Empathic Elements: Making It Healing Rain with an Ardent in Athas

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Empathic Elements
"Everyone knows Athas kills. I will show you Athas cares."
This build is centered around the level 11 feature of the Rainbringer paragon path, Rain Blessed. It grants adjacent allies 1/2 their surge in temp hit points whenever you use any power with the Healing keyword. That's a lot of temp hit points. And it doesn't matter if you hit or not if you happen to use an attack power.

We combine that with the level 7 Ardent at-will Healing power, Rewarding Strike, and Heavy Blade Opportunity and Polearm Gamble feats. Now we can hand out those temp hit points several times a round if we want and we haven't even multiclassed yet.

Note: This build does not require any magical items or dragonmarks to function. Having said that, if you can get your hands on some Shared Vigor Chainmail it would let you gain some of the temp HP you're passing out to everyone else.

Another feature of the Rainbringer PP allows you to heal everyone in 2 squares 3d6 hps and shift them one square when you use an action point. I really like using this with Avenging Spirit, which gives you an action point when an ally drops to 0 or fewer hps. If you go into an encounter without any action points and it gets ugly, you get a free action point that can really turn things around. And finally, this paragon path requires taking Elemental Priest as a theme, but this is awesome too. Not only is the unkillable summoned spirit giving adjacent party members +1 to all defenses, but with a feat in paragon it can grant allies within 2 squares resist 5 to all damage. Layers and layers of defense. 

With all that in mind, the idea of the first build is to grant your team lots of temp hit points, saves, boosts to defenses, damage resist, regen, and healing. And you haven't even used your encounter healing powers. 

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Rain and Wind (multiclass Warlord for Leader/Leader variation)
Rain & Wind, level 30
Half-Elf, Ardent, Rainbringer, Warmaster
Build: Enlightened Ardent
Ardent Mantle: Mantle of Elation
Half elf Power Selection: Knack For Success

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 20, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 26.
LEVEL 21 ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 18, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 24.
LEVEL 11 ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 15, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 21.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 12, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 16.

AC: 42 Fort: 40 Reflex: 39 Will: 45
HP: 176 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 44

TRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +30, Endurance +23, Insight +26, Bluff +28, Athletics +22

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +17, Arcana +15, Dungeoneering +19, Heal +19, History +15, Intimidate +23, Nature +19, Perception +19, Religion +15, Stealth +17, Streetwise +23, Thievery +17

FEATS
Level 1: Heavy Blade Expertise
Level 2: Hafted Defense
Level 4: Improved Defenses (retrained to Epic Reflexes at Level 30)
Level 6: Wind of Sympathy
Level 8: Student of Battle
Level 10: Disciple of Light (retrained to Heavy Blade Opportunity at Level 11)
Level 11: Polearm Gamble
Level 12: Warding Elemental
Level 14: Avenging Spirit
Level 16: Improved Ardent Surge
Level 18: Bolstering Wind
Level 20: Widened Mantle
Level 21: Vital Inspiration
Level 22: Durable
Level 24: Epic Recovery
Level 26: Defensive Surge
Level 28: Superior Will
Level 30: Superior Fortitude

POWERS
Ardent at-will 1: Focusing Strike
Ardent at-will 1: Energizing Strike
Ardent daily 1: Implanted Suggestion
Ardent utility 2: Sympathetic Agony
Ardent at-will 3: Prescient Strike (retrained to Unsteadying Rebuke at Level 12)
Ardent daily 5: Invitation to Defeat
Ardent utility 6: Escalating Fury
Ardent at-will 7: Rewarding Strike (replaces Energizing Strike)
Ardent daily 9: Enlightening Pulse
Ardent utility 10: Reactive Resistance
Ardent at-will 13: Revelatory Strike (replaces Focusing Strike)
Ardent daily 15: Coordinated Effort (replaces Implanted Suggestion)
Ardent utility 16: Diehard
Ardent daily 19: Vitality Transfer (replaces Coordinated Effort)
Ardent utility 22: Insensate Mind

ITEMS
Glaive, Weavemail Armor

For levels 1-10 you're a normal Ardent with a Glaive instead of a Greatspear, and Knack for Success which is a fun leader power. 

At 11 you pick up HBO and Polearm Gamble with Rain Blessed. Now you're granting huge temp hitpoints.  Don't be afraid to use Knack for Success to shift to good positions to take advantage of Polearm Gamble.

With level 12 we get Warding Elementals and  Unsteadying Rebuke. If someone hits us, use augment 2 to slide them away. If they come back next round, great, that's another Polearm Gamble attack for us and more temp hit points or a save for our allies. It's not like we need power points for anything.

At 16 we grant adjacent bloodied allies 2 regen, and our Ardent Surges get a CHA bonus to healing. 

From late paragon into epic our Second Wind gets very powerful. When we use it at 26, all bloodied allies in our 10 square mantle regain 10+WIS mod hit points, one person can use their Second Wind for free with our CHA mod as a bonus to it, and an adjacent ally gets +2 to defenses. We can do that twice an encounter if we have to. 

The Warmaster epic destiny is a great fit for this build. Now we're essentially immune to surprise rounds, we grant actions, and best of all: we can spend as many action points in an encounter as we want. This combined with Avenging Spirit and Rainbringer Action gives us infinite healing as long as we're alive and can get within 2 squares of the dying party member to heal them back to life with the action point their dying granted.

Mobile edition: Drop Knack For Success and pick up Fallen Needle as a Dilettante, and swap out Widened Mantle for Versatile Master. This gives you an at-will minor action that lets you either move 3 or shift. Great for getting into or out of sticky spots.

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Since the main thrust of this build has Heavy Blade Opportunity and Polearm Gamble, it isn't hard to slip Polearm Momentum in there for some fun.

Mudslide (multiclass Fighter for Leader/Controller variation)

Mudslide, level 30
Half-Elf, Ardent, Rainbringer, Topaz Crusader
Build: Enlightened Ardent
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Ardent Mantle: Mantle of Elation
Bound to Greatness: Bound to Greatness (Charisma)
Half elf Power Selection: Dilettante

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 20, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 28.
LEVEL 21 ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 18, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 26.
LEVEL 11 ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 15, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 21.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 12, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 16.

AC: 46 Fort: 43 Reflex: 44 Will: 47
HP: 177 Surges: 12 Surge Value: 44

TRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +31, Endurance +25, Insight +25, Bluff +29

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +18, Arcana +15, Dungeoneering +18, Heal +18, History +15, Intimidate +24, Nature +18, Perception +18, Religion +15, Stealth +18, Streetwise +24, Thievery +18, Athletics +18

FEATS
Level 1: World Serpent's Grasp
Level 2: Heavy Blade Expertise
Level 4: Hafted Defense
Level 6: Wind of Sympathy (retrained to Polearm Momentum at Level 12)
Level 8: Battle Awareness
Level 10: Disciple of Light (retrained to Heavy Blade Opportunity at Level 11)
Level 11: Polearm Gamble
Level 12: Versatile Master
Level 14: Avenging Spirit
Level 16: Improved Defenses
Level 18: Wind of Sympathy
Level 20: Striking Resurgence
Level 21: Endangering Outrage
Level 22: Armor Specialization (Chainmail)
Level 24: Epic Recovery
Level 26: Disciple of Justice
Level 28: Epic Reflexes
Level 30: Superior Fortitude

POWERS
Ardent at-will 1: Wave of Fatigue
Ardent at-will 1: Energizing Strike
Dilettante: Eldritch Strike
Ardent daily 1: Implanted Suggestion
Ardent utility 2: Sympathetic Agony
Ardent at-will 3: Unsteadying Rebuke
Ardent daily 5: Fate Exchange (retrained to Invitation to Defeat at Level 13)
Ardent utility 6: Opportunity Seized
Ardent at-will 7: Rewarding Strike (replaces Energizing Strike)
Ardent daily 9: Passage of Swords
Ardent utility 10: From the Brink
Ardent daily 15: Coordinated Effort (replaces Implanted Suggestion)
Ardent utility 16: Diehard
Ardent daily 19: Mind Rend (replaces Coordinated Effort)
Ardent utility 22: Borrowed Time
Ardent daily 25: Summons to Doom (replaces Invitation to Defeat)
Ardent daily 29: Explosive Summons (replaces Summons to Doom)

ITEMS
Staggering Glaive, Weavemail Armor, Rushing Cleats

I try to avoid requiring specific magic items for Dark Sun builds, but this one would benefit from either Rushing Cleats or a Staggering Weapon so your Eldritch Strike would prone with Polearm Momentum. It isn't required for the build to work as it has a toolbelt full of fun options to annoy the enemy, but would be helpful.

With this variation, you can slow and prone right from level 1 with Wave of Fatigue and World Serpents Grasp. Since Wave of Fatigue slows them until the end of your next turn, your next attack will always prone that target if you hit. 

By level 12 we have our polearm feats together, and whenever we get attacked we can use Unsteadying Rebuke aug2  to push and prone enemies after the attack. This gets them away, and opens up more opportunities for Polearm Gamble to trigger when they come back. If we've got a Staggering Weapon or Rushing Cleats, our Eldritch Strike is proning too. Lots of knockdowns going on.

Late paragon and early epic we pick up Wind of Sympathy again and add on Striking Resurgence and Disciple of Justice.  We now have the option of using our Second Wind to heal someone else, let another person use their Second Wind for free, and we get a melee basic attack (Eldritch Strike) for free. Thanks to Epic Recovery we can do this twice an encounter if we want. Healing and controlling all tied into one. On top of that, Endangering Outrage opens up a vulnerability on enemies when we use Outrage. 

Took the solid Topaz Crusader epic destiny for this build. Increases our defenses, gives us nice immunities, power points, and even a minor action healing power that will trigger Rainbringer.

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I know what you're saying. You're saying, "Sure, fighters make great controllers, but I want an awesome leader build that can do all the traditional controller things. You know, like daze monsters, use implements, push things and kill minions in a close blast 5, use rituals, be good at skills, make enemies miss, restrain things. That kind of stuff."

This build is for you.

Rainy Daze (multiclass Bard for Leader/Controller variation)

Rainy Daze, level 30
Half-Elf, Ardent, Rainbringer, Draconic Incarnation
Build: Euphoric Ardent
Ardent Mantle: Mantle of Clarity
Arcane Implement Proficiency: Arcane Implement Proficiency (heavy blade group)
Ancient Resurgence: Ancient Resurgence (Charisma)
Ancient Resurgence: Ancient Resurgence (Wisdom)
Half elf Power Selection: Dilettante
Quickened Spellcasting: Beguiling Strands

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 14, Wis 22, Cha 28.
LEVEL 21 ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 14, Wis 20, Cha 26.
LEVEL 11 ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 11, Dex 15, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 21.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 8, Dex 13, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 16.

AC: 42 Fort: 42 Reflex: 42 Will: 45
HP: 169 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 42

TRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +31, Heal +26, Endurance +20, Bluff +29, Arcana +22

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +20, Dungeoneering +24, History +20, Insight +26, Intimidate +27, Nature +24, Perception +24, Religion +20, Stealth +20, Streetwise +27, Thievery +20, Athletics +20

FEATS
Bardic Ritualist: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Bardic Dilettante (retrained to Bardic Ritualist at Level 12)
Level 2: Combat Virtuoso
Level 4: Ritual Caster (retrained to Arcane Implement Proficiency at Level 13)
Level 6: Heavy Blade Expertise
Level 8: Hafted Defense
Level 10: Bard of All Trades (retrained to Heavy Blade Opportunity at Level 11)
Level 11: Polearm Gamble
Level 12: Versatile Master
Level 14: Psychic Lock
Level 16: Defending Dabbler
Level 18: Improved Defenses
Level 20: Bard of All Trades
Level 21: Quickened Spellcasting
Level 22: Critical Understanding
Level 24: Improved Ardent Surge
Level 26: Superior Initiative
Level 28: Epic Reflexes
Level 30: Epic Fortitude

POWERS
Ardent at-will 1: Energizing Strike
Ardent at-will 1: Impetuous Ruin
Dilettante: Beguiling Strands
Ardent daily 1: Implanted Suggestion
Ardent utility 2: Sympathetic Agony
Ardent at-will 3: Unsteadying Rebuke
Ardent daily 5: Invitation to Defeat
Ardent utility 6: Opportunity Seized
Ardent at-will 7: Rewarding Strike (replaces Energizing Strike)
Ardent daily 9: Primordial Retribution
Ardent utility 10: From the Brink
Ardent at-will 13: Confusing Strike (replaces Impetuous Ruin)
Ardent daily 15: Extermination Urge (replaces Implanted Suggestion)
Ardent utility 16: Diehard
Ardent daily 19: Mind Rend (replaces Extermination Urge)
Ardent utility 22: Borrowed Time
Ardent at-will 23: Restorative Smash (replaces Rewarding Strike)
Ardent daily 25: Summons to Doom (replaces Invitation to Defeat)
Ardent daily 29: Lethal Delusion (replaces Mind Rend)
Ancient Arcanist: Frenzied Rhythm
Ancient Arcanist: Minions of Malbolge


ITEMS
Glaive, Weavemail Armor


I like this build a lot. It can do everything a controller would want to do, and takes full advantage of the Rainbringer's implement powers due to Arcane Implement Proficiency. We took Beguiling Strands as our dilettante power and can attack with it with our CHA thanks to Combat Virtuoso.  This is a close blast 5 power that pushes 3 squares and does our INT mod in damage. It's only one damage, but that's enough to kill minions. On top of that, we take Psychic Lock and Defending Dabbler in Paragon so it now puts enemies at -2 to hit, and marks them. If they come after us, we use Polearm Gamble and Heavy Blade Opportunity to either give them another -2 to hit thanks to Confusing Strike, or use Rewarding Strike (and later Restorative Smash) to grant everyone adjacent 1/2 their surge in temp hit points due to Rain Blessed. If we miss, Opportunity Seized gives us a second try.  If they attack us, after the attack is resolved (hit or miss) we Immediate Reaction attack them with an Unsteadying Rebuke aug2 and push them away. Then we can do whatever we want during our standard turn. Like taunt them into coming adjacent again.

Daze from level one on with Impetuous Ruin. Uses Beguiling Strands with CHA for the attack from level 2. Casts rituals from level 4. Beguiling Strands becomes at-will at 12.  Pick up Arcane Implement proficiency at level 13.  Psychic Lock and Defending Dabbler by 16. Bard of all Trades at 20 (our worst skills are still +20 at level 30). 

Draconic Incarnation epic destiny gives us +2 CHA and +2 WIS, very strong daily death prevention feature, and a daily power that lets you polymorph into 3x3 squares of Polearm Gamble madness! At 30 we can pick up two more dailies, and since we have Arcane Implement Proficiency, we can grab powers from Bard or Warlock or Sorceress. If your DM lets Combat Virtuoso apply here, then you have even more choices. Frenzied Rhythm, Minions of Malbolge, and Life-Shock Sigil are all excellent powers as is.
 
The Intimident: Ridiculous Intimidate on a Dragonborn Ardent Wild Mindreaver: A Dark Sun Brutal Barrage Crit-Fishing Battlemind Empathic Elements: Making It Rain Healing with an Ardent in Athas
The downside of this feature is that it tends to keep the party clustered -- to work effectively. By paragon things will be bursting/blasting the party quite frequently, so those temps are somewhat neutralized by this aspect.

If you have a way of staying mobile that allows you to use this feature but avoid ending your turn next to allies -- on a consistent basis -- then you have something. 
That would be very easy to do. Swap Knack for Success with Fallen Needle as a Dilettante, and drop Widened Mantle for Versatile Master. Then you have an at-will power that lets you use a minor action to move 3 squares or shift. I considered doing the build this way but thought the versatility that Knack For Success brings might be more useful overall.
The Intimident: Ridiculous Intimidate on a Dragonborn Ardent Wild Mindreaver: A Dark Sun Brutal Barrage Crit-Fishing Battlemind Empathic Elements: Making It Rain Healing with an Ardent in Athas
Sounds tasty.  A bit like... CHOCOLATE RAIN!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwTZ2xpQwpA 
[20:53] [SadisticFish] yeah Llamas convinced me
Ranged Healing power ??


I could see a build, with the Ardent pinging out batches of Healing powers
for almost every action in a round. Monster moves = Ardent heals.
Monster(s) attack = Ardent heals ; etc ...



minor quibble --- the pic is the 3.5e Psion XPH entry header.
Lots of various Ardent pics floating around.
Perhaps one of those instead ... pretty please ...

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

Ranged Healing power ??


I could see a build, with the Ardent pinging out batches of Healing powers
for almost every action in a round. Monster moves = Ardent heals.
Monster(s) attack = Ardent heals ; etc ...

Would love to hear some ideas for this. Keep in mind the power has to have the Healing keyword, and it only grants THP to people adjacent to the Ardent, so ranged healing isn't as amazing.


minor quibble --- the pic is the 3.5e Psion XPH entry header.
Lots of various Ardent pics floating around.
Perhaps one of those instead ... pretty please ...

I had a really hard time finding a good pic for this, and frankly the only way this pic could be better is if she were wearing chainmail. As is, it has: psionic, spirit, desert feel, could pass for half-elf, long glaive-like weapon. That ain't bad. Will happily consider others though!
The Intimident: Ridiculous Intimidate on a Dragonborn Ardent Wild Mindreaver: A Dark Sun Brutal Barrage Crit-Fishing Battlemind Empathic Elements: Making It Rain Healing with an Ardent in Athas
Great stuff. I really like this concept.

That said, IIRC the summons available in the Elemental Priest theme actually have a very short duration (until the end of your next turn or something) this little bit of information is very hard to locate though. I recall being uncertain of the duration myself and doing some research on it and coming to that conclusion. I don't have my DS book with me at the moment though so I can't be certain about that.

Of course all that really means (assuming I am right about this) is that you would be best off not investing heavily in that feature. The build as a whole is still very strong. 
Great stuff. I really like this concept.

That said, IIRC the summons available in the Elemental Priest theme actually have a very short duration (until the end of your next turn or something) this little bit of information is very hard to locate though. I recall being uncertain of the duration myself and doing some research on it and coming to that conclusion. I don't have my DS book with me at the moment though so I can't be certain about that.

Of course all that really means (assuming I am right about this) is that you would be best off not investing heavily in that feature. The build as a whole is still very strong. 

Thanks! I like feedback, good or bad.

According to Customer Service, it lasts until the end of the encounter. I used to play in a game where we treated it like shaman spirits, which means it could get attacked and killed. So there's always some DM specific stuff to take into account, but the rules as written (and verified by Wizards) appears to be that the spirit lasts the whole encounter unless you dismiss it.

I used to think this was too powerful, but the other theme class features are really powerful, and I think having it only last one turn or making it killable takes away most of its usefulness. As it is, you have to spend a move action to move it so it isn't always easy to use after the initial placement.
The Intimident: Ridiculous Intimidate on a Dragonborn Ardent Wild Mindreaver: A Dark Sun Brutal Barrage Crit-Fishing Battlemind Empathic Elements: Making It Rain Healing with an Ardent in Athas
Spirit of Athas lasting all encounter is way too powerful at paragon.  Warding Elemental is an absolutely ridiculous feat if the spirit lasts all encounter.
Ranged Healing power ??


I could see a build, with the Ardent pinging out batches of Healing powers
for almost every action in a round. Monster moves = Ardent heals.
Monster(s) attack = Ardent heals ; etc ...

Would love to hear some ideas for this. Keep in mind the power has to have the Healing keyword, and it only grants THP to people adjacent to the Ardent, so ranged healing isn't as amazing.


minor quibble --- the pic is the 3.5e Psion XPH entry header.
Lots of various Ardent pics floating around.
Perhaps one of those instead ... pretty please ...

I had a really hard time finding a good pic for this, and frankly the only way this pic could be better is if she were wearing chainmail. As is, it has: psionic, spirit, desert feel, could pass for half-elf, long glaive-like weapon. That ain't bad. Will happily consider others though!


Thinking // Fantasizing out loud on the first.


3.5 Ardent


4.0 Ardent on preview page

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

Back from vacation and finally updated with MC Fighter variation that uses Polearm Momentum for a more controllerish aspect rather than being a pure leader like the first build.

Have an even more controllerish build coming soon that is MC Bard and has lots of the usual controller attack options. 
The Intimident: Ridiculous Intimidate on a Dragonborn Ardent Wild Mindreaver: A Dark Sun Brutal Barrage Crit-Fishing Battlemind Empathic Elements: Making It Rain Healing with an Ardent in Athas
Added the third, and likely final, variation: Rainy Daze. It's a MC Bard that grows into an incredibly convincing controller build.  It can daze at level 1 and stun in a close burst 5 by 30; has a close blast 5 at-will that pushes, marks, -2 hit, and kills minions using a Heavy Blade as an implement; ritual caster; skill monkey. All of this while still being a very competent leader that hands out 1/2 surge value in temp hit points to adjacent allies every time an enemy comes adjacent. I think this may be my favorite version.
The Intimident: Ridiculous Intimidate on a Dragonborn Ardent Wild Mindreaver: A Dark Sun Brutal Barrage Crit-Fishing Battlemind Empathic Elements: Making It Rain Healing with an Ardent in Athas