My command is your wish - An ardent guide

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My command is your wish - An Ardent Guide




 
  That is indeed tiger-patterned hair

“There need not be a boundary between passion and compassion.” ― What was taught to a wise old tiger.











This  Handbook will use the following  system for ratings:






Red - You aren't going to lead anyone with these choices (1/5)



Purple -  Your inspiration is weak (2/5)

Black - You can make yourself be heared but not loved (3/5)



Blue - I can feel your thunderous voice! (4/5)

Sky Blue - OK BOSS!! YES SIR, AS YOU WISH, SIR! (5/5)



Gold - A rare rating that shows mandatory choices (mandatory)

What is the Ardent?




The Ardent is a Psionic Leader: Psionic is the new power source from PH3, which focuses obviously on powers based on the power of the mind. The Ardent is definitely a melee leader: all his powers are weapon based, and this favours multiclassing towards the Martial Source (and expecially Fighter Multiclass) for weapon and tactical feats. I'll write the best MC options for the ardent in my handbook in the next posts.

The Ardent is a Leader which can focus on any leader's area of expertise:

Enabling: starting from ire strike, arriving to fate exchange, forward thinking cut, revelatory slash and so on. You can be a great attack enabler, at the level of the warlord.

Healing: you can be really good, you expecially focus on temporary hit points. You don't have yet the support to challenge the best healers in the game, but you aren't too far.

Debuffing: demoralizing strike says all. You are good at debuffing

Buffing: you are very good, generally, at buffing your allies

Saving Throws: you have to make choices to be good at this, but you can be one of the best



Secondary Role:

Defender: you can be good at this. You have 3 marking powers and not too shabby defenses.
Striker: you can deal decent damage.
Controller: some daily powers offer good controlling kickers.
 

So, why choose the Ardent when you can play the tactical winner Warlord or the "you cannot die" Cleric?




Versatility is NOT a joke: Your augment 1 are often situational powers... but are situationally overpowered. They give great bonuses in a narrow time. AND you have the unaugmented power if you aren't in that time

Don't envy other builds: Most ardent powers depend only from charisma. Are you enlightened and you want a power with a constitution kicker? You can take it, no problems, because there aren't hidden class features.  You're free to play an ardent with pumped strength and con wielding a two handed hammer, with polearm gamble or with shield specialization and plate. You just need personality... a LOT of it.

Your powers are cool to play: You're not the twin-striker ranger or the classical flanking rogue. You teleport people, you make foe share damage. The ardent class rarely has two identical-looking power, and this enables infinite possibilities. You are cool.


This Handbook covers the following sources:




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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
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
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
PP - Primal Power
SAC - Seekers of the Ashen Crown Adventure Module


Thanks to: Adslahnit for the art, and LDB for teaching me how to create an handbook..
A kiss to posters!

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

Class proficiencies: how you earn your bread



Armor proficiencies: good but not so good. you should definitely upgrade and you can easily have the stats to do it. Imho the Ardent class is slightly based on two handed weapons. If you don't agree with me you have the stats to take shield proficiency. Hafted Defense (PHB3) is a good solution if you want to hit hard and be defensive at the same time, expecially for Enlightened.

Weapon proficiencies: you get military melee and that's just enough to be good. Simple ranged is icing on the cake

HP and surges: standard for leaders, but remember that half of you are Con based.

Defenses:
+1 fort and will is good expecially for Enlightened



Ardent Weapons: the tool of your fury



I generally suggest to use two handed weapons because ardent powers are inherently highly damaging: yes, PHB3 leaders strike very hard. However Enlightened builds usually support better more defensive weapons like polearms and both builds can use sword&board. I usually suggest the superior version of the weapon: you can find these weapons at page 9 of adventurer's vault.

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Axe: (no stats needed) Expecially useful for euphorics: execution's axe from adventurer's vault is good because it has good damage, brutal 2 and high crit. You don't have to take deadly axe from paragon feats. Last but not least axe is the only "weapon mastery" epic feat without prerequisites so you will take Cleaving axe from PHB3. Add headsman chop, again from phb3 to add some spice to your mix. All in all a very good choice.
Flail: (no stats needed) the triple headed flail is an highly-damaging precise and versatile weapon. A very good choice, but flais don't have much support
Hammer (You need 17 constitution and 13 strength for hammer rhytm) E: mordenkrad from adventurer's vault is brutal 1 and has a base damage superior to the execution's axe. Add Hammer Rhytm (phb) and you have a superior damaging weapon, that doesn't need even a great strength investment. A very good weapon, expecially for euphoric builds who can add also hammering iron from phb3 to get VERY damaging opportunity attacks.
Heavy blades (15 strength and dexterity by paragon): the main feature of this weapon it's that you gain a +3 proficiency instead of the usual +2. The Fullblade is a very good, damaging and heavy crit weapon. For the shield-users, nothing is better than the bastard sword: it's a heavy-starved feat build, but you can choose a bastard-sword user with scale, light shields specialization, and heavy blade opportunity. This nets you great defenses and it's a great build expecially for those who doesn't have a defender in their groups.
Pick (no stats needed): use hammers instead
Polearm (depending on feat choices you may need 15 strength, 15 dexterity and/or 15 wisdom): THE enlightened weapon, gets MANY good feats and comes 3 flavoured: Lemon-axe, Orange-sword and Cola-spear:
- If you want the spear (you like cola, don't you? ^^) you may want to take the Weapon Proficiency feat for Greatspear (AV page 9), and spear push from PHB
- If you want the solid axe you may stick to halberd and get axe feats (deadly axe, for example): this requires a good constitution investment and it's the usual root for euphoric ardents
- If you want the sword you use the glaive that needs a good dexterity again (15, by paragon) but nets you the great heavy blade opportunity feat.
Whatever choose you make, you can opt to multiclass Fighter for the Polearm Momentum feat: this requires 15 dex in the heroic tier but it's really a good feat (most consider it mandatory for a polearm build). The choice is yours, but to have 15 dex at lower levels you need to make a good race/stats choice, so pay attention. Remember that there are few options ready for at will sliding effects: if you want to pick Polearm Momentum as an enlightened ardent it's better that you wait level 17 or take a +con race (like the dwarf or the half-elf). The reason is that ardents don't have a sliding effect apart from Unnerving shove and that requires at least a +2 modifier to be effective.
Spear (15 dexterity by paragon): this is a good weapon, but the polearm has more options: unless you want to use a shield, but you will do subpar damage. If you don't care about damage, take this: you won't even need a good strength score and you can take shield specialization if you want. Again, you may want to take polearm momentum: read my comment above.




Ardent features: how to dominate



A little note: as i said before, you could potentially build an Ardent without putting leveling points in the secundary stat. Ardent features only depends on the secundary stat you choose(wis or con), not on which feature you choose at the start of your career. So i suggest you humbly to choose your weapon and then you build

Enlightened Ardent


This is the charisma AND wisdom based Ardent. This is a little weakness, because these two stats share a defense, but this issue is balanced by the defensive-flavour powers and feat and by the superior movement granting features the Enlightened Ardents possess.


This build suffers from MAD issues, and its powers are usually a little inferior than the Euphoric Build powers. The general CO board consensus is that the Mantle of Elation build is, at least for now, superior. But this build has also its selling points:

Mantle of Clarity is situationally good expecially if you have more ranged than melee in your party. The bonus to checks is VERY good, perception and insight are two of the best skills in the game (and a nice feat enhances this bonus).


The PHB 3 says that this build is a good sub-defender: i can't see why it should be a good defender at all (unless you choose one of the two marking at will the class has). Actually i like this build for the polearm-ish flavour, and its powers are usually more defensive than the powers of his constitution-based brethen: they usually give +defense, movement and temporary hp. So i think this can be help your team with a good bit of control, expecially because they favour heavy blade and polearm use.


Misma actually sees them as a true off-defender:
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The reason, as I see it, that the Enligthened Ardent is a sub-defender is that there are many powers which requires good wisdom that indirectly say "attack me". There two parts of being a defender (as I see it) is
  • To make enemies want to target you instead of other party members.

  • To make sure you surive the pain they can dish out.


Marking is just one way to ensure that enemies will target you. On its own, a mark is only a -2 penalty to attack anyone but you. All defenders have ways of enforcing their marks (punish the enemy if they don't attack him/her). On his or her own, a defender is a low-threat target, because of his (usually) low to average damage and high defenses. So defenders get a lot of abilities that demand that he is targetted all the time.

On the other hand, a leader is by default a high threat target. He or she doesn't deal a lot of damage, but he makes the rest of the party perform better and last longer. Second, he has lower defenses, sometimes substantially lower, than the defender. An ardent is even higher priority, since he almost always is within melee range of the enemy party.

What makes the Enligthened Ardent an even higher threat target is the powers he can choose that are based on wis. He has several powers that boost allies' defenses (Psionic Shield, Revelatory Strike, Illuminating Strike). Though it's not wis-based, Energizing Strike also boost allies defenses - temporary hit points works towards that end.

The reason he is only a sub-defender is that he can't enforce his mark (even if he picks the power) and that he can't survive a lot of pain. Interestingly enough, the higher defense a given character has, the less reason it is for the enemies to target that person.



Finally Ardent Alacrity: every time you're bloodied, your party moves. It's quite good, maybe even very good.




Euphoric Ardent


This is the charisma AND constitution based Ardent. Its defenses are really in a better shape.

The PHB 3 says that this build is a good sub-striker and i quite agree, but i'll add a thing: you have an hard-hitting (wielding a 2h hammer or a 2h axe) character with high HP: this is a brute, not just a striker.
The powers of the build often gives +hit, +damage and grant basic or opportunity attacks to the other memeber of the party.
The mantle of elation feature offer a good bonus if your party is composed mostly of melees (and if your defender is a fighter).
The bonus to check (+2 to intimidate and diplomacy) is situationally good.

The Ardent Outrage feature, finally, offers a good amount of nova when you're bloodied. THAT is the time you want to use your action point.


Other features:


Ardent Surge: it's the typical minor action heal, and can be augmented by one feat (improved ardent surge at paragon tier). The bonuses based on your mantle aren't gamebreaking but nice. You don't heal as much as a cleric does, you don't have the versatility of the artificer, but you surely heal more than a warlord with inspiring word.

Class Skills



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Arcana: based on a usually dump-stat, you should not take it unless necessary



Athletics: this can be very useful and str is important expecially as enlightened



Bluff: good for both builds if you are the party face (and you usually are)



Diplomacy: same as bluff



Endurance: good for Euphorics



Heal: surely better if you're Enlightened



Insight: VERY good for Enlightened



Intimidate: both builds are good for a forced surrender.



Streetwise: i don't like this skill but it can be useful sometime



PERCEPTION: it isn't a class skill, but it's still very good for Enlightened




 


Ardent Stats: how to be effective

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Strength: A good 13 is needed for scale and light shields. 15 is needed in paragon for heavy blade opportunity. A starting score of 13 is good.



Constitution: secundary stat for euphorics, you need a 17 in paragon for hammer rhytm and 15 for plate profinciency. Always useful, since you will take some beating in melee. Do not bump even if you are enlightened



Dexterity: nice for heavy blades and scale specialization. 



Intellect: you can bump it, or dexterity. Initiative is not so crucial for a leader


 


Wisdom: good secundary stat for enlightened, you need 15 in paragon for polearm gamble


 


Charisma: if you want to be effective, raise it.





 




Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

Races to enlight

A lot of races are good for the ardent class, but three races shines among them: the half-elf, for the obvious stat bonus for euphoric builds (and they may also get some good paladin-bard-warlock powers), human for the very good +1 to NADs, the bonus at will and the bonus feat (yes, you are feat starved) and the Kalashtar for the enlightened builds.


Other good races are the Tiefling (expecially for the +1 to fear (and fire, but you have only 1 at the moment) powers and +cha to damage in your nova round), The Dragonborn for its natural stickness and good racial support, and, in a bit lower bracket Gnome and Halflings (because they're small)


Player's Handbook races


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Dragonborn: as i wrote i'm still undecided if they're blue or skyblue. Surge bonus is VERY good for Euphorics, they get good synergy with Paladins and their encounter power is great. They also likes to take some beating. All in all a very good choice. They're also well equipped for Enlightened polearm builds.


Dwarf: bonus to both secundary, they also like to wear good armor and surge bonus is good. A solid choice.

Eladrin: dex is situationally useful, as intellect. Fey step is good but you have other ways to teleport. They get a good bonus with spears but it's not enough


Elf: bonus to secundary and dex, good movement: they make solid enlightened.


Half-elf: they're THE euphoric ardent race: stat bonus, good feats, good skill bonus and the extra power makes them all you may want.


Halfling: it's not good being small... they've got nearly all to excel, except the size.


Human: stat bonus only to charisma, but that's enough. You want that defenses, you want that extra feat and skill bonus, and expecially the third at will.


Tiefling: with that int bonus you're probably not going to use heavy swords. But good stat synergy, bloodhunt and infernal wrath gets you up to the Olympus.. expecially if you stick to your fear powers (hello, demoralizing strike and unnerving shove)


Drow: it's not in the PHB but i'll add it here. It's good, very good. Expecially for the dark glamour and for the racial powers. A good choice.




Eberron player's guide races


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Changeling: get a charisma bonus and social fluff. Definitely a good choice, expecially for polearm momentum builds: the dex bonus is absolutely needed.

Kalashtar: this race was created to be an enlightened ardent. +cha, + wis, dual soul for will defense. Simply the best choice for your enlightened friend expecially if you don't want to be dependent on which weapon you wield.


Warforged: i can't simply rate this race lower, because they're built to wield a weapon. Good str and con bonus always help and a power that sinergize well with the bloodied status. A solid pick., good for hammerers.


Player's Handbook 2 races


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Deva: you gain a bonus to a secundary stat, but not so much more

Gnome: small size prevent these little fey to become first lane competitors, but they're good, very good.


Goliath: they wield two handed weapons like little toothpick. A bonus to a secundary and good resistance power design them as very good Hammer/Pick Euphorics


Half-orc: we need dex and strength but only after charisma. And we aren't strikers.


Longtooth Shifter: good powers quite good stat boosting... all in all maybe blue expecially for polearm builds (bonus to both stats needed)


Razorclaw Shifter: the poor brother of the longtooth



Player's Handbook 3 races


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Githzerai: they're good, they share the rating with the longtooth shifters but they have many features (domination and stun resist, +initiative). Very good for polearm build and sword & board.

Minotaur: they can be good at both builds but aren't the best choice. The ardent class has a few charging power that can be exploited for sure (forward thinking cut at level 7, for example)

Shardmind: +charisma race, they're good expecially for the shard swarm features: coupled with Euphoric bloodied state grants 2 rounds of constant hitting enemies with combat advantage.

Wilden: they're sweet and they have many tricks, but bonus to both secundary stats is going to be a little wasted unless you favor, again, a polearm build.




 

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

Ardent Heroic Powers: The way to dominate





A little note: augment 1 (or 2 later on) powers are more situational but powerful in that case, i'll point out when they're totally useless. Unaugmented powers and augment 2 (and 4) usually have the same effect, obiouvsly better on augment. I'll write if a power is more appropriate for a CON build (EUPHORIC), for a Wis build (ENLIGHTENED) or for BOTH. I'll also write useful keyword (expecially fear and charm, for feats and paragon paths).
Furthermore, if you see a little arrow (--->) near a power, this means that this power pushes, slides or pulls enemies and it's more useful for some specialized builds

A little note: naturally all these powers are in PHB 3


Level 1 At Will disciplines



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Demoralizing strike EUPHORIC; FEAR: -2 all defenses is nice, augment 1 is wonderful in the right party. Augment 2 for total enemy annihilation. The best offensive pick for euphoric, too good to pass on, one of the best 1st level at will in the game. The augment 2 targets all creatures in the burst: it's probably an error, but if you have a strict DM pay attention!

Energizing strike BOTH: the only healing at will of the level 1 at will power choice. Unaugmented has good scaling, augment 1 is VERY good at the right time, augment 2 is good damage+surge. Overall a very nice pick, take it.

Focusing strike  ENLIGHTENED: if you feel low on the save granting side this can save literally your day; augment 1 for saving vs controllers (charm and fear aren't common keywords though) augment 2 for AoE save. Good expecially if you are a human as 3rd at will. You may want to take this power by retraining at higher levels if you see that your DM likes save-end effects (usually given by enemy controllers). In this case, this power is definitely a good choice

Ire strike BOTH: the vulnerability is good but this power unaugmented has movement issues: the target has to be adjacent to you and you need to be adjacent to your ally. The augment 1 is VERY conditional, the augment 2 is great and elminates the movement issues, giving vulnerability 5+ at first level isn't common. I daresay that you should use this power only augmented 2.

Psionic Shield ENLIGHTENED: not this great power, it gives good but not overpowered bonus to defenses. The augment 1 is very good if you fight many ranged or controller enemies. The augment 2 is cool but not something you can't live without.


Level 1 Daily disciplines



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Adrenaline strike BOTH: nice for hit and run tactics, expecially when you have a ranged-based small party.

Battleborn acuity
EUPHORIC: get very nice +1 to attack and +dmg bonus for being adjacent to you. You need to expend a minor action every round though, this lowers the rating

Implanted suggestion BOTH, CHARM: dazed and partially dominated, the target is going to be raped by your defender and your melees, expecially if you are euphoric. I love this power

Mental turmoil ENLIGHTENED: a very defensive power, it stops an enemy with a -3 (or -4) penalty to attacks at 1st level. Pay attention: he's going after your wizard friend after you use this daily

Wormhole Plunge ENLIGHTENED: a big "stay there" power, expecially if the target is a large or larger creature. Good and controllerish. Edit: Errataed and it works as thought. A good power, maybe your best bet for your enlightened ardent, but in my opinion Implanted Suggestion is better



Level 2 Utility disciplines



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Bend space (encounter) ENLIGHTENED: +1 range is ok, but adding wis to range for ranged powers isn't gamebreaking. I don't think this power is so useful.

Dimension Swap (encounter) BOTH: sweet teleport to save your controller from being surrounded. you have surely movement issues, this is an encounter power that can terribly help you in your job. You have plenty of good healing utilities in the next levels... but you have really few movement granting powers and this is one of the best (Thanks to Misma for the review)

Mind over matter
(daily) BOTH: i love this power: you are bloodied but not bloodied, and you can use it actually BEFORE your defender is hit to help mitigate damage. A lovely choice.

Psionic Conduite (encounter) BOTH: good in a full psionic party, but overall not so great

Wellspring of vigor (daily) EUPHORIC: regeneration 4 or 5 at first level is something unexpected.  Euphoric should prefer this to Mind over Matter

Skill Powers


Arcane Mutterings (Arcana): a big NO is painted over this power
Bounding Leap (Athletics): a bit meh
Scrambling Climb (Athletics): can be useful at lower levels but it's nothing to search for
Battle Feint (Bluff): nice to get CA once per encounter as a minor action
False Bravado (Bluff): marked isn't a terrible condition for you
Soothing Words (Diplomacy): the bard has a similar feature. It is better than most people think, since you give often TMP hp.
Endure Pain (Endurance): nice interrupt but it's a daily
Invigorating Presence (Endurance): Omg this is good. You will use your second wind during encounters. The amount of TMP hp gained is ridiculous
Healer's gift (Heal): nice if you have a large party
Anticipate Maneuver (Insight): battle feint is better
Ominous Threat (Intimidate): a passable power
City Rat (Streetwise): this is not made for you
Nose for trouble (Streetwise): again, initiative isn't so important for ardents.





Level 3 At Will disciplines



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Distracting strike BOTH: a very nice (blue) power if you lack a defender, or if you have a large party and only one defender. Even unaugmented is quite cool, since you don't have to be adjacent to your defender friend. The augment 1 effect takes out some pressure from your strikers, and the augment 2 "aoe marking" changes your defender into a marking machine. Not for all campaign, but good for those who need it

Impatient strike EUPHORIC: the initial shift is very nice for a class which can have movement issues. With an augment 1 you change a possibly fatal proning into a correct flanking. The augment 2 is great, also good damage.

Prescient Strike ENLIGHTENED: this is GREAT against solos and elites. The penalties stack with the mark giving a -5 or -6 to hit. The augment 1 is even better: remember that the most horrible penalties derive from a successful will attack. The augment 2 add extra marinara

Unnerving shove FEAR, EUPHORIC, --->: take that little friend that is flanking you and send him into the middle of the melee where your friends are waiting to cut him. It's even more accurate (charisma vs. fortitude). Imho is a little inferior to impatient strike for euphoric, but it may be better if your party stack forced movement powers, and if you are a polearm or a hammer wielder.



Level 5 Daily disciplines



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Empowered arsenal EUPHORIC: ok this is the power every leader wants. As always positioning is dramatically important for the ardent class, and you should try to be adjacent to your melee strikers. A very good power, all in all maybe skyblue

Enlightening Pulse ENLIGHTENED: i don't think you ever need a saving throw stream like this power allow. A little situational: i just don't like it.

Fate exchange BOTH: teleport, 2 attacks with bonus, potentially 2 surge spent and 2 saving throws. Why should you take enlightening pulse? This is the best power in this level for both builds, it's the "leader compendium"

Persistent veil CHARM, BOTH: poor damage, but the blinding condition is crippling. Nice if you have a stealth-based party, but inferior to fate exchange in all meanings.



Level 6 Utility disciplines



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Battle link (daily) BOTH: i don't like this power, it's too situational to be useful, and it's a daily.

Body Adjustment (encounter) BOTH: the old psion 3ed power strikes back. Melee touch isn't an issue, minor action is good, it's Mind over matter big brother. Imho wellspring of vigor it's still better for euphorics.

Evade attack (encounter) BOTH: one of the few movement granting ardent power... and it's quite normal. The ally is protected from 1 attack of opportunity/encounter, i don't think it should be taken over body adjustment or mend wounds but it's not a terrible choice.

Mend wounds (daily) BOTH: This is a lay on hands on steroids and i like very much. Surgeless healing is the cleric's room, and with this power we can knock knock his door.

Thought shield (encounter) BOTH: the damage resist isn't enough at 6th level, the saving throw bonus is meaningless and the duration is horrible. Finally i gave one red rating.

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Experienced Arcana (Arcana): meh at best
Insightful Warning (Arcana): i like it very much. Expecially at higher level it becomes really nice. Blue because the skill is really bad, generally, for you.
Mighty Spring (Athletics): quite a good movement power
Sudden Leap (Athletics): i don't like it too much but it can be useful
Confusing Blather (Bluff): opportunity attack denial
Dirty Tricks (Bluff): probably better than confusing blather
Fast Talk (Bluff): in many campaign this is very nice
Haggle (Diplomacy): fast talk is strictly better.
Stirring Speech (Diplomacy): this is nice if you know when to use it.
Third Wind (Endurance): if you want an healing power, there are better choices
Walk it off (Endurance): nicer if you are off-defender.
Delay Poison (Heal): bad unless you constantly fight venomous enemy
Physician's Care (Heal): no, please. Body adjustment and Mend Wounds are better
Swift Recovery (Heal): this is nicer expecially if you have a warden.
Emphatic Read (Insight): at the level of fast talk, but probably a little better
Insightful Counter (Insight): you don't really need it
Prescient Maneuver (Insight): nice movement power usable when you need it.
Demoralize Foe (Intimidate): not really bad
Everybody Move (Intimidate): nice if you specialize in sliding
Try the Stick (Intimidate): there are better power
City Dweller (Streetwise): would be viable if it wasn't a daily
Slow Pursuit (Streetwise): from really bad to great: depends from the adventure.





Level 7 At Will disciplines



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Courageous strike ENLIGHTENED: good AC bonus, if you are near an hard hitting striker. The augment 1 is even nicer and not situational. The augment 2 is AoE and potentially very good damage. A good pick for defensive enlightened.

Forward thinking cut EUPHORIC: charging with a two handed weapon is always a good idea. Here you have a great tool to add to your arsenal. With the augment 1 you add mobility with a free shift, The augment 2 is GREAT when your strikers have finished one job and are starting another one (aka: focusing a new enemy). A very solid, warlord-ly choice for euphorics.

Mindlink strike BOTH: one ally can make an attack of opportunity (with the mantle bonus to damage if you are euphoric) and you both shift. The augment 1 has the subtitle "stay near to the defender". The augment 2 can potentially deal a ton of damage. Imho forward thinking cut is a little better but this one is a very good choice.

Rewarding strike HEALING, EUPHORIC: a healing power for euphorics as an attack? Nice but not needed: all the best utility powers are healing based. Augment 2 is very nice if you're near the total party kill chasm.

Unhinging Strike CHARM, PSYCHIC, BOTH: a nice puppeteer power, useful in many situations. You can live without though. Misma wrote: If your GM allows a bit of roleplaying to happen, such as the  seed of doubt you sow in your enemies' ranks when one of them starts  hitting another, this can be very powerful. Particularly the augment 1  can be devestating if the other enemy characters don't know about it  before it happens. This may raise the power to blue



Level 9 Daily disciplines



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Agony Field  PSYCHIC, BOTH: oh my god, the pain. You have a big "DON'T HIT ME" on your head. Prepare to heal your defender. Damage is a little low though, so it's not a top choice, but only solid.

Dulled reflexes BOTH: no. Just no. Enemy has to fail 3 saves to be stunned and i don't like random things. Even the adjacent slowing isn't useful.

Feast of despair BOTH: a nice pick if you have a psion or a battlemind in your party. Regaining power points is always nice.

Feast of plenty ENLIGHTENED: a lovely pick for enlightened, you stick to the defender and let him have a constant stream of temporary hp. Nice for a defensive build.

Passage of swords BOTH, --->: the enemy is dazed (and grant combat advantage), and you make his slide very painful. It has to be used carefully, but it's a great power. All in all, maybe skyblue.



Level 10 Utility disciplines



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From the brink (daily) HEALING, BOTH: surgeless healing, minor action, burst 10 and a bonus if you're dying? And the target can stand up if he's prone? Ok, waiting for errata. This power is simply great, if you want healing. If you want true power and control take tower of iron will

Incite bravery (encounter) BOTH: this power is good, but it has so many competitors. The burst is a bit little though.

Reactive resistance (encounter) BOTH: good scaling, can save a lot of damage each encounter.. but from the brink is much better

Tower of iron will (daily) BOTH: my first gold rating and it's justified. +4 to will, +2 to all defenses, free saves against the most gruesome and horrible conditions, huge area and a good resist. This is the utility power you want, unless you really focus on healing.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Ardent Paragon Powers: the way to the Truth

As i write it's still unclear whether ALL your powers' augment will cost more when you entry the Paragon Tier. In this tier the first augment will still cost 1 PP, but the second will cost 4 PP.


Level 13 At Will disciplines



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Confusing strike
BOTH: a very nice defensive debuffing power. Augment 1 start to cost very little at this level, so a -2 penalty to attacks and will defense is quite nice for 1 pp. For 4 pp you get aoe dazing and debuffing zone

Field of alacrity BOTH: allowing allies to shift as a minor action is great. The augments don't raise the rating, it remain good but not much more

Hope's audacity BOTH: this is great if your allies don't have already a wider critical range, and most
striker builds already has it. Augment 1 is nice but isn't gamebreaking

Revelatory strike
ENLIGHTENED: this is psionic shield big brother combined with focused strike. Nice but not overpowered, AC bonus are always good but players tend to prefer (with a good reason) enemy AC penalty.

Victorious urging
BOTH: it IS good but demoralizing strike is a bit better. What save this power is the push: you push the enemy in the middle of the fray and each target gets the bonus.



Level 15 Daily disciplines



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Extermination urge
CHARM, ENLIGHTENED: i don't know how to rate this power. Absolutely gruesome against solos and elite if you grab a cunning weapon (but it's a kind of a waste). Quite good in normal encounters, you can surely do worse. Imho black is a good rating for a good but not extraordinary power

Imminent demise PSYCHIC, BOTH: a power with a good effect but the area is a bit too small to be really effective.

Mountainfall strike BOTH: this is Dulled reflexes bigger brother, and it sucks as its little brother. Unless you are a psionic binder, in that case is very solid

Unchecked aggression
EUPHORIC: superior damage, +con to damage and +2 to attacks for Combat Advantage. I ask myself: where's the little bar "sustain minor: the zone persist"? Forgotten or not from the writer, we'll see in the future, but this is why the power isn't skyblue.

Vigorous Offensive BOTH: i don't like very much this power because not always you have 4 enemies to attack in short range. Obiouvsly better for polearm wielder.



Level 16 Utility disciplines



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Bountiful Life (daily) BOTH: nice idea and great range, but leaders usually don't heal themselves. And you've got so many powers that must be sustained that's hard to find minor actions also for utilities.

Fortunate Recovery
(encounter) EUPHORIC: it does grant a bonus to saves, but doesn't even grant a save. I totally don't like this power, waste of ink.

Mental Rejuvenation (daily) HEALING, BOTH: surgeless healing is always good. I rated it skyblue even if you have to waste your standard action because healing two healing surges is impressive: only the cleric can overcome these numbers.

Reform Mind (daily) BOTH: in a normal campaign this is red. You may want to take it for roleplaying reasons.

Uncanny awareness (daily) BOTH: you have few movement-granting powers. This one is quite good, but you're usually last or next to last when you roll initiative, so you may not find anyone in the burst. Also, the movement is subject to attacks of opportunity and the power is a daily. Better for ENLIGHTENED.



Level 17 At Will disciplines



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Diamond defense assault
PSYCHIC, BOTH, --->: distracting strike's big brother has become a great power. The unaugmented version is finally ridden from the "adjacent sickness" as i like to call it. The augment 1 is great, granting MBA as free for only 1 point is absolutely great: no charge for you, evil foe! The augment 2 works surprisingly well for such a little zone and has a sliding kicker. A very good pick, maybe even skyblue for enlightened ardents.

Illuminating strike RADIANT, ENLIGHTENED: you become a cleric-lite with this power. Actually you can join the "radiant mafia", as it is called, getting vulnerability to radiant damage with multiclassing. It's not a great power, overall. Resistance 4 at 17th level isn't something to be taken in consideration. Resistance 7-8 is better, but it costs you 4 power points. Good attempt, at least.

Temporal strike BOTH: i find this power a little underwhelming. This can be useful only for euphorics, because englightened already add a good +wis to AC vs opportunity attacks and thus are less subject to opportunity attacks. The augment 4 is very nice, but it costs 4 pp... it's not something you want to waste.

Terrifying deluge FEAR, BOTH, --->: good for some builds based on sliding, like polearm wielders, it must be party-optimized to actually be useful. The augment 1 is actually WORSE than the un-augmented power (obiouvsly needs an errata). The augment 2 offers a good board control



Level 19 Daily disciplines



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Chains of affinity PSYCHIC, BOTH: initial damage is huge. Stick to your defender and watch your enemies go down. Be sure to place yourself correctly before using this power.

Deflecting disk CONJURATION, BOTH. --->: a quite good power, you don't have to do anything to maintain the disk up. I love expecially the sliding. The disk bonus is nice but not great. Good for specialized builds. as usual

Shared vigor HEALING, BOTH: nice if you need another push to your healing power. The zone is large and doesn't need any minor action to be sustained, but you can't move it. Vitality transfer is better, though

Temporal acceleration
BOTH: i just don't like these slowing ardent powers, like Mountainfall strike and dulled reflexes. At least you can use this on charge and the zone is bigger, so maybe it deserves a black rating

Vitality transfer
RELIABLE, HEALING, BOTH: reliable, accurate (vs. fort), good damage and surgeless healing to ALL your party. If you need a healing power, absolutely take this over shared vigor.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Ardent Epic Powers: here lies your destiny
I report the paragon tier note here: the augment cost even more than in the paragon tier. The first augment will cost 2 PP, the second 6 PP

Level 22 Utility disciplines


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Borrowed time (daily) BOTH: ok... i don't know what kind of tricks you can pul out of this power... but i will rate skyblue, just to be sure that i know it can be a cheese-factory.


Guided opportunity (encounter) BOTH: mmm, a +hit bonus 1/encounter for an opportunity attack? At epic tier? Pass


Insensate mind (encounter) BOTH: it's minor action, good resistance. But you can do better, with all those surgeless healing.. take rapid recovery, please.


Rapid recovery (daily) BOTH: aoe minor action regenation 10? No question asked, no bloodied status to check? Yes please.



Level 23 At Will disciplines


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Flood of madness CHARM,PSYCHIC,BOTH: pseudo-domination power (this is madness!). Augment 2 is nice, expecially after ardent outrage. Augment 6 is quite useless, i think.



Perception shift PSYCHIC, BOTH: nice for defensive enlightened builds, it works nicely against skimisher and brutes. I like it very much, expecially the augment 2 which is finally strong enough to not to be a niche power.



Revealing strike BOTH: imho demoralizing strike, except for damage, is strictly better. Secundary penalties are good but not gamebreaking: i see this as the possible "enlightened demoralizing strike". Blindsight, from the augment 6 is quite good to raise the power to black



Revelatory slash EUPHORIC: nice range, nice effect (free CA), not for all parties but good for them. 15 temporary hp are good enough after 2 good at will attacks (your ranger friend will love you). As you have seen this power is 3/4 light blue and 1/4 dark blue... You need a dedicated party to use this power correctly. Just this.



Level 25 Daily disciplines


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Blistering aversion FIRE, BOTH: after a little radiant apparition, we've now a fire power. The damage is good, if you find some way to get a penalty to the enemy save (cunning weapon, for example). The area is VERY large and dangerous... but, alas, can't be moved. And fire damage is often resisted.


Corona of battle HEALING, BOTH: you may want this. Regeneration 5 isn't that great thing (but it stacks with rapid recovery, since that isn't true regeneration), but a +2 to attacks and +1d10 to damage is. The zone is huge and moves with you. 


Intellect bomb PSYCHIC, BOTH: sliding power for polearm builds. The secundary attack is also nice (minor or free action!) and dazes is very good. You should have now many psychic powers... let's talk about a friend named psychic lock... The only badside it's that there's the little gold power below...


Revealed Assets BOTH: nice, but the zone can't be moved (and it's smaller than corona of battle's one).


Summons to doom PSYCHIC, CHARM, BOTH, --->: hilarious. EACH enemy gets pulled near you (you're near your defender, right?) gets 4w+cha with a very accurate attack, and then it's pushed back OR it gets a penalty to attacks. Simply hilarious... What? You may wield a polearm? What? You have psychic lock? Well, that's enough, i think.



Level 27 At Will disciplines


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Dismissive strike BOTH: you can teleport the target in the air and send it prone near an ally. This is a strange but useful power. I the first augment is nothing more than an AOE proning effect. The augment 6 gives plenty of movement


Exhilarating strike ENLIGHTENED: it's strange to see a 27th level weaker than a 23rd one. Revelatory slash unaugmented power is much stronger than this... but this is wisdom based and grants a save. The augment 6 option is very good: since most strikers and defenders have something to use after a charge i can safely admit that the augment 6 could be (i) on par with revelatory slash. or even superior.


Restorative bastion BOTH: if you really want a power that grants saving throws take the level 1 (!!!) Focusing strike. It's really the same, but you lose the 4w hit on augment 6... but with augment 2 you get your aoe save and it's accurate so maybe i can save something about this power


Unnerving disruption PSYCHIC, EUPHORIC: why, why, why this power hasn't got the fear keyword? It was perfect! By the way a -4 (-2 for the attack, -2 for psychic lock) is very good, even at level 27. The augment 6 means that 2/encounter your burst 1 area is unhittable and your party gain a good bonus to damage rolls.



Level 29 Daily disciplines


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Empathic Projection BOTH: i like this power. Good starting damage, good effect and you have to do nothing to maintain. Obiouvsly better for a polearm build, as usual with the push.


Image of doom FEAR, BOTH: better for stygian adept, since it's a fear power. Not the best power you can choose, imho


Undeniable weakness ENLIGHTENED: your party is immune to damage for 1 round. Good deal. But that static zone, i don't like it at all, since it's very small.


Violent spark BOTH: yes, i know it's a wisdom based power, but it's good also for euphorics. Even if you are euphoric you may have a +1 mod in wisdom. And free AT WILL attacks are always a good idea. Warlords, for example, get a 7w out of turn attack. If you are in a 5 man party you can do possibly the equivalent of 13w with this attack, and grant movement, saving throws, debuff to enemies, marking... This is good, maybe even GOLD



 

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Ardent feats: the tricks to be a dominator

Since the available feats are innumerable, I'll put here only the best feats for ardents to spare a little time. I'll start with class and general feats. Then i'll add racial and multiclassing feats. At the bottom you will find a list of skill powers (related to feats) and hybrid build feats.


Most feats are useful for both builds. I'll write a little C near mantle of clarity-only feats (Enlightened build) and a little E near mantle of elation-only feats.


Class Feats


The ardent has very few class feats and i will list all of them. Most aren't desiderable, though. All these feats are in PHB 3

HEROIC TIER
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Bolstering mantle:
one or two free saves or temporary hp per encounter. I like it but it's a small bonus
Clarified instincts C: it can be very good. Constant +wis to perception means that your friends are immune to surprise rounds.
Elated emotions E: this is a little less useful, unless you want to make every foe surrender.
Heartening surge: the bonus is something nice, but not gamebreaking. Better for Euphorics
Mantle of readiness: nice but not a top choice



PARAGON TIER
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Alacrity of fortune C: shift after making save (not succeed, just make). A nice pick
Elation of fortune E: +1 to hit after making a save. Again, very good.
Improved ardent surge: finally a good scaling factor to ardent surge.
Widened mantle: usually it's not needed.



EPIC TIER
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Endangering outrage E: mass con vulnerability is intriguing.
Epic alacrity C: again it is very good, like its euphoric mate. 



General Feats


HEROIC TIER
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Armor proficiency (scale) (PHB) : you need this for your AC: leader's enchantments are common on this type of armor
Armor proficiency (plate) (PHB) E : this is better for euphorics
Beguiling enchantment (PHB3): you have exactly 5 charm powers: this may become better with the add of new psionic powers. 3 of these charm powers are also psychic, at higher level you may want both beguiling enchantment and psychic lock.
Blade opportunist (PHB) : may prove useful expecially if you use a glaive
Combat intuition (PHB3): a nice option, not too bad but not too nice. Do your best not to miss with your attack
Coordinated explosion (PHB2): this feat is really nice... but you use a weapon, not an implement
Deadly draw (PHB3): you usually don't pull. You may want to slide, instead, and this can help some builds
Hafted defense C (PHB3): this is gold (not gold rating, but very nice) for polearm builds. +1 AC and +1 reflex for wielding your favourite armor is good.
Hammering iron E (PHB3): very nice for hammer builds, you can push him near your defender's square
Headsman's chop (PHB3): yes violet. But if i see a Turathi Highborn with a execution axe proning bloodied enemies, with overwhelming critical... well, it becomes at least blue!
Impending victory (PHB3): this is worth its weight in gold. +1 attack against bloodied foes with at wills? But you only use at wills! Take this after weapon expertise
Melee training (PHB2): this is needed, or at least very useful... I know that most players hate this feat, and i hate it too. Usually you don't grant melee basic attack to yourself but some powers does (fate exchange, for example).
Polearm flanker C (PHB3): +2 to attacks and you are still a square away? It gets BETTER in paragon with polearm gamble.
Powerful charge (PHB) : you may want it for forward thinking cut
Shield proficiency (light) (PHB) : some of you will like it.
Strike and shove (PHB3): you don't crit too often, but pushing enables all kind of tricks with a polearm and so on...
Toughness (PHB) : Very good for enlightened builds, you gain 1 level per tier.
Versatile expertise (no rank) (PHB3): gold if you multiclass. Useless if you don't. See below
Weapon expertise (PHB2): this is still gold. You don't need versatile expertise unless you multiclass to an Implement class.
Weapon focus (PHB) : you're not a striker but soon or later you may want a little bonus to damage
Weapon proficiency (PHB) : this is not an option: superior weapons are a great tool in your hand. Take Mordenkrad, Greatspear, Glaive or Bastard Sword
Wintertouched (PHB) : you don't have any cold-based power, but you may want to use a cold weapon. This is better when you also take Lasting frost in paragon



PARAGON TIER

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Armor specialization (chain) (PHB): You may want to keep chain for some good enchant: this is the answer to get more AC oomph
Armor specialization (plate) (PHB) E: probably only euphorics can take this feat, good but absolutely non mandatory
Armor specialization (scale) (PHB) : another bump to AC and you lose all your scale penalties, expecially to speed. Necessary if you use scale, one of the best armor feats
Critical reserve (PHB3): as for strike and shove, you don't crit enough. But this may be good for Argent souls
Expansive Burst (PHB3): this can be good, ignoring cover for your augmented powers
Deadly Axe (PHB) : 17 strength is really too much. Take Weapon proficiency (execution axe) instead
Gritty determination E (PHB3): nice for euphorics, add a minimum of 8-9 temp hp each time you use a daily. Toughness is better but this one scales with your level.
Great fortitude/Iron Will/Lightning Reflexes (PHB) : take paragon defenses, instead
Hammer Rhytm (PHB) E : great for hammer wielders!
Lasting Frost (PHB): couple this with wintertouched for always CA enemies. I'll warn you: most DMs hate this trick.
Opportunistic Withdrawal (PHB3): very nice and it opens movement options
Overwhelming critical (PHB3): yes, you know, you don't crit enough blah blah... good for some builds (axe, for example)
Paragon Defenses (PHB2): if you want to raise your defenses, take this feat.
Polearm Gamble (PHB) : best for enlightened builds, needed for good polearm wielders
Psychic Lock (PHB) : you have enough Psychic powers to make this feat useful if not great. Misma analyzed the current situation in this post:
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I tried to look at the possibilities of combining Beguiling Enchantment and Psychic Lock, using an at-will power with both to impose a serious attack penalty on my target every round. 

I only found two powers with both the Charm and Psychic keyword: Unhinging Strike (lvl 7) and Flood of Madness (lvl 23). Both are unaugmented Cha vs Will (very handy), only Cha damage (no weapon at all) and the target makes a melee basic attack against a target of your choice. 

Now, the inherit problem with these powers are that they require enemies close to each other, or with reach and slightly less close. Adding the two feats turn the powers into a nice -4 penalty to all attacks, appreciated. However, is it worth it? You deal very little damage. I'm not sure if you can add any modifiers for a magic weapon, weapon focus/racial weapon feats or any other goodies at all. I'm fairly certain you can add vulnerability damage, such as Frostcheese (Everlasting Frost + Wintertouched).

The upside is that you'll hit very often against non-spellcasters. However, the secondary effect, that the enemy hits a target of your choice, is actually diminished by the two feats. Most GMs will interpret this as the enemy having -4 penalty to that attack as well. It's not useless, but makes the secondary effect even less reliable. Without the feats, its still dependent on both you and the enemy hitting in the same round to deal serious damage. 

I came to the conclusion that I don't think it's worth it. It's a nice side effect, but it's not good enough on its own to ignore all other effects you can impose on enemies. It might be worth it with only Psychic Lock and Diamond Defense Assault at level 17, since it deals decent damage and has a fairly useful secondary effect. 

If you want to impose attack penalties, I'd say you should instead go Stygian Adept. The -2 penalty on all attacks while in your zones is a reliable penalty - no need to hit to apply it unlike the formerly mentioned feats - in addition to whatever else you can do with your attack actions. Combine that with the two encounter-long close burst 3 zones you can have already at level 12 (Tower of Iron Will and Haunting Shadows), and you have something that is almost guaranteed to impose a -2 penalty on several enemies each round instead of a -4 on one when you hit.

Of course, nothing prevents you from adding psychic lock and beguiling enchantment on top of Stygian adept. Combine it with the concealment from Haunting Shadows, and you have a -8 penalty to attack anyone other than you, and a -6 penalty to attack you. If the target is marked, it's -8 penalty to attack you too. Very nice indeed. However, you're suddenly a secondary controller instead of a secondary striker... practically no damage.



Reserve maneuver (PHB2): take this if one of your PP powers is very bad
Spear Push (PHB) : another piece of the polearm mafia, use this with your greatspear
Vexing flanker (PHB2): very nice, since you're always in melee. Even nicer if you have a rogue in your party



EPIC TIER

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Cleaving Axe (PHB3): finally a good epic weapon-based feat for ardents.
Epic fortitude C (PHB2): skyblue for enlightened ardents, euphoric should not need this
Epic reflexes (PHB2): gold for both builds +4 to your lowest defense... the leader should not die. It's better for the party
Epic will (PHB2): if you need this feat, you've done something wrong
Long step (PHB3): shifting 2 squares is not weaksauce
Mastery feats (PHB) : you don't have the stats for these feats, and you don't need them. If you have the stats to get them, probably you're doing something wrong with your character.
Rapid regeneration E (PHB3): some of your best utility powers grant regeneration. VERY good for euphorics
Robust defenses (PHB2): good for every character. Be sure to retrain out paragon defenses since these two feats don't stack. Euphorics should get this and epic reflexes. Enlightened ardents should get instead epic fortitude and epic reflexes




Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Ardent Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies

I'll write here all good class, multiclass and racial Paragon Path and Epic Destiny choices for ardents.

Ardent Paragon Paths


Note: each class paragon path gives 2 power points at level 11, i won't  rate this ability.
All these Paragon paths are in PHB 3

  ARGENT SOUL: Nice for any kind of ardent, it's the only PP that gives increased critical range. While this may not be needed for a leader, it's always a nice addition.



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FEATURES:
11: Restoring critical: RNG rocks, but always nice.
11: Vitalizing action: you have many temp-hp giving powers... be sure not to waste them
16: Argent devastation: as i said, critical hitting isn't skyblue, but it's nice, expecially for restoring
critical hits
POWERS:
11: Argent strike HEALING, RADIANT: damage is ridiculous but temp-hp are nice. With this kind of power, you may want to take Shared vigor at level 19
12: Burgeoning reserves (daily) HEALING: no. Please no.
20: Argent flood HEALING, RADIANT: nice healing, good damage, you may really want shared vigor


PSIONIC BINDER:
the idea is nice. But i've checked and you have only one power that immobilize, and that power not only is high level (15) but is also bad: i'm pointing at you, mountainfall strike. This is a ENLIGHTENED ardent paragon path, so you can't even MC warden and wield a hammer.

Dedekine's Comment on Psionic Binder

I've been thinking about how best to make use of the Psionic Binder.  Constant Jailer can lead to a no-save lockdown: hit with an immobilize (save ends) power, use action point to hit again with a melee power to prevent a save on the monster's next turn, and then simply keep hitting it to keep it immobilized.   The problem is, as the guide says, that the Ardent gets only a single immobilizing power, and at level 15. 

There's been a previous build that muticlassed to Invoker or Avenger to get immobilizing powers.  This isn't ideal, as it means keeping Wis high and needing to keep up an implement, both of which effectively lower your to-hit bonus, which we want to keep high to make sure we keep hitting to continue the lockdown.  

An even better option, I will argue, is to multiclass Artificer (!) and take Icebound Sigil.  This no-attack power allows us to convert any ardent power at all, once per day, into one that inflicts save-ends immobilize.  Combined with a Skewering Greatspear, that makes it possible to do a Constant Jailer lockdown twice a day starting right at level 11.

Another item worth mentioning in the context of the Psionic Binder is the Tattoo of Bloodied Chains, which inflicts immobilized (save ends) once per encounter on the first enemy to bloody you.  This isn't as reliable as the action point method, since the enemy will have a chance to save, but it's still a level 7 item that gives you the status you need.

I don't think this should really impact the ratings the guide gives to Psionic Binder or to Artificer multiclassing.  With the right party and a DM who favours the right types of encounter, this lockdown could be very useful, but it's still situational.


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FEATURES:
11: Constant jailer: if you have a friend that can immobilize this can crush them
11: Imprisoning action: restraining is good, expecially if you push them far away.
16: Crushing walls: complete constant jailer

POWERS:

11: Binding strike PSYCHIC: this obiouvsly immobilize... you want this as an at-will power, not encounter...
12: Executioner's summons (encounter) TELEPORTATION: VERY nice moving granting power, but the condition is steep. You have to immobilize them... and you can't most of the time. So you depend on your party, and you're most of the time a dead weight. Who loves to be a dead weight?
16: Perfect prison FEAR: this one could be even a good stand-alone power... but it don't immobilize. But, hey! You can move the zone -.-


STYGIAN ADEPT: you see a tiefling wielding a poleaxe: just forget him. This PP is tailored on brutal Goliath, Warforged, half elf or human EUPHORIC ardents wielding a Mordenkrad. There are exactly 2 fear powers in the heroic tier: Demoralizing strike and unnerving shove. The latter is a good choice if you want to mix up with sliding powers, the first is a power you may want to keep till level 30. This and only this keep this PP up. If Wizards nerf Demoralizing strike, you can really forget this paragon path until they add more fear powers (there are more in the epic tier, though).

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FEATURES:
11: Fleeing fear: nice, but you don't wield a polearm. Sliding with your demoralizing strike is good though. It works well with the Hammering Iron feat
11: Unraveling action: CON vulnerability, and you want to use that fear power with your Action Point. You say that Demoralizing strike augment 2 is AoE? You want that.
16 Fearsome zone: this is one of the best features, and it stacks with psychic lock. -4 to hit you, -6 if the target is marked... And quite any daily ardent discipline creates a zone (and also some augmented at-will powers).

POWERS:
11: Stygian strike FEAR, PSYCHIC, --->: very precise, good push (add 1 square), the augment 2 is great since you add your mantle of elation bonus. If you use this power with your action point, you can add 2 times your con mod to damage. Add the usual melee ranger and watch your enemy explode like in mortal kombat.
12: Haunting shadows (daily): a zone that creates concealment, and that moves with you. Enemies already has a -2 to hit in your zones, add another -2 from concealment...
20: Subconscious horror FEAR, PSYCHIC: i love this power. Really love it. It rapes expecially elites because you make one flee around the field and smash the other one. Eating psychic damage each round is dangerous because you get a constant -2 to hit and you grant CA. An extraordinary power, with great fluff.


TALARIC STRATEGIST:
I don't love this PP but some guys from the 4e IRC channel made me think about it, and it's effective, but not flashy. Subtle to use and requires good team strategy. This path can be used by any type of ardent and gives a tactlord-flavour to your ardent.

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FEATURES:
11: Anticipating action: you can use a daily as an interrupt, this is great for a leader
11: Battle instinct: +2 to initiative is very good, even if it's a power bonus. Thanks to Misma for pointing out this feature goodness
16: Tacticial surge: as i said more than one time, ardents are mediocre movement enabler. This really changes things: 3/encounter you can make each ally shift as a free action. Really really good.

POWERS:

11: Anticipation tactics: the target attacker is badly injured, and you give a basic attack to the ally with bonus to damage. Augment 2 is even finer.
12: Insightful command (daily): i love choices, and +3 to defenses isn't something to be undervalued.
20: Combined effort: accurate, but nothing more.


Racial Paragon Paths



All these paragon paths have a race requirement. I'll rate only those suited for Ardents. I was told that you don't get those 2 psionic power points at 11th level (thanks, again, to Misma). This may change some PP ratings.



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Adroit Explorer: (phb2, human) BOTH: this is a great, great paragon path... but you don't have encounter powers. So, unless errata (and we're waiting for that errata) this is a kind of a waste for you.

Ancestral incarnate (phb2, deva) ENLIGHTENED: imho is pretty meh overall, and i don't like the powers


Fey beguiler (phb2, gnome) BOTH: i can't rate this lower because it's too fun. And you may like getting Mirror Image as an ardent ^^

Halfling scoundrel (phb2, halfling) BOTH: this one is really really good, even if the flavour is a little
roguish and then striker-ish: features aren't that great, but powers are really lovely and weapon based. Expecially Halfling's Taunt: this one has really good damage and a strong board control if you are near your defender.


Nature's avatar (phb3, wilden) BOTH, more ENLIGHTENED: powers are REALLY good, tied to your at will. Also the utility powers is great. A good choice for wildens.

Scion of Arkhosia (phb2, dragonborn) EUPHORIC: powers are not exceptional but, hey, you can fly!!


Turathi Highborn (phb2, tiefling) BOTH: this PP seems tailored for the ardent. Knocking prone bloodied enemies with a bonus to damage 1+charisma, a good ranged power (finally) and a true DOMINATION (you don't have any dominating power in 30 levels). The stance is also really really good. I love this PP



Multiclass Paragon Paths&Builds


For time reasons, only black or better rated Paragon Paths are here.

Remember that you don't gain 2 power points at level 11 unless you multiclass to a battlemind or a psion (and i don't know why would you do that) paragon path.



Artificer (BOTH): you share the secundary stats, but nothing more. Healing infusion is maybe the best leader heal in the game, but you can't replenish and that's a pity. I won't list Paragon Paths because they use intelligence as main stat, and it's a wasted stat for you.



Avenger (ENLIGHTENED): the avenger has a good synergy with enlightened offensive builds, don't expect sky-high riders, though. Most PP have a class requirement (censure). I ranked only true MC options



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Hammer of Judgment (PHB2): pushing holy crow! Take this for an optimized slider euphoric hammerer! This path is good even for polearm wielders!!!

Oathsworn (PHB2): good but not incredibly good, since you have only 1 oath of enmity/encounter
Favored Soul (DP): favored action is incredible for a leader, and most player love to fly (who doesn't love to fly???) The powers are good.
Relentless Slayer (DP): a little too much striker-ish, but some people may like it anyway. Powers are a little too "suicidal" for a leader





Bard (BOTH): the bard may have perfect stat sinergy with the enlightened ardent. You may have again an implement problem, but you gain some very good ranged powers (and Vicious Mockery as encounter power, which is a very good 1st level Psychic at will)



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Voice of thunder (PHB2): there are actually ZERO thunder powers in the ardent list, but you may like very much the 11th level feature voice of thunder which increase the size of any burst you create. Powers are actually lovely. Not a too bad choice
Half-elf emissary (AP): The level 11 ability lets you add your chr mod to Diplomacy(instead of the +1 granted by half-elf) and any other chr based skill that you have trained.  That's 5+Chr+Chr+Con for the con-based ardent.  The powers are not too bad either. By THE ONE
Life singer (AP): the 20th level daily is a true power! Others are quite passable





Battlemind (EUPHORIC): the entry feat is quite underwhelming: 1/encounter you can mark the target, and the mark lasts only until the end of your next turn. Nothing you can live without. The Paths aren't impressive, but you may rank them higher because they give you that 2 power points.



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Eternal blade: the path is very good if you are heavy armored. Feature are a little subpar, but the powers are VERY good, expecially the 20th level daily (which is, frankly, overpowered).
Iron guardian: violet because the 20th daily is wasted, but the feature could prove useful for an axe-proning build
Zephyr blade: nice for sub-defenders because you need to mark an enemy to use all powers of the path






Cleric (ENLIGHTENED): the cleric can buff easily the healing output of the ardent with many very good feats and help with debuffing. They also may add a good mix of ranged powers. Very good for enlightened ardents (the stat synergy is perfect) the MC feats gives you a great healing and enables some goodness. You want to use that holy symbol: it is good, doesn't occupy a space and gives you great leader bonus. A very nice pick overall.



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Divine oracle (PHB): VERY nice, you can't be surprised, you deal automatic critical and you have a good will-hitting power.
Warpriest (PHB): this is VERY hot for a sub-defender build. When you hit with an at-will, the target is marked (so you may retrain all these "mark" powers). You get bonus damage and AC. A very good, solid path.
Anointed Champion (DP) : nice, but not so great. The 16th level feature is nearly wasted
Compassionate healer (DP): i don't like this PP too much, but it greatly increases your healing skills.
Messenger of peace (DP): it's one of the best PP in the game, but it's not for you as...
Miracle worker (DP): .... as this PP. Too much divine-based





Fighter (BOTH): this MC feat has very good and intriguing feats. You gain nearly nothing from the entry feat, but you have a great number of options open for you as a weapon user: expecially when you favor a polearm. As i already said, the feat polearm momentum (heroic, mp) can greatly increase the polearm build potential, but also need a very good stats and power planning, favouring powers which slide or push enemies. Fortunately you don't have to get that feat to create a good polearm ardent, but it's nice overall. Fighter feats are in the feat section.
Unfortunately fighter Paragon Paths are not so desiderable, because all powers obiouvsly key off Strength.



Paladin (BOTH): VERY good stat synergy, again, expecially for enlightened ardents. Obiouvsly paladin paragon paths add a hint of defense in your build



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Champion of corellon (DP): finally a good PP for sword&board user. You gain great AC for you excess dexterity (+2), you lose all bad conditions for scale armor and add further mobility. The path is black because, frankly, powers are underwhelming. But features are nice for a niche build.
Dragonslayer (DP): nice but not really made for a leader
Justicar (PHB): again, very nice for sub-defenders again. The save reroll is real goodness, you must have a marking power (there are two and aren't so bad) and a good implement. A choice comparable to questing knight, but a little more leader-ish
Knight of the chalice (DP): an underwhelming choice
Questing Knight (DP): very nice, expecially for sub-defenders: nice save and second wind bonus, very nice powers (weapon based, so you don't have to wield a good implement). A good choice, more defender-ish than justicar.



Shaman (ENLIGHTENED): for one feat you gain: a skill help; a meatshield which can serve for multiple purposes (pillar, block road, attack spounge, etc...); a good Attack of opportunity encounter power OR a good scaling healing encounter power. The only backlash is that you need to have your totem out if you want to deal Aoo damage (but you can use a totemic weapon, there are many). Simply a great choice for all enlightened ardents (also flavourly, you can set for a "omg, what's talking in my head" character)



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Disciple of winds (PP): the 11th level feature is wasted, but you gain some oomph for your polearm builds. Not so bad as you may think.
Disciple of the world serpent (PHB2): nice, but you'll waste some features. Not the prime pick.
Ghost panther (PHB2): great fluff, good skill bonuses, and the power grants a VERY GOOD mobility side, expecially the 20th level daily
Great bear shaman (PHB2): very good leading stuff, bonuses to hit and opportunity attacks, good static bonus for your defender. A very nice tactical pick
Season's herald (PP): the 11th level power is devastating. The features are great, other powers are a little underwhelming but playable. A nice choice





Warlock (BOTH, but more EUPHORIC): maybe that thought that came to your head is more evil than you predicted. You have no problems with implements because you can wield a pact blade, and you can use the full array of warlock PP as euphoric ardent. Don't expect skyhigh riders, though, because they are based on intellect



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Doomsayer (PHB): oh, the waste... you don't have warlock curse, so 2 features are wasted. Doomsayer's oath is asburd for you demoralizing strike lovers. 


Entrancing  Mystic (blue) (AP): This is a good path, because you  have many charm powers, because it actually is better for melee  characters and because it has a great fluff.


Feytouched (PHB): again, too many features based on your curse


Life Stealer (black) (PHB): not so bad, not so good




 



 



Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Sample ardent builds
Level 1 Half-Elf euphoric hammer wielder


Level 1
Half-Elf Euphoric Ardent
Weapon Expertise (Hammer)

Ability scores
Str 13 Con 14+2 Dex 11 Int 8 Wis 10 Cha 16+2

AC 16 For 14 Ref 10 Will 15
HP 28 Surges 10 Surge Value 7

Skills: Bluff +9 Endurance +7 Heal +5 Intimidate +9

Powers:
At will:
Demoralizing Strike
Energizing Strike
Encounter:
Half-Elf Dilettante: Virtuous Strike (paladin, divine power page 83)
Ardent Outrage
Ardent Surge (2x encounter)
Daily
Implanted suggestion

Feat: Weapon Expertise (Hammer)

Equipment: Chainmail, Maul, Adventurer's starting gear

This is a standard, very solid euphoric ardent: very offensive but can regain HP with energizing strike and the half elf-dilettante power Virtuous Strike.


Level 1 Human euphoric ardent axe wielder


Level 1
Half-Elf Euphoric Ardent
Weapon Expertise (Axe)

Ability scores
Str 13 Con 14 Dex 11 Int 8 Wis 10 Cha 16+2

AC 17 For 15 Ref 11 Will 16
HP 26 Surges 9 Surge Value 6

Skills: Bluff +9 Diplomacy +9 Endurance +7 Heal +5 Intimidate +9

Powers:
At will:
Demoralizing Strike
Energizing Strike
Human at will (unaugmentable): Focusing Strike
Encounter:
Ardent Outrage
Ardent Surge (2x encounter)
Daily
Implanted suggestion

Feat: Weapon Expertise (Axe), Armor Proficiency (Scale)

Equipment: Chainmail, Greataxe, Adventurer's starting gear

This ardent is a little more defensive than the half-elf one, but the differences are very little. At level 2 you should go for your Execution Axe.


Level 1 kalashtar enlightened sword&board


Level 1
Kalashtar Enlightened Ardent

Ability scores
Str 13 Con 10 Dex 11 Int 8 Wis 14+2 Cha 16+2

AC 17 For 12 Ref 11 Will 15
HP 22 Surges 7 Surge Value 5

Skills: Bluff +9 Heal +10 Insight +10 Intimidate +9

Powers:
At will:
Focusing Strike
Energizing Strike
Encounter:
Bastion Of mental clarity (Kalashtar racial feature)
Ardent Alacrity
Ardent Surge (2x encounter)
Daily
Wormhole Plunge

Feat: Shield Proficiency (Light shield)

Equipment: Chainmail, Longsword, Light Shield Adventurer's starting gear

This is a more defensive character, the hp loss is regained with superior defenses. The level 2 feat may be toughness, scale proficiency or weapon proficiency (bastard sword)



Level 30 Half Elf Euphoric Ardent Multiclassed Fighter By Cazzeo

Level 1-30 Tiefling Euphoric Build overlook by Misma

Level 1-30 overlook Tiefling Euphoric build by Kryx--- inspired by Misma

Ardent|Invoker/Psionic Binder Level 1-30 Overlook: the Psionic Sheriff



Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Magic Items for the Domination



These are items from various sources, i'll just report good items (rating black+)

My guide isn't complete (and will never be, probably): for more useful informations, check out Let's Accessorize Item Guide

Armours enchantments (mail&scale only)

Agile Armor (AV1): nice for a good AC bonus for some builds who uses dexterity (sword&board, spear)
Angelsteel Armor (PHB): Expecially if you activate the effect VS ac it's very nice
Armor of Durability (AV1): nice for enlightened ardents to get some extra durability
Armor of Sacrifice (AV1): very nice for a leader
Armor of transport (PHB3): nice for additional teleport effect. For augment 1 teleport all adjacent allies. VERY good.
Assassinbane Armor (AV1): it's nice not being autokilled
Bold Victory Armor (PHB2): Nice buff for defensive builds
Bolstering Armor (AV1): all allies can spend surge when you second wind. High level, but it's good
Champion's Armor (AV1): a strong disincentive to hit you
Curseforged Armor (PHB): Nice debuff for enemies
Dwarven Armor
(PHB): It's always one of the best enchants
Eladrin Armor (PHB): now it's quite meh... but maybe with psionic powers adding some teleports..
Exalted Armor (PHB): good for your healing novas
Gleaming Armor (PHB3): nice to gain concealment again and again
Hydra Armor (PHB): there's a way to exploit this enchantment with the Rapid Regeneration feat
Irrefutable Armor (AV1): there are some good attacks that target Will
Joyous armor (PHB3): nice but remember that t.hp don't stack
Luring Withdrawal Armor (PHB2): very nice for sliding builds
Martyr Armor (AV1): very nice if you aren't fire-focused
Quicksilver armor (PHB3): again very nice for your movement issues
Reflexive Armor (AV1): your reflex defense is usually your worst defense.
Reinforcing Armor (AV1): tailored for a defender, but always nice
Screaming Armor (AV1): nice debuff expecially stygian adepts
Shared Valor Armor (PHB2): You gain half temporary points you grant to your ally. VERY good.
Tombforged Armor (PHB): Very useful expecially for euphoric ardents to use your excess surges



Weapon Enchantments

Battering Weapon (AV1, hammer): nice, even if you don't have MBA powers
Battlemaster's Weapon (AV1,any): recovering an encounter is always great
Communal Weapon (AV1, any melee): changing a non-hit to an hit up to 6/day is very good
Controlling Weapon (AV1, polearm): maybe the best polearm enchant.
Cunning Weapon (AV1, any melee): you have some good save-end effects
Dancing Weapon (PHB, heavy and light blades): nice but you need to use your minor action to sustain your zone, very often
Dislocation Weapon (PHB3, heavy and light blades): you usually don't stay far from your friends, this can be useful for some setups
Guarding Weapon (PHB3, any melee): expecially for enlightened ardents, they gain stupid bonus to AC against opportunity attacks.
Inertial Weapon (PHB3, flail, hammer, mace): this is more for euphoric hammer wielders
Inspiring Weapon (AV1,any): good for nova rounds
Jagged weapon (AV1,axes, heavy and light blades): this make critical with axes really painful
Lilting Songblade (PHB2, heavy and light blades): you are not a bard but scaling damage bonus is great
Mindcrusher Weapon (PHB3, hammer, mace): very nice if you have many psychic attack (stygian adept, for example)
Overreaching weapon (AV1,polearm): this solves your reach problems with a polearm
Rending weapon (AV1,axe): this and jagged can destroy an enemy
Staggering weapon (AV1,Axe, flail, hammer, heavy blade, mace): for sliding builds this is the best choice.
Terror Weapon (PHB, axe, hammer, heavy blades): use this with augmented demoralizing strike for absurd penalizing effects.
Weapon of shared wrath (PHB3, any melee): add this effect to your bloodied effect for nova rounds with both builds.



Arms Slot

Angelsteel Shield (AV1): nice bonus to the defenses but it's a daily
Bracers of Bold Maneuvering (AV1): free moving 1/encounter and saves you from 1 opportunity attack. Very nice
Bracers of defense (PHB): a nice defensive effect.
Bracers of Iron Arcana (AV1): good bonus to AC daily
Bracers of Respite (AV1): sweet help for your healing
Bracers of Tactical blows (AV1): euphoric hit VERY hard on opportunity attacks with these
Couters of Second Chances (AV1): reroll THAT daily attack that doesn't have to miss
Feyleaf Vambraces (AV1): better at lower level, free daily teleport to flank position
Guardian shield (PHB): nice for sword&board defensive enlightened ardents
Healer's Shield (AV1): nice for very defensive builds
Iron Armbands of Power (AV1): you're not a striker but they're good for some builds
Mindiron Vambraces (AV1): very nice, gets better when you level to 18 or 28.
Shield of deflection (PHB): you hate ranged attackers, they're difficult to punish decently. Resist 5 or 10 is good
Shield of Eyes (AV1): nice and cheap, avoid flanking and makes you move easily
Shield of warding (PHB): even nicer than bracers of defense
Shimmerlight Shield (AV1): quite nice, better at lower level
Wyrmguard Shield (AV1): at higher level critical hits can destroy your day.



Feet Slot

Acrobat boots (PHB): if your DM likes prone effects, these are cheap for you
Battlestride Greaves (PHB): i love bonus to speed, these are as good as an epic feat
Dwarven Greaves (PHB): nice to negate sliding and pushing and to stay in melee
Eladrin Boots (PHB): these may become blue if Psionic Power adds some new teleportation powers



Hands Slot

Gauntlets of the Ram (PHB): gold for heavy pushing builds



Head Slot

Basilisk helm (PHB): nice against skirmishers
Helm of Battle (PHB): scaling bonus to initiative is always very good. Maybe Skyblue for enlightened ardents
Helm of Heroes (PHB): you grant many attack, use this item on augmented forward thinking cut, or fate exchange
Horned Helm (PHB): you charge enough and this item adds extra punishment
Iron of Spite (PHB): discourage enemies to hit you and autokill minions



Neck Slot

Amulet of False life (PHB): nice but remember that t.hp don't stack (already read? sorry)
Cloak of Feywild Escape (PHB): add another teleport to your arsenal
Cloak of Resistance (PHB): classical and still good
Guardian's Cape (PHB): lovely movement effect



Rings

Ring Of mental power (PHB3): very nice for any psionic power, you have 1 more PP for encounter and you can regain power points spent for one power which missed the target
Ring of Protection (PHB): nice passive bonus
Ring of Regeneration (PHB): +surge value, regain surges. Very very nice
Star Opal Ring (PHB): add speed, teleport and damage. A top choice



Waist Slot

Belt of sacrifice (PHB): losing healing surges isn't so traumatic for you and scaling bonus to surge value is very good.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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reserved 11

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Reserved 12 - now you can post if you wish

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Wrote level 1 at wills, this afternoon i'm posting level 1 dailies

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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OMG I LUV U!

I have been waiting for a ardent handbook, was about to start my own.  Thanks for picking up the slack.
Ty roark. Level 1 dailies and level 2 utilities are up.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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I believe that Ardent Alacricty / Outrage remain encounter powers -- so even if you get bloodied more than once, you can still only trigger them once per encounter.

I fully admit I could be wrong, however. 
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
I believe that Ardent Alacricty / Outrage remain encounter powers -- so even if you get bloodied more than once, you can still only trigger them once per encounter.

I fully admit I could be wrong, however. 



You are correct. They are encounter powers and thus can only work once per encounter.
Thanks for starting this. Some Ardent discussion has been needed on these boards.

I'm too wrapped up to contribute to my own Handbooks, but I do wish you well on yours.

I don't think Mind over Matter and Wellspringof Vigor should get light blue.  I would rank them as blue or maybe even black.

One problem about these is that they really need to be used at the beginning of the encounter, to make sure you properly use the thp

Cons for Mind over Matter
daily, so only usable once
healing surge value tends to be lacking any real benefit (a 20 Con Battlemind only has 8)
after the encounter, they go away (I think)
So a maximum 8 damage gets shrugged off after the use of the power, and it can only be used once.  I don't think that is great.

Cons for Wellspring of Vigor
Again, daily
Touch, so limited range
only works until you get bloodied (which is usually a while)
only a maximum of 5 thp (that is with an 18 Con)
delayed start (monster could bloody inbetween yours and the targets, especially if you are the target)
thp don't stack, so the maximum maximum is 5

I think they are only black but in comparison to the other choices, I can see them as blue.

I believe that Ardent Alacricty / Outrage remain encounter powers -- so even if you get bloodied more than once, you can still only trigger them once per encounter.

I fully admit I could be wrong, however. 



You're right, that was dumb -- corrected

Thanks for starting this. Some Ardent discussion has been needed on these boards.

I'm too wrapped up to contribute to my own Handbooks, but I do wish you well on yours.



Thanks a lot for your help instead ^^


I don't think Mind over Matter and Wellspringof Vigor should get light blue.  I would rank them as blue or maybe even black.

One problem about these is that they really need to be used at the beginning of the encounter, to make sure you properly use the thp

Cons for Mind over Matter
daily, so only usable once
healing surge value tends to be lacking any real benefit (a 20 Con Battlemind only has 8)
after the encounter, they go away (I think)
So a maximum 8 damage gets shrugged off after the use of the power, and it can only be used once.  I don't think that is great.

Cons for Wellspring of Vigor
Again, daily
Touch, so limited range
only works until you get bloodied (which is usually a while)
only a maximum of 5 thp (that is with an 18 Con)
delayed start (monster could bloody inbetween yours and the targets, especially if you are the target)
thp don't stack, so the maximum maximum is 5

I think they are only black but in comparison to the other choices, I can see them as blue.




I like them and for a reason: estimated healing.

- Mind over matter is good for this reason, you start the encounter, you know it will be hard, and help your defender easily. 8 damage at first level is not a little thing. Keep present that you retain this powers till level 22! It's a huge time and this power scale very better

- Wellspring of vigor imho is even better for a con build. Yes, thp don't stack but if a defender doesn't take a little beating every round he's doing something wrong. The limited range factor isn't so limiting (you're usually in melee and your target, the defender, is in melee too and usually adjacent to you, since most ardent powers have little burst). A little thing you did wrong: the power description doesn't say that if you are bloodied the power ends. This is a very important thing.
Last thing: scaling. Again, those powers scale very well.

However, i think that your point is good. Skyblue is too much. I'll rate them blue

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Added 3rd level at wills^^

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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V nice.

If you are gonna stay on top of this,
then the two other (abortive) attempts at Ardent guides,
can be ignored.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

V nice.

If you are gonna stay on top of this,
then the two other (abortive) attempts at Ardent guides,
can be ignored.



Ty for you support.

Finished heroic tier power list, now i'll add stat choice.

Edit: added 13, 15 and 16th level powers

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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First off i want to say thanks for taking up the job of writting the guide


but i disagree on some of the ratings personally. Im currently playing a Bard/Ardent Hybrid so ive been looking over the powers a lot.


Level 1


Focusing Strike- I think it should be blue. Firstly it can grant you an additional save if something nasty is effecting you. Secondly i cant count how many times a player has been KOed by ongoing damage in our games. The first augment may be situational but Fear and Charm often can be severe. If your ardent is the only leader in a group he should seriously consider picking it up, even if he is Elation (since the wisdom bonus is only on the more situational 1st augment anyways)


Daily 1


Implanted Suggestion- i dont think it is light blue, more normal blue. Yes it is accurate, but if used on a solo its probaly going to work once, perhaps twice.


Wormhole Plunge- If the wormhole would last more than one round i could see it being light blue, but it dosent. Also once you use it, the big draw being the pull and all makes it so surrounding bad guys will be nearer to you, giving them a little mor incentive to go after you.


Utility 2


Wellspring- if it was actual regeneration that would be better. its granting 4 or 5 temps to an unbloodied ally might be useful, but then you want to sink more healing into that ally just to keep the temps up. heck if it just granted 5 temps and was an encounter power i would like that far more. I just dont like this power at all, and i would rate it black.


3rd


Unerving shove- i think should be blue. It targets fort so it hits more often the ac. Push 3 or 4 at will is very useful, even more so if you have an ally who can slow the bad guy. not to mention that if you have a dm that loves difficult terrain or hazzards this is even more useful. And while the first augment is highly situational, the second augment gives combat advantage, which doesent pressure your allies to go for the flank the first thing.


5th


Empowered arsenal- I would agree blue but i think its not as strong as you say. Like you said with battleborn acuity you need to sink you minors to keep it up. And since you want to be adjacent to allies you will have to forgo a flanking bonus in most cases, lowering the chance you will hit.


Fate Exchange- I like this power as well. HOWEVER in my book your character needs to have meele training to make full use of this power. You might not have enough room at level 5 for that feat, which hurts the power a little.


10th


Reactive resistance- i think it should be blue. While From the Brink might be flashy, it should really only be used on dieing allies. Reactive resistance on the other hand can absorb 30 or more damage a day (as players usually face at least 3 encounters before an extended rest in my experence).


Incite bravery- While you will probaly have to give up a flanking bonus, giving +2 to attack rolls really helps the nova go off for meele allies. and if you couldent flank anyways giving you an additional +2 to attack is nice. I see it as blue, but it suffers a little for being on the same tier with other cooler utillities.


Tower of iron Will- I dont quite think it is gold. Since the zone dosent move with you smart monsters will just soak an attack or two and move away from the zone and laugh that your daily wont bother them anymore. Also you have to sink minors into keeping it up.

Ty for your reply, before all


First off i want to say thanks for taking up the job of writting the guide


but i disagree on some of the ratings personally. Im currently playing a Bard/Ardent Hybrid so ive been looking over the powers a lot.


Level 1


Focusing Strike- I think it should be blue. Firstly it can grant you an additional save if something nasty is effecting you. Secondly i cant count how many times a player has been KOed by ongoing damage in our games. The first augment may be situational but Fear and Charm often can be severe. If your ardent is the only leader in a group he should seriously consider picking it up, even if he is Elation (since the wisdom bonus is only on the more situational 1st augment anyways)



Granting save is something that shouldn't be underestimate, but i don't like the non-choice: a power that always grant only saves it's not going to be used a lot. I rated ok, and i think i should keep the rating this way. Maybe your DM focus more on ongoing effects, i don't (for example) and when i play the DM doesn't too: we can safely say that's a campaign dependent power, i'll write it.



Daily 1


Implanted Suggestion- i dont think it is light blue, more normal blue. Yes it is accurate, but if used on a solo its probaly going to work once, perhaps twice.


Wormhole Plunge- If the wormhole would last more than one round i could see it being light blue, but it dosent. Also once you use it, the big draw being the pull and all makes it so surrounding bad guys will be nearer to you, giving them a little mor incentive to go after you.



implanted suggestion it's not only accurate, but it dazes too. Dazing is a top level condition in the heroic tier, where monsters don't have many tricks to escape your defender. I think that this power can safely remain light blue.


About wormhole your argument is right, and i'll lower the rating.



Utility 2


Wellspring- if it was actual regeneration that would be better. its granting 4 or 5 temps to an unbloodied ally might be useful, but then you want to sink more healing into that ally just to keep the temps up. heck if it just granted 5 temps and was an encounter power i would like that far more. I just dont like this power at all, and i would rate it black.




I actually like it (and i'm the only one, i think :D) and i tried yesterday evening with great success.. i have already lowered its rating, please let me keep it blue, because there's no good alternative.


3rd

Unerving shove- i think should be blue. It targets fort so it hits more often the ac. Push 3 or 4 at will is very useful, even more so if you have an ally who can slow the bad guy. not to mention that if you have a dm that loves difficult terrain or hazzards this is even more useful. And while the first augment is highly situational, the second augment gives combat advantage, which doesent pressure your allies to go for the flank the first thing.



You're right again: it is good. The only things i don't like about this power: it should be wisdom based, for polearm builds. (I'd rate it skyblue)


5th

Empowered arsenal- I would agree blue but i think its not as strong as you say. Like you said with battleborn acuity you need to sink you minors to keep it up. And since you want to be adjacent to allies you will have to forgo a flanking bonus in most cases, lowering the chance you will hit.


Fate Exchange- I like this power as well. HOWEVER in my book your character needs to have meele training to make full use of this power. You might not have enough room at level 5 for that feat, which hurts the power a little.



Empowered arsenal: i like because you can move the zone automatically with you, if you check other leader's powers this is quite unusual.


Fate exchange: imho melee training is a gold feat for the ardent class... you have 3 feats at 5th level: weapon expertise, which most DM give for free, melee training, which most DM give for free to (i usually let my players choose between these two feats) and a training in a superior weapon. Fate exchange it's too lovely to pass on ^^


10th

Reactive resistance- i think it should be blue. While From the Brink might be flashy, it should really only be used on dieing allies. Reactive resistance on the other hand can absorb 30 or more damage a day (as players usually face at least 3 encounters before an extended rest in my experence).


Incite bravery- While you will probaly have to give up a flanking bonus, giving +2 to attack rolls really helps the nova go off for meele allies. and if you couldent flank anyways giving you an additional +2 to attack is nice. I see it as blue, but it suffers a little for being on the same tier with other cooler utillities.


Tower of iron Will- I dont quite think it is gold. Since the zone dosent move with you smart monsters will just soak an attack or two and move away from the zone and laugh that your daily wont bother them anymore. Also you have to sink minors into keeping it up.




Reactive resistance: ok maybe i underrated it a little.
Incite bravery: positioning is bad, but maybe you have already an ire strike ready :D

About tower of iron will: i had the same impression before the first reading of the power, but what i really love about this power it's the automatic save against stunning and dominating: in the epic tier this really saves lives. Yes, the minor action hurts, but the zone is quite large and you cannot entirely ignore it... and your ranged friends can safely stay in. For all this reasons, i'll leave it gold.

Really thanks for the much needed feedback, expecially for unerving shove

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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just an fyi, Wormhole Plunge is broken right now.  There is nothing stopping the user from teleporting the target vertical.  The creature will then fall and has to save from the damage.  once it lands, the power activates again.  Eventually the creature is killed, end of story.  It will be changed (or at least I hope it will) in the next update, but for those power munchers...
Which level 1 at-will do you think works best for humans? Focusing Strike? Demoralizing I think I'd probably want to keep augmentable until 30.
personally, I think Ire Strike makes a solid human 3rd.  You use your other powers for buffs, debuffs, heals and save-granting, and when no one needs anythign, you hand your attack off to someone who can use it better.
just an fyi, Wormhole Plunge is broken right now.  There is nothing stopping the user from teleporting the target vertical.  The creature will then fall and has to save from the damage.  once it lands, the power activates again.  Eventually the creature is killed, end of story.  It will be changed (or at least I hope it will) in the next update, but for those power munchers...



I heard it and i'm going to write this little thing in the power section until the errata. TY

Which level 1 at-will do you think works best for humans? Focusing Strike? Demoralizing I think I'd probably want to keep augmentable until 30.



personally, I think Ire Strike makes a solid human 3rd.  You use your other powers for buffs, debuffs, heals and save-granting, and when no one needs anythign, you hand your attack off to someone who can use it better.



As sanity faerie said, imho the 3rd best power for humans is ire strike. In fact, i'd take ire strike only as an human ardent, because there are many better powers to swap for.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Finished paragon-level powers and started epic tiers with 2 great utility powers.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Good stuff! I'm just looking over the options and wondering about the obvious polearm synergy. Are there any builds that have some interesting ideas? I've so far had blinders to anything regarding polearms.

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Good stuff! I'm just looking over the options and wondering about the obvious polearm synergy. Are there any builds that have some interesting ideas? I've so far had blinders to anything regarding polearms.



Well, the obvious thought is to exploit that Stygian Adept (fear powers gain auto slide 1) with a tiefling and polearmcheese.  Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work out right.  The Ardent only gets three fear powers, two of which are forced-move granters to begin with, and all of which are con-based.  Polearmcheese requires moderate investments in dex/wis/str, and the tiefling int bonus is largely wasted.

Mind you, the idea of a tiefling walking around with a dreadful-looking glaive, with terror wrapped about him like a cloak, howling for his enemies to kneel before the terrifying might of the Blood of Turath is pretty cool, and having a leader that it's hard for enemies to get adjacent to might be nice, but it's a build that really wants to wait for Psionic Power 2 to come out so that it can have more fear-based powers to play with.  There's also the fact that it's pretty severely MAD (though, admittedly, hellfire blood helps here a fair bit).  It's really very much one of those "do you want the power in heroic, or are you willing to wait for paragon?" questions - it's *possible* to have a push2+knockdown as an at-will as early as level 3 with Unnerving Shove (weapon vs fort, no less) but it requires a con of 14, a wis of 15, and a dex of 15.  Not cheap, by any stretch.  On the other hand, if for some reason you have hit the rolled-stat jackpot, there are worse ways to spend it, especially if you pull somethign bizarre like straight 15s.
Sanity Faerie is right. The three Heroic tier FEAR powers are demoralizing strike (which is actually very good and something can be build around it), unnerving shove and terrifying deluge.
The problem is that, as sanity faerie wrote, two of these three powers are for the mantle of elation build (con-based), and thus creating MAD problems.

The psionic binder, instead, can be a good choice: innately wis-based, you can be an optimized controller: those who you immobilize are often slid and then put prone: Immobilized, prone and 3 squares away, and they can't save from the immobilize for 1 round. This can be really really good.

With polearms you will need: good wisdom for your enlightened build, 14 starting strength (do-able) and 13 or 14 starting dex for polearm momentum if you want to really optimize your build. It's definitely do-able but requires some stretch and a good race pick.
With this array you can also build a heavy sword-heavy shield (specialization build), with marking powers: it can be a great off-defender with the right feats!

I'll post my builds at the end of my handbook, of course.

Con-based ardents definitely favours instead a more aggressive weapon choice, like hammers or axe. You just need a little strength and you're up for hammer rhytm.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Much work today: added 23th and 25th level powers and all class paragon paths.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Hi

I just wanted to drop by and give my appreciation to Nausicaa for wrighting up this realy nice guide.

Not that I´ll get to use it seeing as I´m the only guy/gurl I know that DMs 4E right now Frown
Hi

I just wanted to drop by and give my appreciation to Nausicaa for wrighting up this realy nice guide.

Not that I´ll get to use it seeing as I´m the only guy/gurl I know that DMs 4E right now



Ty for your appreciation!

I wanted to DM too in 4e channel but actually i can't (personal reasons )

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Finished epic powers, and currently working on feats... I will be VERY long, even if there aren't many class feats (and they're really bad)

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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As an expansion on the tiefling polearmfearcheese, it gets noticeably more reasonable if you're willing to awit for paragon.

Required stats at paragon:
- cha as high as possible
- con as high as possible after that
- dex 13, str 13, wis 14

16(+2)cha/14wis/13dex/13str/12con/8(+2)int

dump heroic statbumps into cha/dex and cha/str, then go cha/con with the rest.  You can get the polearm trio at paragon, pick up hellfire blood, pick up the items that give you boosts to fear attacks (I seem to recall a headpiece or something that gives you a bonus to hit with fear powers) and you're actually doing quite nicely for yourself.  If you're willing to lose the whole PG/HBO opportunity attack schtick, you actually do a fair bit better - you can drop the str to 12, the wis to 13 and take the 14 in con, then exotic weapon proficiency for a greatspear and have the same base accuracy as a weapon talent fighter with a +3prof weapon.  If you don't really care about having Battle Awareness be your fighter MC, you can even ditch the str completely and take the con-based MC feat from MP2.

In the end there are a number of ways to play it, and the results start looking pretty nice, but the fact that you only have 3 fear powers really hurts quite a lot as you get up in levels.  It gets a little easier as the Ardent also has a number of interesting attack-granting powers that are pretty clearly intended to be swapped out for each other (starting with Ire Strike) but even going with a mix of attack-granters and fear powers you wind up feeling rather anemic towards the end.  The build is in larval form now, and waiting for Psionic Power before it can truly flower.

On the other hand, the fear powers that we do have are mostly low-level.  If you're starting a game at level 1 that levels slowly, and/or play LFR, where you swap between characters based on the stuation, putting together a larval-form Tiefling polearmfear ardent now and figuring that PsP will be there when you need it might not be a bad bet.

Side note: there are two statline builds for this.  The cha/wis build has the obvious advantage that it cuts down a touch on the otherwise rather severe MAD issues.  On the other hand, being in melee means that con is good anyway, con might (depending on your str) cover a NAD that wis never will, and fear powers are currently rather strongly con-themed, and likely to remain so.  My personal inclination is to go cha/con, but that doesn't mean that cha/wis is a mistake by any means.
Just wanted to add mention of a non-ardent PP.  The half-elf emmissary(bard) PP from AP.  The level 11 ability lets you add your chr mod to Diplomacy(instead of the +1 granted by half-elf) and any other chr based skill that you have trained.  That's 5+Chr+Chr+Con for the con-based ardent.  The powers are not too bad either.
I looked over the rest of the powers but while i agree with most there are a few i view as misrated. Just giving some feedback. 


17th



Diamond defense assault- seems to work for both equally, why mark it for Enlightened builds?




19th


Temporal Acceleration- I would think that it is more black. It can be used on a charge, and even locked the bad guy down for a round on a miss. the zone being a burst 2 is a nice bonus since most zones ardents seem to produce are 1. And once the bad guy in the zone drop your allys get a bonus to speed to go after the next guy.


Vitality Tansfer- i rank it sky blue. I really like this power. 1. huge bonus that it is reliable. 2 Its more accurate (attacking fort). 3 a free surgless heal for your entire party 90% of the time that you have a little control over when it does go off.


27th


Restorative Bastion- i think would pe purple. the first arugment is more useful than focusing most of the time. But really what saves it from being red in my book is that it attacks fort and should be more accurate.


29th


Violent Spark- I think you over estimate this. (i also dont know of an at-will warlord attack that does that much damage). The bonus to damage would be quite pathetic for the con ardents, and the save might not even be needed once you use the power. I think it might be sky blue for an enlightened but black for a euphoric.

As an expansion on the tiefling polearmfearcheese, it gets noticeably more reasonable if you're willing to awit for paragon.

Required stats at paragon:
- cha as high as possible
- con as high as possible after that
- dex 13, str 13, wis 14

16(+2)cha/14wis/13dex/13str/12con/8(+2)int

dump heroic statbumps into cha/dex and cha/str, then go cha/con with the rest.  You can get the polearm trio at paragon, pick up hellfire blood, pick up the items that give you boosts to fear attacks (I seem to recall a headpiece or something that gives you a bonus to hit with fear powers) and you're actually doing quite nicely for yourself.  If you're willing to lose the whole PG/HBO opportunity attack schtick, you actually do a fair bit better - you can drop the str to 12, the wis to 13 and take the 14 in con, then exotic weapon proficiency for a greatspear and have the same base accuracy as a weapon talent fighter with a +3prof weapon.  If you don't really care about having Battle Awareness be your fighter MC, you can even ditch the str completely and take the con-based MC feat from MP2.

In the end there are a number of ways to play it, and the results start looking pretty nice, but the fact that you only have 3 fear powers really hurts quite a lot as you get up in levels.  It gets a little easier as the Ardent also has a number of interesting attack-granting powers that are pretty clearly intended to be swapped out for each other (starting with Ire Strike) but even going with a mix of attack-granters and fear powers you wind up feeling rather anemic towards the end.  The build is in larval form now, and waiting for Psionic Power before it can truly flower.

On the other hand, the fear powers that we do have are mostly low-level.  If you're starting a game at level 1 that levels slowly, and/or play LFR, where you swap between characters based on the stuation, putting together a larval-form Tiefling polearmfear ardent now and figuring that PsP will be there when you need it might not be a bad bet.

Side note: there are two statline builds for this.  The cha/wis build has the obvious advantage that it cuts down a touch on the otherwise rather severe MAD issues.  On the other hand, being in melee means that con is good anyway, con might (depending on your str) cover a NAD that wis never will, and fear powers are currently rather strongly con-themed, and likely to remain so.  My personal inclination is to go cha/con, but that doesn't mean that cha/wis is a mistake by any means.



Actually yesterday i had to wait for my husband a bit and i started thinking about a Dragonborn Enlightened build starting with str 12+2 con 11 dex 14 int 8 wis 13 cha 16+2. This is going to work too, even if you are a little low on ride effects but you don't have to put ANY point in str or dex. OR a similar enlightened build using the changeling. Frankly and +str or +dex race is favored over the kalashtar for polearm mc fighter builds.
The only regret is that you can't use greatweapon fighter feats from dragon 379 unless you go hybrid...

Just wanted to add mention of a non-ardent PP.  The half-elf emmissary(bard) PP from AP.  The level 11 ability lets you add your chr mod to Diplomacy(instead of the +1 granted by half-elf) and any other chr based skill that you have trained.  That's 5+Chr+Chr+Con for the con-based ardent.  The powers are not too bad either.



Thank you i'm looking for non-ardent paragon paths, and i'm struggling. Any help is really appreciated.

I looked over the rest of the powers but while i agree with most there are a few i view as misrated. Just giving some feedback. 


17th



Diamond defense assault- seems to work for both equally, why mark it for Enlightened builds?



19th


Temporal Acceleration- I would think that it is more black. It can be used on a charge, and even locked the bad guy down for a round on a miss. the zone being a burst 2 is a nice bonus since most zones ardents seem to produce are 1. And once the bad guy in the zone drop your allys get a bonus to speed to go after the next guy.


Vitality Tansfer- i rank it sky blue. I really like this power. 1. huge bonus that it is reliable. 2 Its more accurate (attacking fort). 3 a free surgless heal for your entire party 90% of the time that you have a little control over when it does go off.


27th


Restorative Bastion- i think would pe purple. the first arugment is more useful than focusing most of the time. But really what saves it from being red in my book is that it attacks fort and should be more accurate.


29th


Violent Spark- I think you over estimate this. (i also dont know of an at-will warlord attack that does that much damage). The bonus to damage would be quite pathetic for the con ardents, and the save might not even be needed once you use the power. I think it might be sky blue for an enlightened but black for a euphoric.




First of all, ty for your feedback.

Diamond defense assault: you're right, my bad.

Temporal acceleration: ok, maybe i'm a little biased but slowing at level 19 is really a weak ride. However 4w on a charge is maybe enough to rate black.

Vitality transfer: yes, i was undecided to rank it blue or skyblue, since i like it very much too. I was waiting another feedback to raise its rating ^^

Restorative bastion: mmm, i just don't like this power and i really thought about it. I don't find a reason to save it, but your reasons may be right.

Vitality spark: i don't agree with you about this. It's not the bonus to damage that makes this power good, but it's the free AT WILL attacks given to an entire party. It's enormous. I think it's even gold for enlightened, for the bonus damage rider (and at level 29 even an euphoric build may have a +1 bonus). By the way, the warlord power i'm talking about is not an at will but the 29th level daily defy death, which deals 7w damage. This power can easily deal a damage corrisponding to 11 or even 13w, with each class rider effects (think about marking, sneak attack, shifting, sliding etc...). It's too good to be rated less than skyblue.

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