, which is always nice.

Hide - While it is better AC than Leather, it costs a feat (along with attribute placements), and the skill penalty kind of stings, too. An option for Brutal Scoundrels and those willing to deviate some Strength into it, but no one else cares.

Chainmail - Costs feats, reduces speed and skills, and offers lower AC than light armor. No.

Scale - Even more expensive (and unnecessary) than chain.

Plate - The most egregious alternative considering the cost and the lack of benefits accrued.

Shields - An interesting alternative; you're not proficient with them out of the box (so they cost feats), they pigeonhole some stat points, and prohibit two-weapon shenanigans, but they're a quick and easy way to get a good AC and Reflex bonus. Not a total waste.
Magic Equipment: Aids for Dirty Deeds

As is the norm for sections in this Handbook, if the piece of magic equipment isn't rated Black or higher, I won't be talking about it (especially important because this game has a colossal amount of equipment available).

Armor

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the armor with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 2+



Repulsion Armor
(Cloth, Leather) (AV) - Keeps folk away from you for an entire encounter's worth of time. Great for Ranged Rogues.



Screaming Armor (Hide, Scale, Plate) (AV) - A free bonus to Intimidate, and a nifty debuffing power (with range, no less). A solid choice
 if you actually find yourself in Hide.

Shadow Hound Armor (Hide) (AV 2) - A nice defensive bonus to have when you get banged up.


Level 3+



Armor of Exploits (Any) (AV) - Lets you make interesting combinations with allies who share your attack stat, or simply load an Encounter power for an extra use. Pretty cool.



Defensive Armor (Any) (PHB 3) - This property features a solid Daily defense-booster, which becomes meatier with power points (it's better if you have access to those).

Thought-Eater Armor (Leather, Hide) (PHB 3) - A decent concealment power, and a bonus to Stealth. Decent enough, and pretty good for a Ranged Rogue.


Level 4+



Battle Harness
(Cloth, Leather, Hide) (D 368) - An initiative bonus is never bad (even if it doesn’t stack with a Warlord’s buff), and Quick Draw for free doesn’t hurt either. A pretty good choice.

Bloodcut Armor (Leather, Hide) (PHB) - Allows you to burn surges to gain resistance to all damage. A bit of a gamble, but considering your healing surge value likely won’t be that high, it’s not too hard to gain a benefit from this.

Flowform Armor (Cloth, Leather) (PHB 3) - Getting yourself out of a status effect every encounter is a very powerful thing to have in your back pocket. A prime item for a Rogue.


Level 5+



Shadowdance Armor (Cloth, Leather) (SAC) - This property is a real incentive for Ranged Rogues to hang around in Melee. Not provoking any OA's on Ranged attacks means you can get in your enemy's face and shoot him without fearing retribution (or at least be able to toss Daggers without fear).


Level 6+



Gambler's Suit (Leather) (AV 2) - A rather risky property and power, but it offers these properties at Magic Leather price without costing you anything else, so it's a nice pickup.


Level 7+



Shipboard Armor (Leather) (AV 2) - The property is solid, but the reason I mention this armor is because it's part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set.


Level 10+



Lifeblood Armor
(Hide) (PHB 2) - If I’m reading this right, this grants you free HP just for using a short rest (which you will do; you want your Encounter powers back). Good enough to make you want to go out and get Hide.



Level 13+



Shadowflow Armor (Cloth, Leather) (PHB) - A bonus to Stealth checks, and concealment available once per encounter. Great for any Rogue.


Level 14+



Armor of Dark Deeds
(Leather, Hide) (AV 2) - Concealment when you tag someone can help your defense and compensate for the increased difficulty of maintaining a Cunning Sneak's bread-and-butter strategy going in Melee range.

Displacer Armor (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (AV) - A formerly fantastic property, but it now burns up a Magic Item Daily and only works for one turn. Still decent, though.




Level 15+



Bloodvine Armor (Hide) (PHB 2) - Expensive, but the power can help you stay alive. Worth a look.



Trollskin Armor (Hide, Scale) (PHB) - Regen is always a nice thing to have in your back pocket, but its steep cost puts a ceiling on how awesome it can be.




Level 19+



Great Cat Armor
(Hide) (AV 2) - More mobility never killed anybody, and it's extra nice on charging types.


Weapons

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the weapon with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 2+



Entrapping (Bow, Crossbow) (AV 2) - Conditional benefit (only on a critical), but Restrained is some serious mobility control.


Farbond Spellblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - If you like Melee combat with Heavy Blades, behold what is perhaps the most palatable option for your Ranged backup: it's cheap, it has solid range, and benefits from most of your feats.

Goblin Totem (Any) (FRPG) - If you're small, this weapon is a quick and dirty way to get a good damage bonus against just about everybody. That said, be informed that it doesn't stack with Iron Armbands of Power, so I recommend it strictly for economy purposes.

Prime Shot Weapon (Any Ranged) (AV) - Some nice extra damage for getting down and dirty in Melee.

Rebounding (Any Ranged) (AV 2) - Redirecting a miss as an Encounter power is a solid power to have.

Vicious (Any) (PHB) - Pretty basic, but d12 crit dice are nice to have.


Level 3+



Cunning
(Any Melee) (AV) - If you like (save ends) effects, this is the weapon for you.

Frost (Any) (PHB) - Combines with Wintertouched and Lasting Frost for eternal combat advantage and +5 damage. Better than ever, thanks to other items helping it beat cold resistance.


Hidden (Light Blade, Mace) (DSCS) - Though rather inapplicable in combat, this weapon drips with out-of-combat utility.

Inescapable (Any) (AV) - Buffs your attack bonus after a miss, up to a certain point. Solid.

Luckblade
(Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Rerolls, which are great to have in your back pocket (you never know...).

Quick (Any) (AV) - Free basic attacks are fun, especially at Heroic, but this is quickly outclassed by other weapons.

Rhythm Blade
(Light Blade) (AV 2) - Shores up your defenses some more if you have Two-Weapon Defense, which is never bad. This is part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set, so picking one or more items from that set makes this go up in value.

Swiftshot (Crossbow) (AV) - This used to be a powerful enchantment for Crossbow users, but with Speed Loader and the errata reducing the free attack to a Daily, it no longer carries the spice it once did.


Level 4+



Master’s Blade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - Good effects all around. You may want to pick this up a bit later in your career, though (you don’t get good Stances as quickly as, say, a Fighter).


Level 5+



Flaming (Any) (PHB) - This weapon is OK by itself, but it's better for Tieflings, thanks to Hellfire Blood.



Lightning (Any) (PHB) - Makes Mark of Storm users very happy (obviously better for them).


Level 7+



Infighting Blade (Light Blade, One-Handed Axe) - A nice power to have if you're surrounded, especially if you wield two of them. Not the kind of power you want to have to exploit, though. It's also part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set, which makes it look better if you already have pieces of that set.


Level 8+



Dread (Any) (AV) - Slaps out defensive penalties like it's nobody's business.
 Great for setting yourself up for something big, but it'd be nicer if someone did this for you.

Tyrant's (Any Melee) (AV) - Not worth much until you have a nova sequence power that can knock prone (like Knockout), but once you do, this item will produce literally ridiculous amounts of damage once per day.


Level 9+



Kamesti Crossbow (Crossbow) (AV 2) - Retains a missed power, and eliminates the long range penalty. Decent. It's also part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set, which makes it look better if you already have pieces of that set.


Level 10+



Footpad's Friend (Light Blade) (AV) - Essentially, you pay a lot of gold to give Artful Dodgers a damage bonus similar to the Brutal Scoundrel's class feature. While this does burn up a lot of gold, it does give out a lot of damage.

Wraithblade (Light Blade) (DMA 2009) - Getting Sneak Attack damage again on a critical can add up to a hefty amount of extra damage being tossed around, especially in the hands of a Brutal Scoundrel.


Level 12+



Jagged (Axe, Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Improved crits can be nice for those not going for Daggermaster.


Level 13+



Bloodiron
(Any) (AV) - Your criticals are so nice, they damage twice. Beautiful in the hands of a Daggermaster.

Thunderbolt
(Any Ranged) (AV) - A more palatable alternative to Lightning Weapons for Ranged Rogues who wish to abuse the synergies with Mark of Storm and Lyrandar Wind-Rider.


Level 14+



Battlemaster's
(Any) (AV) - An extra go with an Encounter power for an Item Daily? I'm in.

Mindiron (Bow, Crossbow) (AV) - While rather unremarkable by itself, it becomes awesome when paired with a Headband of Intellect and Psychic Lock, especially if you use a Rattling power with it.


Level 15+



Radiant
(Any) (AV) - This lets you play nice with Divine classes, and smacks undead around pretty well. Too bad it’s so expensive...



Arms

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 2



Bracers of Enforced Regret (AV 2) - Basically only worth mentioning because they're part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set (their benefit IMHO is way too conditional to see real use).


Level 4



Counterstrike Guards
(L4/14) (AV) - A decent item, it grants you more attacks as a reaction to your oppponent attacking you. The upgraded version 
is light-years better, as it allows you to do it every encounter.


Level 6



Bracers of Archery
(L6/16/26) (AV) - No real reason to not wear them if you’re a Ranged Rogue.

Iron Armbands of Power
(L6/16/26) (AV) - No real reason to not wear them if you’re a Melee Rogue.


Level 10



Barrage Bracers (AV 2) - A bonus to attack when you score a hit. Nice enough.

Bloodsoaked Bracers (L10/20/30) (AV) - If you're OK with your damage being a huge spike instead of a steady flow, this is the item for you. Be warned, though; it doesn’t stack very well with other sources of damage, and it burns up a Magic Item Daily to do its job.


Level 19



Trollhide Braces
(L19/29) (AV) - Regeneration is always a solid defensive choice.


Feet

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 2



Acrobat Boots (AV) - Cheap, and they let you stand up as a minor action (a very useful property). Somewhat diminished in value because of the At-Will skill power that lets you do the same thing, though.

Boots of Adept Charging (AV) - Shifting 1 square after a charge opens up plenty of tactical options to you, and it's dirt cheap as gravy.


Level 7



Boots of the Fencing Master
(AV) - Rewards you for moving around. What's not to like?


Level 8



Boarding Boots (AV 2) - Though charging with an "At-Will" is likely something you can already do, it's nice to have for the other At-Wills on the lis, it's part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set, which makes it look better if you already have pieces of that set.

Boots of Quickness (L8/18/28) (AV) - A decent boost to your highest defense.




Level 9



Boots of Eagerness
(AV) - Pretty cheap, and they pack a pretty nice mobility-advantage power.



Level 10



Boots of Sand and Sea (AV) - This is a cheap speed boost that also allows you to swim. Not bad.




Level 12



Shadowdancer's Boots (AV 2) - A speed boost for light armor wearers that gets better in darkness is nice, and it's also part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set.


Level 16



Survivor’s Boots (AV 2) - Yeah, they require you to be bloodied, but after that, you can pretty much do whatever you want in combat. A decent item.


Level 18



Phantom Chaussures (AV) - Effectively, this grants you the Warlock's Shadow Walk. That's a very nice thing to have for a Cunning Sneak, who likely is more concerned with finding things to hide behind than actual mobility.


Level 21



Lightstep Slippers (AV) - This item provides a healthy bonus to Stealth checks, and also helps you deal with enemies that could potentially detect you even while hidden.


Level 22



Boots of Speed
(AV) - +2 to speed and a decent power.




Level 24



Boots of Caiphon
(AV 2) - They sap your HP, but it’s probably less damage than you would take for eating an OA, especially at these levels, and you ARE moving with a minor action...

Zephyr Boots (AV) - You can fly. Need I say more?


Level 25



Sandals of Avandra
(AV) - Expensive, but very powerful and allow for crazy mobility.


Level 28



Boots of Teleportation
(AV) - Get them if you can afford them. That is all.


Hands

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 3



Gloves of Piercing (PHB) - Real cheap, and they should punch through most resistance to your attacks if they're not element-based.


Level 4



Gauntlets of Blood (L4/14/24) (AV 2) - A good bonus to damage against Bloodied targets will help you mop fights up more easily.


Level 5



Gloves of Recovery (AV 2) - A consolation attack after a miss is nice. This is part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set, so picking one or more items from that set makes this go up in value.


Level 10



Antipathy Gloves (AV) - A decent ability for Ranged Rogues that do not want to be engaged in Melee.



Dwarven Throwers (AV) - If you favor thrown weapons, I suggest you buddy up with this item, because it's likely the only item bonus to damage you'll get. It can also let you throw a weapon such as a Rapier if you're so inclined (which is rather funny).

Strikebacks
(AV) - Though the bonus to Opportunity Attacks likely won't see that much play on you, the free Melee Basic Attack every encounter when you get hit will. A most excellent choice for Melee Rogues.


Level 11



Gloves of Ice
(L11/21) (AV 2) - More damage for your cold attacks, or punch through cold resistance. Glorious, especially with Frost Weapons.

Shadowdancer's Gloves
(AV 2) - +1d6 damage is a nice benefit to have. Being part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set doesn't hurt, either.


Level 13



Gloves of Missile Deflection (AV) - Some solid resistance against Ranged attacks. Ranged Rogues get targeted with them more than Melee Rogues, so they appreciate this a bit more.


Level 16



Gloves of Accuracy (AV) - This is nice to have if your DM likes to put obstacles in the way of your arrows and you have minor actions to burn.



Level 18



Gauntlets of Destruction
(PHB) - Rerolling all 1's on Melee damage roll can certainly add up to be a very nice effective damage bonus.


Head

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 2



Eagle Eye Goggles
(L2/12/22) (AV) - A scaling attack bonus to Ranged Basic Attacks is a pretty nice benefit to have.


Level 4



Casque of Tactics (L4/14/24) (AV) - An initiative bonus is good for anyone, and swapping initiative who anyone who rolled high once per day is nice too.




Level 6



Horned Helm (L6/16/26) (PHB) - Charging is a great way for Rogues to get some extra damage in.


Level 8



Coif of Mindiron
(L8/18/28) (AV) - Protects against an increasing array of mental conditions (albeit only against Will) as an ENCOUNTER POWER. Sexy.




Level 9



Helm of Battle (L9/19/29) (PHB) - Initiative bonuses for everyone!




Level 10



Headband of Intellect (L10/20/30) (AV) - A nice bonus to attacks with the Psychic keyword ( a keyword your attacks can have, courtesy of the Mindiron Crossbow).

Shadowdancer's Mask (AV 2) - A do-over for a Stealth check is very useful for the typical Rogue. Being part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set certainly helps the cause a bit.


Level 14



Helm of Able Defense (AV 2) - A bonus to Will, and a bump to all defenses until you get hit is pretty good if you ask me.


Level 15



Carcanet of Psychic Schism
(AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.


Level 20



Trickster's Mask (AV) - If you're going to be a Stealth-monger, you might want to invest in one of these.


Level 21



Coif of Focus
(AV) - Comes by later in your career, and burns up a Magic Item Daily, but negating Daze or Stun is awesome.


Level 22



Helm of Ghostly Defense
(PHB) - Helps you take the sting off your opponent’s hits, and smidge of necrotic resistance to boot.


Level 23



Eye of Awareness
(AV) - A decent bonus to Will defense, and a huge initiative boost on top of that.


Neck

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the weapon with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 2+



Cloak of Resistance (PHB) - Decent resistance for a turn.


Level 3+



Baffling Cape (AV 2) - It's on this list because it's part of the Blade Dancer's Regalia item set, since I don't think the power is any good.


Level 4+



Cloak of Distortion
(AV) - Forces your enemies to get in close enough for you to engage them if you're Melee, and provide an eternal artillery v. artillery advantage if you're Ranged.




Level 8+



Pavise Charm (AV 2) - The only reason I mention this is because of the Kamestiri Uniform item set; pinning yourself down as a Striker is a big no-no, unless you have Hide in Plain Sight going on.

Steadfast Amulet
(AV) - This prevents daze or stun. 'Nuff said.




Level 9+



Amulet of False Life
(PHB) - Your healing surge value in THP is a sweet ability, even if it's a Daily.



Shadowdancer's Cloak
(AV 2) - Lets you squeeze in one more potshot against an unsuspecting opponent. This is also part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set.


Level 10+



Periapt of Cascading Health
(D 369) - Ends one effect per encounter, no questions asked. Win.



Level 13+



Amulet of Scales
(D 365) - Scaling, immediate-application, encounter-long resistance to a keyword (which includes Arcane, Weapon, and the like, by the way) is nice.


Level 14+



Assassin's Cloak (AV 2) - Rather pricey, but rerolling Stealth and the ability to straight-up become invisible as well isn't something you can totally write off.

Flamewrath Cape (AV) - Offers a nice damage boost, as well as disincentive for enemies attacking you. Only for one turn, though.

Timeless Locket
(AV 2) - A very tasty bonus to initiative checks that should stack with just about every buff you can have for it. The only downer is that (post-errata) you can't attack with the standard action the Daily power generates.


Level 15+



Brooch of Vitality
(AV) - More HP is NICE, especially the Epic Tier versions.



Cloak of Displacement
(AV) - A nice bonus to AC and Reflex until you get hit, and a pretty cool power. Worth a look, especially for Archers.

Necklace of Fireballs (AV) - Defense that packs some decent offense.



Torc of Power Preservation
(AV) - It retains Encounter powers when you use them. Need I really say more?


Level 30



Scarab of Invulnerability
(PHB) - Makes you immune to everything for a round. Sure, it's a Level 30 item, but you will enjoy the short amount of time you'll have it.


Rings

Remember, you can have two of these, so look out for Rings that either work well together or work well in doubles.


Level 13



Ring of Giants
(D 378) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage, and push 2 + prone on any primal attack power you may power-swap for can come in handy.


Level 14



Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords (PHB) - +1 healing surge is a pretty solid benefit.



Ring of Fury (D 366) - When you're bloodied, you let it be known.

 My issue with it is mainly that the trigger is hard to control.


Level 16



Ring of Protection (PHB) - Generic defensive item. Useful, though it's about as exciting as watching grass grow.



War Ring
(AV) - Adds a little more 'oomph' into your criticals.


Level 18



Bone Ring of Better Fortune (AV) - Since this halves all necrotic damage, it can potentially be better than a lot of resistance.



Level 19



Grace Ring of Prowess (AV 2) - A solid power that lets you rev up for +2 to hit before teeing off.


Level 20



Ring of Action Reversal
(AV 2) - A hefty bonus to initiative checks, and a sweet benefit should you miss with an Encounter power.


Level 21



Ring of Heroic Insight
(AV) - Allows you to buff yourself pretty well once per day.



Ring of Tenacious Will (AV) - A nice way of starting to compensate for typical Rogue fragility for the Cha-based guys.


Level 22



Blink Ring
(AV) - Teleportation is nice to have as a Striker.




Level 23



Greater Ring of Invisibility
(AV 2) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. Wow.


Level 24



Golden Ring of Teros
(AV 2) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.


Level 26



Ring of Guarded Will (AV 2) - A nice bump to Will defense.


Level 27



Avandra’s Ring (AV 2) - Ignoring difficult terrain is pretty cool. Too bad it shows up so late...

Ring of the Phoenix
(AV) - A pretty sweet revival ability.

Shadow Band
(AV) - You can't really argue against +2 to all defenses as a static property...




Level 28



Ring of Elemental Mastery (MOTP) - Allows you to shave some elemental resistance off your opponent, or flat-out ignore it after a milestone. Solid, especially for people looking to abuse the Frostcheese combo.



Level 29



Ring of Free Time
(AV 2) - Expensive, but the action potential with this and all those minor action attack powers Melee Rogues have is just nuts, and everyone appreciates having extra actions to work with. And it packs resist all 5. Can't go wrong with this.


Level 30



Dauntless Champion’s Ring
(AV 2) - For all you non-Demigods out there (you know who you are).

Nullifying Ring
(AV) - A capstone defensive item. Pretty nuts... if you can foot the bill.


Waist

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 8



Belt of Lucky Strikes (D 365) - A free attack after you miss is a solid benefit.

Belt of Vim (L8/18/28) (AV) - Reinforces what could be a strong defense or a weak one, depending on your combat style.




Level 10



Diamond Cincture (L10/20/30) (AV 2) - Easy-to-access healing, and a bonus a to Fortitude. Nice.

Shielding Girdle (AV) - A nice Daily AC buff.


Level 11



Healer's Sash (L11/21) (AV) - Anything that allows you to heal your allies is at least worth mentioning, even post-errata.



Level 15



Belt of Giant Strength (PHB) - A meh offensive Daily buff, but a pretty cool bonus to skills.


Girdle of the Umber Hulk (L15/25) (AV) - A solid burrow power, and a boost to Fortitude.


Level 16



Girdle of the Dragon (L16/26) (AV) - Fortitude boost, and an OK attack power.




Level 18



Belt of Mountain Endurance
(D 365) - A nice item for Brutal Scoundrels. +Str to surge value and an AP benefit, all in one package.


Level 19



Belt of Breaching (AV 2) - Healing as you chug on. Solid.


Level 23



Belt of Vitality
(AV) - Gets you up when you're down, and boosts Fortitude. Could be worse...


Level 25



Belt of Titan Strength
(PHB) - A strong buff for one turn, and strong skill bonuses.




Level 28



Sash of Regeneration (L28) (AV 2) - Having regeneration while bloodied is a nice benefit.


Miscellaneous

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section that doesn't follow that progression is available.


Ammunition:




Level 3+



Firestorm Arrow
(AV 2) - Lays down some heavy fire (pun intended). Lets you play focus fire and crowd control simultaneously.

Freezing Arrow
(AV 2) - Extra damage AND slowing? Very nice.

Lightning Arrow (AV 2) - Extra damage is awesome, though this one is a bit behind the other magical ammunition after the errata.

Surprise Bullet
(AV 2) - Free CA is a pretty nice benefit to have.


Level 10+



Dual Arrow
(D 373) - REROLLS, you say?! Now this is what I'm taling about!



Dragonshard Augments:




Level 2



Eberron Shard of Lightning
(L2/12/22) (EPG) - A great incentive to wield Lightning weapons.

Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth
(L2/12/22) (EPG) - Incentive for wielding Flaming weapons.

Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold
(L2/12/22) (EPG) - Yet another reason to like Frost weapons.


Level 3



Siberys Shard of Radiance
(L3/13/23) (EPG) - Another selling point for the Radiant weapon.


Wondrous Items:




Level 5



Power Jewel (AV) - A pain-free way to recharge a low-level Encounter power, and it just so happens you're going to want to keep one of those forever anyway.

Salve of Power (AV) - Post-errata, this trades a surge for another Encounter power, which is a pretty good deal for most Strikers.


Level 9



Backlash Tattoo
(AV 2) - A free basic attack every encounter is a nice revenge sort of ability.

Endless Quiver
(AV 2) - Endless ammo for Crossbow users. Do I really need to explain why that is good? To boot, it's part of the Kamestiri Uniform item set.


Level 10



Salve of Power
(AV)
- Post-errata, this trades a surge for another Encounter power, which is a pretty good deal for most Strikers, even squishier ones like you.


Level 12



Foe Stone
(AV) - Cheap, and it pinpoints your opponent’s weakest defense at will. Somebody in the party has to have this; why not you?

Stone of Earth (AV 2) - Getting another chance to land a Melee hit is sweet.

Stone of Flame (AV 2) - Fire lovers want one of these around.

Stone of Light (AV 2) - If you're into Radiant damage, having a do-over in your back pocket sounds like a good idea to me.

Stone of Spirit (AV 2) - If you're partaking in Psychic attack support, a reroll is good stuff.

Stone of Storms (AV 2) - If lightning and thunder are your elements of choice, this is good to have.

Stone of Wind (AV 2) - A do-over on a Ranged attack is a nice thing to have.


Level 16



Solitaire (Aquamarine)
(AV) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.


Level 21



Solitaire (Cerulean) (AV) - Expensive, but getting rid of (save ends) effects this easily should be.


Level 26



Solitaire (Violet)
(AV) - Free AP’s after a crit are awesome.



Multiclassing: The Dirty Deeds of Others



Here are some notes on useful things your Rogue may want to pick up from other classes, such as feats, powers, Paragon Paths, and the occasional Epic Destiny. As is the norm, Black or higher synergies only here.

As for hybrids? I don't believe most Rogue setups are going to milk a Hybrid to the extent some other classes can. That said, a Hybrid with Ranger, Assassin, or Warlock can be a workable build.

Assassin



You'll find little to entice you in the attack powers here: the main draw of the MC is the ability to use a Ki Focus for your weapon attacks, which in turn can result in a significant advantage for your item economy should you choose to wield two weapons.

Entry Feats

Shadow Initiate
(D 382) - A great draw for the ability to use Ki Foci and, it brings a nice little extra damage spike once per encounter in the two free shrouds.



Avenger




Again, you probably have little to entice you in the attack powers, you might find some nice utility powers to your liking, and the entry feat itself is definitely palatable.

Entry Feats

Disciple of Divine Wrath
(PHB 2) - While most of the particulars are ugly (Wisdom is not that good for most Rogues, Religion is a dumpstat skill, and Avenger power selection is questionable), but two turns' worth of double rolls on every attack is extremely nice.


Barbarian



A nice Multiclass option for some Brutal Scoundrels, it offers some brutal multiattacks to complement the Rogue's arsenal.

Entry Feats

Berserker's Fury (PHB 2) - A free +2 to damage for a whole encounter in addition to the free skill? All right!


Powers

Storm of Blades (L13, Encounter - PHB 2) - The Encounter damage potential of three attacks can be very destructive on a Brutal Scoundrel Rogue.

Hurricane of Blades
(L27, Encounter - PHB 2) - And you though Storm of Blades was good... This is likely the power you took the Multiclass feat for.


Cleric



Not the most intuitive MC option out there, this can actually offer a couple of options for the right kind of Rogue.

Entry Feats

Initiate of the Faith (PHB) - While Religion is not all that hot as far as skill training is concerned, an emergency healing power is very welcome on a Rogue.


Feats

Radiant Advantage (Epic Tier - DP) - While it does come in late, this presents a very viable alternative to the Permafrost combo on a Rogue, especially one that wants to be versatile.


Fighter



A very powerful option to exercise, it offers all sorts of options you can take advantage of.

Entry Feats

Battle Awareness (MP) - Requires investment in Wisdom, but this attack is likely to go off, and it grants a free skill. Nice.

Cyclone Warrior
(MP 2) - Some big damage for one round per encounter, plus a free skill. I'd take that.

Student of the Sword (PHB) - A +1 bonus to hit with a certain style of weapon and a mark after the attack is nifty (as is the free skill), but it's just not as good as the other feats.


Feats

Rending Tempest (Epic Tier - MP) - Some nice extra nova damage.

Striking Resurgence
(Paragon Tier - MP 2) - Burning your standard action on second wind just got a little more palatable.


Powers

Rain of Blows
(L3, Encounter - PHB) - A triple-hitting Encounter power is certainly a tasty Multiclass incentive.

Rain of Steel
(L5, Daily - PHB) - If you're looking to boost your DPR value, you can't go wrong with this beauty.

Reaper's Stance
(L25, Daily - PHB) - Essentially the same as Rain of Steel, with ongoing 10 damage tacked on. Even sweeter.


Paragon Paths

Kensei (PHB) - While the powers are lackluster for you overall (especially the frankly terrible Masterstroke), a +1 untyped bonus to hit and +4 to damage are excellent features for a Melee Rogue, regardless of the weapon wielded.

Shock Trooper
(MP) - This path makes off-hand weapons bigger, adds your prime stat to damage again once per round, and features a blisteringly powerful Encounter power. One of the prime Paragon Path choices for a Rogue, especially Brutal Scoundrels.



Ranger




A very nice option for most Rogues, it offers plenty of powers and other goodies to grab.

Entry Feats

Warrior of the Wild (PHB) - A nice bonus for a short amount of time in Hunter's Quarry.


Feats

Called Shot (Paragon Tier - D 368) - Costly in terms of feats, but it can be very meaty on a Rogue.

Courageous Shooter (Paragon Tier - MP) - Requires Paragon MC, but the Ranger's Prime Shot is a nice thing to have.

Manticore's Fury (Heroic Tier - MP 2) - While it does require you to constantly alternate between Ranged and Melee attacks, the amount of extra damage it packs can make it worth your while.

Prime Punisher (Paragon Tier - D 373) - Having Prime Shot on Melee attacks is a very powerful benefit.

Rending Tempest (Epic Tier - MP) - Some nice extra nova damage.


Powers

Disruptive Strike
(L3, Encounter - PHB) - An immediate interrupt attack that negates an incoming hit for you or an ally is very nice to have.

Blade Cascade (L15, Daily - PHB) - One of the mightiest attack powers in the business, plain and simple.

Confounding Arrows
(L15, Daily - PHB) - Three hits that can stun make for a very strong power.

Pounding Barrage (L17, Encounter - MP) - Three hits that can immobilize is a very powerful boost.

Death Rend (L27, Encounter - PHB) - Two hits that stun? You definitely want in on that.

Five-Missile Dance (L29, Daily - MP) - The Ranged version of Blade Cascade, and an extremely powerful capstone.


Paragon Paths

Darkstrider (MP 2) - While it does require that you deviate from the typical Rogue attributes to use it, the damage bonus it provides is easy to obtain for a Cunning Sneak, whose primary feature doesn't require a secondary score anyway. A great Path for them.

Paragon Multiclass (PHB) - While it's true that the average Paragon MC works out to be more costly than it's worth, this is not true for a Brutal Scoundrel Rogue that wishes to strengthen his arsenal with Ranger powers. A quality choice.
Tactics: Code of the Dirty Deeds

After some analysis and playtesting, I believe the following guidelines are important to playing a successful Rogue.


1. Stick to the dirtiest deeds you know.



In order to play a good Rogue, it helps to know what the Rogue is good at. That will be discussed in the following points:

Artful Dodger - This is a Skirmisher-type through and through: it likes to get in, hit hard, and then get out. To that end, you should be looking for opportunities to get your Combat Advantage, which involves more of a surgical-strike approach, as well as some buddying up with your friendly neighborhood Defender. Your protection against OA's can help you do this quite well.

Brutal Scoundrel - While this build is also a Skirmisher-type, it likes more of a stand-and-pound approach, due to not being quite as mobile. This means you like abilities that let you get where you need to go and stick around as long as you can, which will allow to bring the enemies down.

Cunning Sneak - This build feels more like a Lurker: it focuses on popping in and out of sight to deliver a hit, then scurrying off. As that goes, it's usually a lot easier to hide from enemies at a distance than it is up close and personal, so this build has a strong Ranged bent. It does have the advantage of having easy Combat Advantage while you're at it, so you're likely flitting from hiding place to hiding place, delivering a shot and then moving on.

Ruthless Ruffian - This build has a hint of Controller along with the usual Rogue does of Skirmisher, since the debuffs they focus so much on will inconvenience the enemy. That said, the style is purely Melee-based, so awareness of the current situation around you is essential. You probably can't take a whole bunch of enemies pounding you en masse.


2. Cut loose.



You are a Striker: that means that your job is to ensure that whatever enemy is dumb enough to attract your attention is going to meet an unfortunate end. You have several ways of getting this done, which involves the following:

Mess 'em up - One of the key aspects of a Rogue is that he's usually packing a mean cocktail of debuffs in order to make his enemies' life miserable. Given that fact, you're probably going to look to open up with a nice and tasty salvo of action denial to mess with your opponents' game plan.

Slip up to them - A big advantage you have is an efficient mechanism to help you deliver your damage and other effects where they will do your party the most good. This also has the welcome side effect of helping you slip by opponents that would deny you a target.

Put them out of their misery - Once you've ensured that you've got the target you want and that he's as severely inconvenienced as you can make him be, it's time to bust out the real pain. Pound him over and over until he goes to the great beyond, then repeat the process.


3. Tough it out.



Though taking out your targets is your primary concern, you shouldn't neglect your defense, since your HP and surges are average at best and you will find that your damage output and status effects brings lots of heat your way. The following two suggestions help out a lot when attempting to make yourself harder to kill, in the order they are presented:

Positioning is key - If an opponent can't reach or see you, he can't hit you. You are a Striker, so mobility comes more easily to you than to most creatures, ally and monster alike; use that fact to your advantage. Slip about the battlefield, and keep your nose out of anything that looks ugly, unless your target is there. If you do get banged up (not every plan is 100% effective, after all), at least try to situate yourself so that aiding you will not hamper the rest of the party too much.

Defend yourself - They can't hurt you if they can't hit you, so high defenses go a long way in keeping you up and running without drawing time and resources away from the rest of the party. This has a caveat in that there is a limit to how much offense you should sacrifice; you are a primarily offensive character, and that is what your selections should be geared to, for the most part. After that has been taken care of, invest in your defense.


4. Be aware of your allies.



A Rogue is a party-synergy guy almost by definition; you work with Defenders to keep enemies off you and to pound them into the ground, with Leaders to keep you upright and have your stabs land where they're supposed to, and Controllers to incapacitate the enemy. As such, it's kind of in your best interests to help them out every so often if they need it; they're helping you all the time, after all.

All this being said, don't make the mistake of believing that the rest of the party is your personal squad of minions, ready to do whatever you suggest at a whim just because you said so; such has been the downfall of many an arrogant Striker.


5. Apply force judiciously.



Having a good understanding of a given tactical situation can save your party more time and HP than any damage combo you (or anyone else) can cook up. Learn when to stick to your guns and fight conservative, and when to gamble more resources to end the encounter faster. You don't necessarily need ALL your Dailies to take out the BBEG, after all, but you probably will need SOME of them. By the nature of the class, you're more of a gambler, so don't be afraid to bust out a high-damage power or a stun if the fight looks like it's turning into a grind; you might just help end it quickly.


6. Balance specialization with versatility.



A Rogue is fairly diverse; you can go from a sniper-type hiding in the back to a duelist demanding the enemy face him. Don't go too overboard on one specialty; you never know when a situation that doesn't favor your style may come up. That said, don't forsake some degree of specialization for that. Rogues in general can strike this balance quite easily, given the versatility of the weapons and powers they wield.
Sample Builds: Dirty Deeds for Hire

The Duelist

This build is focused on getting its Sneak Attack damage in. To that end, he employs tactics that are rather unusual for a Rogue in the Heroic Tier; he likes to fight one-on-one just as much as he does buddying up with an ally. Later on, he will be employing tricks such as concealment and invisibility to get his damage in.

Race:
Half-Orc.
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel.
Weapon Talent: Rogue Weapon Talent.
Multiclass: None.
Paragon Path: Thuranni Shadow Killer.
Epic Destiny: Destined Scion.

Ability Scores:
L1 – Str 18, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
L4 – Str 19, Con 12, Dex 19, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
L8 – Str 20, Con 12, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
L11 – Str 21, Con 13, Dex 21, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
L14 – Str 22, Con 13, Dex 22, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
L18 – Str 23, Con 13, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
L21 – Str 26, Con 14, Dex 26, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12
L24 – Str 27, Con 14, Dex 27, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12
L28 – Str 28, Con 14, Dex 28, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12

Feats:
L1 – Backstabber
L2 – Light Blade Expertise
L4 – Cunning Stalker
L6 – Weapon Focus (Light Blades)
L8 – Slaying Action
L10 – Mark of Shadow
L11 – Lasting Frost
L11 – Wintertouched (replaces Cunning Stalker)
L12 – Deft Blade
L14 – Nimble Blade
L16 – Armor Proficiency (Hide)
L18 – Thirst for Battle
L20 – Improved Defenses
L21 – Light Blade Mastery
L21 – Long Step (replaces Risky Shift)
L22 – Brutal Advantage
L22 – Superior Initiative (replace Thirst for Battle)
L24 – Martial Mastery
L26 – Brutal Wound
L28 – Triumphant Attack
L30 – Shield Proficiency (Light)

At-Will Powers:
L1 – Acrobatic Strike
L1 – Piercing Strike
L12 – Riposte Strike (replaces Piercing Strike)

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Dazing Strike
L3 – Low Slash
L7 – Imperiling Strike
L11 – Descending Shadows
L13 – Stunning Strike (replaces Dazing Strike)
L17 – Tumbling Strike (replaces Imperiling Strike)
L27 – Perfect Strike (replaces Stunning Strike)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Handspring Assault
L5 – Bloodbath
L9 – Knockout
L19 – Hilt Slam (replaces Handspring Assault)
L20 – Spectral Garrote
L25 – Visceral Strike (replaces Hilt Slam)
L29 – Kiss of Death (replaces Bloodbath)

Utility Powers:
L2 – Sneak in the Attack
L6 – Ignoble Escape
L10 – Counter-Step
L12 – Shadowstep
L16 – Anticipate Attack
L22 – Indomitable Agility

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Athletics
L1 – Insight
L1 – Perception
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
L28 (2,125,000 gp):
+6 Frost Dagger (PHB)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): Boots of Teleportation (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Marauder's Elderhide Armor (AV 2)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Horned Helm (Epic Tier) (PHB)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L25 (625,000 gp): Belt of Titan Strength (PHB)
L22 (325,000 gp):
Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (Epic Tier) (EPG)
L21 (225,000 gp): Gloves of Ice (Epic Tier) (AV 2)
L13 (17,000 gp):
Ring of Giants (D 378)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
Nonmagical:
Light Shield (PHB)
TOTAL: 14,593,200 gp


The Rusher

While most Rogues skulk about and hide, this one is a bit different: he likes to run straight into a combat and stab people right in the face. To that end, it employs some extra mobility tricks above and beyond what the typical Rogue carries, and its charging expertise gives you plenty of extra damage as well.

Race: Half-Orc.
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel.
Weapon Talent:
Rogue Weapon Talent.
Multiclass: Fighter.
Paragon Path: Shock Trooper.
Epic Destiny: Destined Scion.

Ability Scores:
L1 – Str 18, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
L4 – Str 19, Con 12, Dex 19, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
L8 – Str 20, Con 12, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
L11 – Str 21, Con 13, Dex 21, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
L14 – Str 22, Con 13, Dex 22, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
L18 – Str 23, Con 13, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
L21 – Str 26, Con 14, Dex 26, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12
L24 – Str 27, Con 14, Dex 27, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12
L28 – Str 28, Con 14, Dex 28, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12

Feats:
L1 – Backstabber
L2 – Light Blade Expertise
L4 – Two-Weapon Fighting
L6 – Two-Weapon Defense
L8 – Cyclone Warrior (Endurance)
L10 – Wintertouched
L11 – Lasting Frost
L12 – Deft Blade
L14 – Risky Shift
L16 – Weapon Focus (Light Blades)
L18 – Nimble Blade
L20 – Two-Weapon Opening
L21 – Light Blade Mastery
L21 – Long Step (replaces Risky Shift)
L22 – Ferocious Critical
L24 – Martial Mastery
L26 – Brutal Advantage
L28 – Surprising Charge
L30 – Improved Defenses

At-Will Powers:
L1 – Acrobatic Strike
L1 – Piercing Strike
L12 – Riposte Strike (replaces Piercing Strike)

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Dazing Strike
L3 – Low Slash
L7 – Imperiling Strike
L11 – Shocking Twister
L13 – Stunning Strike (replaces Dazing Strike)
L17 – Tumbling Strike (replaces Imperiling Strike)
L27 – Perfect Strike (replaces Stunning Strike)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Press the Advantage
L5 – Bloodbath
L9 – Knockout
L19 – Hilt Slam (replaces Press the Advantage)
L20 – Shocking Skewer
L25 – Visceral Strike (replaces Hilt Slam)
L29 – Kiss of Death (replaces Visceral Strike)

Utility Powers:
L2 – Sneak in the Attack
L6 – Ignoble Escape
L10 – Acrobat's Escape
L12 – Assault Footwork
L16 – Anticipate Attack
L22 – Indomitable Agility

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Athletics
L1 – Insight
L1 – Intimidate
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery
L8 – Endurance

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Frost Dagger (PHB)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Bloodiron Dagger (AV)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Shadowflow Starleather Armor (PHB)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Badge of the Berserker (AV 2)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (AV)
L26 (1,125,000 gp):
Horned Helm (Epic Tier) (PHB)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L25 (625,000 gp): Belt of Titan Strength (PHB)
L24 (525,000 gp):
Zephyr Boots (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp):
Siberys Dragonshard of Merciless Cold (Epic Tier) (EPG)
L21 (225,000 gp):
Gloves of Ice (Epic Tier) (AV 2)
L13 (17,000 gp):
Ring of Giants (D 378)
L12 (13,000 gp):
Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
TOTAL: 13,618,200 gp


The Sniper

This flavor of Rogue is distinctive in two things, the first being that he is not a primarily Melee combatant, but instead picks his spots from afar. The second thing is that he eschews the typical Rogue secondaries in favor of Wisdom, which helps in the scouting and the damage departments as well.

Race: Drow.
Rogue Tactics: Cunning Sneak.
Weapon Talent: Sharpshooter Talent.
Multiclass: Ranger.
Paragon Path: Darkstrider.
Epic Destiny: Destined Scion.

Ability Scores:
L1 – Str 10, Con 13, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 12
L4 – Str 10, Con 13, Dex 21, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 12
L8 – Str 10, Con 14, Dex 22, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 12
L11 – Str 11, Con 15, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 13
L14 – Str 11, Con 15, Dex 24, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 13
L18 – Str 11, Con 15, Dex 25, Int 9, Wis 17, Cha 13
L21 – Str 12, Con 16, Dex 28, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 14
L24 – Str 12, Con 16, Dex 29, Int 10, Wis 21, Cha 14
L28 – Str 12, Con 16, Dex 30, Int 10, Wis 22, Cha 14

Feats:
L1 – Backstabber
L2 – Ruthless Hunter
L4 – Crossbow Expertise
L6 – Weapon Focus (Crossbows)
L8 – Two-Fisted Shooter
L10 – Warrior of the Wild (Dungeoneering)
L11 – Steady Shooter
L12 – Underhanded Tactics
L14 – Psychic Lock
L16 – Draji Palatial Practice
L18 – Disheartening Ambush
L20 – Improved Initiative
L21 – Bow Mastery
L21 – Superior Initiative (replaces Improved Initiative)
L22 – Martial Mastery
L24 – Improved Defenses
L26 – Deft Aim
L28 – Grim Promise
L30 – Grounding Shot

At-Will Powers:
L1 – Deft Strike
L1 – Disheartening Strike

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Unbalancing Shot
L3 – Fleeting Spirit Strike
L7 – Snap Shot
L11 – Darkstrider Ambush
L13 – Powerful Shot (replaces Unbalancing Shot)
L17 – Surprising Assault (replaces Fleeting Spirit Strike)
L23 – Dazing Double Shot (replaces Powerful Shot)
L27 – Perfect Strike (replaces Surprising Assault)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Trick Strike
L5 – Bloodbath
L9 – Rogue's Recovery
L19 – Daunting Barrage (replaces Trick Strike)
L20 – Death in the Dark
L25 – Rogue's Resurgence (replaces Rogue's Recovery)
L29 – Killing Storm (replaces Bloodbath)

Utility Powers:
L2 – Tumble
L6 – Chameleon
L10 – Acrobat's Escape
L12 – Cloaked in Shadow
L16 – Hide in Plain Sight
L22 – Indomitable Agility

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Insight
L1 – Intimidate
L1 – Perception
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery
L10 – Dungeoneering

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L29 (2,625,000 gp): +6 Mindiron Hand Crossbow (AV)
L29 (2,625,000 gp): +6 Mindiron Hand Crossbow (AV)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Shadowflow Starleather Armor (PHB)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (AV)
L26 (1,125,000 gp):
Bracers of Archery (Epic Tier) (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): Zephyr Boots (AV)
L20 (125,000 gp):
Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (D 378)
L11 (9,000 gp):
Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L11 (9,000 gp):
Shadowdancer's Gloves (AV 2)
L10 (5,000 gp):
Headband of Intellect (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L9 (4,200 gp):
Endless Quiver (AV 2)
TOTAL:
12,944,200 gp


The Toolbox

This build's goal is to be able to be useful in almost any combat situation. To that end, she'll be packing a power and feat selection that makes her very flexible and adaptable, including the ability to move about virtually unimpeded, the ability to be very effective at Melee or Range, and even an emergency heal.

Race: Drow.
Rogue Tactics: Artful Dodger.
Weapon Talent: Rogue Weapon Talent.
Multiclass: Cleric.
Paragon Path: Daggermaster.
Epic Destiny: Deadly Trickster.

Ability Scores:
L1 – Str 10, Con 12, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 14
L4 – Str 10, Con 12, Dex 21, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 15
L8 – Str 10, Con 12, Dex 22, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 16
L11 – Str 11, Con 13, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 17
L14 – Str 11, Con 13, Dex 24, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 18
L18 – Str 11, Con 13, Dex 25, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 19
L21 – Str 12, Con 14, Dex 26, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 20
L24 – Str 12, Con 14, Dex 27, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 21
L28 – Str 12, Con 14, Dex 28, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 22

Feats:
L1 – Backstabber
L2 – Light Blade Expertise
L4 – Weapon Focus (Light Blades)
L6 – Two-Weapon Fighting
L8 – Two-Weapon Defense
L10 – Distant Advantage
L11 – Lasting Frost
L11 – Wintertouched (replaces Distant Advantage)
L12 – Merciless Killer
L14 – Harlequin Style
L16 – Two-Weapon Opening
L18 – Improved Initiative
L20 – Initiate of the Faith
L21 – Radiant Advantage
L21 – Whirlwind Sneak Attack (Cloud of Steel) (replaces Wintertouched)
L22 – Martial Mastery
L22 – Improved Defenses (replaces Lasting Frost)
L23 – Whirlwind Sneak Attack (Steel Entrapment) (replaces Cloud of Steel)
L24 – Triumphant Attack
L24 – Superior Initiative (replaces Improved Initiative)
L26 – Font of Radiance
L28 – Epic Fortitude
L30 – Critical Targeting

At-Will Powers:
L1 – Deft Strike
L1 – Sly Flourish

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Dazing Strike
L3 – Low Slash
L7 – Cloud of Steel
L11 – Critical Opportunity
L13 – Stunning Strike (replaces Dazing Strike)
L17 – Tumbling Strike (replaces Low Slash)
L23 – Steel Entrapment (replaces Cloud of Steel)
L27 – Perfect Strike (replaces Stunning Strike)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Handspring Assault
L5 – Bloodbath
L9 – Knockout
L19 – Daunting Barrage (replaces Handspring Assault)
L20 – Deep Dagger Wound

Utility Powers:
L2 – Sneak in the Attack
L6 – Ignoble Escape
L10 – Acrobat's Escape
L12 – Meditation of the Blade
L16 – Anticipate Attack
L22 – Indomitable Agility
L26 – Divine Regeneration

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Bluff
L1 – Insight
L1 – Intimidate
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery
L20 – Religion

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Radiant Dagger (AV)
L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Shadowdance Starleather Armor (SAC)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Rhythm Blade Dagger (AV 2)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (AV)
L25 (625,000 gp): Belt of Titan Strength (PHB)
L24 (525,000 gp): Gauntlets of Blood (Epic Tier) (AV 2)
L24 (525,000 gp): Zephyr Boots (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): Siberys Shard of Radiance (Epic Tier) (EPG)
L17 (65,000 gp): Ring of the Radiant Storm (AV 2)
L15 (25,000 gp): Sapphire Scabbard (AV)
L13 (17,000 gp): Bracelet of the Radiant Storm (AV 2)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): +2 Symbol of Victory (PHB)
TOTAL:
14,362,400 gp

Tips & Tricks: How to Do Dirty Deeds

Combo 1: Permafrost



Piece 1: Wintertouched (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 2: Lasting Frost (Paragon Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 3: Frost Weapon (Weapon Property, Any Weapon, PHB)
Piece 4 (optional): Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (Dragonshard Augment, EPG)
Piece 5 (optional): Gloves of Ice (Hands Slot Item, AV 2)
Piece 6 (optional): Silvery Glow (Heroic Tier Feat, D 386)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Frost Weapon (turns all damage dealt by the weapon into cold damage, adds the Cold keyword to the attack).

Description: A nice and straightforward combo, Lasting Frost will combine with Frost Weapons to add cold vulnerability 5 to each hit, and Wintertouched gives you combat advantage as the cherry on top. This combo lasts so long as you keep hitting, and can be further enhanced by the optional pieces (which add more cold damage).

Combo 2: Superstorm



Piece 1: Deadly Draw (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB 3)
Piece 2: Mark of Storm (Heroic Tier Feat, EPG)
Piece 3: Lightning Weapon (Weapon Property, Any Weapon, PHB)
Piece 4 (optional): Eberron Shard of Lightning (Dragonshard Augment, EPG)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Lightning Weapon (turns all cold damage dealt by the weapon into lightning damage, adds the Lightning keyword to the attack).

Description: A rather interesting Melee combination, this involves using Mark of Storm and a Lightning weapon to constantly slide an enemy adjacent to you, which will in turn trigger Deadly Draw and hand you a permanent source of combat advantage, provided you keep hitting. The optional piece offers you some nice extra damage.

Combo 3: Mind Games



Piece 1: Mindiron Weapon (Weapon Property, Crossbow, AV)
Piece 2: Psychic Lock (Paragon Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 3 (optional): Headband of Intellect (Head Slot Item, AV)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Mindiron Weapon (turns half the damage dealt by the weapon into psychic damage, adds the Psychic keyword to the attack).

Description: A neat elemental combo, this uses the Mindiron Crossbow and the Psychic Lock feat to hand out a -2 to hit debuff on the next attack roll of anyone hit by the weapon. Piece 3 also provides a nice attack bonus to make this all more accurate.
Rogue Image Gallery: Mug Shots of the Doers of Dirty Deeds

Here are some pictures you can use to get pumped about playing a Rogue.


I'll repeat my courtesy post(now deleted) here.

I vote to keep the current pic.  I love redheads, I love rogues, and I love pirates.

When did you decide to do a Rogue handbook?  I thought it was your least favorite class.
Might be a bit outdated, but I do have a versatile duelist half-orc rogue build over here if you want to point to it as a sample build.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
BTW, I have a Drow AD/Daggermaster I could update for MP2 and post, if you're looking for anything like that for your build section.
Yes and thanks. I am not as well-documented on Rogues as I am on my other classes, I'm afraid.

As for my least favorite class, that hands-down goes to any pure Implement spellcaster. The only reason I made the Orbizard build is because my best friend was getting into 4E and he loves playing control-style characters.

Among weapon users, the dead last rank has got to go to the Assassin, though. The Rogue isn't so bad.
Two Thumbs UP!!!*





*I approve of scantily clad, hot chicks with sabres... and running jokes.


10/10!
Ah, so it's just your least favorite MARTIAL class!  I actually really like Rogues, they were my first 4e class.  I mostly follow the same pattern as you.  My least favorites are implement users without easy access to a weapliment.  I think my absolute least favorite is Runepriest though.  Why did it have to be another str primary class, with NO int focus at all?  Boggles the mind.

Anyway, I'll mess with the rogue tonight and tomorrow and post it here when done.
The ironic thing is I'm actually psyched about the Runepriest: a Warforged with his ghulra rune is a perfect thematic and mechanical fit, and I get to swing a giant hammer around, too.

As for the Rogue, yeah, he's the last of the Martial classes for me. However, given that Martial is my favorite power source by a half-marathon, that's not really saying much: I'll love the class, especially if my mental picture looks like my pic up top.

@Auspex7: Oh, you knew that was carrying over to this thread. You almost give me a heart attack, I was laughing so hard.
lordduskblade, thanks for being up to the task yet again. We are in desperate need of an up to date complete rogue handbook!
LDB, this is what I would start with at level 1 for an AD.  The race could be changed to Halfling or Changeling with ease, but I like Drow.

Show
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Drow AD/DaggerMaster, level 1
Drow, Rogue
Rogue Tactics: Artful Dodger
Rogue: Rogue Weapon Talent
Darkfire: Darkfire Charisma

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 20, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16.

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


AC: 17 Fort: 10 Reflex: 17 Will: 13
HP: 23 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 5

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +12, Thievery +10, Intimidate +10, Perception +5, Acrobatics +10, Bluff +8

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

FEATS
Level 1: Backstabber

POWERS
Rogue at-will 1: Sly Flourish
Rogue at-will 1: Piercing Strike
Rogue encounter 1: One-Two Punch
Rogue daily 1: Blinding Barrage

ITEMS
Leather Armor, Dagger (5), Hand Crossbow, Crossbow Bolts (100)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Between last night and this morning I keep finding myself listening to AC/DC... Damn you LDB!
I think you should name the builds after different AC/DC songs too:
Sneaky Rogue: Night Prowler
Brutal Rogue: Hard as Rock, Stiff Upper Lip, T.N.T.
Sniper Rogue: Guns for Hire, Heatseeker, Shoot to Thrill
Ruffian Rogue: Big Jack, Dog Eat Dog, T.N.T., Thunderstruck
Trickster Rogue: Moneytalks

Glad you're sticking with the image too. Maybe you could have an image post as well. A "Rogues Gallery" if you will.
*Debates whether to shoot Awesomologist or give him a cookie*

...Ah, what the hell. for you!

PS: Also, quintessential Daggermaster:

tf2_spy.jpg

...And Rapier Wielder:

InigoMontoya.jpg
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).

I very much look forward to see LDB's rogue handbook.

I've got a drow brutal scoundrel bastard sword rogue I'm playing, and she's quite fun to play. Clever Strike and Piercing Strike (the only weapon-based at-will attack vs NAD in the game!) for at-wills, Cloud of Darkness for defense and combat advantage generation, Handspring Assault.

It's been fun one-shotting enemies from full health to dead on Torturous Strike crits, and I look forward for yet more Brutal Tricks (Dark Blue for non-Drow) to pull. Daily-power level damage (3[W]) from within the cloud of darkness, with combat advantage, at no extra risk to yourself. It being a rattling power is just icing on the cake.

A monster sees the lights go out around it, and the next thing it knows it's soul is in the Shadowfell, on an appointment with the Raven Queen.

I shouldn't be doing the work for you, LDB, but I enjoy the rogue quite a lot, and am planning on giving you feedback.

As for answering the quote: "Doesn't matter, they both hurt less than the sword in the back." ;)

Yeah, I like sword rogues too.

Yay for a new handbook.

Although, Ruthless Ruffian's rating seems odd to me. Red? It's definitely worse than the other options, but I don't think that it's totally unusable. It also boasts being the most controller-y of all of the rogue builds (which isn't wasted on the rogue, who has a strong secondary in controller).

Purple seems like the reasonable rating for this option. Definitely underpowered, but not totally useless.
[minor hijack]

Is anyone else of the mindset that if so many skills (etc) are gold... gold as a rating tool is cheapened to the point where you should take everything down a step and stick to the red-purple-black-blue-sky blue theme.

I mean, yeah, I get it.  Acrobatics, Stealth, Thievery... they're all important to a rogue.  But gold is like, I don't know, this is TEH BEST EVAR!!!, and it just becomes overkill.  Especially for skills (stealth, thievery) you're forced to take.  You're a rogue.  You have to have them.  Dex is your primary stat.  You have to boost it.  Ergo, you're always good at those.  Are they then truly gold?  If they are, that tells me I should go out of my way to spend additional resources to boost them.  Stealth is gold for a cunning sneak, yes, but is it really gold for an artful dodger?  How about a brutal scoundrel?  It's nice yes, but so good I should go out of my way to be better than the best at it?  No.

Also, does making a class's primary stat gold really mean anything?  "Boost this every chance you can get," yes, but the fact that all my powers are Dex vs XYZ and do + Dex mod damage will tell me that on its own.

I don't know.  Personal preference, but gold is way overused on this board these days.  Gold means everyone should always take this no matter what because you're a foold not to.  Gold means this is better than everything else, almost to a game-breaking level.

[/minor hijack]

Nothing personal, LDB.  You do good, thorough work.  It's just like some of your initial ratings are so given to hyperbole with all the gold that it becomes meaningless.
*Debates whether to shoot Awesomologist or give him a cookie*

...Ah, what the hell. for you!


Yay! Cookies!

[minor hijack]

Stuff about gold rating

[/minor hijack]


While not specific to this issue, yes Gold should be used sparingly. Like for Acrobatics, all it really does is reduce falling damage and provide access to skill powers, which are mostly weaker versions of powers Rogues already have. Athletics is a more useful skill in game just out of sheer utility.
For the skills, I actually can see a rogue without acrobatics (maybe a dragonborn or goliath). And for hybrid rogues, I can see leaving out either stealth or thievery. So for what it's worth, sky blue is probably more appropriate as a top rating for skills.

Edit: We're picking nits here though. Who really cares what the rating is for a skill, you get what you think you'll use more of. This stuff can be highly campaign specific. Skill ratings are the one rating I pay the least attention to in these handbooks. I do sometimes look at them if I can't decide what to pick for my last skill, to see if I've missed some obvious benefit, like the note on needing intimidate for rattling.
Given the utility powers that require training in Acrobatics to select, I'd say a gold rating for Acrobatics is appropriate. Those requiring Acrobatics are some of the best utility powers the class has.
No Acrobatics, no Combat Tumbleset. Rogues have 13 Utility Powers and 13 Attack Powers that require Acrobatics. Good enough for Gold for me.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
For those curious, the following Rogue class powers require training in Acrobatics to select:

Fox's Gambit - Encounter 1
Handspring Assault - Daily 1
Acrobatic Strike - At-Will 1
Acrobati's Blade Trike - Encounter 1
Hop Up - Utility 2
Tumble - Utility 2
Darting Strike - Encounter 3
Surefooted Retort - Daily 5
Sidestep Stance - Utility 6
Vault Position - Utility 6 (also requires Athletics)
Ignoble Escape - Utility 6
Slice Free - Encounter 7
Sneaky Roll - Utility 10
Combat Tumbleset - Utility 10
Ceartain Freedom - Utility 10
Close Quarters - Utility 10
Ripple Effect - Daily 15
Defensive Roll - Utility 16
Tumbling Strike - Encounter 17
Escape Artist's Gambit - Encounter 17
Somersault Dodge - Utility 22
Wall Crawl - Utility 22 (also requires Athletics)
Dazzling Acrobatics - Utility 22
Reaching Blade - Daily 25
Acrobatic Assault - Daily 25
A murder of One - Daily 29
OK, comments! Let's address them.

@CriticalBastard: No problem.

@Tygell: It looks solid, but 11 Constitution sets off the squishiness alarms in my head. 6 healing surges is a bit too low for a Striker IMHO. I'd be looking at Con 12, Wis 12, Cha 14.

@Awesomologist: Hey, an image gallery sounds like a great idea. I'll probably shuffle things around to accomodate it (I likely don't need 2 posts for Sample Builds). I'll probably do the same thing with the Warlord. Thanks!

@Awesomologist, Mengu74: Also, don't forget that a lot of Utility powers on the Rogue's own list require training in certain skills. Therefore, Acrobatics becomes more important because a lot of mobility Utilities use it. For example, you can't take Ignoble Escape if you don't have Acrobatics, and you can't take Fleeting Ghost if you don't have Stealth, and I consider these prime powers. Ignore skills at your own peril as a Rogue.

@Ytterbium_Dragon: My initial thoughts exactly. However, my debates with Litigation yesterday had him providing multiple reasons why there was really no reason at all to select the class feature from an optimization point of view: severe MAD (Dexterity for attack/damage rolls, Strength for the Ruthless Ruffian rider, Con 19 for Bludgeon Mastery, Charisma for some other riders and minor effects).

To boot, you spend all that work carefully crafting your Ruthless Ruffian, only to see a Bastard Sword Rogue (or any other Rogue, really) spank you in the DPR department. To top it all off, the Ruthless Ruffian doesn't have a monopoly on Rattling powers: anyone who picks them up and has the Intimidate skill trained can hand out the -2 to hit. It's strictly worse than the other options, frankly.

@Estlor: It's a matter of taste, really. I think the things that are rated Gold are done so to make sure you know that I consider them very important. If you already knew that, more power to you: I still consider it important to repeat it.

I'm not sure why an AD would bother to take piercing strike. Unless you know the monster has a low (< AC - 2) reflex the DPR difference from sly flourish is minimal. Besides, once you hit paragon the Deft Blade feat makes piercing strike completely worthless.


I'd rather take acrobatic strike, which received an unfairly low rating in the last handbook. Shifting one square before or after attacking makes it typically more useful than even an unbuffed deft strike for a melee-focused rogue. If you're two squares away from an enemy you can usually charge it anyways. And unless you're immobilized or have some reason not to want to shift, it's strictly more useful than clever strike.

Heh. I didn't know you made this already. I just made a brief imploring post in the other Rogue guide. Well, anyway.

Thanks for doing this. I don't suppose you'd be interested in implementing that idea I proposed for your Fighter or Warlord guide some month or two ago? Where I suggested you put something like:
Power Name: Description. Blah blah blah.
Artful Dodger | Brutal Scoundrel | Cunning Sneak | Ruthless Ruffian

Remember that? Even if you don't, I suggest you use it. Whenever you want to add "oh, and this power works well with this magic item or this combo," you can instead just add those words as sort of "keywords" with a rating beneath the power's rating in superscript. What say you?

Also, consider giving Flash of the Blade some small special blurb in one of the opening sections, because taking that feat definately is a defining choice for how your rogue plays. There are a couple feats like that, I think, otherwise.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
I find myself preferring Clever Striker to Acrobatic strike. Using a shift to get into a flanking position may frequently place your rogue in greater danger than just attacking.

Furthermore, some monsters (often soldier-types) will punish shifts kind of like a fighter.

Clever strike lets you deal your damage safely from right beside the tank, where the tank can use their powers to protect you more easily, and reduces your exposure.

In case you need multiple shifts (or shifting multiple squares), there are plenty of rogue powers that include or grant shifts on a per-encounter base.

Acrobatic Strike would make a nice 4th at-will (rated dark blue, IMHO), but I would not place as strictly better than Clever Strike (dark blue or sky blue) because Clever Strike reduces your level of exposure, and shifting one square won't guarantee you combat advantage against Large or larger targets, whereas Clever Strike simply requires another ally adjacent to the target.
I prefer to take Piercing Strike and Deft Strike as my two at-wills.  Piercing Strike because it is so accurate and doesn't require the feat investment that going Deft Blade does and Deft Strike because it has built in movement and a ranged component. There are going to be times that you just don't have a melee attack option (like being immobilized and not adjacent to a mob) and that ranged attack comes in handy. Also the move 2 is great when prone and not adjacent to a mob.

I'd use Piercing Strike for every at-will attack except those that using Piercing Strike isn't possible (not adjacent without a way to get adjacent with my move action or lacking combat advantage that I'd be able to get only with a power allowing me to move.)
Sign In to post comments