Harder than a Rock: The Fighter's Handbook

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Harder than a Rock: The Fighter's Handbook


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War is a conflict that determines not who is right - but who is left. -Shock troops


So, boys, you think you're real tough guys, huh? Well, I'm gonna see about that! This isn't Guard School where they just teach you to stand still and fill out papers! You came here to fight! That means, I'm gonna see how much punishment you can take! Why do I do this, you ask? Apart from the fact that it's great fun, you're gonna have a responsibility: you're gonna have to watch after a pretty wussy bunch of guys, and that means that you can't be one, boy! Now, drop down and gimme 40!!!


Selling Points: Why You Would Want To Play a Fighter



I'm sure by now that you've heard all about these other fancy Defender classes who are all packing magic. Now, why would you want to play a plain old Fighter after seeing them? Allow me to elaborate on some of the perks of life as a Fighter:

Fighters hit hard - The Fighter is a Defender with very good single-target damage potential. Even before your mark is triggered, you're usually a tick below Striker-level damage. If you don't have a Striker in your group or if he's light on the damage side, you should give the Fighter a look.

Fighters don't let people get away easily - A combination of class features and feats can make it almost impossible for an enemy to escape your grasp without giving in to your challenge and beating you (easier said than done). If you want to be able to hold off the big, bad Solo even though he's doing his best to get away from you, you've found your class.

Fighters have a multitude of builds available - Just about every weapon in this game has a different Fighter build focusing on it, and I haven't even talked about the specialized class features yet. If you want your playstyle to be centered on what weapon you prefer to wield or just plain have a lot of options, this is your stop.


This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:


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


This Handbook covers the following sources:


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

Glossary

AP - Action point.

BBEG - Big bad evil guy.

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

CA - Combat advantage.

CC - Combat Challenge.

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

ED - Epic destiny.

HP - Hit points.

LX - Level X.

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

MBA - Melee basic attack.

MC - Multiclass or multiclassing.

NAD - Non-AC defense.

OA - Opportunity attack.

PP - Paragon path.

RBA - Ranged basic attack.

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

THP - Temporary hit points.


References

And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook, by Wazat1:
Beowulf, Master of Grabs, by me:
Bob the Unstoppable Brawler, by Rathyr:
Dwarf Axe Fighter - Optimized, by Philip:
Dwarf Hammer Fighter - Optimized, by Philip:
The Dwarven Battlemaster, by Elder_basilisk:
The Fighter's Handbook, C_A:
Fighter/Warpriest/Demigod, by C_A:
Identity of a Hero: A Guide to Themes, by Lord_Ventnor:
Kinky!, by Auspex7:
Weapon Talent Fighter, by runreallyfast:
MC Hammer, by Titanium Dragon:
Mr. Smith, by me:
Holding the Line, by Squirreloid:
Saint of Killers, by McSmashin:
Super-Scrag, by herid_fel:
Swordmaster DPR, by runreallyfast:
The Taskmaster, by me:
Tank, by Gnoob:
Tank, v.2.0, by Gnoob:
The Taskmaster, by me:
The Iron Curtain, by langeweile:
The Reacher, by Shokatsuryou:
The Spartan, by obtusehobbit:
The Wise Wolf, by Adslahnit:
The Wise Wolf (Again), by Adslahnit:
Ultimate Defenders Ho!, by AlphatheGreat:
Wolfpack Guardian, by me:



Props to:


Everyone posting

NOTE: This Handbook deals with the strategies involved in building a classical 4th Edition Fighter (currently known as the Weaponmaster). If you're looking for advice for the Essentials Fighter builds (the Knight and the Slayer), you can check out my Knight's Handbook or my Slayer's Handbook.
Power Source and Role: What the Rock Does

Your power source is Martial, and your role is Defender. The Martial power source as a whole has a tendency to be more aggressive than the other power sources, and your class is no exception. Even though your job involves protecting the more fragile members of your party, your methods usually involve pounding the enemy over the head for trying to attack them. That said, it's not the only thing expected of you. Here's your standing in the general aspects of the Defender role.

Battlefield Control - A Fighter can exert control over a pretty solid chunk of terrain by default, which results in your enemy's tactics getting frazzled if they get near you. If you favor a Polearm or the like, the area of control you can exert becomes even larger, making you essentially a giant block of "you shall not pass".

Damage - You are blessed with a fairly strong degree of damage output, thanks to your features and power selection. If you choose to emphasize this aspect of the class by picking the right powers, feats, and Paragon Paths, you can become really good at this.

Mobility - Since Defenders are usually Melee-oriented, a key factor for them is how easily and efficiently they can engage an opponent. A Fighter has a good power selection to get in close to his target, and even some powers to help him move around that target while he defends his allies against it. You're going to be more than competent enough at this.

Stickiness - One thing that characterizes the Fighter is the ability to latch on to an opponent and keep engaging him, with little regard to the enemy's attempts to escape, more so than perhaps any other Defender in the game. A Fighter is gifted at this sort of thing right out of the box, and he has feat support to be even more awesome at it.

Survivability - Here we come to a category where the Fighter is not quite as strong: your armor is good but not great, and a lot of combat styles forsake the shield in favor of something else. While you're a Defender (and as such you're obviously not bad at this), and Fighters that favor shields or Constitution as a secondary ability score (most notably Battleragers) are obviously better at it, most Fighters aren't going to really fill that "brick wall" archetype.

Secondary Role Effectiveness

Controller - You have enough status effect and forced movement to mess with your opponents a fair bit, and are thus pretty solid at this, though you are a bit limited by your short range. Certain styles (like Brawlers, Flail users, and Polearm users) shine brighter at this than others.

Leader - Ehh, no. Most of your healing abilities affect you and only you, and rarely are you handing out buffs that your allies can take advantage of. Not something you're good at, with the notable exception of a properly equipped Battlerager, who is actually pretty respectable at this sort of thing.

Striker - You can make a solid fill-in for this sort of character thanks to your solid damage output and your fair selection of movement powers. This is a secondary role some Brawlers, Great Weapon Fighters and Tempests excel at.




Baseline Mechanics: Surface of the Rock


You stand with the majority of the classes in 4th Edition D&D in that you are what is called an "A-class". That means that all builds within your class share the same primary attribute, but the secondary attribute varies. Given that most secondary attribute effects are dependent on the build or even on the weapon wielded, this isn't that huge an issue.

Apart from that, you have some standard issue baseline mechanics for a Defender, with the only major standouts being an impressive weapon proficiency list and your mark punishment features.

Game Mechanics

Hit Points - 15 + Con score at level 1, and 6 each level thereafter. Standard issue for a Defender, but overall that's pretty good HP.

Healing Surges - 9 + Con modifier. Most Defenders have this number, but it's still a lot, especially if you're a Constitution-secondary kind of guy.

Defense Bonuses - While having a good Fortitude is nice, it's kind of a shame your other defenses were left out in the cold (ah, well).

Proficiencies

Armor - Scale and Heavy Shields is almost as good as it gets with regards to armor.

Weapons - All Simple + All Military is the best you're getting by default in this game (only the Ranger gets the same).



Class Features

Combat Challenge - The good news is that you're never going to have to worry about using this mark or not: it gets laid on automatically, regardless of whether you hit or miss. It also punishes shifts, which is rather rare. The bad news is that it doesn't last long, so you're going to have to keep engaging anyone who you want to keep locked down.

Combat Feature

Combat Agility (MP 2) - An interesting feature, it involves chasing after an enemy that has provoked you and inconveniencing him in a nasty way. While nice, it requires Dexterity (not the most common or overall useful secondary stat for a Fighter to be completely tied to), and it also means you have to move from your spot, which can endanger other fragile members of your party. It can work, but it's not as easy to use as the classic alternative.

Combat Superiority (PHB) - This feature is a very strong piece in a Fighter's arsenal. Stopping movement cold as part of your Opportunity attacks and packing a secondary stat as a bonus to hit on them can make it very hard for anyone or anything to get past you.


Fighter Talent

Arena Training (DSCS) - A pretty interesting path, this gives you a scaling bonus to AC when you're not in heavy armor, as well as some free weapon proficiencies too. This makes it a very strong choice if you're trying to mix-and-match some properties, as well as if you're aiming for a more unconventional flavor of Fighter.

Battlerager Vigor (MP) - After the errata, this presents an interesting option to "tough-guy" archetype Fighters with its potentially huge THP generation. That said, the THP has its price: your class features work at full steam when you're in relatively light armor, you give up Weapon Talent and its support, and it favors a particular power line, which can cramp your choices somewhat. That said, the big amount of extra toughness can make it worth having, though I strongly recommend the use of a shield with this style, as well as the heaviest armor you can wear.

Brawler Style (MP 2) - This build differs from your typical Fighter in that it usually trades in damage for a bit of control, with grabs giving you a cheap and easy way to immobilize your targets. That said, it's majorly feat-intensive and relies on very strong defenses in order to its job. Given that other Fighters can replicate its lockdown tricks while hitting harder later on, and that monsters can circumvent the grab by teleporting away or employing forced movement, it's definitely a limited option.

Fighter Weapon Talent (PHB) - A straight +1 to hit with any category of weapons is a very strong boost as a class feature, and the feat support for it makes it even more worth having. It has the ability to fit nearly all Fighters.

Tempest Technique (MP) - If you're thinking of going for two-weapon fighting, this path offers you more out-of-the-box goodies than Weapon Talent, and equalizes the smaller weapons to boot. That said, the Dexterity focus that it demands can leave you spread out rather thin defensively (and the AC isn't the best), which makes you a bit squishier than other Fighters, so I'm not that fond of it.




Skills: Things a Rock can Do

You get shafted more than most when it comes to skills: only 3 skills, and the list isn't exactly large. However, it does house most of your needs, so you probably are not complaining that much.

Class Skills

Athletics - It keys off your prime stat, and it has plenty of uses. A great (and almost automatic) choice for the average Fighter.

Endurance - No one really wants to die of mummy rot or choke in a swamp, so this skill is important, especially if you want to keep your tough-guy reputation intact. Additionally, it's a must if you plan on using Invigorating powers.

Heal - If your Wisdom is adequate (and most of you will have it at least at a respectable level), this will add a bit of depth to your character as well as some nice overall utility.

Intimidate - While your Charisma is likely low, there are ways to circumvent this attribute's hold over this skill, and it's great fluff to have a scary Fighter. Mandatory for some of the nicer powers on the Fighter list, as well as any Rattling goodies you might pick up.

Streetwise - In my experience, this skill is marginal on a good day, especially considering that the average Fighter isn't going to be favoring this stat much. That said, it does have a bit of use thanks to the Skill Powers it opens access to.


Recommended Non-Class Skills

Dungeoneering - What better way to dispel the "Big Stupid Fighter" stereotype than by picking up a Knowledge skill that keys off your secondary attribute?

Insight - Usefulness in a social situation (gasp!). Worth the grab.

Perception - Arguably the most important skill in the game, and one of your secondaries buffs it. Most will want this.

Stealth - While obviously not a good choice for every Fighter, a Tempest or any other high-Dexterity Fighter can use this to provide backup to the party scout (usually a Striker).
Ability Scores: What a Rock is Made of

Given the rather large degree of variability in Fighter builds, the ability score ranges will be large and exceptions will occur, but this is the general outline for most Fighter builds:

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

Constitution - It makes you tougher with more HP and surges, and it plays nice with Axes, Hammers, and Maces. Builds such as the Battlerager and most Great Weapon Fighters consider this more important than other Fighters, but no one can truly afford to ignore this attribute.
Recommended Starting Score: 12-16, before racial adjustments.

Dexterity - Gives you AC should you favor Light Armor, and it boosts your Reflex defense. It also plays a part in the feat support for Flails, Heavy Blades, Light Blades, and Spears. Given that you can patch your AC with heavy armor and a Shield (which also helps fix your Reflex), most Fighters will gun for a strong starting score, and then let it lie - the ones that don't use such gear will invest heavily in it.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-16, before racial adjustments.

Intelligence - A dump stat, plain and simple. It boosts none of your skills, it's redundant with Dexterity defensively, and it helps out no weapon group. Simply not necessary for a Fighter.
Recommended Starting Score: 8-10, before racial adjustments.

Wisdom - A secondary stat for the majority of Fighters, thanks to Combat Superiority, Marked Scourge, and other goodies along those lines. It helps out for some feats that Polearm and Spear users find interesting, and it boosts your stereotypical weakness in Will defense.
Recommended Starting Score: 12-16, before racial adjustments.

Charisma - While it is garbage in combat and as such paid little attention by the majority of Fighters, a bit of it is necessary in order to qualify for the excellent Avernian Knight Paragon Path, and a couple of your skills are happy when it gets points. Not a priority, but not a total waste either.
Recommended Starting Score: 8-13, before racial adjustments.


Races: Born to be a Rock

Races - Player's Handbook

Dragonborn - You get a Charisma bonus which is of moderate use at best, but you do get the prime stat in Strength to work with, as well as an incredibly awesome feature in Dragon Breath or Dragonfear, which you can use to mark en masse and thus disrupt enemy tactics in nasty fashion. A very nice choice for Fighter.

Dwarf - Having second wind as a minor action is great action economy, a resistance against forced movement is sweet, and not being encumbered by heavy armor doesn't hurt either. A top-notch Fighter race, especially with the ability to have Strength and Constitution as its ability score bumps.

Eladrin - While the extra skill from Eladrin Education is certainly nice, as is the +1 to Will, the fact of the matter is that Dexterity is of moderate use and Intelligence is worthless. Not quite a bad pick, thanks to a rather generous helping of racial support to pull the concept off.

Elf - While you don't get a Strength bonus, that's OK: the extra speed, reroll ability, and bonus to two secondaries can make up for that (especially if you buy an 18). While it's not the most epic Fighter ever, it's a good one.

Half-Elf - Constitution and Wisdom are nice to have, and the Dilettante racial ability can allow you to add something pretty to your arsenal of powers. While it's not the most natural fit for the class, it can certainly work.

Halfling - Small is not a good thing to be as a Fighter, regardless of the racial support, but at least you get two secondaries. Not that great an idea, but not that terrible, either.

Human - While not getting +2 to two stats kind of sucks, the bonus to NADs, extra At-Will, skill, and feat go a long way toward making a better Fighter, and the racial support helps you stick around in a fight, which is always a nice thing to have. A great choice for the majority of Fighter builds.

Tiefling - By default, the class has little to make it appealing to a Fighter: it only has one Fighter secondary, the skills are rather unappealing to a Fighter, and the racial features are only of moderate use. Fortunately for it, racial support shows up in a big way to make it a better choice.


Races - Player's Handbook 2

Deva - To be honest, this feels like a poor man's version of the Elf. Intelligence is much less useful than Dexterity, and the racial power is worse. Not a good choice.

Gnome - While the Dexterity bonus has made this race not absolutely terrible as a Fighter, it's still pretty darn bad at it.

Goliath - The stats line up great, you have nice skill bonuses, and your racial power involves you being more able to take punishment, all great things to have as a Fighter. One of the major players in the class.

Half-Orc - A bonus to Strength is good, Dexterity can certainly be useful, and even though the features flag more Striker appeal than Defender appeal, Fighters like hitting hard (so no problems there). A top-flight race.

Shifter, Longtooth - A Strength bonus is great, a Wisdom bonus is also good, the skills line up well, and the racial power is incredibly good for a character such as a Fighter. Easily one of the prime racial choices.

Shifter, Razorclaw -  Dexterity and Wisdom are useful secondaries for a fair sub-population of Fighters, but the racial power and skill bonuses aren't all that applicable. A fair choice, if a bit niche.


Races - Player's Handbook 3

Githzerai - Not only do you get two valued secondaries, you also get a good chunk of applicable racial support, which is always good to have around. A good choice, likely bordering on great, despite the lack of a Strength bonus.

Minotaur - One of the prime races for a Fighter, it packs Strength and either one of their most common secondary attributes, an extra healing surge, and some racial support as stickiness reinforcement. Easily one of the front-runners.

Shardmind - Ehhh... no. The stats line up shakily at best, and the inclinations of the racial support go in the other direction. Not a good idea.

Wilden - 2 out of the 3 secondaries (and you even get some leeway on that), plus a choice between some pretty nice racial powers. A nice choice overall.


Races - Other Rulebooks

Bladeling (MOTP) - Completely unsupported, and 2 secondary stats that it shares with quite a few races. While it's not an actively bad choice, it's most certainly nothing special.

Changeling (EPG) - While the secondaries are a bit marginal and your racial abilities are anything but Fighter-flavored, the fact of the matter is that it can work, and that's all you really need.

Drow (FRPG) - Some solid secondaries, and their racial power has some downright beautiful synergy with the Fighter's chassis. A very good choice.

Genasi (FRPG) - Though giving away an ability score boost to Intelligence stinks, a Strength bonus and the damage support characteristics of the race is more than good enough reason to stay here.

Goblin (DSG) - It's small, and has a bonus to marginal attributes. I wouldn't.

Gold Dwarf (NCS) - Stick to the normal Dwarf.

Hamadryad (HotFw) - No prime stats to be found, but plenty of secondary ones and their racial powers don't suck. Could be worse.

Kalashtar (EPG) - Aaaand... no. While having a secondary stat is nice, the rest is just completely unsuited to be a Fighter overall.

Kobold (DSG) - He may be small, but the stats are fairly good. His racial power does next to nothing to bolster his case, though.

Llewyrr Elf (NCS) - The changes from the basic Eladrin chassis are basically treading water.

Moon Elf (NCS) - An Eladrin with a couple of quirks. Sure, whatever.

Mul (DSCS) - Strength and Constitution bonuses, an extra healing surge, and an excellent power to shake off conditions (including heavy hitters like daze or stun) make this a primordial choice for a Fighter. Throw in the fact that they have access to Dwarf support and it's almost impossible to argue against this racial choice.

Pixie (HotFw) - Tiny isn't that mechanically distinct from Small (aka it's bad), and it doesn't have prime stats. That said, it does have a couple of nice tricks (like being able to hover around) that save it from the cellar.

Revenant (HoS) - Some good but not great racials, but the very impressive toughness this race brings to the table makes it a very nice candidate.

Satyr (HotFw) - It generates its own CA and has decent off-stats, which is nice, I guess.

Shade (HoS) - Throwing away a surge for no good reason dips into this race's stock, though it still is decently applicable to this class.

Shield Dwarf (NCS) - The changes to the Dwarf chassis are basically window dressing for a Fighter.

Sun Elf (NCS) - Chances are the implement proficiency won't do much, but the traditional Eladrin weapon proficiency was doing nothing, anyway.

Thri-Kreen (DSCS) - Strength and Dexterity bonuses, some extra speed, and quick drawing/stowing make for a prime Fighter race.

Vryloka (HoS) - Though it has the requisite Strength bump as well as extra speed and a couple of other goodies, I can't in good faith give top marks to a race that has a flaw that will consistently come up as a Defender (Blood Dependency).

Warforged (EPG) - This race is blessed with appropriate racial bonuses, a powerful set of features to enhance your durability, and some quality racial support. One of the best in the business.

Wild Elf (NCS) - Shifting your speed can be nice for positioning purposes, but I wouldn't say it's outright better than a re-roll per Encounter, so I have it as about even with the standard Elf.

Wood Elf (NCS) - This version of the Elf can have a formidable racial ability, if you provide it with some investment in Perception. Unfortunately, the Fighter chassis makes that a bit of a challenge.


Races - Dragon Magazine

Gnoll (D 367) - Not quite the perfect racial bonuses, but pretty close, and bonuses for charging and getting banged up are welcome in the business of toe-to-toe combat.

Hengeyokai (D 404) - No prime stat, but the animal transformations give you something to do outside of combat and the rest of the racial package isn't bad.

Shadar-Kai (D 372) - The racial bonuses aren't bad, and the teleporting power is pretty useful to you. A pretty solid pick.


Races - Monster Manuals

Bugbear (MM) - Strength and Dexterity are very usable, Oversized is a beautiful thing to have, and extra damage is never a bad thing. A very powerful option.

Bullywug (MM 2) - Totally unsupported, but the attribute bonuses mean it has some sort of potential.

Doppelganger (MM) - Everything you don't need in a Fighter... in one convenient package. No.

Duergar (MM 2) - It's not quite as powerful as a real Dwarf for this sort of job, but it's hardly a bad choice as a race.

Githyanki (MM) - Secondary attribute notwithstanding, most of the things it offers are nice but don't carry the "pick me!" persuasion that a top-caliber Fighter race requires.

Hobgoblin (MM) - The attribute bonuses are just OK, and though the racial power is nice, it's nothing to salivate over.

Kenku (MM 2) - The attributes are meh, but +1 extra to hit while flanking can be nice to have. A serviceable choice for a Fighter.

Orc (MM) - The stats are in the right place, and it has a self-healing ability. You can work with this.



Backgrounds and Themes: Surface of the Rock


In this section, I'll be discussing which backgrounds and themes would benefit a Fighter the most. Since there is a wide selection of them, I'll be sticking to the ones which are Black or better.

Recommended Backgrounds

Akanul (FRPG) - A minor resistance to common types of elemental damage is actually a fairly nice pick.

Auspicious Birth/Born Under a Bad Sign (D 366) - Some Fighters will have the Constitution to make this pick unnecessary, but the ones who don't will be glad to have it.

Chessenta (FRPG) - A minor benefit when you AP. Since it applies to both attack and damage rolls, you can potentially get pretty good mileage out of it.

Detective/Missing Master (D 366) - The important part here is that it opens access to taking Insight as a class skill, which in turn allows for some nice Skill powers to be taken.

Gritty Sergeant (D 366) - +1 initiative is better than nothing, I guess.


Recommended Themes

Bloodsworn (DSG) - A bit conditional, but an Encounter re-roll is pretty good stuff.

Elemental Initiate (HotEC) - You get a counter-swing against an enemy who misses you, and a couple of nice peripheral benefits, including access to a ki focus and a Will bump. Nice to have.

Guardian (D 399) - A very nice power to have, and it even has a couple of power-swaps that look respectable. That's a good deal if you ask me.

Infernal Prince (D 406) - If you see yourself doing a lot of fire attacks, this theme will serve you very well, provided it's legal where you play.

Ironwrought (HotEC) - It offers extra damage and another chance to crit, and it can even buff your attack rolls at higher levels. Decent.

Noble Adept (DSCS) - Adding a bonus to an attack after the roll can help keep an attack chain going.

Sarifal Feywarden (D 405) - A one-shot dose of vulnerability can turn out to be quite the effective damage boost, though you need to have elemental damage to make it work.

Sohei (D 404) - It gives you an attack you can use as a minor action. Nothing more need be said.

Yakuza (D 404) - Not much aligns with you as far as the features go (you'd actually need a positive Cha modifier for that), but the power-swaps are simply too good to be ignored.
At-Will Powers: Foundation of the Rock

Fighters have a very tough conundrum to face in that you have a wide breadth of At-Will powers, and they all service different sorts of builds. As such, it's pretty hard to make sweeping generalizations on what At-Will power favors certain builds. That said, there are some trends that emerge across a given build. Shield Fighters without Tide of Iron or Footwork Lure are rare, as are Brawler Fighters without Grappling Strike, Battleragers without Crushing Surge, or dual-wielders sans Dual Strike. Fighters who like Constitution as their secondary attribute like Brash Strike, whereas those who favor Wisdom like Cleave. Apart from that, it's likely build-specific.

Some Fighter have specific requirements as to what you must be wielding, whether it be a shield, a two-handed weapon, two weapons, or something in your free hand. These will be separated into categories.


Free Hand:



Grappling Strike (MP 2) - One of the definitive powers for a grappling Fighter, it affords a free and easy methods of At-Will mobility control that goes through most of the restrictions the normal grab action faces. While the duration may be limited, it is still a very powerful tool you can apply in many situations, if you're built with a free hand in mind.

Slash and Pummel (MP 2) - Don't be fooled by the fact that it's a single-target multiattack: the damage on the second hit is pitiful, so it really averages out to a little extra damage over your basic attack, while requiring another attack roll (and it'll do less damage if you miss the second hit). It gets better with investment, but I wouldn't take this power if you didn't plan on investing in making it better.


Shield:



Resolute Shield (D 382) - While resist all equal to your Constitution modifier sounds powerful at first glance, not all Fighters will have a Constitution modifier that makes this worth spamming. Additionally, only applying against one target makes it pretty marginal. Maybe some niche builds can make use of this, but most Fighters won't.

Shield Feint (D 385) - A very interesting tool for a Shield Fighter looking for some extra offensive firepower, +3 to hit can turn quite a few misses into hits. However, being limited to one attack roll against one target means it has its limitations. Still a decent power, though.

Tide of Iron (PHB) - A very solid power for Fighters, a push away from your allies allows you to redefine the frontline in a more beneficial manner for your party, as well as shove enemies away from adjacent party members in order for them to disengage safely, among other roles. A good solid choice by default, and it gets better with support. That said, its Shield requirement, the advent of Flail Expertise, and the size limitation on its effect have conspired to undermine its potential a bit.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Wicked Strike (D 379) - This power is analogous to Power Attack in many ways... then you come to the realization that Power Attack is just not that good overall for Fighters, and the same holds true for this At-Will. The loss to hit really stings, especially when most weapons that like Constitution could just go for Brash Strike instead. A pretty niche At-Will, though it's better in the hands of a charging Fighter who can mitigate the accuracy penalty.


Two Weapons:



Dual Strike (MP) - One of the few ways a Fighter will truly attain At-Will multimarking, this offers a hit against two enemies, which simultaneously offers more chances to get someone locked down and ups your overall damage output. A must if you're handling two weapons.


Any Weapon:



Brash Strike
(MP)
- A powerful choice for any Fighter relying on Constitution, it has two major draws in that it buffs the accuracy of weapon groups not known for their precision, and it offers the opportunity to apply two ability score modifiers to your damage roll. One of the good choices for just about everybody who can use it effectively.

Cleave (PHB) - A basic swing with a bit of extra damage to another adjacent target. This is good for softening up multiple targets simultaneously, as well as making "minion check" swings at enemies around you. It also has some of the best feat support to enhance it among the Fighter At-Wills, which can make it go from good to great.

Crushing Surge (MP) - A basic attack with the ability to grant you some THP if you have Endurance trained and your Con is worth looking at. As it is, a Constitution-based Fighter can definitely wring some use of this, and it's obviously very useful if you're a Battlerager.

Footwork Lure (MP) - This power is a decent repositioning tool, since it can help you yank people where you need to go and gives you some mobility as well. Additionally, it has the benefit of some sweet support you will be well served by indulging in, particularly if you're a Flail user.

Knockdown Assault (PHH 1) - While knocking prone At-Will and hitting a NAD are certainly nice things, the damage is pitiful, you can achieve At-Will proning without having to resort to not dealing any real damage, and Fortitude tends to be rather high on most people you tangle with (so it's not that huge an advantage). Being charge-friendly makes it tolerable, though.

Reaping Strike (PHB) - This At-Will essentially boils down to having a little miss damage on your attack. While that is OK for DPR purposes (though it's better to optimize to hit than it is to miss), it's really not all that more powerful than an MBA, especially considering most Fighters are rather accurate. I wouldn't.

Sure Strike (PHB) - +2 to hit is nice and all, but giving up an ability score's worth of damage for it is a bit much, especially when an MBA can straight-up out-damage it for a rather large period (if not all) of a Fighter's career. That makes it trash for most Fighters, barring feat support.

Threatening Rush (MP 2) - It trades in a cut of your damage for mass marking. While mass marking is a very nice tool in the Fighter's arsenal, this doesn't offer a contingency miss factor like Dual Strike (or its extra damage), and it's not like you can enforce all of these marks simultaneously. Being charge-friendly helps, though.

Vicious Offensive (DSCS) - This is basically an MBA, with the ability to mark two enemies instead of one. As such, it can offer a nice At-Will multimarking tool in the arsenal of a Fighter that should find a need for it. That said, you can't actually enforce both of those marks simultaneously until later in your career, so bear that in mind.

Weapon Master's Strike (D 382) - While the versatile array of effects is all well and good, the real meat of the power lies in the hands of Polearm and Spear users, because being able to have enemies provoke OA's on shifts can be great for frontloading the punishment of an OA and a CC attack into a single mark violation. That said, additional AC or damage can be useful. This At-will does lose a bit of steam later on, because it doesn't scale in damage at Epic like most others do.
Powers - Heroic Tier: Sculpting the Rock

As was the case before, I will be separating powers based on the equipment arrangements they impose upon you in order to use them, be they a free hand, a shield, a two-handed weapon, two weapons, or no restriction at all.


Level 1, Encounter



The Fighter power list kicks off with a list of decent powers, but there are few true standouts here. Brawlers will like Takedown Attack and dual-wielders will favor Funneling Flurry, whereas the rest of the Fighter population will likely choose between Hack and Hew's multimarking and THP or Steel Serpent's Strike's extra damage and stickiness-related effect.

Level 1 Encounter List


Free Hand:



Bash and Pinion (MP 2) - This essentially adds a slide and a secondary ability score as a penalty to attack rolls on your good old Grappling Strike. While it certainly has its uses, it's nothing special unless you wield a flail in your main hand, in which case it's nicer.

Takedown Attack (MP 2)
- Charge capability on an Encounter power is nice to have, as is knocking prone and hitting a NAD (though Fortitude will likely be close to AC on most of your targets). A pretty nice power.


Shield:



Shield Bash (MP)
- It offers a great assortment of abilities early on, but bear in mind it scales very poorly (thanks to a lot of cool Fighter stuff, such as Weapon Talent, not applying to it), to the point it will likely be garbage before you even leave Heroic Tier. If you pick it, remember that it has an expiration date.

Shield Riposte (D 385) - This power offers you something to do with your immediate when your target attacks you (which is what you're trying to make him do), and though Shield powers don't scale well, this one at least scales, so it's at least worth a look.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Punishing Charge (D 379) - It only does damage, and maybe pops a minion or two while you're running (provided that you don't have a Badge of the Berserker). Color me unimpressed.


Two Weapons:



Funneling Flurry
(MP)
- Essentially a Dual Strike with a bit more punch on each hit and a slide attached. You can work with that.

Surprising Stab (MP 2) - The good news is that it's two attacks on a single target, and one of them hits a NAD. The not-so-good news is that it offers little extra damage for another roll (for example, Distracting Spate will likely get you the same effects with only one attack roll). Average.


Any Weapon:



Bell Ringer
(MP)
- While dazing and Invigorating are decent perks, dealing little to no damage as a standard action Encounter power is inexcusable for a Fighter.

Covering Barrage (PHB) - You channel your inner Leader and allow a small repositioning ability. It can be useful to get your party Striker into a flanking position, but he can likely do that himself anyway. Uninspiring.

Distracting Spate (MP) - A generic hit with combat advantage attached, and some extra "oomph" if you dual-wield. A bit on the vanilla side, but a serviceable choice nonetheless.

Goading Maneuver (DSCS) - Essentially Vicious Offensive, with a bit more damage on the attack and a shift. Not much of an improvement over something you can do At-Will if you want.

Hack and Hew (MP 2) - It hits multiple targets, has no usage requirements, and it's Invigorating. A very nice combination of circumstances to have going on if you ask me.

Insightful Strike (MP) - A generic hit with some conditional extra damage. It just doesn't really bring anything interesting to the table.

Lunging Strike (MP) - Getting -1 to hit isn't worth +1 reach, doubly so when the power only does damage.

Passing Attack (PHB) - Essentially Hack and Hew, minus the Invigorating and with the second attack requiring the first one to hit (it does get a nice bonus, though). Not quite as good as the aforementioned power, but not terrible.

Serpent's Coil (MP 2) - An attack with a secondary stat as a penalty to hit, and a grab for Flail users. Not bad, actually.

Spinning Sweep (PHB) - While a basic attack that knocks prone may seem plain, it makes for a Fighter that is tough to escape from, and that is one of the main purposes of the class. A decent choice to enhance your stickiness, doubly so for weapons that can't knock prone as easily as Flails can.

Steel Serpent Strike (PHB) - Slowing and outright disallowing shifting give the opponent a choice between eating an OA and staying put or just staying put, and it offers some decent damage too. A nice sticky power.



Level 1, Daily



The Fighter's first Daily power list is a good one; plenty of powers can greatly expand your base capabilities. Driving Attack is the power of choice for damage-oriented Fighters, Tempest Dance is what multi-markers want, and Villain's Menace is a good choice for just about everybody. If none of those tickle your fancy, fret not: plenty of powers here are still usable.

Level 1 Daily List


Free Hand:



Seize and Stab (MP 2) - A Reliable attack that tags Reflex and gives you a grab that should last at least two turns. This is a pretty good power for the Brawlers in the audience.


Shield:



Press of Steel (MP 2) - A powerful effect, but it's conditional, and it has rather weak damage overall. I'm not really sold this is what you should be looking at.

Shove and Slap (D 385) - While Shield powers usually don't scale too well, this one offers two pretty cool effects in a push and a daze. A pretty decent choice.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Savage Advance (D 379) - While this power packs some hefty damage and a slide, the penalty to hit and the things around it makes me not like it too much.


Two Weapons:



Bristling Defense (MP 2) - Two hits that negate combat advantage via flanking against you. Although you could negate the flank via a shift, it could always be re-established, and this gives you a multimarking hit that allows you to stand your ground. Not bad.

Ruinous Assault (D 378) - Essentially Funneling Flurry, but with ongoing 5 instead of a slide. I think I would prefer the slide, honestly.


Any Weapon:



Brute Strike (PHB) - Flatly outclassed by multiple options at this level, especially Lasting Threat (which is strictly superior). Don't take this.

Comeback Strike (PHB) - Not blowing this on a miss is awesome, and self-healing is always appreciated on a Defender. *Eye of the Tiger plays in the background*

Driving Attack (MP 2) - A single-target multiattacker that is Invigorating, pushes, hits a NAD on the second attack, and knocks prone. An excellent choice for any Fighter with a good Constitution, and a good choice for everyone else.

Flanking Assault (MP) - While this can have the potential for some very high damage, it requires clustering, which may not always be a good idea, especially if you're trying to keep the enemy off your party. It also lacks any sort of secondary effect. While not terrible, it's not a top choice.

Harrier's Ploy (MP) - Trades in your immediate for a "chaser" sort of effect. Given that this is replicated in a more efficient manner by Combat Agility, I don't really consider this that great a choice.

Knee Breaker (MP) - A slowing swing with decent damage is rather average, but it gets a bit better if you have a power such as Steel Serpent Strike, since immobilization is a good effect to have.

Lasting Threat (MP) - A damaging single attack that lays on a permanent mark and has Reliable to make sure you don't whiff on it. Not a bad power.

Master's Edge (DSCS) - This power basically gives you an enhanced OA range against one target. As such, it's kind of redundant with the arsenal of powers a Fighter has to stick next to an enemy by default, but it is a nice fallback option should the former fail to keep the enemy adjacent.

Tempest Dance (MP) - This power allows you to really spread your mark around with 3 attacks against different targts, and you can even do some pretty nice damage to each if you have CA and some decent Dexterity. The power of choice for any Fighter looking to keep lots of guys occupied.

Unstoppable Advance (MP 2) - This is a Stance power than essentially gives any Melee attack power a push effect. While this is undoubtedly a nice effect, there are ways to make this effect happen on an At-Will basis if it's truly that important for your build to have a push. Some use can be made of it if your Fighter needs to have a push on everything for extra damage or effects, though.

Villain's Menace (PHB) - This feature lets you pick a single target and beat up on him with a hefty buff to hit and to damage, and you get a buff even if you miss. A very powerful ability for all Fighters.



Level 2, Utility



The Utility power list gets kicked off with some nice standouts: Forceful Drag's ability to alter the battlefield without requiring an attack roll on a grappler and Glowering Threat's huge pseudo-mark penalty are the main attractions (though Battle Fury Stance is also in the conversation), but there is a nice assortment of powers here if that's not what you're into.

Level 2 Utility List

Battle Fury Stance (D 382) - +2 damage per tier for -2 AC every encounter is nice to have, if a bit risky. However, you can take some of the gamble out of the equation by ending it pretty much whenever you want. A pretty good power to have, and it's even nicer if your opponents make it a habit out of not targetng your AC.

Battle Leader (HotFL) - Requires Diplomacy, which will cost most Fighters a feat, and a mass shift 1 is not really setting the world on fire.

Boundless Endurance (PHB) - A Daily Stance for a formidable amount of regeneration while bloodied. One of the better emergency buttons you can have as a Con-based Fighter, though it does compete for what will soon be a crowded slot.

Close the Gap (PHH 2) - A nice re-establishment Utility power, it can help you get adjacent to a dangerous enemy right after your target drops while putting your Immediate Action to decent use.

Create Opening (MP) - It's a nice way to get a mark on another opponent, but there are plenty of ways to accomplish that without having to burn a minor action or get attacked. The shift for your ally keeps it from being actively detrimental, but it's not going to blow anyone away.

Crowd Fighting (HotFL) - A bit of damage when an enemy misses you (requires Streetwise as well), and it doesn't even respond to the enemy who attacked you. Meh.

Defensive Stance (MP) - A nice bonus to AC, and a rather marginal shifting effect. Unfortunately, it requires you to be slowed for its duration. That's a no-no.

Eldritch Tactics (D 395) - An Eladrin-specific option. The ability to swap positions with an ally who managed to get in over his head can be useful, if a bit corner-case.

Forceful Drag (MP 2) - An awesome power for Brawlers to alter the battlefield more how they see fit. It can certainly see use on that style of Fighter in order to break formations and otherwise inconvenience dangerous opponents (this can be great to yank people toward your Strikers or away from your Controller, for instance).

Full Extension (MP 2) - A bit of extra reach is nice for when your mobility fails you, but it's not the strongest benefit out there.

Get Over Here (PHB) - The range and effect on this power are far too minor to even consider as a truly useful option.

Glowering Threat (HotFL) - ...Wow. A nice area of effect, and a penalty that puts most marks to shame (bear in mind that it does requre training in Intimidate, and that it stacks with your mark penalty). A very strong choice, and recommended for the majority of Fighters.

Mighty Leap (MP 2) - A decent jump-buffing Utility. While I don't expect it to be all that useful in combat, it will likely show up outside of combat. A decent choice.

Minor Resurgence (HotFL) - A handful of conditional THP as a minor. Nothing to write home about.

No Opening (PHB) - Negating CA in exchange for your Immediate? Surely, you jest.

Pass Forward (MP) - A sweet repositioning power, it can help you effectively guarantee you will be in a flanking position, or at the very least you'll make it easy for your ally to step into one, which makes it nice to have.

Push Forward (HotFL) - A decent shift that lands you adjacent to someone. OK, I guess.

Quick Escape (MP 2) - While the action economy on an escape attempt is kind of marginal, a saving throw against effects that can inconvenience you badly in immobilized and restrained can be valuable. You could do worse.

Shielded Sides (MP) - One turn's worth of an AC/Reflex bonus and negating flanking can be a pretty sweet benefit to have around every encounter, though do note that it requires a shield.

Shielding Shove (D 385) - A push effect can help an ally get into position, and a minor action mark can help you mess with an opponent you may have otherwise missed. A nice power to have for Shield users.

Shrewd Repositioning (MP) - It burns up your Immediate Action, and only offers a marginal shift in response. While you can potentially use this to reposition or disengage from an enemy you want to leave to another, there are better powers for these purposes on this list.

Sidestep Maneuver (DSCS) - You get some minor repositioning and an attack buff out of an Opportunity Action you weren't going to use anyway. I'm of the opinion it won't be triggered all that much (enemies typically try to avoid you), but it could be useful if they didn't do that.

Single Out (HotFL) - 2 turns of CA as a minor. Pretty solid, though its being a Ranged power (and thus provoking) means you have to use it carefully.

Snagging Grip (MP 2) - One of the problems a Fighter faces is that he must be adjacent continually, and as such, enemies with forced movement powers can give them problems. However, this power will only help if the enemy who caused the effect is adjacent, and it burns up your Immediate. It fixes a problem, while presenting problems of its own.

Sudden Sprint (HotFL) - A move equal to your Dexterity modifier as a minor action can be a useful engaging power for certain stripes of Fighter, though the conditional destination can be a little bothersome.

Unstoppable (PHB) - While this power does offer a very decent amount of THP, it only does so once per day, which isn't exactly mind-blowing.

Who's Next? (D 379) - A decent upgrade to your move action when you drop an enemy, it can be useful despite its conditionality.



Level 3, Encounter



At this point, we will see a lot of divergence in power choice according to build. Parry and Riposte is a good universal choice, whereas Rain of Blows and Sweeping Blow are strong options for those wielding the appropriate weapons. The options aren't as clear for Fighters who can't use either to full effect, though Battleragers and Brawlers likely favor Bull Charge and Slamming Rush, respectively.

Level 3 Encounter List


Free Hand:



Slamming Rush (MP 2) - While I'm not much of a fan of unarmed attacks, this power effectively incorporates Forceful Drag and Spinning Sweep into one harmonious whole, and that's worth something.


Shield:



Deflecting Shield (D 382)
- A generic hit with a bizarro-cleave sort of effect. Nah.

Immediate Vengeance (D 385) - While Shield powers are never gonna milk your numbers for what they're worth, an immediate interrupt that weakens an enemy as he hits you or an ally is a nice tool to have, at least for a while.

Shield Edge Block (MP 2) - While slapping on a -4 penalty to hit you is a nice thing to have, it's more the realm of a Utility power, and the terrible scaling on the interrupt attack keeps this power from truly shining. Still decent because the penalty always happens, just not a good scaler, as are all powers that involve attacking with your shield.

Shield Slam (MP) - A nice follow-up to make an attack power more interesting once per encounter, this power doesn't scale at all, making it useless only a few levels after you get it. If you pick it, enjoy it while it can still hit something.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Restoring Strike (D 379)
- Some OK damage and a nice effect, but packing a penalty to hit takes a lot of appeal from this power.


Two Weapons:



Sweeping Slash (MP 2) - It mass-marks (which is good), but the attack that follows is rather generic, and you just put space between you and your opponents, which isn't exactly what a Fighter looks to do.


Any Weapon:



Advance Lunge (MP) - Some positioning, followed by a very vanilla hit. Yuck.

Armor-Piercing Thrust (PHB) - While it does pack a huge accuracy buff, increased accuracy can reach a redundancy point (unlike increased damage), and this power doesn't do all that much damage (and that's the only thing it does). No.

Blinding Smash (MP) - Another Invigorating power that gives up all damage potential for a status effect. Just plain awful.

Bull Charge (MP 2) - A charge-friendly Invigorating smack that can potentially knock prone, and it hits a NAD. A pretty strong power choice.

Crushing Blow (PHB) - A little extra damage over your typical Encounter power, and that's it. Terrible.

Dance of Steel (PHB) - A turn of virtually guaranteed lockdown via immobilization against a single target, provided you use the proper weapon. A pretty good choice.

Daunting Onslaught (DSCS) - A decent hit, and a minor attack penalty to one or two enemies as well. That makes this a pretty spiffy power.

Hesitation Slash (DMA 2009) - An accurate hit that can net you combat advantage. Whoop-de-doo.

Parry and Riposte (MP) - A nice way to respond after a missed attack, this power will likely find a home on many a Fighter.

Precise Strike (PHB) - The bonus to hit doesn't make up for doing an MBA's worth of damage and nothing else. Stay far, far away.

Probing Attack (MP) - It hits a NAD, it provides a nice and meaty attack buff for you, and it can come up as part of an OA. A pretty nice setup power.

Rain of Blows (PHB) - If you have the proper weapon and ability scores to use it, this can be an very powerful extra damage option, though it might take a while to get the damage bonus gravy-train rolling. Once you do, though, few powers are better.

Reaver's Hook (MP 2) - A generic hit, with some soft control extra damage and a shift with the right weapons. Somewhere between bad and terrible, but mostly just bad.

Rhino Strike (MP) - A generic charge with a little extra damage, and the ability to not provoke OA's with a shield. Kind of lame, actually.

Sweeping Blow (PHB) - Close burst attacks are a bread-and-butter option for Fighters to handle multiple enemies simultaneously, and this one has a bonus to hit attached for certain weapons. Great if you have said weapons, but still good regardless.



Level 5, Daily



This level has a very strong field of powers, ranging from auto-damaging stances (Rain of Steel), ways to help your friendly neighborhood Striker really pile on the damage (Bedeviling Assault), and even an extra-attack generator (Dancing Defense). As a matter of fact, I would be looking closely at this list for my Level 9 Daily choice as well as the Level 5 - it's that good.

Level 5 Daily List


Free Hand:



Bare-Knuckled Rebuke (MP 2) - A nice interrupt attack every time you get missed. While I'm not the biggest fan of unarmed attacks on their own, this is still a nice power to have.


Shield:



Relentless Pressure (MP 2)
- While the effect this applies is mean, the targets you want to slap this on will be able to shrug it off without that much trouble, and the damage on it kind of stinks. It can be good, but it's not reliable.

Unexpected Shield Bash (D 385)
- The attack and damage scaling will be bad, so we're mostly looking at this power from the perspective of the mass mark, which is a nice bonus, but not enough to make this power a palatable choice.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Brutal Advance
(D 379)
- A nice damage + lockdown power, this combines a push and prone effect combination with a double-up attack that includes a charge. A nice tool in the hands of a two-handed weapon Fighter, especially if he's kitted out to charge.


Two Weapons:



Dancing Defense (D 378) - Turning every attack into a Dual Strike-equivalent or gaining a bonus to your defenses sounds pretty awesome to me. A pretty good Stance for a dual-wielding Fighter, and it gets pretty nuts when you combine it with your bread-and-butter At-will in Dual Strike (can you say three attacks per round?).

Dervish's Challenge (MP 2) - Another quality dual-wielder Stance, this power gets kicked off with a decent smack and adds more focus-fire punch to your Opportunity and Combat Challenge Attacks, which makes it very worth having. Bear in mind you may not get much damage mileage on this power, though, because it's entirely possible your punishment will be so vicious that no one will actually try to get away from you. Still, it will help you do your job, and that's worth celebrating.

Spinning Razor Strike (D 378) - Essentially Tempest Dance, except it lays down a double-tap on the third target. That's not bad.


Any Weapon:



Agonizing Assault (MP) - Dazing and immobilizing are rather redundant as far as lockdown is concerned, and the damage isn't great. Solid, but unexceptional.

Bedeviling Assault (MP) - The entry attack isn't much to write home about, but the effect is absolutely nasty, especially considering that you're in the business of keeping people adjacent to you (and thus in range of your Melee attack powers). Its utility depends a bit on the lifespan of the target, but it's still a very strong choice.

Brazen Assault (D 381) - Some good solid damage, a push, and an effect that trades defense for damage soaking, A bit risky, but can provide dividends if your defenses are poor and/or the enemy is able to hit you regularly anyway (Brash Strike spammers in particular will like this).

Cometfall Charge (MP) - A charge for a marginal amount of damage over a Brute Strike. If you're going to take a damage-only power, make sure it does a lot of it. This one doesn't.

Crack the Shell (PHB) - Some meh damage, a bit of ongoing, and an AC debuff. Not what I'd be looking for.

Crashing Assault (DSCS) - An attack with lowish damage, a push + prone combo, and a splash effect to adjacent enemies. It's not an actively bad power, but it sure isn't exceptional either.

Crushing Foot (MP 2) - Chances are that if you can grab a target effectively, you're a Brawler. In that case, people won't get away from your grab enough for this to be worth it. Still, knocking prone as an Effect isn't too terrible.

Dizzying Blow (PHB) - Reliable, immobilizes, and packs respectable damage. A pretty decent sticky power.

Hounding Longarm (MP) - This power (requires a reach weapon, by the way) allows you to bring your increased reach to bear on your Combat Challenge against a single target, and even grants you a shift for more punishment range. A nice power to have on a Polearm Fighter.

Nimble Bladestorm (DMA 2009) - While this isn't all that much better than Sweeping Blow, Fighters prize close burst attacks highly enough for this to be a decent pick.

Pinning Smash (MP) - The damage sucks, and you're one push effect away from losing the lockdown effect this power has to offer. A rather limited power.

Rain of Steel (PHB) - Automatic damage for standing next to the Fighter makes the enemies die faster while prompting them to trigger your punishment mechanisms if they should attempt to flee. One of the standout choices at this level.

Subtle Cut (MP) - Ongoing damage is a gamble, and it will take too long to pay off against most targets you actually want to hit with this, assuming it doesn't just get saved against. Nah.



Level 6, Utility



This is a solid level of powers, with standouts in Daring Shout, Ignore Weakness, Kirre's Roar, and Makeshift Shield, which most Fighters will gravitate to (though there is a thing or two for other stripes of Fighter). That said, doubling back and picking up a nice power you missed at L2 (Pass Forward being the main target here) is certainly an option.

Level 6 Utility List

Agile Approach (MP) - A rather conditional power, most of the better uses of this power are already covered by Pass Forward, which is an L2 At-Will. Pass.

Battle Awareness (PHB) - A big initiative bonus which can help you get in position once per day. Decent enough, considering that going first is at a relative premium for you.

Bewitching Glare (D 395) - An Eladrin-specific option. The ability to inconvenience your foe at range, then yank him to you if he misses is a pretty good thing on a Fighter.

Bodyguard's Stance (D 382) - Takes a little damage from allies and gives it to you. The fact that it's available every encounter and you can end it pretty much on demand holds appeal, but the effect isn't all that powerful.

Daring Shout (PHH 1) - Mass marking is good on a Fighter, as is temporary hit points. Make them available on an encounter basis and you have something interesting going. The range is a bit limited compared to similar powers, though.

Dauntless Endurance (HotFL) - Rerolling a save, just because you can. I can dig that, especially as an Encounter ability.

Defensive Training (PHB) - +2 to all NADs as a Daily Stance? Meh.

Get Up! (HotFL) - Stands up a dying ally as a minor. That's pretty neat to have, even if the range is short.

Helping Hands (HotFL) - A save for an adjacent ally, for a minor action. A solid choice.

Ignore Weakness (HotFL) - The ability to save out of an annoying condition with a huge bonus while consuming no actions at all is excellent for keeping your engine running without incident.

Intimidating Reminder (D 385) - Giving adjacent enemies -2 to Fortitude as a shield user is rather marginal, but it could see pockets of use.

Kirre's Roar (DSCS) - A mass mark in a huge radius, and damage resistance equal to your Dexterity modifier. An extremely powerful option in the hands of any kind of Fighter.

Knight's Challenge (HotFL) - While it does have restrictions in who you can target with it, yanking someone adjacent as a minor can't be considered to be bad.

Line Breaker (HotFL) - Not quite "shift your speed", but close enough to be at least worth thinking about.

Line in the Sand (D 379) - A CA-granting zone sounds nice at first glance, but it's small, it doesn't move, and the power is a Daily. Unimpressive.

Makeshift Shield (MP 2) - A sweet defensive bonus for Dexterity-based Fighters, although it does burn up your Immediate action.

Rapid Advance (HotFL) - A significant boost to speed for a move action. Solid enough.

Ready to Retaliate (MP 2) - This power can allow you to further inconvenience enemies if they give in to your mark and attack you by extending your hold over them. It can be decent, but it faces stiff competition because of its being a Stance.

Rejoin the Fray (MP 2) - Some pretty decent repositioning when you get healed (even action economy if you got dropped before the heal). A pretty decent pick, though it burns up your Immediate.

Rock Steady (MP) - While reducing 1 square off every instance of forced movement sounds a bit marginal, that is one of the negative effects that bothers a Fighter the most, so having an option to mitigate is not that off-base, and immunity to getting knocked prone is icing.

Settling the Score (MP) - Getting a +2 to hit against an enemy for the entire encounter can be useful, if a bit limited. Note that triggering this bonus eats up your Immediate.

Strong Focus (MP) - Your Wisdom as a bonus to Athletics and ability checks is rather marginal in combat, though it can have some out-of-combat utility for some Fighters.

Unbalancing Dodge (MP 2) - A penalty to attack and defense for missing you can be a solid use of your Immediate action.

Unbreakable (PHB) - It burns up your Immediate, but it offers a bit of damage reduction for a Con-based Fighter. Doesn't scale well, though.

Veteran's Gambit (HotFL) - Its +2 to defenses consumes your Immediate, and it doesn't even work to stave off the triggering attack, either. Nah.

Vigilant Protector (MP) - It's a Stance with a nice effect, but it has piddly range and imposes a defensive penalty upon you. Not worth it if you ask me.



Level 7, Encounter



While this power has a pretty nice array of powers overall, it also has one of the pillars of how the class gets things done in Come and Get It, which is recommended for everybody.

Level 7 Encounter List


Free Hand:



Bludgeoning Vise (MP 2) - While the secondary attack will likely not add much in the way of damage, this is still a single-target multiattack that dazes and knocks prone, which can neuter an opponent's turn. A nice pick.


Shield:



Armored Assault (D 385)
- An attack at any point during a move, and it hits a NAD and knocks prone. Not the worst choice, even when taking non-Weapon attack/damage scaling into account.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Inertia Strike
(D 379)
- Essentially Cleave with a little more punch on the initial attack, but with an accuracy penalty. Not worth your time.


Two Weapons:



Hampering Flurry
(MP)
- A dual-wielding double-up attack that slows and does a bit of extra damage. Sweet.

Opportunist's Rend (MP 2)
- A basic double-up attack that has the perk of being usable as part of an OA or a Combat Challenge attack, and it can carry all the goodies typically placed on an MBA. Nice to have.

Twofold Torment (MP)
- Two swings, and a decent push. It can be a serviceable choice, but it's not quite part of the upper crust of Fighter powers at this level.


Any Weapon:



Bloody the Field (MP 2)
- Crushing Blow with a conditional daze attached. Color me unimpressed.

Come and Get It (PHB) - It draws enemies close where you can lock them down, and it smacks them as part of the same action. One of the most important pieces for virtually every Fighter build, and thus none should go without it.

Echoing Assault (MP 2)
- Essentially a delayed double-tap, provided your opponent is still there next turn. In general, you want damage now over damage later.

Griffon's Wrath (PHB) - A generic hit with an AC penalty attached. Yawn.

Hydra Charge (MP 2) - A close burst attack that penalizes hitting and can be used on a charge. A very competitive option to Come and Get It.

Iron Bulwark (PHB) - A vanilla attack with a small AC bonus as a rider. Unimpressive, to be honest.

Menacing Strike (DSCS) - An average-damage attack, with an additional effect that dissuades clustering. This has some fairly marginal applications at best.

Not So Fast (MP) - An immediate reaction slow against movement can help double up with an OA to severely hamper movement. Even better for Flail users, who basically end their opponent's escape attempt right then and there.

Reckless Strike (PHB) - A penalty to hit, only does damage, and not that much of it. Avoid like the plague.

Savage Parry (MP) - Almost no damage, but it imposes a poor man's weakened. Too marginal for my taste, especially considering you're doing this in lieu of your normal Combat Challenge attack.

Stay Down (MP) - A nice spiking shot against a prone opponent, it's a bit conditional for my tastes.

Sudden Surge (PHB) - A generic hit with a bit of movement attached is pretty marginal.

Trip Up (MP) - A nice and mean potential dobule up attack power when you use an MBA, this power gets even nicer with the appropriate weapon, since a free action attack that knocks prone is a nice tool to have as a Fighter.

Weapon Master's Strike (D 382) - A vanilla attack, with weapon-specific rider effects. None are show-stoppers, but all of them can be useful. A decent enough power.



Level 9, Daily



This level is not quite as loaded as what Fighters have become accustomed to, but Jackal Strike and Stop Thrust stand out as good, universal options for Fighters (though Bloodspike Sweep and Shift the Battlefield can be good with the proper weapons). Should you not be tempted by any of these, I recommend a second look at Level 5's excellent list as an option.

Level 9 Daily List


Free Hand:



Pitiless Grapple (DSG)
- A grab that enhances your crit range, and it hits a NAD for respectable damage. Pretty good, actually.

Staggering Blow (MP 2)
- Some decent damage, a push, and a daze. Respectable, but unexceptional.


Shield:



Shield and a Hard Place (D 385) - The power's restrictions on targeting make it conditional from day 1, it's a shield power, and rare is the shield Fighter that can sustain a grab. Pretty much the definition of corner-case (no pun intended).

Unstoppable Assault (MP 2) - Fending off status effects is nice and awesome, but I question how often an enemy is really going to voluntarily step adjacent to you, so this trigger may or may not happen with regularity.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Murderous Assault (D 379) - A generic hit, and then you charge someone else. I wouldn't use it.


Two Weapons:



Punishing Storm (D 378) - Comparable to Tempest Dance, but its extra benefits are lost considering it offers less reliability on the third attack, as well as no mobility. Not quite good enough.


Any Weapon:



Bloodspike Sweep (D 375) - This rating takes into account the conditional weapon effect, which makes this an AoE prone with some ongoing attached. Without it, this power sucks.

Bone Crusher (MP 2) - A decent nova setup power for your friendly neighborhood Ranger. You could do worse than this.

Fighter's Recovery (MP) - While recovering a Fighter power can be all kinds of awesome, the fact that this power is a straight-up worse version of Brute Strike (a Red Daily at L1!) until you've burned through all of your encounter powers limits its utility.

Hobbling Cut (MP 2) - Slowing and weakening are a decent 1-2 punch to have, but the mediocre damage, and being single target make it less good. I wouldn't pick this one.

Jackal Strike (MP) - It's easy to trigger by you or an ally, it doesn't expend your Immediate Action, it's not wasted on a miss, and it's good out-of-turn damage. A pretty nice smack to have around.

One Against Many (MP 2) - A generic close burst with some minor (and conditional) buffs. Pass.

Pestering Wound (MP) - I wouldn't pick this power up even if it were available every encounter.

Piquing Dare (MP) - When used and applied properly, this can effectively be a double-tap on Combat Challenge. The bad news is that your opponent gets to save out (which means the targets you want to lock up with it are the ones that are most likely to wiggle free), but it's still pretty decent.

Shift the Battlefield (PHB) - A close burst that slides on a hit can be combined with certain weapons (such as Flails or Polearms) to be a mass proning, which is decent enough. If you don't have one of those weapons, don't take this.

Shield Ripper (DSCS) - Essentially Crack the Shell with some additional perks, such as more weapon damage, hitting a defense other than AC, and a penalty to Reflex as well. Still not all that great, though.

Stop Thrust (MP) - This power is applicable to a fair amount of Fighters: it effectively extends the range of your Combat Challenge for one attack, and the sweetest part is that it works regardless if the target is marked or not. You might get charged in the face, but better you than the Controller (and that could trigger Repel Charge, anyway).

Terrifying Impact (MP) - Damage better suited to an Encounter power, and a mediocre mass push (at least those pushes mark). Most Fighters will stay away from this, though a push-focused build might find it to be decent.

Thicket of Blades (PHB) - Close burst slowing is very good on a Fighter, and the damage it packs is actually pretty solid. A bit generic (and overshadowed by Bloodspike Sweep or Shift the Battlefield on most Fighters), but very serviceable.

Victorious Surge (PHB) - Some decent damage, and some surge-free healing on a hit. While hardly bad, it's not going to knock your socks off.



Level 10, Utility



Another awesome Fighter power level, I see many alternatives worth having here, though my personal favorite is Clearheaded. If you don't like that, plenty of other powers are also good and available here.

Level 10 Utility List

Another Day (DSCS) - A solid repositioning effect when you get hit as an Immediate. Lackluster, to be honest.

Arcane Instincts (D 395) - An Eladrin-specific option. Laying on some resistance to an elemental burst that just tagged the whole party is nice to have, but it does eat up that all-important Immediate.

Battlefield Healing (HotFL) - While healing is nice to have, especially as an Encounter ability, the range and standard action cost gives me a bit of pause.

Body Shield (MP 2) - While this power is likely only usable by Brawlers, it has an awesome use for them, and that is to get a shot at grabbing a target outside your turn, while engaging in damage redirection.

Clearheaded (HotFL)
- An instant save against annoying conditions, with a massive bonus on it as icing. This helps Fighters stay up and do their jobs, and as such is awesome.

Defensive Advance (HotFL)
- Shifting your speed, AND getting +2 to all defenses? Sweet, even if the shift is a bit conditional (a condition you are gladly meeting, I'd wager).

Defensive Resurgence (MP) - Spending a healing surge is good. Getting extra AC out of the deal is even better.

Fearsome Threat (HotFL) - Mass CA for a turn unless you're attacked. It can be a decent incentive to attack you or setup for your allies, provided that your party has issues obtaining CA in the first place.

Fighter's Grit (MP 2) - The perfect harmony of fluff and crunch, this lets a Fighter shrug off a lot of conditions that are designed to give him a tough time. Pretty cool.

Fist of Lightning (MP 2) - A bit of extra damage on your unarmed attacks appeals to certain sorts of Brawlers, but even then it's a bit conditional. I don't think it's all that good, to be honest.

Grappler's Stance (MP 2) - A nice way to gain a real meaty advantage over a grabbed opponent.

Grim Presence (HotFL) - A conditional mass push effect. Not all that great, to be honest.

Hold Your Ground (HotFL) - An excellent choice for the non-Dwarves in the audience, though it does gobble up your Immediate (not as hot for the short ones).

Hunker Down (MP) - Cover is nice, but a key thing as a Fighter is getting to your opponent, and being slowed doesn't let you do that all too well. Skip.

Into the Fray (PHB) - Conditional, but 3 squares of movement as a minor will help you close the gaps speed in heavy armor may not be able to fill. A surprisingly effective power.

Iron Defiance (HotFL) - Half damage on an attack is pretty solid choice, though it gobbles up your Immediate.

Last Ditch Evasion (PHB) - Rule 1 of being a Fighter: never, ever disable your ability to defend, because your enemy will be trying to do that all the time. This power violates that cardinal rule.

Martial Redoubt (D 382) - Cover for your allies, granting CA for you. Pretty decent, especially considering you can turn it off pretty much whenever you want.

Menacing Stance (MP) - A benefit for your allies when the enemy decides to violate your mark, which can act as pseudo-enforcement. Could be worse.

Mighty Surge (D 379) - Healing and the possibility of buffing every other time you heal that encounter. It even has the extra benefit of not consuming your Stance slot. Pretty nice if you ask me.

Phalanx Leader (PHH 2) - For a turn, you reduce the need to flank and grant a defensive buff for any allies piled up around you. Solid.

Shield Deflection (D 385) - Classic flavor, and it's the kind of power that would actually see use on a Shield wearer. Pretty solid, though it's limited in use.

Shooter's Nemesis (MP) - Not quite as universal as the other two healing options at this level, but it's far from worthless (though when to use it can be a bit of an issue, since it takes up your Immediate Action).

Stalwart Guard (PHB) - So your allies gain your shield bonus to AC and Reflex, as long as they stick close. I'm not a big fan of clustering, especially given that I like flanking as a Fighter, so this doesn't hold much appeal for me.

Steely Persuasion (MP 2) - In all likelihood, your party will have someone better at these skills than you (and if you don't, consider getting someone). Either way, this isn't strong enough a bonus to consider.

Strength from Pain (MP) - A sizable damage and skill bonus, if you're willing to stay bloodied. It's a Daily (and it doesn't stack with most other bonuses), though, which is a bit of a turn-off.
Powers - Paragon Tier: Chiseling the Rock

As was the case before, I will be separating powers based on the equipment arrangements they impose upon you in order to use them, be they a free hand, a shield, a two-handed weapon, two weapons, or no restriction at all.


Level 13, Encounter



This level has a strong universal option in Bash and Pummel, but it's also got plenty of weapon-specific goodies that can be indulged in: Hammers have Anvil of Doom, Flails and Polearms get Scattering Swing, Heavy and Light Blades get Storm of Blows, Brawlers get Stranglehold, and Shield users can opt for Shield Bearer's Vendetta. Needless to say, a very good list that you might end up coming back to later on.

Level 13 Encounter List


Free Hand:



Stranglehold (MP 2) - A dazing attack that grabs and can be used as an OA is a potential turn-ender, and as such is a quality tool in the arsenal of a Brawler.


Shield:



Entrapping Shield (D 382) - Some decent damage, and a damage-sharing aftereffect for a turn. This can be a pretty solid power, especially in a scenario such as post-Come and Get It.

Shield Bearer's Vendetta (D 385)
- While it is a Shield power and as such doesn't carry much punch, the daze effect will make sure to end its current turn and inconvenience the next one. A quality power for a Shield user, though the scaling makes it a bit problematic.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Leaping Assault (D 379) - A pseudo-charge for a bit of damage. Meh.


Two Weapons:



Dance of Blades (MP) - Two sliding attacks with a shift in between. Very usable for round-up purposes (or for double-proning if you wield flails), but only hitting two targets puts it behind Storm of Blades.

Hilt Smash (MP 2) - This is essentially a poor man's Bash and Pummel. Just take that instead.


Any Weapon:



Anvil of Doom (PHB) - A single-target stun is powerful for anyone, but in the hands of a Fighter it's incredible. There's no way I can justify a Hammer wielder taking anything else at this level; other people shouldn't touch it, as Bash and Pummel would be strictly better for them.

Appalling Crunch (MP)
- Mass marking is nice and all, but a Fighter can accomplish that goal by mass attacking, which makes this power lose some of its luster. Decent damage, though.

Assured Strike (MP) - A vanilla attack that hits Reflex but has conditional usage for non-Halflings and only does damage. Yuck.

Bash and Pummel (MP 2) - Two dazing attacks that you can spread out or focus fire with, and it even offers some THP in Invigorating and some extra damage if you focus fire (that said, either the THP or the extra damage will be marginal, depending on your Fighter). An excellent choice.

Battle Jump (MP 2) - A bit of extra movement on an otherwise vanilla attack. Meh.

Blades from All Angles (D 366) - Decent damage, and it knocks prone. A solid alternative.

Brutal Rebuke (MP) - This offers nothing over an MBA except some extra damage and a conditional attack bonus. Very hard to justify taking this.

Chains of Sorrow (PHB) - A mean setup power for Flail users, this is actually a pretty nice pickup.

Crumpling Slam (MP) - The damage is decent, it has Invigorating, it pushes, and knocks prone. Solid enough.

Giant's Wake (PHB) - Essentially a conditional vanilla close burst attack. Nah.

Menacing Surge (DSCS) - Some nice mobility, it hits people in an admittedly small area, and it imposes a debuff to any adjacent enemies. It can see some use.

Salamander Lash (D 375) - A great way for Polearm users to extend the reach on their Combat Challenge and deliver some healthy extra damage while they're at it.

Scattering Swing (MP) - Essentially the same as the L9 Daily Shift the Battlefield, but having it every encounter makes it a heck of a lot better for those Flail and Polearm users who went for it originally (it's safe to say you can retrain it away now).

Silverstep (PHB) - Two decent push attacks, with a shift as a rider. Nothing flashy to be had here.

Storm of Blows (PHB) - Hey look, it's Tempest Dance, the Encounter power! The fact that its "conditional" extra damage isn't much of a condition for Heavy Blade and Light Blade Fighters boosts its stock even further.

Talon of the Roc (PHB) - Essentially a slightly more damaging Steel Serpent Strike for certain weapons. Not as good as its predecessor was, especially compared to the competition.



Level 15, Daily



At this level, we have ourselves a two-horse race: Unyielding Avalanche and Dust Storm Assault dominate the competition here. Pick one of those two and your Fighter will be very well off.

Level 15 Daily List


Free Hand:



Eye Gouge
(MP 2)
- A blinding multiattack is a pretty cool thing to have, even if it does make you attack with a weapon in the unarmed group.

Relentless Headlock (MP 2)
- A brutal power in the hands of a dedicated Brawler, a free OA per escape attempt means you're not wasting your Opportunity Action on that opponent's turn, and it makes it very likely that you get all those mean effects you can pile on MBA's across, too. You very well may want to pick this up at a later date.


Shield:



Unstoppable Force (D 385) - Essentially a slightly weaker, shield-only version of Boulder Charge. Solid, but unexceptional.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Hurricane Strike (D 379) - A decent close burst on the first attack, though the second one won't deal much damage. Not really worth being a Daily.


Two Weapons:



Masterful Parry (D 378) - A sweet counter move that shaves off half the incoming attack's damage, and leaves a (save ends) daze as a parting gift, which usually ends the enemy's turn. A nice power for dual-wielders.


Any Weapon:



Boulder Charge (MP) - A charge that affects enemies whose spaces you run through as well as the target in the end, and it knocks prone. That's pretty sweet.

Carve Initials (MP)
- Requires a light blade, and it's a marginal improvement over Lasting Threat. Not at the level of its competition.

Defender's Gambit (MP)
- You get a cool buff to hit a target, then you essentially provoke an attack in order to get some meaty damage in. Given that the buff and the attack always happen, that's pretty neat to have, even if you do get attacked as part of it. Even better if you manage to negate the Immediate Action beforehand.

Dragon's Fangs (PHB)
- Two nice and solid attacks. While it doesn't have all the fancy bells and whistles other powers on this list have, it does have straight-up damage, and that counts for something on a Fighter.

Dust Storm Assault (DSCS) - An unremarkable close burst entry attack, but the effect is where the real meat of the power lies - it's effectively an extension of your range for OA's, not to mention extra damage and the ability to knock prone. That's pretty amazing if you ask me.

Gale of Steel (MP) - A vanilla close burst attack that gives you a do-over against enemies you missed the first time around. You can do better than this.

No Room to Breathe (MP 2) - Weakening for one turn with lackluster damage? Not worth it.

Quicksilver Stance (MP)
- After the errata, this power offers increased mobility at the cost of only letting you use a Melee Basic Attack. While extra mobility is nice, curtailing your power selection isn't. I wouldn't.

Serpent Dance Strike (PHB)
- 4 attacks that knock prone is awesome on a Fighter, though it does lose some value at higher levels, when enemies who you can't knock prone with it become more common. Still, 4 attacks in one action will rarely be bad.

Slayer's Lunge (MP)
- While it seems awesome at first glance, remember that burning your Immediate Action forgoes the ability to make a Combat Challenge attack (so you have to pick between that and this). That trims its usefulness somewhat, but this can still be a good power.

Sudden Opportunity (MP 2) - It can buff a crit, or it can come off while the enemy is bloodied, and it doesn't consume an action. A mighty power to have (you may want this later on).

Unerring Blow (D 366) - A vanilla attack with a lot of accuracy. Whatever.

Unyielding Avalanche (PHB)
- It gives you a buff to AC and saves, hands out regeneration based on your Constitution, and deals auto-damage that slows. A mighty power indeed, particularly if Constitution is your cup of tea.



Level 16, Utility




Overall, this is the Fighter's weakest level of Utility powers, so feel free to seek alternatives or look at an earlier list. That said, there is a nice universal choice for all Fighters in Tyrian Battle Stance, as well as a couple of niche picks in Warding Steel for two-handed weapon wielders with good Con and  Painful Drag for Brawlers (freeing them up to retrain Forceful Drag).

Level 16 Utility List

Battle Acumen (MP 2)
- You can do this all the time for a feat. Pass.

Bolstering Stride (MP) - A move that grants you some THP. It's nice, but you usually want to end up next to an enemy, not an ally (set up a flanking position and all that).

Defiant Shield (D 382)
- The movement restriction spoils what could have otherwise been an incredible power, as +2 defenses and immunity to forced movement align perfectly with what you want to accomplish.

Fury's Resurgence (MP 2) - A nice "refresh" button when you drop an enemy. It can see some use.

Giant's Stride (MP) - While being a Daily is a bit steep, this is otherwise a Striker-caliber movement power, and that's nice to have on a Fighter, who needs to engage opponents in Melee in order to lock them down.

Immovable Mountain (MP) - Forced movement hurts Fighters, so this seems neat at first glance. However, it effectively slows you to get the effect across. Not for me.

Interposing Shield (PHB) - It chews up your Immediate, but it can help negate the enemy's attack. That's fairly solid.

Iron Warrior (PHB) - A nice self-healing power, it offers extra HP apart from your likely prodigal surge value and a saving throw as icing, all as a minor action. Pretty neat to have.

Marking Stance (MP) - It has a nice and strong effect, but it takes a standard action to get started, it's a Daily, and it's competing for your already crowded Stance spot. Decent, but probably not the power of choice here.

Painful Drag (MP 2) - Essentially another use of L2's Forceful Drag, with a combat advantage rider thrown in. Given that you could just use Forceful Drag to set up a flanking position, that's not all that spectacular, but the ability to retrain Forceful Drag into something else is. Pretty nice with that in mind.

Regnant Shout (MP) - Just use a close burst attack power instead.

Relentless Advance (HotFL) - A small shift when you drop an enemy. Could (and should) be better.

Shield Clamor (D 385) - An extension to your defending range... at the cost of your turn. How about not?

Surprise Step (PHB) - Shifting 1 square after the opponent can stuff a shift + charge scenario via Combat Superiority, but a feat can fill that same need at Heroic. Unnecessary.

Tangle Up (MP 2) - Knocking prone even on a missed OA is neat. A (save ends) mark is nice too, as is the ability to use it every encounter. Pretty decent.

Twisting Escape (MP 2) - Fittingly, a class that packs the strongest grab-related shenanigans also carries what may well be the best At-Will way to get out of one. A pretty decent pickup if you find yourself getting grabbed by things bigger than you.

Tyrian Battle Stance (DSCS) - A neat bonus to AC and Reflex, and the ability to move around with impunity. That's a good, universal benefit for Fighters.

Warding Steel (D 379) - A meaty AC buff, available every encounter. A nice power for the subset of Fighters that meet the requirements.



Level 17, Encounter



This is a rather middling level of Fighter powers for most builds, with only Revel in Pain standing out as something worth looking at. Brawlers are a notable exception to this, however, thanks to Vicious Uppercut. If you don't like any of the stuff I mentioned, I'd recommend another look at L13's list.

Level 17 Encounter List


Free Hand:



Battering Ram (MP 2) - Forceful Drag with an attack attached, and you can even knock your opponents prone en masse with it too. Respectable.

Shifting Blade (MP 2)
- CA is not that hard to get, and this is a generic hit. Embarrassingly bad.

Vicious Uppercut (MP 2)
- If it weren't for the fact that it's an unarmed attack, it'd be even more popular. As it is, it's still a multiattack with a stun, and that's fantastic to have on a Brawler.


Shield:



Punishing Shield Block (MP 2) - The good news is that it imposes a -2 to hit you as an Effect. The bad news is that the attack power attached is absolute garbage. You can do better than this.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Bitter Harvest (D 379) - The first attack is a low-damage, pushing close burst. The second one is an attack that comes in with a penalty to hit (albeit against a NAD) and mediocre damage. Skip this power.

Buffeting Torque (MP)
- A close burst for weak damage and an aftereffect that likely won't trigger. Pass.


Two Weapons:



Lunging Dervish (MP 2) - A large-range close burst that you can use to draw opponents in for a second close burst attack, though it does deal piddly damage. Pretty good, actually.

Tap and Counterstrike (MP) - It looks nice at first glance, but it burns up your Standard (for weak damage) and Immediate actions, and the effect is not all that much better than Combat Challenge (and it's conditional to you getting a chance to trigger a CC attack that turn). Nah.


Any Weapon:



Boggling Smash (MP) - It has solid damage for the right weapon groups, along with a daze and a penalty to hit. That said, L13's Bash and Pummel does everything but the penalty to hit better (and you took Anvil of Doom at L13), so just take that instead.

Cruelest Chains (DSCS) - You can either yank an enemy toward you in response to his attack or gain a hefty damage buff to your next attack. Unfortunately for you, the enemy is the one that gets to choose, which lowers the power's stock.

Driving Flurry (MP) - Why you would take this over Mountain Breaking Blow (which is not a good power) is beyond me. Not even Invigorating can salvage this mess.

Exacting Strike (PHB) - A plain hit that's likely to land. Awful.

Exorcism of Steel (PHB)
- It hits Reflex, and makes an enemy drop a weapon. Worthless against the typical monster, but it can see use some use in niche scenarios.

Harrying Assault (PHB)
- A nice attack you can use to double up on a single opponent or spread the attacks out between two targets. A good mix of versatility and power.

Minotaur Charge (MP 2)
- A decent-damage attack that pushes back, has a followup for even more pushing and knocking prone, and has Invigorating and charge capability as icing. Not bad at all.

Mountain Breaking Blow (PHB) - Decent damage, and a big push with a follow-up shift. A solid power.

Revel in Pain (D 381) - Now this is more like it! It's an interrupt power with range moves you right up to the target, and it gives you half the damage you lost in THP as icing. Most Fighters can find a use for this, though it is a bit limited in that it requires someone to attack you, which is something you need to incentivize.

Skirmisher Pounce (MP) - Basically an add-on to your charge for a bit of extra damage and the ability to tag a second target. That's OK, I guess.

Vorpal Tornado (PHB) - A close burst that pushes and knocks prone is a neat pick, even if the damage is a bit low for what you should be doing.

Warrior's Challenge (PHB) - This power is essentially Appalling Crunch with a push. Mass attacking still trumps a single attack with mass marking, so I would not take this.

Weapon Master's Tactics (D 382) - A decent power with a grab bag of tricks, though none of said tricks blows me away.

Wild Strike (MP) - A generic hit that makes you grant CA. How about not?



Level 19, Daily



At this level, Fighters can choose between the powerful universal options of Devastation's Wake, Persistence of Blades, or Strike of the Watchful Guard, though Smash and Grab is certainly an equivalent option for Brawlers. If not, you can always default to whichever of Dust Storm Assault and Unyielding Avalanche you didn't pick last level.

Level 19 Daily List


Free Hand:



Iron Tornado (MP 2) - A dazing close burst attack is great, and it even provides a single-target push + prone combination as icing. A pretty cool power to have.

Pugilist's Resolve (MP 2) - While the reprisal attacks do almost no damage and chew up your Immediate for that round, they do knock prone outside of your turn, which is good control for you. Respectable.

Smash and Grab (MP) - A nice grab attack (Invigorating and Reliable), and it offers another damage instance when you sustain it. Likely the preferred option for a Brawler.


Shield:



Mighty Shield Slam (MP 2) - It's a minor action attack, which is a plus. That said, it would be a detriment to your character if it wasn't, so it's still not all that good.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Toppling Finish (D 379) - Some solid damage, and it knocks prone while hitting a NAD. Too vanilla for me, but it's not actively bad.


Two Weapons:



Adaptable Maneuver (D 378) - You don't get double-tap damage from the second attack (but you do get another chance to crit), and while -4 to hit is a hefty debuff, they can save out of it (and then you don't get any damage at all from the second one). Unimpressive.


Any Weapon:



Battlefield Challenge (MP 2) - A hefty, charge-friendly attack that lets you continually mark an enemy as an opportunity action when he attacks another target (that said, it doesn't allow you to respond). Decent, I guess.

Bloodletter Stance (DSCS) - A rather average attack with some ongoing tacked on, followed by a Stance that tacks on ongoing damage to all your attacks. It does little to help focus-fire muscle and the extra damage is saveable, but more often than not you'll get a couple of instances out of it. Could be worse.

Controlling Thrust (MP) - Though it only lasts for one turn (and can only be used by a Polearm/Spear wielder), it deals solid damage, it's charge-friendly, and extends your Immediate Interrupt as well. Decent enough.

Devastation's Wake (PHB) - Essentially a multiattacking close burst whose second attack comes in later in the round. A surprisingly strong option.

Persistence of Blades (MP 2) - A powerful Stance, rerolling one attack per turn can mean reroll every miss on some Fighters, and hitting is what makes some of those mean Fighter effects tick. That said, it's not quite as friendly with close burst attacks, which limits it somewhat.

Protective Sweep (MP) - A close burst attack followed by an AC buff. OK, I guess.

Reaving Strike (PHB) - Solid damage, but Reliable and a Push is all you're getting as riders. Ugh.

Relentless Assailant (MP) - A load of keywords, including some temporary HP and some healing, too. Decent.

Strike of the Watchful Guard (PHB) - This power comes in for decent damage, and essentially lays another Combat Challenge on your opponent, except that it can be enforced as a free action. That can be great for both double-up punishment effect when your mark is disobeyed or as a way to keep two separate targets locked down. Either way, it's an excellent option for Fighters.
Powers - Epic Tier: Worshiping the Rock

As was the case before, I will be separating powers based on the equipment arrangements they impose upon you in order to use them, be they a free hand, a shield, a two-handed weapon, two weapons, or no restriction at all.


Level 22, Utility



This is your last Utility level, and prepare for some hard choices: the list here is downright incredible. Martial Supremacy and Undeniable Challenge are my favorites, but there's plenty of quality to be had here.

Level 22 Utility List

Act of Desperation (PHB) - Some very marginal action advantage, and that's assuming the conditions are met and you haven't spent an AP at the time. Don't subject yourself to this.

Battle Furor (D 379) - You get all extra healing as THP, and a damage bonus as icing. To boot, this Stance is available every encounter. A bit conditional on how much damage you happen to take between heals, which limits its potential a bit.

Hard to Kill (MP 2) - A Stance with a decent defensive benefit, depending on whether you favor Wisdom or Constitution. A pretty solid power.

Howl of Defiance (MP) - A Daily reaction perma-mark to getting damaged. Pretty neat, because it doesn't require mark upkeep and free combat advantage is also nice.

Inspired Resurgence (MP) - A heal and a free shift whenever a marked enemy is dropped is easy to use and nice to have.

Instant Getaway (MP 2) - The escape attempt is not a big deal, but an At-Will save against immobilize and restrain effect is an excellent way to keep yourself relevant in a fight you were supposed to be out of. That said, you could just pick up teleportation powers, but this is probably the best in-class solution to that problem.

Knight's Valor (HotFL) - An encounter self-heal with a buff attached. Sure, it's conditional to being bloodied, but that's when you should be thinking about healing yourself anyway. A nice pick.

Martial Supremacy (D 382) - Rerolls on your bread-and-butter moves (including OA's and Combat Challenge attacks), and it's available to you every encounter. An excellent choice.

No Surrender (PHB) - A revival feature... but it slaps on a penalty to hit. While it's not a bad thing, it's not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Prescient Shield (MP 2) - A neat stance to give you a defensive option every time the enemy comes after you. While that may chew up your Immediate action, it's still a cool option to have.

Slayer's Defiance (HotFL) - Essentially two turns of hit-or-miss damage applied on every tick once you dip below half HP. Solid, but unexceptional for most Fighters.

Steadfast Stance (MP) - Saving as soon as you get afflicted with something is an incredible benefit for keeping you safe at this point in your career, and you would be very well served to pick it, though a Daily Stance faces some very fierce competition for playing time.

Surprising Finish (MP 2) - At higher levels, a Brawler faces the inevitable reality of enemies getting larger and larger, and he will have to rely more on his powers to keep people locked down instead of the grab action, and that means having to spend a Daily or spam said powers. While this is a neat way to end one of those grabs, making it a Daily is too steep, in my opinion.

Undeniable Challenge (MP 2) - The ultimate expression of hard control: it literally disallows the targets from attacking someone other than you, and it can do so every encounter. A prized possession for any Defender.

Unyielding (MP) - An immediate reaction heal to full HP is very worth it, even if it does eat up 2 healing surges. If you're a Dragonborn, you even get a minor buff out of the deal. Nice.

Urikite Warmaster's Stance (DSCS) - This stance gives you a minor repositioning boost, as well as a bit of autodamage against enemies who stick next to you to make sure that opportunity action doesn't go to waste. It's pretty solid overall.

Victor's Stance (MP) - A decent benefit when you drop an opponent, but that means it won't necessarily come up all that much, and it's a Daily Stance, so it needs to shine in the fight you pop it. Decent, but limited.



Level 23, Encounter



At this level, you get another must-have in the mighty Warrior's Urging, which is Come and Get It's big brother. Take a look at the list, though, just in case you don't like anything at L27.

Level 23 Encounter List


Free Hand:



Gut Punch (MP 2) - Requires an unarmed attack, but an immediate reaction attack that immobilizes and weakens is pretty cool in the hands of a Brawler (picked the wrong level to show up, though).

Trollclaw Grip (MP 2)
- A single-target multiattack that comes with a long term grab attached? And the grab grants you free CA? This power is genuinely competitive with Warrior's Urging here.


Shield:



Battering Shield (D 382) - A dazing shot that forces the target to share your next hit. A bit conditional to what's getting thrown at you, but it can be neat (especially if the enemy hits itself, which is hilarious).


Two-Handed Weapon:



Crippling Smash (MP) - This likely does less damage than your MBA at this level, but it can slow, weaken, and knock prone in one fell swoop. That's not bad.

Harrowing Hammer (MP) - Hack 'n' Slash with a mass mark attached. Usable, but still not good.

Slash and Kick (D 379) - Essentially Colossal Strike with less damage, and another attack roll required for the pushing and knocking prone. Not my pick.


Two Weapons:



Opportunist's Trap (MP 2) - A rather meh double-up attack, but it sets up a mobile follow-up attack for the opponent attacking you, which punishes it for doing just about anything. Respectable.

Weaponmaster's Lure (MP)
- A solid double-up attack, but the effect on one hit is rather marginal. The one on two is nice, though.


Any Weapon:



Behemoth Wrath (MP 2) - Solid damage, dazes, knocks prone, and it's charge-friendly. Respectable.

Cage of Chains (PHB) - A very nice power for Flail users, given that it hits a NAD and restrains.

Colossal Strike (MP 2) - Decent damage, a big push, and it knocks prone. A rather poor man's Behemoth Wrath, essentially.

Executioner's Gambit (DSCS) - Some very solid damage, and you virtually guarantee a hefty hit should the target provoke an OA. That's a pretty decent power.

Fangs of Steel (PHB) - Multimarking... if the first attack hits. At this point, even Dual Strike (an At-Will) is very competitive with this. No.

Hack 'n' Slash (PHB) - Only damage, and not all that much of it. Seriously?

Maneuvering Assault (DMA 2009) - A potentially very accurate hit for a slide and immobilize. Pretty neat, actually.

Meticulous Stab (MP) - To be honest, being usable on an OA is the only thing that keeps it relevant, and it's not enough to save it from being corner-case.

Paralyzing Strike (PHB) - Decent damage, improved crit range with the proper weapon, and a condition Fighters love to apply in immobilize. Very usable.

Skullcrusher (PHB) - Spiffy damage, and a blind-daze combo won't let an opponent do much of anything. Pretty good, actually.

Smashing Hammer (MP) - A solidly damaging close burst attack with enhanced accuracy for targets after the first. Decent.

Turnabout Riposte (MP) - A decent enhancement to your basic Combat Challenge once per encounter, it'll save your ally some damage and move you about too.

Warrior's Urging (PHB) - Come and Get It with more pull range and more damage. All you really need to know.



Level 25, Daily



This level continues the tradition of loaded Fighter Daily power lists: it's so good, even the Rain of Steel-esque Reaper's Stance can't get an autopick rating here. Look this list over, and you will see plenty to like, though I am partial to the above mentioned power as well as Marking Barrage.

Level 25 Daily List


Free Hand:



Hammering Pommel (MP 2) - A (save ends) stunning power is by no means bad, but Brawlers can get an end-of-next-turn stun with a built-in multiattack as an Encounter power 8 levels earler. I would much prefer to spend my Daily hunting for a punishing grab effect, but it's not like you'll be served poorly by this.

Hold at Bay (MP 2) - Solid damage on the first attack, but the second attack's lack of unarmed damage is kind of disappointing. Still, you can't really complain about having a grab that imposes the restrained condition.


Shield:



Deft Counterattack (MP 2) - A very solid counterattack, but it leaves something to be desired in the secondary effects department.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Time to Die (D 379) - A good hard smack with a push, followed by a charge that knocks prone. Pretty good.


Two Weapons:



Impaling Knockdown (MP 2) - Given the conditionality of the second attack, this attack is arguably worse than Dragon's Fangs (a third-string L15 Daily). Not the one for you.

Storm's Fury Strike (D 378)
- A pushing close burst that then lets you engage someone else. I'd say that your job is to stay with the crowd.


Any Weapon:



Ballista Charge (MP) - A reliable, charge-friendly power that can daze (for a spear user), immobilize, knock prone, AND hit twice. That said, the fact that the second attack keys off of Dexterity lowers its stock somewhat. Still a pretty darned good power, though.

Blind with Rage (DSCS) - A power with a (save ends) blind, the ability to back away, and the promise of a free attack by the enemy to anyone who gets near (though the attack will be at a -5 penalty...). Unremarkable on its own, but it has potential to be better with some synergy.

Blinding Provocation (MP 2) - Generating attacks from an opponent hitting at -5 doesn't strike me as particularly efficient, but they are free hits, and you did get a (save ends) blinding power, so it's not all bad.

Earthquake Smash (MP) - A decent attack that knocks prone and dazes, and a "shockwave" in a pseudo-close burst 2 to knock other enemies prone. Though the "shockwave" is piddly damage, mass proning and a daze (not to mention mass marking) is something to be desired on a Fighter.

Fighter's Resurgence (MP) - While it does pack extra accuracy, spiffy damage, and the promise of power recovery, you can't actually get the effect you took it for until you burn through all your Encounter powers, which makes it rather conditional.

Goad of Blood (D 381) - The flavor text doesn't really mesh with the description, but a Stance that lets you substitute your At-Wills and Encounters for your MBA opportunities has the potential for some fireworks.

Marking Barrage (MP) - Respectable damage, hits Reflex, and it perma-marks en masse, which means no upkeep needed to keep multiple enemies under threat. An excellent pick, especially since a Fighter can enforce multiple marks at Epic.

Pinpoint Cyclone (DMA 2009) - A close burst that offers an accuracy bonus with the proper weapons, and a lingering combat advantage effect. A bit lackluster to merit Daily status if you ask me.

Reaper's Stance (PHB) - Autodamage with an ongoing damage rider, an improved crit rate, and a damage bonus that can be quite meaty for certain types of Fighters makes for a formidable power in the vein of its cousins.

Reign of Terror (PHB) - Respectable single target damage, but a plain ol' mass mark effect just doesn't cut the mustard at this level.

Ruthless Slaughter (MP) - Very conditional, but it has the potential to be pretty nice. Still not my pick, though, since the conditions involve more guesswork than they do strategy.

Supremacy of Steel (PHB) - Sweet damage, and a debuff that can be very nasty for certain types of creatures. A pretty solid power overall.

Transfixing Provocation (MP) - A perma-mark with combat advantage and good damage attached. Pretty decent.



Level 27, Encounter



This is the last level of Fighter Encounter Powers, and it's rather lackluster, to be honest: you have one powerful option in Cruel Reaper, and a couple of build-specific options, but the rest is rather unimpressive. If you don't want anything here, you may want to look at another level of powers.

Level 27 Encounter List


Free Hand:



Wrenching Assault (MP 2) - Decent damage, a slide, a grab, and CA. A spiffy collection of benefits, but grab powers at earlier levels are nicer.


Shield:



Diamond Shield Defense (PHB) - You get more AC, deal OK damage, and take half damage from a target's attacks. It's nothing special.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Spinning Death Strike (MP) - A Melee attack, then a close-burst equivalent (so 2 attacks vs. one target, and 1 vs. everyone else). It's decent enough.

Wild Offensive (D 379)
- It has a penalty to hit, but hitting three targets for decent damage isn't all that terrible.


Two Weapons:



Blinding Cut (MP 2) - A double-up attack that blinds is pretty good stuff.

Dual-Weapon Supremacy (MP)
- Given that you have access to a close-burst double tap at this level, just two swings and CA for the next one is very underwhelming.


Any Weapon:



Adamantine Strike (PHB) - Decent damage, hits Reflex, and a small AC debuff. Yawn.

Blood Rush (MP) - The charge-friendly capability keeps it from being actively bad, but it's still corner-case at best.

Coward's Reward (MP) - While it projects a pretty funny mental image, this power is actually cringe-inducingly bad. Whatever you do, don't pick this.

Cruel Reaper (PHB) - Let the head-hunting begin! Two close bursts with a shift in between is a brutally effective power, and as such one of the top choices here.

Demolishing Surge (DSCS) - A close burst that knocks prone, and will knock them prone again should they try to run away. That's respectable.

Desperate Strike (MP) - The enemy will be looking for ways to limit your effectiveness already. Don't help them by slapping on an attack penalty on yourself.

Gash and Goad (MP 2) - A decent attack, a shift, and a pull effect if you hit. Unimpressive, to be honest.

Indomitable Battle Strike (PHB) - Mass marking is not as awesome as mass attacking by default, but the range on this is HUGE, so it could be slapping a mark on the whole damn encounter. That makes it at least usable, though still not good.

Invigorating Fury (MP 2) - A close burst attack with decent damage and Invigorating. Decent enough, I guess.

Stabbing Torrent (MP) - A mediocre close burst attack that requires a light blade, and the attack gets made with both weapons if you're a dual-wielder, which makes it a lot better.


Level 29, Daily



At this point, Force the Battle and Sudden Onslaught represent very palatable options for most Fighters, though there are a couple of other options you can look at (none as good as those two if you ask me, though).

Level 29 Daily List


Free Hand:



Neck Snap (MP 2) - A grab power with restrained as an additional effect, and a grab-ending attack you can use (though I wouldn't recommend you do so). Decent, but it's not even clearly better than the last grab Daily you could have gotten.


Shield:



Debilitating Bash (MP 2) - It's a Shield attack, but a (save ends) basic attacks-only is a solid effect, and a push and getting this power off as a minor action is icing. Not crap, but good luck hitting with it.


Two-Handed Weapon:



Avalanche of Steel (MP) - A single, hefty attack that's charge-friendly, but it makes you hand out CA. Yuck.

Cascading Catapult Slam (MP)
- A pushing attack power with some spillover to adjacent targets. I think it's weak, to be honest.


Two Weapons:



Enemy Undone (D 378) - Four attacks, though only one of them packs real sting, and you get some minor repositioning. Not bad.


Any Weapon:



Blade Storm (MP) - Tempest Dance, with some more damage and dazing. Not mind-blowing, but it's not trash either.

Catastrophic Flurry (MP)
- Three attacks, that pile on extra damage as they hit. No.

Exhilarating Assault (MP 2)
- A charge-friendly hit, and you get to clean yourself out of any conditions, plus you get some hefty regen while bloodied. Respectable.

Final Challenge (DSCS) - An out-of-turn wallop triggered by a distant enemy. It's decent, though not quite at the level of other powers here.

Force the Battle (PHB) - This Stance is pretty devastating against a single opponent, but it won't dominate an encounter as it once did. Still a great option, just not the only option.

Image of Death (D 379) - A penalty to hit, the damage is not mindblowing, and combat advantage is a rather underwhelming benefit. Forgettable.

Mortal Wound (MP) - A low-damage attack with some hefty ongoing and a penalty to saves. Not impressive if you ask me.

No Mercy (PHB) - Just damage, and not all that much of it. Don't take this.

Savage Butchery (MP 2) - An Invigorating power with three attacks that have extra damage against prone targets with the proper weapon. Unimpressive.

Storm of Destruction (PHB) - Two solid attacks, but nothing else. Unimpressive.

Sudden Onslaught (MP 2) - Free action application, multiple trigger options, spiffy damage, and a daze + weaken + prone debuff combo is pretty devastating.

Titan's Hammer (MP) - A charge-friendly (save ends) stun that has a little extra damage for Hammers. Pretty neat.
Skill Powers: Molding the Rock

Skill powers here have been categorized into whether the skill is a class skill for your not. Within these categories, they have been split up into levels. You'll mostly be looking at Skill powers for your most lackluster Utility levels (L6 and L16), but there's good stuff at plenty of different levels here.


Class Skill Powers



Athletics Powers


Level 2:



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

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

Talented Athletics (D 392) - Never truly failing hard at Athletics can be a decent safety net. Solid enough.


Level 6:



Crushing Escape (DSG) - How many times do you try to escape a grab? If you're not running into monsters that are in a grappling mood at least some of the time, that's dead weight.

Kord's Force (D 392) - If you need to make some Strength checks, this is a way to get a big boost on them.

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

Sudden Leap (PHB 3) - Essentially, this is flanking without provoking OA's, no matter how big your opponent is, once per encounter. I think it's unnecessary, given the existence of Pass Forward.


Level 10:



Incredible Stride (PHB 3) - A +4 speed bonus as a Stance is a nice and meaty mobility buff.

Strength Against Strength (D 392) - Planning for a miss? Get a slide or a prone? Ugh.


Endurance Powers


Level 2:



Endure Pain (PHB 3) - A whole turn's worth of sizable resistance when you are hit. Pretty nice.

Examplar of Valor (D 392) - A couple of nice effects, but a Daily that only triggers off of Fear effects? Too conditional for my taste.

Grit and Spittle (D 385) - Though it burns up a healing surge, granting yourself mass saves is great to have on a Fighter.

Invigorating Presence (PHB 3) - A second wind with some mass THP attached once per day. Starts out strong, but it loses steam later on.


Level 6:



Internal Reserves (D 392) - +4 to a save is nice, but as a Daily? Come on.

Third Wind (PHB 3) - A very solid self-healing ability. Not a bad pick.

Walk it Off (PHB 3) - Having a chance to negate ongoing damage before it happens is nice, but rarely will you see ongoing damage that is lethal enough to be a serious concern.


Level 10:



Enter the Crucible (DSG) - Resist 10 all as a minor? Who cares if it costs you a surge? You'll probably save it back easily.

Reactive Surge (PHB 3) - Healing in response to getting Bloodied every Encounter? Very nice, even if it is an Immediate.

Steeled Against It (D 392) - A bit of resistance against the types you get hit with, which can be decent since it's encounter-long, but nothing to go crazy over.


Level 16:



Diehard (PHB 3) - Being dazed sure beats being dead.


Heal Powers


Level 2:



Healer’s Gift (PHB 3) - Burn a Utility slot for a very marginal improvement over First Aid? No. Gods, no.

Iron Resurgence (DSG) - Not exactly efficient and the range is bad, but it at least gives you a good access to healing.


Level 6:



Delay Poison (PHB 3) - Certainly better in campaigns where poisons are more prevalent and lethal and/or an enemy attacks only using poison damage, but usually ongoing 5-10 damage won't kill you.

Physician's Care (PHB 3) - Healing is nice, but not as a standard action.

Swift Recovery (PHB 3) - This is a pretty solid power. The range does it no favors, but it can see use.


Level 10:



Time Out (PHB 3) - This is sweet if you have a Dwarf or Warden ally, and can be better if you have both; otherwise, the times it comes up are few and far between (very hit-or-miss, this one).


Level 16:



Miraculous Treatment (PHB 3) - Again, healing is awesome, but not if it sacrifices your ability to attack.


Intimidate Powers


Level 2:



Ominous Threat (PHB 3) - This is a power that does what your mark does all the time (except freeing an ally from a mark, but that is quite marginal, frankly). Unnecessary.


Level 6:



Demoralize Foe (PHB 3) - A free debuff when you hit is always nice for messing with your opponent, though this can make you a bit less appealing as a target (so use with a bit of caution).

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

Scatter the Cowards (DSG) - Having minions bounce off you and pushing them on a miss is rather corner-case if you ask me.

Try the Stick (PHB 3) - Subbing Intimidate for Diplomacy can work for you: though your Intimidate likely isn't all that high, at least it's trained.


Level 10:



Snap Out of It (PHB 3) - Flavor gold, and a decent way to aid your Leader in keeping everyone grounded.


Streetwise Powers


Level 2:



City Rat (PHB 3) - I'm not sure how often a Fighter will be skulking about, but your Streetwise will likely be better than your Stealth, given the fact that most of you favor heavy armor.

Failed Diplomacy (DSG) - A rather marginal bonus to initiative, and CA during the first round isn't anything to write home about. Color me unimpressed.

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

Secrets of the City (D 389) - Given your complete dearth of knowledge skills, the fact that you can use this to make for a passable substitute is actually kind of good.


Level 6:



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

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


Level 10:



Navigate Crowds (PHB 3) - An excellent mobility power for a Fighter, this can get you right in the thick of things quickly.



Recommended Non-Class Skill Powers



I’m only going to talk about the powers whose parent skills are recommended, so that limits it somewhat.

Dungeoneering Powers


Level 2:



Deep Shadows (PHB 3) - Your Dungeoneering can likely beat your Stealth, so this could be of some use.

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

Stay Back (DSG) - About as conditional as you can possibly get. Carrying a light source? Really?


Level 6:



Dungeoneer's Guidance (DSG) - Bail your opponent out of a bad check. Solid.

Eyes of the Deep Delver (PHB 3) - Blindsight for a turn, just because you can. Decent enough.

Stonecunning (PHB 3) - I'd rather train Perception instead.


Level 10:



Insane Logic (DSG) - Ignore resistances on an aberrant creature? Can't say that this will blow an encounter open.

Ripples in the Air (DSG) - Tremorsense is real nice to have, though having to sustain it is a bit annoying.

Spider Dodge (D 389) - A rather conditional power, but it's great when it does work.

Trap Sense (PHB 3) - While great if you have traps in fights all the time, it’s a rather conditional benefit, which is what holds it back.


Level 16:



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


Insight Powers


Level 2:



Anticipate Maneuver (PHB 3) - You need to roll, but Combat Advantage as a Minor Action is pretty solid.

Calculated Acumen (DSG) - CA as a minor with range 10 is nice - knowing the vulnerabilities really is just a gravy benefit.

Damning Secret (D 389) - Subbing Intimidate out for Insight can actually be a net plus for most Fighters that actually train the latter.


Level 6:



Conceal Psyche (DSG) - One of the few ways to shrug off (save ends) dominate at these low levels, and it can give you a bump to your Will defense, too.

Empathic Read (PHB 3) - A great way for you to save the party face from himself.

Insightful Counter (PHB 3) - A decent way to prevent something ugly from happening to you in Melee, especially in a scenario such as post-Come and Get It or Brash Strike.

Prescient Manuever (PHB 3) - If you're out of position to make an OA against an incoming enemy, this can help you get in the mix and engage the enemy a lot faster. A very nice early-combat tool, though it wanes in value once the opponent has already been engaged.


Level 10:



Insightful Comment (PHB 3) - Though of limited use in combat, if you like skill challenges a lot, this is a 1-turn mega-buff for everyone, which is awesome.

Prescient Defense (PHB 3) - A solid defense bump when you need it the most. Pretty nice.


Level 16:



Despana's Stratagem (DSG) - Being a Daily really limits its use, but not provoking nor granting CA for a turn can have a couple of nice uses. That said, this is a rather high-level power, and I expect more from those.

Insightful Riposte (PHB 3) - A very nice power: +3 to hit will turn quite a few misses into hits, and that's always a good thing, especially when you get it every encounter.


Perception Powers


Level 2:



Far Sight (PHB 3) - You won't be attacking at Range enough for this to be truly useful.


Level 6:



Foil Ambush (DSG) - A rather marginal benefit, given that you're not stopping your allies from being surprised and all you're getting is a minor shift. Meh.

Guided Shot (PHB 3) - Essentially an after-you-roll attack buff vs. the great majority of enemies for an ally. Solid enough.

Trapfinding (PHB 3) - Chances are you won't have Thievery.

Warning of Peril (PHB 3) - Your Passive Perception officially covers a huge area. A solid scouting aid outside of combat, though marginal in it.


Level 10:



Focused Sight (PHB 3) - Far Sight's big brother, it also works on Melee powers and superior cover/concealment. Serviceable, as it lasts two turns.

Perfect Sight (PHB 3) - The only reason you should take this power is if you couldn't train Dungeoneering, since they have one that's strictly better at a lower level.

Spot Weakness (PHB 3) - A healthy damage buff for one attack per encounter. Decent.

Uncanny Instincts (PHB 3) - Your Perception shouldn't be higher than your initiative.


Stealth Powers


Level 2:



Elude Senses (DSG) - I can't really think of a situation where I want my Defender to be hiding, but if you can, chances are this might come in handy.

Obscured Avoidance (PHB 3) - Conditional mark avoidance. Not all that great, considering you're likely going to want to mark the enemies that are capable of doing the same, so your allies have more freedom to operate.


Level 6:



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

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


Level 10:



Crowd Cover (PHB 3) - A pretty solid defensive power, this can result in +2 to all defenses against a target of a Ranged attack, and redirection if you make it miss. Ranged only is kind of conditional, but hey.

Immersed in Darkness (DSG) - Turning concealment into a turn of actual invisibility should have an application or two, if you're planning to go back out into the open (and as a Fighter, you darn well should be).

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


Level 16:



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


The emphasis here is on 'recommended' feats: I won't be talking about feats that are rated lower than Black, because they're likely just not a good idea for your character or an outright trap. Overall, you have certain priorities when it comes to feats, which are described as follows:

1. Stickiness enhancements. This can include ways to keep you adjacent to an enemy, or ways to keep enemies from getting away from you. Either way, this is prime role reinforcement material, and as such should be prized highly by a Fighter.

2. Accuracy bonuses. Most of the time, all the cool stuff you can do involves getting a hit, so loading up on accuracy lets you do your job better as well.

3. Damage bonuses. Since the price to pay for disobeying your mark involves damage, it behooves you to make sure that your attacks pack enough punch to give enemies pause in order to do your job.

4. Defense bonuses. Given that your job is to attract enemy attention to you, it's kind of foolish to go about that without paying at least some attention to your defenses. Bonuses to any of your defenses are very welcome as a Fighter.

5. Miscellaneous. After you have cover the four basics mentioned above, you're pretty much free to invest your feats where you see fit. I strongly reccomend investment in initiative optimization, as a Fighter is usually at his best when he can affect encounters early.

Class Feats


Heroic Tier:



Agile Superiority (D 378) - A good feat for Dexterity-based Fighters to get the increased accuracy due on their OA's with Combat Superiority.

Brawler Guard (MP 2)
- Given how sticky a properly built Brawler can be, it's pretty much a given that you will be staring down the barrel of quite a few attacks. With that in mind, it's a pretty good idea to get an AC bump, though there are other options available for this sort of thing.

Brutal Brawler (MP 2) - A decent damage bonus for Brawlers for a feat.

Distracting Shield (PHB) - A -2 to hit as an additional effect on your Combat Challenge attacks is a pretty good use of a feat, if you have the Wisdom for it.

Dragging Flail (MP) - Given the advent of Flail Expertise, this feat just got a whole heck of a lot better as a repositioning tool.

Encouraging Shield (D 385) - Adding your Shield bonus to your Will defense is a pretty nice use of a feat, though it's something I'd recommend further down the line.

Fighter Weapon Specialization (D 379)
- If you have a feat to spare, you could do worse than pick up a +1 damage bonus that stacks with everything else.

Focused Superiority (D 378) - A nice bonus to Opportunity Attacks for any one-handed weapon user (which is mostly Shield Fighters and Brawlers).

Forceful Opportunist (D 379)
- Pushing on an Opportunity attack is a very powerful addition to your Defender arsenal, especially for a Polearm user, who gets more benefit out of this than most.

Hewing Charge (D 379)
- More damage on a charge can't be all bad.

Hip Throw (MP 2)
- If you find you don't have room for Knockdown Assault, this can be a way to knock people prone as a Brawler.

Improved Vigor (MP) - More temporary HP is a good thing for a Battlerager to have.

Inescapable Hold (MP 2) - Having all your enemies' grab escape attempts target Fortitude goes a long way in making them much harder to escape. I consider it a must-have for a Brawler Fighter.

Martial Freedom (MP)
- These conditions can impede a Fighter from doing his job, so having such a hefty bonus against them is certainly appreciated.

Mobile Challenge (D 378) - In case you hadn't noticed, this feat combines with Combat Superiority allows Fighters to stuff shift + charge scenarios (which makes you able to actively stop them instead of just being able to punish them), and as such I consider it a very important thing to have.

Pin Down (D 368)
- While you do need to be able to knock your opponent prone and be able to hold him down with a grab in order to use this feat, it can be a very powerful tool in the hands of the proper Brawler.

Polearm Momentum (MP)
- Behold the feat that makes Polearm builds tick. A slide of 2 squares is rather easy to achieve by mid-Heroic or so, and knocking people prone willy-nilly is incredibly good for your prowess as a Defender.

Savage Axe (D 378)
- Adding more threat to your opportunity attacks as an Axe wielder sounds good to me.

Shield Push (PHB)
- This feat can give your Combat Challenge the ability to negate Melee attacks made at the edge of an opponent's reach (more so if you have equipment or feats to enhance push effects), which is pretty cool if you ask me.

Small Warrior's Defense (D 378) - A nice way for Small Fighters (who get hosed on weapon selection) to make up for at least some of that weaker setup via a feat.

Stout Shield (D 378)
- Fortitude is your strong defense pretty much by default, but Brawlers and other folk may be interested in getting it up even higher.

Surprising Charge (MP)
- A bonus to your charge attacks with certain weapons if you have CA. Though the Fighters who can actually use this feat consistently are rather rare, it can be a nice addition to a charging Fighter's arsenal.

Swift Spear (D 378)
- A good feat for yanking targets of your opportunity attacks back to you, especially if you combine it with the Polearm power of a Greatspear.

Wary Fighter (D 378)
- This feat can trump Improved Initiative for some Wisdom-based Fighters, and it comes with extra goodies, too. That sounds nice to me.


Paragon Tier:



Advantageous Perspective (D 378) - A nice improved critical feat for the little guys.

Agile Tempest (MP) - More damage for Tempests. There are worse places to put your spare feat.

Chainmail Agility (MP)
- If you're planning to stay in Chainmail, you may want to consider this feat.

Clobbering Brawler (MP 2)
- A decent feat for a Brawler, even though unarmed attacks won't score a critical all that often.

Crushing Pin (MP 2) - Essentially autodamage against a grabbed enemy, which is decent.

Daunting Challenge (MP)
- A bigger penalty on your mark makes it more powerful, which is good for your Defender potential. If you have access to Eberron material, this is obsoleted by Mark of Warding, though.

Deft Blade (MP 2)
- Hitting Reflex on your Melee Basic Attacks makes them more accurate, so Light Blade users will like this feat.

Dizzying Mace (D 378)
- While Maces are on the weaker side of the weapon spectrum and attacks that daze are not ubiquitous in the Fighter power list, this feat can be strong in the proper build.

Grit (MP)
- Extra temps on every heal? Sounds OK to me.

Hammer Shock (MP 2)
- An excellent feat for all Hammer users, since Rattling makes it harder for your opponents to hit when you apply it as a Combat Challenge attack.

Hindering Shield (D 385)
- Adding a slow as part of your forced movement effects is good, and it can combine with other feats to be even better.

Impaling Spear (MP 2)
- Having your Melee attacks hit Reflex goes a long way toward making them more accurate. As such, this should be a feat high on the priority list.

Lashing Flail (MP 2)
- A slide on every MBA is a strong ability to have.

Marked Scourge (MP)
- Extra damage based on a secondary stat? Don't mind if I do.

Pinning Challenge (D 379)
- Two-handed weapon users rejoice! This feat will allow you to greatly increase your stickiness, which in turn makes you a better Defender. I wouldn't go without this feat as a two-handed weapon user.

Plunging Blade (D 378)
- A situational improved critical feat can be worth something, and you can always just retrain the feat into Weapon Mastery later.

Reckless Attacker (MP)
- A feat for giving yourself a chance to make some extra attack rolls is always a good choice, even if it does cost you some AC.

Staggering Challenge (D 378) - While giving up your damage to use this feat's effect is a bit of a knock against it, the fact of the matter is that few feats are more effective than this at keeping enemies where you want them to be. That said, the situations this can cover that Mobile Challenge cannot are admittedly few.

Striking Resurgence (MP 2) - Getting to heal while not sacrificing much offense is pretty cool. Note that this is crap on Dwarves, since you're never going to use second wind as a standard action.

Ubiquitous Shield (D 385) - Taking away most of the benefits of combat advantage for the cost of a feat? I approve.


Epic Tier:



Allied Opportunity (MP 2) - It requires a bit of setup, but having an ally attack when you use Combat Challenge can have a lot of returns.

Channeled Battlerage (MP) - If you have a lot of THP left over at the end of the round, getting some extra damage out of it can't be all that bad.

Crushing Grab (D 368) - Autodamage for sustaining a grab? Sweet.

Dual Challenge (MP 2) - An additional mark every time you hit can be fairly useful, though locking down an enemy without actually attacking it can be a bit harder.

Epic Recovery (MP) - More second winds! Or this that a third wind? Especially good in the hands of a Dwarf, but useful for anyone manning the frontline.

Knock-Back Swing (MP) - Pushing on an OA, even on a miss, is a nice upgrade to have if you have the ability scores and weapon to make it happen.

Marked Takedown (MP 2) - Given the proper setup, this can speed up a Brawler's lockdown schedule, and that's very nice to have.

Martial Mastery (MP) - Power recovery is an excellent ability to have, so this feat can give you some nice extra 'oomph' on your ability to do what you do best.

Martial Resolve (MP) - A very good way to help yourself out of certain conditions. If you have Martial Freedom, you're probably going to retrain it into this. This is also extra sweet if you can get multiple saves per turn, such as by being an Unyielding Sentinel.

Mobile Warrior (MP) - If you have the Dexterity and the proper weapon type for it, this feat is a straight upgrade for Mobile Challenge, and it works in other situations as well. A powerful feat to have.

Overwhelming Impact (MP 2) - While this does take plenty of setup feats to take advantage of (and it requires wielding a Hammer too), the power of this feat cannot be denied, as robbing your enemy of actions on an At-Will basis is an extremely powerful thing to have.

Rapid Combat Challenge (D 387) - An additional use of Combat Challenge for a feat? I'll take that deal, and so should you.

Reaching Whirlwind (MP) - +1 reach on close bursts is very worth the feat for those Reach weapon users.

Rending Tempest (MP) - If you have the ability to make a flurry of attack rolls against a single target, this can add a bit of extra damage to that.

Slashing Storm (MP 2) - Autodamage all around you whenever you hit with a Melee attack. Awesome.

Strength Through Challenge (D 387) - If you can keep multiple enemies marked at the same time, resist 5 all can most definitely be useful.

Unstoppable Charge (MP) - If you favor charging, this feat will allow you to do it on your terms (aka without ending your turn).


General Feats


Heroic Tier:



Armor Proficiency (PHB) - Although the only upgrade you need is Plate, it behooves certain builds (such as two-handed weapon users) to go for it, so this is a pretty neat choice.

Axe Expertise (HotFL) - A scaling bonus to hit, as well as a way to mitigate that disappointing 1 on those big weapon damage dice.

Battering Shield (PHB 3) - If you have the feat slot to spare (or if you consider it less important than an item slot), this offers +1 square on your forced movement effects, which is excellent.

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

Bludgeon Expertise (HotFL) - A scaling accuracy bonus, and increases forced movement effects by your Hammer. A very powerful tool on a Fighter.

Deadly Draw (PHB 3) - Pick your powers right and eternal Combat Advantage is there for the taking. An excellent choice, if you build your character for it. Another cool side-effect is that Come and Get It and Warrior's Urging will benefit from this feat pretty much by default.

Durable (PHB) - More surges are good for a lot of Defenders, though Con-based Fighters likely have enough already.

Flail Expertise (MME) - An absolutely fantastic feat that combines with other goodies in your power and feat selection to make Flails a very formidable choice indeed.

Hafted Defense (PHB 3) - Makes going for a Polearm less of a defensive disadvantage. A good feat for anyone going that route.

Hammering Iron (PHB 3) - If you want to push on your OA's but don't want Fighter Weapon Talent, this is a strong option for Hammer Fighters (I expect a lot of Battleragers to go this route).

Headsman's Chop (PHB 3) - Given the existence of a combination for Brawlers that can exploit this feat round after round, this is a pretty good pickup for that sort of Fighter, or anyone who meets the (admittedly very specific) pre-requisites to use it effectively.

Heavy Blade Expertise (HotFL) - Great attack bonus scaling, and a bonus to OA's as some icing.

Improved Grab (PHB 2) - While the grab action will likely be worth little to a non-Brawler, and even he has his powers to fall back on, a feat to buff straight-up grab attacks can be useful on occasion.

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

Improved Initiative (PHB) - Initiative is very important for a Defender, as your chance to affect the battlefield is best early on. As such, I highly recommend Fighters of all stripes make the room for this feat.

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

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

Nimble Blade (PHB) - A light blade and a flanking buddy nets you +1 to hit? That's cool.

Quick Draw (PHB) - I don't consider quick-drawing and stowing as important for a Fighter as it is for other characters (and it offers less initiative than Improved Initiative and requires some investment in Dexterity), but it's not actively bad.

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

Scrappy (D 379) - A feat patch for Small characters looking to enhance their offense.

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

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

Spear Expertise (HotFL) - A scaling bonus to attack rolls, as well as charging damage. Nice.

Spring Step (PHB 3) - Getting knocked prone can be annoying. This feat makes it so that at least you're not totally wasting your move action getting up, plus it helps you get up from an unexpected dirtnap with a sense of decorum.

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

Superior Reflexes (HotFL) - Gets you free combat advantage on the first turn of every fight, as well as a scaling bonus to Reflex. A bit easier to afford for some Fighters than others, but sweet on all of them.

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

Toughness (PHB) - More HP is nice to have as a Defender, but hardly necessary.

Two-Weapon Defense (PHB) - A bonus to AC and Reflex is well worth a feat. Tempests get this for free, so no need to worry about taking it.

Two-Weapon Fighting (PHB) - The feat itself is just OK, but the feats it opens up make it worth taking for you.

Vicious Advantage (PHB 3) - If you really feel like it, you can produce these conditions rather easily, which makes Combat Advantage very easy to have around. It can also help you take advantage of another ally's condition infliction.

Weapon Focus (PHB) - A damage bonus is nice on a damage-oriented Defender like you.

Weapon Proficiency (PHB) - Not quite the autopick it once was, because feat slots have become rather scarce among Fighters, and having all military weapons means that you have options already. That said, this a good use of a spare feat, and some builds may have to take it to complete their build.

Wintertouched (PHB) - Not worth much unless you have Lasting Frost, but together they give you some pretty neat benefits.

World Serpent's Grasp (HotFK) - While you do have to tailor your power selection around it a bit, adding a prone effect to someone who's already slowed or immobilized can be great for a Fighter. This is particularly effective for Shield users and Brawlers, who can slow and immobilize foes more easily than most.


Paragon Tier:



Agile Opportunist (PHB 2) - It requires some party coordination, but this can be a good investment of a feat for a Fighter.

Armor Specialization (PHB)
- Regardless of the armor you wear, more AC helps you with your occupational hazards and thus should be considered.

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

Danger Sense (PHB) - Combined with Improved Initiative, this can go a long way toward assuring that you go first or close to it in a given combat, which is nice.

Deadly Axe (PHB) - Probably only worth it in Epic Tier, but a healthy boost to crit damage can't be all that bad.

Defensive Advantage (PHB)
- If you can meet its condition consistently, +2 AC is very good benefit for a Fighter.

Fiery Blood (HotEC)
- If you're bringing fire, this is a heck of a feat to have.

Hammer Rhythm (PHB)
- A decent bit of miss damage for Hammer Fighters, especially those who boost Con aggressively.

Heavy Blade Opportunity (PHB) - Using an At-Will on an OA can go a long way toward making those attacks more threatening, and as such should be regarded highly by a Fighter.

Icy Heart (HotEC)
- Extra cold damage, and a nice effect if you happen to take said damage.

Lasting Frost (PHB)
- Eternal Combat Advantage (and what amounts to +5 damage) with Wintertouched and any way to apply cold damage on your attacks (a Frost Weapon, for example). A pretty nice option.

Lightning Soul (HotEC)
- This is a good feat for all the lightning wielders in the audience.

Polearm Gamble (PHB)
- A great tool in the hands of a Polearm Fighter, it works well to extend the effective range of such a Fighter's OA's.

Repel Charge (PHB 3)
- A nasty reprisal feat, should you ever get charged.

Reserve Maneuver (PHB 2)
- A quick and easy answer to having a lame Paragon Path power: swap it out for something cool from your class powers.

Spear Push (PHB) - Gives you a little more 'oomph' on your push effects for the price of a feat.

Thunder's Rumble (HotEC) - Not the most commonly used damage type, but this feat is a nice incentive for it.

Two-Weapon Opening (PHB 2) - Though most Fighters already have a very strong alternative to this in Reckless Attacker, this can be an option to consider for a Tempest if you already have Two-Weapon Fighting.

Uncanny Dodge (PHB) - If you have the Wisdom for it, negating the bonus to attacks against you for having Combat Advantage is pretty nice (especially because a Fighter finds himself sandwiched between enemies kind of often and because a host of conditions make you grant CA). That said, not everyone can afford that Wisdom.

Unfailing Courage (D 377) - Healing when you spend an AP sounds like a good deal to me.


Epic Tier:



Axe/Bludgeon/Flail/Heavy Blade/Light Blade/Pick/Spear Mastery (PHB) - Improved criticals fall squarely in the "nice to have, but not quite necessary" department for most Fighters.

Blind-Fight (PHB) - If invisible enemies are giving you trouble, this feat can help.

Cleaving Axe (PHB 3) - If you get kills with any sort of regularity, this can be a pretty good feat for you.

Epic Fortitude/Reflexes/Will (PHB 2) - These feats help out a lot as a Defender in making up for any holes in your defenses, so I would make the room for at least one of them.

Epic Resurgence (PHB) - A nice power-recovery feat, though it is a bit unreliable (at least for my taste).

Long Step (PHB 3) - Though it's not the first thing that comes to mind when building a Fighter, this feat can help any Fighter who likes to charge do their thing every turn without any impediments.

Rapid Regeneration (PHB 3) - If you can find ways to regenerate consistently, this feat can offer a boost for that sort of ability. It gets better if you raised Con aggressively.

Superior Initiative (PHB 3) - Another feat that goes a long way in ensuring you go first, and another prime retraining target for a Fighter.

Triumphant Attack (PHB) - An encounter-long debuff on a critical is excellent on a Defender. You should try and make room for this feat.


Racial Feats

Dhampyr (Vampiric Bloodline)


Heroic Tier:



Vampiric Alacrity (D 371) - +1 speed for a feat is a pretty solid trade.

Vampiric Heritage (D 371) - This is where it all starts for anyone interested in the Vampiric bloodline, and the healing power it grants is a nice addition to a Brawler's arsenal.


Dragonborn


Heroic Tier:



Bolstering Breath (PHR: DB) - Making your Dragon Breath ally-friendly and handing out a bonus to hit is very good for a Fighter, who spends his time in the thick of it.

Draconic Combat Challenge (PHR: DB) - Some spiffy extra damage for your CC attack.

Dragonborn Frenzy (PHB) - +2 to damage while bloodied is pretty applicable to a Fighter.

Hurl Breath (PHR: DB)
- Makes your Dragon Breath a great combat opener.


Paragon Tier:



Corrosive Breath (PHR: DB) - An AC debuff for your racial power is a sweet thing to have.

Draconic Arrogance (MP)
- Autodamage based off your main stat when you push or knock prone? Awesome.

Dragonbreath Warrior (MP)
- A solid boost to your next attack for using your racial power.

Frost Breath (PHR: DB)
- Mass slowing on your Dragon Breath is sweet.

Thundering Breath (PHR: DB)
- A nice push effect, and you have dual element damage (making it harder to resist). Nice.

Toxic Breath (PHR: DB) - Weakening one target of your racial power is solid, but its true value is setup for another feat.


Epic Tier:



Concussive Breath (PHR: DB) - Mass dazing on your Dragon Breath? Sexy.

Dissolving Breath (PHR: DB)
- A penalty to all defenses from your racial power is sweet setup material.

Draconic Restoration (PHR: DB)
- Recovering your Dragon Breath when you spend you second wind is spiffy.

Draconic Triumph (PHR: DB) - More Dragon Breath on a kill is very good on a Fighter.

Dragon Warrior (MP)
- Recovering your Dragon Breath when first bloodied can be cool.

Freezing Breath (PHR: DB) - Mass immbolizing, you say? Beautiful when combined with a Fighter's toolkit.


Dwarf


Heroic Tier:



Devoted Challenge (MP) - A big bonus to your Combat Challenge attacks is a powerful tool to have.

Dodge Giants (PHB) - A bonus to AC and Reflex when you face larger opponents, which will be a lot later on.

Dwarf Stoneblood (MP) - A big bonus to your temporary HP as a Dwarf Battlerager.

Dwarven Weapon Training (PHB) - Proficiency and a front-loaded damage bonus is awesome for overall utility and feat economy purposes. A must for Dwarves.

Gold Dwarf Pride (FRPG) - Conditional, but if you're dropping consistently, this is a rock-solid boost.

Shield the Fallen (FRPG) - Again, conditional, but if your DM likes hitting people when they're down this is worth considering.

Resilience of Stone (MP 2) - Using your second wind as an immediate interrupt goes a long way toward keeping you up on your feet.


Paragon Tier:



Dwarven Durability (PHB) - A strong feat for Dwarves. More healing surges and improving your surge value come as a godsend for a Fighter.

Dwarven Recovery (MP 2) - A very hefty bonus to saves when you second wind. This can come in handy.

Enduring Wallop (MP)
- Extra ongoing damage on your Dailies can be a sweet extra toy to have.

Stonefoot Reprisal (MP)
- An OA when someone attempts forced movement against you (one of the major issues a Fighter faces) is an excellent thing to have.


Epic Tier:



Stoneheart Warrior (MP) - Free action healing is excellent to have, since that lets you use it as an excellent reactive tool.


Eladrin


Heroic Tier:



Eladrin Soldier (PHB) - A great way to get the ball rolling if you favor Longswords or Spears, both of which happen to be excellent weapons for a Fighter.

Eladrin's Challenge (MP 2) - This feat is obsoleted by Mark of Warding, but it's otherwise a pretty nice way to get a -3 penalty to hit on your mark.

Fey Blades (MP) - A nice damage bonus for Eladrin Tempests.


Paragon Tier:



Fey Charge (MP) - This once-feared feat is still a pretty decent charge mobility upgrade for Eladrin.


Epic Tier:



Feywild Warrior (MP) - A repositioning ability after a Daily attack power can be very useful.


Elf


Epic Tier:



Hawkeye Warrior (MP) - A bonus to hit for using a good power is nice to have.


Foamgather (Human Bloodline)

Foamgather Heritage (D 386) - A fairly solid feat on its own merit (though a bit conditional to actually spending a lot of time around the water), but its true value is opening up a much better feat.

Foamgather Warrior (D 386) - An amazing feat for any Brawler Fighter (or any Fighter looking at the net as an option), this expands your effective grabbing range, and adds a slide or a pull to your arsenal as well.


Genasi


Heroic Tier:



Earthshock Master (D 367) - A pretty nice add-on to your racial power.

Extra Manifestation (FRPG) - If you need additional versatility on your racial power, this is where you turn.

Firepulse Master (D 367) - Making Firepulse Reliable fixes its scaling issues somewhat, and extra damage on an attack is never bad.

Master of Rumbling Earth (MP) - A bonus to hit helps Earthshock connect, and the damage is icing.

Primordial Surge (D 367) - THP's for using a good racial power? I'm in.


Paragon Tier:



Shocking Flame (FRPG) - A sizable damage bonus for Fire and Stormsoul Genasi. A very good pick for any character in possession of those elemental manifestations.


Epic Tier:



Double Manifestation (FRPG) - The best of two manifestation worlds. Sweet.


Githzerai


Heroic Tier:



Githzerai Blade Master (D 378) - Gives you a healthy damage with weapons you really want to use. A super awesome feat for a Fighter.


Paragon Tier:



Githzerai Mobility (D 378) - A solid bonus against OA's allows you to move pretty much unimpeded.

Iron Hands (PHB 3) - Extra damage for using your racial power? Sure.

Tempered Iron Mind (D 378) - Being able to trigger this regardless of the attack's result allows you to get the attendant bonuses when your need them nice.


Epic Tier:



Adamantine Body (PHB 3) - More defense on your racial power is pretty solid.

Iron Body (PHB 3) - Some sweet resistance as a rider for your racial power.


Goliath


Heroic Tier:



Goliath Greatweapon Prowess (PHB 2) - A nice and healthy damage bonus, though the weapons are somewhat limited (that doesn't matter for quite a few builds, though).

Markings of the Blessed (PHB 2) - A rerolled save once per encounter can be solid.

Markings of the Victor (PHB 2) - Rerolling your entry attack sounds like a good deal.


Paragon Tier:



Unyielding Stone (PHB 2) - THP's and resist all is a good combination to have.


Epic Tier:



Ancient Stone (PHB 2) - A follow-up turn of resistance is very good to have.


Half-Elf


Heroic Tier:



Adept Dilettante (D 385) - If the power you like doesn't key off the ability score you want, translate it to one that is more palatable to you (likely Wisdom or Constitution).


Paragon Tier:



Versatile Master (PHB 2) - Turn your change-of-pace ability into a legitimate round-by-round option, which can be a fantastic upgrade for a Half-Elf Fighter.


Half-Orc


Heroic Tier:



Anger Unleashed (PHB 2) - A hefty attack bonus when you get bloodied can be nice to have.

Savage Assault (PHB 2) - A debuff on your racial power is a decent boost.

Thirst for Battle (PHB 2) - A very nice alternative to Improved Initiative for many Fighters, especially Tempests, who have good initiative but are likely to be on the lower end of the healing surge count. You're still gonna want to retrain this into Superior Initiative, though.


Paragon Tier:



Strength from Pain (PHB 2) - A sizable damage bonus when you get beat up.

Unrelenting Assault (PHB 2) - Having some damage on a miss as a consolation prize is solid.


Epic Tier:



Ferocious Critical (PHB 2) - A very healthy bonus to hit and damage when you score a critical. An excellent feat, especially for a consistent multiattacker like a Tempest.


Halfling


Heroic Tier:



Halfling Stalwart (MP) - A nice bonus to hit against big enemies marked by you.

Lost in the Crowd (PHB) - An AC bonus for attracting attention (your job)? Sure.

Nimble Dodge (MP 2) - A huge power upgrade for your racial ability.

Rigged Chance (D 381) - It's nice to get a do-over should your racial power fail to keep you from getting hit.


Paragon Tier:



Underfoot (PHB) - Moving about between your enemy's spaces is pretty neat to have.


Human


Heroic Tier:



Action Surge (PHB) - A bonus to attacks when you blow an AP, which is decent.

Sideways Defense (MP) - A nice bonus to an ally when he sticks with you. Solid.

Stubborn Survivor (FRPG) - A bonus to saves when you're out of AP's. Pretty nice.


Paragon Tier:



Action Recovery (PHB) - A nice feat to clean yourselves out of bad status effects.

Persistent Threat (D 383) - Allows you to do your job, even when you get blindsided by a status effect. A good choice indeed.


Epic Tier:



Timely Revival (MP) - A good way to keep yourself up and running, and making your second wind easier to use.


Minotaur


Heroic Tier:



Bloodied Ferocity (PHB 3) - A free attack when you get bloodied? Heck yes.

Opportunity Gore (D 369)
- Knocking prone on an OA is a good thing to have, but bear in mind a Fighter has plenty of more efficient ways to achieve this result already.

Vigilant Recovery (D 385)
- Not allowing someone you whacked to benefit from CA is pretty cool, especially after a burst like Come and Get It or a power like Brash Strike, which tend to leave you in compromising positions.


Paragon Tier:



Beast Within (PHB 3) - A nice bonus to hit and damage while bloodied.


Epic Tier:



Uncanny Scent (PHB 3) - Straight-up better than Blind-Fight for you, so it's a fairly good pickup.


Shifter


Heroic Tier:



Sturdy Shifter (EPG) - Some nice THP when you shift. Sweet.


Paragon Tier:



Beasthide Shifting (PHB 2) - A neat bit of resistance while you're shifting.

Cliffwalk Shifting (PHB 2) - A decent movement utility on your shifting power.


Tiefling


Heroic Tier:



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

Lingering Wrath (MP) - A sweet bonus to hit against the target of your racial power.

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


Paragon Tier:



Hellfire of Mephistopheles (PHR: TF) - Your bread-and-butter strategy is fire, so having a way to punch through resistance is certainly a smart idea.

Secrets of Belial (PHR: TF) - Swapping out for any Utility power you want? Sure.

Tail Trip (PHR: TF) - Knocking prone on OA's or CC attacks is a very awesome feat to have.


Epic Tier:



Hell's Burning Mark (PHR: TF) - Some fire vulnerability on your marks is nice, especially if you're an Avernian Knight.

Renewed Wrath (PHR: TF)
- Getting to reuse your racial power is pretty solid.


Warforged


Heroic Tier:



Warforged Superiority (MP 2) - Knocking prone on OA's? That's an excellent ability to have.

Warforged Tactics (EPG) - A very nice bonus to hit when you have an ally cooperating with you, though some lockdown Fighters might not get that much use out of it.


Paragon Tier:



Improved Immutability (EPG) - While swapping out a Utility power for it hurts, flat-out ending a save effect as an Immediate Action once per day is not something to be taken lightly.



Combat Style Feats

The Combat Style feats are an interesting brand of feats in that their purpose is to improve specific powers. In your case, the At-Wills you'll be looking to improve are likely build-specific, though Cleave's support really stands out. The At-Will powers improved by the feat will be noted in the case of the Arena feats and the Technique feats from Dragon 373, as well as for the Lesser Style feats in MP 2.


Arena Feats



Binding Style (Dual Strike) (D 368)
- Immobilizing against a target instead of damage is an interesting option.

Catspaw Style (Footwork Lure) (D 368) - Turning the Footwork Lure ability into a plain old slide can be useful when giving up your current position simply isn't a good idea, though it's too bad the required Charisma is so high.

Deft Hurler Style (Cleave) (D 368) - This turns Cleave into a Ranged + Melee multimarking menace. An excellent feat to have on a Fighter.

Draji Palatial Practice (Sure Strike) (DSCS) - Makes Sure Strike more worth your time.

Menacing Brute Style (Brash Strike) (D 368) - A Will debuff on a big damage power? Sounds interesting.

Raam's Maw Practice (Threatening Rush) (DSCS) - A push effect on a multimarking power is certainly interesting, and it can get better if taken with other pieces.

Spirited Rider (Cleave) (D 368) - This power is obviously limited by the unreliability of mounts and campaign specificity, but using an At-Will on a charge is a great boost.

Trickster's Blade Style (Footwork Lure) (D 368) - Mobility before the attack can certainly be useful.

Untamed Berserker Style (Cleave) (D 368) - You effectively turn Cleave into Crushing Surge. A great versatility pick.

Urikite Staff Practice (Grappling Strike) (DSCS) - A damage bonus for the next hit against the target for spamming a Brawler's bread-and-butter lockdown trick sounds good to me.

Warding Shield Style (Tide of Iron) (D 368) - A neat defensive bonus for your ally when you hit with an already good power.


Technique Feats (D 373)



Bloodhound Style (Tide of Iron) - A nice option to have your Tide of Iron slow, though you may want to retrain it into the flatly better Hindering Shield at Paragon.

Cruel Cut Style (Cleave)
- Turns Cleave into a quality extra damage option.

Hunting Wolf Style (Crushing Surge) - A great feat for Battleragers to get their THP fix even while charging (plus, charging offers extra damage, too).

Impending Doom Style (Cleave) - Cleave can multimark now? Sweet.

Vigilante Justice Style (Brash Strike) - Brash Strike on a CC attack certainly has a heck of a lot more bite than a plain old MBA.


Combat Style Feats (MP 2)



Arkhosian Fang Style (Bastard Sword, Broadsword, or Greatsword)

Arkhosian Fang Student (Footwork Lure) - It's not really the weapon that works the best with this power, but the benefit can be pretty nice.

Arkhosian Fang Mauler - A decent benefit for the style weapons, but the power list is kind of marginal.


Hunting Spear Style (Spears)

Hunting Spear Student (Sure Strike) - A slow effect actually makes this At-Will sort of worth using, so if you have this At-Will, you may want to take this power.

Hunting Spear Warder - A solid bonus to damage with Spears, which is pretty spiffy, but the power list is very lame overall.


Ironstar Style (Flails and Maces)

Ironstar Student (Reaping Strike) - A decent benefit if you guarantee CA with any kind of regularity.


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

Kulkor Battlearm Student (Tide of Iron) - A pretty nice benefit on a good power, and it allows entry into a darned good Paragon Path. A pretty good pick.

Kulkor Battlearm Warrior - A decent universal benefit for you, even if the power list isn't exactly inspiring.


Longhand Style (Two-Handed Polearms and Two-Handed Spears

Longhand Student (Cleave) - Turning Cleave into a push effect for two-handed weapon users can open up a whole lot of options for you.

Longhand Guardian - A nice AC bonus when you hit with a power, though you're probably going to retrain it into a more universal feat later on.


Midnight Blade Style (Melee Light Blades)

Midnight Blade Student (Dual Strike) - Hitting Reflex instead of AC is an awesome benefit.


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

Mountain Thunder Student (Threatening Rush) - Hitting a NAD is always nice, even though this At-Will is likely not your bread-and-butter option.


Nerathan High Blade Style (Versatile Heavy Blades)

Nerathan High Blade Student (Threatening Rush) - A decent damage bonus for an At-Will whose disadvantage is that it cuts into your damage is solid, if a bit conditional.

Nerathan High Blade Soldier - Negating combat advantage against adjacent enemies is a pretty cool benefit, though you're probably swapping this for Ubiquitous Shield or Uncanny Dodge later.


Ogremight Style (Two-Handed Hammers and Maces)

Ogremight Student (Brash Strike) - A penalty to all defenses as a rider on your big-damage At-Will? An excellent choice.

Ogremight Bruiser - Improved crits on a charge is a nice benefit (you'll retrain it into Weapon Mastery later, but you'll enjoy it whie it lasts).


Partisan Polearm Style (Nonspear Polearms)

Partisan Polearm Student (Sure Strike) - A somewhat marginal benefit, but the real value of the style lies in the second feat.

Partisan Polearm Infantry - CA when you push an enemy is a pretty cool benefit.


Reaving Axe Style (One-Handed Axes)

Reaving Axe Student (Reaping Strike) - A small control benefit for a rather lackluster power given your setup.

Reaving Axe Brute - The power list is garbage, but it offers a very formidable benefit if you kit yourself out to crit regularly.


Rending Chains Style (Flails)

Rending Chains Student (Reaping Strike) - Adding a slide to Reaping Strike makes it a very formidable control power that can give you a bit of DPR.

Rending Chains Grappler - A bit of extra damage when your opponent tries to shift is nice.


Steel Vanguard Style (Two-Handed Heavy Blades)

Steel Vanguard Student (Cleave) - Improved criticals are a nice prelude to Weapon Mastery later on.



Exotic Weapon Feats

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

Net Training (D 368) - Slowing At-Will is worth dealing with the somewhat weak weapon stats, and it gives you a Ranged option as icing.

Spiked Chain Training (DMA 2009) - While it's ironically not all that useful for Tempest (only half the weapon gets the bonuses), any Fighter of another style that's into dual-wielding is probably gonna want to look into this.


Dragonmark Feats (EPG)

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

Mark of Finding (Half-Orc) - A nice way to chase enemies around on the proper style of Fighter.

Mark of Storm (Half-Elf) - A slide at-will is a sweet ability for certain stripes of Defenders, and it opens up access to a nice Paragon Path.

Mark of Warding (Dwarf) - Extra meat on your defensive bonuses, and a meatier mark penalty as icing. A very powerful feat for a Defender.
Paragon Paths: Exemplars of the Rock

Fighters have a pretty awesome selection of Paragon Paths, so you won't be hurting for options within your own repertoire. If for some reason you can't find something you like, the Multiclass section is where you can find my picks from other classes.

Fighter Paragon Paths

Arena Champion (D 368) - The features don't really pander to what you want to do with your character, and the powers are solid but unexceptional, with the only exception being the revival Utility. I wouldn't be looking for something my Fighter would want here.

Avenging Slayer (MP) - While some of the features are a bit unorthodox in their requirements (Charisma? Really?), it can be effective if you make a Fighter that can take advantage of them, and the powers are certainly solid.

Bladestorm Duelist (D 378) - This Paragon Path makes an otherwise suboptimal combination (Tempest Fighter with Rapiers, who do not benefit from Tempest Technique) viable by offering a sweet defensive bonus as well as making up for the lack of bonuses on your Rapier. The powers are also pretty neat, but the fact of the matter is that what this Path doesn't offer that much to expand your abilities.

Blood-Crazed Berserker (BoVD) - Not a fan of the alignment restriction, but the Path itself offers some very interesting bloodied abuse benefits, as well as some very good, universally useful powers.

Doomguard Marauder (MOTP) - A Paragon Path with a marked offensive bent, it offers a strong AP feature and a nice "pick up after your miss" feature in addition to way to pierce any sort of resistance. While it's decent on you (especially if you like making a lot of close burst attacks in succession), this is probably best in the hands of a nova-happy Striker.

Draeven Marauder (D 365) - It has good strong powers for Spear users, and the enhanced critical range means you can invest your ability scores pretty much wherever you want. A pretty good path for Spear users.

Dread Reaper (MP) - A path that focuses on two-handed weapons, it unfortunately only has one feature and one power worth having (that said, the power I'm referring to is very worth having). A rather average Path overall.

Dreadnought (MP) - An excellent durability-based path, it employs all sorts of abilities to keep you in the fight (Invigorating powers, extra HP, resist all, end effects by paying HP, you name it), and as such is highly prized by a Fighter.

Giantslayer (MP) - Given how many enemies are Large or larger later on in your career, you don't really have to worry about this path being all that conditional. That said, the only thing that really attracts attention to it are the attack powers, so it's a pretty average choice overall.

Gladiator Champion (DSCS) - While most of the features and powers this path has to offer are kind of odd (they seem to affect enemies adjacent to you other than the target for the most part), the final feature is a fantastic stickiness upgrade, and as such this PP is most definitely worth worth looking at.

Glorious Myrmidon (MP 2) - While the features don't improve your Defender capacity directly, they do help out in just about every other aspect, and the powers are straight awesome for a Defender. A pretty good choice.

Great Weapon Master (D 379) - The features are weak, and the powers get away from what you're supposed to be doing, and that is defending (Ending your mark? Really?). Quite simply a bad idea.

Iron Vanguard (PHB) - This is a strong well-rounded Paragon Path for the Con-based Fighters in the audience. Extra damage on forced movement and a smidgen of healing on a kill are good features, and the AP feature is excellent on the defensive front. The powers are solid enough to not detract from this being a strong pick.

Ironstar Mauler (MP 2) - A Path built similarly to Kensei, it trades the straight damage feature for a (rather conditional) penalty to saves. Though the powers are a bit better overall, the requirement of an entry feat and the conditional feature makes me not like this Path quite as much, though it's certainly a good choice overall.

Kensei (PHB) - The classic Fighter Paragon Path. While the only thing appealing on the power front is the L20 Daily, the bonuses are very substantial for any Fighter that's wielding the same weapon throughout his career.

Knight Protector (MP) - A decent defensive Paragon Path, it has one flagship feature at L11, but most of the things that surround it are pretty unexceptional. An average pick.

Kulkor Arms Master (MP 2) - Given the editing made on this build's meat-and-potatoes feature, the audience of builds it appeals to has been greatly diminished, though it still has a couple of nice things that will attract some attention.

Pit Fighter (PHB) - Given the most recent batch of errata eliminated the bonus to damage on MBA's (which includes OA's and your CC attacks), this Paragon Path's stock has taken a bit of a hit when compared to options like the Son of Mercy and the Kensei. It's still one of the best ones around, though, especially if your Fighter wants to be aggressive.

Polearm Master (MP) - It extends your forced movement effects as well as your Combat Challenge, and it provides a way to gain threatening reach. One of the dominant options for a Polearm Fighter, if not the dominant option.

Purple Dragon Knight (FRPG) - The features are not all that appealing, and the powers don't really look like they're designed with the style most Fighters play in mind. Not my path of choice.

Rakehell Duelist (MP 2) - A pretty good mix of defensive and offensive features make this a pretty good choice for a Tempest Fighter.

Rampaging Brute (MP 2) - A charging-centric Paragon Path, it also has the secondary goal of knocking people prone while you do it. Rather risky, but it can be effective.

Ravager (MP) - A solid offensive path for a Battlerager, it has some fairly neat features, but the powers are kind of uninspiring. Still a workable choice, though.

Scale-Breaker (D 369) - Apart from a pretty good setup Daily power, this Path is just too conditional on facing dragons to truly be a good universal choice.

Shield Adept (MP) - A defensively-oriented Paragon Path with nice, but ultimately forgettable powers and features. While it can be used, it really doesn't have that high of a ceiling IMHO.

Shock Trooper (MP) - One of the great Path options for a Tempest (or any Light Blade user, really), it offers up helpings of damage along with a nod toward defense. Though quite Striker-y in outlook, it's certainly a powerful tool in the Fighter's arsenal.

Siegebreaker (D 379) - A pretty nice Paragon Path for a two-handed weapon Fighter, it offers plenty of offensive goodies to take advantage of, even if they are a bit specific in how you have to use them.

Snapping Testudo (D 385) - Fighting with two shields grants no real benefits (and plenty of drawbacks) as an offensive style, and this Paragon Path does not do enough to compensate. Strictly a flavor pick if you ask me.

Steel Vanguard Master (MP 2) - A pretty nice Path for a two-handed Heavy Blade user, it has a nice mix of abilities geared toward making you a better Defender.

Son of Mercy (D 370) - Though it is a bit single-target focused, this is a brutal option to combine damage and lockdown potential on a Defender (and it does have the option of going multitarget, albeit a limited one). One of the prime choices for a Fighter who favors Wisdom.

Swordmaster (PHB) - While this Paragon Path is limited in that not all Fighters will be able to use it, it provides an extremely powerful set of abilities to those who can use it, especially in the power recovery department, though charging At-Wills are awesome too. Highly recommended.

Warhound of Bane (MP 2) - A self-healing-focused Paragon Path, it provides a nice mix of features and one pretty neat Encounter Stance power, and as such is a solid universal option.

Wrathbearer (D 378) - A nice Paragon Path for Battleragers, it offers some nice offensive and defensive benefits, including a Daily that is solid gold given the proper setup. A fairly good choice.


Racial Paragon Paths

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

Adroit Explorer (Human - PHB 2) - Durability-oriented features and getting to use your powers additional times in an encounter are the two main selling points of this path, and they're good ones. A prime path, and a major selling point for Humans.

Beastblooded Minotaur (Minotaur - D 369) - A Paragon Path with plenty of nice tools for a Minotaur, including some major perks in extra reach and speed.

Bloodfury Savage (Half-Orc - PHB 2) - If you like doing more damage, this is the Paragon Path for you. All the powers are geared toward increasing your damage output, and the features are decent enough.

Bloodknight (Vampiric Heritage - D 371) - The bad news is that you're going to have to burn a feat for this Paragon Path, and that it's rather average unless you're a Brawler (which is not a style known for having a whole lot of free feats lying around). That said, it does offer some nice self-healing options as well as a very nice Daily. You can make this work.

Dwarven Defender (Dwarf - MP) - While this path seems a bit plain at first glance, it virtually eliminates forced movement effects against you (a major plus), and it has a quality defensive Utility power, and that's enough to make it a pretty darn good path.

Earthheart Defender (Dwarf - FRPG) - A decent Dwarf racial path, its focus is a bit too much on being bloodied and using your second wind for my taste, though it does have some cool stuff.

Goliath Juggernaut (Goliath - D 386) - A solid paragon Path, it packs a set of pretty decent durability-related toys for a Fighter.

Half-Giant Thug (Goliath - DSCS) - While the features are most certainly pedestrian, the powers are nice and strong, so this is not a bad pick.

Halfling Bounder (Halfling - MP) - While Halfling is certainly not my number one Fighter pick, this racial path has plenty of nice goodies, and as such is at least worth pointing out.

Honorable Blade (Dragonborn - PHR: DB) - If you're not finding access to elemental weapons to be a slam dunk, this Path gets it done for you, and offers some decent powers while it's at it.

Inner Dragon (Dragonborn - MP) - While you probably don't want to invest as much into Dragon Breath as this PP seemingly wants you to, it does have a thing or two you can use.

Mithral Arm (Dragonborn - D 385) - The Dragonborn's version of the Adroit Explorer, the features and powers here are every bit as good for you as the other path, and as such this is a prime choice.

Moonstalker (Shifter - PHB 2) - A nice setup path for your allies if you favor the Brawler or Polearm styles, and it can provide some pretty sweet extra damage for yourself, too.

Scion of Arkhosia (Dragonborn - PHB 2) - While the features are frankly marginal, the powers hold enough appeal for you to at least make this worth taking.

Stoneblessed (Goliath - PHB 2) - A nice way for Fighters to pick up some extra threat range (especially those with non-reach two-handed weapons, which is the style that the Goliath's racial abilities favor).

Storvakal (Githzerai - D 378) - Having mass attacking powers is nice on a Fighter, and ignoring attack roll penalties can be neat (especially if you plan to use Power Attack, since this essentially turns it into a flat damage bonus).

Tiefling Warfiend (Tiefling - MP) - While I'm personally not the biggest fan of Tiefling Fighters, there's no disguising that this is an excellent Fighter Paragon Path. The features are extremely good on a Fighter, and while the powers aren't all that special, they don't have to be.

Warforged Juggernaut (Warforged - EPG) - A sweet Paragon Path for Fighters, the charging emphasis can help start encounters with a bang, and the extra durability is certainly appreciated.

Wildfire Genasi (Genasi - FRPG) - The features and powers are all very applicable to what you want to be doing (especially the automatic punishment aura at L16). A very good choice.


Dragonmarked Paragon Paths (EPG)

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

Lyrandar Wind-Rider (Half-Elf - Mark of Storm) - While you likely won't get that much use out of the Implement powers, the extra damage and accuracy if you choose a Lightning weapon single-handedly makes this Paragon Path very worth having.



Epic Destinies: The Mythical Rock

Fighter Epic Destinies

As is the norm, we'll only talk about Epic Destinies worth having (Black or higher) here.

Adamantine Soldier (MP) - If you like Heavy Armor and Constitution, this Epic Destiny offers a lot of defensive incentive. A pretty good pick.

Ceaseless Guardian (D 387) - Arguably stronger than Demigod for a pure Defender, the ability to continue to do your job in the face of otherwise crippling conditions and spreading your surges around to anyone who needs them more than you makes this a prime choice.

Champion of Prophecy (EPG) - Very similar to Demigod, but with an increased emphasis on milestones. That extra swinginess makes it a bit less awesome, but it's still effective.

Chosen (DP) - Built the same way as Demigod, but with a larger array of Utility powers to choose from.

Darklord (D 372) - While the Grim Reaper fluff is cool, I don't feel there's enough meat on the features to make it a top pick.

Demigod (PHB) - The classic Epic Destiny in 4e. Bonuses to two attributes are a godsend for most Fighter builds, and the durability enhancers only strengthen the case.

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

Eternal Defender (MP) - Despite its name, this is one of the most aggressively inclined Epic Destinies available to the Fighter. Reach, bigger weapons, and more strength make a good case, and the power sweetens the deal. A good pick.

Eternal Seeker (PHB) - A nice collection of mix-and-match features can help you make a pretty powerful choice, if you choose wisely.

Free Soul (D 376) - A racial Epic Destiny geared to fight off status effects can be pretty nice on a Fighter, even if the race (Revenant) is not one of the top choices for a Fighter.

Heir of Siberys (D 388) - A branch off the Demigod ED tree, this one offers a variety of effects to choose from as a Utility power. A Fighter will probably be looking at the Healing or Scribing powers the most.

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

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

Invincible Vanguard (MP 2) - Some pretty nice features for a charging Fighter, especially if he favors Constitution. A nice pick.

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

Legendary Sovereign (MP 2) - Apart from Sword of Kings (the L30 ED feature), this choice is rather unexceptional. That said, Sword of Kings can allow for some pretty crazy combinations.

Marshal of Letherna (HoS) - Er... wow. You get the ability bump of your choice, and every square within 2 of you is difficult terrain? Where do I sign up?

Martial Archetype (MP) - While it does take some work to make it effective, this offers plenty of extra juice on a Fighter.

Prison of the Winds (D 371) - While the attribute bonuses go to secondary ability scores, a bonus to speed, revival, flight, and being insubstantial while bloodied, so it does just about everything else right.

Punisher of the Gods (D 372) - Though it is more of a single-target basher than anything else, it makes rolling criticals pay off in a big way, and Fighters have ways to take advantage of that.

Reborn Champion (D 365) - While it has plenty of cool stuff, it's missing that one feature it needs to establish itself as a top-tier option. Still a worthy pick, though.

Star-Favored Champion (MP 2) - While it doesn't favor an attack stat, it has a decent enough collection of features to make it worth mentioning.

Storm Sovereign (D 372) - A collection of solid, but unexceptional benefits.

Undying Warrior (MP) - You might go down, but you're never truly out, which is nice to have on a Defender.

Unyielding Sentinel (D 388) - While the ability score bonuses only align perfectly with Str/Con Fighters, rolling your saves twice, having a stance that ignores forced movement, CA, ongoing damage, and auras, and being able to heal every time you drop an enemy are excellent on a Fighter.
Equipment: Reinforcing the Rock

Here, I'll be talking about what weapon and armor types work best for you. Magic gear is in the next post.


Weapons: Unleashing the Rock



Axes - Damage is the name of the game here; most of these weapons pack a big punch, especially on a critical. They also favor Constitution, which has the side effect of making you tougher. As icing, they come in all shapes and sizes, so you have plenty of options available to you.

Recommended Axes

Battleaxe (PHB) - Your basic one-handed Axe, it's a pretty good weapon, especially considering it's feat-free.

Execution Axe (AV) - Gives some reliability to the normally wild d12.

Greataxe (PHB) - 1d12 with high crit is pretty spiffy damage.

Gouge (DSCS) - The biggest base weapon damage you'll find, and that's worth something.

Handaxe (PHB)
- It's good to not have to resort to a specific weapon enhancement in order to have a Ranged option.

Khopesh (AV) - An Axe + Heavy Blade combination can work if planned out correctly, and the stats are pretty solid.

Waraxe (AV) - 1d12 one-handed? I'm game.


Bows - Don't bother.

Crossbows - Same as bows.

Flails - A pretty interesting weapon group, it has some rather high Dexterity requirements on some feats (like Weapon Mastery), but it can be a very powerful option thanks to that same feat support, plus the main feats you want are light on the stats.

Recommended Flails

Alhulak (DSCS) - Essentially the Flail equivalent of a Longsword, and as such a nice weapon for a Fighter.

Net (D 368) - This weapon offers some nice versatility and control options.

Scourge (AV) - This packs quite a bit of punch for an off-hand weapon.

Spiked Chain (PHB) - It has Reach and some decent damage, but not being a Polearm hurts its stock.

Triple-Headed Flail (AV) - Costs a feat, but it has Bastard Sword stats, along with Flail support. Nice.


Hammers - One of the classic Fighter weapon groups, its feat support's Constitution requirements have the secondary effect of making you a tougher character, and the effects of those feats themselves are very worth having.

Recommended Hammers

Craghammer (AV) - If you have the feat to spare, a reliability upgrade is great.

Maul (PHB) - A big damage weapon with good support sounds like a winning combination to me.

Mordenkrad (AV) - How about some reliability to go with that damage?

Throwing Hammer (PHB) - Rather unimpressive stats, but it's throwable, which makes up for a lot.

Warhammer (PHB) - Decent damage, and feat cost-free. A sweet default weapon to have.


Heavy Blades - Another classic Fighter weapon group, it offers accuracy and sturdy damage as its main perks, as well as relatively light Dexterity requirements for its pretty neat feat support.

Recommended Heavy Blades

Bastard Sword (PHB) - Nice damage and accuracy, but it costs a feat.

Drow Long Knife (EPG) - It costs a feat, but it's a Ranged option for Heavy Blades.

Fullblade (AV) - If you're going the two-hander route, you may as well go for broke and pick up the big damage option.

Longsword (PHB) - An excellent default weapon, a defensively oriented Shield Fighter is more than good with this.


Light Blades - While it may seem rather odd to see the stereotypical Fighter favoring a Light Blade, Tempests certainly use this group very well, and certain Brawlers or Shield Fighters (particularly Arena Fighters) could be persuaded to pick it up.

Recommended Light Blades

Dagger (PHB) - The damage is low, but such is the price to pay for a Ranged option.

Double Sword (AV) - Though it costs a feat, it offers a Tempest some welcome extra AC.

Rapier (PHB) - Longsword stats, only for a different weapon group. The higher Dexterity requirements make it a bit less accessible for some, but having Rain of Blows pack d8's without spending a feat is nice.

Short Sword (PHB) - A nice default weapon for Tempests.


Maces - While they're still mostly outclassed by Hammers, Maces have received some conditional but promising support of late. Plus, they can indulge in much of the Hammer's support as well.

Recommended Maces

Mace (PHB) - Not that far behind a Hammer in stats.

Singing Stick (DSCS) - While the stats may be kind of lame considering it costs a feat, it is the most accurate Mace you'll find.


Picks - Anything these can do, another weapon group can do better.

Polearms - An excellent weapon group for any Fighter, it offers the gift of reach, as well as some outstanding feat support.

Recommended Polearms

Glaive (PHB) - While the stats are at best unimpressive, this has the major perk of being able to partake in Polearm and Heavy Blade support.

Greatspear (AV) - It has the best stats of the bunch, and Polearm + Spear support make it the front-runner in this group.

Halberd (PHB) - While not the most intuitive option, certain characters (like those using Weapon Master's Strike) can use this weapon well.

Talenta Sharrash (EPG) - A nice way for the smaller ones (and even some larger ones who don't need or want the extra reach) to get in on the Polearm + Heavy Blade fun.


Spears - Very closely related to Polearms (even sharing some of their support), Spears trade juicy statistical numbers for an extra dose of control power, without having to give up the shield.

Recommended Spears

Javelin (PHB) - It has long range, but other Spears can be tossed already. It works as a Ranged option, though.

Trident (AV) - Solid damage, and the ability to be thrown. Decent enough.


Staffs - While there is feat support to make this option not a waste of time, that support will take feats you're probably better off spending somewhere else.

Unarmed - Basically a Brawler-only group, the Spiked Gauntlet or the Talid work pretty well here. Trash for everyone else, though.


Armor: Bracing the Rock



Cloth
- Don't do this to yourself.

Leather - Skill penalties are decidedly not as important as not getting hit.

Hide - The armor of choice for Tempests and any other Fighters who prize Dexterity highly, you can equal Plate if you invest enough into Dex and wear this armor.

Chainmail - Rather low AC, but it can work early on if combined with a shield or some other protection mechanism (such as a Battlerager's THP). That said, at later levels it's simply not good enough.

Scale - The default armor group for a Fighter, it's likely a keeper for anyone planning to invest moderately in Dexterity (which some weapon groups require), and it has the benefit of having no skill penalties (or speed penalties after Armor Specialization).

Plate - The biggest armor-based AC you can get, but it requires a bit of a Constitution focus. That's not a problem for quite a few Fighters, though.

Shields - You get them by default, and they provide a very welcome AC and Reflex boost, along with some very nice feat and power options. That said, there are many builds that can't use them.
Magic Equipment: Enhancing the Rock

As is the norm for sections in this Handbook, if the piece of magic equipment isn't rated Black or higher, I won't be talking about it (especially important because this game has a colossal amount of equipment available).

Armor

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's  another version of the armor with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 2+



Armor of Dwarven Vigor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (AV 2) - A sweet healing ability enhancement for Dwarves, and it's part of an item set as well.

Dwarven Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (PHB) - Healing as a free action that doesn't spend a surge, and a bonus to Endurance checks as a bonus? OK!


Screaming Armor (Hide, Scale, Plate) (AV) - A free bonus to Intimidate, and a nifty debuffing power (with range, no less). A pretty good choice
.


Level 3+



Armor of Exploits (Any) (AV) - Lets you make interesting combinations with allies who share your attack stat, or simply load an Encounter power for an extra use. Pretty cool.



Bestial Armor (Leather, Hide) (AV) - A free attack with a bonus after a charge. Solid enough.

Defensive Armor (Any) (PHB 3) - This property features a solid Daily defense-booster, which becomes meatier with power points (it's better if you have access to those).

Meliorating Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (AV) - This armor makes you tougher as the day wears on. Not bad, but rather party-dependent, because the party usually stops when somebody runs out of healing surges, so how much use you get out of this depends on who that person is.


Level 4+



Battle Harness (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (D 368) - An initiative bonus is never bad (even if it doesn’t stack with a Warlord’s buff), and Quick Draw for free doesn’t hurt either. A pretty good choice.

Dazzling Plate (Plate) (AV 2) - A bonus vs. mental conditions, and an attack debuff. Pretty solid.

Salubrious Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - Adding in more AC when you regain HP can make you even harder to handle.

Serpentine Armor (Scale) - A small punishment ability that doesn't conflict with your Combat Challenge. Solid.

Verve Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - This armor basically says, "I get up from being down," once per day.




Level 5+



Agile Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (AV) - Only usable by Heavy Armor wearers, and not really worth it until Paragon Tier, but good enough during Epic that it’s worth mentioning.



Supporting Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV 2) - Helps you keep your wits about you, which is always good.


Level 7+



Marauder's Armor (Leather, Hide) (AV 2)
- Some solid defensive bonuses for charging about. Hardly bad.


Level 8+



Bloodiron Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - A very nice property for Fighters who favor bursts, this can give your AC a welcome boost against the target you're focusing on.


Level 9+



Magnetic Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV 2) - Have your enemies come to you, and stay there.

Solar Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - I'm not a friendly-fire supporter, but Laser Clerics' at-will damage is pretty piddly, so getting hit by your Cleric to trigger a Healing Surge may not be that bad an idea (and you might even get THP or a save in return for it if they hit you with Sacred Flame!).




Level 10+



Lifeblood Armor (Hide) (PHB 2) - If I’m reading this right, this grants you free THP just for using a short rest (which you will do; you want your Encounter powers back). Whoa.



Level 14+



Armor of Attraction (Scale, Plate) (AV) - Allows you to take even Ranged hits for your allies.

Armor of Dark Deeds (Leather, Hide) (AV 2) - Find yourself a way to attack with CA consistently, and this armor will reward you with a hefty defensive boost in concealment.


Level 15+



Trollskin Armor (Hide, Scale) (PHB) - Regen is always great to have.



Level 18+



Driftmetal Armor (Chain, Scale) (MOTP) - A smidge of elemental resistance, and an easy-to-use power that hands out an attack penalty. Solid.


Level 20+



Dragonscale Armor, Red (Scale) (AV) - Slaps on hefty ongoing damage, and immobilizes. Nice.

Spectral Plate (Plate) (AV 2) - Makes Heavy Armor feel light, and a solid mobility power to boot.


Level 23+



Armor of Enduring Health (Hide, Chain) (AV 2) - Dwarves especially like this armor, but being just Chain makes it a bit of a tougher sell.

Mind Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV 2) - Anything that protects you from mental effects is worth looking at.


Weapons

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level  distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's  another version of the armor with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 1+



Earth-Wrought Hammer (Hammer) - Cheap, and knocks prone on a critical. OK, I guess.


Level 2+



Farbond Spellblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - A great way for Heavy Blade and Light Blade users to get a genuine Ranged option. A darned awesome property for a backup weapon.

Staggering Weapon (Axe, Flail, Hammer, Heavy Blade, Mace) (AV) - A nice way for people who have access to slides to swing their opponents across the battlefield.

Vicious (Any) (PHB) - Pretty basic, but d12 crit dice are nice to have.


Level 3+



Carnage (Axe, Heavy Blade, Mace) (DSCS) - If you're in the gambling mood, this weapon can provide a very respectable damage bonus (which you can get more reliably if the weapon die is smaller or if you have multiple dice).

Cunning (Any Melee) (AV) - If you like (save ends) effects, this is the weapon for you.



Foe Maker (Any Melee) (D 381) - Mass marking is always welcome for a Fighter.

Frost (Any) (PHB) - Combines with Wintertouched and Lasting Frost for eternal combat advantage and +5 damage. Better than ever, thanks to other items helping it beat cold resistance.


Frost Fury (Axe) (AV 2) - Pretty solid extra damage, and it has cold damage attached to it.

Inescapable (Any) (AV) - Buffs your attack bonus after a miss. Solid.

Luckblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Rerolls, which are great to have around.


Paired (Any One-Handed Melee) (AV) - Some pretty good economy for your weapons if you dual-wield.



Quick (Any) (AV) - Free basic attacks are fun.



Rhythm Blade (Light Blade) (AV 2) - Extra AC and Reflex for a Tempest is a pretty cool property to have.

Vanguard (Any Melee) (AV) - Bonuses to damage while charging, and a buffing power you probably won't use. OK, I guess.


Level 4+



Avalanche Hammer (Hammer) (AV 2) - Extra damage on a charge, and knocks prone on a critical. Surprisingly good.

Battlecrazed (Axe, Heavy Blade) (AV) - Some hefty extra damage while you’re bloodied, and its power makes you “bloodied” for 2 turns. Nice.

Firewind Blade (Heavy Blade) (HotEC) - If you can slap fire damage on your powers without taking up the magic weapon slot, this is about as good a weapon as the game has to offer.

Harmony Blade (Heavy Blade) (AV 2) - You essentially get Two-Weapon Opening for free for a Heavy Blade user. Decent.

Master’s Blade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - So let me get this straight. This buffs the attack rolls for your Melee Basic Attacks and At-Wills when you're in a Stance (which you should be all the time, considering how many you have available), AND it allows you to assume TWO stances at a time as a Daily?! Incredibly good for a Fighter.

Rending (Axe) (AV) - This turns an Axe crit into something genuinely fearsome.


Sunblade (Heavy Blade) (AV) - If you're going for a Radiant weapon, this is a nice way to get started.


Level 5+



Flaming (Any) (PHB) - This weapon is OK by itself, but it's great for Tieflings, thanks to Hellfire Blood and the rest of their fire-based racial goodies.


Lightning (Any) (PHB) - Makes Mark of Storm users very happy.


Level 6+



Grasping (Polearm, Spear) (AV) - A property that can be nice for Fighters looking to keep their enemies at arm's reach.


Level 8+



Dread (Any) (AV) - Slaps out defensive penalties like it's nobody's business.
 Great for setting you or your Striker buddies up for something ridiculous.

Jolting Guard (Any Melee) (DSCS) - Slapping on an encounter weaken when your enemy misses with an action you likely weren't using that turn anyway is pretty decent.


Level 9+



Feyslaughter (Any) (AV) - The only truly safe to way elude a Fighter's grasp is teleportation; this weapon takes care of that flaw nicely.

Githyanki Silver Weapon (Heavy Blade) (MOTP) - Unexceptional by itself, but toss in Psychic Lock, and this makes all your powers come in with an additional -2 to hit debuff. Nasty.


Level 10+



Berserker (Axe, Heavy Blade) (PHB) - A damage bonus for a penalty to all defenses, but resist all might be worth it, especially because you get +2 to hit as well. Unfortunately it’s real expensive...


Level 12+



Jagged (Axe, Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Improved crits come early are very good for certain stripes of Fighters.


Level 13+



Bloodiron (Any) (AV) - Your criticals are so nice, they damage twice.

Farslayer (Any Melee) (AV) - Extending your Melee Range to 5 for Basic Attacks is a solid benefit.

Thundergod (Any Melee) (AV) - +2d6 damage on charges at Epic. Solid enough.

Withering (Any Melee) (AV) - Slaps on AC penalties like it's going out of style. A beautiful setup for you and your allies.


Level 14+



Battlemaster's (Any) (AV) - An extra go with an Encounter power for an Item Daily? That's always a good deal.

Voidcrystal (Any Melee) (AV) - I'm usually not a big fan of weapons that only offer a Daily power over a plain old magic weapon, but this is good enough a Daily to merit being picked.


Level 15+



Blade of the Eldritch Knight (Heavy Blade) (AV 2) - I'm pretty sure you can find a situation when attacking with your normal powers at range 5 to be useful. A pretty nice choice.

Chill Wind (Heavy Blade) (D 386) - It's expensive, but the properties it provides are a straight upgrade over the already awesome Frost Weapon. Excellent.

Radiant (Any) (AV) - Despite the rather high cost on this enchantment, it is one of the frontrunners on the Fighter wish list because it provides an item damage bonus that can apply to any attack made with the weapon and it allows the Fighter to participate in any elemental shenanigans. A prime pick.

Reaper’s Axe (Axe) (AV 2) - A free attack and shift when you drop an opponent. Solid.


Level 19+



Moradin's Weapon (Hammer) (AV) - A solid "shockwave" style of power. If you multiclassed into a Divine class, this is even better, because of economy purposes.


Level 23+



Death Mark (Any) (AV 2) - A nice way to be able to hop from dead mark to future mark efficiently.


Arms Slot Items

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 4



Counterstrike Guards (L4/14) (AV) - The ability to respond to an enemy attacking you is nice to have, especially on an Encounter basis.



Level 6



Foe Fending Shield (L6/16/26) (D 381) - A solid defensive item for you and your allies that can also impose a lingering mark.

Iron Armbands of Power (L6/16/26) (AV) - A very sweet damage bonus, though not quite as mandatory for you as it is for others (you have other ways of getting it, and it doesn't apply to all of your powers).


Level 8



Hammer Shield (AV 2) - A solid defensive benefit for Hammer + Shield users, and it's part of an item set.


Level 9



Recoil Shield (AV) - Knocking people prone for hitting you as an Immediate is interesting, though a bit tricky to use properly.


Level 10



Barrage Bracers (AV 2) - A bonus to attack when you score a hit. Serviceable.



Level 12



Shield of Deflection (L12/22) - Resistance against Ranged attacks is a pretty solid investment.


Level 14



Hypnotic Shield (AV) - A solid single-target daze control effect.


Level 15



Shield of Fellowship (AV 2) - Turn all the THP you generate into even more THP for your friends. An excellent alternate method of defense.


Level 19



Trollhide Braces (L19/29) (AV) - Regen is always a good thing to have on a Defender.


Level 27



Reflective Shield (L27) - An nice power which turns the tables on your opponent once per day. The best part is that since your opponent attacked you, your Immediate Action (normally reserved for Combat Challenge) is free.


Level 30



Shield of Ultimate Protection (AV 2) - Big protection, but it’s a capstone item.


Feet Slot Items

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 2



Acrobat Boots (AV) - Cheap, and they let you stand up as a minor action (a very useful property).


Level 6



Foe Chaser Boots (D 381) - These boots allow you to quickly close the distance against a fleeing opponent.


Level 7



Boots of the Fencing Master (AV) - A nice benefit for shifting about every turn, and a sweet entry power.

Rushing Cleats (AV) - More pushing or sliding? Don't mind if I do.


Level 8



Boots of Quickness (L8/18/28) (AV) - A decent boost to your Reflex defense.




Level 9



Boots of Eagerness (AV) - Pretty cheap, and a nice action advantage power.



Level 10



Boots of Sand and Sea (AV) - This is a cheap speed boost that also allows you to swim if you're in light armor. Not bad.



Boots of the Mighty Charge (D 381) - An Encounter power on a charge is nice to have once a day.


Level 12



Battlestrider Greaves (PHB) - The cheapest speed boost available for heavy armor users.



Level 16



Survivor’s Boots (AV 2) - Yeah, they require you to be bloodied, but after that, you can pretty much do whatever you want in combat. That's gotta be worth something.


Level 18



Planestrider Boots (MOTP) - Encounter teleportation. Need I say more?


Level 22



Boots of Speed (AV) - +2 to speed and a decent power.




Level 24



Boots of Caiphon (AV 2) - They sap your HP, but it’s probably less damage than you would take for eating an OA, especially at these levels, and you ARE moving with a minor action...

Zephyr Boots (AV) - If you're in light armor, this solves one of your major weaknesses in flying enemies. You probably want this.


Level 25



Sandals of Avandra (AV) - Expensive, but they allow you to move around pretty well.


Level 28



Boots of Teleportation (AV) - Get them if you can afford them. That is all.




Hands Slot Items

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 3



Gloves of Piercing (PHB) - Real cheap, and they should punch through most resistance to your attacks if they're not element-based.


Level 4



Gauntlets of Blood (L4/14/24) (AV 2) - A sweet damage bonus against bloodied targets.


Level 5



Parry Gauntlets (AV) - If you like to second wind, you might want to pick this one up.


Level 8



Gauntlets of the Ram (PHB) - More push effects are always welcome for a control Fighter.


Level 10



Antipathy Gloves (AV) - A solid restraining power. Get something else fast, though; this power doesn't scale at all.

Dwarven Throwers (AV) - This allows you to make a basic attack with your main weapon at range once per encounter. Pretty cool.

Strikebacks (AV) - Some sweet role-reinforcement properties.


Level 11



Gloves of Ice (L11/21) (AV 2) - More damage for your cold attacks, or punch through cold resistance. Glorious, especially with Frost Weapons.


Level 13



Gloves of Missile Deflection (AV) - Some solid resistance against Ranged attacks.


Level 17



Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2) - If you like knocking enemies prone (especially if you can keep them there), this is a quality item for you.


Level 18



Gauntlets of Destruction (PHB) - A superior version of Brutal 1. Sweet.




Level 22



Foe Caller Gauntlets (D 381) - In the words of Mortal Kombat's Scorpion, "GET OVER HERE!!!" A fantastic power.




Head Slot Items

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 4



Casque of Tactics (L4/14/24) (AV) - An initiative bonus is good for anyone.



Helm of Opportunity (L4/14/24) (AV) - Helps you do your job better. Solid, if a bit plain.


Level 6



Horned Helm (L6/16/26) (PHB) - Extra d6's while charging. Nice.


Level 8



Coif of Mindiron (L8/18/28) (AV) - Protects against an increasing array of mental conditions (albeit only against Will, but that's what you're most worried about anyway) as an ENCOUNTER POWER. Sexy.




Level 9



Helm of Battle (L9/19/29) (PHB) - Initiative bonuses for everyone!




Level 12



Charger's Headdress (AV 2) - Accuracy bonuses while charging are always appreciated.

Vortex Mask (D 381) - A decent pull effect against a marked (or soon-to-be-marked) target.


Level 14



Circlet of Arkhosia (L14/24) (PHR: DB) - Rolling saves twice for conditions that mess with your Defender capabilities is very nice to have.

Helm of Able Defense (AV 2) - A bonus to Will, and a bump to all defenses until you get hit is pretty good if you ask me.


Level 15



Carcanet of Psychic Schism (AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.


Level 21



Coif of Focus (AV) - Comes by later in your career, and burns up a surge and your Immediate, but you negate daze and stun, and that's worth something.


Level 22



Helm of Ghostly Defense (PHB) - Helps you take the sting off your opponent’s hits.


Level 23



Eye of Awareness (AV) - A decent bonus to Will defense, and a huge initiative boost on top of that.




Neck Slot Items

I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level  distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's  another version of the armor with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.


Level 2+



Badge of the Berserker (AV 2) - Cheap, and allows you to charge into any mess without having to worry about getting hammered coming in.

Cloak of Resistance (PHB) - Decent resistance for a turn.


Level 4+



Cloak of Distortion (AV) - Forces your enemies to get in close enough for you to engage them if they want to hit you with any kind of regularity.



Cloak of the Walking Wounded (AV) - Double second wind while bloodied is a nice way to get yourself back in a fight, especially for Dwarves. This is a touch weaker than the Amulet of Life, though, especially because the Amulet can trigger off any healing surge (not just second wind).


Level 5+



Amulet of Life (D 381) - Double-up healing every encounter? Fantastic.


Level 8+



Steadfast Amulet (AV) - This prevents daze or stun. 'Nuff said.




Level 9+



Amulet of False Life (PHB) - Your healing surge value in THP is a sweet ability, even if it's a Daily.



Amulet of Vigor (AV 2) - A boost to your healing surge value is a good thing to have, as is the ability to pile on extra healing once per day.


Level 10+



Periapt of Cascading Health (D 369) - Ends one effect per encounter, no questions asked. Win.



Level 13+



Amulet of Scales (D 365) - Scaling, immediate-application, encounter-long resistance to a keyword (which includes Arcane, Weapon, and the like, by the way) is nice.




Level 14+



Timeless Locket (AV 2) - Turn a Minor into a Standard, and it has a hefty initiative bonus as well? An excellent choice, even if the standard can't be used to attack.


Level 15+



Brooch of Vitality (AV) - More HP is nice to have, though this is a bit pricey.



Cloak of Displacement (AV) - A nice bonus to AC and Reflex until you get hit, and a pretty cool power. Worth a look.

Torc of Power Preservation (AV) - It retains Encounter powers when you use them. Need I really say more?


Level 30



Scarab of Invulnerability (PHB) - Makes you immune to everything for a round. Sure, it's a Level 30 item, but you will enjoy the short amount of time you'll have it.


Rings

Remember, you can have two of these, so look out for Rings that either work well together or work well in doubles.


Level 13



Ring of Giants (D 378) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage, and push 2 + prone on any primal attack power you may power-swap for can come in handy.


Level 14



Ring of Fury (D 366) - When you're bloodied, you let it be known.




Level 15



Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV) - A nice damage bonus to close attacks, and a sweet way to respond when you get bloodied.


Level 16



Ring of Protection (PHB) - Generic defensive item. Useful, though it's about as exciting as watching grass grow.



War Ring (AV) - Adds a little more 'oomph' into your criticals.


Level 17



Ring of the Radiant Storm (AV 2) - If you're planning on using a Radiant weapon, this is an excellent complement to that weapon's capabilities.


Level 18



Ring of Ramming (AV) - Hands you a bit more 'oomph' on those push effects. Nice.




Level 19



Foe Binder Ring (D 381) - Helps you defend your allies against area attacks, which is a nice expansion of your capabilities.


Level 20



Ring of Action Reversal (AV 2) - A hefty bonus to initiative checks, and a sweet benefit should you miss with an Encounter power.


Level 21



Ring of Heroic Insight (AV) - Allows you to buff yourself pretty well once per day.




Level 22



Blink Ring (AV) - Teleportation is nice to have.




Level 23



Greater Ring of Invisibility (AV 2) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. Especially mean with your marking ability.


Level 24



Golden Ring of Teros (AV 2) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.


Level 26



Kartan's Void Ring (AV 2) - Expensive, and doesn't scale at all, but mass marking and the possibility of actually dealing some damage and gaining HP at-will is sweet.

Ring of Guarded Will (AV 2) - A nice bump to Will defense.


Level 27



Avandra’s Ring (AV 2) - Ignoring difficult terrain is pretty cool. Too bad it shows up so late...

Ring of Khirad (AV 2) - If invisible enemies are ruining your day, this ring provides a definitive (if expensive) solution.

Ring of the Phoenix (AV) - A pretty sweet revival ability.

Shadow Band (AV) - You can't really argue against +2 to all defenses as a static property...




Level 28



Ring of Elemental Mastery (MOTP) - Allows you to shave some elemental resistance off your opponent, or flat-out ignore it after a milestone. Solid, especially for people looking to exploit elemental synergies.



Level 29



Ring of Free Time (L29) (AV 2) - Expensive, but resist all 5 is great on a Defender, as is an extra minor action every turn to pull off all those Utility powers simultaneously.


Level 30



Dauntless Champion’s Ring (AV 2) - For all you non-Demigods out there (you know who you are).

Nullifying Ring (AV) - A capstone defensive item. Pretty nuts... if you can foot the bill.




Waist Slot Items

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Level 8



Belt of Lucky Strikes (D 365) - A free attack after you miss is a solid benefit.

Belt of Vim (L8/18/28) (AV) - Reinforces your strongest defense.




Level 10



Diamond Cincture (L10/20/30) (AV 2) - It enables you to heal yourself, and also packs a bonus a to Fortitude. Tasty.


Level 11



Backbone Belt (AV) - If you second wind frequently (aka you are a Dwarf), this is a very nice item to have.

Healer's Sash (L11/21) (AV) - Anything that allows you to heal your allies is at least worth mentioning, even post-errata.


Totemic Belt (AV) - Buffs for charging are nice to have.


Level 15



Belt of Giant Strength (PHB) - A meh offensive Daily buff, but a pretty cool bonus to skills.



Level 18



Belt of Mountain Endurance (D 365) - Getting your main ability score as a bonus to your healing surge value is sweet, and having a benefit on an AP is icing. A great item for you.

Cord of Foresight (AV) - Hooray for front-loaded hit points!


Level 19



Belt of Breaching (AV 2) - Healing when you score a kill. Solid.


Level 23



Belt of Vitality (AV) - Gets you up when you're down, and boosts Fortitude. Pretty cool.


Level 25



Belt of Titan Strength (PHB) - A strong Melee buff for one turn, and strong skill bonuses.




Level 28



Sash of Regeneration (AV 2) - Regen while bloodied is nice.


Miscellaneous Items

Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.


Dragonshard Augments:




Level 2



Eberron Shard of Lightning (L2/12/22) (EPG) - A great incentive to wield Lightning weapons.

Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Incentive for wielding Flaming weapons.

Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Yet another reason to like Frost weapons.


Level 3



Siberys Shard of Radiance (L3/13/23) (EPG) - Another selling point for the Radiant weapon.


Wondrous Items:




Level 3



Demonskin Tattoo (L3/13/23) (AV 2) - While it may not be available every encounter, resistance to variable energy types is good enough to merit mention.


Level 9



Backlash Tattoo (AV 2) - A nice reprisal effect when you get bloodied.

Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381) - The constant pull effect is well worth the standard action expended in planting it. With this, no one can escape you forever, so long as you are between them and the battle standard.


Level 11



Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381) - Gives you more chances to make the rolls you need to make.


Level 10



Salve of Power (AV) - Post-errata, this trades a surge for another Encounter power, which is a pretty good deal for most characters, even Defenders.


Level 12



Foe Stone (AV) - Cheap, and it pinpoints your opponent’s weakest defense at will. Somebody in the party has to have this; why not you?

Stone of Earth (AV 2) - A no-questions-asked reroll for a Melee attack. Awesome.

Stone of Flame (AV 2) - Fire lovers want one of these around.

Stone of Light (AV 2) - If you're into Radiant damage, having a do-over in your back pocket sounds like a good idea to me.

Stone of Spirit (AV 2) - If you're partaking in Psychic attack support, a reroll is good stuff.

Stone of Storms (AV 2) - If lightning and thunder are your elements of choice, this is good to have.


Level 16



Solitaire (Aquamarine) (AV) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.


Level 21



Solitaire (Cerulean) (AV) - Expensive, but getting rid of (save ends) effects this easily should be.


Level 26



Solitaire (Violet) (AV) - Free AP’s after a crit are very nice to have, despite the high price tag.
Multiclassing: Expanding the Rock


Here are some notes on useful things your Fighter may want to pick up from other classes, such as feats, powers, Paragon Paths, and the occasional Epic Destiny. As is the norm, Black or higher synergies only here.

As for hybrids? While I'm usually not a fan of them, any other Defender class meshes well with Fighter, because Combat Challenge will trigger off of any sort of mark. Additionally, a Tempest|Ranger certainly starts out swinging, and a Weapon Talent Fighter|Barbarian can bring the charging pain. A Fighter dipping into Cleric, Runepriest, or Warlord could also be interesting.


Any Divine Class



While it's not a specific Multiclass path, I feel there are some options open to all Divine classes that merit mention here.

Paragon Paths

Morninglord (FRPG) - While the attack powers are likely of marginal use to you, the features enhance your potency with any source of Radiant damage (such as the highly prized Radiant weapon), and it can even help allies should they choose to follow your elemental example. A definitive option.



Assassin



While you won't find that much that you can poach off the class, it does offers access to the Ki Focus, which can be excellent for certain Fighter concepts.

Entry Feats

Shadow Initiate (D 382) - The two extra shrouds offer a smidge of extra damage every encounter, but the real catch is the access to the Ki Focus.



Avenger



While the power list has some parallels with yours (and keys off a secondary attribute), the real reason why you're here is the multiclass entry feat.

Entry Feats

Disciple of Divine Wrath (PHB 2) - Two turns of rolling everything twice every encounter can help your crucial blows, and that's always nice to have.



Barbarian



A nice pick for Fighters looking to improve on their personal damage (though you can find other kinds of tricks for durability or attracting attention here as well), a host of destructively powerful options await.

Entry Feats

Battle Berserker (HotFw) - While conditional, a hefty bonus to MBA damage can see use on a Fighter.

Berserker's Fury (PHB 2) - A free +2 to damage for a whole encounter in addition to the free skill? All right!


Powers

Oak Hammer Rage (L9, Daily - PHB 2) - A very nice power, adding prone to the end of every attack (or extra damage if the enemy is already prone) can be a very powerful control piece.

Rage of the Death Spirit (L9, Daily - PrP) - An excellent Rage power (which can stack with a Stance for even more chaos), this beauty starts out with a weakening attack, hands out mass marking every turn as a free action, and it gives you +2 to hit against a marked opponent as icing. A very tempting pick for a Fighter.

Stone Bear Rage (L9, Daily - PHB 2) - Some sizable resist all as a Daily is hardly bad.

Storm of Blades (L13, Encounter - PHB 2) - If you want single-target damage, this power brings plenty of it, and on an every-encounter basis to boot.

Desert Wind Rage (L19, Daily - PrP) - An autodamage effect in an area this large will attract plenty of attention, as well as deal with any troublesome minions or the like.

Winter Phoenix Rage (L19, Daily - PHB 2) - If you want to be insanely hard to kill, this is the power for you. Regeneration and an interrupt to pick you up should even that not be enough is a good combination to have.

Hurricane of Blades (L27, Encounter - PHB 2) - Downright horrific damage for an Encounter power.


Paragon Paths

Stonefire Rager (PrP) - Likely a better Path for you than for a Barbarian, this offers a decent batch of durability-oriented features and powers, along with some extra damage sprinkled in.

Winter Fury (PrP) - Gets you access to Permafrost without compromising your weapon choice, and immobilizing is something a Fighter definitely likes to do.



Bravo



While the power list this offers is extremely limited, the entry feat does offer a nice self-buff.

Entry Feats

Bravo (D 373) - A welcome bonus to hit and damage for two turns' worth of offense.



Cleric



A surprisingly effective MC option for a Fighter, this can actually offer a couple of cool options, especially ones involving radiant damage.

Entry Feats

Divine Healer (DP) - The feat itself won't blow you away - what will do that is the fact that you can swap Healer's Lore for the vastly superior Battle Cleric's Lore. If you're not wearing a Shield, this is the MC feat for you.

Initiate of the Faith (PHB) - While Religion is not all that hot as far as skill training is concerned, an emergency healing power is very welcome on a Fighter.


Feats

Radiant Advantage (Epic Tier - DP) - While it does come in late, this presents a very viable alternative to the Permafrost combo on a Ranger, especially one who like Melee or Close attacks.


Paragon Paths

Battle Chaplain (DP) - An expansion of your marking capability is a very nice thing to have, and the AP feature isn't half bad, either. The powers aren't all that good, but they aren't all that bad.

Radiant Servant (PHB) - While an improved critical feature may not seem like all that and a bag of chips, getting it on all powers (as opposed to on all Melee powers, which is what Weapon Mastery will get you), and getting it a whole tier early can't be counted out.

Tactical Warpriest (PHB) - This Paragon Path offers a whole new way to mark, some extra AC and nova damage, and now that the powers can key off Strength, they can be pretty useful as well. A very good choice.



Monk



While you probably won't get much in the way of power-swap options here, the default package is good enough to make it an option worth taking.

Entry Feats

Master of the Fist (D 404) - Brawlers will be more than happy to pick this one up.

Monastic Disciple (PHB 3) - The Monk's Flurry of Blows power once per encounter is actually a pretty sweet deal for a Fighter, and access to Ki Foci isn't half bad, either.



Paladin



While I would make the argument that little is needed from the Paladin's power list, the entry feats are nice enough to make you think about putting down some points in Wisdom (which you already want) or Charisma.

Entry Feats

Soldier of the Faith (PHB) - Divine Challenge once per encounter supplies you with the ability to multimark by threat alone if you play it right, which has some potential.

Soldier of Virtue (DP) - Automatic condition removal once per day makes for a decent emergency button.


Feats

Group Defense (Heroic Tier - DP) - If you're a Half-Elf and took Paladin MC, there's little reason to not pick up this excellent Defender feat.


Paragon Paths

Champion of Order (PHB) - Double-tap mark punishment? Certain Justice? Yes, please.



Ranger



If you're interested in dual-wielding, this offers a host of very damaging options to get that done.

Entry Feats

Two-Blade Warrior (MP) - Oversized dual-wielding? That's a pretty neat boost from a MC feat.

Warrior of the Wild (PHB) - Some Quarry damage for two turns is a pretty nice benefit, especially because any setup can benefit from it.


Powers

Disruptive Strike (L3, Encounter - PHB) - It works regardless of what weapon combo you're wielding, can trigger off an attack against anybody, and it makes the triggering attack much more likely to miss. Excellent.

Attacks on the Run (L9, Daily - PHB) - Another weapon-independent power, it offers some hefty damage and a move as well.

Blade Cascade (L15, Daily - PHB) - While this does offer show-stopping amounts of damage, it's at the same level as one of your big-boy powers, which makes its stock dip a little.

Cruel Cage of Steel (L19, Daily - PHB) - A brutal triple-hitting power that has enhanced accuracy and the ability to stun. An excellent pickup.

Death Rend (L27, Encounter - PHB) - A double-up attack that stuns is a rare and beautiful occurrence.


Paragon Paths

Blade Dancer (MP) - This is probably as good as it gets for a dual-wielding Fighter that's looking to go defensive. A static bonus to AC (and damage), with ways to get conditional bonuses to it, plus an absolutely brutal Encounter power make this well worth the feat you pay up front.



Rogue



An option for those wielding the proper weapons, this has a few goodies to offer a Fighter, particularly a Tempest.

Entry Feats

Sneak of Shadows (PHB) - Though the damage bonus is conditional and you can only use it once (as opposed to most other Strikers, who let you use theirs twice), this can be a serviceable option.


Powers

Tumbling Strike (L17, Encounter - D 381) - Some sick mobility, and a decent attack, all as a minor action. A good pick if you have the Dexterity for it.



Warden



This path offers access to a Defender who synergizes very well with you, so there are plenty of goodies to find here.

Entry Feats

Defender of the Wild (PHB 2) - An entry feat that gives you mass marking as an Encounter power? Sweet.


Feats

Crippling Crush (Heroic Tier - PrP) - A sweet damage bonus for powers that mess with your opponent and if you have a Hammer (a scenario that is within your ability to create).

Maneuvering Attack (Paragon Tier - PrP) - This is mostly covered by what Deadly Draw does for you, but if you like to push or can't always yank an enemy adjacent, it's worth a look.

Sudden Roots (Heroic Tier - PHB 2) - Gives you slowing shenanigans on your OA's, which is nice to prevent further movement.


Powers

Form of Winter's Herald (L1, Daily - PHB 2) - Quite simply one of the strongest lockdown powers in the game, especially in your hands. An excellent option.

Form of the Oak Sentinel (L9, Daily - PHB 2) - Extra reach, and damage enemies who hit you. Very nice.



Warlock



While the power list itself has next to nothing for you, there are enough goodies that come from this Multiclass to make you think about investing the points in Charisma to be able to get it.

Entry Feats

Pact Initiate (PHB) - The feat per se doesn't offer much (the power will likely be weak), but having the pact opens up other doors.


Paragon Paths

Avernian Knight (MP 2) - Likely the reason you took the MC in the first place, this offers the ability to make Warlock powers useful by making your Melee weapon an implement, as well as a great additional punishment mechanism for a Fighter. Certainly a prime choice.
Tactics: How to Be a Rock

After some analysis and playtesting, I believe that the following guidelines are key to playing a successful Fighter.


1. Know how you rock.



Making a successful Fighter is a balancing act - you have a finite number of resources, and very distinct priorities in how to invest them. I would argue your primary priority is to establish yourself as a threat, so that enemies feel compelled to respond to you. You can achieve this by a variety of means, including controlling enemy positioning, debuffing, personal damage, and even the mere act of putting yourself between your enemies and your allies. Most successful Fighters will have a smattering of all these techniques, with a focus one or two of them.

Next, you have worry about resilience, because all the attention you're warranting will be counterproductive if the enemies actually succeed in downing you without expending massive amounts of their own resources. That means investment in game elements to make yourself even more durable should definitely be on your radar.

Last but not least, a Fighter relies on timing. In general, your goal is to make life as painless as possible for your party, and that usually works out when you seize the initiative and take the fight to your enemies before they realize they're in one. As such, I prize initiative and additional ways to interrupt enemy actions on a Fighter more than on other classes.


2. Be all you can be.



Now that we've covered the general priorities of what you're building for, we'll delve into the builds themselves. Fighters are a rather diverse class when it comes to their particulars (as befits a class with such a massive amount of feat support), so we'll discuss those individually:

Battlerager - Given the massive amounts of THP this build generates, it's no wonder that most strategies focus around exploiting them in some way. The first one to consider is to use them as ablative resistance, which can justify a move to a more damaging weapon in an effort to generate the necessary threat, though it does feature being rather vulnerable to status effects. An alternative strategy is to "turtle up", and focus on either hard lockdown using powers, or ways to get these THP to your allies.

Brawler - As could be surmised, it's all about the grabs for this build. However, what you do in order to make that work varies. A Net Brawler has two notable advantages in range and control-oriented weapon support (though it gets pretty feat-intensive), whereas a Heavy Blade wielder can eschew these things in favor of increased personal damage (as well as setting allies up for said damage as well).

Tempest - This build has increased access to damaging powers, though its At-Will damage won't be notably different from that of other Fighters. In general, it features a strong bias for the Light Blade and a more aggressive flavor of Fighter, featuring two weapons, slightly higher personal damage, and a bit of mobility over the traditional package.

Weapon Talent (Sword + Shield) - This build has three main flavors: you can go for a build that is damaging to either individual targets or groups (Heavy Blade being the preferred weapon), a single-target lockdown specialist with solid damage of its own against its victim (with a Flail), or a debuff-oriented mass control sort of build (the Hammer seems to work best here). All have their virtues.

Weapon Talent (Two-Handed Weapon) - Two main schools of thought here; the first is one that focuses on control (with a Polearm and its associated feats), and the other focuses on threat via damage dealing (with Gouges and Fullblades being the weapons of choice).

Weapon Talent (Two Weapons) - Very similar to the Tempest build in concept, rather different in execution. The reason for this difference is access to the depth and breadth of the Fighter weapon and armor catalog, which in turn makes choices such as scale armor and Heavy Blades (or even Flails) available.


3. Know when to ask for help.



You may be the guy with the best healing surges and HP in your party (most of the time), but you're not a Solo monster. What this means is that you should take MOST of the hits, not ALL of the hits. If you do, you'll be face-planting more often than not (even with a dedicated healer), and you won't be contributing much after that. Having other allies who can dart in and out of the Melee and take some of the pressure off you can go a long way in prolonging the group's overall encounters per day before an extended rest. Not only that, but having an ally who can go toe-to-toe with the Brutes and Soldiers for a while frees you up to chase and lock down more mobile enemies like Artillery, Lurkers, and Skirmishers.


4. Be a team player.



If the party Rogue needs you to flank an enemy, help him out (especially if he's the one who has to provoke the OA to do it, because that nets you a potential free attack too). If you have to take some heat off the enemy so the Wizard can nuke the area, that's OK. If you have to provoke an occasional OA for moving in to get the aforementioned flank or to help get an enemy off your Wizard, that's OK too; you're the one responsible for everyone getting out of the situation alive.


5. Apply force judiciously.



Having a good understanding of a given tactical situation can save your party more time and HP than any combo you (or anyone else) can cook up. Learn when to stick to your guns and fight conservative, and when to gamble more resources to end the encounter faster. You don't necessarily need ALL your Dailies to take out the BBEG, after all, but you probably will need SOME of them.


6. Balance specialization with versatility.



Fighters are not exactly varied with regards to what they do; you get in your enemies' faces and keep them off the fragile members of your party. Avoid being one-dimensional; your opponents will exploit your limitations if you are. However, remember to play to your strengths as well; wanting to be good at everything usually ends up with your being good at nothing and mediocre at everything.
Sample Builds: Formation of the Rock

Coming soon...
Tips & Tricks: Twirling the Rock


Combo 1: Hammer Time



Piece 1: Any One-Handed Hammer
Piece 2: Footwork Lure (At-Will Attack Power, MP)
Piece 3: Forceful Opportunist (Heroic Tier Feat, D 378)
Piece 4: Shield Push (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 5: Hindering Shield (Paragon Tier Feat, D 385)
Piece 6: Overwhelming Impact (Epic Tier Feat, MP 2)
Piece 7 (optional, replaces Piece 3): Hammering Iron (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB 3)
Piece 8 (optional, replaces Piece 3 or Piece 7):
Knock-Back Swing (Epic Tier Feat, MP)

Sequence:

Standard, Opportunity, or Immediate Action - Attack with Tide of Iron, Opportunity Attack, or Combat Challenge Attack.

Description: A powerful action-denial combo, the way this works is by Hindering Shield adding a slow effect to every power with a push or a slide, and then Overwhelming Impact turning it into a daze effect, thus severely limiting what an opponent can do (and in the case of OA's and CC attacks, ending its turn outright). Piece 7 is an option for those Fighters who did not take Fighter Weapon Talent, whereas Piece 8 is a straight effectiveness upgrade.


Combo 2: Polearm Shenanigans



Piece 1: Greatspear (Two-Handed Superior Weapon, AV)
Piece 2:
Footwork Lure (At-Will Attack Power, MP)
Piece 3:
Swift Spear (Heroic Tier Feat, D 378)
Piece 4: Polearm Momentum (Heroic Tier Feat, MP)
Piece 5: Rushing Cleats (Feet Slot Item, AV)
Piece 6 (optional): Impaling Spear (Paragon Tier Feat, MP 2)
Piece 7 (optional): Polearm Gamble (Paragon Tier Feat, PHB)

Sequence:
Standard or Opportunity Action - Attack with Footwork Lure or Opportunity Attack.

Discussion: One of the classic combos in the Fighter's arsenal, this allows you to keep enemies where you want them fairly reliably through the combination of slides drawing them to you and Polearm Momentum knocking them prone, thanks to the Rushing Cleats turning the slides into 2-square events. The optional pieces add some more accuracy and range, respectively, to the ploy.


Combo 3: Headhunting



Piece 1: Any power that ends in a grab or the Grab action
Piece 2: Any One-Handed Axe or Heavy Blade
Piece 3: World Serpent's Grasp (Heroic Tier Feat, HotFK)
Piece 4:
Pin Down (Heroic Tier Feat, D 368)
Piece 5: Headsman's Chop (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB 3)
Piece 6 (optional): Gauntlets of Brutality (Hands Slot Item, AV 2)

Sequence:
Standard or Opportunity Action - Establish a grab via the Grab action or a power that ends in a grab.
Standard Action - Use the Knockdown Assault At-Will Attack Power.

Description: A combo to make an otherwise hard-to-get damage bonus accessible (especially for Brawlers), the Pin Down feat allows you to keep a grabbed opponent prone until he can escape the grab, Knockdown Assault provides you with an At-Will way of doing that, and Headsman's Chop takes advantage of it with a +5 damage bonus, while the enemy is immobilized and prone. The optional piece layers on even more damage.


Combo 4: Mind Games



Piece 1: Githyanki Silver Weapon (Weapon Property, Heavy Blade, MOTP)
Piece 2: Psychic Lock (Paragon Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 3 (optional): Headband of Intellect (Head Slot Item, AV)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Githyanki Silver Weapon (turns all damage dealt by the weapon into psychic damage, adds the Psychic keyword to the attack).

Description: A neat elemental combo, this uses the Githyanki Silver Weapon and the Psychic Lock feat to hand out a -2 to hit debuff on the next attack roll of anyone hit by the weapon. Piece 3 also provides a nice attack bonus to make this all more accurate.


Combo 5: Permafrost



Piece 1: Wintertouched (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 2: Lasting Frost (Paragon Tier Feat, PHB)
Piece 3: Frost Weapon (Weapon Property, Any Weapon, PHB)
Piece 4 (optional): Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (Dragonshard Augment, EPG)
Piece 5 (optional): Gloves of Ice (Hands Slot Item, AV 2)
Piece 6 (optional): Silvery Glow (Heroic Tier Feat, D 386)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Frost Weapon (turns all damage dealt by the weapon into cold damage, adds the Cold keyword to the attack).

Description: A nice and straightforward combo, Lasting Frost will combine with Frost Weapons to add cold vulnerability 5 to each hit, and Wintertouched gives you combat advantage as the cherry on top. This combo lasts so long as you keep hitting, and can be further enhanced by the optional pieces (which add more cold damage).


Combo 6: Superstorm



Piece 1: Deadly Draw (Heroic Tier Feat, PHB 3)
Piece 2: Mark of Storm (Heroic Tier Feat, EPG)
Piece 3: Lightning Weapon (Weapon Property, Any Weapon, PHB)
Piece 4 (optional): Eberron Shard of Lightning (Dragonshard Augment, EPG)

Sequence:
Free Action - Use the At-Will Power on the Lightning Weapon (turns all cold damage dealt by the weapon into lightning damage, adds the Lightning keyword to the attack).

Description: A rather interesting Melee combination, this involves using Mark of Storm and a Lightning weapon to constantly slide an enemy adjacent to you, which will in turn trigger Deadly Draw and hand you a permanent source of combat advantage, provided you keep hitting. The optional piece offers you some nice extra damage.


Combo 7: Grounded



Piece 1: Hindering Shield (Paragon Tier Feat, D 385)
Piece 2: World Serpent's Grasp (Heroic Tier Feat, HotFK)
Piece 3: Come and Get It (Level 7 Encounter Power, PHB)
Piece 4: Any Close Burst power
Piece 5 (optional, replaces Piece 3): Warrior's Urging (Level 23 Encounter Power, PHB)

Sequence:
Standard Action - Come and Get It (all enemies in range all pulled 2, then are slowed).
Action Point
Standard Action - Use any Close Burst power (all enemies hit by the second attack will be knocked prone, due to World Serpent's Grasp).

Description: A downright nasty combo, this enhances an already stellar power in Come and Get It by adding the ability to knock prone to its potential, thanks to Hindering Shield providing a slow effect you can then exploit by attacking any enemy affected by it again. The optional piece will get you a bit more pull range and damage.


Combo 8: Lashing Out



Piece 1: Flail Expertise (Heroic Tier Feat, MME)
Piece 2: Footwork Lure (Level 1 At-Will Power, MP)
Piece 3 (optional, replaces Piece 2): Lashing Flail (Paragon Tier Feat, MP 2)
Piece 4 (optional): Dragging Flail (Heroic Tier Feat, D 368)
Piece 5 (optional): Staggering Weapon (Weapon Property, Axe, Flail, Hammer, Heavy Blade, or Mace, AV)

Sequence:
Standard Action - Use Footwork Lure.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Description: This combo makes knocking enemies prone At-Will quick and easy - just slide them, and Flail Expertise takes care of the rest. The optional pieces either provide a more universal method of doing this (even outside your turn, should get an OA or CC attack), as well as some extra tricks to do when you pull this off (slide on knockdown, and increase the distance of said slide).
Thanks for getting around to updating the Fighter Handbook LDB, I have missed it, though you have been doing a sterling job on the rogue one.

I await your work eagerly... 
first page (ok, second).

I'm waiting for you to add all these good powers from MP2.

Good work and a kiss ^^

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

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

This should be interesting.

Godspeed, LDB, godspeed. 
New version coming up - nice!
Doing a rework of an already outstanding handbook on my favorite class is not a task that should be done quickly or carelessly.  Take your time in doing this.  I, among others, will definitely enjoy what you have to say.  Take care.

TheSeventhStooge...
Hmm, I don't suppose my Draconidas build could warrant an inclusion as a push-prone fighter that adds both str and con to damage?

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

pretty please?

prototype00
Groovy!  I've been looking forward to this update.
Awesome LDB, but we the restart.  How come you didn't use the old one.  Glad to see it updating, and can't wait to see your take on the brawler fighter.
The reason I'm restarting the thread is because I need more room for my current style of Handbook. If you notice, the first Handbook was 10 posts long. Here, the meat of the Handbook goes from 15 to 17 posts. I needed to reserve more space.
Greatly looking forward to this!  Fighters and Warlords are my favorite classes in 4e, and the handbooks have always been great reads and guides for my builds to help mesh my RP concepts with optimal choices within the RP framework.  I cannot wait to see your update!
Awesome LDB, but we the restart.  How come you didn't use the old one.  Glad to see it updating, and can't wait to see your take on the brawler fighter.


The reason I'm restarting the thread is because I need more room for my current style of Handbook. If you notice, the first Handbook was 10 posts long. Here, the meat of the Handbook goes from 15 to 17 posts. I needed to reserve more space.

Even if that were not the case, I think that a new thread is better.  There was plenty of good discussion in the other thread, but spread out over almost 1100 posts.  Far better to have a clean slate, I think.
Sweet, my Shifter Warden died two days ago, really considering making a fighter instead. Hoping for some solid builds for a Revenant Fighter. Perhaps something in the line of this guy. 

Two requests: First could you link this new handbook into you sig. Second, since you did a wonderful job (as always) on the rogue handbook, are you going to make an optimized Rogue build?

Ramius
58074418 wrote:
I strive for the freedom from expectations so many enjoy here; I fear I have a long journey to that level of spiritual creaminess.
Terrific!

I was looking for an update since I'm going to build a little Dwarf Battlerager (Two campaign ATM, first ranger, second figher xD) and I've seen some amazing powers/feat/PP on MP2 and Dragon. ^_^

Thanks lordduskblade
A quick note on Pinning Challenge. The feat is even a bit better than you are giving it credit for since it also works on ranged basic attacks (althogh this is kind of a niche build).

If you have a way to keep one target reliably marked at range (I personally like fighter|ranger/huntmaster, but even vanila fighter has encounter lasting marks), a hungry greatspear and the cleave/deft hurler combo - you can pretty much take one non-teleporting melee monster out of the fight while tanking another like glue.
I've seen "Tank" and "Tank 2.0" among your references....what about "Tank 3.0"? XD Here below you'll find the link Wink

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
I am really glad to see this getting a much needed update. Thanks LDR!

I would like to say that dual strike is also sky blue for brawling fighters who wield a spiked gauntlet in their off hand (and why wouldn't you?). 

I can't wait to see what you have to say about brawlers moving forward.

Well I did mention handling two weapons. That said, a Spiked Gauntlet is a nice tool for a Brawler.

@Marcows: Ehh... I don't know. I've been reading it, and while there are a lot of things I can agree with Gnoob on, there are some things that just don't fly in my book (no Rain of Steel and no Come and Get It is inexcusable IMHO, and I've expressed my distaste for the current Battlerager already).
It always irked me that many folks rank Dwarves sky-blue for Str Defenders, but Giths "only" blue, particularly on the Fighter who likes both Dex and Wis.
For every X Dwarves get, Giths have an O to match (+2 Init, +2 against Daze/Stun, +2 reactionary defense). And while Dwarves have a few top notch racial Fighter feats, Giths have so many general racial feats that all scream Defender! - it's not even funny. You could spend more than half of your feat total on those, and never feel short-changed, not even speaking of the Storvakaal PP.
Nice stuff you've written up here. I personally think Footwork Lure and Tide of Iron are greatly underappreciated and deserve more use than they tend to get - their controlling ability makes them some of the best at-wills in the game (alongside Twin Strike, Ray of Frost and Holy Strike).
Leaders are fifth wheels - the steering one.
Thanks for starting work on this update.

Just a minor correction to the L1 Encounter Powers: "Covering Barrage" is actually "Covering Attack".

It always irked me that many folks rank Dwarves sky-blue for Str Defenders, but Giths "only" blue


I think it's because Dwarf Fighters have the better synergy in the steadfastness, durability and punishment departments.  The Stand Your Ground feature alone has made several fights my Adrik has participated in significantly less troublesome, for example.
Tibis Refugee of many worlds
It always irked me that many folks rank Dwarves sky-blue for Str Defenders, but Giths "only" blue, particularly on the Fighter who likes both Dex and Wis.
For every X Dwarves get, Giths have an O to match (+2 Init, +2 against Daze/Stun, +2 reactionary defense). And while Dwarves have a few top notch racial Fighter feats, Giths have so many general racial feats that all scream Defender! - it's not even funny. You could spend more than half of your feat total on those, and never feel short-changed, not even speaking of the Storvakaal PP.


My guess is that it's the dwarves' minor action second wind which pushes them into sky blue territory...
My guess is that it's the dwarves' minor action second wind which pushes them into sky blue territory...

...and Dwarven Weapon Training and Dwarven Durability and the fact that Wisdom is generally more valuable to Fighters than Dexterity and the fact that Dwarves suffer the least from moving up to Plate from Scale and a million other things that make Dwarves (unfortunately from my perspective) easily the best race in the game overall, nevermind for Fighters.

The only classes for which Dwarves are actually a bad choice are non-defender, non-hammer or axe wielding classes for whom both Con and Wis are dump stats.  Off the top of my head, that's Sorcerer, maybe Rogue and...uh...

Heroes Don't Need Special Gear to Be Heroic - A guide to removing magic item dependency and smoothing out advancement. Reinventing the Workday: A Shift Towards Encounter-Based Resources - A guide to abandoning daily resources
M' dear, shield bash at level 1 is good... ok it scales horribly, but i'd put it at least blue.

And hack and hew skyblue

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

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

If Hack and Hew deserves Sky Blue, I'm the next Maria Callas just waiting to be found. It's great, but only because level 1 Fighter options STILL suck. When you compare it to other quality powers like, say, Warlord's Favor, Off-Hand Strike, Dishearten, etc., it just doesn't have that "yeah, this is grrrrrrrrreat!" luster. Being the least bad option does not justify Sky Blue.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
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