Karontor, Beast of the Labyrinth - An Optimized Beastmaster | Barbarian

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Karontor, Beast of the Labyrinth
Barbarian | Ranger, Vadalis Griffonmaster, Invincible Vanguard




How the build works

Simply put, this build focuses on using Howling Strike + free/minor action beast attacks + out of turn attacks to create a flavorful and destructive presence on the battlefield.

Heroic is a standard super charger package. Howling Strike, Horned Helm, Vanguard Weapon, Surprising Charge. Your beast companion is mostly there to be annoying and soak up hits. You take any and all out of turn attacks, so you can spend you time charging every turn. You are slightly more fragile than a standard barbarian, but definitely still playable.

Paragon, the build takes off. In addition to your super charger package, you also get a free action claw attack from your griffon. This is an attack from your beast companion, so it can trigger quarry. You've just double stacked striker mechanics on a hybrid! Jagged Weapon + Springing Charge means that your charge crits are a force to be reckoned with. Your defenses become very solid this tier.

Epic, the build is fully active. Carnage Weapon gives you higher numbers than a Thundergod (and this bonus still applies to non-charges as well). As you can take actions after your charge, as well as command your beast to attack as a minor action, you will be spamming beast attacks in addition to your charge. 1 Howling Strike + 2-4 Claws + 1 out of turn attack per round = destructive. Your defenses are striker level... ignoring all the conditional bonuses you will stack up. You have defender level defenses with all your bonuses going.


Beastmaster Hybrid

The hybrid ranger rule (PHB3, pg.148) explicitly refers to modifying Hunter's Quarry from PBH1 (pg.104). No mention is made of removing or altering the Hunter's Quarry rules for beastmasters (MP1, pg.39). Following this train of thought, you must use a ranger power, a ranger PP power or any attack made by your beast companion to trigger quarry. To me, this is fairly clear cut RAW (as beastmaster rules are in addition to the PHB1 rules, and no mention was made of them in PHB3) but as always, if in doubt, bring it up with your DM.

Here is a handy dandy CS response as well.

CS Response

3.) When you are a hybrid Ranger, your Hunter's Quarry from PHB1 is modified (must use a ranger power or ranger PP power to trigger). Does the Beastmaster Hunter's Quarry from Martial Power 1 get changed with the PHB3 hybrid rules, or can a beast still trigger quarry damage once per round?
ie. Can a beast's MBA trigger quarry damage?
A.) Your beast can trigger your Hunter's Quarry. This is because the class feature is retained when you hybrid with Beastmaster.



Vadalis Griffon

We are going to assume that your Griffon follows the same rules as the Mount Companion rules presented for the horse in D392. This is a fairly reasonable assumption to make (ie. it follows the rules for mounted combat, but has the normal actions of a beast companion) and is how 99% of people probably played it beforehand (as it is explicitly defined as both a mount and a beastmaster, and most people were able to do the math). As it is now a mount creature, you may give it mundane barding, as well as a single mount or companion slot item.

There is some discussion on whether or not your Griffon with you on it shifts when a power allows you to shift. The horse mount explicitly allows this, which may be taken as designer intent for other Mount Companions. Nothing in this build assumes this fact to be true, but I feel like it is a fairly reasonable assumption to make.


Free Action Attacks

Free action attacks are limited to one per turn, PER CREATURE. Your beast mount is a separate creature, despite sharing some actions with the beastmaster. There is no conflict between free action attacks made between the two of them.

Argue with your DM to allow Rampage to trigger with other free action attacks. Collateral damage from the mighty free action attack nerf affecting class features is a no-no. Once per source per event (or something to that effect) is another thing you can argue. This build assumes strict RAW, so only one free action attack per turn per creature.


Minotaur with Mark of Handling!?!

RP Forum is that way ->

Seriously though, if it was meant to have a racial requirement, IT WOULD HAVE A RACIAL REQUIREMENT. Dragonmarks are signs of greatness and destiny, and that isn't limited to Eberron or certain races. A slight pet peeve of mine, I'll admit.


Level 1 Discussion and Overview

Karontor, level 1
Minotaur, Barbarian|Ranger
Hybrid Ranger: Hybrid Ranger Fortitude
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Noble Adept

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 18, Con 11, Dex 16, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 10.

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


AC: 16 Fort: 16 Reflex: 13 Will: 12
HP: 31 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 7

TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +9, Nature +9, Acrobatics +7, Athletics +8

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana -1, Bluff, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering +2, Endurance -1, Heal +2, History -1, Insight +2, Intimidate, Religion -1, Stealth +2, Streetwise, Thievery +2

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Gouge)

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Howling Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Throw and Stab
Hybrid encounter 1: Vault the Fallen
Hybrid daily 1: Tyrant's Rage

ITEMS
Hide Armor, Gouge, Javalin x 5
Discussion:

Minotaur was selected for our race, because of the overpowered racial encounter power. Ha ha! Minotaur was chosen for some solid feats in paragon and epic. Healing surge, AC vs charge OAs, immediate interrupt MBA on being reduced to zero HPs are all quite nice, given the high risk charging nature of this build.

Assuming backgrounds and themes, Background goes to Born Under a Bad Sign (bland, yet effective) and Noble Adept (for when you really need to hit, or make a saving throw). Both are completely optional to this build.

First feat goes to the incredibly powerful Gouge Expertise. Howling Strike at level 1 is doing 2d6 Brutal 1 + 1d6 + Str.

Howling Strike is the bread and butter for this build. The only way you are going to be doing Quarry Damage in heroic is once we pick up some out of turn attacks.

You can select whatever you want for your Ranger at-will, as it pretty much is your back-up.Twin Strike can give you some ranged options, but I went with Throw and Stab.
Vault of the Fallen gives you a solid double attack with a shift. We will be retraining it later on for Foxes Cunning. You can take Fox’s Cunning now and retrain it for Avenging Charge at level 3, but it’s not a huge deal. You won’t be able to charge every turn at this level, so some solid melee attacks are fine. Tyrant's Rage gives you an extremely accurate (vs Will) daze that comes with a fun push.

Not a whole lot of strategy at this point. You are pretty average with only 16 AC (18 vs Charge OAs). Try and set-up charges near your defender. It typically isn't worth taking an OA to back up and charge at this point (only losing +1 to hit).


Level 2

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Ranger utility 2: Invigorating Stride
New Feat Level 2: Battle Awareness

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,920):
L3 (680 gp): Predator's Hide +1
L3 (680 gp): Vanguard Gouge +1
L2 (520 gp): Badge of the Berserker +1
TOTAL: 1,880

Discussion:
Invigorating Stride! Second wind + shift as a move action. Very nice for backing up and charging when hurt.

Battle Awareness gives you an immediate interrupt out of turn MBA with an easy trigger.

Vanguard Gouge adds another 1d8 damage on an charge. (2d6 Brutal 1 + 1d8 + 1d6 + Str).

Large increase to defenses this level. +1 to all defenses from enhancement bonuses. You now have +1 bonus to all defenses against your Quarry, providing you hit him with an attack. You also don't provoke OAs at all anymore while charging. Still not tough, but definitely doing a bit better.


Level 3

Changes:
+5 HP
New Ranger encounter 3: Avenging Charge

An out of turn 2[W] charge with a simple trigger? Yes please! Try and set this up so you charge your quarry. (4d6 Brutal 1 + 1d8 + 1d6 + Str).

No new items.


Level 4

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
+1 Str. (19), +1 Dex. (17)
New Feat Level 4: Surprising Charge

+1[W] when you charge with a spear against a target granting combat advantage. Howling Strike is now at (4d6 Brutal 1 + 1d8 + 1d6 + Str), at-will. Avenging Charge will probably one-shot a mob! At this point, it is worth taking OAs to make another charge.
 


Level 5

Changes:
+5 HP
New Ranger daily 5: Snarling Wolf Stance

Magic Items (Expected GP = 4,480):
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L3 (680 gp): Predator's Hide +1
L3 (680 gp): Vanguard Gouge +1
L2 (520 gp): Badge of the Berserker +1
TOTAL: 3,680

Iron Armbands of Power gives you a nice +2 dmg on all melee attacks.

Snarling Wolf Stance gives you an easy free MBA out of turn each turn. Remember that stances and rages stack...


Level 6

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat Level 6: Hybrid Talent (Ranger Fighting Style, Beastmaster)
New Barbarian utility 6: Shrug It Off

Magic Items (Expected GP = 6,400):
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L3 (680 gp): Predator's Hide +1
L3 (680 gp): Vanguard Gouge +1
L2 (520 gp): Badge of the Berserker +1
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 5,950

You finally pick up your trusty steed (Horse, D 392). As a Hybrid Beastmaster, it takes -1 to attack rolls and all defenses. As a mount (without mounted combat) it takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls. It's not even worth spending an immediate interrupt to get it to make an opportunity attack (seeing as you have... 2 immediate attacks at this point (4 next level)). Why bother taking it? Well, it won't be with us for long, but for now...

Move 10 (9 with heavy barding). A horse is a large beast companion (I'd refluff it as a bull or something). As you don't provoke OAs at this point, they get to try and hit your DR5 21 AC mount when you charge. Anytime you back up to charge, the enemy has to choose between you and your mount.

Pick up Horned Helm. Howling Strike is now (4d6 Brutal 1 + 1d8 + 2d6 + Str).


Level 7

Changes:
+5 HP
New Barbarian encounter 7: Curtain of Steel
Retrain encounter 1: Vault the Fallen (retrained to Fox's Cunning at Level 7)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 9,600):
L7 (2,600 gp): Marauder's Hide Armor +2
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L3 (680 gp): Vanguard Gouge +1
L2 (520 gp): Badge of the Berserker +1
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 8,414 gp

Whoo! Two new out of turn attacks! 3[W] and 1[W]! You now have 4 out of turn attacks. Trying and use the strongest ones first.

Marauder's Hide gives us a much more universal +1 AC when we charge (as opposed to +1 to all only against our quarry after a hit), as well as a healing daily.


Level 8

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
+1 Str. (20), +1 Dex. (18)
New Feat Level 8: Spear Expertise (HotFL)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 12,800):
L8 (3,400 gp): Vanguard Gouge +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Marauder's Hide Armor +2
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L2 (520 gp): Badge of the Berserker +1
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 11,678 gp

+1 dmg on a charge from our feat, and +1 to hit all the time. Nice. Upgrade our Gouge.


Level 9

Changes:
+5 HP
New Barbarian daily 9: Rage of the Death Spirit

Magic Items (Expected GP = 16,000):
L8 (3,400 gp): Vanguard Gouge +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Marauder's Hide Armor +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L2 (520 gp): Badge of the Berserker +1
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 14,278 gp

Rage of the Death Spirit is pretty fun. +2 to attack vs marked targets + an automark? Solid.

Lancing Gloves give you +2 damage while mounted (all the time). Nice.



Level 10

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat Level 10: Improved Defenses (HotFL)
New Ranger utility 10: Quick Recovery

Magic Items (Expected GP = 22,400):
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L8 (3,400 gp): Vanguard Gouge +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Badge of the Berserker +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Marauder's Hide Armor +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 21,774 gp

Improved Defenses gives us a nice bump to our NADs. Quick Recovery allows us to get rid of pesky conditions on our mount.

Upgrade our Badge of the Berserker and pick up a Diamond Cincture for some extra healing.


Level 11 Snapshot and discussion

Karontor, level 11
Minotaur, Barbarian|Ranger, Vadalis Griffonmaster
Hybrid Ranger: Hybrid Ranger Fortitude
Hybrid Talent: Ranger Fighting Style
Ranger Fighting Style: Beast Mastery (Hybrid)
Beast Companion Type: Vadalis Griffon
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Noble Adept

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 21, Con 12, Dex 19, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 11.

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


AC: 24 = 10 + 5 (half level) + 4 (Dex) + 3 (Hide) + 2 (enhancement)
+1 AC when charging
+2 AC vs OAs when charging

Fort: 27 = 10 + 5 (half level) + 5 (Str) + 2 (enhancement) + 2 (class) 1 (Diamond Cincture) + 2 (Improved Defenses)
Reflex: 23 = 10 + 5 (half level) + 4 (Dex) + 2 (enhancement) + 2 (Improved Defenses)
Will: 22 = 10 + 5 (half level) +3 (Will) + 2 (enhancement) + 2 (Improved Defenses)

HP: 84 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 21

TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +15, Nature +15, Acrobatics +13, Athletics +14, Heal +13

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +4, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +8, Endurance +5, History +4, Insight +8, Intimidate +5, Religion +4, Stealth +8, Streetwise +5, Thievery +8

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Gouge)
Level 2: Battle Awareness
Level 4: Surprising Charge
Level 6: Hybrid Talent
Level 8: Spear Expertise
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Mark of Handling

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Hit and Run
Hybrid at-will 1: Howling Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Vault the Fallen (retrained to Fox's Cunning at Level 7)
Hybrid daily 1: Tyrant's Rage
Hybrid utility 2: Invigorating Stride
Hybrid encounter 3: Avenging Charge
Hybrid daily 5: Snarling Wolf Stance
Hybrid utility 6: Shrug It Off
Hybrid encounter 7: Curtain of Steel
Hybrid daily 9: Rage of the Death Spirit
Hybrid utility 10: Quick Recovery

ITEMS
Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Impenetrable Barding (heroic tier), Heavy Barding, Horned Helm (heroic tier), Marauder's Hide Armor +2, Vanguard Gouge +2, Lancing Gloves (heroic tier), Badge of the Berserker +2, Diamond Cincture (heroic tier)
RITUALS
Raise Beast Companion


Changes:
+6 HP
Strength +1 (21), Constitution +1 (14), Dexterity +1 (19), Intelligence +1 (9), Wisdom +1 (11), Charisma +1 (11)
New Feat Level 11: Mark of Handling


Magic Items (Expected GP = 32,000):
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L8 (3,400 gp): Vanguard Gouge +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Badge of the Berserker +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Marauder's Hide Armor +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 21,774 gp

Discussion:
Finally, time to have some fun. Vadalis Griffonmaster.

You trade out your trusty horse (bull) for a Gryphon (Manticore). Awesome.

Now, the rest of the PP, is, quite frankly, rather mild. The encounter power doesn't hold a candle to a charge. The AP feature? It's... ok, I guess, still suffers the regular BM scaling problems. But the Griffon... thats the kicker. Much better stats than your average beast companion, the ability to fly... and when you charge, it makes a Claw Attack.

What is your Griffon again? Right. A beast master companion. That means... it can trigger quarry. Which we typically weren't triggering up to this point. 5d6 + Beast str mod isn't all that bad, now is it? Moreso when it is just the icing on the cake to you Howling Strike.

Griffon Stats

AC: 26 = 13 + 11 (level) + 2 (Heavy Barding) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Fort: 25 = 14 + 11 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Reflex: 23 = 12 + 11 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Will: 23 = 12 + 11 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Resist 5 damage.

Hitpoints: 126

Speed: 7, Fly 9

Attack: 14 = 11 (level) + 4 - 1 (Beastmaster hybrid)
Damage: 2d6 + 5 (can trigger quarry damage)


Howling Strike Charge attack: +19 = 5 (half level) + 5 (str) + 2 (prof) + 2 (feat) + 2 (enhance) + 1 (charge) + 2 (CA)
Damage: = 45 dmg
1[W] (Base, 2d6 Brutal 1) = 8 dmg
2d8 (Base) = 9 dmg
5 (Str) = 5 dmg
1[W] (Suprising charge) = 8 dmg
1d6 (Horned Helm) = 3.5 dmg
1d8 (Vanguard) = 4.5 dmg
2 (Iron Armbands) = 2
2 (Lancing Gloves) = 2
2 (Enhancement) = 2
2 (Spear Expertise) = 2


Griffon Claw Attack: +16 = 11 (level) + 4 - 1 (Beastmaster hybrid) + 2 (CA)
Damage: 19 dmg
2d6 (Base) = 7 dmg
5 (Str) = 5 dmg
2d6 (Quarry) = 7 dmg

Now that's some nice at-will damage! Sure, the Griffon is lacking in accuracy, but you should be charging with combat advantage, right?


Level 12

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat Level 12: Springing Charge

Magic Items (Expected GP = 48,000):
L12 (13,000 gp): Marauder's Earthhide Armor +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +3
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L7 (2,600 gp): Badge of the Berserker +2
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 46,574 gp

Jagged Weapon + Springing Charge = Badass. Keep in mind that if you are playing strictly RAW, each creature only gets one free action attack each turn. This means that if you charge and crit, you don't get to Rampage if you Swift Charge. On your second charge, your Griffon cannot make a claw attack (as it used its free action attack on the first charge). This really gives you some tactical options on a crit, as sometimes you will have finished the creature off, meaning your Rampage/Claw attack would have gone to waste.

Keep in mind you resolve you initial crit before resolving any of the free actions available (Griffon Claw, Rampage or Springing Charge). If you splatter the mob with just your Howling Strike, save Griffon Claw for the next charge. Also keep in mind the hilarity of Avenging Charge crit + Springing Charge. Two charges out of turn = awesome.

Fairly large increase to defenses (1 AC, 1 Fort, 1 AC when charging) from new Marauder's Armour.

Your level 12 utility from your PP isn’t that awesome, but its some free healing.


Level 13

Changes:
+5 HP
New Barbarian encounter 13: Storm of Blades (replaces Fox's Cunning)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 64,000):
L13 (17,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Marauder's Earthhide Armor +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +3
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 63,054 gp

I was actually tempted to take Thunderfall just for a bigger charge, but I figured there might come a point where you are unable to get charging distance (as you are on a flying mount, I'm assuming immobilized or dazed or can't afford to take an OA).

What's this?! Giving up badge of the berserker! +1 THP every charge is totally worth it. This is anticipation for the set bonus next level, clearly. You still have +2 AC against OAs when you charge, and the enemy has to choose between you and your mount.


Level 14

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
+1 Str. (22), +1 Dex. (20)
New Feat Level 14: Protective Beast

Magic Items (Expected GP = 80,000):
L13 (17,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Marauder's Earthhide Armor +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +3
L11 (9,000 gp: Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 76,254 gp

Bump to our defenses this level. Dex hits an even level, gain +1 untyped bonus to AC when adjacent to beast companion (all the time).

Steady Boots of the Ram give us a +1 bonus to attack rolls on a charge. Nice. Pick up Backlash Tattoo (be careful using other immediate action when around bloodied, as this only fires the FIRST time you are bloodied each encounter).


Level 15

Changes:
+5 HP
New Barbarian daily 15: Hunting Lion Rage (replaces Tyrant's Rage)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 112,000):
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Marauder's Earthhide Armor +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +3
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier)
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L1 (320 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 5 AC when ridden)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 104,254 gp

Dice of Auspicious Fortune and Ring of Giants upgrade our offense a bit.

Thunderfury Rage doesn't no much for us (as we already are swimming in immediate action attacks). As you should be charging with CA at all times, why not tack on another +2 to hit with Hunting Lion?


Level 16

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat Level 16: Weapon Focus (Axe)
New Fighter utility 16: Kill Them All

Magic Items (Expected GP = 160,000):
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Marauder's Earthhide Armor +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +3
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L6 (1,800 gp): Horned Helm (Heroic Tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 157,822 gp

Kill Them All gives all your allies (including your beast companion) a very nice boost when you slaughter something. Weapon Focus Axe gives you some more solid damage. Upgrade Iron Armbands.

You beast gains 5 more DR from barding, and you gain some more rituals. Woo.


Level 17

Changes:
+5 HP
No new encounter power!

Magic Items (Expected GP = 240,000):
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L12 (13,000 gp): Marauder's Earthhide Armor +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +3
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 215,522 gp

Really, nothing compares to an out of turn charge, out of turn 3[W] attack or a triple attack. No new encounter power.

New horned helm! And a Stone of Earth for hitting when you really need it.
 


Level 18

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
+1 Str. (23), +1 Dex. (21)
New Feat Level 18: Distacting Companion

Magic Items (Expected GP = 320,000):
L17 (65,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +4
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L12 (13,000 gp): Marauder's Earthhide Armor +3
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 264,922 gp


Distracting companion essentially means +2 to all defenses when you hit your quarry.

Upgrader Jagged Gouge.
 


Level 19

Changes:
+5 HP
Barbarian daily 19: Rock Tree Rage (replaces Rage of the Death Spirit)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 400,000):
L17 (65,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +4
L17 (65,000 gp): Marauder's Darkhide Armor +4
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +3
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L7 (2,600 gp): Lancing Gloves
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 327,322 gp


A [5] out of turn attack o.o. Puts you in a rage that gives you Polearm Gamble, and reduces forced movement! Sheesh! Thats a rage!

New Marauder's armor.
 


Level 20

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat Level 20: Opportunity Gore

Magic Items (Expected GP = 520,000):
L18 (85,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +4
L17 (65,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +4
L17 (65,000 gp): Marauder's Darkhide Armor +4
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 413,402 gp

Gain your bad daily from you PP. Pick up Beast Within (retraining at 21).

Upgrade your Fleece of Renewal and pick up some Strikebacks (another out of turn attack + a +1 to OAs).


Level 21 Snapshot and Discussion

Karontor, level 21
Minotaur, Barbarian|Ranger, Vadalis Griffonmaster, Invincible Vanguard
Hybrid Ranger: Hybrid Ranger Fortitude
Hybrid Talent: Ranger Fighting Style
Ranger Fighting Style: Beast Mastery (Hybrid)
Beast Companion Type: Vadalis-bred Griffon
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Noble Adept

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 26, Con 13, Dex 22, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 12.

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


AC: 35 = 10 + 10 (half level) + 4 (Darkhide) + 6 (Dex) + 4 (enhancement) + 1 (Protective Beast)
Fort: 38 = 10 + 10 (half level) + 7 (Str) + 4 (enhancement) + 2 (class) + 2 (Diamond Cint) + 3 (Improved Defenses)
Reflex: 33 = 10 + 10 (half level) + 6 (Dex) + 4 (enhancement) + 3 (Improved Defenses)
Will: 30 = 10 + 10 (half level) + 3 (Wis) + 4 (enhancement) + 3 (Improved Defenses)

+2 AC against OAs during a charge
+2 to all defences against your quarry after hitting
+2 AC during a charge

HP: 139 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 34

TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +20, Nature +20, Acrobatics +20, Athletics +22, Heal +18

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +10, Bluff +11, Diplomacy +11, Dungeoneering +13, Endurance +10, History +10, Insight +13, Intimidate +11, Religion +10, Stealth +15, Streetwise +11, Thievery +15

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Gouge)
Level 2: Battle Awareness
Level 4: Surprising Charge
Level 6: Hybrid Talent
Level 8: Spear Expertise
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Mark of Handling
Level 12: Springing Charge
Level 14: Protective Beast
Level 16: Weapon Focus (Spear)
Level 18: Distacting Companion
Level 20: Beast Within (Retrained to Overwhelming Charge at 21)
Level 21: Quick Beast Command

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Hit and Run
Hybrid at-will 1: Howling Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Vault the Fallen (retrained to Fox's Cunning at Level 7)
Hybrid daily 1: Tyrant's Rage
Hybrid utility 2: Invigorating Stride
Hybrid encounter 3: Avenging Charge
Hybrid daily 5: Snarling Wolf Stance
Hybrid utility 6: Shrug It Off
Hybrid encounter 7: Curtain of Steel
Hybrid daily 9: Rage of the Death Spirit
Hybrid utility 10: Quick Recovery
Hybrid encounter 13: Storm of Blades (replaces Fox's Cunning)
Hybrid daily 15: Hunting Lion Rage (replaces Tyrant's Rage)
Hybrid utility 16: Kill Them All
Hybrid daily 19: Rock Tree Rage (replaces Rage of the Death Spirit)

ITEMS
Heavy Barding, Diamond Cincture (heroic tier), Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier), Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier), Ring of Giants (paragon tier), Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Impenetrable Barding (paragon tier), Horned Helm (paragon tier), Stone of Earth (paragon tier), Jagged Gouge +4, Marauder's Darkhide Armor +4, Fleece of Renewal +4, Strikebacks (heroic tier)
RITUALS
Raise Beast Companion, Commune With Nature, Phantom Steed

Griffon Stats

AC: 36 = 13 + 21 (level) + 2 (Heavy Barding) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Fort: 35 = 14 + 21 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Reflex: 33 = 12 + 21 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Will: 33 = 12 + 21 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Resist 10 damage.

Hitpoints: 226

Speed: 7, Fly 9

Attack: 14 = 11 (level) + 4 - 1 (Beastmaster hybrid)
Damage: 2d6 + 5 (can trigger quarry damage)



Changes:
+6 HP
Strength +3 (26), Constitution +1 (13), Dexterity +1 (22), Intelligence +1 (10), Wisdom +1 (17), Charisma +1 (12)
New Feat Level 21: Quick Beast Command (Overwhelming Charge)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 800,000):
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L18 (85,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +4
L17 (65,000 gp): Jagged Gouge +4
L17 (65,000 gp): Marauder's Darkhide Armor +4
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 538,302 gp



Epic Destiny is taken for obvious reasons. Actions after charge with +2 Strength = amazing, right a level 21.Grab a new Diamond Cincture.

Which brings us to our feat selection. You now knock creatures prone when you charge (even if you didn't have CA, your griffon will). You now can make your Griffon/Manticore/whatever attack as a minor action. Did your free action Claw attack miss after charging? Try again for a minor action (which we can now take after a charge). Missed again? Try again! Basically, your minor actions are now worth 2d6 + 8 damage on a hit, and you will get your ranger quarry damage each round (3d6), barring terrible luck.

As you knock creatures prone on a charge hit, when your Springing Charge triggers, the attack is even more unlikely to hit you (2 from racial, 2 from distracting, 2 from prone, 2 from maruaders...) should you choose to charge another creature. Also, as you can take actions after your charge, you can command your beast to move somewhere else with its move action and use your minor and move to make it attack twice (perhaps some minions), setting up a new charge for next turn.

So let’s break down our charge.

Howling Strike attack: 31 vs AC
= 10 (half level) + 8 (Str) + 2 (Prof) + 4 (enhance) + 3 (feat) + 1 (charge) + 1 (set) + 2 (CA)
Howling Strike damage = 66.5 dmg
2[W] (Base, 4d6 Brutal 1) = 16 dmg
3d8 (base = 13.5 dmg)
1[W] (suprising charge, 2d6 Brutal 1) = 8 dmg
2d6 (Horned Helm) = 7 dmg
8 (Str) = 7 dmg
4 (Enhancement) = 4 dmg
3 (Weapon Focus) = 3 dmg
3 (Spear Expertise) = 3 dmg
4 (Iron Armbands) = 4 dmg

Griffon Claw Attack: +26 = 21 (level) + 4 - 1 (Beastmaster hybrid) + 2 (CA)
Damage: 20.5 dmg
2d6 (Base) = 7 dmg
8 (Str) = 5 dmg
3d6 (Quarry) = 10.5 dmg

Consider an “optimal” turn. You charge your Quarry. You crit. Free claw attack. Free action swift charge. Minor action Claw. Minor action claw. 2 Howling Strikes and 3 Claws? Yea. Awesome.
 


Level 22

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat Level 22: Spear Mastery
New Barbarian utility 22: Unexpected Clarity

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,200,000):
L23 (525,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +5
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L18 (85,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +4
L17 (65,000 gp): Marauder's Darkhide Armor +4
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 1,050,302 gp

Carnage Weapon has a very nice chance of activating when you charge (you need to roll one 6 out of 6 dice, all of which you reroll 1's on). 74% chance, if my stats math doesn't betray me. Unlike Vanguard or Thundergod, this works on all attacks, not just charges. Of course, when you aren't charging, you prob won't be rolling quite as many weapon damage dice.


Level 23

Changes:
+5 HP

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,600,000):
L23 (525,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +5
L22 (325,000 gp): Marauder's Stalkerhide Armor +5
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L18 (85,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +4
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 1,362,302 gp

Upgrade Marauder's Armor again.

Again, it is hard to try and find a encounter power to replace the solid ones you already have. Avenging Charge still has no replacement. You can swap Curtain of Steel for Blade Ward, but as we have no problems triggering our quarry, Curtain of Steel is actually better now, as it can trigger Rampage. When you compare a tricked out Howling Strike + an out of turn attack, nothing really stands out.


Level 24

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
+1 Str (27), +1 Dex (23)
New Feat Level 24: Reckless Charge

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,100,000):
L23 (525,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +5
L23 (425,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +5
L22 (325,000 gp): Marauder's Stalkerhide Armor +5
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 1,770,302 gp

Your defenses are fairly solid at this point. Reckless Charge gives you yet another +1 to hit (for -2 AC) on a charge. Upgrade Fleece.

You get your ED immortality ability, this one with a heal, charge and temp HP if the charge hits. Not bad at all.


Level 25

Changes:
+5 HP
New Ranger daily 25: Vengeful Fangs Stance (replaces Snarling Wolf Stance)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,800,000):
L23 (525,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +5
L23 (425,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +5
L22 (325,000 gp): Marauder's Stalkerhide Armor +5
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 10 AC when ridden)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 1,770,302 gp

Your beast gets a very tasty stance. 18-20 Crit range, +8 dmg, MBA against anyone that hits you as YOUR OA (so very likely that attack also trigger one of your immediate attacks). Add this to the 2-3 Claw attacks it gets each turn, and it starts to add up.

Odd level for items, everything we want is just slightly too expensive.


Level 26

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Level 26: Deadly Axe
 
Magic Items (Expected GP = 4,000,000):
L23 (525,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +5
L23 (425,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +5
L22 (325,000 gp): Marauder's Stalkerhide Armor +5
L21 (225,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 15 AC when ridden)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)
L16 (45,000 gp): Horned Helm (Paragon Tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 3,620,302 gp

Your Gouge just became High Crit. Very nasty.

Shadow Band gives you a perma-concealment. Doesn't do anything against bursts or blasts, but very handy for those melee and ranged attacks. Grab some more barding for your mount.


Level 27

Changes:
+5 HP
New Fighter encounter 27: Hurricane of Blades (replaces Storm of Blades)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 6,000,000):
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (epic tier)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Horned Helm (Epic Tier)
L23 (525,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +5
L23 (425,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +5
L22 (325,000 gp): Marauder's Stalkerhide Armor +5
L21 (225,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 15 AC when ridden)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 5,852,302 gp

4x a 2[W] attack?! Finally an encounter power worth our time. Upgrade Iron Armbands and Horned Helm for the final time.


Level 28

Changes:
+5 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
+1 Str (28), +1 Dex (24)
New Feat Level 28: Epic Reflexes

Magic Items (Expected GP = 8,000,000):
L28 (2,125,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +6
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (epic tier)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Horned Helm (Epic Tier)
L23 (425,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +5
L22 (325,000 gp): Marauder's Stalkerhide Armor +5
L21 (225,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 15 AC when ridden)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 7,872,302 gp

Bump up your Reflex with Epic Reflexes. Upgrade your Gouge for the last time.


Level 29

Changes:
+6 HP
New Barbarian daily 29: World Serpent Rage (replaces Hunting Lion Rage)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 10,000,000):
L28 (2,125,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +6
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Marauder's Voidhide Armor +6
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (epic tier)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Horned Helm (Epic Tier)
L23 (425,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +5
L21 (225,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 15 AC when ridden)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 9,432,302 gp

Very tasty daily ( [7]W on a charge?! Yes please!), with some very fun riders. Upgrade Maruader's for the last time.


Level 30 Snapshot and Discussion

Karontor, level 30
Minotaur, Barbarian|Ranger, Vadalis Griffonmaster, Invincible Vanguard
Hybrid Ranger: Hybrid Ranger Fortitude
Hybrid Talent: Ranger Fighting Style
Ranger Fighting Style: Beast Mastery (Hybrid)
Beast Companion Type: Vadalis-bred Griffon
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Noble Adept

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 28, Con 13, Dex 24, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 12.

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


AC: 43 = 10 + 15 (half level) + 4 (Voidhide) + 6 (enhancement) + 7 (Dex) + 1 (Protective Beast)
Fort: 53  = 10 + 15 (half level) + 9 (Str) + 6 (enhancement) + 2 (class) + 2 (Diamond Cinture) + 3 (Improved Defenses) + 4 (Epic Fortitude) + 2 (Voidhide)
Reflex: 45 = 10 + 15 (half level) + 7 (Dex) + 6 (enhancement) + 3 (Improved Defenses) + 4 (Epic Reflex)
Will: 42 = 10 + 15 (half level) + 3 (Wis) + 6 (enhancement) + 3 (Improved Defenses) + 4 (Epic Will)

Charges do not provoke OAs.
Constant DR5.
Constant Concealment.
+1 AC during charge (+3 AC is you don't use Risky Charge).
+2 to all defences against your quarry if you hit them.

HP: 186 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 46


Griffon Stats

AC: 45 = 13 + 30 (level) + 2 (Heavy Barding) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Fort: 44 = 14 + 30 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Reflex: 42 = 12 + 30 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Will: 42 = 12 + 30 (level) + 1 (Mark of Handling) - 1 (Beastmaster Hybrid)
Resist 10 damage.

Hitpoints: 316

Speed: 7, Fly 9

Attack: 33 = 30 (level) + 4 - 1 (Beastmaster hybrid)
Damage: 2d6 + 9 (can trigger quarry damage)



TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +25, Nature +25, Acrobatics +26, Athletics +28, Heal +23

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +15, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Dungeoneering +18, Endurance +15, History +15, Insight +18, Intimidate +16, Religion +15, Stealth +21, Streetwise +16, Thievery +21

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Gouge)
Level 2: Battle Awareness
Level 4: Surprising Charge
Level 6: Hybrid Talent (Beastmaster fighting style)
Level 8: Spear Expertise
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Mark of Handling
Level 12: Springing Charge (Retrained to Epic Fortitude at level 30)
Level 14: Protective Beast
Level 16: Weapon Focus (Spear)
Level 18: Distacting Companion
Level 20: Beast Within (Retrained to Overwhelming Charge at 21)
Level 21: Quick Beast Command (Overwhelming Charge)
Level 22: Spear Mastery
Level 24: Reckless Charge
Level 26: Deadly Axe
Level 28: Epic Reflexes
Level 30: Epic Will (Epic Fortitude)

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Hit and Run
Hybrid at-will 1: Howling Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Vault the Fallen (retrained to Fox's Cunning at Level 7)
Hybrid daily 1: Tyrant's Rage
Hybrid utility 2: Invigorating Stride
Hybrid encounter 3: Avenging Charge
Hybrid daily 5: Snarling Wolf Stance
Hybrid utility 6: Shrug It Off
Hybrid encounter 7: Curtain of Steel
Hybrid daily 9: Rage of the Death Spirit
Hybrid utility 10: Quick Recovery
Hybrid encounter 13: Storm of Blades (replaces Fox's Cunning)
Hybrid daily 15: Hunting Lion Rage (replaces Tyrant's Rage)
Hybrid utility 16: Kill Them All
Hybrid daily 19: Rock Tree Rage (replaces Rage of the Death Spirit)
Hybrid utility 22: Unexpected Clarity
Hybrid daily 25: Vengeful Fangs Stance (replaces Snarling Wolf Stance)
Hybrid encounter 27: Hurricane of Blades (replaces Storm of Blades)
Hybrid daily 29: World Serpent Rage (replaces Hunting Lion Rage)

ITEMS
Heavy Barding, Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier), Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier), Stone of Earth (paragon tier), Strikebacks (heroic tier), Diamond Cincture (paragon tier), Shadow Band (epic tier), Impenetrable Barding (epic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Horned Helm (epic tier), Carnage Gouge +6, Marauder's Voidhide +6, Fleece of Renewal +6, Ring of Free Time (epic tier)
RITUALS
Raise Beast Companion, Commune With Nature, Phantom Steed

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (epic tier)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): Carnage Gouge +6
L28 (2,125,000 gp): Fleece of Renewal +6
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Marauder's Voidhide Armor +6
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (epic tier)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Horned Helm (Epic Tier)
L21 (225,000 gp): Impenetrable Barding (resist 15 AC when ridden)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (paragon tier)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth
L11 (9,000 gp): Steady Boots of the Ram (paragon tier)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)
L0 (150 gp): Heavy Barding (+2 AC to mount, -2 check, -1 speed)
TOTAL: 14,097,302 gp


This level 30 capstone is amazing. You get to charge when you crit (so retrain springing charge), bloody an enemy or kill an enemy. Awesome! Ring of Free Time gives you DR5 and an extra minor action (extra beast attack!). Upgrade your neck one last time. The last 500k can be spent on whatever toys your prefer.

This is an attack from your beast companion, so it can trigger quarry.



This is, for the record, by no means clear. 

The hybrid's alteration of the Hunter's Quarry feature, which states that "you can deal the extra damage only when you hit your quarry with a ranger power or a ranger paragon path power." while Beast Mastery's alteration to ther feature states that "You or your beast companion can deal the extra damage from Hunter’s Quarry"

Combining both alterations in the most literal way leads to "You or your beast companion can deal the extra damage from Hunter’s Quarry only when you or your beast companion hit your quarry with a ranger power or a ranger paragon path power."

Granted, the functioning of these alterations rely how we interpret them to interact, and it is possible to interpret them in such a way as to allow this tactic, but it takes some impressive rules-lawery to claim such an interpretation is more correct than the one above.

CS's response isn't incorrect: your beast can trigger hunter's quarry, but only when attacking with a ranger power.

But hey, if you can convince your DM, more power to you.

We are going to assume that your Griffon follows the same rules as the Mount Companion rules presented for the horse in D392. This is a fairly reasonable assumption to make (ie. it follows the rules for mounted combat, but has the normal actions of a beast companion) and is how 99% of people probably played it beforehand (as it is explicitly defined as both a mount and a beastmaster, and most people were able to do the math). As it is now a mount creature, you may give it mundane barding, as well as a single mount or companion slot item.

There is some discussion on whether or not your Griffon with you on it shifts when a power allows you to shift. The horse mount explicitly allows this, which may be taken as designer intent for other Mount Companions. Nothing in this build assumes this fact to be true, but I feel like it is a fairly reasonable assumption to make.



That's fine, but it isn't RAW.  As a DM, I would allow it.

This is, for the record, by no means clear. 

But hey, if you can convince your DM, more power to you.



*shrug* I've seen a couple discussions about this before, and I don't think you will ever get a clear cut RAW. Beastmaster powers are already Ranger powers (not to mention the fact I specifically asked about MBAs), so CS response should be referring to the topic at hand. I don't think my interpretation is a stretch of the rules at all. It is a somewhat complicated area of the rules, no doubt.

That's fine, but it isn't RAW.  As a DM, I would allow it.



I hope you are referring to the shifting on the mount bit (and not the actions). I stated that the build didn't assume it to be true for shifting.

Can you list what other free action attacks there are besides Rampage? Not seeing them.
Springing Charge and the ED lvl 30 feature. I deliberately stayed away from any others.
Ah. Curiously enough you might be fine. The Free Action errata specifies you can make only use one free action Attack Power per turn. Charge is not an attack power, or actually a power of any sort, since it never received a stat block, even though it includes an MBA, the same way Second Wind is not a power, but MBA, RBA, Grab, and now OAs are a power, because they have a stat block.
Interesting... A bit heavy on the RAW, but the net result is something more RAI.
Minotaur with a Mark of Handling? 

I love that you called this out.

What do you lose by this being the proper race for Mark of Handling, ie, Human?

Also, it seems that Beast Protector is about the best feat possible, given that it gives you an OA anytime anything attacks your beast, even if you arent in melee range, as long as you are adjacent to the beast.

 
Springing Charge is Minotaur only. Not a huge deal (as you have Rampage) but a MBA vs Howling Strike is no competition (plus you might have killed that creature will the crit).

I initially planned to use Beast Protector + Opportunity Gore + Vicious Stomp for a double attack OA, but I decided to focus more on defenses and attack. I'm sure you can squeeze it in somewhere, but I just had a feeling no one would be attacking the 300 HP, DR15 creature, when there is someone crushing them with a Gouge (even if the creature is making claw attacks).
My experience with Beast Companions is DM's are constantly attacking them.  

That might color my feelings somewhat.

Losing Springing charge doesnt stress me too much, and the extra feat + heroic effort seems strong.

I am intrigued by the premise of this. 
Now that I think about it, you could actually make a pretty good case for getting creatures to attack your griffon in epic.

Consider this situation:
1.) You charge a creature, using Howling Strike (knocking it prone) and your griffon uses Claw as it's free action.

2.) Use your beast companions movement to park yourself somewhere (probably provoking an OA from the prone creature, but as your charged and hit this guy, your defenses are pretty high).

3.) Use Claw attack twice (your move + minor) against a creature you (the barbarian|ranger) haven't touched yet.

Unless your DM is meta-gaming pretty hard, the creature you clawed twice should attack your griffon. After it finds out about DR15 and the OA, probably not a second time. Repeat a couple times on different creatures.
For the record, when I asked CS about this more specifically, this is what I got:

Q: If a hybrid ranger takes the beast mastery fighting syle, is his beast also bound by the "ranger powers only" change made to the hunter's quarry feature? IE, could the beast companion use hunter's quarry on a melee basic attack (such as an opportunity attack or a charge) or must it use a ranger attack power (such as Predator Strike) to use the feature?

A: Unfortunately, there isn’t an official answer for the situation you describe. I’ve passed along this conversation to the game’s developers. Hopefully, we’ll see an update or FAQ entry covering it soon, but until then it’s up to the campaign’s Dungeon Master to decide. The DM is always the final arbiter on how they want their campaign to run. Have fun!



Basically "I dunno lol" from CS on this one.  This supports my stance that "this is by no means clear". 

I'd wager more DMs would say no to this than yes: the hybrid limitations are specifically designed to prevent more than 1 striker mechanic from applying per turn, and it's entirely up to the DM how the two features combine.  RAI is clear: it doesn't work.

Note that this is still a strong build: the free beast attack is great, even without the HQ damage.
I wouldn't go so far as to say RAI is clear. Double stacking striker mechanics isn't completely impossible or unintended, so long as it came at sufficiently high cost. Double stacking striker mechanics in this situation comes at a very high opportunity cost (seriously, the rest of the PP is pretty gimp). I'd could also argue that as the Claw attack is a (beast mba) power gained from a Ranger PP and that the rest of the PP is so bad that the DM should rule for it, not against.

RAI is pretty hard to argue as clear, as everyone has their own idea what RAI constitutes.
An easy way to avoid this is to switch from Hybrid to Pure Ranger, focusing on Marauder's Rush and Wis. You can then make the switch from Hide to Scale, and pick-up Dragonrider Scale Armour (you gain your mount's DR).

Quite a DPR hit that case. Would be much harder to qualify for weapon mastery feats in epic. Also, beastmaster power selection is pretty bad for 2handers (not enough immediate attacks). Still, less rule intensive.
the rest of the PP is pretty gimp.



This paragon path includes:

-The best beast companion available to a Beastmaster Ranger
--Highest Hitpoints
--Highest Damage
--Above Average Defenses
--Above Average Accuracy
-At-Will Flight Speed of 8 (10 with the required feat)
-A free beast attack with every charge
-A free beast attack when you spend an action point

Those features are enough to justify an entire paragon path and that's just what you get at level 11.  The powers are only gimp if you assume Beastmasters (ie, rangers who intend to actually attack with their beasts) are gimp, because was designed for Beastmasters, not chargers who happen to have a beast companion.

An easy way to avoid this is to switch from Hybrid to Pure Ranger, focusing on Marauder's Rush and Wis. You can then make the switch from Hide to Scale, and pick-up Dragonrider Scale Armour (you gain your mount's DR).

Quite a DPR hit that case. Would be much harder to qualify for weapon mastery feats in epic. Also, beastmaster power selection is pretty bad for 2handers (not enough immediate attacks). Still, less rule intensive.



Just a note: Dragonrider Armor only applies it's DR sharing if your mount is a dragon.

And the pure ranger with scale solution is only a serious DPR hit if you assume you were getting Hunter's Quarry while charging with Howling Strike: Maurauder's Rush + Hunter's Quarry beats Howling Strike on damage.  For reasons I've noted before, I don't think most DMs would go for it, so MR is the better bet.
Wolf and Serpant both have equal defenses, btw. Level + 4 is pretty standard for attack.

*shrug* The AP feature is bad due to BM scaling. The level 16 feature is rubbish. The level 11 Encounter is a double attack that is weaker than the double attack we had at level 1, and you dont get your attack unless your beast hits. Level 12 utility isn't bad... but I wouldn,t call it great. The level 20 daily...

How does the level 20 even work? Don't you need to spend a standard action to move a creature you have grabbed? This ability would actually be pretty amazing if your griffon could move the grabbed creature using just move actions instead of standards (triple move straight up, release as a free action? Awesome). Prob just wishful thinking.

Anyways, you've got an amazing level 11 feature, a decent level 12 utility. I think the rest of the path is quite terrible, black or lower if I had to rate it against other PPs. Don't get me wrong, the griffon is amazing, but that is the only thing of value you get from this PP. It's so good that it makes the rest of the PP viable. I think there is some pretty high opportunity cost

Odd about the Dragonrider Armor. Could of sworn that there was a way to get it.
Odd about the Dragonrider Armor. Could of sworn that there was a way to get it.



A paladin with the summonable mount can take a feat to upgrade his mount to a silver dragon, then slap on an Impenetrable Barding and Dragonrider Armor for pretty wicked damage resistance.