Maximizing those second winds and healing surges

56 posts / 0 new
Last post
I'm making a Druid + MC Fighter that's a tank, in that he can soak damage and recover like crazy.

To give you an idea, around level 12 he has 88 HP and 21 Constitution, and he can use his second wind as a minor action, twice per encounter (vital form, see feats below).  Each second wind uses two healing surges (cloak of the walking wounded), for a total of 2 * (22 + 5 + 2 + 5) = 68 HP per second wind (dwarven durability plus Armor of Durability plus Belt of blood).  He gets another 5 if he's still bloodied after the first surge (belt of blood doesn't apply when not bloodied).  Plus he gets 5 temp HP from Grit, for a total of 73-78 HP+tempHP an enemy needs to burn through after my second wind -- nearly a full heal.  At this level the druid has 14 healing surges (dwarven durability), so up to 7 mega second winds per day.  (forgive me if my numbers are wrong, I threw them together quickly)

When he hits epic, he can do 3 second winds per battle, each as a free action (fighter feats).  Basically, by dabbling in fighter the dwarven druid becomes insanely durable.


Ugly Note on Heros of the Fallen Lands and why I'm not using it
: Before I get corrected by well-meaning forum-dwellers, I need to address this.  One of the D&D books (heroes of the fallen lands) apparently says dwarves can only do second wind as a minor action once per encounter -- the rest are standard actions.  To me, that isn't relevant to my build because it's an obscure book I'll probably never buy (I generally just buy the PHBs and [X] Power books, plus a few useful extras like Adventurer's Vault).  HOTFL just doesn't seem like a main D&D book the way the PHBs and Power books are.  The ONE time I've seen it, it looked like "My First D&D" or "D&D Lite -- with half the calories and depth!" instead of a serious book that affects normal D&D rules.  All the classes have been tampered with in weird ways, and simplified to the point of sucking.  If Wizards 'o the Coast thinks the Dwarven Resiliance change is important enough for real D&D's balance, they'll include it in the PHB errata.  Until then, this build assumes a dwarf gets to use all his second winds as a minor action (or free action in epic with the fighter feat).  If you disagree vehemently with this, flame on I suppose.  :/  Ultimately it's up to the DM, and frankly I doubt most would care.


Anyway, I'd love to see how far I could take these mega second winds to an extreme and become the party damage sponge.  Let's hear some suggestions for how to maximize this further.  Eventually the additional bonuses produce diminishing returns and the build does need some focus on damage and controlling the battlefield (surviving a battle is only half of winning)... However, it's nice to see how far this CAN go before deciding how far I want it to.  :D


Source Key:
I'm trying to make these easy to look up by including the book where these feats/items/etc are found:
PHB - Player's handbook
PHB2 - Player's handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's handbook 3
MP - Martial Power.  I don't yet own the MP2 so I don't know what's in it.  I'll buy it someday. 
PP - Primal Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault

As you can see, I don't own many books compared to what's out there.  Wizards outpaces my budget by an order of magnitude at least.


Level 1 Stats
Str  13
Con  18
Dex  11
Int  10
Wis  18
Cha   8

It's critical that I have 13 strength for MC Fighter.  Wis and Con must be as high as possible.  Other stats can languish in obscurity for all this build cares. 

Relevant Feats
Obviously I'll take more feats than this (implement expertise, etc), but these are the ones related directly to this build's defensive and regenerative focus.  The feats under "Maybe" are those that are not necessary for the build to work, but good to keep around as related options.

Heroic:

(MP) Battle Awareness (Multiclass Fighter)- To gain access to martial feats in Martial Power, and other fighter-only stuff.  Also grants skill training and 1/encounter melee basic attack against enemy that shifts or makes an attack that doesn't include you (immediate interrupt).  This is a good way to protect an ally once per encounter.

Maybe:

(PHB2) Timely Respite - When you use your second wind or use the total defense action, you can make a saving throw.

(PHB2) Combat Medic - Stabilize the dying as a minor action, instead of standard. Also +2 feat bonus to Heal checks.  I'm a survivor, and being able to bring allies back from the brink has come in handy a few times.

(MP) Martial Freedom (fighter) - +5 to saving throws against the slowed and immobilized

(MP) Defensive Resilience (fighter) - +1 to all defenses with second wind

(PHB) Durability - +2 surges, in case I start burning through them all

(PHB) Lightning Reflexes - My most vulnerable defense needs protection.  Gives +2/3/4 to Reflex.


Paragon:

(PHB) Dwarven Durability - Add Con mod to surge value; gain +2 surges

(PHB) Grit (fighter) - Gain con mod Temp HP when spending a healing surge

(PP) Vital Form - Once per encounter, when you use wild shape, you regain the use of your second wind if you have already used it during this encounter.

Maybe:

(PHB) Armor Specialization - Hide: +1 to AC and reduce armor check penalty, for endurance, jumping etc.  Though AC is only one of 4 defenses, it's the most targeted and worth a feat to raise.

(PHB2) Quick Recovery - Healing surges during a short rest each give +5 HP.  Nice for an endurance campaign where extended rests are rarer.

Epic:

(MP) Epic Recovery (fighter) - Use second wind 2x per encounter (total of 3x with Vital Form)

(MP) Stoneheart Warrior (fighter) - Use second wind as free action

(MP) Martial Resolve (fighter) - Make saving throws against dazed, slowed, stunned, weakened, and immobilized at both start and end of turn

(PHB2) Primal Aspect Form - Gain regeneration 2 while bloodied in beast form (though regen 2 seems very poor in epic...).  Combine with rapid regeneration to increase this to 10 or 12 HP per round.

(PHB2) Rapid Regeneration - Add con mod to any regeneration you possess.

(PP) Second Skin (retrain Hide Specialization) - While wearing hide armor, you gain a +2 feat bonus to AC, and the armor's check penalty is reduced by 1. Plus you gain a +1 untyped bonus to the attack rolls of primal fear powers you use.


Relevant Equipment:

Sadly, some of the really good items are in the same item slot (cloak of the walking wounded + amulet of the unbroken, etc).  However, we can still milk what's available until the cow dries and crumbles.  Onwards!

There are a lot of options here, but I'd say boost the second wind and surges to a reasonable level, then focus the rest of your items on damage.  No point in adding mediocre bonuses to survivability when you can add better bonuses to your ability to kill and control (don't get too focused).  All this stuff below is focused on maxing defenses and especially recovery (second wind and/or healing surge)... I'll leave the murder and mayhem items to the threads that discuss them in detail.  :D

Neck Slot:

(AV) L4+ Cloak of the Walking Wounded: Absolutely amazing... second wind lets me use 2 healing surges instead of 1.  Combined with Dwarven Durability and Grit (which only applies once), that's a huge second lease on life.

(AV) L4+ Collar of Recovery: Add enhancement bonus to your surges.  Would supposedly stack with armor of durability, if you got both.  It's a minor boost.

(AV) L29 Amulet of the Unbroken: Daily power lets me spend any number of healing surges when I would have been reduced to 0 HP.

(AV) L12+ Clasp of Noble Sacrifice: Daily power lets allies spend your healing surges instead of theirs.  Maybe useful if you're not using all of yours and they are?

Armor Slot:

(PHB2) L4+ Armor of Durability: Add enhancement bonus to surges.

(PHB2) L5+ Enduring Beast Armor: While in beast form, healing surges gain +2 HP.  Becomes +4/+6 at higher item levels.

(AV) L25 Bolstering Armor: Daily Power: Free Action. Use this power when you use your second wind. All allies that can see you can spend a healing surge as a free action.

Waist Slot:

(AV) L10 Belt of Blood: Add constitution mod to surge value, but only while you are bloodied.  I assume this means if the first healing surge of a second wind with Cloak of the Walking Wounded makes you unbloodied, the second one doesn't get the bonus because the surges are done sequentially (not simultaneously).  Still quite nice though!  Seems to stack with armor of durability and collar of recovery, but it's better than both because you're using con (which will scale with level) instead of the item's enchantment bonus.

(AV) L11 Backbone Belt: Second wind's +2 bonus to defenses becomes +4.  Since it's not an 'item bonus', it stacks with the others like it.

(AV) L11 Healer's sash: You and allies can essentially store healing surges in the sash, and use one per encounter to let an ally heal as though from a surge.  Good for someone in the party (not necessarily you) to have since you'll have so many surges.

(AV) L14 Cincture of Vivacity: If you would heal above maximum HP when you spend a healing surge, gain Temp HP equal to the excess healing.  Very nice with this build, since it could very well throw away HP when allowed to spend two while barely bloodied, or when another source lets you spend a surge while at 75% HP (such as Destiny Staff).

Hands Slot:

(AV) L5 Parry Gauntlets: Like defensive weapon, but a straight +2 bonus.

(AV) L12+ Gloves of the Healer: Powers up your healing powers if you have any (druids don't get many), and has a daily that lets you spend a surge to heal a target with your own healing surge value instead of theirs.  Potent in this build's hands because of dwarven durability etc, especially when healing a low-HP class like wizard.


Weapons/Implements:

(AV) L2+ Defensive Weapon: Total defense or second wind adds enhancement bonuses to your defenses until start of next turn.

(AV) L25+ Destiny Staff: Reducing an enemy to 0 HP lets you spend a healing surge.  Also a daily to get an extra standard action when you reduce a targ to 0 HP.



Paragon Paths:
Few paragon paths contribute much to the theme, but that may be just as well.  Some features should go toward killing enemies, not just surviving them.

(PHB2) Firstborn of Moradin - Dwarven path in PHB2.  Focused on defense, healing, recovering from status effects.  However, its attacks use strength instead of Wis or Con, which is not optimal for this build.  In fact, it's terrible.  :/

(DM #373) Blightbeast - Druid path in Dragon Magazine #373, which I borrowed from a friend long enough to write down this amazing paragon path.  Since I have so much survivability, it might round out the class nicely to take a PP that is entirely damage-focused.  This is an amazingly powerful path (perhaps overly so, compared to those in the PHBs).  Not all DMs will accept stuff from Dragon Magazine though, and I can respect the reason why.
Though I'm not fond of role-playing a druid whose beast form is undead (freaks out the common folk and allies, and they make assumptions about you), it does play into the build rather well.  I'm undead... of course I can recover from near-lethal blows like it's nothing!  Muahahahah!  :D


That's what I have so far.


The thing this build lacks is reliable damage reduction.  It gets some temp HP, but not a ton.  I'm playing a battlemind currently, and his moderate HP and defenses go a long way with Iron Fist soaking up con mod damage nearly every round.  This class can absorb a lot of damage, but doesn't seem to throw much of it away the way battlemind does.  Something I'm keeping in mind.  This class can come back from near-death multiple times a day, but the battlemind is a little less likely to get there in the first place.


So, suggestions for this build?  Items I've missed?  Feats?  I haven't even seen MP2 or PP2 (if it's even out yet.
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
Considering that you're ignoring a nerf that was inserted specifically to stop what you are doing, and that you're doing it willfully and guiltily enough to feel obligated to insert a whole disdainfully-toned paragraph about it, the only thing I have to say is

"That's great, but you're still cheating."

It's a perfectly valid disclaimer.

Since you're new on the CO boards, you should be aware that these sorts of things are common when people realize they're doing something that is in a rules grey area.

If his campaign / DM rejects the essentials crap, then the build works just fine.

Wazat: Any particular reason you want to be a druid instead of a Warden? They're often the class chosen when optimizing second wind.
I agree with erachima. Essential, whether you like that "crap" or you don't, presents an official errata and you should take account of it.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

just buy -resilience of stone- (MP2) to use your second wind as an immediate interrupt. Using your defense bonus as an interruopt right before you die to stop an attack and/or heal up is just too good to not take anyway.

or just -Striking resurge- (MP2) in combination with your melee basic attack at-will.

Psi has little to add to this, but a few useable tangents for Dwarf Psions.


... If Wizards 'o the Coast thinks the Dwarven Resiliance change is important enough for real D&D's balance, they'll include it in the PHB errata. ...

... Until then, this build assumes a dwarf gets to use all his second winds as a minor action (or free action in epic with the fighter feat). ...

... If you disagree vehemently with this, flame on I suppose ...

... Ultimately it's up to the DM, and frankly I doubt most would care ...




Something looks circa 2003 about some of this ... Wink



5E mini- SRD available now in HTML here:  http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop/players-basic-rules

 

erachima,

First: If the essentials stuff is intended to supersede the Dwarf in PHB, wouldn't the PHB errata make it clear the way it does other rules that have been tweaked by later releases?

When Wizards does what they've always done and adjusts the PHBs by errata, then I'll regard it as a change to the race like the +2 to Con and either Wis or Str, and the **** of Melee Training.  Or if someone can point out where Wizards says "Haha, it's not just a bad joke now... you have to use the crappy essentials rules instead from now on" then that would help.

So far as I can tell, Essentials is "My First D&D" or "D&D Lite" or "D&D Miniatures was too simple, so here's a new game that's in the middle somewhere", not "This is how Dwarves work in all games from now on".

Second: My current DM won't even ALLOW essentials, for a variety of reasons.  You're either using essentials, or you're not.  If you don't like that, then point noted, but it's fascinating that you're so quick to label me as a cheater.

Third: It almost looks like they made Dwarven Resurgence a power instead of a rule so that it would be easier for new players (they have a power to check off instead of a modification to the power to remember), not as a balance of power.  I wonder if they're going to come out with a correction later ala "Oops, we didn't mean to totally **** the feats Epic Recovery and Stoneheart Warrior for dwarves.  Here's a correction".  Out of curiosity, has WOTC ruled on this?

Fourth: While it's problematic that Essentials could essentially break one aspect of this build (second and third second winds are standard actions instead of minor or free), it's only one aspect.  Seriously?  We still have massive second winds and the abilty to nearly fully heal up to 2 or 3 times per encounter.  Moving on...

awaken_D_M_golem, what happened in 2003?  I don't lurk these forums very often and probably missed it.

Jwalker82: Hmm... interesting.  That does make second wind a potent defense.

ShakaUVM: I haven't looked that far into Warden yet.  I'd better take a look then.  :D

When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
You got it, and good.

The whole crossover from 3.0 to 3.5 had lots of dueling erratas going on.
There's an assumption / illusion that 4e absolutely equals Essentials.
And that all erratas were created equal, endowed by Gygax ... etc.

5E mini- SRD available now in HTML here:  http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop/players-basic-rules

 

Wazat1, I don't think Erachima meant it to be a personal insult.  However, Char Op is generally concerned with following current Errata, it's just how we do things.

As far as Shaka's suggestion here is a little example of Second wind Optimization via Warden.

Believe me I was quite upset over the Dwarven errata when it came down, but it is what it is.  I can say this, most DM's will mind, but maybe yours won't?

And Essentials clarifications, especially with the RC is pretty much the standard.  Essentials is not D&D lite, quite the contrary.  It is meant to exist side by side.

There are numerous improvements via Essentials, one must simply look past the "sucking".  Which quite frankly IMO is not the case at all.  Simplification has it's merits.
MC-DrowBane: Yea, I guess he didn't mean to be insulting.  I just don't like being called a cheater for something I didn't think was cheating when I did it.  People love the word too much imo.  :/

If Essentials does indeed affect 4E at large, then that sucks but oh well...
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
Just to echo MC, I feel as though essentials is easily viewed as "lesser content," but it has a job and does it effectively I think. It also adds some interesting new classes, the Warpriest in particular. I find the new spells fit in perfectly and gives new takes on classes while keeping feat support (useful).
 
While the essentials errata may make you unhappy, consider it this way: had the errata come in say, Martial Power or another one of a similar ilk of books would you ignore it? Or is it simply because of a bias to essentials. Consider this.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Oh, it's definitely a bias against essentials.    Had it come in a Martial Power book I'd accept it as is, just as I've accepted other errata from them.  Essentials just seems like a different game.

Aw well.

Regarding Warden and second winds, it looks like it benefits from lots of defense during a second wind, but he doesn't get two second winds in paragon or 3 in epic, so it's a trade-off.  He's also doing a nice job with locking enemies down so they'll focus on him, so he gets good work out of the extra defense and HP.  Anything I'm missing for the warden's advantages?
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
I don't have the essentials books so I'm not familiar with the exact wording of the changes. As far as I understood it the errarta changed Second Wind into a Minor-Action racial Encounter power.

Surely this would mean that combining Vital Form/Epic Recovery with Resilience of Stone and/or Stoneheart Warrior would circumvent the new errata entirely. 

Am I wrong in thinking this?
I don't have it in front of me either, but if I remember right, it was a minor action encounter power named Dwarven Resurgence worded simply as "Use your second wind".  This meant your second wind is a standard action as a dwarf, but you have an encouter power that lets you reuse it.  At level 30 a Demigod could possibly multi-use it, but that's it.  :/  I'm hoping that WOTC probably meant it as a simplification, rather than a rules change.  Oh well.  I hear they also broke Melee Training to balance out Essentials, leaving non-Essentials builds SOL.

BTW: 'The Most Important Thing To Remember' was a false promise.  :/

Bad WOTC.  Bad.  No cookie.

BTW, is there a way to make a dwarven Warden second wind 3x per encounter instead of 2?  That's the main thing holding me to Druid at the moment.  I like the third round.  :D
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
Well I still think Resilience of Stone and Stoneheart warrior get round this restriction. There is no pre-requisite for you to have a minor-action second wind. They just flat-out allow you to use it as an immediate or free action. (So you could probably use them even if you were a Mul rather than a Dwarf, which is just silly in my book).

As an aside, Resilience of Stone is a Heroic feat, and is arguably better for a Druid than for a Warden, as Druids have less use for immediate actions than Wardens do. So that may help sway your decision.
DougFile: Good point!  So during paragon, second wind #2 is a standard, but in epic all 3 become free actions.

Which book has Resilience of Stone?  I'd like to look that up.  It sounds *very* effective.
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
just buy -resilience of stone- (MP2) to use your second wind as an immediate interrupt. Using your defense bonus as an interruopt right before you die to stop an attack and/or heal up is just too good to not take anyway.

or just -Striking resurge- (MP2) in combination with your melee basic attack at-will.


There you go, Martial Power 2. "You can use your second wind as an immediate interrupt when you are damaged by an attack."

Heroic - Resilience of Stone: Use Second Wind as an immediate interrupt  
Paragon - Vital Form: 2xSecond Wind (these can both be immediate interrupts) .
Epic - Epic Recovery: 3xSecond Wind (which can all be immediate interrupts).

Does that look like a plan? Alternatively you could go for Stoneheart Warrior which enables you to Second Wind as a Free Action rather than Immediate. As a Druid, I'm not sure I'd bother though...
Ah, excellent!  Didn't realize Jwalker had posted the source (dumb me).  Sounds to me like a very effective build -- use second wind when I'm about to die (since I have lots of spare immediates) or to deflect an attack, and gain enough HP + temp HP to keep soaking damage for a while.  Plus I can be either a striker in beast form or a controller in dwarf form.

And in Epic I can enter beast form to passively regenerate 10-12 HP per round (Primal Aspect Form + Rapid Regeneration, both in PHB2).

I love druids.  :D
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
Warden Utility powers to improve second winds:

L6: Soothing Wind - use your second wind as a minor action and gain 2d6 HP's

L10: Spiritual Rejuvenation - regain your second wind if you have used it this encounter.
Warden Utility powers to improve second winds:

L6: Soothing Wind - use your second wind as a minor action and gain 2d6 HP's

L10: Spiritual Rejuvenation - regain your second wind if you have used it this encounter.

Both of these are Daily utilities from Primal Power.

btw - what type of Druid were you thinking of - Swarm Druid or Guardian Druid?

If Swarm you should be looking at Hide Armor Expertise (PP), If Guardian you might think about Turtles shell (D383). Either build would benefit from Toughness (PHB), and you might also want to think about Superior Implement Training (PHB3) and either Implement Expertise (Essentials) or Versatile Expertise (PHB3) to increase your attack bonus.

As a controller it's always good to go high up the initative order, but if you are going to MC fighter I would suggest Wary Fighter (D378) is better than Improved Initiative (PHB), and stacks with it if you should want both...
Warden Utility powers to improve second winds:

L6: Soothing Wind - use your second wind as a minor action and gain 2d6 HP's

L10: Spiritual Rejuvenation - regain your second wind if you have used it this encounter.

Both of these are Daily utilities from Primal Power.



Why yes indeedy they are!

Also, look at Armor of Enduring Health in epic for one more use of Second Wind (which I think brings you up to 4/encounter, plus whatever daily re-uses you get).

Dwarves with any second wind optimization should take Resilience of Stone, no contest. You get the HP, plus defense bonuses, so the attack just might miss. My warden, for example, can second wind as an interrupt, gains +11 to all his defenses, and also regains HP equal to around 80% of his maximum HP amount.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
Dwarves with any second wind optimization should take Resilience of Stone, no contest. You get the HP, plus defense bonuses, so the attack just might miss. My warden, for example, can second wind as an interrupt, gains +11 to all his defenses, and also regains HP equal to around 80% of his maximum HP amount.


What's your take on Resilience of Stone vs Stoneheart Warrior. Would you take both, or just keep one? (and if so which one?)

My thinking is as a Warden you might want free-action second winds, but as a Druid you might be better to stick with the immediate-interrupt. What do you think? 
Definitely both, and here's why.  There are going to be times where you should have second winded last turn but didn't (if your a warden and going for the two turn defense bump).

Maybe you were being conservative, maybe you used a movement and a form, regardless, there will come a time when you really, really, really need an attack to miss.  And that's where Resilience of Stone comes in.

If I had to choose between the two? Stoneheart warrior is the clear winner, especially for a warden.  If you are a Dwarven druid however, the gap narrows a bit.  If you can afford both in a second wind optimization build I'd say snag both.

I guess it just depends, wardens will need their immediate actions for defending.  Druids won't.  So in tha respect I suppose Resilience of Stone is better for druids.
Well, on a Warden you're looking at 1 SW/encounter, 2 with a feat (epic), 3 with an armor (epic). Having one of those be a minor and one be an IR is way better then 3 being free because you can negate an attack. Especially at epic after you've taken Rapid Wild Defense.

Personally my cloak of choice for Wardens is Timeless Locket. It is the source of Init bonus and one/day I pair it with Spiritual Rejuvanation.
If I had to choose between the two? Stoneheart warrior is the clear winner, especially for a druid.


Can you expand on this - Why do Druids have more need for free-action second winds?
I was switched up with my classes on my original post, you ninja'd my quote before I could fix it ;)
Ah right. I'm pretty new to all this - I've read a lot of the handbooks but don't have much any play experience at high level so I'm sure I will miss things. Smile

btw - what type of Druid were you thinking of - Swarm Druid or Guardian Druid?

If Swarm you should be looking at Hide Armor Expertise (PP), If Guardian you might think about Turtles shell (D383). Either build would benefit from Toughness (PHB), and you might also want to think about Superior Implement Training (PHB3) and either Implement Expertise (Essentials) or Versatile Expertise (PHB3) to increase your attack bonus.

As a controller it's always good to go high up the initative order, but if you are going to MC fighter I would suggest Wary Fighter (D378) is better than Improved Initiative (PHB), and stacks with it if you should want both...



Hmm... I had assumed guardian druid, because I didn't like the new Hide Armor Expertise after errata.  Last I checked, it was 1/2 con instead of full bonus, so +2-4 instead of +4-9 to AC.  However, the massive second wind healing abilities discussed in this thread combined with almost continuous damage reduction could make up for the lack of AC.  Personally I *love* the damage reduction of a swarm druid, though it's only against melee & ranged, and I also get the sense that it doesn't scale terribly well in Epic.

I don't think I have seen Dragon issues 383 or 378.  What do those feats do?  As for initiative, when I'm looking to go first I like to take Danger Sense (roll twice for initiative).  It can mean the difference between going last and going first some encounters.    Though having a decent initiative bonus is also important (d20 - 1 twice isn't as quite great as d20 + 7 twice).

I figured I'd take one of the Expertise skills -- attack bonuses like that are too good to pass up.  I'll have to take a look at the superior implements again, as I've only briefly scanned them in the past (I know, I'm lazy).


AlphaAnt, which book holds this illustrious Armor of Enduring Health?  That sounds perfect. 

It sounds to me like Warden has better bonuses to defenses on a second wind (and there's a feat or feature that makes it last an additional turn?), while druid has more immediate interrupts available and 1 extra second wind to blow off when he wants it.

And I'm thinking the items that give bonuses to defenses with second wind are *far* more effective (especially with Resilience of Stone) than those that give a few more points of HP per surge.  The ability to get, for example, +8 or +11 to AC for a round 3 or 4 times per encounter (while you have surges) at the same time you heal yourself seems... godly.

Defensive Resilience (MP heroic feat) plus Backbone Belt (L11) plus either Parry Gauntlets (L5) or Defensive Weapon (L2-27) gives about a +7 to +11.  Are there others for a druid?

"Dwarves: Because you're not a god yet, but you might as well get close."  :D
"Dwarves: Because tarrasque isn't a playable race yet."
"Dwarves: 'I drank a keg of ale and slaughtered a band of ogres.  How'd YOU pay the rent?'"

BTW, how do you guys feel about the Primal Aspect Form + Rapid Regen combo?  Worth two feats, or is the healing just a drop in the bucket?
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
For some extreme second wind optimization, either be a Mul or use Reincarnate Champion to pick Mul as a past life so you can take the Inexhaustable Resources epic feat, letting you not spend a surge when you second wind and gain surge value temp hp. So you can blow those 3-4 free action second winds without burning up surges. With the various earthstrength warden feats, that can have beastly results...especially if you pump your surge value. Epic Bracers of Zeal and Earthstrength Might let you use that first second wind to make a free action MBA with extra damage equal to your huge surge value every encounter. Plus any other benefits of your second wind like enormous defense boost, damage boost, and resist all potentially.

Hmm... I had assumed guardian druid, because I didn't like the new Hide Armor Expertise after errata.  Last I checked, it was 1/2 con instead of full bonus, so +2-4 instead of +4-9 to AC.  However, the massive second wind healing abilities discussed in this thread combined with almost continuous damage reduction could make up for the lack of AC.  Personally I *love* the damage reduction of a swarm druid, though it's only against melee & ranged, and I also get the sense that it doesn't scale terribly well in Epic.

I don't think I have seen Dragon issues 383 or 378.  What do those feats do?

 
Turtle’s Shell (D383) Prerequisites: Druid, wild shape power
Benefit: While you are in beast form, any time you take the total defense action or use your second wind, you gain resist 5 to all damage until the end ofyour next turn.

Wary Fighter (D378) Prerequisite: Fighter
Benefit: You use your Wisdom modifier instead ofyour Dexterity modifier when rolling initiative. You also gain a +2 feat bonus to Insight and Perception checks.


As for initiative, when I'm looking to go first I like to take Danger Sense (roll twice for initiative).  It can mean the difference between going last and going first some encounters.    Though having a decent initiative bonus is also important (d20 - 1 twice isn't as quite great as d20 + 7 twice).


I would definitely recommend Wary Fighter - if you're going to be ignoring Dex it's a more powerful boost than Improved Initiative or Danger Sense (and stacks with both so you can pump you're iniative as high as you would like...)


Hmm... I had assumed guardian druid, because I didn't like the new Hide Armor Expertise after errata.  Last I checked, it was 1/2 con instead of full bonus, so +2-4 instead of +4-9 to AC.  However, the massive second wind healing abilities discussed in this thread combined with almost continuous damage reduction could make up for the lack of AC.  Personally I *love* the damage reduction of a swarm druid, though it's only against melee & ranged, and I also get the sense that it doesn't scale terribly well in Epic.

I don't think I have seen Dragon issues 383 or 378.  What do those feats do?

 
Turtle’s Shell (D383) Prerequisites: Druid, wild shape power
Benefit: While you are in beast form, any time you take the total defense action or use your second wind, you gain resist 5 to all damage until the end ofyour next turn.

Wary Fighter (D378) Prerequisite: Fighter
Benefit: You use your Wisdom modifier instead ofyour Dexterity modifier when rolling initiative. You also gain a +2 feat bonus to Insight and Perception checks.


As for initiative, when I'm looking to go first I like to take Danger Sense (roll twice for initiative).  It can mean the difference between going last and going first some encounters.    Though having a decent initiative bonus is also important (d20 - 1 twice isn't as quite great as d20 + 7 twice).


I would definitely recommend Wary Fighter - if you're going to be ignoring Dex it's a more powerful boost than Improved Initiative or Danger Sense (and stacks with both so you can pump you're iniative as high as you would like...)




If you don't want to MC fighter, you can just take Battlewise to use wis for init instead.
Once again the forum did not inform me of new posts, even though I'm subscribed.  :/  Anyway...


Interesting.  I haven't looked into Muls yet.  I'll have to do that.  Are they int the Dark Sun campaign books?


Turtle's Shell and Wary Fighter sound like worthy feats indeed.  I'll add them to my list.


I'll definitely want to be MC Fighter because of its helpful feat selection.   What's Battlewise, MC Warlord?


BTW, I've ballpark-calculated my druid's HP in Epic to range from about 130 to 180 (from levels 20-30).  With Primal Aspect Form + Rapid Regen (at 24 - 26 Con) I would gain 9-10 HP per round.  That's about 7% to 5.5% of my max HP healed per round, taking up to 7-10 rounds to heal back up to my bloodied value by regeneration alone.  Is that about right?

If so then that seems a bit mild for in-battle use, though it means I'll get to spend fewer healing surges after battle during the short rest (just go into beast form and regenerate to bloodied first).  Thoughts?
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
Once again the forum did not inform me of new posts, even though I'm subscribed.  :/  Anyway...


Interesting.  I haven't looked into Muls yet.  I'll have to do that.  Are they int the Dark Sun campaign books?


Turtle's Shell and Wary Fighter sound like worthy feats indeed.  I'll add them to my list.


I'll definitely want to be MC Fighter because of its helpful feat selection.   What's Battlewise, MC Warlord?


BTW, I've ballpark-calculated my druid's HP in Epic to range from about 130 to 180 (from levels 20-30).  With Primal Aspect Form + Rapid Regen (at 24 - 26 Con) I would gain 9-10 HP per round.  That's about 7% to 5.5% of my max HP healed per round, taking up to 7-10 rounds to heal back up to my bloodied value by regeneration alone.  Is that about right?

If so then that seems a bit mild for in-battle use, though it means I'll get to spend fewer healing surges after battle during the short rest (just go into beast form and regenerate to bloodied first).  Thoughts?



Muls are Dark Sun, yeah. Battlewise is from Heroes of the Forgotten Lands. It has no pre-reqs and just lets you sub wisdom for init. Obviously if you are MC fighter anyway, then Wary Fighter is superior for the insight and perception bonus tacked on.
Well after some tinkering, I think I've got the absolute most out of second wind and healing surges...

Show
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 30
Mul, Warden, Dreadnought, Dragonheart
Guardian Might: Earthstrength
Born of Two Races: Born of Two Races (Dwarf)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 26, Con 28, Dex 13, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12.

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


AC: 47 Fort: 41 Reflex: 34 Will: 34
HP: 293 Surges: 21 Surge Value: 101

TRAINED SKILLS
Nature +22, Endurance +28

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +13, Arcana +15, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Dungeoneering +17, Heal +17, History +15, Insight +17, Intimidate +16, Perception +17, Religion +15, Stealth +13, Streetwise +18, Thievery +13, Athletics +20

FEATS
Level 1: Battle Awareness
Level 2: Dwarven Weapon Training
Level 4: Swift Recovery
Level 6: Toughness
Level 8: Crushing Earthstrength
Level 10: Earthstrength Resilience
Level 11: Dwarven Durability
Level 12: Earthstrength Defenses
Level 14: Master at Arms
Level 21: Inexhaustible Resources
Level 22: Stoneheart Warrior
Level 24: Epic Recovery
Level 26: Earthstrength Might

POWERS
Warden daily 1: Form of Winter's Herald
Warden utility 6: Treacherous Ice

ITEMS
Brooch of Vitality +6, Elderhide Armor of Enduring Health +6, Dauntless Champion's Ring (epic tier), Bracers of Zeal (epic tier), Defensive Craghammer +6, Heavy Shield
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


You end up with a healing surge value of 101, over 1/3 your max hp, the ability to second wind 3/per encounter as a free action, gaining 101 temp hp, +17 to all defenses, +9 to damage, resist 8 all, and a free action MBA each time, without spending a surge. Once per encounter you can turn those massive temps into damage with the bracers of zeal. And if they ever manage to bloody you, you gain your bloody value in temp HP once per encounter without spending any surges. So you have in total 449 temp hp available to you every encounter.

With such incredible toughness (Mul jokes asside), the tricky part becomes being an effective defender and keeping enemies focused on you (or if not focused on you, then at least otherwise making it harder for them to get your allies). Form of Winter's Herald and Treacherous Ice help stickiness, and it would come down to a lot of power selection. Probably throw in crippling crush with weight of earth at-will with vicious advantage to help accuracy, and sudden roots to make OA's stickier.

Obviously not much of this is relevant to the OP, but it is in line with the topic title.
How do you manage to have only two trained skills?  That should not be possible in 4E.  I think a Warden gets Nature and three other skills, right?  Note that your intelligence of 8 does not reduce your number of trained skills.
How do you manage to have only two trained skills?  That should not be possible in 4E.  I think a Warden gets Nature and three other skills, right?  Note that your intelligence of 8 does not reduce your number of trained skills.



Oh I just left a lot of things unselected that were irrelevant to what I was trying to do.
Well after some tinkering, I think I've got the absolute most out of second wind and healing surges...



If possible, he should get a Strongheart Tattoo for extra overkill. It adds 3x the number of healing surges you have spent since your last extended rest to the HP you regain when you spend a HS. So the last HS gets a +60 and actually exceeds your bloodied number.

If you can afford to drop the dex by 1 (I didn't see anything depending on that 13th point) you could get your Cha to 13 by epic and pick up Disciple of Justice. This lets you give the HP from your second wind to an adjacent ally instead, which you can use to distribute some of that massive HS potential (and power up the aforementioned tattoo

EDIT to add: Also, Enduring Mountain will give you an additional +2 HP per HS, up to a max of +5 if you have allies with the feat.

EDIT to add even more: You could get a few more from a dragonling familiar, but I'm pretty sure what you lose from MC-ing that way instead of the way you did would be too costly. 
After my attempts to make an awesome Warforged Cleric of Pelor, I ran across this little gem:

Reparation Apparatus

Reparation Apparatus
Level 6 Uncommon

This gauntlet-like contraption enhances your ability repair constructs.


Price: 1,800 gp
Item Slot: Hands
Property: When you use a healing power on a construct, that creature regains an additional 2d6 hit points. When you use a power to grant temporary hit points to a construct, that creature gains an additional 2d6 temporary hit points.


Situational, to be sure, since it only works on warforged and shardminds, but holy crap is it powerful.  Warforged Resolve double-dips it....
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Well after some tinkering, I think I've got the absolute most out of second wind and healing surges...



If possible, he should get a Strongheart Tattoo for extra overkill. It adds 3x the number of healing surges you have spent since your last extended rest to the HP you regain when you spend a HS. So the last HS gets a +60 and actually exceeds your bloodied number.

If you can afford to drop the dex by 1 (I didn't see anything depending on that 13th point) you could get your Cha to 13 by epic and pick up Disciple of Justice. This lets you give the HP from your second wind to an adjacent ally instead, which you can use to distribute some of that massive HS potential (and power up the aforementioned tattoo

EDIT to add: Also, Enduring Mountain will give you an additional +2 HP per HS, up to a max of +5 if you have allies with the feat.

EDIT to add even more: You could get a few more from a dragonling familiar, but I'm pretty sure what you lose from MC-ing that way instead of the way you did would be too costly. 



Ah, good catch on disciple of justice, I was actually disappointed I couldn't squeeze Shared Vitality in there since I couldn't spare the divine MC. Strongheart Tattoo would be a nice add, and make Durable and the Mul racial feat nice picks for 3 more surges. Why bother with Comrade's Succor when you can just directly use your surges on allies.

After my attempts to make an awesome Warforged Cleric of Pelor, I ran across this little gem:

Reparation Apparatus

Reparation Apparatus
Level 6 Uncommon

This gauntlet-like contraption enhances your ability repair constructs.


Price: 1,800 gp
Item Slot: Hands
Property: When you use a healing power on a construct, that creature regains an additional 2d6 hit points. When you use a power to grant temporary hit points to a construct, that creature gains an additional 2d6 temporary hit points.


Situational, to be sure, since it only works on warforged and shardminds, but holy crap is it powerful.  Warforged Resolve double-dips it....



There was a long argument on this a wile back, but that item does not work on shardminds and warforged because they are "Living Constructs" not "Constructs". "Living Construct" is an independant keyword, as opposed to being a sub-set of constructs.

While that may be the balanced and sane approach to it, I find that position nonsense. 

www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/gl...


living construct

Unlike other constructs, living constructs are living creatures.


Published in Monster Manual 2, page(s) 218, Monster Manual, page(s) 282, Rules Compendium, page(s) 313.


D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
While that may be the balanced and sane approach to it, I find that position nonsense. 

www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/gl...


living construct

Unlike other constructs, living constructs are living creatures.


Published in Monster Manual 2, page(s) 218, Monster Manual, page(s) 282, Rules Compendium, page(s) 313.





And you just proved my position that it is it's own independant keyword.
Sign In to post comments