Primal Assault - Druid|Swordmage concept.

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Idea:
To be able to take full advantage of the Aegis of Assault class feature of the Swordmage through the use of a Glaive and Polearm Momentum, thus making a large disincentive for enemies to attack allies.
Basis: Use Savage Rend + Rushing Cleats + Polearm Momentum + Aegis of Assault for a potent mark punishment.

Pros:
-- Starts working as soon as Rushing Cleats can be acquired.
-- A lot of room for personal creation.
-- One of the best mark punishments around.

Cons:
-- Aegis of Assault is only a reaction, not interupt.
-- Takes both hybriding and MCing to be effective.
-- Low defenses (looking for suggestions on that).

How it Works:
This build is all about mark punishment. Since we aren't a Shielding Swordmage, we don't have access to an immediate interupt, so the next best thing is to make our mark powerful enough so that the enemy won't ignore it to begin with. This is accomplished by using Savage Rend, which lets us trigger Polearm Momentum with Rushing Cleats. This turns the weakness of Aegis of Assault into a very powerful asset to any group, and it will generate a huge number of prones.
Combine all this with Total Aegis, Wandering Swordmage (a burst 10 aegis), and Rapid Aegis Reaction and we can make loads of attacks each round.

Implementation:

Race

Githzerai, Shardmind and Deva are the first 2 stand outs, since they have bonuses to both Primary attributes. However, this build does not rely on Intelligence based attacks whatsoever (we only have Thundering Vortex for the hybrid rules). This frees up some interesting race options, like Elf, Dwarf, or something similar. As long as a race has Wisdom and a decent secondary, it will work here.


Class

Swordmage is a no-brainer to utilize the aegis. After that, hybriding for an at-will that can be used as a MBA is the best way to go. This can be Druid, Warlock, and a decent amount of others. Warlock would be great if the ability scores matched up at all, but they simply don't, which is why Druid is the prime choice here.


Attributes

Wisdom is your primary, as Savage Rend is your most important attack. After that, qualifying for Polearm Momentum and Polearm Gamble is next up, so we need at least 14 strength and dexterity. Dex gets boosted into being a Secondary stat, which helps our AC, Reflex, and Initiative. Charisma is your dump stat.


Feats

Required:
Polearm Momentum
Polearm Gamble
Total Aegis
Battle Awarenss
Rapid Aegis Reaction

Solid Feats:
Improved/Greater warding is always nice to have as long as you pick it up with your Hybrid Talent. Slashing Storm is a large damage boost, Quick Wild Shape is just awesome, Uncanny Dodge offsets gamble, and Wild Surge + Vital Form is a nice little combo to increase our survivability.


Implement

A Glaive is a must, as it's the only way to qualify for all your lovely feats. As far as enchantments go, Feyslaughter is the basic go-to since we have no way to stop teleportation. Avoid Staggering: it only works with the weapon keyword. This slot is pretty open, however.


Armor

Leather is the option of choice unless you want to go with Druid Armor Prof. instead of Swordmage Warding (I don't recommend it). Parchment armor is just a solid armor choice, and Dawn Warrior leather is really good if you have the money for it. Again, a generally open slot.


Other Items

Neck: a Cloak of Translocation is most likely the best item here, since we'll be doing a lot of teleporting.
Head: Circlet of Arkhosia is an all-around solid item, although and Eye of Awareness of Casque of Tactics is nice if you want more initiative.
Arms: Iron Armbands of Power are your go-to arms slot, but there's a good enough list that you might at least look at others.
Hands: Claw Gloves. Or Claw Gloves. Probably Claw Gloves. They're cheap and powerful. You won't get a bigger damage boost at this level.
Rings: A lot of options here, but I like the Ring of Many Forms for accuracy and the Shadow Band to shore up your relatively low defenses.
Waist: The Diamond Cincture really helps that atrocious fort defense, and a Sash of Regeneration makes you a bit sturdier.
Tatoo: Backlash Tatoo lets you use Savage Rend when you become bloodied. Buy this.


Powers

Savage Rend is a no-brainer. Sword Burst is probably your second at-will unless you want some range, which in that case we take Luring Strike. (just note that Sword Burst has the best chances of hitting somehting since you attack multiple targets).
Try to look for powers that slide or knock prone, such as Blood-Spray Bite. Swordmage powers that don't require you hitting are probably the best options to keep the hybrid rules intact.
Quicksilver Blade better be your Swordmage Daily. Free Savage Rends 2 times/turn. Summon Elder Wolf Pack is most likely too good to pass up, and Tremors or Earth Roots are solid sustaining powers.


Example Builds:

Elf Druid|Swordmage

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Warlock variant, level 30
Wilden, Warlock|Swordmage, Wandering Swordmage, Demigod
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Infernal Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Assault
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Rod)
Twofold Pact: Vestige Pact
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Constitution
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Intelligence
Hardy Form: Hardy Form Reflex
Vestige Mastery: Vestige of Kronata

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 26, Dex 17, Int 22, Wis 17, Cha 10.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 15, Dex 14, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 8.



AC: 45 Fort: 43 Reflex: 40 Will: 44
HP: 184 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 46


TRAINED SKILLS
History +29, Arcana +26, Endurance +28, Athletics +23


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +18, Bluff +21, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +18, Heal +18, Insight +18, Intimidate +21, Nature +20, Perception +18, Religion +21, Stealth +20, Streetwise +15, Thievery +18


FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Battle Awareness
Level 6: Polearm Momentum
Level 8: Improved Swordmage Warding
Level 10: White Lotus Riposte
Level 11: Double Aegis
Level 12: Uncanny Dodge
Level 14: Polearm Gamble
Level 16: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 18: Twofold Pact
Level 20: Twofold Curse
Level 21: Rapid Aegis Reaction
Level 22: Warding Curse
Level 24: Vestige Mastery
Level 26: Mobile Warrior
Level 28: Robust Defenses
Level 30: Epic Will


POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Sword Burst
Hybrid at-will 1: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Arms of Hadar
Hybrid daily 1: Armor of Agathys
Hybrid utility 2: Endure Pain
Hybrid encounter 3: Dual Lightning Strike
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Howl of Doom
Hybrid daily 9: Ooze Incarnate
Hybrid utility 10: Bond of Brotherhood
Hybrid encounter 13: Fist of Force (replaces Dual Lightning Strike)
Hybrid daily 15: Reaper's Challenge (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)
Hybrid utility 16: Hero's Defense
Hybrid encounter 17: Sea Tyrant's Fury (replaces Arms of Hadar)
Hybrid daily 19: Vestige of Kronata (replaces Armor of Agathys)
Hybrid utility 22: Giant's Might
Hybrid encounter 23: Spiteful Darts (replaces Howl of Doom)
Hybrid daily 25: Quicksilver Blade (replaces Reaper's Challenge)


ITEMS
Staggering Glaive +6, Rushing Cleats (heroic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Starleather Armor of Dark Majesty +6, Siberys Shard of the Mage (epic tier), Gauntlets of Blood (epic tier), Cloak of Translocation +6, Shadow Band (epic tier), Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (paragon tier), Belt of the Witch King (paragon tier), Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Eye of Awareness (epic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



Warlock Variant

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Warlock variant, level 30
Wilden, Warlock|Swordmage, Wandering Swordmage, Demigod
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Infernal Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Assault
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Rod)
Twofold Pact: Vestige Pact
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Constitution
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Intelligence
Hardy Form: Hardy Form Reflex
Vestige Mastery: Vestige of Kronata

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 26, Dex 17, Int 22, Wis 17, Cha 10.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 15, Dex 14, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 8.



AC: 45 Fort: 43 Reflex: 40 Will: 44
HP: 184 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 46


TRAINED SKILLS
History +29, Arcana +26, Endurance +28, Athletics +23


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +18, Bluff +21, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +18, Heal +18, Insight +18, Intimidate +21, Nature +20, Perception +18, Religion +21, Stealth +20, Streetwise +15, Thievery +18


FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Battle Awareness
Level 6: Polearm Momentum
Level 8: Improved Swordmage Warding
Level 10: White Lotus Riposte
Level 11: Double Aegis
Level 12: Uncanny Dodge
Level 14: Polearm Gamble
Level 16: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 18: Twofold Pact
Level 20: Twofold Curse
Level 21: Rapid Aegis Reaction
Level 22: Warding Curse
Level 24: Vestige Mastery
Level 26: Mobile Warrior
Level 28: Robust Defenses
Level 30: Epic Will


POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Sword Burst
Hybrid at-will 1: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Arms of Hadar
Hybrid daily 1: Armor of Agathys
Hybrid utility 2: Endure Pain
Hybrid encounter 3: Dual Lightning Strike
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Howl of Doom
Hybrid daily 9: Ooze Incarnate
Hybrid utility 10: Bond of Brotherhood
Hybrid encounter 13: Fist of Force (replaces Dual Lightning Strike)
Hybrid daily 15: Reaper's Challenge (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)
Hybrid utility 16: Hero's Defense
Hybrid encounter 17: Sea Tyrant's Fury (replaces Arms of Hadar)
Hybrid daily 19: Vestige of Kronata (replaces Armor of Agathys)
Hybrid utility 22: Giant's Might
Hybrid encounter 23: Spiteful Darts (replaces Howl of Doom)
Hybrid daily 25: Quicksilver Blade (replaces Reaper's Challenge)


ITEMS
Staggering Glaive +6, Rushing Cleats (heroic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Starleather Armor of Dark Majesty +6, Siberys Shard of the Mage (epic tier), Gauntlets of Blood (epic tier), Cloak of Translocation +6, Shadow Band (epic tier), Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (paragon tier), Belt of the Witch King (paragon tier), Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Eye of Awareness (epic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



Build Discussion:
This build trades some defense to be a bit more aggresive. However, our defense is actually improved over the other build whenever we have an enemy cursed (AC becomes 49).



More will be added to this post as I get more suggestions, thoughts, and ideas. I just want to know if this is an actual viable thing to play, and how effective it might be. Thanks for any and all comments.

This is very early-stage for the build concept, so don't expect everything to be perfect, and some things might not even work RAW-wise. I'm just trying to get some feedback so I can enhance it and make a full 1-30 build.

UPDATES:
8/30: Druid build was updated to use Hide armor, giving us a better alternative (because Parchment does not work with Savage Rend) in Lifeblood, fixing the problem we have of not pumping Con.
8/29: builds were updated from discussion with obtusehobbit. Mark of Strom build was removed because I could not keep up with changes. I'll revive it upon request.

Special Thanks To:
The fantastic community.
langeweile for the format, taken off of his Iron Curtain Fighter.
obtusehobbit, Koval, MC Drowbane, and Tech Priest for some discussions on the idea.
Especially Everyone posting.
A few things to ask:

Is there a way to slow, immobilize, or put on some other condition when I use Savage Rend?

Is this all RAW-legal?

How effective do you think this will be?

Do stances and sustain powers work when you are in beast form?
Grey Warden brings up an excellent point! Grasping Claws might be a better choice for the build's main at-will.

You can use a Lightning Glaive and the Mark of Storm to keep the slide (and expand it to all your attacks, in fact), and you'll then slow the mark-breaker. Even better, you can slide them around you instead and immobilize you if you take the Ruthless Killer feat! Two more feats that would need to be invested, but something to look into.
Grey Warden brings up an excellent point! Grasping Claws might be a better choice for the build's main at-will.

You can use a Lightning Glaive and the Mark of Storm to keep the slide (and expand it to all your attacks, in fact), and you'll then slow the mark-breaker. Even better, you can slide them around you instead and immobilize you if you take the Ruthless Killer feat! Two more feats that would need to be invested, but something to look into.

I thought about posting the build that way, but marks aren't available to everybody, so I figured I'd keep it legal for any setting. I'll just post a variant build focused around that instead. Thanks for the feedback yesnomu.
Well greater swordmage and improved swordmage warding could increase your defenses (less than a full swordmage since you use a glaive)
Well greater swordmage and improved swordmage warding could increase your defenses (less than a full swordmage since you use a glaive)

I already took both of those feats. Check the build Laughing.
Since it has come to my attention that Polearm Gamble does not work without reach (Savage Rend already has specified reach), I wanted to go either Eternal Defender or Sovereign Beast to gain that reach.

Now, the quesiton is, does Sovereign Beast grant you more reach, or is it simply you become large?
I don't see how you are using a non-Beast form power (AoA) in Beast form. Tbh, it doesn't seem like it's legal (unless I missed something)
I don't see how you are using a non-Beast form power (AoA) in Beast form. Tbh, it doesn't seem like it's legal (unless I missed something)

You use your aegis away from the crowd (since you have a burst 10 Aegis) and before you Wild Shape, you then turn into beast form and move into 1 or 2 enemies. Since those enemies are already marked, and it takes nothing to sustain those marks, I believe that it would work.

I'm not really 100% sure, but I feel like since the teleportation and attack are an aftereffect of the mark, it would work. This build is all theory though, so if anyone can cite something or merely state that it's common knowledge that it won't work, then I'll switch to Warlock Laughing.
Aegis of Assault is a class power so is not restricted from use in Wild Shape. He could even Mark people while in beast form.

Wild Shape says you can't use Feat, Attack, and Utility Powers in beast form, but does not restrict the use of class powers.
Aegis of Assault is a class power so is not restricted from use in Wild Shape. He could even Mark people while in beast form.

Wild Shape says you can't use Feat, Attack, and Utility Powers in beast form, but does not restrict the use of class powers.



This.

Great concept for a build, uses 2 of my favorite classes.  Unfortunately, I don't think there's currently much you can do to increase your AC, primarily because WotC has decided that beast form should get screwed out of things like Hafted Defense, presumably for flavor reasons (which doesn't make sense, since your armor still protects you in beast form).  I've been waiting for a Wild Shape specific AC boosting feat for a while now.  At this point, I'm thinking that it'll probably be published in the second Essentials book with the new Druid build, unless they do something radically different with the Druid's shapeshifting.

You may be able to avoid being hit altogether though, given the Polearm shenanigans that your build excels at.  Pick up Repel Charge in Paragon, and (optionally) Fierce Thrasher Form to give you more versatility with where you can slide enemies.  Make sure that you block a clear path to the ally/allies you wish to defend, and if the enemy charges you then you can simply smack them down again with Savage Rend/Polearm Momentum as an interrupt!  Note that while knocking enemies prone 1 square from you is ideal (if paths to allies are blocked), there are some advantages to goading them into charging you.  The most obvious is if the enemy has reach, you'll want it further than 1 square away because slide + prone will do nothing for action denial, whereas forcing them to charge may cancel their attack (contingent on your successful hit).  Also, if your DM tries to use the crawl + attack cheese then forcing a charge will probably be more beneficial than taking a de-buffed hit.
I realy think for this build Eternal Defender is the way to go.

It will give you the reach for Polearm Gamble and it will allow you to wield the Glaive in one hand allowing full Swordmage Warding. Doesn't come online until 24th but really ramps up the build at that level.

On another note I think you should switch the focus of the build from trying to be a defender to be a Controller Secondary Striker where you actually want the enemy to attack you allies to give you the free attack each round. Basicly the idea would be to move in and out of combat playing this skirmishing tactic where you teleport in hit (AoA), then hit again (Standard Action) and move back out (Move Action).
Sweet, so now we have confirmation.

I'm trying to decide whether to go Eternal Defender or stick with a different ED and just use the Fierce Thrasher + Repel Charge. Any thoughts on this?

I also don't think polearm momentum would work with Eternal Defender because I believe the wording says you need to wield it in 2 hands (not sure, I'm not at my normal computer).

Thanks for the input.
Polearm Momentum works as does Polearm Gamble they both just specify the Polearm keyword which the Glaive does not lose with Eternal Defender you just gain the ability to wield it in one hand to trigger your full Swordmage Warding Benefit. When you get on skype I will send you my suggested tweaks to the build.
Polearm Momentum works as does Polearm Gamble they both just specify the Polearm keyword which the Glaive does not lose with Eternal Defender you just gain the ability to wield it in one hand to trigger your full Swordmage Warding Benefit. When you get on skype I will send you my suggested tweaks to the build.

Alright then. I'll most likely put in Eternal Defender.

One quick thing: I was thinking of forgoing the extra +2 to AC that I would get with wielding the Glaive in 1 hand to go with a shield and Hindering Shield. You lose 2 AC but you get the chance to slow your enemies.
Ok, build was updated to use Eternal Defender over Ceaseless Guardian. This lets us use Polearm Gamble to create a semi-catch 22.

If an enemy attacks an ally, they eat a Savage Rend. If they move adjacent to us, they still eat a Savage Rend. The only safe bet is to stay adjacent to us, which is good defending. The update also gave us very solid defenses.

I added a Warlock variant as well. It keeps basically the same strategy but it differs in some ways, mainly the fact that it has way more ways to push/slide.
A few comments while looking over the build.

First, one thing that I noticed when looking over the build is alot of your powers can't be used in Beast Form but you are depending on the Savage Rend At Will which requires you to be in beast form. I know most of the powers are sustainable/stances but I think you should consider only have 1-2 like that. This way you use in can use them in the first round then you can stay in wild shape the rest of the combat.

Secondly I think you need to reconsider your Swordmage Powers as you will not be hitting with them given the current set up so you want Effects, and Miss Effects that are useful with out a hit. I believe looking over the list there are several that have stronger Effect then the ones you current have.

Finally I think you should consider reworking your stats, with out the need for 15 Str in Paragon and the +2 to Str from Eternal defender you can drop your str down to 12 then you will have the 13 you need in paragon and 16 in epic.  This will delay your Fighter MC, but I think it is worth it overall for the better Dex to help your defense in the Heroic and Paragon Tier. I would think of going 12/12/18/10/18/8 for starting stats and the pushing Wis and Dex.
Alright, so build has been reworked a bit to include some more beast form powers, as well as some other minor changes, including attributes.
Bump. I don't want this one to die off quite yet, since I want to make a 1-30 progression and all that.
Sorry to inform you that Swordmage Warding requires you "Wielding" a sword. In beast form you are not considered to be "wielding" anything.  Wildshape sucks as such and becomes the only class feature that reduce your attributes, thanks to the "Fluff into Mechanic" reason.
Sorry to inform you that Swordmage Warding requires you "Wielding" a sword. In beast form you are not considered to be "wielding" anything.  Wildshape sucks as such and becomes the only class feature that reduce your attributes, thanks to the "Fluff into Mechanic" reason.

If you are not "wielding" the implement, then how are you adding an enhancement bonus to your attacks with Savage Rend/any other Beast Form power?

You have to be wielding that implement for the Druid power, and since you can use Heavy Blades as Druid implements thanks to Hybrid, it definately does work. You wouldn't be able to wield it as a weapon while in beast form, but as far as implements go, it's fair game.

Swordmage is a no-brainer to utilize the aegis. After that, hybriding for an at-will that can be used as a MBA is the best way to go. This can be Druid, Warlock, and a decent amount of others. Warlock would be great if the ability scores matched up at all, but they simply don't, which is why Druid is the prime choice here.



How are you concluding that Warlock ability scores don't match up better than a Druid.

Warlock Primaries: CHA or CON
Druid Primary: WIS
Swordmage Primary: INT

None of them match up as far as I can tell. However, the Warlock has something going for it that the Druid does not, a secondary INT.  Since you're focusing on Aegis of Assault (AoA), I'm ignoring the Druid's secondary CON.

And speaking of a class to hybrid for a MBA, have you considered an Avenger?  Take Power of Skill to make Overwelming Strike a MBA with a slide feature with the advantage of the Avenger secondary, INT, playing nice with the Swordmage.  I'm currently playing a AoA Swordmage|Avenger like this in Eberron, where I also have Mark of Passage for a sweet shift 2 feature.  Plus, I've got Armor of Faith Hybrid Talent and Unarmored Agility. My character is house-ruled, so I actually have the abilities to get proficiency with a Talenta Sharrash for some High Crit, Battle Awareness, Polearm Momentum/Gamble shenanigans.

Sorry to inform you that Swordmage Warding requires you "Wielding" a sword. In beast form you are not considered to be "wielding" anything.  Wildshape sucks as such and becomes the only class feature that reduce your attributes, thanks to the "Fluff into Mechanic" reason.

If you are not "wielding" the implement, then how are you adding an enhancement bonus to your attacks with Savage Rend/any other Beast Form power?

You have to be wielding that implement for the Druid power, and since you can use Heavy Blades as Druid implements thanks to Hybrid, it definately does work. You wouldn't be able to wield it as a weapon while in beast form, but as far as implements go, it's fair game.



As far as for the customer services' replies (yes, I asked the same question multiple times and was answered by different people), the formal and uniformed reply is "you are not wielding it". Also remember why Druid cannot wield a shield in beastform because of the stupid fluff reason (and fully supported by the official feat)?Despite my resentment toward such an answer, it is there.

Of course one could argue like you did but then that's up to the DM's discretion.
Druids cannot use shields because WotC specifically said so. It had nothing to do with wielding.

EDIT: Exact wording.

"You continue to gain the benefits of the equipment you wear, except a shield."
Change that to "use" or whatever, it's still there, as you said, the WoTC specifically said so, so is the "wielding" issue.
No where in the Wild Shape description does it say you cannot wield implements (which a sword is in this case). Until you can point to the specific wording that would suggest this, your argument is baseless.

I don't seem to be able to post or even edit the reply properly with those quotes. I have edited and deleted like 20 posts ...weird...

Here is what the CS says

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

It is not even MY argument.
If you are not satisfied, like me, argue with WotC, not me.
Ok, let me try this again and see if it works...

Thank you for contacting Wizards of the Coast! In order to better answer your questions I have copied them into this reply.

1) I'm confused by the wordings of Hafted Defense, Staff Fighting as well as Wildshape and wondering if the former two would function in Wildshape. In other words, is a druid still "wielding a staff" or "wielding a staff as a quarter staff" with two hands while wildshaped and gain the benefits from these two feats?

- Wild Shape states that you retain the enhancement bonuses from your items but as you are no longer wielding the staff in two hands you will not gain any advantages that require that you be weilding the staff in two hands.



Thank you for contacting us. Please see below for answers to your questions.

1) Do Staff Fighting, Hafted Defense, Two Weapon Fighting and Two Weapon Defense work after a druid wild shaped into an animal wielding a staff with two hands?
No, these feats will not work after a druid wild shaped into an animal.

-Wild Shape states: "While you are in beast form, you can't use attack, utility, or feat powers that lack the beast form keyword, although you can sustain such powers...
Your equipment becomes part of your beast form, but you drop anything you are holding, except implements you can use."

So anything that you are holding you will drop.
-Staff Fighting states: "You can treat the quarterstaff as a double weapon... The primary end gains the defensive and stout properties, and the secondary end gains the
off-hand property."
Since the Defensive, Stout and Off-hand properties indicate that you are holding/wielding the quarterstaff, you would not be able to benefit from this feat while in
beast form. This is because you would not be able to hold/wield the quarterstaff according to the effects of Wild Shape.
-Hafted Defense states: "While wielding a polearm or a staff in two hands, you gain a +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex."
Since you would need to be wielding a polearm or staff in two hands in order to benefit from this feat, you would not be able to benefit from it while in beast form according to the effects of Wild Shape.
-Two-Weapon Fighting states: "While holding a melee weapon in each hand, you gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls with your main weapon."
Since you would need to be holding a melee weapon in each hand in order to benefit from this feat, you would not be able to benefit from it while in beast form according to the effects of Wild Shape.
-Two-Weapon Defense states: "While holding a melee weapon in each hand, you gain a +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex."
Since you would need to be holding a melee weapon in each hand in order to benefit from this feat, you would not be able to benefit from it while in beast form according to the effects of Wild Shape.



At least it works...sorry for the inconvenience and I really dare not edit the previous post again because it seems to mess with all words and format.
That is correct. You cannot wield a quarterstaff as a two-handed weapon, only as a one-handed implement. You are still wielding it though.

Swordmage class feature does not wielding a sword as a weapon, just wielding a sword. Which you are able to do as a implement. I don't see anything that conflicts with his build.
Please refer to the quote, which finally works properly, regarding "wielding". You are not wielding a staff, you are not wielding, let alone holding, even a dagger or sword with two weapon fighting in wildshape.
Please refer to the quote, which finally works properly, regarding "wielding". You are not wielding a staff, you are not wielding, let alone holding, even a dagger or sword with two weapon fighting in wildshape.



Sorry man, I just don't see it. All of those suggested feats required wielding a weapon. You are not wielding weapons to fulfill the Swordmage bit, but implements.

Again, nothing in the Druid Wild Shape description disallows "wielding", and nothing in the Swordmage bit states that is must be wielded as a weapon. You can wield implements in Beast form.

"Wield" is not weapon specific.


"SWORDMAGE WARDING
While you are conscious and wielding either a light blade or a heavy blade, you maintain a field of magical force around you.
This field provides a +1 bonus to AC, or a +3 bonus if you are wielding a blade in one hand and have your other hand free (not carrying a shield, an off-hand weapon, a two-handed weapon, or anything else)."

On another note the things you are comparing Swordmages Warding to are Feats. As shown in the wildshape description with powers wildshape interacts differently with Class Features then Feats. Swordmages Warding is a Class Feature which makes the CS response you posted useless for the discussion at hand. This effect also applies to the feats that enhance swordmages warding as they modify the base ability so don't fall under your above qoute.

You cannot compare Class Features with feats in reference of Wildshape.
Please refer to the quote, which finally works properly, regarding "wielding". You are not wielding a staff, you are not wielding, let alone holding, even a dagger or sword with two weapon fighting in wildshape.



Sorry man, I just don't see it. All of those suggested feats required wielding a weapon. You are not wielding weapons to fulfill the Swordmage bit, but implements.

Again, nothing in the Druid Wild Shape description disallows "wielding", and nothing in the Swordmage bit states that is must be wielded as a weapon. You can wield implements in Beast form.

"Wield" is not weapon specific.


"SWORDMAGE WARDING
While you are conscious and wielding either a light blade or a heavy blade, you maintain a field of magical force around you.
This field provides a +1 bonus to AC, or a +3 bonus if you are wielding a blade in one hand and have your other hand free (not carrying a shield, an off-hand weapon, a two-handed weapon, or anything else)."




"Wild Shape states that you retain the enhancement bonuses from your items but as you are no longer wielding the staff in two hands you will not gain any advantages that require that you be weilding the staff in two hands."

Staff is an implement as well as a sword for SM.
You are not wielding a staff in wildshape thus cannot use hafted defense, so how could one instead "wield" a sword in wildshape and get warding?
On another note the things you are comparing Swordmages Warding to are Feats. As shown in the wildshape description with powers wildshape interacts differently with Class Features then Feats. Swordmages Warding is a Class Feature which makes the CS response you posted useless for the discussion at hand. This effect also applies to the feats that enhance swordmages warding as they modify the base ability so don't fall under your above qoute.

You cannot compare Class Features with feats in reference of Wildshape.



Which only functions when you "wield a sword" in one hand.
You cannot wield a quarter-staff in two hands because that would be wielding as a weapon. You can only wield implements in beast form.

You can wield a quarterstaff one handed as an implement, and use another in your offhand. If you only have one quarterstaff as an implement, and have the option of using another (but are not), then obviously your offhand is free.

Thus, light/heavy blade implement wielded in main hand, off hand free = Swordmage class feature works.

Irrelevent to my point. Your CS response is about feat interaction with Wildshape, the question at hand is about a Class Feature interaction with Wildshape. Wildshape interacts differently with Class Features and Feats as shown in the powers wording about powers. 

Also for the full benefit yes it specifies the way your are wielding it and perhaps you are correct that you won't get the full benefit of the Class Feature due to the way it interacts. However the base line ability only specifies you must be wielding a heavy blade which the PC clearly is as an implement even in wildshape. So the build may lose some AC but it will still get a +4 to AC total from Swordmages Warding with the feats.

Ok, so it does work is basically the consensus that I'm getting here. On a side note, this build can also be played using the Sigil Carver PP for the free MBA (and thus Savage Rend/Eldritch Strike). Pros and Cons of that:

Pros:
Free attacks without being limited to Assault, better overall defender than main build because you are reducing damage

Cons:
Doesn't do too good until around 16th, very MAD if you plan on going Druid, you don't get the huge burst Wandering Swordmage grants.

All that being said, it might be a fun alternative if you're starting at paragon.
You cannot wield a quarter-staff in two hands because that would be wielding as a weapon. You can only wield implements in beast form.

You can wield a quarterstaff one handed as an implement, and use another in your offhand. If you only have one quarterstaff as an implement, and have the option of using another (but are not), then obviously your offhand is free.

Thus, light/heavy blade implement wielded in main hand, off hand free = Swordmage class feature works.



Since when a staff is only "a weapon" but not an "implement" when used two handed? And if not then why weapon focus:staff works for implement attacks?

 Since it's both a weapon and an implement, do you mean a druid is wielding a staff as an "implement" but not wielding it as a "weapon" when wildshaped? Then in that case if it is still wielding a staff/quarterstaff and should get hafted defense to work due to the wording because staff/quarterstaff can be used as implement.

I like your reasoning but that did't even move my DMs a bit XD


You cannot wield a quarter-staff in two hands because that would be wielding as a weapon. You can only wield implements in beast form.

You can wield a quarterstaff one handed as an implement, and use another in your offhand. If you only have one quarterstaff as an implement, and have the option of using another (but are not), then obviously your offhand is free.

Thus, light/heavy blade implement wielded in main hand, off hand free = Swordmage class feature works.



Since when a staff is only "a weapon" but not an "implement" when used two handed? And if not then why weapon focus:staff works for implement attacks?

 Since it's both a weapon and an implement, do you mean a druid is wielding a staff as an "implement" but not wielding it as a "weapon" when wildshaped? Then in that case if it is still wielding a staff/quarterstaff and should get hafted defense to work due to the wording because staff/quarterstaff can be used as implement.

I like your reasoning but that did't even move my DMs a bit XD



It always is. That's a rule as far as I know (why you're able to wield 2 staffs when using them as implements but only wield it 2 handed when attacking).
You cannot wield a quarter-staff in two hands because that would be wielding as a weapon. You can only wield implements in beast form.

You can wield a quarterstaff one handed as an implement, and use another in your offhand. If you only have one quarterstaff as an implement, and have the option of using another (but are not), then obviously your offhand is free.

Thus, light/heavy blade implement wielded in main hand, off hand free = Swordmage class feature works.



Since when a staff is only "a weapon" but not an "implement" when used two handed? And if not then why weapon focus:staff works for implement attacks?

 Since it's both a weapon and an implement, do you mean a druid is wielding a staff as an "implement" but not wielding it as a "weapon" when wildshaped? Then in that case if it is still wielding a staff/quarterstaff and should get hafted defense to work due to the wording because staff/quarterstaff can be used as implement.

I like your reasoning but that did't even move my DMs a bit XD



It always is. That's a rule as far as I know (why you're able to wield 2 staffs when using them as implements but only wield it 2 handed when attacking).



15. I am using a weapon as an implement, like a long sword for a Wizard of the Spiral Tower or a weapon from the staff weapon group as a Staff implement, do I gain the extra damage from feats like Weapon Focus?



Yes, you do gain this bonus to damage.




From the official FAQ.
Then how do one get weapon focus:staff to work implement attacks when it is used as an implement?
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