Photophobia: A Paladin|Warlock Hexer

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Photophobia

The light, it burns!


The Build Concept


Photophobia imposes marks all over the battlefield, curses a lot of things, and imposes -10 to attack rolls on anything it hits.  Combine this with good defenses, tons of HPs, and the ability to force enemies into choosing from two horrible options.


How it Works


Attack Penalty Imposition:
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Crusader's Mace = Usable as an Implement for Warlock powers thanks to Hybrid rules, and turns all damage half-radiant
Warlock Powers with the Psychic Keyword
Psychic Lock
Curse of the Blind Stars (in Paragon) - Forgo curse on radiant attacks to blind
Mind-Numbing Curse (in Epic) - Forgo curse on psychic attacks to daze
Dizzying Mace - Dazes also impose a -CON penalty to attacks
-----
Net Result:
Paragon = -2 to hit (Psychic Lock), -5 to hit (Blind), which stack
Epic = -2 to hit (Psychic Lock), -8 to hit (Dizzying Mace w/8 Con mod), which stack, and they're dazed

Add on Warding Curse and Divine Challenge/Sanction and there's no good choice of who to attack.  Weakening Challenge combined with Warlock Utility powers to take less damage also ensure that no matter who they attack, if they get lucky and hit, they won't do a lot of damage.

Also, if you beat something on initiative and you hit it with a power, it takes an additional -CHA to attack you thanks to Imperious Majesty.


Marking:
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Wrath of the Crimson Legion = close burst 5 sanction
Call of Challenge = close burst 3 sanction

Punishment = 20 Radiant, Weaken on the offending attack, all as a Free action


Hexer:
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All my APs inflict an additional -2 to attack for a round
Greater Hex - If I do resort to cursing things, I have versatility of who to target with it
Walking Curse - I won't be using this much
Powers -- Cursing w/o actions, psychic damage, all wins


Saving Throws/Defenses:
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Starfire Womb = Make a save any time I deal radiant damage
Superior Will = Save vs. Stun/Daze at the start of my turns
Hero's Poise = All allies get +CHA to saves (can't fail unless the saves have a penalty) if I succeed on a save
Shield of Deflection = resist 10 on ranged/area attacks
AC: 47 Fort: 46 Reflex: 43 Will: 46
HP: 184 Surges: 16 Surge Value: 49


Accuracy/Damage:
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37 vs. NADs on Warlock Powers, 40 vs. AC on the rare weapon attack (Opp Attacks) thanks to a 20 starting Cha, Destined Scion and Eagle's Splendor
Damage...well, don't look here for damage, we're giving up our striker damage almost 100% of the time.



How do we roll?



Turn 1:

  1. Have good initiative (Imperious Majesty + Superior Initiative)

  2. Move - Racing Fires of Ulban (move double speed)

  3. Minor - Paladin`s Wrath (Sanction everything in close burst 5)

  4. Standard - Hexblast (Curse everything in close blast 5 and deal psychic)

  5. Forgo the curse damage to inflict the penalties

  6. Don't forget the extra -CHA penalty to attack you on round 1 from Imperious Majesty, also

Turn 2:

  1. Minor - Call of Challenge (Sanction everything in close burst 3)

  2. Standard - All the Sand, All the Stars (Close blast 3 of more punishment)

  3. Move - Move or use Divine Challenge

Turn 3:

  1. Minor - Divine Challenge Challenge

  2. Minor (Ring of Free Time) - Warlock's Curse

  3. Standard - Lure of Minauros or a Warlock Daily

  4. Move

In addition to these, you have a 2 Paladin Interrupts to punish something that gets out of line and ways to make you harder to hit.


Gear


Sadly, this build needs a little love from items.  The build won't function to the full extent of it's capability without the Crusader's Weapon so that your attacks are Radiant/Psychic with a Mace.  You can switch to an Ironscar Rod in Epic, if you desire.
Also you'll want the Holy Symbol to augment your Punishment damage, the Headband to improve your hitrate, and the Ring of Free Time to help with minor action conflicts.  You can deal without any of these last few items, but it will be noticable.


Thanks to


Ytterbium_Dragon for the help with fitting 90,000 feats down into a managable list, and his immense Warlock knowledge.
The whole ##4eCO gang, ya'll my dawgs!
The Build Summary
This build is tricked out with the best possible items, see the first post if you're worried about item rarity.
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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Photophobia, level 30
Tiefling, Paladin|Warlock, Hexer, Destined Scion
Hybrid Paladin: Hybrid Paladin Fortitude
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Star Pact (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Hybrid Talent: Paladin Armor Proficiency
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Constitution)
Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Charisma)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Mace)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Holy Symbol)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 26, Dex 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 30.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 11, Wis 8, Cha 18.


AC: 47 Fort: 46 Reflex: 43 Will: 46
HP: 184 Surges: 16 Surge Value: 49

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +21, Diplomacy +30, Endurance +24, Streetwise +30

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +12, Bluff +27, Dungeoneering +15, Heal +15, History +16, Insight +15, Intimidate +25, Nature +15, Perception +15, Religion +16, Stealth +14, Thievery +12, Athletics +12

FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Wrath of the Crimson Legion
Level 4: Imperious Majesty
Level 6: Weapon Proficiency (Singing Stick)
Level 8: Versatile Expertise
Level 10: Starfire Womb
Level 11: Curse of the Blind Stars (retrained to Mind-Numbing Curse at Level 21)
Level 12: Secrets of Belial (Font of Healing to Eagle's Splendor)
Level 14: Psychic Lock
Level 16: Superior Will
Level 18: Improved Defenses
Level 20: Wrathful Warrior
Level 21: Dizzying Mace
Level 22: Weakening Challenge
Level 24: Hero's Poise
Level 26: Superior Initiative
Level 28: Warding Curse
Level 30: Epic Reflexes

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Eyebite
Hybrid at-will 1: Enfeebling Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Valorous Smite
Hybrid daily 1: Decree of Khirad
Hybrid utility 2: Call of Challenge
Hybrid encounter 3: Lure of Minauros
Hybrid daily 5: Name of Might (retrained to Lure of Gibbeth at Level 9)
Hybrid utility 6: Racing Fire of Ulban
Hybrid encounter 7: All the Sand, All the Stars
Hybrid daily 9: Ray of Reprisal
Hybrid utility 10: Font of Healing
Hybrid encounter 13: Price of Cowardice (replaces Valorous Smite)
Hybrid daily 15: Blasphemous Utterance (replaces Lure of Gibbeth)
Hybrid utility 16: Guise of the Laughing Fool
Hybrid encounter 17: Lure of Minauros (replaces Lure of Minauros)
Hybrid daily 19: Blasphemous Utterance (replaces Blasphemous Utterance)
Hybrid utility 22: Hero's Defense
Hybrid encounter 23: Demand Respect (replaces Price of Cowardice)
Hybrid daily 25: Word of the Sorcerer-King (replaces Decree of Khirad)
Hybrid encounter 27: Web of Lies (replaces Lure of Minauros)
Hybrid daily 29: Blasphemous Utterance (replaces Blasphemous Utterance)

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Amulet of Protection +6, Magic Godplate Armor +6, Crusader's Singing Stick +6, Headband of Intellect (epic tier), Diamond Cincture (epic tier), Boots of Caiphon (epic tier), Shield of Deflection Heavy Shield (epic tier), Strikebacks (heroic tier), Eager Hero's Tattoo (paragon tier), Symbol of the Champion's Code +6, Ring of Regeneration (epic tier), Ring of Free Time (epic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Variants

None yet




Welcoming critique/comments
Sweet build!
I got a similar (Sir SaveAlot, some posts down) but you thought of so many things that I totaly missed, now I have to rethink all.

Some things I dont understand (Im very very new to this)

1."Curse of the Blind Stars (in Paragon) - Forgo curse on radiant attacks to blind"
even if you hit many opponents, you only blind one right? Or do you blind all?

2. Singing stick, cool never heard of it but found it in CB thanks to you, is it for the +3 to hit?

3. Superior Will AND Improved defenses?, couldnt you just take Superior Fortitude instead of Imp.Def?
either you get +1/2/3 in fort and refl or +2/3/4 fort and resist ongoing 3/6/9.

I must say, a party would love the first 2 rounds you gave them if this combo works! By then you might even have defeated some opponents and since you are uber 1 vs 1 you are really good at tanking bosses. Cool build and thanks for all the new ideas that started spinning in my head
/cheer

I would love it if you took a look at my build and told me what you thought.
It's 4:54am where I'm at, and I just woke up, but I'm looking at the two 'forgo curse damage to...' feats, and noting that Mind-Numbing Curse is leveraged to apply the Psychic keyword to some attacks. There is a possible timing issue here, because if you forgo the Curse damage, a DM may rule that the attack doesn't have the Psychic keyword, and therefore doesn't function with Mind-Numbing Curse. Stacking the two feats might also be an issue for DMs, since you're selling Curse damage 1 time to fuel 2 feats.

There are some workarounds built in already, of course-- Eyebite already has the Psychic keyword, so it'll work with Mind-Numbing Curse all day, for example.

I apologize if I missed something. I'll check back in after work today.
Something that's not clear - you're not foregoing curse damage more than once a round, correct?

You're doing a lot of area attacks and I think many DMs would easily rule that you can pick a target to forego curse damage on, but that then means you can't use curse damage for the rest of the turn.
Something that's not clear - you're not foregoing curse damage more than once a round, correct? You're doing a lot of area attacks and I think many DMs would easily rule that you can pick a target to forego curse damage on, but that then means you can't use curse damage for the rest of the turn.


The wording on Curse of the Blind Stars is such that it implies you don't use your curse on those attacks where MNC is active.  That is to say, if you use CBS, you don't expend your use of Curse for the round.  So if you have multiple targets, you could theoretically use CBS on all of them by specifically saying "not dealing the extra damage to him, or him, or him..."

However, I think there may be a case to be made that if you make a single area attack, the requirements for CBS must apply to the entire attack to apply at all.  That is, you must forgo curse damage on Scorching Burst in general, but then you can still only apply CBS to one target...

One of the nice things about Curse of the Blind Stars is that it's not itself part of your curse.  It is an ability that activates when you DON'T deal your extra damage, so CBS itself is not subject to the same restrictions as Curse, except insofar as it must be triggered by your restraint.

I suspect Auspex may be right about triggering both CBS and Mind-numbing Curse at the same time, though...
Ah, some good stuff, I'll try to cover each of these.


2. Singing stick, cool never heard of it but found it in CB thanks to you, is it for the +3 to hit?

I figured it couldn't hurt to have the best mace possible, but since the build doesn't actually use weapon attacks, you can go with a more generic (aka: no feat required) mace.

3. Superior Will AND Improved defenses?, couldnt you just take Superior Fortitude instead of Imp.Def?
either you get +1/2/3 in fort and refl or +2/3/4 fort and resist ongoing 3/6/9.


I'm not worried about ongoing damage in this build with my powers all dealing Radiant damage and Starfire Womb.  I'd rather bump both NADs than just 1, so I go with that.  If you want to go with a feat-free mace, I'd take Disciple of Freedom to cover immob/etc, conditions that can impact your ability much more than a trifling OGD.



sleepy stuff


I'm retraining Blind Stars to Mind-Numbing Curse at 21, I don't expect both of those to work, but it's an upgrade because at 21 I'll be dazing for -9, versus blinding+Psychic Lock.  All of my Warlock powers are Psychic and the Crusader turns them Half-Radiant, so it works for both approaches.
Various comments about only 1 target


I suppose an annoyed DM would rule this way, but as Alpha explains above, nothing in the feat descriptions say that it uses/counts as my WC-usage for the round.  Without that limitation I just go down the line in order, curse_target_1 = curse damage?  no, you're blind or dazed, repeat down the line.  If a really annoyed DM cuts into the effectiveness of this, you're still marking a good portion of the map and super-impairing a key target on the battlefield, and Psychic Locking a good portion as well.  So most of the map will be -4 to hit anyone and one guy (minimum) will be suffering the mega-penalty.
Various comments about only 1 target


I suppose an annoyed DM would rule this way, but as Alpha explains above, nothing in the feat descriptions say that it uses/counts as my WC-usage for the round.  Without that limitation I just go down the line in order, curse_target_1 = curse damage?  no, you're blind or dazed, repeat down the line.



The problem is that you're not actually hitting them down the line, you're hitting them all simultaneously. What you're doing there is the following:
Making an attack that hits several opponents simultaneously.
Tell the DM that you're choosing to apply the damage to all of them at the same time.
Then foregoing the damage.

The problem is #2 isn't a legal option of Warlock's Curse because you can't do that until #3 takes effect on each one.

The problem is that you're not actually hitting them down the line, you're hitting them all simultaneously. What you're doing there is the following:
Making an attack that hits several opponents simultaneously.
Tell the DM that you're choosing to apply the damage to all of them at the same time.
Then foregoing the damage.

The problem is #2 isn't a legal option of Warlock's Curse because you can't do that until #3 takes effect on each one.



The problem with your interpretation is that I'm never choosing to apply the damage.
I hit, I don't do curse damage to anything, since I choose to forgo dealing damage to every cursed target, I do nasty things to all cursed targets.

The confusion lies in that Warlock's Curse says you make a choice to inflict the WC damage after the damage roll, while Blind Stars/Numbing Curse both trigger on the hit.

Mind-Numbing Curse

Benefit: When you hit a cursed foe with an encounter or daily warlock attack that causes psychic damage, you can forgo dealing Warlock’s Curse damage to instead cause the target to become dazed until the end of your next turn.



The problem is that you're not actually hitting them down the line, you're hitting them all simultaneously. What you're doing there is the following:
Making an attack that hits several opponents simultaneously.
Tell the DM that you're choosing to apply the damage to all of them at the same time.
Then foregoing the damage.

The problem is #2 isn't a legal option of Warlock's Curse because you can't do that until #3 takes effect on each one.



The problem with your interpretation is that I'm never choosing to apply the damage.
I hit, I don't do curse damage to anything, since I choose to forgo dealing damage to every cursed target, I do nasty things to all cursed targets.

The confusion lies in that Warlock's Curse says you make a choice to inflict the WC damage after the damage roll, while Blind Stars/Numbing Curse both trigger on the hit.

Mind-Numbing Curse

Benefit: When you hit a cursed foe with an encounter or daily warlock attack that causes psychic damage, you can forgo dealing Warlock’s Curse damage to instead cause the target to become dazed until the end of your next turn.





That's an argument for RAI. Warlock's Curse triggers on the hit, too.

"If you hit a cursed enemy with an attack, you deal extra damage."

The 'When you hit' is specifying that you need to hit with the encounter/daily warlock power in the same manner. The point in time that you choose to deal Warlock's Curse damage is when you do your damage roll. That's when you can choose to forego it because that's when it actually happens.

I'm not fond of arguing, but I'll point out that you need to look at more than just one small snippet of a rules element when adjudicating it....and when you apply the next portion, the RAI/RAW thing doesn't exist.


Warlock`s Curse
If you hit a cursed enemy with an attack, you deal extra damage. You decide whether to apply the extra damage after making the damage roll.



All the bold part of WC is saying that you have to hit in order to deal the damage.  The blue part says that you then decide WC application after the damage roll (and you see the results), in a normal scenario.  In this case, we're given both condition (hit) and timing (after damage).

However, when you bring in the feats to this scenario, the only mention of either condition or timing is "hit" -- therefore we must make the decision then (on hit) as to whether to forgo the damage or not.  In order for your interpretation, the feat would need to have text along the lines of "When you choose to apply WC damage, you can..."
For my 2 cents, I think Dielzen is right, but it's going to be up to everyones individual DMs' to see if you can feed 2 feats off the forgoing of the curse damage.
Yeah, with Curse of the Blind Stars + Mind-Numbing Curse, you're forgoing your curse damage twice on a single attack.

I don't have a RAW answer for that at the moment, but my gut feeling is that as a DM, I wouldn't allow it.  (Though I would allow the 'forgo curse against multiple targets in an area attack', that feels fine to me.)
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
OK, I'm not sure where this idea is coming from, the build is NOT using both Curse of the Blind Stars and Mind-Numbing Curse.  I'm clearly retraining one into the other at level 21, as noted in the build summary as shown at level 11.

I forgive Auspex7 for thinking this, as he saw some of the build process on this build, so he saw it when I had both in the build thinking both would work.

The build is, however, assuming that you can affect all cursed targets you hit with a burst/blast power, which is what MWaO and I have been debating.
OK, I'm not sure where this idea is coming from, the build is NOT using both Curse of the Blind Stars and Mind-Numbing Curse.  I'm clearly retraining one into the other at level 21, as noted in the build summary as shown at level 11.

I forgive Auspex7 for thinking this, as he saw some of the build process on this build, so he saw it when I had both in the build thinking both would work.

The build is, however, assuming that you can affect all cursed targets you hit with a burst/blast power, which is what MWaO and I have been debating.




My bad, I can't read.

I saw both Mind-Numbing Curse and Curse of the Blind Stars in the 'attack penalties' summary section, and assumed both were being used at the same time.  I even read that you were retraining it, then forgot it, then posted >.<
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
You're not the only one, so I figured I'd post it clearly and cleanly, to call it out.
The problem is, "Forgo" isn't well defined in game turns.  I would assume that the feat treats curse damage as a 1/round resource that is expended upon use, including the alternate use of imposing the dazed or blinded conditions in this way.

Could it be interpreted otherwise?  Sure.  But ultimately I think the more conservative interpretation is correct.
So it seems general consensus is that it's RAW, but RAI is debatable?  I'm willing to update it if someone can prove RAI on the matter...say a dev...I'd email CS, but that's a dubious proposition.

I'm not truly stressed if people choose to apply this to only one target in a blast/burst.  Being able to pick out the priority target to disable still leaves one messed up.  And Lure is a double-tap so it's gonna disable 2 at once, and includes mark punishment fun for making it attack something other than me (although weakened, since weakening challenge doesn't have a may/can wording).

Worst case scenario (ruling-wise) is map marked, 1-2 enemies severely crippled, and a blast took out a good chunk of any minions that may have been on the board on T1, all with a hearty init mod.
So... After watching this thread, and quietly mulling some things over, here's where I'm at:

I think it's obvious based on the amount of conversation on the matter that there would be some DMs (I suspect many--myself included) who wouldn't allow the 'forgo' to work against multiple targets. Whether or not that is the 'legally' correct approach only really matters for LFR players and DMs.

Since I wouldn't ever run this in LFR, my only care around the issue is that people acknowledge--for the sake of would-be runners of this build-- where/what the possible sticking points are.

Once that part is sorted out, the next thing to consider with a build is how well the 'worst case scenario' plays. For this build, the listed T1 remains incredibly beneficial for a party. For starters, the opening move + the size of the attack mean that this guy is able to cover serious ground, and put an attack into a key target. Assuming he 'only' cripples one target, the attack is still a 25 square minion check, and allows the player to multi-curse, as well as giving him the ability to male a somewhat informed choice about who to 'forgo' against.

The bottom line here is that this is a very potent set-up, clearly capable of making life easier for Team Hero. If the party is able to determine who the key villains are during the initiative and descriptive stage, the opener might even blow an encounter up.

I like it.
I know you're feat-starved to begin with, but any reason you didn't take Protective Hex?  It's another decent debuff that doesn't hinge on the curse damage conversion.  I guess along with the mark it might give team monster a little more reason to focus on you though.

I had Mind-Numbing curse in a build of mine, and never thought of applying it to all cursed targets, but reading it again, I see that RAW it works.  I went back and looked at Flitting Shadows and saw that it also can be used against multiple targets, which really changes my possibilities.  Thanks for the idea!
I kinda like this build. I'm trying to work it out, level by level, to see where it begins to take off. If nothing else it shows how well Warlock|"Your Favorite Defender Class Here" works.

Couple of notes:


  • +3 Mace may not be worth it IMO if most of your attacks will be implement attacks.

  • Any way to fit in a second pact? A lot of Sorcerer-King powers work in melee and range, not to mention the the option for an additional d6 psychic curse damage (which you are forgoing most of the time, I know, but not always)

  • How is this build not called "Mace" Windu? Holy guy who can single handedly hold the line and flings around spell like abilities that affect the mind?

I know you're feat-starved to begin with, but any reason you didn't take Protective Hex?  It's another decent debuff that doesn't hinge on the curse damage conversion.  I guess along with the mark it might give team monster a little more reason to focus on you though.


I already have enough reason for them to not attack allies before having in P Hex, and I think it tips the scales too far my way.  I thought about WLR for a small zap, but this build isn't really using it's atwills until the fight's half over, and by then a couple points of damage isn't worth enough to justify the feat.
So it seems general consensus is that it's RAW, but RAI is debatable?  I'm willing to update it if someone can prove RAI on the matter...say a dev...I'd email CS, but that's a dubious proposition.



I don't think RAW covers it properly: the term "forgo" is undefined.  Does it "use up" the forgone resource, ie, the 1/round limit on curse damage?  RAW has nothing to say on the matter, because the term is undefined.  It means RAI is all we have to work with, not that it conflicts with RAW.
I kinda like this build. I'm trying to work it out, level by level, to see where it begins to take off. If nothing else it shows how well Warlock|"Your Favorite Defender Class Here" works.

Couple of notes:


  • +3 Mace may not be worth it IMO if most of your attacks will be implement attacks.

  • Any way to fit in a second pact? A lot of Sorcerer-King powers work in melee and range, not to mention the the option for an additional d6 psychic curse damage (which you are forgoing most of the time, I know, but not always)

  • How is this build not called "Mace" Windu? Holy guy who can single handedly hold the line and flings around spell like abilities that affect the mind?




The build is fully functional at level 2 as a mass defender with both AE Sanction abilities.  The serious impositions don't hit until 11, but it still functions as a competent defender prior to that.



  • I'll be tweaking it soon with a generic +2, it opens up the feat choice to get Improved Init in Heroic and retrain to Superior in Epic

  • Once you hit paragon, you won't be using curse again.  It's not worth blowing feats on something you can't use anymore, unless it's a LFR-style setup where you can go SK Pact/Mindbite Scorn in heroic and swap, which I'd put in for Improved Init in heroic in that scenario, as there's nothing else I'd get rid of in early heroic...then put Improved Init back in at 10, since you can't take Starfire Womb

  • I've blocked Star Wars 1-3 from my mind, please don't undo the healing....despite that, it's a great name, and I'm now sad


EDIT - 6 years, finally broke 1,000 posts, heh
This is quality work.

Starfire Womb is badass, and Curse of the Blind Stars is also.

A wise man once said to me, the DM needs to have fun too, and thats where this may fall apart, I think its 100% RAW, but there is no way it could be fun for the DM! 
Maybe I am missing something, but Mind-numbing Curse says it only applies to encounter and daily warlock powers.  So, you wouldn't be able to apply it with Eyebite.  As a DM, with the limited number of times it can be applies, I would certainly allow it as described here.  Trying to use it with an at-will, though, will not work.

I never saw the text for the other feat, Curse of the Blind Stars, so I'm not sure if it applies to at-will powers or not. 
Holy thread necro! I got all excited until I saw the wording on those feats were encounter/daily as well.

Perhaps they've been errata'd since, or perhaps they were simply counting on having plenty of encounter and daily powers to choose from - enough to last most of an encounter.