The Headsman - The Aggressive Brawler

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The Headsman – Fighter / Kensei / Eternal Seeker


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Intro Note


This build was designed for a game I am playing where there was already a primary defender, but the group lacked some DPR. Always one to try and do something different I looked at options for some solid DPR when I came across the combo of Pin Down and Headsman’s Chop. So I set out to see what could be done with the combo and this is what I came up with a Single Target Lockdown Fighter which can generate striker level single target DPR.


NOTE: DPR determined using Calatar’s DPR Calculator found Here. Monster AC was set at PC level +14, and other Defense at PC level +12.


This build uses the following sources:
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
FRPG - Forgotten Realm Player’s Guide
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
MP - Martial Power
MP 2 - Martial Power 2
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 11
PP - Primal Power

Level 1 Snapshot

Race: Human (PHB)
Class: Fighter (PHB)
Class Features: Combat Agility (MP 2)
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 18 (+4)
Constitution 14 (+2)
Dexterity 15 (+2)
Intelligence 8 (-1)
Wisdom 11 (+0)
Charisma 10 (+0)

HP: 29 --> 15 base, +14 Constitution
Bloodied: 14 HP or less
Healing Surges: 11 --> 9 base + 2 ability (Constitution)
Healing Surge Value: 7 HP

AC: 18 --> 10 base, +7 armor, +1 Brawler Style
Fortitude: 19 --> 10 base, +4 ability (Strength), +2 class, +2 Brawler Style, +1 Racial
Reflex: 14 --> 10 base, +2 ability (Dexterity), +1 Racial
Will: 11 --> 10 base, +1 racial

Initiative: +2 --> +2 ability (Dexterity)

Speed: 5 --> 5 Base

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Brash Strike (MP)
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assualt (PHH 1)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L1 - Bash and Pinion (MP 2)

Daily Attack Powers:
L1 - Comeback Strike (PHB)

Skills:
Athletics (+8) --> +4 ability (Strength), +5 trained, -1 armor
Endurance (+6) --> +2 ability (Constitution) +5 trained, -1 armor
Intimidate (+5) --> +5 Trained
Streetwise (+5) --> +5 trained

Feats:
L1 – Inescapable Grab (MP 2)
L1 – Improved Grab (PHB 2)

Gear (Expected GP = 100):
Khopesh  (AV) (20gp)
Scale Armor (PHB) (45gp)
Spiked Gauntlet (AV) (5gp)
Javelin (PHB) (3) (5gp each, Total 15gp)
Standard Adventurer's kit (PHB) (15gp)
Total: 100gp

Discussion:

Okay first lets go over the ability score breakdown. Here we see that Strength receive most of the points (9 out of 22 each, for a 16 before racial modifiers) because it is our primary stat. Dexterity gets the bulk or the rest (7 out of 22, for a 14 before racial modifiers) this is primarily for feat qualification purposes as well as the riders on several of our powers. What is left after Dexterity and Strength gets put into Constitution (5 out of 22 for a 14 before racial) this is for toughness and like Dex for feat qualification and riders. Finally the last point goes into Wisdom (1 out of 22 for a 11 before racial) simply to help our Will defense later on down the road. Intelligence and Charisma are the builds dump stats for the build and where you put the 8 and 10 is a matter of personal preference.

The first thing the character does is start by establishing his lockdown mechanic in the form of his grabs. By picking up Inescapable Grab you make it very difficult for a person to escape you grabs. Meanwhile Improved Grab helps to make your basic grab attack more accurate with the two you should be able to grab and immobilize a enemy of you choice each and every combat.


Level 2

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Utility Power: Battle Fury Stance (D 387)
New Feat: Pin Down (D 368)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,920):
L2 (520gp): +1 Dwarven Scale Armor (PHB)
L1 (360gp): +1 Magic Amulet (PHB)
L1 (360gp): +1 Magic Khopesh (PHB)
TOTAL: 1,240gp

Discussion:

At this level further increase you lockdown ability by adding in Pin Down allowing you to keep anyone caught in a grab prone. This combines with you at will knockdown assault to give you a nice bonus to hit verses you locked down target as well as debuffing the target. Meanwhile you pick up a nice boost to damage with Battle Fury Stance giving you a +2 bonus to damage on you attacks. Meanwhile you pick up your first batch of magic items, right now you stay fairly generic as you are waiting to get the good stuff.


Level 3

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Slamming Rush (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,560):
L4 (840gp): +1 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L2 (520gp): +1 Dwarven Scale Armor (PHB)
L1 (360gp): +1 Magic Amulet (PHB)
TOTAL: 1,720gp

Discussion:

At this level, you pick up Slamming Rush useful in quickly knocking the target prone and position them where you need them, meanwhile you also pick up a Master’s Blade which combined with you encounter stance gives you a consistent way to get +1 to hit with your attacks.  


Level 4

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (19), +1 Dexterity (16)
New Feat: Weapon Expertise: Heavy Blades (PHB 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 3,200):
L5 (1000gp): +1 Agile Scale Armor (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L2 (520gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
TOTAL: 2,360gp

Discussion:

At this level you get a boost to accuracy with Weapon Expertise. Meanwhile you also pick up a boost to your primary and secondary stats. Meanwhile with items you get a nice upgrade to AC with your new Agile armor and a bonus to durability with a Cloak of Resistance


Level 5

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Rain of Steel (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 4,480):
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L5 (1,000gp): +1 Agile Scale Armor (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L2 (520gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
TOTAL: 4,160gp

Discussion:

At this level, you get some nice upgrades to damage with Iron Armbands of Power, and Rain of Steel which thanks to our Master Blade can be used side by side with Battle Fury Stance.  way to create difficult terrain in Clutching Mire.


Level 6

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Headsman’s Chop (PHB 3)
New Utility Power: Mighty Sprint (PHB 3)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 6,400):
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L5 (1,000gp): +1 Agile Scale Armor (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
L2 (520gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
TOTAL: 5,000gp

Discussion:

Here you add Headsman’s Chop making you attack against your prone enemy even more devastating. For powers you get Mighty Sprint which should help you get to your target with in the first round of combat. You also get a nice upgrade to Initiative with Casque of Tactics.


Level 7

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Echoing Assault (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 9,600):
L10 (5,000gp): +2 Agile Drakescale Armor (AV)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
L2 (520gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
TOTAL: 9,000gp

Discussion:

At this level, you gain Echoing Assault which effectively gives you a solid multi attack. Meanwhile you upgrade your armor for some more defense and call it good.


Level 8

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (20), +1 Dexterity (17)
New Feat: Brawler Guard

Magic Items (Expected GP = 12,800):
L10 (5,000gp): +2 Agile Drakescale Armor (AV)
L8 (3,400gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
TOTAL: 11,880gp

Discussion:

At this point you get a boost to Strength and Dexterity continuing to buff you primary and secondary stat. For feats you pick up a defense boost with Brawler Guard. Meanwhile with items you upgrade your Cloak of Resistance to a Steadfast Amulet to help protect against the stunned or dazed effect which can interrupt you iron grip.


Level 9

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Victorious Surge (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 16,000):
L10 (5,000gp): +2 Agile Drakescale Armor (AV)
L8 (3,400gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
TOTAL: 11,880gp

Discussion:

Here you gain the Victorious Surge a nice reliable way to get some healing when you really need it with out spending a healing surge. Meanwhile with items you bank your money for the next level.


Level 10

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Weapon Focus: Heavy Blades (PHB)
New Utility Power: Fighter’s Grit (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 22,400):
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L10 (5,000gp): +2 Agile Drakescale Armor (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): +2 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L8 (3,400gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
L2 (520gp): +1 Farbond Spellblade Khopesh (AV 2)
TOTAL: 20, 760gp

Discussion:

Here you pick up Fighter’s Grit a nice encounter based utility to help you power through several effects that would normally shut you down.  Meanwhile with feats you pick up another nice damage bonus from Weapon Focus. Finally with Items you pick up a Diamond Cincture to help you access you healing surges and buff you all important Fortitude defense. You also pick upgrade you primary weapon and pick up you backup ranged weapon for some more damage potential.


Level 11 snapshot

Race: Human (PHB)
Class: Fighter(PHB 2)
Class Features: Combat Agility (MP 2)
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)
Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustment:
Strength 21 (+5)
Constitution 15 (+2)
Dexterity 18 (+4)
Intelligence 9 (-1)
Wisdom 12 (+1)
Charisma 11 (+0)

HP: 90 --> 15 base, +15 Constitution, +60 levels
Bloodied: 45 HP or less
Healing Surges: 11 --> 9 base, +2 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 22

AC: 28 --> 10 base, +8 armor,+5 levels, +2 enhancement, +1 Brawler Style, +1 shield, +1 item
Fortitude: 28 --> 10 base, +5 ability (Strength), +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +1 item, +2 class, +2 Brawler Style, +1 racial
Reflex: 23 --> 10 base, +4 ability (Dexterity), +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +1 shield, +1 racial
Will: 19 --> 10 base, +1 ability (Wisdom), +5 levels, +2 enhancements. +1 racial

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

Speed: 5 --> 5 base

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Brash Strike (MP)
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assault (PHH 1)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L1 - Bash and Pinion (MP 2)
L3 - Rain of Blows (PHB 2)
L7 - Echoing Assault (MP 2)
L11 - Master Stroke (PHB)

Daily Attack Powers:
L1 - Comeback Strike (PHB)
L5 - Rain of Steel (PHB)
L9 - Victorious Surge (PHB)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Battle Fury Stance (D 382)
L6 - Mighty Sprint (PHB 3)
L10 - Fighter’s Grit (MP 2)

Skills:
Athletics (+14) --> +5 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +5 levels -1 armor
Endurance (+11) --> +2 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +5 levels, -1 armor
Intimidate (+10) --> +5 trained, +5 levels
Streetwise (+10) --> +5 trained, +5 levels

Feats:
L1 - Inescapable Grasp (MP 2)
L1 - Improved Grab (PHB 2)
L2 - Pin Down (D 368)
L4 - Weapon Expertise: Heavy Blades (PHB 2)
L6 - Headsman’s Chop (PHB 3)
L8 - Brawler Guard (MP 2)
L10 - Weapon Focus: Heavy Blades (PHB)
L11 - Crushing Pin (MP 2)

Changes:
+6 HP
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (21), +1 Constitution (15), +1 Dexterity (18), +1 Intelligence (9), +1 Wisdom (12), +1 Charisma (11)
New Encounter Attack Power: Masterstroke
New Feat: Crushing Pin (MP 2)
Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 32,000):
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L10 (5,000gp): +2 Agile Drakescale Armor (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): +2 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L8 (3,400gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
TOTAL: 27,040gp
 
Discussion:

At this level you gain your Paragon Path Kensei for a nice +1 bonus to hit. Meanwhile you pick up Crushing Pin to help up you damage per round by dealing auto damage based on Dexterity to any target who fails to escape you grab. When combined with your high fortitude is pretty impossible to pull off meaning that you are pretty much guaranteed the damage. Meanwhile with items you upgrade you backup weapon and pick up Boots of Eagerness for some extra mobility.


Level 12

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Persistent Threat (D 387)
New Utility Power: Ultimate Parry (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 48,000):
L15 (25.000gp): +3 Agile Wyvernscale Armor (AV)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): +2 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L8 (3,400gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
TOTAL: 47,040gp

Discussion:

At this level your grab becomes that much harder to escape with Persistent Threat allowing you to maintain the grab even when you normally would not be able to. Meanwhile with an upgrade in armor you are that much harder to take down, and you new utility can be used to help that out as well preventing some damage from those attacks the do actually hit you.


Level 13

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Bash and Pummel (MP 2) (Replaces Bash and Pinion)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 64,000):
L15 (25.000gp): +3 Agile Wyvernscale Armor (AV)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): +2 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L8 (3,400gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
TOTAL: 47,040gp

Discussion:

Here you pick up Bash and Pummel for another really solid multi attack to punish you target with. Meanwhile for items you hold off on upgrades saving you money for better upgrades next level.


Level 14

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (22), +1 Dexterity (19)
New Feat: Great Fortitude (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 80,000):
L15 (25.000gp): +3 Agile Wyvernscale Armor (AV)
L13 (17.000gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): +2 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840gp): +1 Casque of Tactics (AV)
TOTAL: 43,840gp

Discussion:

At this level, you bump your main ability score in Strength and your secondary score in Dexterity. For feats you add Great Fortitude buff up your Fortitude defense and make it that much harder to escape you lockdown. For items you upgrade your Steadfast Amulet for some more NAD boosting.


Level 15

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Relentless Headlock (MP 2) (Replaces Comeback Strike)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 112,000):
L15 (25.000gp): +3 Agile Wyvernscale Armor (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): +3 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L13 (17.000gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L6 (1,800gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 97,600gp

Discussion:

At this level you add Relentless Headlock to your bag of tricks giving you the first ability you have to do a sustainable grab the ignores size restriction as well as solid way to generate a lot of damage against a single target. For items you upgrade you neck slot items and your primary weapon and call it a good level.


Level 16

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Deadly Axe (PHB)
New Utility Power: Painful Drag (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 160,000):
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25.000gp): +3 Agile Wyvernscale Armor (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): +3 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L13 (17.000gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
TOTAL: 140,800gp

Discussion:

Here your DPR gets a lot of nice boosts from you Kensei Paragon Path, to your upgraded Iron Arm Bands of Power, and then with your new High Crit weapon. This is the level were you really begin to show off you DPR potential. Meanwhile you pick up another nice movement utility in Painful Drag that can be used to isolate a target or move them to where your allies can help you take it down.


Level 17

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Battering Ram (MP 2) (Replaces Slamming Rush)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 240,000):
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25.000gp): +3 Agile Wyvernscale Armor (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): +3 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L13 (17.000gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
TOTAL: 205,800gp

Discussion:

At this level you replace you old and tired Slamming Rush with the big and better Battering Ram. Meanwhile you get another nice boost to DPR with Gauntlets of Brutality adding another +5 to damage verse prone targets.


Level 18

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (23), +1 Wisdom (13)
New Feat: Berserker's Fury (PHB 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 320,000):
L20 (125,000gp): +4 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): +3 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L13 (17.000gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
TOTAL: 305,800gp

Discussion:

At this level you pick up a daily boost to Damage with Berserker's Fury. You also continue to enhance you formidable defenses by upgrading you Agile Armor to +4.


Level 19

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Smash and Grab (MP 2) (Replaces Victorious Surge)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 400,000):
L20 (125,000gp): +4 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L18 (85,000gp): +4 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): +3 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L7 (2,600gp): +2 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
TOTAL: 373,800gp


Discussion:

At this level you pick up another daily grab attack Smash and Grab allowing you to now grab opponents of any size twice a day, and much like Relentless Headlock it allows you to pile on some extra damage on the target. For items you upgrade your Cloak of Distortion and call it good.


Level 20

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Daily Attack Power: Weaponsoul Dance (PHB)
New Feat: Paragon Defense (PHB 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 560,000):
L20 (125,000gp): +4 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L19 (105,000gp): +4 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L18 (85,000gp): +4 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L13 (13.000gp): +3 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L10 (5,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (PHB)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 513,200gp

Discussion:

Here you get a nice boost to defense with Paragon Defense. Meanwhile for powers you pick up a nice multi target attack in Weapon Soul Dance. Finally on the items front you upgrade you Primary and Secondary weapons and pick up a War Ring to help boost you DPR just a bit more.


Level 21 Snapshot

Race: Human (PHB)
Class: Fighter (PHB)
Class Feature: Combat Agility (MP 2)
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)
Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)
Epic Destiny: Eternal Seeker (PHB)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 24 (+7)
Constitution 16 (+3)
Dexterity 20 (+5)
Intelligence 10 (+0)
Wisdom 14 (+2)
Charisma 12 (+1)

HP: 151 --> 15 base, +16 Constitution, +120 levels
Bloodied: 75 HP or less
Healing Surges: 12 --> 9 base, +3 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 37 HP

AC: 38 --> 10 base, +10 armor. +10 levels, +4 enhancement, +1 Brawler Style, +1 shield, +2 item
Fortitude: 41 --> 10 base, +7 ability (Strength), +10 levels, +4 enhancement, +2 class, +2 Brawler Style, +2 item, +1 feat, +4 Epic Fortitude, +1 racial
Reflex: 32 --> 10 base, +5 ability (Dexterity), +10 levels, +4 enhancement, +1 feat, +1 shield, +1 racial
Will: 28 --> 10 base, +2 ability (Wisdom), +10 levels, +4 enhancement, +1 feat, +1 racial

Initiative: +18 --> +5 ability (Dexterity), +10 levels, +2 item

Speed: 6 -->6 base -1 Armor

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Brash Strike (MP)
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assault (PHH 1)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L7 - Echoing Assault (MP 2)
L11 - Master Stroke (PHB)
L13 - Bash and Pummel (MP 2)
L17 - Battering Ram (MP 2)

Daily Attack Powers:
L5 - Rain of Steel (PHB 2)
L15 - Relentless Headlock (MP 2)
L15 - Smash and Grab (MP)
L20 - Weaponsoul Dance (PHB)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Battle Fury Stance
L6 - Mighty Sprint (PHB 3)
L10 - Fighter’s Grit (MP 2)
L12 - Ultimate Parry (PHB)
L16 - Painful Drag (MP 2)

Skills:
Athletics (+23) --> +7 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +10 levels, - 1 Armor
Endurance (+17) --> +3 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +10 levels, -1 Armor
Intimidate (+18) --> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +10 levels, +2 item
Perception (+17) --> +2 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +10 levels
Streetwise (+16) --> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +10 levels

Feats:
L1 - Inescapable Hold (MP 2)
L1 - Improved Grab (MP 2)
L2 - Pin Down (D 368)
L4 - Weapon Expertise: Heavy Blades (PHB 2)
L6 - Headsman’s Chop (PHB 3)
L8 - Brawler Guard (MP 2)
L10 - Weapon Focus: Heavy Blades (PHB)
L11 - Crushing Pin (MP 2)
L12 - Persistent Threat (D 383)
L16 - Deadly Axe (PHB)
L18 - Berserker's Fury (PHB 2)
L20 - Paragon Defense (PHB 2)
L21 - Crushing Grab (D 368)
L21 - Epic Fortitude (PHB 2)

Changes:
+6 HP
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (24), +1 Constitution (16), +1 Dexterity (20), +1 Intelligence (10), +1 Wisdom (14), +1 Charisma (12)
New Epic Destiny: Eternal Seeker (MP)
New Feats: Crushing Grab (D 368), Epic Fortitude (PHB 2) (replaces Great Fortitude)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 800,000):
L20 (125,000gp): +4 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L19 (105,000gp): +4 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L18 (85,000gp): +4 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L18 (85,000gp): Ring of Draconic Zeal (D 365)
L17 (65,000gp): +4 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 770,200gp

Discusssion:

Well here you are epic level. With the addition of Crushing Grab your DPR has received a major boost, meanwhile Epic Fortitude helps to solidify your Inescapable Grab. Finally for items you pick up a Ring of Draconic Zeal allowing you to get to once a day get an extra attack, meanwhile on the defensive side of things you pick up an upgrade to your Diamond Cincture for more Fortitude and Healing Surge access.


Level 22

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feats: Epic Will (PHB 2), Robust Defenses (PHB 2) (replaces Paragon Defenses)
New Utility Power: Martial Supremacy (D 382)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,200,000):
L23 (425,000gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L20 (125,000gp): +4 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L19 (105,000gp): +4 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L18 (85,000gp): Ring of Draconic Zeal (D 365)
L17 (65,000gp): +4 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 1,110,200gp

Discussion:

At this level, you pick up Epic Will to sure up you lagging Will defense and trade out Paragon Defense for an overall nice boost to NADs. Meanwhile the defense boosting carries over to you items where you upgrade you neck slot item for even more defense. Finally with powers you pick up you new stance in Martial Supremacy giving a really strong boost to the accuracy of your At Will and Melee Basic Attacks.


Level 23

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Trollclaw Grip (MP 2) (Replaces Echoing Assault)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,600,000):
L24 (525,000gp): +5 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L23 (425,000gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L20 (125,000gp): +4 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L18 (85,000gp): Ring of Draconic Zeal (D 365)
L17 (65,000gp): +4 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 1,530,200gp

Discussion:

Here you finally replace Echoing Assault with Trollclaw Grip for an encounter based sustainable grab. Meanwhile on the item front you upgrade your primary weapon and call it good.


Level 24

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (25), +1 Dexterity (21)
New Feat: Marked Takedown (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,100,000):
L25 (625,000gp): +5 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L24 (525,000gp): +5 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L23 (425,000gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L18 (85,000gp): Ring of Draconic Zeal (D 365)
L17 (65,000gp): +4 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 2,030,200gp

Discussion:

At this level you pick up Marked Takedown allowing you to speed up you lockdown ability by knocking the target prone with any attack you hit it with. Meanwhile with items you upgrade you armor for some more defense.


Level 25

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Power: Clawed Ancestor Rage (PP) (Replaces Rain of Steel)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,800,000):
L25 (625,000gp): +5 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L24 (525,000gp): +5 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L23 (425,000gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L22 (325,000gp): +5 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L18 (85,000gp): Ring of Draconic Zeal (D 365)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L14 (21.000gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 2,290,200gp

Discussion:

Here, you upgrade you replace your old friend Rain of Steel with the powerful Clawed Ancestor Rage. Meanwhile you upgrade you secondary weapon and call it good.


Level 26

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Heavy Blade Mastery (PHB)
New Utility Power: Giant’s Might (FRPG)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 4,000,000):
L26 (1,125,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L25 (625,000gp): +5 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L24 (525,000gp): +5 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L23 (425,000gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L23 (425,000gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L22 (325,000gp): +5 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L18 (85,000gp): Ring of Draconic Zeal (D 365)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 3,772,200gp

Discussion:

At this level you pick up a new Utility Power in Giant’s Might allowing you to gain a substantial encounter long boost to DPR once a day that combines well with you other similar effects. Meanwhile you get a nice upgrade to Damage with your shiny new Epic Tier Iron Armbands of Power and Heavy Blade Mastery. You also get a nice boost to Will defense and Initiative with the your new Eye of Awareness


Level 27

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Power: Hurricane of Blades (PHB 2) (Replaces Bash and Pummel)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 6,000,000):
L28 (2,125,000gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L26 (1,125,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L25 (625,000gp): +5 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L24 (525,000gp): +5 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L23 (425,000gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L22 (325,000gp): +5 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L18 (85,000gp): Ring of Draconic Zeal (D 365)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 5,472,200gp

Discussion:

Here you pick up Hurricane of Blades one of the best single target damaging powers in the game, and with you strong static damage modifiers a truly devastating addition to you strategy. For items you do a final upgrade to you Neck Slot item and then bank the rest of you gold for later.



Level 28

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (26), +1 Dexterity (22)
New Feat: Reckless Attacker (MP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 8,000,000):
L29 (2,625,000gp): +6 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L28 (2,125,000gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L26 (1,125,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L25 (625,000gp): +5 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L23 (425,000gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L22 (325,000gp): +5 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L18 (85,000gp): Ring of Draconic Zeal (D 365)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 7,572,200gp

Discussion:

At this level, you cash in on your final ability score investments. Meanwhile you pick up Novice Power allowing you to pick up the brutal Hurricane of Blades encounter power. With Items you do a final upgrade to your primary weapon and call it a good level.


Level 29

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Power: Force of Battle (PHB) (Smash and Grab)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 10,000,000):
L30 (3,125,000gp): +6 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L29 (2,625,000gp): +6 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L28 (2,125,000gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L26 (1,125,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L23 (425,000gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L22 (325,000gp): +5 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2
L20 (125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (PHB)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 9,987,200gp

Discussion:

Here you pick up another powerful daily DPR boosting option with Force of Battle. For items you upgrade your armor a final time and prepare for level 30


Level 30 Snapshot

Race: Human (PHB)
Class: Fighter (PHB)
Class Feature: Combat Agility (MP 2) 
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)
Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)
Epic Destiny: Eternal Seeker (MP)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 28 (+9)
Constitution 16 (+3)
Dexterity 22 (+6)
Intelligence 10 (+0)
Wisdom 14 (+2)
Charisma 12 (+1)

HP: 205 --> 15 base, +16 Constitution, +174 levels
Bloodied: 102 HP or less
Healing Surges: 12 --> 9 base, +3 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 51 HP

AC: 49--> 10 base, +13 armor, +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +1 shield, +1 Brawler Style, +3 item
Fortitude: 54 --> 10 base, +9 ability (Strength), +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +2  feat, +4 Epic Fortitude, +2 Brawler Style, +3 item, +1 racial
Reflex: 41 --> 10 base, +6 ability (Dexterity), +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +2 feat, +1 racial
Will: 42 --> 10 base, +2 ability (Wisdom), +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +4 epic will, +2 item, +2 feat, +1 racial

Initiative: +26 --> +6 ability (Dexterity), +15 levels, +5 item

Speed: 5 --> 6 base - 1 Armor
 
At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Brash Strike (MP)
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assault (PHH 1)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L11 - Masterstroke (PP)
L17 - Battering Ram (MP 2)
L23 - Trollclaw Grip (MP 2)
L27 - Hurricane of Blades (PHB 2)

Daily Attack Powers:
L15 - Relentless Headlock (PHB 2)
L20 - Weaponsoul Dance (PHB)
L25 - Clawed Ancestor Rage (PP)
L29 - Force of Battle (PHB)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Battle Fury Stance (PHH 1)
L6 - Mighty Sprint  (PHB 3)
L10 - Navigate Crowds (PHB 2)
L12 - Ultimate Parry (PHB)
L16 - Painful Drag (MP 2)
L22 - Martial Supremacy (D 382)
L22 – Giant’s Might (FRPG)

Skills:
Athletics (+28) --> +9 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +15 levels, -1 armor
Endurance (+22) --> +3 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +15 levels, -1 armor
Intimidate (+22) --> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +15 levels, +1 Item
Perception (+22) --> +2 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +15 levels
Streetwise (+21) --> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +15 levels

Feats:
L1 - Inescapable Hold (MP 2)
L1 - Improved Grab (MP 2)
L2 - Pin Down (D 368)
L4 - Weapon Expertise: Heavy Blades (PHB 2)
L6 - Headsman’s Chop (PHB 3)
L8 - Brawler Guard (MP 2)
L10 - Weapon Focus: Heavy Blades (PHB)
L11 - Crushing Pin (MP 2)
L12 - Persistent Threat
L16 - Deadly Axe (PHB)
L18 - Berserker's Fury
L20 - Paragon Defense (PHB 2)
L21 - Crushing Grab (D 368)
L21 - Epic Fortitude (PHB 2)
L22 - Epic Will (PHB 2)
L22 - Robust Defenses (PHB 2)
L24 - Marked Takedown (MP 2)
L26 - Heavy Blade Mastery (PHB)
L28 - Reckless Attacker (MP)
L30 - Power Attack (PHB)

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Stat Boost: +2 Strength (28)
New Feat: Power Attack (PHB)
New Clas Feature: Epic Vitality (Reincarnate Champion, PP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L30 (3,125,000gp): +6 Agile Wyrmscale Armor (AV)
L30 (3,125,000gp): Diamond Cincture (Epic Tier) (AV)
L29 (2,625,000gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
L29 (2,625,000gp): +6 Master’s Blade Khopesh (AV 2)
L28 (2,125,000gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L27 (1,625,000gp): +6 Farbond Spellblade (AV 2)
L26 (1,125,000gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L23 (425,000gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L17 (65,000gp): Gauntlets of Brutality (AV 2)
L16 (45,000gp): War Ring (AV)
L9 (4,200gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
TOTAL: 14,290,200gp

Discussion:

Well, this is it level 30. You can now commence with the shrunken head collection.
 
Build Goal and Tactics

The goal here is to lockdown and quickly kill a target of your choice. The first and primary purpose of the build is the ability to lockdown a target. To this end the Brawler Style fighter gives us powerful grabs that are nearly impossible to escape. This combined with your ability to knock a target prone and keep them prone means that you can easily lockdown a target for as long as you need.


The next thing that needs to be considered for a character like this is mobility as you need to close with a target quickly if you hope to lock them down. To this end the build employs some items, and utilities which enhance its movement ability allowing to easily close with a target of its choice. 


Now once you have closed with the target and initiated your lockdown the next step is to kill them quickly so you can move on to the next. To this end you take advantage of your ability to keep a target prone and grabbed to generate striker level at will DPR, meanwhile you Encounters and Daily powers allow you to further increase you DPR by either generating multiple attacks or simply increasing your Damage out put with each round.


Finally what would a melee PC be with out some durability? Well with solid defense from sky high AC and Fortitude Defense to solid Reflex and Will Defenses you should be hard to take down. You also have solid HP and several ways to trigger healing surges. Meanwhile you primary target is taking a penalty to attack you so his attack will be even more ineffective then everyone else’s.


Qestions, thoughts, and comments are welcome.

Special Thanks:
Lordduskblade - For his awesome Fighter guide, and for the build format.
Koval - For helping me develop the build.
Calatar - For his awesome DPR calculator
To Everyone - For the awesome community and resources.


 

Combat Challenge, Opportunity Attacks, and Damage Breakdown




This build works a fine line between Striker and Defender. While it’s primary tool for defending is the builds Grab option to lock down a single target it does have a mark and can use it. Meanwhile if your enemy happens to escape your Grab your OA attacks may be important in keeping them close to you.


Combat Challenge Attacks

Level 1

Melee Basic Attack: +7 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8+4 damage
Critical: 12 damage


Level 11

Melee Basic Attack: +18 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8+15 damage
Critical: 2d6+23 damage


Level 21

Melee Basic Attack: +28 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+28 damage,
Critical: 5d6+3d8+44


Level 30

Melee Basic Attack: +37 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+38 damage,
Critical: 7d6+3d8+54 damage

Opportunity Attacks

Level 1

Grappling Strike: +7 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8+4 damage, and the target is grabbed until the end of you next turn
Critical: 12 damage, and the target is grabbed until the end of you next turn

OR

Combat Agility: +7 vs. AC
Effect: Shift 2 squares after the target moves
Hit: 1d8+4 damage, and knock target prone
Critical: 12, and knock target prone


Level 11

Grappling Strike: +18 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8+15 damage, and the target is grabbed until the end of you next turn
Critical: 2d6+23 damage, and the target is grabbed until the end of you next turn

OR

Combat Agility: +18 vs. AC
Effect: Shift 4 squares after the target moves
Hit: 1d8+15 damage, and knock target prone
Critical: 2d6+23 damage, and knock target prone


Level 21

Grappling Strike: +28 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+28 damage, and the target is grabbed until the end of you next turn
Critical: 5d6+3d8+44 damage, and the target is grabbed until the end of you next turn

OR

Combat Agility: +28 vs. AC
Effect: Shift 5 squares after the target moves
Hit: 2d8+28 damage, and knock target prone
Critical: 5d6+3d8+44 damage, and knock target prone


Level 30

Grappling Strike: +37 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+38 damage, and the target is grabbed until the end of you next turn
Critical: 7d6+3d8+54 damage, and the target is grabbed until the end of you next turn

OR

Combat Agility: +37 vs. AC
Effect: Shift 6 squares after the target moves
Hit: 2d8+38 damage, and knock target prone
Critical: 7d6+3d8+54 damage, and knock target prone

Damage Breakdown:

Level 1
Brash Strike: +8 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +8 --> +2 (Brash Strike), +4 (Strength), +2 (proficiency)
Hit: 1d8+6 damage
Damage: 6 --> +4 (Strength), +2 (Constitution)
Critical: 14
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

DPR: 9.95


Level 6
Brash Strike: +14 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +14 --> +3 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +4 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +1 (enhancement), +1 (feat), +1 (Master’s Blade),
Hit: 1d8+11 damage
Damage: 11 --> +4 (Strength), +1 (enhancement), +2 (item), +2 (Constitution), +2 (Battle Fury Stance)
Critical: 1d6 (Weapon) +19 damage
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

DPR: 12.33

Brash Strike (Prone): +16 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +16 --> +3 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +4 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +1 (enhancement), +1 (feat), +1 (Master’s Blade), +2 (Combat Advantage)
Hit: 1d8+16 damage
Damage: 11 --> +4 (Strength), +1 (enhancement), +2 (item), +2 (Constitution), +2 (Battle Fury Stance), +5 (Headsman’s Chop)
Critical: 1d6 (Weapon) +19 damage
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

DPR: 18.18


Level 11
Brash Strike (Grabbed): +20 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +20 --> +5 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +5 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +2 (enhancement), +2 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade),
Hit: 1d8+17 damage
Damage: 17 --> +5 (Strength), +2 (enhancement), +2 (feat), +2 (item), +2 (Constitution), +4 (Battle Fury Stance)
Critical: 2d6 (Weapon) +28 damage
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage:
 4 (Crushing Pin)

DPR: 22.10

Brash Strike (Grabbed & Prone): +22 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +22 --> +5 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +5 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +2 (enhancement), +2 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade), +2 (combat advantage)
Hit: 1d8+22 damage
Damage: 22 --> +5 (Strength), +2 (enhancement), +2 (feat), +2 (item), +2 (Constitution), +5 (Headsman’s Chop), +4 (Battle Fury Stance)
Critical: 2d6 (Weapon) +30 damage
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage:
 4 (Crushing Pin)

DPR: 28.80


Level 16
Brash Strike (Grabbed): +25 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +25 --> +8 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +6 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +3 (enhancement), +2 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade),
Hit: 1d8+25 damage
Damage: 25 --> +6 (Strength), +3 (enhancement), +2 (feat), +4 (item), +2 (Constitution), +4 (Battle Fury Stance), +4 (Kensei)
Critical: 3d6 (Weapon) + 2d8 (High Crit) +28 damage
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage:
 4 (Crushing Pin)

DPR: 33.68

Brash Strike (Grabbed & Prone): +27 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +27 --> +8 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +6 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +3 (enhancement), +2 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade), +2 (Combat Advantage)
Hit: 1d8+30 damage
Damage: 25 --> +6 (Strength), +3 (enhancement), +2 (feat), +4 (item), +2 (Constitution), +4 (Battle Fury Stance), +4 (Kensei), +5 (Headsman’s Chop)
Critical: 3d6 (Weapon) + 2d8 (High Crit) +28 damage
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage:
 4 (Crushing Pin)

DPR: 38.43


Level 21
Brash Strike (Grabbed): +30 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +30 --> +10 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +7 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +4 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade),
Hit: 2d8+31 damage
Damage: 31 --> +7 (Strength), +4 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +4 (item), +3 (Constitution), +4 (Kensei), +6 (Battle Fury Stance)
Critical: 4d6 (Weapon) +1d6 (War Ring) + 3d8 (High Crit) + 47 damage
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage:
 17 --> + 5 (Crushing Pin), +12 (Crushing Grab)

DPR: 48.65

Brash Strike (Grabbed & Prone): +32 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +32 --> +10 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +7 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +4 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade), +2 (combat advantage)
Hit: 2d8+41 damage
Damage: 41 --> +9 (Strength), +4 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +4 (item), +3 (Constitution), +5 (Headsman’s Chop), +5 (Gauntlets of Brutality), +4 (Kensei) +6 (Battle Fury Stance)
Critical: 4d6 (Weapon) +1d6 (War Ring)  + 3d8  (High Crit) + 57 damage
Special: Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage: 17--> + 5 (Crushing Pin), +12 (Crushing Grab)

DPR: 61.75


Level 26
Brash Strike (Grabbed): +34 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +34 --> +13 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +7 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +5 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade),
Hit: 2d8+28 damage
Damage: 28 --> +7 (Strength), +5 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +6 (item), +3 (Constitution), +4 (Kensei)
Critical: 5d6 (Weapon) +1d6 (War Ring) + 3d8 (High Crit) + 44 damage
Special: Can Reroll Attack (Martial Supremacy), Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage:
 17 --> + 5 (Crushing Pin), +12 (Crushing Grab)

DPR: 62.90

Brash Strike (Grabbed & Prone): +36 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +34 --> +13 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +7 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +5 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade), +2 (Combat Advantage)
Hit: 2d8+38 damage
Damage: 38 --> +7 (Strength), +5 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +6 (item), +3 (Constitution), +4 (Kensei), +5 (Headsman’s Chop), +5 (Gauntlets of Brutality)
Critical: 5d6 (Weapon) +1d6 (War Ring) + 3d8 (High Crit) + 54 damage
Special: Can Reroll Attack (Martial Supremacy), Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage:
 17 --> + 5 (Crushing Pin), +12 (Crushing Grab)

DPR: 72.88


Level 30
Brash Strike (Grabbed): +37 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +37 --> +15 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +9 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +6 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade), -2 (Power Attack)]
Hit: 2d8+47 damage
Damage: 47 --> +9 (Strength), +6 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +6 (item), +3 (Constitution), +6 (Power Attack), +4 (Kensei)
Critical: 6d6 (Weapon) +1d6 (War Ring) + 3d8 (High Crit) + 63 damage
Special: Can Reroll Attack (Martial Supremacy), Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Melee Basic Attack (On Critical): +35 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +35 --> +15 (level), +9 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +6 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade), -2 (Power Attack)
Hit: 2d8+44 damage
Damage: 34 --> +9 (Strength), +6 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +6 (item), +6 (Power Attack), +4 (Kensei)
Critical: 6d6 (Weapon) +1d6 (War Ring) + 3d8 (High Crit) + 63 damage
Special: Can Reroll Attack (Martial Supremacy), Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage: 20 --> + 6 (Crushing Pin), +14 (Crushing Grab)

DPR: 80.08

Brash Strike (Grabbed & Prone): +39 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +39 --> +15 (level), +2 (Brash Strike), +9 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +6 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade), +2 (combat advantage), -2 (Power Attack)
Hit: 2d8+47 damage
Damage: 47 --> +9 (Strength), +6 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +6 (item), +3 (Constitution), +5 (Headsman’s Chop), +5 (Gauntlets of Brutality), +6 (Power Attack), +4 (Kensei)
Critical: 6d6 (Weapon) +1d6 (War Ring)  + 3d8  (High Crit) + 63 damage
Special: Can Reroll Attack (Martial Supremacy), Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Melee Basic Attack (On Critical): +37 vs. AC
Attack Bonus: +37 --> +15 (level), +9 (Strength), +2 (proficiency), +6 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +1 (Kensei), +1 (Master’s Blade), +2 (combat advantage), -2 (Power Attack)
Hit: 2d8+44 damage
Damage: 44 --> +9 (Strength), +6 (enhancement), +3 (feat), +6 (item), +5 (Headsman’s Chop), +5 (Gauntlets of Brutality), +6 (Power Attack), +4 (Kensei)
Critical: 6d6 (Weapon) +1d6 (War Ring)  + 3d8  (High Crit) + 63 damage
Special: Can Reroll Attack (Martial Supremacy), Brutal 1 (Khopesh)

Auto Damage: 20 --> + 6 (Crushing Pin), +14 (Crushing Grab)

DPR: 94.34

Reserved

Feel free to post
Looks sick, thanks for the shout out keep the awesome builds coming.
Looks like fun. I'd advise playing with Grasping Weapon, but you went with the oh so lovely Kensei PP Tongue out
You get much out of the target going prone (Headman's Chop, CA, it at -2 to attacks... and it can't get up).
As such I would strongly advice to pick up better powers than just Knockdown Assault to prone it, because KA wastes a whole turn for that status condition at very little damage. I'm not that familiar with Brawlers, but I easily found U2: Forceful Drag and E3: Slamming Rush - and there are few more non-grab related powers that prone as well. Action economy is your friend...

@Rathyr

Unfortantly my main tricks require a Axe or Heavy Blade so I can't get grasping weapon.

@Langeweile

You are right that it does cost an action but the ability to pull off my primary trick at will is important. The way I make up for the lost of action is with the power selection which optimizes the damage I do once they are prone with Multi Attack powers. Meaning that in the end I generate roughly the same number of attacks in the same period of time just that they are more backload then frontloaded.
As for there being a better at wills I already have Brash Strike which is about as good as it gets with a build like this.

Finally in the Epic Tier it becomes irrelevent as with Marked Takedown I can knock prone with pretty much any attack once I have them grabbed.


@Rathyr

Unfortantly my main tricks require a Axe or Heavy Blade so I can't get grasping weapon.




So grab the target (with Knockdown Assault, or some other proning attack), then sheathe the Grasping weapon next turn. Unlike several other grabs that originate from a weapon, Grasping Weapon states that the character grabs the target. Thus you can sheathe it, and the creature remains grabbed. Anyways, it doesnt matter, because you took Kensei =p

I think the biggest problem is just the wind-up. One turn to full grab. one turn to knock prone. Etc.
1) Frontloaded damage trumps backloaded damage.
2) Utility Powers are "for free" in this comparison.
3) Slamming Rush (4.5 W + 4 Str + 3 Dex + 2 item +1 enh) + Brash Strike (4.5 W + 4 Str + 2 Con + 2 item + 5 prone +1 enh) = 33 dmg; Knockdown Assault (4 Str) + Rain of Blows (2x [4.5 W + 2 item + 5 prone +1 enh]) = 29 dmg... Plus Slamming Rush has good utilliarian use...

KA is a waste of time as long as you have encounter powers for you to do the job... You can even take the simple L1 Spinning Sweep...
And its even better with a Grasping Weapon!
Well if you pul out a different weapon with kensai you lose the kensai benefits for that combat so you need to keep yourself to one weapon type and the build really likes headsman chop so no spears.
Yea, thats was my original point, which sucks. Grasping Weapon is a blessing to the brawler.
grasping weapons are a blessing to many especially before when you could have dragged a fling target to the ground.  It was a sad day when they took that away.

@Langwiele

You are correct a that early on Slamming Rush is a superior option in straight DPR. The issue with relying on encounter powers for the Knockdown is that if I get into a long combat (not an uncommon thing at my table) I would run out of juice midway through after I expended my encounter knockdown attacks. The ability to pull off a trick like this at will is extremely important in actual play.
 
Meanwhile you analysisis relevant in the early levels after you pile on some static modifiers Rain of Blows pulls ahead in the expected damage analysis. Lets look at the situation at level 17.

1) Slamming Rush (4.5 W + 5Str + 4 Dex + 4item + 4 Kensei +3enh) + Brash Strike (4.5 W + 5 Str + 2 Con + 4 item + 10 prone +4 Kensei +3enh) = 53dmg

2) Knockdown Assault (5 Str) + Rain of Blows (2x [4.5 W + 4item +4 Kensei + 10 prone +3 enh]) = 56dmg

So in the end the Rain of Blows will pull ahead of Slamming Rush + Brash Strike. As for the need of frontloaded damage I really don't see it since my target is lockdown anyways, and so is not much of a threat while locked down.

As for utilities they count just as much as an encounter in my book. Currently my utilities are focused on Upping DPR, and Moving to the target, if I switch them out I lose one of those factors.

Finally the build has a certian progression in the way it is meant to be played. I had planned on going into this in the third post once I got the time, but here is the basic progression.

Herioc Tier: You focus primarily on your getting the lockdown together and staying alive once you have. You gain some Damage boosts, but it is not your primary focus. You do plan for the future picking up some powers that will really shine once your damage tricks fully come together.

Paragon Tier: Here you begin to split your focus between defense and ways to increase your damage. Meanwhile you do some work to help you maintain the lockdown of your target. When you hit level 16-17 your full damage potential begins to come online and those powers you took early begin to pay for themselves in a big way.

Epic Tier: By this point most of the pieces have come together, you spend a bit focusing on patching up some holes in the build, but your primarily focus on upping your Damage.

Various thoughts for options:

- Earth Genasi: Really a heroic-tier-only option.  They get +str and have a minor action racial encounter power that knocks prone, letting you get your combo in place much faster out of the gate.  On the flip side, you lose NADs, a feat, and your basic damage at-will goes from Brash Strike to MBA.

- longtooth shifter/moonstalker: This one's been done, but it's still a pretty close variant.  Also allows the use of grasping weapon swap cheese for those who have DMs that allow it.  Exactly the opposite of the Genasi version in terms of timing, it doesn't get its real payoff until mid-paragon, and it makes the damage even *more* backloaded, which means it *really* likes the Marked Takedown in Epic.

As a side thought - if you're built around the grab action from the beginning (and thus can expect to generally have your free hand full of badguy) it may be worthwhile to skip grappling strike

Earth Genasi sounds interesting I will have to look at that.

I am working on a longtooth shifter variant it caps out at slightly higher DPR but loses a bit in the defense department. Also the loss of a feat really hurts a feat heavy build like this.

As for Grappling Strike it is useful in a number of ways first it is the only early level way get around the size restriction on a normal grab attack and then keep it up.  It is also useful in helping to keep a target close to me when needed as it is usable as an OA which frees me up to take Combat Agility to potentially speed up the lockdown.  

You know what? I can actually do you one better for the swap cheese =p. Lets go along and assume RAI that you cannot sheathe the weapon that is grabbing the monster.

"While you wield a weapon in your primary hand and your off hand is free or grabbing a creature, you gain a +1 bonus to AC and a +2 bonus to Fortitude."

"Property: You can use this weapon to grab targets, adding the weapon’s enhancement bonus to your grab attack. You can still use this weapon to attack a target you’ve grabbed with it.

Power (Encounter): Free Action. Use this power when you hit with the weapon. Pull the target 1 square into an unoccupied space adjacent to you. The target is grabbed (until escape)."

As you can grab creature with the weapon in your off-hand, there is a pretty good case to be made that you still get the Brawler bonus =p.



As for Grappling Strike, he should probably switch to Combat Superiority instead of Agility if he goes that route (so his OAs will have the option of stopping the creature). Grappling Strike is hard to use in this combo unless you've got a quick way of kncoking prone (Forceful Drag is a pretty good way low level. You don't loss any damage), but as soon as you miss, the creature can stand up.
Generally at low levels if I have to use Grappling Strike to iniatiate a lockdown I will  burn an AP to use knockdown assault to knock the target prone.

Yeah for the variant builds I have been considering dropping Grappling Strike as my at will and returning to Combat Superiority.

As for Grasping Weapon I think there is potential for a really good build with it, but I think it would really need a dedicated build to be really useful. 

I am torn between Forceful Drag and Battle Fury Stance. I went with Battle Fury as it gives me an encounter usable stance at low levels allowing me to get the +1 to hit from master's blade with consitency. Also the damage bonus is really nice.
Unfortantly my main tricks require a Axe or Heavy Blade so I can't get grasping weapon.

Don't suppose you have access to the Dark Sun Campaign Setting book? There's a new weapon called the Gouge. It's a two-handed Axe and Spear, but you're going Eternal Defender in epic, so you could still use it one-handed by level 24. The Gouge is +2 proficiency, 2d6 damage, and Brutal 1.

I don't see how it's particularly useful to have a Grasping Weapon, but that's one way you could do it with this build.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Unfortantly my main tricks require a Axe or Heavy Blade so I can't get grasping weapon.

Don't suppose you have access to the Dark Sun Campaign Setting book? There's a new weapon called the Gouge. It's a two-handed Axe and Spear, but you're going Eternal Defender in epic, so you could still use it one-handed by level 24. The Gouge is +2 proficiency, 2d6 damage, and Brutal 1.

I don't see how it's particularly useful to have a Grasping Weapon, but that's one way you could do it with this build.



Ohhh, good thinking. Thats a nasty combo (lacks heavy blade though). 2d6 Brutal 1 vs. 1d8 brutal 1.

Well, Grasping Weapon in epic isn't quite so grand, as you have access to many other full grabs that are part of a power. In heroic and paragon, it is amazing, as you can use it once an encounter, and can combo it with any power (proning ones especially).

Yeah the gouge is an interesting option but as Rathyr said by the time it kicks in I have other similar option available.

What I like a Gouge on is a Battle Rager, or Two Handed Weapon fighter to combine the control option of a Spear with the Damage option of an Axe. I am actually working on a build to abuse that weapon as I love weapons with dual types because of the increased options.

Generally at low levels if I have to use Grappling Strike to iniatiate a lockdown I will  burn an AP to use knockdown assault to knock the target prone.
Yeah for the variant builds I have been considering dropping Grappling Strike as my at will and returning to Combat Superiority.

As for Grasping Weapon I think there is potential for a really good build with it, but I think it would really need a dedicated build to be really useful. 

I am torn between Forceful Drag and Battle Fury Stance. I went with Battle Fury as it gives me an encounter usable stance at low levels allowing me to get the +1 to hit from master's blade with consitency. Also the damage bonus is really nice.



I just tack it onto any Brawler I make. It's very very cheap, gives you a ranged option if you are stuck away from the frontlines and comes with an amazing encounter power. There's no check on it, no standard action, just a full grab after hitting with it. Use it, put it away. Kensei just doesn't get to play with those extra toys =p.

Forceful Drag is great low level (moreso with Grappling Strike, next turn Drag (ending grab to prone) + new Grappling Strike. Into a fire), but I can see what you are working with. Tough call. Both would come into play very often, all throughout your career. Depends if you have an Artificer healer (Spend a healing surge? Not me!) Tongue out
Actually, if you go with the "the weapon hand is involved in the grabbing" rule (which I personally feel a *lot* mor comfortable with than the "the monster is grabbed... by nothing.  It is simply grabbed") then you could go with a gouge.  You'd lose access to the attacks that require you to have a free hand (grappling strike in particular) and you wouldn't get your brawler bonuses until you'd hit the enemy the first time, but grab with the spear end, hit with the axe end seems entirely reasonable.

Personally, I figure this is an explicit DM check at start of campaign, for any character that is thinking of running a brawler with grasping weapon.  As fara s I can see, valid options pretty much boil down to...

- "The weapon is grabbing the opponent.  The hand is not grabbing the opponent.  If you release the weapon, the enemy is no longer grabbed, but you don't get your bonuses unless you have another hand free" - honestly, I think this one is kind of lame on the DM's part, but it's not *entirely* unreasonable.  In order to use grasping weapon, you pretty much have to go spear and barehand.

- "The weapon is grabbing the opponent.  The hand is also grabbing the opponent."  Bring on the gouge!  Alternately, go spear+barehand, then pull out your axe with your free handonce you have them grabbed with the spear.

- "Nothing is grabbing the opponent.  The opponent is simply grabbed."  This may be arguable pure RAW, but it's a bit hard to defend, and I personally wouldn't let it fly.  Regardless, this allows you to use the weapon swapping tricks.

- "Don't worry about it.  You'll never get a grasping weapon anyway."  There are a lot of campaigns out there where people get the treasure that they get, not the treasure that CharOp tells them they should have.

If going with number 1 or 2, I might also institute a houserule allowing the brawler to spend a minor action to switch any grab he's sustaining to a free hand.  It's not RAW, but it's not unreasonable, and it would let you manage the weapon swap (with a small amount of hassle) in a way that makes a lot more sense.
The "creature is grabbed. By nothing." actually comes up quite a bit when you look at out of class grabs (Barbs have a couple, druids, Bloodknight etc.).

I had a big ole grab RAW/RAI thread going on the Q&A forums for awhile. You have to make some assumptions no matter what ("I'm grabbing the creature by locking a limb, pinning it against the wall etc... that is how it is grabbed") because the grab rules are not clearly defined for a lot of things. I like 2 and 3, and I could think of fluffy stances for both to make DMs happy. 1 and 4 make me sad.

Sash of Ensnarement is the BEST RAI for fixing magic grabs. Whats grabbing the creature? MY BELT. DEAL. Too bad its in the same slot as fort bonus =p.


EDIT: Another option that would probably work for DMs is if you have the spear in your MH and OH hand empty, and when "the creature is grabbed" kicks in, state that it is going into your offhand. Again, the weapon doesn't state how the creature is grabbed, only that it is grabbed. This would allow you to sheathe it without any rule arguments. The long and short of Grasping Weapon is there are plenty of ways to make sense of the rules, and you'd have to be a pretty hardass DM to not allow any of them.

The Combat Agility/Headsman's Chop/throw in kitchen sink to maximize these is a commonly discussed build on our chat, but as far as I know no one's actually made it yet.

How are you enjoying it in play, or is it just a theoretical build? 
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Great build Obtuse!  Can't Wait to start ganking Elites with Jerry and headsman!

The Combat Agility/Headsman's Chop/throw in kitchen sink to maximize these is a commonly discussed build on our chat, but as far as I know no one's actually made it yet.

How are you enjoying it in play, or is it just a theoretical build? 

He'll be playing it over maptools with me and a few others. Looks to be a lot of fun.
@obtuse...

See, there's two things that you can focus on with this build:
1) being a good Defender = lockdown one target, check 1-2 other
2) being a good Striker = lockdown one targetm kill it and move on to the next ASAP


Let's consider how we can improve those options...

1) Defender
Forceful Drag wins, because after the grab in round #1, it let's you drag your target across the battlefield, and then either use Daring Shot, AP: Come and Get It or something (take your pick) to check other mobs.
=> KA doesn't help here.

2) Striker
You want to get your target off the board as fast as possible (while o/c still holding it down). Hence the fastest way to do it to use a regular attack (say Sweeping Blow, so we can do the whole trick from L6+) and then AP / next round Rain of Blow it. Staying 4 rounds with one regular mob isn't anything like "striking".
=> KA doesn't help here.

Conclusion
Use your ample encounter attack and utility powers to get at least two knock prone powers (preferable grab + know prone), so you can frontload your build and do something useful, instead of toying around at the sideline with one mob for Str damage...
KA is fine for the mop-up phase, but that's it.
@Langweile

I respect yout opinion but I have to disagree.

First there is a big difference between 2/encounter knockdown ability and at will ability to do so. This is due to the fact that even with the builds solid accuracy it will miss and if you miss with your encounter knockdown powers you are relying on then you are in a bad situation meanwhile if I miss with Knockdown assault I just use it again. Secondly, as I demonstrated the current situation generates more Damage by the mid to late paragon tier then the one you advocate with in the same period of time.

As for the ample Encounter Powers and Utilities I don't see them as ample just like anything they are a limited resource that you need to maximize. Currently my encounter powers are pretty much all Multi Attacks which as demonstrated deals more damage over the same time period then knockdown powers and brash strike. Meanwhile I use my utilities to help the other aspects of the build. I get boosts to DPR with Battle Fury Stance and Martial Supremacy. Meanwhile Mighty Sprint and Navigate the crowd allow me to close with my designated target quickly so I can get them locked down. I do pick up one of the Drag line with Painful Drag to help me isolate or maneuver the locked down target.

This build is designed to function as a single target lockdown build. It uses an effective and easy to get lockdown mechanic then capitalizes on the lockdown for striker level damage. It wants to be able to due these things reliably so that it can move from one target to the next with relative ease.
 
You are of course free to change thing if you make a brawler as you desire, but for the focus of this build Knock Down Assault is a excellent at will.
First there is a big difference between 2/encounter knockdown ability and at will ability to do so. This is due to the fact that even with the builds solid accuracy it will miss and if you miss with your encounter knockdown powers you are relying on then you are in a bad situation meanwhile if I miss with Knockdown assault I just use it again. Secondly, as I demonstrated the current situation generates more Damage by the mid to late paragon tier then the one you advocate with in the same period of time.



They're not mutally exclusive, and I never said anything about not taking KA. Surprised

Furthermore Battle Fury Stance is risky, and while I see why you might want it, I definately think the opportunity cost is much too high.
But doubling up on Mighty Sprint and Navigate Crowds is just overkill - take either or. Hell, you're not even taking Fighter's Grit (or Ceaseless Guardian... or a Circlet of Arkohisa & Focused Mind)... Not even speaking that you lack Persistent Threat, one of the major reasons to make a Brawler Human...
Even if you have both you still run into the same issue that the current format generates More DPR then the one you are advocating. Now I do see that you could do Encounter Knockdown, Encounter Multi Attack. The issue then is you run out of steam quickly and then are back to using Knockdown Assualt and Brash Strike. Most of the games I have played in even with reasonable optimized parties end up going 6-7 rounds (mostly because the DM is evil).

As for Battle Fury Stance as I said I am on the fence about it, in the orginal version of the build I played a few months ago it worked really well if used correctly. You don't nessarily activate it right away you have to be smart on when you activate it. At which point it works out as a +1 to hit +2/+4/+6 damage utility for the cost of -2 to ac which is a substantial boost to DPR and if you use it correctly you won't really feel the -2 to AC.

Now you are correct I am missing Persistent Threat so will be looking at what I can drop to add it in, right now the feats are pretty tight so it may take a bit. Though for me it is not the reason to be human that is for the extra feat in a feat heavy build and so I can get all the needed At-Wills for the build.

Finally for Navigate the Crowd and Mighty Sprint I like having multiple option for moving. As I generally need to get to a second target after I am done with the first. Though I could see an argument for replacing one of those utlities. I will re examine that issue and get back to you.

EDIT: May go back to Eternal Seeker ED to free up the Multiclassing Feats and the 2 feats slots.
Even if you have both you still run into the same issue that the current format generates More DPR then the one you are advocating. Now I do see that you could do Encounter Knockdown, Encounter Multi Attack. The issue then is you run out of steam quickly and then are back to using Knockdown Assualt and Brash Strike. Most of the games I have played in even with reasonable optimized parties end up going 6-7 rounds (mostly because the DM is evil).



They're exactly going that long because you hold back. That's why you frontload damage / control / ..., because for every round you slack in the beginning, you (as a rule of thumb) take an extra round in the end - mobs recharge powers, your Leader runs out of steam, etc...
That's why I advacate two prones beyond KA - that's about as long as you can run with encounter powers, particularly as both Grappling Strike (grab) and Brash Strike (DPR, especially to finish a mob) are solid enough in their job that you can can use your encounter powers on the important parts.

As for Battle Fury Stance as I said I am on the fence about it, in the orginal version of the build I played a few months ago it worked really well if used correctly. You don't nessarily activate it right away you have to be smart on when you activate it. At which point it works out as a +1 to hit +2/+4/+6 damage utility for the cost of -2 to ac which is a substantial boost to DPR and if you use it correctly you won't really feel the -2 to AC.



As above - either you do it early (round 2, no later), or you leave it. Burn the mobs early.

And while it has a nice synergy with Master's Blade, I'd wager you can find quite a few good other options. Earlier weapon upgrade, Jagged Blades, etc.

Now you are correct I am missing Persistent Threat so will be looking at what I can drop to add it in, right now the feats are pretty tight so it may take a bit. Though for me it is not the reason to be human that is for the extra feat in a feat heavy build and so I can get all the needed At-Wills for the build.



Take it at 11, no later than 12.
A daze loses you three rounds: The mob is gone, next round you can charge at best, then you need to regrab, and then you need to reprone.

Finally for Navigate the Crowd and Mighty Sprint I like having multiple option for moving. As I generally need to get to a second target after I am done with the first. Though I could see an argument for replacing one of those utlities. I will re examine that issue and get back to you.



By the time you get to the second mob you're either swarmed or alone - both should make finding another target easy enough. Just in case you still can just suck up an OA, if it means getting an ally out of trouble.
I'd vote for Mighty Sprint - it's more useful in round one, and it leaves the better slot open. You can still take Daring Shot, but also have Mighty Surge and Fighter's Grit availble. Case in point I'd probably start with DS in Heroic, retrain it later for MS and then get either of the L10s, depending on the rest of your group, particularly your Leader.

May go back to Eternal Seeker ED to free up the Multiclassing Feats and the 2 feats slots.



I'd wager that Ceaseless Guardian is better. It loses little damage compared to Eternal Defender, but it gains so much in regard to defense - and frees up Persistent Threat by L24.
And anyway, even if Cruel Reaper isn't that flashy, it's still very solid and it's much better to fulfill both your job as Defender while still putting out solid damage...

I don't like ceaseless guardian for this build really it lose to much DPR. This build is not designed to be a primary defender, and I do not advocate playing it as such (if you want a primary defender brawler I would suggest LBD's Beowulfe build). It doesn't really fill a traditional role and is more of a fun 5th man to a party which already has it bases covered.

I am looking over things and may do  major update here soon. Just the addition of Persitent Threat will take a rework of the feats at which time I will also look at the powers.

Edit: Note I am trying to make it optimal with in its concept of Single Target Lockdown and Abuse of the Prone Condition (aka DPR generation).

Obtuse - a thing that is close to what Langeweile is advocating that may be worth your while.  Change the objectives of the build *slightly*.

- Make sure you have a good at-will structure so that no matter how long hte encounter runs, you can continue to pick a guy, grab him, knock him prone, and whale on him until he stops trying to get up.

- For your encounter structure, optimize on takign the first guy down as fast as you can.  Include a utility movement power that will get you to him, possibly a grab power that will let you grab him sustainably while dealing damage (rather than having to use the grab action), a decent knockdown power that will let you get him on the floor while dealing damage, and a multiattack power to bring the pain once he's floored.  If you can somehow manage to cram the "grab" and "knockdown" parts into the same round without burning an action point, do it.  Start the fight by seriously ruining someone's day (preferably, if your movement utility allows for it, someone in the back ranks) and pumping damage into them as fast as you can.

- For your daily structure, choose dailies that will help you do what you do the entire fight and dailies that will help you supercharge the "take down the first guy hard" process.

The difference here is basically the idea that the first guy you take out is the most important guy to take out, and you really want to optimize on taking him out as fast as you can.  If he's a normal enemy, you'd really like him to be dead by the end of your third turn or so.  If he's an elite, you'd still like him to be dead by the end of your third turn, but will probably need a bit of help from opportunistic buddies to get there (rogues enjoy friendly knockdown brawlers, as do many others).  If he's a solo and you can get him in the lockdown, you're pretty much doing your job right there.  If you can't get him in the lockdown, then you should be using your trick on one of the other enemies.

Unrelated side thought: many fighters have to worry about dazed/stunned/dominated, because their stickiness turns off.  Brawlers also have to worry about forced movement.

I have done a rework of the build incorprating 1 encounter based knockdown attack from level 3 on, I also incoprated Persitent Threat to help keep the lockdown active. As for forced movement as I understand it most of those type of effects target Fortitude which is by far my highest defense.

The new build has 77.99/94 DPR  at will and incorprates 5 encounter long Dailies which can up that damage to 100+ at will. Then with the multi attack encounters I should be able to finish off most enemies with in the first 2-4 rounds of combat depending on luck and enemy type.

I will have it posted here soon once I get done making the edits in Word.

Build has been updated.
Good stuff obtuse.  I wish I had a third of your knowledge with this concept.  Love the defenses, love the flavor, love the build.
Thanks Drowbane

Also on another note tweaked the build again. Traded our Armor Specialization Scale for Berserker Fury. This allowed me to pick up Epic Vitality form the Reincarnate Champion for +2 Strength. Overall it trades -1 AC  and -1 speed for +1 Fort a slightly higher base At Will DPR and another Daily Encounter long Damage boost.
I'm about to start using a Brawler/Bloodknight for a Dark Sun game beginning tomorrow night, so I've been trying to tweak my brawler build for maximum efficiency.  I went about it a bit differently, focusing more on the controlling and defendering than damage (using a pair of spiked gauntlets for weapons rather than a sword/gauntlet or whatever).

So with that in mind, a couple questions/comments:

1) I think Forceful Drag is really pretty exceptional.  At low levels when your grabbing ability is pretty limited, you can grab onto someone using a Grappling Strike on one turn, then on your next turn drag them where you want them (ie: fire), end the grab (which was going to end at the end of turn anyway) to knock them prone, and then Grappling Strike them again, now prone and just where you want them to be. 

I encountered the same annoyance that many people have already pointed out that while knocking prone is fantastic, there's limited options for doing so while reliably maintaining grabs (pre-Epic, anyway).  Forceful Drag is just tops at low levels for helping get things on the ground with your boot on their neck.

2) I keep vacillating between Diamond Cincture and Goliath's Belt.  On the one hand, more Fort is obviously great.  On the other hand, being able to grab bigger targets can be a huge (no pun intended) benefit.  Additionally, the +2 to basic grab attacks doesn't hurt.  If only I could quickly swap belts during combat when I see something huge.

3) For a level 10 Utility power, I really like Body Shield.  The damage splitting is handy, of course, but more important is being able to grab something adjacent as an interrupt to something else's attack.  Very handy for establishing grabs as often as possible. 
I love Bloodknight (see sig!). At level 11, you could have 3 full fledged grabs (Body Shield, Grasping Weapon and Bloodseeking Strike). Makes Grappling Strike look tame. Agreed on Froceful Drag and Body Shield.

Also, any attack that automatically grabs the target (no grab attack) ignores size restriction. Bypasses the targeting line of grabs.
As for the focus yeah I wanted to play an aggresive PC with high DPR. The Controlling Brawler is pretty well covered by LBD and his Beawulfe build.

1) The reason I don't use forceful drag is that a level later I pick up Slamming Rush which fills my encounter power knockdown and comes in with damage. Generally at low levels I find that I rarely need to worry about not being able to use a traditional grab attack and when I do have to do a Grappling Strike lockdown I tend to just Spend an AP to use a knockdown power.

Meanwhile Battle Fury Stance helps to up my damage and accuracy with all my attacks so is useful pretty much whenever I use it.

2) Diamond Cincture all the way it just does so much more with access to healing surges and making your grab even more difficult to escape.

3) While I think Body Shield is a great power I think Fighter's Grit is a more useful utility, as it allows you to keep pushing through damage and maintian your grab even when hit with a status effect that would normally shut you down.