Coach and Little Mac - A Two-Man Team

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Coach and Little Mac
Elven Seeker|Cleric of Loviatar / Minotaur Brawler Team


There's been a lot of discussion recently about how much Seekers suck. I don't think they do - certainly they compare favorably to a wizard. Compare Grappling Spirits to Ray of Frost, for example. While they're both able to provide Slow at will, Ray of Frost requires you to hover within 10 squares of a monster, whereas Grappling Spirits can be done from whatever long range of the weapon you use (which will probably be either a greatbow or a superior crossbow). They also stop shifting, which combos really nicely with Spirit Companions.

While talking recently with a friend of mine about making a two man team for a D&D tournament, we were brainstorming ideas for good synergy between characters. None of these ideas here are particularly novel, but I found the results of what we came up with to be pretty amusing, so I'm posting it here. We'll look at these guys at 16th level.

Goal: Create a 2-man team that will result in victory during heroic/paragon tier play in LFR and possibly in 2v2 tournaments. The version below is not exactly LFR legal, but is close enough.

PC #1 - Little Mac: Minotaur Brawler Fighter/Shaman/Beastblooded Minotaur. Optimized punching and grappling. Latches onto a target and trades blows until he goes down (getting off one final shot through Ferocity) and needs Coach to get him back up.
PC #2 - Coach: Elven Seeker|Cleric of Loviatar/Shaman/Disciple of the World Serpent. Controls the battlefield using his Seeker and Shaman abilities, and if Little Mac gets into trouble, gets him back up again using his cleric side.

If you've ever played Mike Tyson's Punchout for the original Nintendo, you'll get where we're going with this. Little Mac bravely tries to knock out his opponent, but when he fails, Coach (yes, yes, I know the character has a real name, Doc-something-or-other) yells at him, "Get up, Little Mac! Get up!" And then Little Mac struggles back to his feet, and continues on.

Trick #1: Astral Seal + Power of Torment (not LFR Legal) + Minotaur's Ferocity + Beast Within + Expertise + Brutal Ferocity + Vicious Ferocity + Knockdown Assault. Every time Little Mac is about to go down, Coach throws up an Astral Seal on the target. The monster knocks Little Mac unconscious, but as an interrupt he gets to take one last swing - if he hits, he doesn't drop below 0! With all those different things above, we've got a total of +8 to hit with a longsword... targetting Fortitude. We'll hit. And then Little Mac will rise back up to his feet. Also, Little Mac will knock the enemy prone, if he isn't already.

Trick #2: Spirit Talker + Mending Spirit are two feats I'd recommend to any PC. The first gives you a spirit companion which you can use as a mobile blocking station and OA machine. The second gives you an encounter healing power. We'll exploit both. Sudden Call is an optional feat that I really like for MC Shamans. Little Mac has a spirit to grant basic ranged attacks to Coach, and Coach has a world spirit that helps immobilize foes.

Trick #3: Disciple of the World Serpent's spirit companion. This is a trick by itself - fly it over an enemy, and the enemy is surrounded by difficult terrain. If the enemy moves without shifting (and it can't shift through difficult terrain unless it's an elf or has an obscure power), it provokes an opportunity attack from our world spirit which negates the movement. It can spend a second action to move, of course, but that's it for his turn, and next turn we can just fly our spirit over its head again.

Trick #4: Knockdown Assault + Pin Down + Vicious Advantage + Headman's Chop / Grounding Shot. Little Mac will bring a grabbed target to his knees, then punish him with +5 to damage with his attacks, and even Coach will get in on the action with Grounding Shot letting him ignore the penalties for prone, and getting +2 to damage on top of it. This also makes it harder to hit Little Mac. Vicious Advantage gives us permanent CA against our grabbed targets.

Trick #5: Brawler Fighter + Inescapable Hold + Beastblooded Reach. Little Mac can grab opponents and beat on them from reach. They'll have a very hard time escaping with his high Fort defense. Blooded Champion is another good alternative, as it lets Little Mac stay up when at negative hp. But it's probably better to have the ability to hold melee opponents 2 squares away. Against ranged opponents, we'll hug 'em close.

Trick #6: Peristent Tail (optionally via Skill Power) + Ally in the middle of combat = always-on Stealth against our target. Every time the opponent moves when Coach is on the other side of Little Mac, he can react to move as well. If he ends this movement with cover (which he'll get from Little Mac), he can Stealth against the target. (Peristent Tail is an at-will skill utility, currently not in the compendium.)

Trick #7: Running Shot + Ghoststride Boots = always-on insubstantial and +2 to speed.

As I said, none of the above is especially novel, but all of them combine to essentially immobilize two opponents for an entire combat.

Equipment: Doesn't especially matter. Little Mac could just use his +4 unarmed strikes, but we'll probably use a Longsword in one hand and leave the other hand open. Coach should probably have a Rebounding Weapon, as it's the best choice for Seekers.

Sample Combat: Coach and Little Mac vs. two medium sized opponents (monsters or PCs).

Round #1: Little Mac moves to grab one of them (preferably a ranged opponent or healer). He can either use Grappling Strike, or just make a basic grab attack (at +4, from Brawler Style) against Enemy #1. If we're really worried about missing, we could even give him Improved Grab for another +6. Little Mac will move his spirit companion adjacent to Enemy #2. Coach moves his spirit companion into flanking position around Enemy #2, and hits the opponent with Grappling Spirits, which prevents shifting. Between Grappling Spirits and an enemy provoking a move-interrupt and ranged attack every time he moves without shifting, life gets really bad for Enemy #2, especially if he doesn't have any ranged attacks. He can try popping the spirit companions, but with Sudden Call, we can resummon them every round (and take a minor amount of damage each time). If Enemy #2 is really stupid, he could be getting two basic attacks (which include all of our at-wills and encounter powers) every round from Coach.

Rounds thereafter: Little Mac and Enemy #1 trade blows. Coach locks down Enemy #2. Little Mac eventually drops Enemy #1 and moves to engage Enemy #2. Enemy tears into Little Mac; Little Mac nears death. Coach Astral Seals Enemy #2. Enemy #2 drops Little Mac. Little Mac makes a heroic last attempt, punches Enemy #2 in the face (with a 95% hit chance) and staggers back to his feet, unharmed from the blow. As long as Coach can keep landing the Astral Seals (which are at +2 to hit), Little Mac will basically be nearly invulnerable to damage from his grappled foe.

Little Mac keeps his foes grabbed, prone, and at Reach 2. This is a bad position for the foes to be in. Little Mac gets CA against all immobilized enemies, and +5 to damage against prone ones. Coach doesn't take a penalty from shooting ranged foes, and gets +2 to damage against them, in fact.

Spirit Companions: The Spirit Companions provide great support. When hit by Coach's Grappling Spirits, enemies can't shift, which means if they move, they'll trigger OAs from both spirit companions, resulting in 1) Interrupted movement and 2) A ranged basic attack from Coach (which will be most of his at-will and encounter powers). They also serve as floating walls, and Coach's companion creates a mobile zone of difficult terrain around it.

Healing: We have a total of three encounter heals every combat, and Coach's Cleric side can provide more healing through various powers. We can also throw down a Battle Standard of healing, allowing us to get Little Mac back to his feet without spending a surge.

Why Seekers Are Good: We're in the middle of combat, only having shot at-wills so far, locking down a target with Grappling Spirits and our Spirit Companion (which is a damn good combo). We decide to encounter nova. Let's see how many attacks we can get off in a round:
1) Normal attack: World Serpent encounter power
2) Action Point: Another encounter power
3) Little Mac's Spirit Companion triggers a RBA: Another encounter power
4) We miss: Inevitable Shot for another RBA (encounter power or at-will)
5) We miss: Rebounding Weapon for another RBA (encounter power or at-will).

We can burn through our entire set of encounter powers in a single round. (Ok, maybe we won't miss twice in one round, but the point remains that we can get a ton of free attacks every combat.) Each of those RBAs gets double stat mods on it from Primal Eye, and some of the attacks will get +Wis or +1d6 or +2d8 to damage on top of that. Because Eagle Eye goggles give us +2 to hit with all these attacks, and we get to make weapon attacks vs. NADs, we're also crazy accurate.

No matter how you slice it, this shows that Seekers can be pretty damn good.

Coach
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Coach, level 16
Elf, Seeker|Cleric, Disciple of the World Serpent
Seeker's Bond (Hybrid): Bloodbond (Hybrid)
Hybrid Seeker: Hybrid Seeker Will
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Bow)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Holy Symbol)
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 11, Dex 20, Int 9, Wis 24, Cha 12.

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


AC: 29 Fort: 22 Reflex: 29 Will: 31
HP: 111 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 27

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +22, Perception +22, Acrobatics +20, Nature +22

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +7, Bluff +9, Diplomacy +9, Dungeoneering +15, Endurance +10, Heal +15, History +7, Insight +15, Intimidate +9, Religion +7, Streetwise +9, Thievery +13, Athletics +8

FEATS
Level 1: Spirit Talker
Level 2: Vicious Advantage
Level 4: Grounding Shot
Level 6: Sudden Call
Level 8: Mending Spirit
Level 10: Weapon Proficiency (Greatbow)
Level 11: Skill Power
Level 12: Primal Eye
Level 14: Running Shot
Level 16: Versatile Expertise

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Grappling Spirits
Hybrid at-will 1: Astral Seal
Skill Power: Persistent Tail
Spirit Talker: World Speaker's Command
Hybrid encounter 1: Mischief Spirits
Hybrid daily 1: Beacon of Hope
Hybrid utility 2: Armor of Faith
Hybrid encounter 3: Command
Hybrid daily 5: Ensnaring Shot
Hybrid utility 6: Blurring Stride
Hybrid encounter 7: Wasp Sting Shot
Hybrid daily 9: Blade Barrier
Hybrid utility 10: Word of Vigor
Hybrid encounter 13: Raven Wing Shot (replaces Mischief Spirits)
Hybrid daily 15: Fey Sinkhole (replaces Beacon of Hope)
Hybrid utility 16: Unexpected Return

ITEMS
Rebounding Greatbow +4, Feytouched Snakeskin Armor +4, Elven Cloak +4, Eagle Eye Goggles (paragon tier), Bracers of Archery (paragon tier), Antipathy Gloves (heroic tier), Ring of Invigoration (paragon tier), Ring of Freedom of Movement (paragon tier), Cord of Divine Favor (paragon tier), Ghoststride Boots (paragon tier), Magic Holy Symbol +4, Demonskin Tattoo (paragon tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



Little Mac
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Little Mac, level 16
Minotaur, Fighter, Beastblooded Minotaur
Build: Brawling Fighter
Fighter: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents: Brawler Style
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Totem)
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 24, Con 11, Dex 18, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 9.

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


AC: 33 Fort: 33 Reflex: 26 Will: 25
HP: 129 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 32

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +12, Endurance +13, Athletics +20, Nature +17

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +12, Arcana +8, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Dungeoneering +10, Heal +10, History +8, Insight +10, Perception +12, Religion +8, Stealth +12, Streetwise +7, Thievery +12

FEATS
Level 1: Inescapable Hold
Level 2: Brutal Ferocity
Level 4: Versatile Expertise
Level 6: Vicious Advantage
Level 8: Spirit Talker
Level 10: Mending Spirit
Level 11: Beast Within
Level 12: Vicious Ferocity
Level 14: Pin Down
Level 16: Headsman's Chop

POWERS
Fighter at-will 1: Knockdown Assault
Fighter at-will 1: Grappling Strike
Spirit Talker: Spirit's Prey
Fighter encounter 1: Bash and Pinion
Fighter daily 1: Seize and Stab
Fighter utility 2: Snagging Grip
Fighter encounter 3: Slamming Rush
Fighter daily 5: Crushing Foot
Fighter utility 6: Rock Steady
Fighter encounter 7: Bludgeoning Vise
Fighter daily 9: Bare-Knuckled Rebuke
Fighter utility 10: Grappler's Stance
Fighter encounter 13: Stranglehold (replaces Slamming Rush)
Fighter daily 15: Eye Gouge (replaces Seize and Stab)
Fighter utility 16: Iron Warrior

ITEMS
Demonskin Tattoo (paragon tier), Wrestler's Gloves (heroic tier), Waistband of the Grappler (paragon tier), Bloodiron Wyrmscale Armor +4, Boots of the Fencing Master (heroic tier), Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords (paragon tier) (2), Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Carcanet of Psychic Schism (paragon tier), Amulet of Resolution +4, Pinning Longsword +4
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



There's been a lot of discussion recently about how much Seekers suck. I don't think they do - certainly they compare favorably to a wizard. Compare Grappling Spirits to Ray of Frost, for example. While they're both able to provide Slow at will, Ray of Frost requires you to hover within 10 squares of a monster, whereas Grappling Spirits can be done from whatever long range of the weapon you use (which will probably be either a greatbow or a superior crossbow).



Idk if comparing one at-will that Wizards rarely take to one of the better at-wills from the Seeker is an accurate basis of comparison for the totality of the two classes.
SC aren't affected by terrain per the ph2: "The conjuration does not need to be supported by a solid surface, so it can float in the air". There you go, park it above Mac all you want.  But did they ever get around to adding the world speaker OA to the shaman MC?+
SC aren't affected by terrain per the ph2: "The conjuration does not need to be supported by a solid surface, so it can float in the air". There you go, park it above Mac all you want.  But did they ever get around to adding the world speaker OA to the shaman MC?+

Yep, it's in there.

And you want to float it over the enemy. That's an ongoing movement lockdown.

Idk if comparing one at-will that Wizards rarely take to one of the better at-wills from the Seeker is an accurate basis of comparison for the totality of the two classes.

The point of this thread isn't to do an exhausive rating of all a Seeker's options.

However, it's important to point out that with Little Mac's Spirit Companion, Coach will be able to get off two RBAs per round, with two stat modifiers on each attack, and has two encounter powers that let him get off RBA attacks as well. In other words, he can probably shoot off all of his encounter RBA powers and two or three RBA at-wills in a single round. With accuracy that is through the roof.

I don't care how you slice it, that's a pretty damn good nova that can be done every encounter.

Updated OP with this.
Idk if comparing one at-will that Wizards rarely take to one of the better at-wills from the Seeker is an accurate basis of comparison for the totality of the two classes.

The point of this thread isn't to do an exhausive rating of all a Seeker's options.

However, it's important to point out that with Little Mac's Spirit Companion, Coach will be able to get off two RBAs per round, with two stat modifiers on each attack, and has two encounter powers that let him get off RBA attacks as well. In other words, he can probably shoot off all of his encounter RBA powers and two or three RBA at-wills in a single round. With accuracy that is through the roof.

I don't care how you slice it, that's a pretty damn good nova that can be done every encounter.

Updated OP with this.


Sure, and I'm not saying that the Seeker sucks. However, the comparison that I quoted is nowhere near apt.
Updated with full builds at 16th for Coach and Little Mac.

The feat order was picked arbitrarily. If you play them from 1st level, you'll probably take the feats in a different order.
That's a cool 2 man team! I just have 2 things to comment on.


Why Seekers Are Good: We're in the middle of combat, only having shot at-wills so far, locking down a target with Grappling Spirits and our Spirit Companion (which is a damn good combo). We decide to encounter nova. Let's see how many attacks we can get off in a round:
1) Normal attack: World Serpent encounter power
2) Action Point: Another encounter power
3) Little Mac's Spirit Companion triggers a RBA: Another encounter power
4) We miss: Inevitable Shot for another RBA (encounter power or at-will)
5) We miss: Rebounding Weapon for another RBA (encounter power or at-will).

We can burn through our entire set of encounter powers in a single round. (Ok, maybe we won't miss twice in one round, but the point remains that we can get a ton of free attacks every combat.) Each of those RBAs gets double stat mods on it from Primal Eye, and some of the attacks will get +Wis or +1d6 or +2d8 to damage on top of that. Because Eagle Eye goggles give us +2 to hit with all these attacks, and we get to make weapon attacks vs. NADs, we're also crazy accurate.

No matter how you slice it, this shows that Seekers can be pretty damn good.





1: This doesn't really show how seekers standalone can be good controllers. This shows that hybrid seekers with enabling leaders can make good controllers and can make good non-daily novas. I understand that this is a team game, but even druids don't need that kind of leader support to do their job decently.

2. "Coach's" name is Doc Louis. And now that we're talking about him....

"Hey Mac, when this match is over, I'm gonna be riding your bike. Haha!" - Doc Louis, Punch-Out Wii
1: This doesn't really show how seekers standalone can be good controllers. This shows that hybrid seekers with enabling leaders can make good controllers and can make good non-daily novas. I understand that this is a team game, but even druids don't need that kind of leader support to do their job decently.


The Cleric half is entirely for Little Mac's benefit. But Seekers don't lose much by hybriding (one of their encounter powers becomes a daily), so Seeker|Cleric it was.

I think one reason people don't see the potential in Seekers is that simply having all those RBAs doesn't show up very well when posting single builds. Sure, they have a daily that lets them shoot a RBA at every enemy in a close blast 5, allowing them to expend their entire arsenal of encounter powers in one huge turn, but part of the point of this post is to show a way to exploit all their RBAs.

In fact, a team of Seeker/Shamans would be ridiculously overpowered. Grappling Spirits prevent enemies from shifting, and a bunch of Watchful Eagles overhead means an opponent provokes 5 encounter powers whenever he moves...
I should probably also note the synergy of the different dailies in there. Inescapable Grappling + Blade Barrier is especially fun.

Also, the Brawler has a number of powers which "prevent the enemy from moving away by any means", as does the Seeker, which stops the easiest ways of getting out of a grapple, namely teleportation and forced movement from a buddy.

If an enemy has a buddy with Thunderwave or something like that, we actually have a number of pretty good solutions to the problem in the builds above.
Very cool. Out of curiosity, how well do you think this two man team would work in a party of five? Do they play well with others, I guess is what I'm asking.

-J 
Very cool. Out of curiosity, how well do you think this two man team would work in a party of five? Do they play well with others, I guess is what I'm asking.

-J 

My buddy and I made this to be a two-man team inside of LFR games. Little Mac enables Coach, and Coach enables Little Mac.

But the upshot of it is that you get a defender who can latch onto and negate the toughest monster on the table, and a controller that can lock down another target for the whole combat while the rest of the party (presumably strikers) finish off the rest of the monsters.

How does Spirit Talker feat get you a World Speaker companion with an at-will ability?
The Spirit Talker feat in the PHB2 says you get the call spirit companion power and Spirit's Fangs or Spirit's Shield power as encounters.

The feat doesn't give you the Companion Spirit shaman class feature (which allows you to select protector spirits, stalker spirits, etc.).  The feat only says you get the Call Spirit Companion power, I don't see anywhere in that feat that says you get a World Speaker or at-wills.  Was this an errata?
Please let me know because I'm interested in it for a build myself.
first gives you a spirit companion which you can use as a mobile blocking station and OA machine



arent the oa's limited to encounter powers?
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first gives you a spirit companion which you can use as a mobile blocking station and OA machine



arent the oa's limited to encounter powers?

The most recent errata changed it from an at-will to encounter power.
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