Ioun Grey Stone Marker: Half-Elf Tank 3.0 Catch-22

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A Battlemind|Fighter - Defender|Defender build with one of the nastiest catch-22 problems out there.

Essentially, uses Daring Blade from Bard to be a Con/Cha build. Mixes and matches from both sets of powers - Brash Strike means the build gets to add +Cha to Defenses, Brutal Barrage means lots of attacks, and Lightning Rush gives great options for attacking out of turn. Eldritch Strike is for the melee basic.

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Battlemind|Fighter, level 13
Half-Elf, Fighter|Battlemind, Daring Blade
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Power Point Option
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Hammer)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Wand)
Hybrid Talent: Combat Specialty
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Combat Specialty: Combat Superiority (Hybrid)
Background: Akanûl (Akanûl Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 21, Dex 13, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 21.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16.


AC: 30 Fort: 25 Reflex: 22 Will: 25
HP: 108 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 27

TRAINED SKILLS
Streetwise +16, Bluff +16, Endurance +14, Perception +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +5, Arcana +5, Diplomacy +13, Dungeoneering +6, Heal +6, History +5, Insight +8, Intimidate +11, Nature +6, Religion +5, Stealth +5, Thievery +5, Athletics +5

FEATS
Level 1: Melee Training (Charisma) (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
Level 6: Battering Shield
Level 8: Bardic Dilettante
Level 10: Harlequin Style
Level 11: Hindering Shield
Level 12: Arcane Familiar

POWERS
Dilettante: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Hybrid at-will 1: Brash Strike
Psionic Defense (Hybrid): Blurred Step
Hybrid daily 1: Steel Unity Strike
Hybrid utility 2: Psionic Vigor
Hybrid at-will 3: Twisted Eye (replaces Twisted Eye)
Hybrid encounter 3: Shield Edge Block
Hybrid daily 5: Rain of Steel
Hybrid utility 6: Daring Shot
Hybrid at-will/encounter 7: Lightning Rush
Hybrid daily 9: Iron Tomb
Hybrid utility 10: Fighter's Grit
Hybrid at-will/encounter 13: Brutal Barrage (replaces Spectral Legion)

ITEMS
Timeless Locket +3, Heavy Shield, Wyvernscale Armor of Dwarven Vigor +3, Staggering Warhammer +3, Rushing Cleats
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Level 21 version:

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Battlemind|Fighter, level 21
Half-Elf, Fighter|Battlemind, Daring Blade, Invincible Mind
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Power Point Option
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Hammer)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Wand)
Hybrid Talent: Combat Specialty
Combat Specialty: Combat Superiority (Hybrid)
Background: Akanûl (Akanûl Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 24, Dex 15, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 24.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 16, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16.


AC: 36 Fort: 36 Reflex: 30 Will: 34
HP: 159 Surges: 16 Surge Value: 39

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +22, Bluff +22, Endurance +24, Perception +16

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +10, Arcana +10, Diplomacy +19, Dungeoneering +11, Heal +11, History +10, Insight +13, Nature +11, Religion +10, Stealth +10, Streetwise +17, Thievery +10, Athletics +9

FEATS
Level 1: Melee Training (Charisma) (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
Level 6: Battering Shield
Level 8: Bardic Dilettante
Level 10: Harlequin Style
Level 11: Hindering Shield
Level 12: Arcane Familiar
Level 14: Hammer Shock
Level 16: Paragon Defenses (retrained to Robust Defenses at Level 21)
Level 18: Striking Resurgence
Level 20: Improved Initiative
Level 21: Overwhelming Impact

POWERS
Dilettante: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Brash Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Psionic Defense (Hybrid): Blurred Step
Hybrid daily 1: Steel Unity Strike
Hybrid utility 2: Psionic Vigor
Hybrid at-will 3: Twisted Eye (replaces Twisted Eye)
Hybrid encounter 3: Shield Edge Block
Hybrid daily 5: Rain of Steel
Hybrid utility 6: Daring Shot
Hybrid at-will/encounter 7: Lightning Rush
Hybrid daily 9: Iron Tomb
Hybrid utility 10: Fighter's Grit
Hybrid at-will/encounter 13: Brutal Barrage (replaces Twisted Eye)
Hybrid daily 15: Unyielding Avalanche (replaces Steel Unity Strike)
Hybrid utility 16: Iron Warrior
Hybrid at-will/encounter 17: Anvil of Doom (replaces Shield Edge Block)
Hybrid daily 19: Mind Blade (replaces Iron Tomb)

ITEMS
Heavy Shield, Diamond Cincture (paragon tier), Staggering Warhammer +4, Timeless Locket +4, Foe Binder Ring (paragon tier), Dwarven Wyrmscale Armor +4, Strikebacks (heroic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Rushing Cleats (heroic tier), Circlet of Arkhosia (paragon tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



Level 21 version post-Essentials:

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Battlemind|Fighter, level 21
Half-Elf, Fighter|Battlemind, Daring Blade, Invincible Mind
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Power Point Option
Hybrid Talent: Combat Specialty
Combat Specialty: Combat Superiority (Hybrid)
Background: Akanûl (Akanûl Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 24, Dex 15, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 24.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 16, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16.


AC: 36 Fort: 36 Reflex: 30 Will: 34
HP: 159 Surges: 16 Surge Value: 39

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +22, Bluff +22, Endurance +24, Perception +16

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +10, Arcana +10, Diplomacy +19, Dungeoneering +11, Heal +11, History +10, Insight +13, Nature +11, Religion +10, Stealth +10, Streetwise +17, Thievery +10, Athletics +9

FEATS
Level 1: Melee Training (Charisma) (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 2: Bludgeon Expertise
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
Level 6: Battering Shield
Level 8: Master of Stories
Level 10: Harlequin Style
Level 11: Hindering Shield
Level 12: Improved Defenses
Level 14: Hammer Shock
Level 16: Arcane Familiar
Level 18: Striking Resurgence
Level 20: Improved Initiative (retrained to Superior Initiative at Level 11)
Level 21: Overwhelming Impact

POWERS
Dilettante: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Brash Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Psionic Defense (Hybrid): Blurred Step
Hybrid daily 1: Living Fortress
Hybrid utility 2: Psionic Vigor
Hybrid at-will 3: Twisted Eye (replaces Twisted Eye)
Hybrid encounter 3: Shield Edge Block
Hybrid daily 5: Rain of Steel
Hybrid utility 6: Kirre's Roar
Hybrid at-will/encounter 7: Lightning Rush
Hybrid daily 9: Iron Tomb
Hybrid utility 10: Fighter's Grit
Hybrid at-will/encounter 13: Brutal Barrage (replaces Twisted Eye)
Hybrid daily 15: Unyielding Avalanche (replaces Living Fortress)
Hybrid utility 16: Iron Warrior
Hybrid at-will/encounter 17: Anvil of Doom (replaces Shield Edge Block)
Hybrid daily 19: Mind Blade (replaces Iron Tomb)

ITEMS
Heavy Shield, Diamond Cincture (paragon tier), Staggering Warhammer +4, Timeless Locket +4, Foe Binder Ring (paragon tier), Dwarven Wyrmscale Armor +4, Strikebacks (heroic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Rushing Cleats (heroic tier), Circlet of Arkhosia (paragon tier)
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Tactics:
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So what does this build do and do differently than the normal tank builds:
Can use Charisma to make martial melee attack rolls at 11th. This explains the oddball Str score for the Fighter side.

Harlequin Style: Brash Strike with +Cha to defenses. At 11th+, this ends up being +3 to +7 bonus to all defenses against my primary marked target. Woe to the Solo without bonus damage on CA when this happens...this also results in pretty good at-will damage due to the high Con.

Slide: Eldritch Strike can slide 7 squares at 13th(1 for Eldritch, 1 for Bludgeoning Expertise, 1 for Battering Shield, 1 for Rushing Cleats, 3 for Staggering Weapon)

Okay, but how is this different? It is different in that it has both elements of a catch-22 going on and extremely strongly - in the round, the character generally does the following:
Brash Strike with Harlequin Stance.

So now the opponent has a number of options, all of which are bad:
Try to shift and charge. If the enemy shifts, it activates Combat Challenge and then Blurred Step. On the charge, it then provokes an OA, which gives yet another attack and the potential of stopping it. Odds are pretty high of being Slid and Slowed, which can remove any possible targets.

Try to attack the Battlemind|Fighter. Due to Harlequin Stance and the +5 from Cha(+6 or better after 13th), this means effectively +3 to all defenses and the possibility of a Shield Edge Block to make that +7.

Try to move, then charge. OA can stop the move, slide the foe 6 squares away from opponents, and then unlike most Tank builds, this results in the opponent now being slowed. Likely, the target is still nearby, and so triggers Lightning Rush. With the Augment 2, the character is now the target of the attack and has the +3 to all defenses.

Attack an opponent while adjacent to this character. CC, if it hits, slides the target 6 squares away and slows it - as it is an interrupt, the attack is almost certainly negated.

Do a Close Burst. Best option, but still, going to be targeting the attack at a -3 to the Battlemind, -7 if Shield Edge Block is still available.

------------

Also, another option available to the character is to simply use the melee basic as a controller might - slide 7 + slow is quite nasty - hit an enemy in front of me, slide him next to someone I want to also mark, move up to them both, and spend a power point to augment so they're both marked. Or slide them through a trap or zone. Or slide them out of range of everyone so they can't even attack if they're a melee monster.

If someone is trying to block me from getting an my intended target, I can use the melee basic on them or even just use the Brash Strike on them and when someone else triggers my Lightning Rush option, I can then move around them - they'll likely miss with their OA. This also works when I want to cause other kinds of havoc, such on my first turn before my initiative comes up.

Finally, the Arcane Familiar is a Gallant Hawk - this gives all the benefits of Daunting Challenge(-3 to marks who don't attack you) and also grants a +2 to Perception and an encounter marking power.


[/sblock]

30th level version
[sblock level 30]
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Battlemind|Fighter, level 30
Half-Elf, Fighter/Battlemind, Daring Blade, Invincible Mind
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid) Option: Hybrid Power Point Option
Hybrid Talent Option: Psionic Study (Hybrid)
Psionic Study (Hybrid) Option: Speed of Thought (Hybrid)
Half-Elf Power Selection Option: Dilettante
Akanûl (Akanûl Benefit)
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 13, CON 26, DEX 15, INT 10, WIS 12, CHA 26
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 16, DEX 13, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 16
 
 
AC: 46 Fort: 47 Ref: 38 Will: 47
HP: 215 Surges: 17 Surge Value: 53
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +28, Endurance +32, Intimidate +28, Religion +20
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +15, Arcana +15, Athletics +14, Diplomacy +25, Dungeoneering +16, Heal +16, History +15, Insight +18, Nature +16, Perception +16, Stealth +20, Streetwise +23, Thievery +15
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Battlemind Feature: Battlemind's Demand
Battlemind Feature: Blurred Step
Battlemind Feature: Speed of Thought
Bard Feature: Majestic Word
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Fighter Attack 1: Brash Strike
Fighter Utility 2: Glowering Threat
Battlemind Utility 6: Winged Weapon
Religion Utility 6: Deliverance of Faith
Battlemind Attack 7: Lightning Rush
Fighter Utility 10: Fighter's Grit
Daring Blade Attack 11: Weapon Display
Daring Blade Utility 12: Defensive Posture (Daring Blade)
Fighter Attack 13: Anvil of Doom
Fighter Attack 15: Unyielding Avalanche
Battlemind Attack 15: Mind Blade
Fighter Utility 16: Iron Warrior
Daring Blade Attack 20: Offensive Spin Slash
Fighter Utility 22: Martial Supremacy
Fighter Attack 25: Reaper's Stance
Invincible Mind Utility 26: Indomitable Strategem
Battlemind Attack 27: Brilliant Recovery
 
FEATS
Level 2: Bludgeon Expertise
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
Level 6: Quick Reactions
Level 8: Master of Stories
Level 10: Harlequin Style
Level 11: Hindering Shield
Level 11: Versatile Master
Level 12: Improved Defenses
Level 14: Hammer Shock
Level 16: World Serpent's Grasp
Level 21: Overwhelming Impact
Level 21: Superior Initiative
Level 22: Rapid Combat Challenge
Level 22: Quickened Spellcasting
Level 24: Armor Specialization (Scale)
Level 26: Skill Power
Level 28: Martial Mastery
Level 30: Epic Will
 
ITEMS
Heavy Shield x1
Strikebacks (heroic tier) x1
Ring of Free Time (epic tier) x1
Dwarven Titanscale Armor +6 x1
Circlet of Arkhosia (epic tier) x1
Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier) x1
Belt of the Witch King (paragon tier) x1
Staggering Warhammer +6 x1
Greater Ring of Invisibility (epic tier) x1
Stone of Earth (paragon tier)
Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier) x1
Airstriders (epic tier) x1
Cloak of Distortion +6 x1
Feyslaughter Warhammer +5
====== End ======[/sblock]

Epic Tactics:
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Belt of Witch King is likely powered by Offensive Spin Slash for 40 hp of instant healing 1/day.

Moves 12 squares upon rolling initiative, likely goes first with a +41 Initiative. On the 1st turn, he's got a speed of 8 due to Quick Reactions. Airstriders mean he can fly 10 squares as a move action. So let's say something is flying 21 squares up, cackling evilly about how poor melee types will never get to it. He flies 10 squares up, does Martial Supremacy stance, then charges it with Eldritch Strike. He gets to roll twice to hit and on a hit, slides it 8 squares down and slows it. He then APs to charge it. Again getting to roll twice to hit, and on a hit, he slides it 8 squares down, dazes it(Overwhelming Strike) and prones it(World Serpent). He then falls down on his feet standing right next to it.

Ring of Free Time allows Greater Invisibility Ring use, Quickened Spellcasting with Eldritch Strike, swapping out weapons if there's a teleport threat, etc...

Defenses are usually going to be a lot higher than they appear - he gets effectively +7 to all defenses against Brash Strike target, +2 to all defenses from Concealment after a milestone after using Ring of Greater Invisibility, and +6 to all defenses against ranged attacks that are too far away from him)


Ioun Grey Stone dnd4e file on iplay4e
(Click on file once there to download for your own upload)

Thoughts?
An excellent demonstration of the shenanigans that Defenders can get up to with the right balance of tactics, well done.
I've been trying to come up with something really cool with Daring Blade over the last few days, albeit as a striker, and I've been starting worry that its not possible.  It's good to see somebody doing something truly savage with it.
Thanks!

Another interesting thing about it is that unlike the traditional push Fighter, it doesn't need a huge amount of Slide - I can get rid of either the staggering weapon or the feats and still have at least 3 squares of slide, which is enough to slide a target from one corner to another. That frees up a lot of room in an LFR-style game where you might not have the perfect item selection(or want a Feyslaughter weapon as your primary choice)

Also, it looks better in a way to use a Longsword until Epic. Lose +Con damage on the Brash Strike, but gain +1 to hit with the Eldritch Strike.

It works a lot better in Heroic than my previous versions as it is no longer just Fighter - Battlemind's Twisted Eye makes for a very nice start to the build...
Is this a direct upgrade of the Neon Orange Marker, or do they stand separately?

Edit: nevermind, found the answer in the prior thread. 
Me Likey.  Really well put together and functional.

How do you feel the first 1-10 play out with this style character?  Is it best avoided, doable but not great, fully functional, or better?
if you keep the hammer, all but begs for training Intimidate and getting Hammer Shock to make your OA and CC attacks with Eldritch Strike rattling.
Me Likey.  Really well put together and functional.

How do you feel the first 1-10 play out with this style character?  Is it best avoided, doable but not great, fully functional, or better?



Should be better than functional - with melee training, something a Battlemind would be getting anyway, you immediately get the 2 for 1 special - opponent shifts and then moves, you get two shots at 'em. Which will drive DMs nuts as normal Battleminds don't get the CC punishment and normal Fighters don't get the free shift, even on corners.

if you keep the hammer, all but begs for training Intimidate and getting Hammer Shock to make your OA and CC attacks with Eldritch Strike rattling.




The issue is weapon choice, game, and tier. I don't think Battering Shield stays in there at all if I get the Staggering Weapon. But if I don't, then it helps out a lot with the +1 to Slide as being able to Slide 3 is crucial.

An example of this is the following:
_XE____F
XM_
Y__

Let's say as an example, let's E is looking to shift and then charge F(Friend). M is me. If he gets hit by the CC, then I can slide via the path X to the point Y. Now he's slowed and can't reach F via the charge. I also can block the shift entirely - the goal is to slide the opponent in the square where if he continues the shift, he tries to shift into my square.

If he shifts on the diagonal, then I need slide 3 to get him there.

If I miss, I shift with him and then swat him on the OA.

In general, I think the heavy blade is probably best in paragon(+1 to hit via longsword) and hammer is best in Epic(daze on slow) - my decisions are representing ideal equipment and feats if I don't get that ideal equipment
Let's say that you want to play this character as more of an off-tank and thus up the damage with less regard for defender ability, what would you change?
Which will drive DMs nuts as normal Battleminds don't get the CC punishment and normal Fighters don't get the free shift, even on corners.



Meh, although normal fighters may not take mobile challenge (and thus be able to do this), there's an argument to be made that optimized ones will. However you have an advantage over a straight fighter since Mobile challenge is a little bit less reliable since you need to hit with CC to get the shift.
Great character.  My Paladin|Battlemind also has fun with Spectral Legion.  This looks like a fun build for paragon +, but couldn't really be played in a campaign which starts in heroic tier. 

If you take this build to epic, Invincible Mind would give a +2 to all attacks and make up for your low power point total.
Let's say that you want to play this character as more of an off-tank and thus up the damage with less regard for defender ability, what would you change?



Actually, the build is really pretty easy to set up for off-tank status. Instead of going Con/Cha, you go Str/Con and go Kensei. Then Brutal Barrage gets a big upgrade. Being a Half-Elf, the Brash Strike might even cover your CA penalty.

Which will drive DMs nuts as normal Battleminds don't get the CC punishment and normal Fighters don't get the free shift, even on corners.

 

Meh, although normal fighters may not take mobile challenge (and thus be able to do this), there's an argument to be made that optimized ones will. However you have an advantage over a straight fighter since Mobile challenge is a little bit less reliable since you need to hit with CC to get the shift.



Not only that - it works on corners, too. Mobile challenge happens before the opponent shifts(as CC is an interrupt). If you have the following situation:
___Y
__E_
_M__

Where the Enemy attempts to shift to Y, a normal Fighter with Mobile Challenge gets a free shift, but can't shift into E's square. So with only a shift 1 on a hit, he's stuck.


Great character.  My Paladin|Battlemind also has fun with Spectral Legion.  This looks like a fun build for paragon +, but couldn't really be played in a campaign which starts in heroic tier.  

If you take this build to epic, Invincible Mind would give a +2 to all attacks and make up for your low power point total.




I don't think there's a real problem in Heroic - but yes, Invincible Mind is definitely one of the Epic Destinies I'd look at - although, the low PP total isn't a real problem due to the focus on marking one opponent with the Battlemind mark and another one with the Brash Strike.

Hard to pass up +2 to hit
Regarding post above.


Kensei does not add any damage to brutal barrage. Kensei adds damage to all damage rolls and brutal barrage is not a damage roll.

Also why don't you take Hybrid Talent - Battlerager Vigor and gain Con mod temp hp on all attacks?
Added to the Ultimate Defenders thread.

Also why don't you take Hybrid Talent - Battlerager Vigor and gain Con mod temp hp on all attacks?


Because without Combat Challenge (via hybrid talent), it's only about catch-11.

Also why don't you take Hybrid Talent - Battlerager Vigor and gain Con mod temp hp on all attacks?


Because without Combat Challenge (via hybrid talent), it's only about catch-11.



You don't get Combat Challenge via Hybrid Talent, you get it for free. This build takes Hybrid Talent (Combat Superiority) which is only giving him +1 on all OA's. Surely better survivability is better than +1 on all OA's.

Also why don't you take Hybrid Talent - Battlerager Vigor and gain Con mod temp hp on all attacks?


Because without Combat Challenge (via hybrid talent), it's only about catch-11.



You don't get Combat Challenge via Hybrid Talent, you get it for free. This build takes Hybrid Talent (Combat Superiority) which is only giving him +1 on all OA's. Surely better survivability is better than +1 on all OA's.



sorry: i meant Combat Superiority (I always do that), but it is more than +1: it stops movement.

 it is more than +1: it stops movement.


This.

 Keep in mind that the Ioun Grey Stone Marker leverages two functions:
1. Nasty catch-22.  The enemy is left with no good choices.
2. Lockdown.  Blurred Step and Combat Superiority are part of the entire framework in making sure monsters don't have any means to get away.  They can't move away, they can't shift+charge, etc.  If you are adjacent, they are going to stay that way. 

 it is more than +1: it stops movement.


This.

 Keep in mind that the Ioun Grey Stone Marker leverages two functions:
1. Nasty catch-22.  The enemy is left with no good choices.
2. Lockdown.  Blurred Step and Combat Superiority are part of the entire framework in making sure monsters don't have any means to get away.  They can't move away, they can't shift+charge, etc.  If you are adjacent, they are going to stay that way. 



I forgot that it stops movement, my bad.
Kensei does not add any damage to brutal barrage. Kensei adds damage to all damage rolls and brutal barrage is not a damage roll.



Ok, the easy way to make it much more damage focused:
Go Str/Con with a 13 Wis, 11 Dex.
Get the Kulkor Battlearm Student and Disciple of Divine Wrath instead of Bardic Dilettante and Hindering Shield.
Do Brutal Barrage with Augment 1 to do 4 attacks - hit at least twice, knock the target prone. Knock the target prone, get a free melee basic attack against your target starting at 16th. Disciple of Divine Wrath means this is basically automatic against one opponent(not to mention huge chances of crits - that's likely 10 attack rolls in a round for 2 rounds without spending an action point)
Added to the Ultimate Defenders thread.



Thanks!
Let's say that you want to play this character as more of an off-tank and thus up the damage with less regard for defender ability, what would you change?



Here's the off-tank version:
Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Battlemind|Fighter, level 13
Half-Elf, Fighter|Battlemind, Kulkor Arms Master
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Power Point Option
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Hammer)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Wand)
Hybrid Talent: Combat Specialty
Combat Specialty: Combat Superiority (Hybrid)
Background: Akanûl (Akanûl Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 19, Con 21, Dex 12, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 13.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.


AC: 31 Fort: 25 Reflex: 22 Will: 22
HP: 108 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 27

TRAINED SKILLS
Streetwise +12, Athletics +13, Endurance +12, Religion +10

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +3, Arcana +5, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +9, Dungeoneering +8, Heal +8, History +5, Insight +10, Intimidate +7, Nature +8, Perception +8, Stealth +3, Thievery +3

FEATS
Level 1: Melee Training (Constitution) (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
Level 6: Weapon Focus (Hammer)
Level 8: Kulkor Battlearm Student
Level 10: Disciple of Divine Wrath
Level 11: Hammer Rhythm
Level 12: Armor Proficiency (Plate)

POWERS
Dilettante: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Brash Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Twisted Eye
Psionic Defense (Hybrid): Blurred Step
Hybrid daily 1: Steel Unity Strike
Hybrid utility 2: Psionic Vigor
Hybrid at-will 3: Spectral Legion (replaces Twisted Eye)
Hybrid encounter 3: Shield Edge Block
Hybrid daily 5: Rain of Steel
Hybrid utility 6: Daring Shot
Hybrid at-will/encounter 7: Lightning Rush
Hybrid daily 9: Iron Tomb
Hybrid utility 10: Fighter's Grit
Hybrid at-will/encounter 13: Brutal Barrage (replaces Twisted Eye)

ITEMS
Timeless Locket +3, Heavy Shield, Staggering Warhammer +3, Gith Plate Armor of Dwarven Vigor +3
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Basically, use Brutal Barrage to swing 4 times at the cost of a power point. You hit twice, you knock prone and get a free melee basic attack at 16th. Which can slide...with Oath of Enmity, you get two chances per swing.

Right, 8 attack rolls for the first 2 rounds of many combats, possibly 10. Unless you kill your opponent dead first.

It isn't anywhere near as scary as the build above, but that's an adapted build. Might want Tide of Iron instead of Brash Strike.
Just so I understand how this works in heroic tier- Fighter powers aren't used because of the low STR, but Melee Training gives you BMAs. Because you don't use your fighter powers, you can't use them to mark- but that doesn't matter much, because your Combat Challenge can trigger off of the mark from Battlemind's Demand. (Hybrid Battleminds do have Demand, right? The wording for Psionic Defense (Hybrid) on pg. 142 is odd.) Does that sound right?


That seems to work very well assuming three things.


 


1. The terrain is helping you to keep the battle enclosed.


 


2. Your opponent has only melee attacks.


 


3. Enemy “hitters” don’t have a soldier (or brute) type to soak up your IAs.


 


Against a well balanced group of intelligent enemies, the only thing I can see that combo helping out with would be making sure the enemy tank doesn’t get to your squishies.  You definitely put that guy in a bad situation, but the ranged attackers can just back away (not shift, just move back) and hit your ranged guys), while the lurkers and other melee just have to delay their turn until after the soldier has taken your IAs (and of course if you don’t use them on him, he will just go and have some fun with your squishies as well).


That seems to work very well assuming three things.


 


1. The terrain is helping you to keep the battle enclosed.


 


2. Your opponent has only melee attacks.


 


3. Enemy “hitters” don’t have a soldier (or brute) type to soak up your IAs.


 


Against a well balanced group of intelligent enemies, the only thing I can see that combo helping out with would be making sure the enemy tank doesn’t get to your squishies.  You definitely put that guy in a bad situation, but the ranged attackers can just back away (not shift, just move back) and hit your ranged guys), while the lurkers and other melee just have to delay their turn until after the soldier has taken your IAs (and of course if you don’t use them on him, he will just go and have some fun with your squishies as well).




You could always just use blurred step and an oportunity attack when the soldier shifts+charges and not waste the IR on it.
Eldritch Strike should be sufficient in keeping it away from the party, considering it has to actually get to your enemies when you slide it 6 squares and slow it. It may not even be able to attack at all after that ;) and not a single IR used.

@WEContact: The +2 bonus to attack Brash Strike gets means that it's accuracy isn't too far behind at low heroic, so if he needed an extra mark in a pinch it could work, but you've probably got the right idea there.


@sir_leo_iii: Your underestimating the effect of this build's OA's, which can be used to respond to every enemy in reach. A ranged attacker who just "backs away" will find himself slid next to the melee striker and slowed. Blurred Step actually makes for a defender who is very dangerous to ranged attackers, because if they want to do something besides make a melee basic attack against the defender, they're going to take at least one extra attack. Likewise (as Mairn points out) a soldier who tries to shift+charge to soak up an IA will just get slid harmlessly out of range and slowed by the OA.


That said, it's also important to note that no 4e defender tries to take all the incoming damage. That's an inefficient use of the party's healing surges even when it's possible, and back line characters are no longer so squishy that they're screwed if they have to take a few hits. But the strong defender abilities on this build mean that he can at least take the one or two most dangerous enemies and keep them under control.


That seems to work very well assuming three things.


 


1. The terrain is helping you to keep the battle enclosed.


 


2. Your opponent has only melee attacks.


 


3. Enemy “hitters” don’t have a soldier (or brute) type to soak up your IAs.


 


Against a well balanced group of intelligent enemies, the only thing I can see that combo helping out with would be making sure the enemy tank doesn’t get to your squishies.  You definitely put that guy in a bad situation, but the ranged attackers can just back away (not shift, just move back) and hit your ranged guys), while the lurkers and other melee just have to delay their turn until after the soldier has taken your IAs (and of course if you don’t use them on him, he will just go and have some fun with your squishies as well).




This build doesn't really care that much about terrain. The build has three basic things going for it:
Lockdown mark. Once the target is acquired, it is deep trouble. Brash Strike + Eldritch Strike to keep it next to me via immediate interrupt, free action shifts and OAs.

Lightning Rush. That ranged attacker targeting a friend of mine and he's within 5 of me? I'll soak the OA from the guy with a -3(or more) to hit me to move up to him and swat him with Lightning Rush and then I get my own OA against his ranged attack. He's now slowed and next to me.

Eldritch Strike. I can't emphasize enough just how much this makes this build dangerous. Have a zone or trap to slide someone through? Controllers need everyone in burst 1 formation? Have that soldier trying to block my way and I want to mark someone else? I can hit that soldier, slide him so far that he has no valid targets with a melee attack(slowed, so maybe he can charge me at a -5 to hit), and then move up to that ranged character who thinks he's safe, Battlemind's Demand him so he's marked, and now he's got those issues. Or I can just Brash Strike the soldier, move around him and eat the OA with a -3 penalty, move up to the ranged character, and Battlemind's Demand him.

If that ranged character tries to move away from me, Combat Superiority allows me to stop their movement with an OA. Note what this lets me do - I can slide them 6 next to another melee character and their movement is stopped. So now they take an OA. I can do this if they try to do a Ranged attack - I get an OA and then put them next to another melee and then they take another OA(as this happens before they make their ranged attack)

Let's walk through what that could mean: Ranged attacker within 5 of me(never seen my Lightning Rush, has no real reason to believe that I might have it), sees the soldier with a -3 penalty to hit me, decides to shoot at my melee striker ally. I trigger Lightning Rush and take an OA. I move next to the Ranged Character via Lightning Rush and make him target me instead. This triggers an OA from me on him, so I get to slide him next to my melee striker in a position which grants me cover and grants the melee striker an OA. And hey, if the striker is within 2 of a trap, I slide him through it. He saves, he falls down next to the striker. He fails, he triggers the trap and maybe I have enough slide to pull him back.

There's a whole bunch of absolutely sick options that the build has because he can both slide huge and lockdown.
Just so I understand how this works in heroic tier- Fighter powers aren't used because of the low STR, but Melee Training gives you BMAs. Because you don't use your fighter powers, you can't use them to mark- but that doesn't matter much, because your Combat Challenge can trigger off of the mark from Battlemind's Demand. (Hybrid Battleminds do have Demand, right? The wording for Psionic Defense (Hybrid) on pg. 142 is odd.) Does that sound right?



Yes. That's exactly right. It isn't a huge deal. Eldritch Strike with Slide 1 can be used to interrupt opponent attacks via CC and slide them away from their target(so as to make them lose their attack). Brash Strike can be used to multimark - you Brash Strike one target and Battlemind's Demand another.

If you think you can easily get Push 3 with your CC, you might pick up Shield Push so as to be able to create the basic situation in heroic, then retrain out when you start approaching Paragon.
Nice build. Do you think it would be tough through heroic since one of the main mechanics of this build is an encounter power until paragon?
In heroic you would use Melee Training to have a good MBA for OA and CC and train out once you got to Paragon. Brash Strike accuracy bonus hels too, and your Battlemind powers will be good.
It has an answer for every hard question that gets thrown at it. I like this build!
It has an answer for every hard question that gets thrown at it. I like this build!



Oh, I can even answer hard questions I haven't been asked

In high paragon/epic, you basically just imitate the Mr. Smith build, taking roughly the same feats. So at 21st, the build is not slowing on interrupts, it is dazing - which can negate someone's turn completely if they shift or move. And at 21st, the build also has a 26 Charisma, so +6 to all defenses from Brash Strike after taking CA into account. And then the slide also ought to be at least 8 squares from Eldritch Strike.

What's evil at Paragon turns insane in Epic...just imagine a monster deciding that a ranged attack that provokes 2 OAs is the best option, because at least then, the monster has a chance of hitting something...

 
Not only that - it works on corners, too. Mobile challenge happens before the opponent shifts(as CC is an interrupt). If you have the following situation:
___Y
__E_
_M__

Where the Enemy attempts to shift to Y, a normal Fighter with Mobile Challenge gets a free shift, but can't shift into E's square. So with only a shift 1 on a hit, he's stuck.



Yes and no. Depends on how literal or not you want to be. RAI I think it's supposed to work on diagonals too. Because otherwise the feat is damn near worthless (unless your DM just ignores the fact he can easily circumvent your ability except in the rare cases the opponent has a wall on two sides of him).

Also, RAW it doesn't actually give a specific timing in the feat... it just says "after you hit an enemy with a melee basic attack granted by your combat challenge class feature...". I think that consider this after to occur after the interrupted shift as well is a valid interpretation and also aligns with what I believe is RAI.
I love it !  OMG I want to play one of these !  :-)

That's probably the best synergy for a battlemind I've seen.  Very good job. 
Not only that - it works on corners, too. Mobile challenge happens before the opponent shifts(as CC is an interrupt). If you have the following situation:
___Y
__E_
_M__

Where the Enemy attempts to shift to Y, a normal Fighter with Mobile Challenge gets a free shift, but can't shift into E's square. So with only a shift 1 on a hit, he's stuck.



Yes and no. Depends on how literal or not you want to be. RAI I think it's supposed to work on diagonals too. Because otherwise the feat is damn near worthless (unless your DM just ignores the fact he can easily circumvent your ability except in the rare cases the opponent has a wall on two sides of him).

Also, RAW it doesn't actually give a specific timing in the feat... it just says "after you hit an enemy with a melee basic attack granted by your combat challenge class feature...". I think that consider this after to occur after the interrupted shift as well is a valid interpretation and also aligns with what I believe is RAI.



The shift is part of an action that is the immediate interrupt. So it happens first. The feat is not worthless in those situations - if your mark is not on a diagonal, you still know the square he's going to shift into that caused the interrupt. As you're the Fighter doing the mark, you have the ability to shift/move into position to then attack. But it limits your options by RAW.

In any case, as noted, Mobile Challenge requires the Fighter to hit, Blurred Step does not. If I can hit with my Combat Challenge, I don't even need Blurred Step as he's slid to a point where his shift is impossible or worthless. Blurred Step is to ensure that I stick even on a miss. That's what the Mobile Challenge Fighter clearly does not get and what makes this build so much more stickier... 
The shift is part of an action that is the immediate interrupt. So it happens first.



I don't see this in RAW. The shift's precise timing is unspecified. After CC could reasonably be read to be after the interrupt and the action it interrupted. Mobile Challenge does not specify the shift is part of the interrupt. By strict RAW, you could basically shift anytime "after". Furthermore, The shift isn't even given an action type, much less as being part of another action.

The feat is not worthless in those situations - if your mark is not on a diagonal, you still know the square he's going to shift into that caused the interrupt.



Is there anywhere in RAW where it says the DM has to specify which way the monster is shifting first? I am not aware of any.

That's what the Mobile Challenge Fighter clearly does not get and what makes this build so much more stickier...



I agree with this point. You definitely have better guaranteed stickiness.
The shift is part of an action that is the immediate interrupt. So it happens first.



I don't see this in RAW. The shift's precise timing is unspecified. After CC could reasonably be read to be after the interrupt and the action it interrupted. Mobile Challenge does not specify the shift is part of the interrupt. By strict RAW, you could basically shift anytime "after". Furthermore, The shift isn't even given an action type, much less as being part of another action.



i.e. it is a trigger in response to an action(hitting with combat challenge) and therefore happens immediately after that action, not some other action(the shift made by the opponent). It does not say it happens after the shift is resolved. It says it happens after the Combat Challenge. It may not be the most favorable possibility for the Fighter, but that's how it works.

Is there anywhere in RAW where it says the DM has to specify which way the monster is shifting first? I am not aware of any.



As part of Shift. They choose a square to shift to and as part of a move action shift to that square. If they're marked/adjacent, then that triggers the interrupt because they shifted - and that then happens before the shift is completed. It is the actual act of shifting that triggers the interrupt, not the declaration of intent to shift.
Once you get Hindering Shield, isn't there a serious amount of diminishing returns on Combat Superiority? Would it maybe be more beneficial to switch it out for weapon talent then?
Once you get Hindering Shield, isn't there a serious amount of diminishing returns on Combat Superiority? Would it maybe be more beneficial to switch it out for weapon talent then?



Being stopped is a big upgrade from slowed. If someone is trying to get away from me, odds are I don't want them doing that(or at least want myself to be in control of the situation). Being stopped means they fail to do that.

Also, in Epic, the choice is between Slow or Daze with the feat, so if I have Combat Superiority, that means their turn ends in the square of my choice, not their choice. 
Any chance of a lvl 21 and 30 snapshot? Be good to see how nasty this build is gonna be at the end of its career.
Any chance of a lvl 21 and 30 snapshot? Be good to see how nasty this build is gonna be at the end of its career.



Put up a 21st level version with roughly what should happen in the 1st post... Note the +30 initiative score at 21st and that's before I can retrain to Superior Initiative.

There are a variety of interesting feats/retrainings to take place in the Epic levels:
Quickened Spellcasting(Eldritch Strike) - Eldritch Strike by this point is a strong encounter power - slow or daze, slide 7, -2 penalty to hit. As a minor action, even better.
Rapid Challenge - lock up 2 targets
Rapid Regeneration - big con, heal 10+ hp per round as part of stances seems good.
Scale Armor Specialization. Never hurts to keep the AC up.
Bard of All Trades(I personally take this in Heroic, but that's just me - it even makes the Bluff options a little easier)
Epic Will/Reflex for obvious reasons.
Multiclass Mastery if you want Bard options
Pick up a Feyslaughter Hammer of slightly less plus to take out teleporting foes.

I find it difficult to put up a 30th level snap shot - I haven't played enough high Epic to have a real strong concept of what usually is necessary as so much of the game breaks near 30th. But hope the 21st one helps...

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