Beyond Bodily Brutality: the Basics of Building Battleminds

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Hello all, sorry for the relative lack of attention over the past little bit.  Work has been time-consuming, but I should be able to devote some time to updating the guide again.  Most importantly, I hope to have the new themes added to the guide in the next couple of weeks.

Hey there, just noticed you had a little typo under Stickyness Feats. Melee Training (Constitution) is in PHB 2, not 3! Got a little lost looking for it in PHB 3. :P

Thank you for this!  Fixed.


If I could get some help on this build, it would be awesome. I posted this in Mellored's Revanant Handbook, but looking for some help from a Battlemind perspective. I wanted him to be damage heavy but still a solid defender, and unkillable.

This might relate to some aspect of Revenant optimization that I am not familiar with, but I really don't see what you're getting out of Raven Consort that justifies it over Topaz Crusader.  Feat-wise, I'd suggest World Serpent's Grasp (maybe instead of Stormhawk's Vengeance) -- you'll be slowing a lot, and constantly proning enemies will make you much stickier.  You probably want to take Harrying Step before Weapon Focus, though this is a minor thing.

Also, you probably meant to take Melee Training: Con. ;)

I switched to Topaz Crusader, more fun too
I want to grab WSG and Headsman chop, but alas, you can't have everything...

As a more general question, is grabbing Harrying Step ASAP really important? 
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!

As a more general question, is grabbing Harrying Step ASAP really important? 

Harrying Step lets you beat multi-square shifters, difficult/hindering terrain, immobilized, grabbed, and restrained in the pursuit of your defending duties.  The factors that make a must-have upgrade on Blurred Step show up starting at level 1.  Obviously there is always a degree of DM dependence in terms of how much use it will see, but it represents half the job in making the Battlemind the stickiest defender, and so from a theoretical perspective, I have to recommend it as one of the first two feats you take.   

Which is a more potent solution for the BM's OA problem, Heavy Blade Oppourtunity, or the Warden's Slow on OA, and therefore Slow and Prone from WSG?
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!
Which is a more potent solution for the BM's OA problem, Heavy Blade Oppourtunity, or the Warden's Slow on OA, and therefore Slow and Prone from WSG?

Unfortunately, WSG doesn't work that way.  It requires that you hit a slowed opponent to knock prone, not that you hit with an attack that slows.

HBO is the most potent solution, simply because it opens up the largest number of status effects/damaging attacks.  The problem is the stat investment.

On an unrelated note, new theme ratings are up, and the Dark Sun themes have been rerated.  Let me know where I have gone wrong.
If the mostly terrible order adept is sky blue, Noble Adept needs sky blue too. That extra powerpoint is not only useful from level 1 to 30, but an absolute godsend at low levels. That's an extra turn of buffed Conductive Defenses, for example.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
If the mostly terrible order adept is sky blue, Noble Adept needs sky blue too. That extra powerpoint is not only useful from level 1 to 30, but an absolute godsend at low levels. That's an extra turn of buffed Conductive Defenses, for example.

I fully expect Order Adept to get knocked down in the month-end errata, but right at the moment, it gives the battlemind two things he needs: a decent level 2 utility (ignoring Shield, Mystical Debris is fantastic for the battlemind), and a bonus to Will (which you'll need to hit the level+16 best NAD target).  Noble Adept only offers the one power point.  That's good, especially at low levels, but over the long term Order Adept is going to give you better value.
If the mostly terrible order adept is sky blue, Noble Adept needs sky blue too. That extra powerpoint is not only useful from level 1 to 30, but an absolute godsend at low levels. That's an extra turn of buffed Conductive Defenses, for example.

I fully expect Order Adept to get knocked down in the month-end errata, but right at the moment, it gives the battlemind two things he needs: a decent level 2 utility (ignoring Shield, Mystical Debris is fantastic for the battlemind), and a bonus to Will (which you'll need to hit the level+16 best NAD target).  Noble Adept only offers the one power point.  That's good, especially at low levels, but over the long term Order Adept is going to give you better value.



Really? Is Mystical Debris, which requires prep time, and Shield, which eats up an immediate action (AKA lol at defending that turn) going to beat "I get an extra Brutal Barrage, or an extra Lightning Rush, or..."? Really? Noble Adept is so powerful its competition isn't Order Adept, which is terrible - it's Guardian. The extra power point makes it much easier to not pick a psionic PP, for one. It makes situational augmentations easier to swallow. And so on and so forth. Really, there's nothing in the wizard list that beats being able to protect your people better, especially not at low levels.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I'm using Forceful Reversal (instead of Lightning Rush), and I want to pair it with an at-will that would give a marked enemy more of an incentive to attack to me (and thus trigger FR).  I'm wondering if there's anything better than Conductive Defense?  It's already accurate (vs. Reflex) and does extra damage whenever the enemy hits an ally (and independent of potential damage from mind spike).  Is there a better upgrade to this?

For example, Ghost in the Steel or Cloud of Dancing Blades seem strictly worse for this purpose than Conductive Defense.  Or am I missing something?

(Note - I also have Lodestone Lure)
Brutal Barrage pretty much. There ain't much else that generates threat like Conductive Defense, unless you consider debuffs a la Twisted Eye 2 to be conducive to threat generation.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).

As a more general question, is grabbing Harrying Step ASAP really important? 

Harrying Step lets you beat multi-square shifters, difficult/hindering terrain, immobilized, grabbed, and restrained in the pursuit of your defending duties.  The factors that make a must-have upgrade on Blurred Step show up starting at level 1.  Obviously there is always a degree of DM dependence in terms of how much use it will see, but it represents half the job in making the Battlemind the stickiest defender, and so from a theoretical perspective, I have to recommend it as one of the first two feats you take.   


Would you still recommend it as one of the first two feats if you pick up Lodestone Lure at 3rd?  That would seem to take away some of the immediate need for the feat (though I imagine it should still be picked up during heroic).
Really? Is Mystical Debris, which requires prep time, and Shield, which eats up an immediate action (AKA lol at defending that turn) going to beat "I get an extra Brutal Barrage, or an extra Lightning Rush, or..."?

The benefit with Shield is that in practice there are going to be rounds that you either cannot use your immediate to defend (because all the monsters are targetting you) or where you will prioritise not getting hit (because losing one defending immediate is preferable to being stunned, dominated, or dazed and losing several actions).  Mystical Debris is a minor action, which you have to spare.  You will only have one square under effect at a time, and that's okay -- it's just to give you a bit of Warden ability to control where your mark will try to go if he tries to get away.

Yes, if you're going for a power-point intensive build like BB+LR and then taking a no-power-point PP like Son of Mercy or Morninglord, making up some of your power point shortfall with Noble Adept is a great idea.  But not all viable battlemind builds do this, and frankly, the fact that people made such builds before Noble Adept was an option makes clear that one power point more or less is not that critical an issue.  And the theme has nothing else to offer.  The attack powers are implement-based, the utilities harm your allies, and the feature power is rubbish unless you spend power points on it.  Going Noble Adept instead of Order Adept, you're giving up the equivalent of one item slot (at least) and a feat for one power point.  That's a hard choice, but I give the edge to Order Adept.

I'm using Forceful Reversal (instead of Lightning Rush), and I want to pair it with an at-will that would give a marked enemy more of an incentive to attack to me (and thus trigger FR).  I'm wondering if there's anything better than Conductive Defense?

Not really, no.  Possibly Intellect Snap, but Intellect Snap and Lodestone Lure together make for terrible damage output.


Would you still recommend it as one of the first two feats if you pick up Lodestone Lure at 3rd?  That would seem to take away some of the immediate need for the feat (though I imagine it should still be picked up during heroic).

Generally I would, simply because you can't rely on Lodestone Lure every round (either because you want to use dailies or you just plain miss).  

I've been looking at making a battlemind and when I was considering themes I'm actually liking the sound of escaped slave quite a bit. The ability to go invisible as a free action sounds fantastic after you mark someone and conductive defense another. -5 to attack me or suffer for attacking my allies. Free skill training in a skill that matches a 2ndary attribute isn't too bad either.

In addition, the level 2 utility sounds fantastic. Sure it eats your immediate, but how useful was your immediate really going to be if you were immobolized or restrained? Lightning Rush and Blurred Step (and thus probably mind spike) are probably off the table for that round anyway.

And the level 10 utility can allow you to avoid opportunity attacks on your lightning rush once/encounter. And its a free action so I'm assuming you can use it at the same time you lightning rush rather than having to use it on your turn beforehand. You just use it when it is needed most. And if you didn't need it for a lightning rush it can just be useful for better positioning.

Sure, two of those require beating a passive insight check but charisma is a battlemind secondary and I don't think there are that many monsters trained in insight. And the theme itself gives you training so you aren't losing out on another skill.

That sounds better than Guardian to me if we are talking a lightning rushing battlemind. Not better than Order Adept but I'm assuming the +2 Will is going away on that one.
Escaped Slave is a perfectly reasonable choice, but I can't really see bumping up its rating:

- Hidden Strike is a solution to a problem the battlemind doesn't have: generally, your problem is going to be discouraging monsters from looking elsewhere, not coming after you.  

- The problem with No Bonds Can Hold is that it doesn't matter if you lose your immediate to a status effect or shedding the status effect, you've lost your immediate.  Again, the best solution here is to take Harrying Step, which ends or ignores all those effects without a chance of failure or using up your immediate.

- Opportune Distraction is definitely a good utility, but level 10 utility options are a lot less pressing a concern, simply because you have good options.

It's certainly a solid option, but it just doesn't give the battlemind something he needs, as opposed to something he can make use of, if you appreciate the distinction.

You should mention intentionally missing with brilliant recovery.

For instance.  Pick up warlords Band of Fellows, or clerics recovery strike + assured healing.  You can get a nice benifit and still attack.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Fair enough! A mention has been added to BR, though I haven't gone into any details as to such tricks.
Fair enough! A mention has been added to BR, though I haven't gone into any details as to such tricks.

Well, i started a thread for that.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

That makes life easier, link added.
I've been playing a Battlemind for several sessions now, and I've got many questions.

Here's my character sheet, for reference.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Carrion, level 6
Tiefling, Battlemind
Psionic Study Option: Wild Focus
Trained from Birth for a Specific Prophecy (Trained from Birth for a Specific Prophecy Benefit)
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 13, CON 19, DEX 10, INT 8, WIS 11, CHA 19
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 13, CON 16, DEX 10, INT 8, WIS 11, CHA 16
 
AC: 23 Fort: 19 Ref: 17 Will: 21
HP: 64 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 17
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +14, Insight +8, Intimidate +12
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Tiefling Racial Power: Infernal Wrath
Battlemind Feature: Battlemind's Demand
Battlemind Feature: Blurred Step
Battlemind Feature: Mind Spike
Battlemind Feature: Wild Focus
Feat Power: Mantle of Misfortune
Battlemind Attack 1: Concussive Spike
Battlemind Attack 1: Bull's Strength
Battlemind Attack 1: Aspect of Bitter Ice
Battlemind Utility 2: Telepathic Challenge
Battlemind Attack 3: Lodestone Lure
Battlemind Attack 5: Empathic Feedback
Battlemind Utility 6: Winged Weapon
 
FEATS
Free:  Hammer Expertise
Free:  Melee Training (Constitution)
Level 1: Imperious Majesty
Level 2: Mantle of Misfortune
Level 4: Improved Initiative
Level 6: Telekinetic Savant
 
ITEMS
Knockback Warhammer +1 x1
Bashing Shield Heavy Shield (heroic tier) x1
Amulet of Protection +2 x1
Adventurer's Kit
Dwarven Scale Armor +1 x1
Crossbow
Battle-Scarred Champion (heroic tier)
====== End ======

This is heavily inspired by community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

I'm struggling to find my purpose.  My current group is a Genasi Swordmage, Dwarf Cleric and Vampire. 

As a defender, I don't really feel that I fill that role well.  I have only a few more HP than the Vampire and Swordmage, and about 10 HP more than the Cleric (who, thanks to his racial powers, is tougher than his HP suggests).  My defenses are comparable to the Vampire, and 3 points behind the Swordmage in total.  My mark seems worst of all - with my defenses being comparable to everyone in the party, I'm almost always attacked instead, and since my defenses are pretty much on par, this seems like a big waste of an important class feature.

The At-wills seem a bit mediocre.  Concussive Spike is really just a much weaker version of Thunderwave from Wizard.  Bull's Strength is okay, and Lodestone Lure offers some nice tricks.  But 4 power points between the 3 of them doesn't give me a lot of options.

Telepathic challenge has seemed nearly worthless, since I can't use my mark effect on opponent that isn't adjacent, so marking a farther away enemy doesn't do much.  Winged Weapon is okay, but dropping a level 6 utility on the power seems rather meh.  Making the powers suddenly draw OA's really, really limits its usefulness - it'd be impressive if I could change the direction of a push or pull to affect an adjacent foe more easily. 

Aspect of Bitter Ice seemed better on paper than in practice - getting enemies into close burst 1 formation is rather challenging.  Empathic Feedback is about the only power I am happy with, so far.

Overall, the pull focus seemed better on paper than in practice, especially considering just about every enemy can move -> charge at a minimum to get back.  I think that if I had a squishier party, or one that could either also supply forced movement, or take advantage of it, this build (no one else even has a burst/blast power) would shine more.  5 speed hurts as well.

I'm looking at making the following changes:

Aspect of Bitter Ice -> Accelerating Strike (speed), Corona of Floating Force (more push, damage, ignore dt) or Living Fortress (cover + lots of single target damage)

Telepathic Challenge -> Dimension Slide (movement + out of combat utility)

Winged Weapon ->  I have no idea.  Mental Triumph would have changed our campaign little and Psionic Ambush seems rather mediocre, really - rarely does anything I have marked move more than 5 squares away, and if it were 10 I could just Lodestone Lure.  I'm considering burning a feat to take a utility from another class.  Any suggestions?

Thanks for your time.
I'm struggling to find my purpose.  My current group is a Genasi Swordmage, Dwarf Cleric and Vampire. 

As a defender, I don't really feel that I fill that role well.  I have only a few more HP than the Vampire and Swordmage, and about 10 HP more than the Cleric (who, thanks to his racial powers, is tougher than his HP suggests).  My defenses are comparable to the Vampire, and 3 points behind the Swordmage in total.  My mark seems worst of all - with my defenses being comparable to everyone in the party, I'm almost always attacked instead, and since my defenses are pretty much on par, this seems like a big waste of an important class feature.



I'd take a long look at your party:
Defender
Leader with Defender toughness
Weak Striker with Defender toughness
Defender

That suggests a party that's going to be weak on control and damage. You should be winning fights by grinding things out, which probably isn't a ton of fun for everyone. Not to mention, a very limited ability to fight at range. Yet you've spent a lot of effort into upping your defensive values, which isn't paying off at all.

Switch one of your initiative feats into Craghammer and the Mantle into Weapon Focus. Start with a 20 Con/15 Cha/13 Str. That'll add +1 to hit/+3 damage per swing. You might see if you can switch into being a Battlemind|Warlock hybrid instead who spends the hybrid talent feat on having Battlemind Armor. MC into Assassin via the feat in the hybrid article - +1d8/2d8/3d8 damage compares very nicely to WF and grants you a skill.
I'd take a long look at your party:
Defender
Leader with Defender toughness
Weak Striker with Defender toughness
Defender

That suggests a party that's going to be weak on control and damage. You should be winning fights by grinding things out, which probably isn't a ton of fun for everyone. Not to mention, a very limited ability to fight at range. Yet you've spent a lot of effort into upping your defensive values, which isn't paying off at all.

Switch one of your initiative feats into Craghammer and the Mantle into Weapon Focus. Start with a 20 Con/15 Cha/13 Str. That'll add +1 to hit/+3 damage per swing. You might see if you can switch into being a Battlemind|Warlock hybrid instead who spends the hybrid talent feat on having Battlemind Armor. MC into Assassin via the feat in the hybrid article - +1d8/2d8/3d8 damage compares very nicely to WF and grants you a skill.



Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking.  Part of the issue is that the second Defender was previously a Striker, as well as that I didn't know how tough the Vampire would end up being, which was my own fault.  Grinding out fights is generally how we've won, especially considering the last 2 sessions (4+ encounters) the Vampire hasn't shown up. 

The mantle is one of the few abilities that has actually been useful.  I was actually looking at the Craghammer specifically - but is a feat really worth the +1 damage, on average?  I don't have a lot of 2+[W] attacks.  Weapon focus seems even less useful.  I guess I'm still in 3.5 mode.

I'm not sure about swapping my starting stats or into a hybrid, but I can certainly ask.  Hybrids have always interested me though, and I've read your handbook previously.

Thanks for the suggestions.
I'd take a long look at your party:
Defender
Leader with Defender toughness
Weak Striker with Defender toughness
Defender

That suggests a party that's going to be weak on control and damage. You should be winning fights by grinding things out, which probably isn't a ton of fun for everyone. Not to mention, a very limited ability to fight at range. Yet you've spent a lot of effort into upping your defensive values, which isn't paying off at all.

Switch one of your initiative feats into Craghammer and the Mantle into Weapon Focus. Start with a 20 Con/15 Cha/13 Str. That'll add +1 to hit/+3 damage per swing. You might see if you can switch into being a Battlemind|Warlock hybrid instead who spends the hybrid talent feat on having Battlemind Armor. MC into Assassin via the feat in the hybrid article - +1d8/2d8/3d8 damage compares very nicely to WF and grants you a skill.



Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking.  Part of the issue is that the second Defender was previously a Striker, as well as that I didn't know how tough the Vampire would end up being, which was my own fault.  Grinding out fights is generally how we've won, especially considering the last 2 sessions (4+ encounters) the Vampire hasn't shown up. 

The mantle is one of the few abilities that has actually been useful.  I was actually looking at the Craghammer specifically - but is a feat really worth the +1 damage, on average?  I don't have a lot of 2+[W] attacks.  Weapon focus seems even less useful.  I guess I'm still in 3.5 mode.



If you made those changes, you'd end up doing an extra +3 damage per swing. If you now do 1d10+5, you'd instead do 1d12+7. The average for a normal hit would have been 10.5, now it would be 13.5 and you get a +1 to hit on top of it.

A roughly 50% increase in damage goes a long way...

The ability to go hybrid would allow you to do 1d12+7+1d6 in that scenario with Eldritch Strike. That's now up to 17 instead of 10.5. It isn't crazy damage, but it is enough in this party to kill some of the grind. 
Alternatively, with a new defender in the party, you might ask your DM if your current character can be sent on some sort of plot-based solo quest, allowing you to start a new character as a striker maybe, with the possibility of your battlemind coming back at some point in the future if your party dynamic changes again and having another defender becomes more useful.

I recently did the same - our cleric died and the player re-rolled as a warden.  It's not that the new character would have overshadowed my paladin, but we really didn't need 2 defenders, so the Raven Queen called my old character off on a pilgrimage to Letherna, and my current character, a warlord, showed up with the hook for our next adventure.  Since we knew I wanted to change and it wasn't a surprise, the DM was able to work it into the plot, along with how the paladin might return and the warlord leave, were the party dynamics to change again.
I have to agree with malisteen and Mommy_was_an_Orc, in that order. ;)

If you're sticking with the battlemind: I love Concussive Spike, and am currently playing a battlemind built around it, but it's a power that shines in a striker-heavy party.   Take Conductive Defense instead, and attack whoever the swordmage has under his Aegis -- you'll have better accuracy, and either your target eats your Con modifier plus possibly an OA, or he suffers the Aegis penalty.  

Telepathic Challenge is really about mass debuffing the enemies, but in your case, since you're taking lots of attacks and you need damage, you might want to think about Concussive Response instead.

I'm not sure what to recommend for your level 6 utility.  What were you planning on multiclassing?  
If you made those changes, you'd end up doing an extra +3 damage per swing. If you now do 1d10+5, you'd instead do 1d12+7. The average for a normal hit would have been 10.5, now it would be 13.5 and you get a +1 to hit on top of it.

A roughly 50% increase in damage goes a long way...

The ability to go hybrid would allow you to do 1d12+7+1d6 in that scenario with Eldritch Strike. That's now up to 17 instead of 10.5. It isn't crazy damage, but it is enough in this party to kill some of the grind. 



%'s aside, I want to say thanks again for the help to you, malisteen and Dedekine.  Where are you getting 1d12 from?  Craghammer just adds Brutal 2 to the warhammer profile.

Preferably, I'd keep the same character, since I've worked a lot on his backstory and he "fits" in the campaign world.  I'm currently working on a Battlemind|Warlock hybrid.  I'm looking at going into Persistent Harrier / Concussive Spike / Eldritch Strike optimization for my character's focus.  Dropping Concussive Spike literally removes the only AoE At-Will available to the party at all, so I am very reluctant to do so.  With a defender-heavy party, enemies rarely hit allies anyways.

No idea what to multi-class into.

Which thread would be most appropriate for such a character - this one, the hybrid handbook or its own entirely?

Thanks again.


I support the switch to Hybrid. Those two classes hybrid well, not as well as Swordmage and Warlock, but there are a lot of great Warlock Utilies to offset the sub-par Battlemind ones. You might consider MCing Fighter, there a lot of great feats there. Either that or Warden, like  Dedekine says in the guide. the feat support for fighters is just too good, and Warden's have some solid feats. If you want to increase damage and are going to Paragon, MCing Warden, grabbing Crippling Crush and the Son of Mercy PP allows you to bring some serious PAIN with Brutal Barrage.
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!
The June rules update has been and gone.  A few obvious and expected changes to the themes, but importantly we have finally seen a patch to Blackstone Guardian!  I've made a few other changes to the guide at the same time:

- New intro.
- Put a note in the Races section explaining what earns a sky blue rating.
- Added Immutability to Warforged feats.
- Changed a few of the paragon path ratings. Mostly, there are now no sky blue ratings.  While there's many good paths, I just feel that there's none that are stand-out good for all possible builds.
Im playing a Halfling Battlemind and I'm really struggling to find a decent PP. The problem is is that the Batlemind PP's are pretty meh but it uses CON as its primary stat so poaching a PP from another class is mostly just wasting the powers.

I had originally MC'd into fighter to take small warrior's defense and took the Iron Guardian PP but found little use for my paragon path. I could instead jigg my skills around and take Traveller's Harlequin to pick up the now awesome Cleric MC and gain an extra +2 to AC. While this option is solid the PP is deity specific and as such I don't know whether my DM would allow it.

Now my favourite PP of all time, as it just oozes flavor, is the Red Cloak PP (Rogue, MP2). While this PP may be not very good for a Rogue I can see potential for a Battlemind. Below I have listed the pro's and con's but i would like you Battlemind players to help me in my decision.

Pro's:
The level 16 feature means that if I miss with LR I can still punish with MS
Reserve Manouver means that I can pick up Low Slash
The level 11 feature, while not amazing, means that I can use my Immediate Reaction in a round if someone shoots me from across the map
The level 12 utility provides easy combat advantage if my mark just attacks me that round and misses. It can also be used on area/close attacks

Con's:
The AP feature is wasted, but isn't that great anyway
Requires me to swap my Con/Wis stats to a Con/Dex array otherwise the powers are wasted
Requires an almost dead feat
Lose 2PP which is a use of LR

Tl;dr Is the Rogue PP Red Cloak any good for a Lightning Rushing Halfling Battlemind?
As I recall (someone can correct me if I'm wrong) you can't use Reserve Maneuver to pick up powers from your multiclass, so no Low Slash for you.  The level 11 feature is a waste, really.  If you're finding a lot of rounds in which you can't use Lightning Rush, you should pick up Forceful Reversal.  Shifting two squares as a reaction is great for a striker, but I can't see it being hugely useful for you.  The level 12 utility is again a waste of your immediate: battleminds need/want to be doing damage with them, not setting up for your turn.

The level 11 attack isn't terrible if you have good Dex, since it's basically an encounter Forceful Reversal.  Obviously, the meat of the path from the battlemind's perspective is the level 16 feature, which is good, but Steel Ego will give you the ability to LR and Mind Spike in the same round five levels earlier, and Rapid Mind Spike almost obsoletes Red Cloak Reaction come Epic.

So in summary, no, I don't think it's a good path. 
As I recall (someone can correct me if I'm wrong) you can't use Reserve Maneuver to pick up powers from your multiclass, so no Low Slash for you.  The level 11 feature is a waste, really.  If you're finding a lot of rounds in which you can't use Lightning Rush, you should pick up Forceful Reversal.  Shifting two squares as a reaction is great for a striker, but I can't see it being hugely useful for you.  The level 12 utility is again a waste of your immediate: battleminds need/want to be doing damage with them, not setting up for your turn.

The level 11 attack isn't terrible if you have good Dex, since it's basically an encounter Forceful Reversal.  Obviously, the meat of the path from the battlemind's perspective is the level 16 feature, which is good, but Steel Ego will give you the ability to LR and Mind Spike in the same round five levels earlier, and Rapid Mind Spike almost obsoletes Red Cloak Reaction come Epic.

So in summary, no, I don't think it's a good path. 



You're right about Reserve Maneuver.

You're post speaks lots of sense. I'm just disappointed in Battlemind PP's overall and thought about my favourite ones and to see whether they would work here. I think my best bet is to take Traveler's Harlequin and wait until another Class Acts: Battlemind comes around.

Thanks for the advice Dedekine and great guide.

EDIT: Sometimes my judgement of things gets clouded by my personal opinion. Thanks for bursting that thought bubble before it got too big.
Wow I was the last person to post in this thread, people just must not like playing Battleminds. Anyway:

Shadow Dancer (HoS; requires Stealth, at-will or encounter teleport power): Persistent Harriers will want to look at this as the level 11 feature makes Harrying Step a bit more threatening.  The level 12 utility provides some stickiness, but mostly this boils down to a path for people who really like teleporting.

The wording for the level 11 feature is "Whenever you teleport during your turn, you gain combat advantage for the next attack roll you make before the end of your turn" You cannot use Harrying step during your turn meaning that this feature is useless for them. This PP is only useful for BM's that multiclass into warlock and even then Evermeet Warlock is a better choice.

In addition I have to question your rating of Open the Way. Yes it is a semi-ranged power that repositions creatures so that they end up adjacent, in an opposite way to Lodestone Lure but obviously without the control. It is useful however in a couple of situations, as detailed below.



  • Some creatures are immune to forced movement and as such LL would only apply its immobilize effect which is uneffective if that creature is beating on your squishy. Open the Way gets around this by having you teleport instead which can also lead to other game features coming into play.

  • It has more range and does more damage unaugmented than LL. More useful to a character who is spending there PP's on LR or FR. The damage side is big if you are playing in a smaller group and you need to bring your share of the damage to the table.

  • Open the Way can break grabs and help you across hindering terrain


All in all I just believe that your rating of Red is way to harsh on a power that does have a good use. LL is a better power on paper but when compared to actual gameplay Open the Way does have its uses. I would rate it at Black.
The downsides of Open the Way, more than anything else, boils down to: what are you going to give up for it?  It's level 17, so at this point you've got access to tons of good lower-level at-wills.  You're not likely to use the Augment 4, so the unaugmented and the Augment 1 by themselves have to be good enough to justify giving up stuff like Conductive Defense, Lodestone Lure, Lightning Rush, Forceful Reversal, Brutal Barrage, or Intellect Snap.  The unique stuff that Open the Way brings to the table -- breaking grabs, dealing with forced movement resistance, greater unaugmented range, and jumping -- are situational, at best likely to come up once per encounter, and they can be covered by utility powers (Dimensional Slide, Winged Weapon, etc).  Everything else the power does, a lower level power does much better.  So I'll cut you a deal: show me a build which wouldn't be better off for replacing Open the Way with a lower level power, and I'll upgrade the rating. ;)

As for Shadow Dancer: the level 11 feature does the same thing as Pursuing Step, the level 11 attack requires a good basic attack,  and you will never be hiding to get advantage of the level 16 feature.  Dancer's Action, Shadow Stalk, and Trail of Shadows are okay, but not so good that I'd give up power points for them.  If you want a teleporting PP, you're probably better off with Storm Disciple.
As for Shadow Dancer: the level 11 feature does the same thing as Pursuing Step, the level 11 attack requires a good basic attack,  and you will never be hiding to get advantage of the level 16 feature.  Dancer's Action, Shadow Stalk, and Trail of Shadows are okay, but not so good that I'd give up power points for them.  If you want a teleporting PP, you're probably better off with Storm Disciple.



I don't won't to sound rude but did you even read what I said about the Shadow Dancer PP? The level 11 feature is useless as you have to teleport during your own turn. Battlemind's cannot do this, save for a few exceptions in its utility list. The feature does not work with Harrying Step. Ever.
 I wasn't asking about its viability for a Battlemind to take.

And your points about Open the Way are sound. Maybe my DM likes to hamper me more than is usual but I must say this, Dazing and immolization are a common thing for a defender to be subject to and this power gets around both of them by simply allowing a teleport within the power itself. Especially with the dazed condition this can mean that you can stay adjacent to your enemy as well as damaging it in the same round. While this is also true of Lodestone Lure teleporting yourself  adjacent to an enemy is always going to be possible whereas pulling an opponent adjacent is not always possible if that enemy is immune to forced movement. Giving yourself a movement option is better than forcing an enemy in this case as the both end up with the same result, i.e you next to that enemy.

I don't won't to sound rude but did you even read what I said about the Shadow Dancer PP?

Not well, so my apologies!  I was responding to my own rating of the power, which just goes to show (I think I was desperate to find something worthwhile in HoS).  Shadow Dancer has now been excised from the guide.  Thanks for bring this to my attention, and sorry for the confusion.

About Open the Way: Dazing is obviously a huge problem, which is why you get Superior Will.  Immobilized is a little trickier, but again, for the ability to deal with a very specific corner case (monsters immune to forced movement) you're trading away some fantastic hard control that means you don't care about being immobilized (not just Lodestone Lure; at this level you also have the option of Gravity Well with its paralyzing Augment 1).  With Mental Triumph, this basically means that Open the Way is only really worth the opportunity cost if you're fighting two or more encounters per working day when you're up against swarms (or other pull-immune creatures) while you're also being immobilized.  I can't really believe that's common enough to justify the opportunity cost, but I can see that it might be, so I've changed the rating to purple.

While this is also true of Lodestone Lure teleporting yourself  adjacent to an enemy is always going to be possible whereas pulling an opponent adjacent is not always possible if that enemy is immune to forced movement. Giving yourself a movement option is better than forcing an enemy in this case as the both end up with the same result, i.e you next to that enemy.



Except that's not always true. If you're going after a flying opponent, then teleporting next to it is relatively useless. And even if it is immune to forced movement, it still takes the damage and is still locked into moving adjacent to you if it wants to go anywhere.

In the context that Augmented 2 Lodestone Lure has a melee range of 5, knocks the target prone, locks them to staying next to you, and attacks Will, I'm not sure why one would ever take Open the Way over it. Lodestone Lure isn't strictly superior, but most of the time it is so far above it that the only time I could contemplate taking it is if Open the Way was a level 1 power.

And I'd still get rid of it at level 3. 
Since I haven't actually played a battlemind, I'm curious as to how important Cha/Wis are.  It seems like there are several blue or skyblue powers at each level that don't depend on the secondaries, so I'm wondering about having them particularly strong at all.  Sure, they help Will def and some skills, but with the +2 class bonus to Will and other easy methods to boost it, it seems like it wouldn't be that huge of a weakness to say, go Dex for weapon/armor feats, Reflex, and initiative.

If you had 10's in both wis and cha, how much are you gimping yourself, and how feasible is it to minimize the impact of that weakness?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Since I haven't actually played a battlemind, I'm curious as to how important Cha/Wis are.  It seems like there are several blue or skyblue powers at each level that don't depend on the secondaries, so I'm wondering about having them particularly strong at all.  Sure, they help Will def and some skills, but with the +2 class bonus to Will and other easy methods to boost it, it seems like it wouldn't be that huge of a weakness to say, go Dex for weapon/armor feats, Reflex, and initiative.

If you had 10's in both wis and cha, how much are you gimping yourself, and how feasible is it to minimize the impact of that weakness?



If you go Persistent Harrier its possible to not use either. I like higher Will than I like higher Reflex, but its certainly feasible. Rather easily feasible actually
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!
I was planning on Harrier regardless of secondary, so that helps.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I was about to make a very similar observation; it's very, very easy to make a Battlemind that's primarily getting just Will defense out of his or her Wis or Cha score. There's only about a dozen and a half powers in the battlemind's entire repertoire that use each, so you always have great options, and even the ones that do use them sometimes don't use them for anything important, or stick them in a highly situational small augment or an impractically pricy large augment. The primary draw of Wis is the level 1 power Iron Fist, or for characters that find the flavor of the aspect powers sufficiently appealing that they're willing to take them even though past heroic the wisdom-using ones are direly outclassed. Charisma fares a little better - it contributes to both Lightning Rush and Forceful Reversal in meaningful ways - but those powers stand on their own without its help. (There are some powers where a good charisma score really does make the power, though.) It's also more relevant for more paragon paths. Pretty much any battlemind can afford to start with a 14 or whatever in their secondary, because it's really not nearly as vital  for them as it is for most other classes. (You're -1 Will vs. starting with a 16, but those points are going somewhere, so presumably you're either up 2 Con (which besides being +1 Fort is +1 Damage/Riders/Hit) or up 2 Dex (+1 Ref/Init). Unless you're really trying to maximize certain paragon paths or less prominant powers, I wouldn't bat an eye at a Battlemind starting with a 14 - or even lower! - in a secondary in order to qualify for feats or whatever. I also think it's non-crazy for a Battlemind to be dex-secondary.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Except no Battlemind should really be using Lightning Rush Augment 1. Losing your standard Action for an Immediate is not worth it. However The rest is totally true. What this really allows a battlemind to do is effectively qualify for feats like Heavy Blade Op, Multiclass, and others. For example, my battlemind took the 16/14/14/12 (Con/Wis/Str/Dex), (I'm a Revenant with boosts to Con/Dex) so I can easily qualify for both Monk MC and HBO, while bumping WIS for Disciple of Death and Will defense. I prefer higher Will Defense vs. Higher reflex as attacks vs. Will tend to stun/daze/dominate, which kills your ability to defend. Immobilize and slow hurt, a lot. But not being able to take immediates/actions hurts more
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!