Thunderstruck, a Striking Swordmage

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Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck is a Swordmage/Malec-Keth Janissary/Radiant One.  He uses Booming Blade in conjunction with White Lotus Master Riposte to impose a catch-22 that generates some significant at-will damage.

Key build assumptions:
1. Booming Blade gets mods on both the original damage, and the triggered damage.  There's a fairly solid RAW grounding on this one, especially as the triggered damage lacks the "extra damage" qualifier that has caused such stir over Hellish Rebuke. 
2. Extra damage adds keywords.  Again, the rules are fairly solid at this point, but again you'll find DMs who don't like it.

The Process:
1.  Mark some enemies.  Leave them behind and head for your real target.
2.  Smack him with Booming Blade.  Use your Mark of Storms shift to get him away from your allies.
3.  Watch as he struggles to decide what to do.  His options:
  a.  Move away.  This triggers the Booming Blade secondary damage, doing the damage we love.
  b.  Do nothing.  A losing proposition for the most part, it's like voluntarily being stunned.
  c.  Attack you.  You trigger White Lotus Riposte/Master Riposte, hitting him for another Booming Blade, and sliding him away...thereby triggering your Booming Blade damage anyway(you don't have to slide him away if you'd rather keep him close, it's not like you aren't doing more damage this way anyway).
  d.  Try to attack an ally.  Like a ranger or Avenger, your allies should be staying away when you ask them to.  So they should be at range, in which case your target eats an OA.  Good times follow.
4.  Do your defender duties from a distance.

The build as presented puts up 105 dpr if they try to get away every turn.  If your enemy attacks you at all, dpr goes up.  If they shoot your allies, dpr goes up.  If they move instead of shifting...you get the idea.
Defenses are decent, hp is defender-level, you get a variety of good swordmage powers and utilities, etc.
Some variants will get the dpr even higher, but I wanted to post him in this, his simplest incarnation.

The Build
 ====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 30
Genasi, Swordmage, Malec-Keth Janissary, Radiant One
Swordmage Aegis: Aegis of Shielding
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Light Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Elemental Manifestation: Stormsoul
Quickened Spellcasting: Booming Blade
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 24, Dex 15, Int 26, Wis 13, Cha 10.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 16, Dex 13, Int 16, Wis 11, Cha 8.

AC: 47 Fort: 41 Reflex: 46 Will: 42
HP: 213 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 53

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +32, Insight +21, Endurance +29, Athletics +22
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +17, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +16, Heal +16, History +27, Intimidate +15, Nature +18, Perception +16, Religion +27, Stealth +17, Streetwise +15, Thievery +17

FEATS
Level 1: Intelligent Blademaster
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: White Lotus Riposte
Level 6: Silvery Glow
Level 8: Mark of Storm
Level 10: Deadly Draw
Level 11: Double Aegis (retrained to Total Aegis at Level 21)
Level 12: White Lotus Master Riposte
Level 14: Lasting Frost
Level 16: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 18: Shocking Flame
Level 20: Echoes of Thunder
Level 21: Rapid Aegis Reaction
Level 22: Nimble Blade
Level 24: Epic Will
Level 26: Strength Through Challenge
Level 28: Superior Initiative
Level 30: Quickened Spellcasting

POWERS
Swordmage at-will 1: Sword Burst
Swordmage at-will 1: Booming Blade
Swordmage encounter 1: Foesnare
Swordmage daily 1: Lashing Asp
Swordmage utility 2: Channeling Shield
Swordmage encounter 3: Transposing Lunge
Swordmage daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Swordmage utility 6: Armathor's Step
Swordmage encounter 7: Dimensional Vortex
Swordmage daily 9: Troll Rampage
Swordmage utility 10: Impenetrable Warding
Swordmage encounter 13: Echoes of Sword Magic (replaces Foesnare)
Swordmage daily 15: Free the Storm Within (replaces Lashing Asp)
Swordmage utility 16: Insightful Riposte
Swordmage encounter 17: Surprising Transposition (replaces Echoes of Sword Magic)
Swordmage daily 19: Hell's Own Blade (replaces Troll Rampage)
Swordmage utility 22: Giant's Might
Swordmage daily 25: Quicksilver Blade (replaces Hell's Own Blade)
Swordmage encounter 27: Circle of Devastation (replaces Surprising Transposition)
Swordmage daily 29: Astral Thunder Blade (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)

ITEMS
Gloves of Ice (epic tier)
Subtle Rapier +6
Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (epic tier)
Opal Ring of Remembrance (epic tier)
Deep-Pocket Cloak +6
Ring of Guarded Will (epic tier)
Eye of Awareness (epic tier)
Baldric of Shielding (paragon tier)
Foe Binder Ring (paragon tier)
Boots of Quickness (epic tier)
Bracers of Tactical Blows (epic tier)
Swordwing Armor of Dark Deeds +6
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


I like to think of him kind of as an Avenger with a Swordmage base. 


Note:
MC-Drowbane apparently used the name before I did.  I blame Lordduskblade.  He's graciously allowed me to keep the name.  Regardless, for separation sake, his build is Thunderstruck! and mine is Thunderstruck.  Thankfully, they are different classes.
Variants(there are plenty)
Mandatory video time!


If you're going to spam Booming Blade, I would definitely make room for Rose King's Shield.  Marked enemies will occasionally catch up with you, and with all the damage you're doing you'll be an attractive target.  Not only does it cushion you quite a bit, but it will be a further incentive for enemies to trigger Booming Blade damage as opposed to WLR (at least in Heroic, before you get Master Riposte, you'll want the enemies to try to run from you). 
Why Deadly Draw instead of Wintertouched?
If you're going to spam Booming Blade, I would definitely make room for Rose King's Shield.  Marked enemies will occasionally catch up with you, and with all the damage you're doing you'll be an attractive target.  Not only does it cushion you quite a bit, but it will be a further incentive for enemies to trigger Booming Blade damage as opposed to WLR (at least in Heroic, before you get Master Riposte, you'll want the enemies to try to run from you). 


I avoided Rose King's Shield because it really didn't seem like a lot of thp.  I may fit it in, especially before he picks up the Baldric of Shielding(and even then, the baldric competes with WLMR for the immediate action before epic).

Why Deadly Draw instead of Wintertouched?


Deadly Draw comes online earlier in the build, so I kept it.  As far as Booming Blade is concerned, the difference is null(you slide and deal frost damage on every attack).  As a practical matter, you may want to retrain to wintertouched at level 16 so that you can get CA on ALL attacks, not just thunder.
3.  Watch as he struggles to decide what to do.  His options:
   c.  Attack you.  You trigger White Lotus Riposte/Master Riposte, hitting him for another Booming Blade, and sliding him away...thereby triggering your Booming Blade damage anyway(you don't have to slide him away if you'd rather keep him close, it's not like you aren't doing more damage this way anyway).
 



Booming Blade requires the target to move away. Sliding (or other forced movement) won't trigger booming blade since it's not voluntary movement.

Booming Blade requires the target to move away. Sliding (or other forced movement) won't trigger booming blade since it's not voluntary movement.


Booming blade simply requires that your target "moves away during its turn."  It does not require that this be voluntary or willing movement, and forced movement is definitely movement.

I would, however, welcome a rules quote in support of your position.
Wish they hadn't screwed up the expertise feats so weapon implement users couldn't take them. Anyway, I like the build. Love catch 22 builds.
Brilliant!  Great catch 22!  I didn't really know that booming blade worked on a shift.  If you are correct about forced movement triggering booming blade then this build can have some pretty fantastic DPR.
I made a Sword|lock, lyrandar wind rider variant of this build in an attempt to pump up the DPR a bit. The build averages something like 61.0 DPR at lvl 12 vs 25 ac. I will throw it up here in a bit.
Booming Blade requires the target to move away. Sliding (or other forced movement) won't trigger booming blade since it's not voluntary movement.


Booming blade simply requires that your target "moves away during its turn."  It does not require that this be voluntary or willing movement, and forced movement is definitely movement.

I would, however, welcome a rules quote in support of your position.



I don't know about forced movement exactly but here is the response I got from CustServ months ago on this power. Here is what I asked them and their response to my poorly worded question.












 Customer (222222 @yahoo.com)10/08/2010 10:48 PM
We need clarification on this power on how many times during an opponents turn that they would take damage from its triggered effect.

Another question for it is, if they shift or charge or teleport, can they take damage from it? Is it triggered as soon as they leave their adjacent square on their turn?

for instance on my turn I hit them with the power, on their turn they started adjacent to me, shifted several squares away, then again they shifted by way of some power or charged or even took a move action or whatever on their turn, how many times does that trigger my Booming Blade power's effect? is it only once or as many times that they have moved during their turn? None of this is forced movement.



























 Subject
booming blade
 
 Discussion Thread
 Response (Support Agent)10/09/2010 12:26 PM
Hello 2222222,

Thank you for contacting us. The Booming Blade power says the following: " if the target is adjacent to you at the start of its next turn and moves away during that turn, it takes 1d6 + Constitution modifier thunder damage."

This power only cares if you moved at all. It does not care about every space you move, or every different move action.

This only triggers once ever, per use of the power.


Take Care and Good Gaming!


Yes - I shall definitely be working this idea into mine own swordmage|paladin.

Or just about any other swordmage I get to use.  Booming blade was already one of my all time favorites - now it is like - totally even better.
Hi Guys!
Here is the gith Sword|Lock variant that I was talking about. I went with Githyanki as opposed to Gensai cause I love gith and also for the CON boost. The main benefits of hybriding with warlock are power diversity, damage, mobility (ethereal sidestep) and eldritch strike.  Eldritch strike gives a good con based attack to use as a melee basic attack.  Fortunately for us this con attack also slides 1 as a hit effect! This means that if our chosen target decides to use a ranged attack our OA now slides and triggers booming blade! Sweet!
These advantages do come at the downside of fewer hitpoints, but fortunately warlocks have some great ways of upping the defences and generating temp HP. Armor of Dark Majesty and ethereal sidestep /w phantom chaussures are a defence boost at paragon, and at epic warding curse adds more defense.  In addition one can go for twofold pact at paragon and pick up the temporary HP pact boon feature, generating temp HP whenever a cursed target dies.  In the end survivability of this variant is not too much worse. One does lose the sword burst at will to pick up eldritch strike with this build though. This may or may not be worth it depending upon what you want out of the character.

Githyanki Gish Build B

 ====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 30
Githyanki, Swordmage, Lyrandar Wind-Rider
Hybrid Aegis: Aegis of Shielding
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Light Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 21, Dex 11, Int 21, Wis 13, Cha 9.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 18, Dex 10, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 8.

AC: 29 Fort: 25 Reflex: 26 Will: 24
HP: 89 Surges: 12 Surge Value: 22

FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: White Lotus Riposte
Level 6: Silvery Glow
Level 8: Mark of Storm
Level 10: Deadly Draw (retrained to Wintertouched at lvl 12)
Level 11:
White Lotus Master Riposte
Level 12: Lasting Frost


POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Booming Blade
Hybrid encounter 1:Chains of Levistus
Hybrid daily 1: Armor of Agathys
Hybrid utility 2: Charm of Hearts
Hybrid encounter 3: Transposing Lunge
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Dimensional Vortex
Hybrid daily 9: Troll Rampage
Hybrid utility 10: Ethereal Sidestep

ITEMS

Frost Longsword +3 (Frost Fun)
Inix Armor of Dark Majesty +3 (extra defense vs cursed enemies)
Amulet of Life +3 (I just like the encounter)
Circlet of Mental Onslaught (Paragon) (NADs)
Gloves of Ice (Paragon) (Frost Fun)
Sibery's Shard of Merciless Cold (Frost Fun)
Iron Armbands of Power (Damage)
Boots of Quickness (NADs)
Diamond Cincture (NADs)
Eladrin Ring of Passage x2 (Extra teleportation movement with ethereal sidestep)


I'll post the DPR calcs in a bit.

DPR Calcs


Asuming Combat Advantage (Wintertouched)
Asuming Frost Vulnerability (Lasting Frost)
Asuming Two attacks (booming blade effect or something more powerful (OA or WLMR or Both))

To Hit: 6 (1/2 lvl) + 5 (Ability mod) + 3 (proficiency) + 3 (enhancement) + 2 (Feat) + 1 (Storm Adept) + 2 (Combat Advantage)= 22  V.S. AC 25 = 15% Miss, 5% Crit, 80% Hit

Damage:

Booming Blade: 4.5 (Dice) + 7.0 (Curse) + 5.0 (Abil Mod) + 3.0 (Enh) + 3.0 (Silvery Glow) + 5.0 (Storm Adept) + 5.0 (Lasting Frost) + 2.0 (Gloves of Ice) + 3.0 (Dragonshard) + 4.0 (Armbands) = 41.5

Booming Blade Effect: 3.5 (Dice) + 5.0 (Abil Mod) + 3.0 (Enh) + 3.0 (Silvery Glow) + 5.0 (Storm Adept) + 5.0 (Lasting Frost) + 2.0 (Gloves of Ice) + 3.0 (Dragonshard) = 29.5

Total: 71.0

Crit Damage:

Booming Blade: 20.0 (Maxed Dice) + 5.0 (Abil) + 3.0 (Enh) + 3.0 (Silvery Glow) + 5.0 (Storm Adept) + 5.0 (Lasting Frost) + 2.0 (Gloves of Ice) + 3.0 (Dragonshard) + 4.0 (Armbands) + 10.5 (Crit Dice) + 29.5 Booming Blade Effect = 90.0

DPR:
     Hit            Crit    
.8 (71.0) + .05(90.0) = 61.3 (at-will at lvl 12)
Just so everyone is aware about how Booming Blade works...

1. The target has to be adjacent to you at the start of his turn.

2. If the target moves away by any means during his turn he triggers the movement damage.

3. This only works once off each hit with Booming Blade. Meaning you hit once, he moves, he takes damage and the trigger effect needs refreshed with a new hit from Booming Blade.

4. You can help trigger the Booming Blade dmg trigger by doing OA's on his turn or IR/IA's if you got a way that could slide/pull/push the target. However doing this still needs to meet the first 3 things listed above.

I've been playing this trick with my DarthVader build and I still get damage done by my Armor of Agathys, White Lotus Riposte consistently and rarely with the movement rider from Booming Blade. My targets just aren't moving away from me that often.
Is there any way to give this guy a nova?
Is there any way to give this guy a nova?


Standard: Daily/Genasi encounter
AP: Booming Blade/Encounter Power
Minor: Quickened Spellcasting: Booming Blade

Or just three Booming Blades.
It'll do fair damage, but the problem I'm running up against is that when you're doing that much damage on a catch-22, it becomes far more worthwhile for them to just do nothing.  That's fine on a round-by-round basis since it's a voluntary stun, but it kind of defeats the purpose of a nova.
So I think you'd be better served by using as many non-booming-blade powers as you can, so that the catch-22 doesn't defeat itself.

@cythisong:
-Hybrid warlock's curse only triggers off warlock powers, so you can't add your curse damage to Booming Blade.
-You should be using AC 26 to get a proper comparison to the dpr calculations of other lvl12 builds(convention is lvl+14 for AC).
-How are you getting 20 for your maxed dice damage for crit? (your result is right, but the components are oddly labelled).

By my calculations, without curse damage and with +1 enemy AC, your dpr drops to 52.15.  Still decent, and generally a lower bound given many enemies will still attack you, triggering more damage than assumed.

@cythisong:
-Hybrid warlock's curse only triggers off warlock powers, so you can't add your curse damage to Booming Blade.
-You should be using AC 26 to get a proper comparison to the dpr calculations of other lvl12 builds(convention is lvl+14 for AC).
-How are you getting 20 for your maxed dice damage for crit? (your result is right, but the components are oddly labelled).

By my calculations, without curse damage and with +1 enemy AC, your dpr drops to 52.15.  Still decent, and generally a lower bound given many enemies will still attack you, triggering more damage than assumed.



I was just basing AC on monsters of that level, which isn't very exacting compared to lvl + 14 so thanks for pointing that one out.
the 20 damage is from d8 (weapon) + 2d6 (warlock's curse)  I was just moving quickly and neglected to lable it.
Oh wowza big mistake on the curse damage! This makes warlock hybrid far less appealing unfortunately, which is a shame given that having eldritch strike as a melee basic synergizes really well with booming blade and reinforces the catch-22. Don't see much of a point in warlock hybrid beyond this one synergy now though.

I do still like the lyrandar wind rider PP for this build though. Its great damage given that booming blade is so central to the tactics, and the flavor goes pretty well with it too. throwing arcane admixture thunder onto sword burst could increase the PP utility too.

I think I'll still definitely take the build for a spin even if it is as a single class swordmage as the tactics it employs are still wildly amusing even without the slide on OAs. Also it makes for a rather good Gish which is always a plus in my book =p.

It has come to my attention that MC-Drowbane used the name not long before I did.
He's been very gracious about my inadvertent theft of his title (blame Lordduskblade).
For the sake of differentiating between the two, his build is Thunderstruck!  and mine is just Thunderstruck.




@Cythisong:  Wind-rider is for sure the superior PP for boosting Booming Blade.  Unfortunately, without the Janissary adding frost damage, it becomes harder to manage everything.  You'll either need to spend a feat on Arcane Admixture, or use Frozen Whetstones.
If you have the access(ie, your DM isn't using rarity), Lyrandar + Whetstones is absolutely the superior option.
It has come to my attention that MC-Drowbane used the name not long before I did.
He's been very gracious about my inadvertent theft of his title (blame Lordduskblade).
For the sake of differentiating between the two, his build is Thunderstruck!  and mine is just Thunderstruck..



Thanks for the shout out Alpha, totally uneccessary, but Thanks.

Last I checked I don't own the rights to using awesome AC/DC songs exclusively on the Char Op boards Wink

Besides your build is much better than mine!  I need to sit down with him and retool him anyway given that his whole design centered around hitting with Ultimate Confrontation, which as it turns out, I don't even need to do in the first place.  Embarassed
Apparently the Customer Service has reversed an earlier discussion about "moves" being inclusive of "Forced Movement"so that forced movement would indeed trigger Booming Blade. Kudos!
Yes, as long as the forced movement happens on the target's turn, it would trigger Booming Blade.
I don't want to look like a necromancer here, but I've got a variant I'm rather fond of - finally.
It's only on lvl 11 though.

Show


Glaivemage, level 11
Human, Swordmage, Malec-Keth Janissary
Build: Assault Swordmage
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Light Blade)
Swordmage Aegis: Aegis of Assault
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power

**(Assualt because of the mobility it can provide while still using the same tactics as suggested-)

FINAL ABILITY SCORESStr 15, Con 13, Dex 15, Int 21, Wis 15, Cha 9.
STARTING ABILITY SCORESStr 14, Con 12, Dex 13, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 8.

**(A must for any polearm build really. I would have dropped strength if it weren't for HBO.)

FEATS
Human: Versatile Expertise
Level 1: Intelligent Blademaster (retrained to Polearm Momentum at Level 11)
Level 2: Improved Swordmage Warding
Level 4: White Lotus Riposte
Level 6: Headsman's Chop
Level 8: Mark of Storm
Level 10: Deadly DrawLevel 11: Heavy Blade Opportunity

(Intelligent Blademaster gets obsolete when you get HBO. Also, Headsman's Chop seems to be a better damage source at least in heroic and paragon since you pretty much only have to look in the general direction of an enemy to knock it prone.)

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Sword Burst
Swordmage at-will 1: Booming Blade
Swordmage at-will 1: Greenflame Blade
Swordmage encounter 1: Foesnare
Swordmage daily 1: Frost Backlash
Swordmage utility 2: Arcane Mutterings
Swordmage encounter 3: Blastback Swipe
Swordmage daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Swordmage utility 6: Armathor's Step
Swordmage encounter 7: Echoes of Sword Magic
Swordmage daily 9: Forceful Dismissal
Swordmage utility 10: Impenetrable Warding

(The powers are not that different. The few differences are mainly because I find them more versatile and can give the build some nova potential. It really enforces the catch 22 situation. My DM would pull his hair out.. :P)

ITEMS
Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)
Feytouched Drowmesh +3
Storm Gauntlets (heroic tier)
Bracers of Tactical Blows (heroic tier)
Baldric of Assault (paragon tier)
Evil Eye Fetish +2
Opportunistic Glaive +2


(I've never been good at picking gear in the CB.. Cleats is not THAT important later on but it's still nifty. You'll knock anything prone with every kind of attack.)

 
I don't want to look like a necromancer here, but I've got a variant I'm rather fond of - finally.

Posting constructively in build-threads isn't "necromancy" like it might be in other threads. ^_^

Looks interesting. I'm not sure how well Assault goes with the build concept. But, then, I can't claim to be OP.
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