Stormhammer of Mercy

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Stormhammer of Mercy

Goliath Paladin of Arawai (Fighter)/Son of Mercy/Avatar of Storm



mjolnir_1.jpg


This build uses the following sources:

AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
DP - Divine Power
MP - Martial Power
MP2 - Martial Power 2
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3

NOTE: All DPR calculations are made against an enemy of an AC equal to the character's level + 14, and other defenses equal to the character's level + 12.

Lv. 1 Snapshot


Race: Goliath (PHB2)
Class: Paladin (PHB)
Class Feature: Ardent Vow (DP)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 18 (+4)
Constitution 15 (+2)
Dexterity 11 (+0)
Intelligence 8 (-1)
Wisdom 16 (+3)
Charisma 10 (+0)

HP: 30 --> 15 base, +15 Constitution
Bloodied: 15 HP or less
Healing Surges: 12 --> 10 base, +2 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 7 HP

AC: 18 --> 10 base, +8 armor
Fortitude: 15 --> 10 base, +4 ability (Strength), +1 class
Reflex: 11 --> 10 base, +0 ability (Dexterity), +1 class
Will: 15 --> 10 base, +3 ability (Wisdom), +1 class, +1 racial

Initiative: +0 --> +0 ability (Dexterity)

Speed: 5 --> 6 base, -1 armor

Holy Strike: +6 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6+9 damage
Critical: 21 damage

DPR: (.55*16) + (.05*21) = 9.85 DPR

Attack and damage breakdowns


Holy Strike

Attack
+4 STR
+2 proficiency, maul

Damage
+4 STR
+3 WIS if marked
+2 Goliath Greatweapon Prowess



Racial Powers:
Stone's Endurance (PHB2)

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Holy Strike (PHB)
L1 - Ardent Strike (DP)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L1 - Heedless Fury (DP)

Daily Attack Powers:
L1 - Blood of the Mighty (DP)

Skills:
Religion (+4) --> -1 ability (Intelligence), +5 trained
Intimidate (+5) --> +0 ability (Charisma), +5 trained
Endurance (+5) --> +2 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, -2 armor
Insight (+8) --> +3 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained

Feats:
L1 - Goliath Greatweapon Prowess (PHB2)

Gear (Expected GP = 100):
Maul (PHB) (30 gp)
Plate armor (PHB) (50 gp)
Standard adventurer's kit (PHB) (15 gp)
Throwing hammer (PHB) (5 gp)
0 gp

Discussion:
The Stormhammer of Mercy is very particular about his attributes. Naturally, he wants to start with an 18 STR. He also starts with a 16 in WIS, which is key to many of his abilities, powers and future feats. It also gives him a good Will defense, which is crucial. Even after the investments in Strength and Wisdom, the Goliath can still afford a starting 15 in Constitution, and a good thing that, since he'll need it much later on in his career to qualify for mastery in his weapon of choice, the maul. Out of the other stats, Dexterity is the highest, since we like a Reflex bump at Paragon Tier. Charisma is a little more important than Intelligence to us, since we don't want a negative modifier on Divine Challenge and Divine Sanction.

Like most Straladins, the Stormhammer begins his career almost as much a striker as a defender. He gets the enemy's attention by killing in one strike of his maul whenever possible. Heedless Fury, along with Divine Strength, is a pretty reliable way to take a full-health enemy at this level all the way to zero. And when that doesn't work, you have Blood of the Mighty to do it even better. Action-pointing the two together, along with also activating Ardent Vow, is a key way to dispatch an Elite early on. The Stormhammer takes his racial feat bonus to weapon damage to facilitate this process in the most cost-effective way possible.

As for at-will powers, Holy Strike is his bread and butter, being his most damaging at-will attack if his target is marked. He keeps Ardent Strike in reserve when he needs to Divine Sanction a foe.



Lv. 2


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Sudden Smite (D 388)
New Utility Power: Virtue (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,920):
L3 (680 gp): +1 Meliorating Plate (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Bloodclaw Maul (AV)
TOTAL: 1,720 gp

Discussion:
Sudden Smite is a great boost to his striking ability at this level. Now Divine Strength will never go to waste, since he can confirm a hit before using it now. It's now also a free action, helping his action economy. Since Heedless Fury leaves him vulnerable and will draw a lot of attention from the survivors, he also takes Virtue for a cushion of THPs at the start of every fight. It works out, as he's likely to burn through at least one surge per fight, anyway.

Magic items come into play here, too. The Stormhammer isn't playing with lightning just yet; he takes a Bloodclaw Maul, instead, whose encounter power will definitely play nice with his big-hitting encounter and daily powers to ensure enemies die as fast as possible, hopefully in one hit. Meliorating Plate becomes more effective as an adventuring day progresses. And he picks up the Amulet of Physical Resolve for a NADs boost, and saves against some annoying conditions.



Lv. 3


Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Strength from Valor (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,560):
L3 (680 gp): +1 Meliorating Plate (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Bloodclaw Maul (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 2,240 gp

Discussion:
Strength from Valor is a close burst power that also helps the Stormhammer live longer. It's good for minion-checking, it gives the Stormhammer some sweet THPs for each enemy he hits, and one unlucky fool that survives a hit from this isn't going to live much longer if the Stormhammer action points into Heedless Fury.

He also buys the Acrobat Boots for a nice ability early on to stand up from prone as a minor action.



Lv. 4


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (19), +1 Wisdom (17)
New Feat: Versatile Expertise (Weapon: Hammer, Implement: Holy Symbol) (PHB3)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 3,200):
L3 (680 gp): +1 Meliorating Plate (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Bloodclaw Maul (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 2,240 gp

Discussion:
Time for a hitting upgrade with Versatile Expertise. You also get stronger and wiser. No new items, you're saving up for a couple levels.



Lv. 5


Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Arc of Vengeance (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 4,480):
L3 (680 gp): +1 Meliorating Plate (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Bloodclaw Maul (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 2,240 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you get the solid close burst Arc of Vengeance. It'll get even better next level, when you can start marking an entire group of foes. No new items, you're still saving up.



Lv. 6


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Mark of Storm (EPG)
New Utility Power: Call of Challenge (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 6,400):
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Meliorating Layered Plate (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Bloodclaw Maul (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 4,960 gp

Discussion:
This level is when you begin your transformation from an unabashed per-encounter striker into more of a consistent defender who focuses on at-will DPR, battlefield control and mark optimization. Powers like Heedless Fury and Blood of the Mighty, and the action-point nova involving the two, are coming up on their last legs as monster HPs scale too fast for them to catch up.

To that end, you take the Mark of Storm, which will really pay dividends next level. You dip back into the Lv. 2 utility pool and pick up Call of Challenge for a per-encounter mass-Sanctioning power. Although your Sanctions by themselves don't deal that much damage, you'll be taking more powers that work wonders against marked foes shortly, so it's still good to have.

You can't afford a Lightning Weapon, yet, but you can afford an upgrade to your Meliorating Armor, so go for that.



Lv. 7


Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Powers: Winter's Edge (D 381), Divine Pursuit (DP) (retrained Heedless Fury)


Magic Items (Expected GP = 9,600 GP):
L10 (5,000 gp): +2 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Meliorating Layered Plate (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 9,440 gp

Discussion:
Another substantial level in your transformation. You buy that Lightning Maul to slide enemies left and right with Mark of Storm.

As for your new encounter power, you go back into the Lv. 3 pool and pick up another close burst power in Winter's Edge, which is something you should use after opening a round with Call of Challenge to immobilize a crowd. With your new weapon you'll slide them, too, and make the melee foes unable to hit back.

You also retrain Heedless Fury, since monster HPs have started outpacing its big-shot appeal, and take the fine single-target positioning power Divine Pursuit in its place.



Lv. 8


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (20), +1 Wisdom (18)
New Feat: Mighty Challenge (DP), Virtuous Recovery (DP) (retrained Sudden Smite)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 12,800):
L10 (5,000 gp): +2 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Meliorating Layered Plate (AV)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 11,520 gp

Discussion:
Huge level. Your get stronger and wiser again, this time enough to make a difference. You pick up Mighty Challenge to make your Divine Challenge an actual deterrence threat.

You also officially declare your function as a per-encounter striker over as you retrain Sudden Smite for some much-desired extra durability in Virtuous Recovery.



Lv. 9


Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Knightly Intercession (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 16,000):
L10 (5,000 gp): +2 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Meliorating Layered Plate (AV)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 13,320 gp

Discussion:
You pick up the Iron Armbands of Power for more damage on all your attacks, and you take Knightly Intercession for a solid rescue/punishment stack daily power.



Lv. 10


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Battle Awareness (MP)
New Utility Power: Shield of Discipline (DP)
New Trained Skill: Athletics (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 22,400):
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): +2 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Meliorating Layered Plate (AV)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 18,320 gp

Discussion:
Battle Awareness is huge, and not just because it puts you into the Fighter class. It's also a per-encounter immediate interrupt that you can even use on top of Divine Challenge or Divine Sanction punishment, which makes you a more serious threat as a defender on the whole. And with your Lightning Weapon and Mark of Storm, it can also slide the enemy out of attack range against your ally and waste the enemy's turn.

You also get the Strikebacks, which will serve you well through the rest of your career. It creates a nice catch-22 with your mark punishments and stackers once per encounter. As for your new utility power, you take Guiding Verse for the saving throw with a Wisdom-based bonus.



Lv. 11 snapshot


Race: Goliath (PHB2)
Class: Paladin (PHB)
Class Feature: Ardent Vow (DP)
Paragon Path: Son of Mercy (D 370)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 21 (+5)
Constitution 16 (+3)
Dexterity 12 (+1)
Intelligence 9 (-1)
Wisdom 19 (+4)
Charisma 11 (+0)

HP: 91 --> 15 base, +16 Constitution, +60 levels
Bloodied: 45 HP or less
Healing Surges: 13 --> 10 base, +3 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 22 HP

AC: 28 --> 10 base, +10 armor, +5 levels, +3 enhancement
Fortitude: 23 --> 10 base, +5 ability (Strength), +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +1 class
Reflex: 19 --> 10 base, +1 ability (Dexterity), +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +1 class
Will: 23 --> 10 base, +4 ability (Wisdom), +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +1 class, +1 racial

Initiative: +10 --> +1 ability (Dexterity), +5 levels, +4 feat

Speed: 5 --> 6 base, -1 armor

Holy Strike: +15 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6+20 lightning damage
Critical: 2d6+32 lightning damage

DPR: (.5*27) + (.05*39) = 15.45 DPR

Attack and damage breakdowns


Holy Strike

Attack
+5 levels
+5 STR
+2 proficiency, maul
+2 enhancement
+1 Versatile Expertise

Damage
+5 STR
+4 WIS if marked
+4 WIS Lawbreaker's Doom
+3 Goliath Greatweapon Prowess
+2 enhancement
+2 Iron Armbands of Power

Critical
+2d6 crit property



Racial Powers:
Stone's Endurance (PHB2)

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Holy Strike (PHB)
L1 - Ardent Strike (DP)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L1 - Divine Pursuit (DP)
L3 - Strength from Valor (DP)
L3 - Winter's Edge (D 381)
L11 - Dispensed Justice (D 370)

Daily Attack Powers:
L1 - Blood of the Mighty (DP)
L5 - Arc of Vengeance (DP)
L9 - Knightly Intercession (DP)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Virtue (DP)
L2 - Call of Challenge (DP)
L10 - Guiding Verse (DP)

Skills:
Religion (+9) --> -1 ability (Intelligence), +5 trained, +5 levels
Intimidate (+10) --> +0 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +5 levels
Insight (+14) --> +4 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +5 levels
Endurance (+11) --> +3 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +5 levels, -2 armor
Athletics (+15) --> +5 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +5 levels, +2 racial, -2 armor

Feats:
L1 - Goliath Greatweapon Prowess (PHB2)
L4 - Versatile Expertise (PHB3)
L6 - Mark of Storm (EPG)
L8 - Mighty Challenge (DP)
L8 - Virtuous Recovery (DP)
L10 - Battle Awareness (MP)
L11 - Improved Initiative (PHB)

Changes:
+7 HP
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (21), +1 Constitution (16), +1 Dexterity (12), +1 Intelligence (9), +1 Wisdom (19), +1 Charisma (11)
New Encounter Attack Power: Dispensed Justice (D 370)
New Feat: Honored Foe (DP)
New Paragon Path: Son of Mercy (D 370)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 32,000):
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Meliorating Gith Plate (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): +2 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 31,920 gp

Discussion:
Big level as you enter the Son of Mercy paragon path. This means that you inflict extra Wisdom modifier damage and the slow condition on one unlucky sap until he dies and you pick another poor fool to victimize. It also means you get Dispensed Justice, which is yet another immediate interrupt punishment stacker that plays nice with your Lightning Weapon and Mark of Storm. So now you have two such stackers every encounter, and since most fights are won or lost in the first two rounds, that's huge.

You also upgrade your armor and finally pick up Improved Initiative for a better chance to start your turn before the enemy does.



Lv. 12


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Honored Foe (DP)
New Utility Power: Red Death (D 370)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 48,000):
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Meliorating Gith Plate (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): +2 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 42,320 gp

Discussion:
You take Honored Foe for a huge durability boost. Red Death labels everyone around you a lawbreaker, making it good to pull out before a burst attack for some extra damage and slowing on the whole crowd. You also upgrade your neck item.



Lv. 13


Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Castigating Strike (DP) (replaces Divine Pursuit)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 64,000):
L15 (25,000 gp): +3 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Meliorating Gith Plate (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): Acrobat Boots (PHB)
TOTAL: 62,320 gp

Discussion:
You pick up Castigating Strike for yet more mass-marking goodness. And you also upgrade your weapon.



Lv. 14


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (22), +1 Wisdom (20)
New Feat: Forceful Challenge (D 378)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 80,000):
L15 (25,000 gp): +3 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Meliorating Gith Plate (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 72,800 gp

Discussion:
You get stronger and wiser again, this time up to the next modifiers. You get the Rushing Cleats, finally, which increases all your Mark of Storm slides by 1, which lets you screw up attacks from larger enemies. You can now also slide with your DC and DS thanks to Forceful Challenge. And last but not least, you get more defense with Circlet of Indomitability and the Diamond Cincture.



Lv. 15


Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Divine Vengeance (DP) (replaces Blood of the Mighty)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 112,000):
L15 (25,000 gp): +3 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Meliorating Gith Plate (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 89,800 gp

Discussion:
Divine Vengeance is a solid stance power that creates a balanced catch-22 situation between you and marked allies. You also buy a +3 Symbol of the Champion's Code for cheap, which makes your Divine Challenge and Divine Sanction that much more damaging.



Lv. 16


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Paragon Defenses (PHB2)
New Utility Power: Divine Aegis (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 160,000):
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Meliorating Warplate (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): +3 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 157,800 gp

Discussion:
Another big defense boost level, with Paragon Defenses, the excellent stance Divine Aegis, and an armor upgrade.



Lv. 17


Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Mark of Terror (DP) (replaces Strength from Valor)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 240,000):
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Meliorating Warplate (AV)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): +3 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (paragon tier) (EPG)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 214,000 gp

Discussion:
Some offense this time in the form of an Iron Armbands upgrade, the Eberron Shard of Lightning and the sweet stunning power Mark of Terror.



Lv. 18


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (23), +1 Wisdom (21)
New Feat: Untiring Virtue (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 320,000):
L20 (125,000 gp): +4 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Meliorating Warplate (AV)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (paragon tier) (EPG)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 314,000 gp

Discussion:
You get stronger and wiser to prepare for Epic Tier, and you upgrade your weapon to +4. You also get Untiring Virtue, which will give you more Ardent Vows per day. It'll serve for a while, but it'll become retraining fodder later.



Lv. 19


Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Wheel of Fate (DP) (replaces Arc of Vengeance)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 400,000):
L20 (125,000 gp): +4 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Meliorating Warplate (AV)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L12 (13,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (paragon tier) (EPG)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 366,000 gp

Discussion:
You upgrade your neck item, and you get a new daily in Wheel of Fate, which quite frankly is about everything you'd want with its strong chance of immediate free healing and encounter-long regeneration, and it's not even a stance.



Lv. 20


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Daily Attack Power: Blood Oath Fulfilled (D 370)
New Feat: Storm Sacrifice (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 560,000):
L20 (125,000 gp): +4 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Meliorating Warplate (AV)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (paragon tier) (EPG)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 434,000 gp

Discussion:
The big acquisition here is the Divinity feat Storm Sacrifice, which is very important, as it is necessary to qualify for your epic destiny the next level. That ED will enhance the benefits of that feat to something pretty awesome, as well, so don't worry about it being a feat tax. You also get the Son of Mercy's daily power, Blood Oath Fulfilled, which is pretty brutal after using Red Death, and will be even more so next level. No new items; you want to save up.



Lv. 21 snapshot


Race: Goliath (PHB2)
Class: Paladin (PHB)
Class Feature: Ardent Vow (DP)
Paragon Path: Son of Mercy (D 370)
Epic Destiny: Avatar of Storm (DP)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 26 (+8)
Constitution 19 (+4)
Dexterity 13 (+1)
Intelligence 10 (+0)
Wisdom 22 (+6)
Charisma 12 (+1)

HP: 154 --> 15 base, +19 Constitution, +120 levels
Bloodied: 77 HP or less
Healing Surges: 14 --> 10 base, +4 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 38 HP

AC: 38 --> 10 base, +12 armor, +10 levels, +5 enhancement, +1 feat
Fortitude: 35 --> 10 base, +8 ability (Strength), +10 levels, +4 enhancement, +1 class, +1 feat, +1 Diamond Cincture
Reflex: 27 --> 10 base, +1 ability (Dexterity), +10 levels, +4 enhancement, +1 class, +1 feat
Will: 34 --> 10 base, +6 ability (Wisdom), +10 levels, +4 enhancement, +1 class, +1 feat, +1 racial, +1 Circlet of Indomitability

Initiative: +15 --> +1 ability (Dexterity), +10 levels, +4 feat

Speed: 5 --> 6 base, -1 armor

Holy Strike: +29 vs. AC (with CA and Oncoming Storm)
Hit: 4d6+35 lightning and thunder damage
Critical: 4d6+59 lightning and thunder damage

DPR: (.7*49) + (.05*73) = 37.95 DPR

Attack and damage breakdowns


Holy Strike

Attack
+10 levels
+8 STR
+4 enhancement
+2 Versatile Expertise
+2 proficiency, maul
+2 Combat advantage
+1 Oncoming Storm

Damage
+8 STR
+6 WIS if marked
+6 Lawbreaker's Doom
+4 Goliath Greatweapon Prowess
+4 enhancement
+4 Iron Armbands of Power
+3 Eberron Shard of Lightning

Critical
+4d6 crit property



Racial Powers:
Stone's Endurance (PHB2)

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Holy Strike (PHB)
L1 - Ardent Strike (DP)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L3 - Winter's Edge (D 381)
L11 - Dispensed Justice (D 370)
L13 - Castigating Strike (DP)
L17 - Mark of Terror (DP)

Daily Attack Powers:
L9 - Knightly Intercession (DP)
L15 - Divine Vengeance (DP)
L19 - Wheel of Fate (DP)
L20 - Blood Oath Fulfilled (D 370)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Virtue (DP)
L2 - Call of Challenge (DP)
L10 - Guiding Verse (DP)
L12 - Red Death (D 370)
L16 - Divine Aegis (DP)

Skills:
Religion (+15) --> +0 ability (Intelligence), +5 trained, +10 levels
Intimidate (+16) --> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +10 levels
Insight (+21) --> +6 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +10 levels
Endurance (+17) --> +4 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +10 levels, -2 armor
Athletics (+23) --> +8 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +10 levels, +2 racial, -2 armor

Feats:
L1 - Goliath Greatweapon Prowess (PHB2)
L4 - Versatile Expertise (PHB3)
L6 - Mark of Storm (EPG)
L8 - Mighty Challenge (DP)
L8 - Virtuous Recovery (DP)
L10 - Battle Awareness (MP)
L11 - Improved Initiative (PHB)
L12 - Honored Foe (DP)
L14 - Forceful Challenge (D 378)
L16 - Paragon Defenses (PHB2)
L20 - Storm Sacrifice (DP)
L21 - Overwhelming Impact (MP2)
L21 - Oncoming Storm (PHB2)

Changes:
+9 HP
Ability Score Boosts: +3 Strength (26), +3 Constitution (19), +1 Dexterity (13), +1 Intelligence (10), +1 Wisdom (22), +1 Charisma (12)
New Epic Destiny: Avatar of Storm (DP)
New Feats: Overwhelming Impact (MP2), Oncoming Storm (PHB2) (retrained Untiring Virtue)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 800,000):
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Meliorating Legion Plate (AV)
L20 (125,000 gp): +4 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (paragon tier) (EPG)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 774,000 gp

Discussion:
Epic Tier is where the Stormhammer of Mercy takes full shape. The Avatar of Storm ED adds +2 to Strength and Constitution (the latter will be important next level), but perhaps just as important, all attacks with your Lightning Maul are now Thunder as well. The two immediate benefits of that are: (a) Storm Sacrifice's damage bonus now effectively doubles, and (b) you take the feat Oncoming Storm (retrain Untiring Virtue) and essentially get a free +1 bonus to attack fulltime.

But wait, it gets better. You multiclassed into Fighter in a large part because of the feat Overwhelming Impact, which you take immediately. Remember all those slowing attacks you made in Paragon Tier from the Son of Mercy PP? Well, they daze now. Yup, that's right, you daze with every single melee attack you make against lawbreakers. Fun stuff. Even more fun in conjunction with your Mark of Storm slides and attacks that immobilize and knock prone.

Also note that a dazed enemy gives up combat advantage, so you're also effectively getting permanent combat advantage.

You also upgrade your armor.



Lv. 22


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feats: Bludgeon Mastery (PHB), Weakening Challenge (D 378) (retrained Forceful Challenge)
New Utility Power: Return to the Living (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,200,000):
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Meliorating Legion Plate (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L20 (125,000 gp): +4 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 1,086,000 gp

Discussion:
Hope you're enjoying the awesomeness from Avatar of Storm. You get more offense this level to complement it. You increase your crit range with Bludgeon Mastery, and you also upgrade your Eberron Shard of Lightning. You also pick up some extra stickiness with Weakening Challenge, retraining Forceful Challenge to get it.



Lv. 23


Changes:
+6 HP
New Feat: Superior Initiative (PHB3) (retrained Improved Initiative)
New Power: Champion's Call (DP) (replaces Winter's Edge)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,600,000):
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Meliorating Legion Plate (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 1,586,000 gp

Discussion:
Two big events here with an extra +4 on your initiative from retraining Improved Initiative for Superior Initiative, and a great boost to your enemy positioning stickiness with Champion's Call.



Lv. 24


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (27), +1 Wisdom (23)
New Feat: Echoes of Thunder (PHB2), Robust Defenses (PHB2) (retrained Paragon Defenses)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,100,000):
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Brooch of Vitality (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Meliorating Legion Plate (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Amulet of Physical Resolve (PHB)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 1,706,000 gp

Discussion:
Retrain Paragon Defenses to Robust Defenses, and take Echoes of Thunder for another cool damage boost. Also upgrade your Diamond Cincture.



Lv. 25


Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Smite the Soul (DP) (replaces Knightly Intercession)
New feat: Strength Through Challenge (D 387) (replaces Virtuous Recovery)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,800,000):
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Brooch of Vitality (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Meliorating Legion Plate (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 2,266,000 gp

Discussion:
You head back to the Lv. 19 pool for your new daily power, because the Strength-based Paladin powers at this level are rather lackluster. You take the very solid Smite the Soul for even more enemy lockdown. You retrain Virtuous Recovery for a more consistent damage reduction option in Strength Through Challenge. You also upgrade your neck item to a Brooch of Vitality +5, which improves your max HP total substantially.



Lv. 26


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Divine Mastery (DP)
New Utility Power: Gather the Storm (DP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 4,000,000):
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Meliorating Godplate (AV)
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Brooch of Vitality (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L8 (3,400 gp): Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 3,966,000 gp

Discussion:
Recovering encounter powers is pretty good, last I checked, so you take Divine Mastery. You also get a new utility, Gather the Storm, which essentially amounts to +20 damage on all your attacks for the encounter. And you get your last armor upgrade.



Lv. 27


Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Stunning Smite (PHB) (replaces Castigating Strike)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 6,000,000):
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Meliorating Godplate (AV)
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Brooch of Vitality (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (epic tier) (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L17 (65,000 gp): Ring of the Radiant Storm (paragon tier) (AV2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 4,792,600 gp

Discussion:
You pick up the incomparable Stunning Smite, and you shop for a few odds and ends such as the excellent Eye of Awareness, the nice DPR-bump in Ring of the Radiant Storm and another upgrade to your Symbol of the Champion's Code.



Lv. 28


Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and attacks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (28), +1 Wisdom (24)
New Feat: Slashing Storm (MP2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 8,000,000):
L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Meliorating Godplate (AV)
L25 (625,000 gp): +5 Brooch of Vitality (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (epic tier) (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L17 (65,000 gp): Ring of the Radiant Storm (paragon tier) (AV2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 7,292,600 gp

Discussion:
You get smarter and wiser for the last time, to the next full modifier, you get another WIS-powered DPR boost by poaching Slashing Storm, and you get your last weapon upgrade.



Lv. 29


Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Power: Discipline the Unruly (DP) (replaces Divine Vengeance)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 10,000,000):
L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Brooch of Vitality (AV)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Meliorating Godplate (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (epic tier) (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L17 (65,000 gp): Ring of the Radiant Storm (paragon tier) (AV2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 9,792,600 gp

Discussion:
You upgrade your neck item. You also go back to the Lv. 25 list and pick up the excellent Discipline the Unruly. The important part of that power happens regardless of hit or miss.



Lv. 30 snapshot


Race: Goliath (PHB2)
Class: Paladin (PHB)
Class Feature: Ardent Vow (DP)
Paragon Path: Son of Mercy (D 370)
Epic Destiny: Avatar of Storm (DP)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 28 (+9)
Constitution 19 (+4)
Dexterity 13 (+1)
Intelligence 10 (+0)
Wisdom 24 (+7)
Charisma 12 (+1)

HP: 228 --> 15 base, +19 Constitution, +174 levels, +20 Brooch of Vitality
Bloodied: 114 HP or less
Healing Surges: 14 --> 10 base, +4 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 57 HP

AC: 45 --> 10 base, +14 armor, +15 levels, +6 enhancement
Fortitude: 45 --> 10 base, +9 ability (Strength), +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +1 class, +2 feat, +2 Diamond Cincture
Reflex: 39 --> 10 base, +1 ability (Dexterity), +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +1 class, +2 feat, +4 Epic
Will: 44 --> 10 base, +7 ability (Wisdom), +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +1 class, +2 feat, +1 racial, +2 Eye of Awareness

Initiative: +29 --> +1 ability (Dexterity), +15 levels, +8 feat, +5 Eye of Awareness

Speed: 5 --> 6 base, -1 armor
Fly Speed: 8 (hover) ---> 5 normal speed, +2 Windstrider bonus, +1 Mark of Storm

Holy Strike: +38 vs. AC (with CA and Oncoming Storm)
Hit: 4d6+48.94 lightning and thunder damage
Critical: 6d6+75.32 lightning and thunder damage
Slashing Storm: 7 damage

DPR: (.65*62.94) + (.10*96.32) + (.75*7) = 55.79 DPR

Attack and damage breakdowns


Holy Strike

Attack
+15 levels
+9 STR
+6 enhancement
+3 Versatile Expertise
+2 proficiency, maul
+2 Combat advantage
+1 Oncoming Storm

Damage
+9 STR
+7 WIS if marked
+7 Lawbreaker's Doom
+6 enhancement
+6 Iron Armbands of Power
+5 Eberron Shard of Lightning
+4 Goliath Greatweapon Prowess
+3 Echoes of Thunder
+1.94 Ring of the Radiant Storm (NOTE: Check here for the formula used to calculate rerolling damage and keeping the better result. Special thanks to the people better at math than me.)

Critical
+6d6 crit property
+2.38 Ring of the Radiant Storm



Racial Powers:
Stone's Endurance (PHB2)

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Holy Strike (PHB)
L1 - Ardent Strike (DP)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L11 - Dispensed Justice (D 370)
L17 - Mark of Terror (DP)
L23 - Champion's Call (DP)
L27 - Stunning Smite (PHB)

Daily Attack Powers:
L19 - Wheel of Fate (DP)
L19 - Smite the Soul (DP)
L20 - Blood Oath Fulfilled (D 370)
L25 - Discipline the Unruly (DP)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Virtue (DP)
L2 - Call of Challenge (DP)
L10 - Guiding Verse (DP)
L12 - Red Death (D 370)
L16 - Divine Aegis (DP)
L22 - Return to the Living (DP)
L26 - Gather the Storm (DP)

Skills:
Religion (+20) --> +0 ability (Intelligence), +5 trained, +15 levels
Intimidate (+21) --> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +15 levels
Insight (+27) --> +7 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +15 levels
Endurance (+22) --> +4 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +15 levels, -2 armor
Athletics (+29) --> +9 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +15 levels, +2 racial, -2 armor

Feats:
L1 - Goliath Greatweapon Prowess (PHB2)
L4 - Versatile Expertise (PHB3)
L6 - Mark of Storm (EPG)
L8 - Mighty Challenge (DP)
L10 - Battle Awareness (MP)
L12 - Honored Foe (DP)
L20 - Storm Sacrifice (DP)
L21 - Overwhelming Impact (MP2)
L21 - Oncoming Storm (PHB2)
L22 - Bludgeon Mastery (PHB)
L22 - Weakening Challenge (D 378)
L23 - Superior Initiative (PHB3)
L24 - Echoes of Thunder (PHB2)
L24 - Robust Defenses (PHB2)
L25 - Strength Through Challenge (D 387)
L26 - Divine Mastery (DP)
L28 - Slashing Storm (MP2)
L30 - Epic Reflexes (DP)

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Epic Reflexes (PHB2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Lightning Maul (PHB)
L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Brooch of Vitality (AV)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Meliorating Godplate (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (epic tier) (AV)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier) (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (epic tier) (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier) (EPG)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L17 (65,000 gp): Ring of the Radiant Storm (paragon tier) (AV2)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
TOTAL: 14,197,600 gp

Discussion:
Now you're ready to fly (in your case, literally). Go on your shopping spree, then let's go and hunt down a demon prince or two.



Build Goal and Tactics


The Stormhammer of Mercy, much like the paragon path from which he gets part of his moniker, seeks to combine brutal damage with brutal control. He's not the most damaging example of his role, or even his class, but when he's sliding enemies at will while dazing or immobilizing them at the very least, he doesn't need to be. But he is a Son of Mercy and an Avatar of Storm, after all, so make no mistake, he can pack a wallop.

This build functions best in the middle of a fracas, always looking to use his crippling encounter powers to make enemies' lives miserable. Per encounter, he has two stunning powers (one of them multitarget), an immobilizing/sticky power that can easily work out to a soft stun, and two immediate interrupt attacks that he can stack on top of his divine marks. And if that's not enough, he can finish the fight by packing some solid at-will damage for a defender. His defenses are decent for the most part (except for his Reflex), and he can take quite a few hits thanks to his utility powers and some key feats, so he should stay in the thick of the fight.

Comments welcome, of course.

Combos and Characteristics



Lv. 1


Defender mechanics


Divine Challenge: 3 damage --> 3 base, +0 Charisma
Divine Sanction: 3 damage --> 3 base, +0 Charisma



Heedless Fury


Sequence:
Minor action - Divine Strength
Standard action - Heedless Fury

Description:
The Stormhammer's encounter nova early on, which can often kill a standard enemy in one hit.

Damage on hit (maul):
Heedless Fury, +6 vs. AC: 6d6 + 2 (GGP) + 4 (STR) + 4 (Divine Strength) = 31 avg. damage

Lv. 1 enemy HPs: 29 (33 brute)

Variations:
1) If you start your turn next to your foe, use Ardent Vow for an extra +8 damage on the hit.
2) Use Blood of the Mighty instead (2d6 extra damage).



Lv. 6


Defender mechanics


Divine Challenge: 3 damage --> 3 base, +0 Charisma
Divine Sanction: 3 damage --> 3 base, +0 Charisma



Encounter nova, available Lv. 2


Sequence:
Standard action - Strength from Valor
Free action (on 1 enemy hit by SfV) - Divine Strength (Sudden Smite)
Free action (on 1 enemy hit by SfV) - Bloodclaw power
Minor action (on 1 enemy hit by SfV) - Ardent Vow
Free action - Action point
Standard action - Heedless Fury

Description:
You attack a crowd with Strength from Valor, getting some significant THPs in the process, and against one enemy of your choice that got hit and is still standing, you action point into Heedless Fury and let them have it. Your THPs are there to absorb extra attention you'll get from Heedless Fury's defense penalties.

Damage on hits (Bloodclaw Maul +1):
Strength from Valor, +11 vs. Fortitude: 2d6 + 1 (enh) + 2 (GGP) + 3 (Bloodclaw) + 4 (STR) + 4 (Divine Strength) = 21 avg. damage
Heedless Fury, +11 vs. AC: 6d6 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 (Ardent Vow) = 36 avg. damage
Total if both hit: 57 avg. damage

Lv. 6 enemy HPs: 72 (Brute 86)

This nova is running its course at this level, although a well-placed AoE from an ally can soften up an enemy enough to still kill them from this.



Daily nova, available Lv. 2


Sequence:
Standard action - Heedless Fury
Free action (on HF hit) - Divine Strength (Sudden Smite)
Free action (on HF hit) - Bloodclaw power
Minor action (on HF hit) - Ardent Vow
Free action (on HF hit) - Action point
Standard action - Blood of the Mighty

Description:
The stormhammer's big daily nova, nearing the end of its lifespan.

Damage on hits (Bloodclaw Maul +1):
Heedless Fury, +11 vs. AC: 6d6 + 1 (enh) + 2 (GGP) + 3 (Bloodclaw) + 4 (STR) + 4 (Divine Strength) = 35 avg. damage
Blood of the Mighty, +11 vs. AC: 8d6 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 (Ardent Vow) = 43 avg. damage
Total if both hit: 78 avg. damage

Lv. 6 enemy HPs: 72 (Brute 86)

This is about the last level in which this nova has any real appeal.



Daily crowd control, available Lv. 6


Sequence:
Minor  action - Call of Challenge
Standard action - Arc of Vengeance

Description:
Always mark a crowd before using the daily power Arc of Vengeance, in which case enemies take 4 damage (save ends) whenever they damage you or an ally, and that's not limited to once per round per enemy, either. This stacks with Sanction (3 damage), so you're more of a threat.



Lv. 11


Defender mechanics


Divine Challenge: 11 damage --> 6 base, +0 Charisma, +5 Strength
Divine Sanction: 6 damage --> 6 base, +0 Charisma

Immediate interrupts:
Battle Awareness (1/enc), +15 vs. AC:
If an enemy adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 2d6+12 lightning damage, and you slide the enemy 1 square. If the enemy is a lawbreaker, you deal 2d6+16 damage and the enemy is also slowed.
Dispensed Justice (1/enc), +15 vs. AC:
If a lawbreaker adjacent to you makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 4d6+16 lightning damage, you slide the enemy 1 square, and the enemy is slowed and takes a -2 penalty to attacks (including the triggering attack) until the end of your next turn.

Honored Foe: You gain 4 THPs whenever an enemy marked by DC or DS damages you.



Winter Storm (encounter crowd control), available Lv. 7


Sequence:
Minor action - Call of Challenge
Standard action - Winter's Edge

Description:
Immobilizes all foes that you hit. With Mark of Storm, you can also slide them to places where they can't reach you or your allies in melee, resulting in a soft-stun against melee-only foes. Of course, it always helps to pin down ranged foes, as well, for easier killing.



Lv. 16


Defender mechanics


Divine Challenge: 15 damage, and the enemy is slid one square --> 6 base, +0 Charisma, +6 Strength, +3 Symbol of Champion's Code
Divine Sanction: 9 damage, and the enemy is slid one square --> 6 base, +0 Charisma, +3 Symbol of Champion's Code

Immediate interrupts:
Battle Awareness (1/enc), +21 vs. AC:
If an enemy adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 2d6+14 lightning damage, and you slide the enemy 2 squares. If the enemy is a lawbreaker, you deal 2d6+19 damage and the enemy is also slowed.
Dispensed Justice (1/enc), +21 vs. AC:
If a lawbreaker adjacent to you makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 4d6+19 lightning damage, you slide the enemy 2 squares, and the enemy is slowed and takes a -2 penalty to attacks (including the triggering attack) until the end of your next turn.

Honored Foe: You gain 5 THPs whenever an enemy marked by DC or DS damages you.



Red Storm (encounter crowd control), available Lv. 12


Sequence:
Minor action - Red Death
Standard action - Winter's Edge

Description:
A variation of Winter Storm above, this time using your Red Death utility from your PP. If you tend to keep melee enemies from attacking in the first place with Winter's Edge, then Red Death's generic marks will do just fine.

However, Winter Storm above still has the edge at this level against foes with powerful ranged attacks.



Red Vengeance (daily crowd control), available Lv. 12


Sequence:
Minor action - Red Death
Standard action - Arc of Vengeance

Description:
Red Death marks all adjacent enemies and makes them all lawbreakers, but the marks are generic. Arc of Vengeance is a way to salvage those generic marks, since the save-ends extra deterrence damage works no matter how the enemy is marked. And that power also upgrades those marks from Red Death into Sanctions.



Lv. 21


Defender mechanics


Divine Challenge: 22 damage, and the enemy is slid one square --> 9 base, +1 Charisma, +8 Strength, +4 Symbol of Champion's Code
Divine Sanction: 14 damage, and the enemy is slid one square --> 9 base, +1 Charisma, +4 Symbol of Champion's Code

Immediate interrupts:
Battle Awareness (1/enc), +26 vs. AC (+27 vs. AC if you hit the enemy since your last turn, +29 vs. AC if lawbreaker):
If an enemy adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 4d6+23 lightning damage, and you slide the enemy 2 squares. If the enemy is a lawbreaker, you deal 4d6+29 damage and the enemy is also dazed.
Dispensed Justice (1/enc), +26 vs. AC (+29 vs. AC if you hit the lawbreaker since your last turn):
If a lawbreaker adjacent to you makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 4d6+29 lightning damage, you slide the enemy 2 squares, and the enemy is dazed and takes a -2 penalty to attacks (including the triggering attack) until the end of your next turn.

Honored Foe: You gain 6 THPs whenever an enemy marked by DC or DS damages you.



Red Oath (daily crowd control), available Lv. 20


Sequence:
Minor action - Red Death
Standard action - Blood Oath Fulfilled

Next turn:
Minor or standard action - Any marking power
Free action - Lawbreaker's Doom against one target you just re-marked

Description:
By now, it's pretty clear that Red Death should be used before the most devastating close burst you plan to use in any given encounter. This one is particularly nasty, knocking all the lawbreakers prone and making them unable to stand, and you do the standard slowing and sliding this build always does (not dazing, since it's a close burst and not melee). You even gain a WIS bonus to follow-up attacks against any lawbreakers.



Avatar's Storm Sacrifice, available Lv. 21


Sequence:
Minor action - Storm Sacrifice
Standard action - Any attack

Next turn:
Standard action - Any attack

Description:
Storm Sacrifice can give you two full turns of +10 damage against one enemy per encounter. Simple, but a huge part of this build that can end fights that much quicker.

If you start your turn in a crowd ripe for an AoE, and one of those enemies crowding you happens to be your preferred object of affection, you can even cast Storm Sacrifice in the same round as Red Death -> AoE.



Lv. 26


Defender mechanics


Divine Challenge: 22 damage, and the enemy is weakened --> 9 base, +1 Charisma, +8 Strength, +4 Symbol of Champion's Code
Divine Sanction: 14 damage, and the enemy is weakened --> 9 base, +1 Charisma, +4 Symbol of Champion's Code

Immediate interrupts:
Battle Awareness (1/enc), +31 vs. AC (+32 vs. AC if you hit the enemy since your last turn, +34 vs. AC if lawbreaker):
If an enemy adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 4d6+26 lightning damage (4d6+29 if you hit the enemy since your last turn), and you slide the enemy 2 squares. If the enemy is a lawbreaker, you deal 4d6+32 lightning damage (4d6+35 if you hit the lawbreaker since your last turn) and the enemy is also dazed.
Dispensed Justice (1/enc), +31 vs. AC (+34 vs. AC if you hit the lawbreaker since your last turn):
If a lawbreaker adjacent to you makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 4d6+32 lightning damage (4d6+35 if you hit the lawbreaker since your last turn), you slide the enemy 2 squares, and the enemy is dazed and takes a -2 penalty to attacks (including the triggering attack) until the end of your next turn.

Honored Foe: You gain 6 THPs whenever an enemy marked by DC or DS damages you.



Call Them Out, available Lv. 23


Sequence:
Minor action- Call of Challenge
Standard action - Champion's Call

Description:
Simple combo that first has you Sanctioning everyone within 3 squares of you, then pulling them over for some possible immobilization. The big start to a mass lockdown sequence.

Variation:
If your preferred targets are right next to you already, you can do Red Death in place of Call of Challenge.



Lv. 30


Defender mechanics


Divine Challenge: 25 damage, and the enemy is weakened --> 9 base, +1 Charisma, +9 Strength, +6 Symbol of Champion's Code
Divine Sanction: 16 damage, and the enemy is weakened --> 9 base, +1 Charisma, +6 Symbol of Champion's Code

Immediate interrupts:
Battle Awareness (1/enc), +35 vs. AC (+36 vs. AC if you hit the enemy since your last turn, +38 vs. AC if lawbreaker):
If an enemy adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 4d6+30 (reroll damage) lightning damage (4d6+33 (reroll damage) if you hit the enemy since your last turn), and you slide the enemy 2 squares. If the enemy is a lawbreaker, you deal 4d6+37 (reroll damage) lightning damage (4d6+40 (reroll damage) if you hit the lawbreaker since your last turn) and the enemy is also dazed.
Dispensed Justice (1/enc), +35 vs. AC (+38 vs. AC if you hit the lawbreaker since your last turn):
If a lawbreaker adjacent to you makes an attack that does not include you, on hit you deal 4d6+37 (reroll damage) lightning damage (4d6+40 (reroll damage) if you hit the lawbreaker since your last turn), you slide the enemy 2 squares, and the enemy is dazed and takes a -2 penalty to attacks (including the triggering attack) until the end of your next turn.

Honored Foe: You gain 7 THPs whenever an enemy marked by DC or DS damages you.



Ultimate Lockdown (sample encounter sequence), available Lv. 27


Sequence, Round 1:
Minor action - Call of Challenge
Standard action - Champion's Call, +33 vs. Will

Sequence, Round 2:
Minor action - Divine Challenge
Free action - Lawbreaker's Doom on DC target
Minor action - Storm Sacrifice
Standard action - Stunning Smite against DC target, +35 vs. Will
Free action - Action point
Standard action - Holy Strike against DC target, +35 vs. AC (+38 vs. AC if you hit with Stunning Smite)

Sequence, Round 3:
Standard action - Stunning Smite against DC target, +35 vs. Will (+38 vs. Will if you hit the target last turn)

Sequence, Round 4:
Standard action - Mark of Terror against DC target, +35 vs. AC (+38 vs. AC if you hit the target last turn)

Description:
Here we see how the Stormhammer of Mercy can potentially keep an entire encounter locked down for the first three rounds, and then a single enemy an additional round. Note that only encounter powers are being used, which means the Stormhammer can do this sequence as long as he has a action point. The second and third rounds also feature increased damage, thanks to Storm Sacrifice.

reserved for miscellaneous

Variants



*Reserved, will be filled as they come*
Just found this during my 'getting ready for work' time. Haven't had time to give it a thorough look over, but I really like what I'm seeing at a glance so far. I'll take another look when I get back.

I have a soft spot for Str Paladins
Whew, filled in the combos and defender mechanics section. Don't know what I'll put in the miscellaneous section, yet, but I got most of the important stuff, I think.
Very strong build, great write-up/breakdown.

I really like the things you did with this post. I think it'll get a surge of traffic in the next couple days, and probably hit around 1k views by the end of the week. It's definitely worth the look.
Why Goliath? The only thing I see specific to a Goliath is GGW. A Half-Orc can add str to DC and DS.

Also you can sacrifice 2 AC to have resist 5 all 100% of the time by using Tarrasque plate instead of Godplate. It makes the Goliath racial very meh.
Why Goliath? The only thing I see specific to a Goliath is GGW. A Half-Orc can add str to DC and DS.

Also you can sacrifice 2 AC to have resist 5 all 100% of the time by using Tarrasque plate instead of Godplate. It makes the Goliath racial very meh.



The +2 con makes getting Hammer feats much easier with less investment in con, allowing more investment in wis, where the +2 dex from Half-Orc is not nearly as useful.  Though a Half-Orc Variant may be something to look at.
Why Goliath? The only thing I see specific to a Goliath is GGW. A Half-Orc can add str to DC and DS.

Also you can sacrifice 2 AC to have resist 5 all 100% of the time by using Tarrasque plate instead of Godplate. It makes the Goliath racial very meh.




The +2 con makes getting Hammer feats much easier with less investment in con, allowing more investment in wis, where the +2 dex from Half-Orc is not nearly as useful.  Though a Half-Orc Variant may be something to look at.

Then Warforged or Longtooth Shifter would probably both work better. Goliaths don't offer a lot when you can get resist 5 all 100% of the time, other then +1 damage over weapon focus if you don't use a shield.
Why Goliath? The only thing I see specific to a Goliath is GGW.




Exactly why I went for it. This build is pretty feat-intensive, in case you couldn't tell.

Also you can sacrifice 2 AC to have resist 5 all 100% of the time by using Tarrasque plate instead of Godplate. It makes the Goliath racial very meh.




Tarrasque Plate is very meh in my book. It's better to not get hit in the first place. Plus there are other ways to get resist 5 all if I actually desired them for this build.

EDIT: Like Strength Through Challenge, which I just now added, in fact.

Also, it's not like resist 15 for a round isn't a significant boost when you need it, even over constant resist 5.
Actually according to the rounds to die calculator resist 5 all is > 2 AC. Tarrasque plate is mathematically superior to Godplate if you don't have another source of resist. Just not getting hit sounds good in theory, I agree.

Hi.



First of all, I appreciate wanting to think "out of your role." It's a great mechanical and metal exercise, but it also creates problems with the party. Wouldn't any party where this character joins expect him to be a good defender?


I mean, for example, mid-heroics, 3 damage with the Sanction and Challenge? Seriously? That's not going to prevent any DM from attacking another PC.


Now, the entire build is reminiscent of Thor - like the picture didn't gave a clue. - Was this the reason for the maul? There are better weapon choices, for a defender or striker point of view. I take it was to fit the God of Thunder concept?


Also, Sudden Smite? Was it really the best choice? It appears very weak, from both a crunch or fluff point of view. Maybe you can fit a better feat there. Like getting that Mighty Challenge earlier.


There is also a mistake, that I see on many builds here: Overwhelming Impact affects only melee, not close attacks. I know, it's tempting and an easy mistake to make, but maybe it's why it happens so often. Smile


I can see you trying to go for the "max damage" part of the build, you even have a DPR counter. But the total control part? I doubt it. It will be very hard to pull as a defender. Yet, this may excel as a second defender of a party.


Now, another thing that really itches me about builds with assumptions: they should point them out early. It is a necessary evil that these builds must be built in vacuum, away from game and party structures, as well as adventure and campaign context. But there is a different between vacuum and deep space void. It would be nice that these builds opened with a little box containing assumptions made during construction of the build, giving "weak" points that should be worked with the party and DM. Taking this build for example, it would be something like this:


 


- Fluid starting wealth; 


- The Dungeon Master allows dragonmarks;


- Eberron deities allowed;  


  And so on.


 


It wouldn't take much space or time, and would be nice for any readers that want to adapt a build for their specific needs.

Well, ahem, amid all of ... that ... you're right about Overwhelming Impact and I have made those corrections.
Made a couple of changes. Retrained out Sudden Smite at Lv. 8 to get Virtuous Recovery earlier, get Forceful Challenge at Lv. 12 for better mark consequences in Paragon, and worked it out to get Weakening Challenge MUCH earlier in Epic (and delayed Slashing Storm).
I've been considering a Thor build as Ardent Paladin, and this looks like a good place to start.

Will it work with a human, though? Can it also work without the dragonmark? (They are not legal in LFR, which also restricts magic item availability.)
RS: 60/60 CS: 60/60 RotS: 60/60 U:60/60 CotF: 60/60 BH: 60/60 A&E: 51/60 TFU: 53/60 LotF: 37/60 KotOR: 37/60 CW: 26/40 IE: 31/40 JA: 17/40 G@W: 7/40 DT: 7/40 Good trades with: Lily_Wan, creme_brule, suki_jedi_apprentice, Ephant_Mon
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