Low Heroic Optimization

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A lot of the threads I see here have build of optimized characters up to level 30, or ideas that can only be implemented at paragon tier or above.  I figured it would be fun to have a thread full of tricks / builds / items that work nicely around level 4 (the minimum for the "Enchant Item" ritual, and hence relaible access to specific items).  So... post away.  I'll reserve a few posts at the top and figure out how to collate / organize the stuff I see.
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Two nice ones I've found:

Level 2 - Preservation Shield  
An item daily that can grant 10 or more temp HPs to all your allies is huge at this level.  Only drawbacks are you ideally want it on a character who has lots of surges (making it ideal for a Battlemind, perhaps other defenders with good Con scores) and those characters typically have Heavy Shield Proficiency, so may not want to be stuck with a light shield. 
I plan to pick one up for my levle 4 sentinel druid, who has con 20, but that's arguably a poor build.

Level 4 - Avalanche Hammer, Scout, Aspect of the Charging Ram
Charge moves don't provoke, and charge attacks do 1[w] extra.  Nice, eh?  Combine with "Cunning Stalker" and bounce around like a pinball between lone enemies (probably artilary or skimishers) encouraging them to bunch up for your controller(s) to blast.  Works nicely as long as thier are two enemies on the board seperated by at least 3 squares, after which you shift to another stance (likely Aspect of the Lurking Spider).
Feel free to cherry pick some of the Heroic builds I have in my DPR king candidates(in my sig).  The builds there have some lovely tricks for DPR.  I have level 1 and level 6 ideas.  I think you'll find some great things there.
DPR King Candidates 3.0
How much damage should I shoot for?
You're fired : 1 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .2 KPR Fair Striker : 2 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .4 KPR Highly Optimized : 3 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .6 KPR Nerfbat please : 4 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .8 KPR It's OVER 9000!!!!!: 5 Kills Per 5 Rounds = 1+ KPR
DPR? KPR? KP4R? Bless you
DPR = Damage Per round ~= Chance to hit * damage on a hit KPR = Kills Per Round. 1 Kill = 8*Level+24 damage = DPR/(8*level+24) KPNR = Kills Per N Rounds. How many standards can you kill in N rounds?
One I am hoping to put up when I have the chance is a half orc monk/barbarian hybrid. 

At level 1 it can start out next to an enemy, shift 2 at will with five storms then charge in with pressing strike.  By mid heroic it can charge 9 and shift 3 at will.  Slightly less damage than a pure barbarian, but more mobile.
I'll just do the obvious and link this.

The last few posts in there have some interesting ideas. 



Also, kudos for making this, it's an interesting area to optimize in. 
Apparently people have trouble realizing the problems addressed early on in this thread and the others like this. You can come up with fun tricks and things in four levels, but by level four you have 3/4 feats, and 5/6 powers. Humans trump everything else at this level because of the additional feat and power. You can build toawrds a trick, but "optimization" is hard because  to be truly practically optimized for something specific you generally have to lose something else due to lack of resources. Sure I can make something with huge DPR by level 4, but he's probably gonna lack in other areas. But, alas, carry on.
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!
Fun tricks are good at low levels! If only because there's not much else...here's a build I'm fond of:

Faith, Invoker|Shaman
Faith, level 4
Human, Wrathful Invoker|World Speaker Shaman
Hybrid Talent: Spirit Power (World Speaker)
Theme: Hospitaler

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 8

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 15, Dex 10, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 8

AC: 19 Fort: 18 Reflex: 14 Will: 20
HP: 39 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 9

TRAINED SKILLS
Heal, Insight, Nature, Perception

FEATS
Human: Armour Proficiency: Chainmail
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Battlewise
Level 4: Vistani Heritage

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Grasping Shards
Hybrid at-will 1: Spirit Infusion
Hybrid encounter 1: Thunder of Judgement
Hybrid daily 1: Silent Malediction
Hybrid utility 2: Divine Call
Hybrid encounter 3: Steadfast Mountain Guardian

Class Power: Call Spirit Companion (at-will)
Class Power: World Speaker's Command (at-will)
Class Power: Healing Spirit (encounter)
Class Power: Speak With Spirits (encounter)
Theme Power: Shield of Devotion (encounter)
Race Power: Heroic Effort (encounter)
Feat Power: Evil Eye of the Vistani (encounter)


ITEMS
Time Link Chainmail +1, Staff of the Traveler +1, Brooch of No Regrets +1


At low levels, controllers suffer because their main source of control - their encounter and daily powers - have yet to become fully available. Faith is a build designed to work around that. The build sacrifices some raw control by hybriding shaman, but in return gains the world speaker's spirit companion: a form of extremely potent control that can drastically limit a DM's options. Combined with grasping shards (an unpopular invoker power but vital for the slow effect), the spirit companion turns into a daunting wall and makes a great opening - saving your encounter powers for later in the battle. Thunder of Judgement is an extremely powerful encounter power and, used carefully, is tantamount to a semi-stun. It also pushes much like Steadfast Mountain Guardian and these (in addition to Divine Call) can be used to reestablish control when combined with the spirit companion and the evil eye of the Vistani (which is a semi-imobolise on melee enemies).

At heart, Faith is a powerful low-level controller and that is the main focus of the build. However, being part invoker and part shaman, there are some leader aspects too - an encounter heal, buffs from powers, and the hospitaler theme to accentuate that. Faith is very feat tight in the early going though, requring both chain proficiency and hybrid talent, and so benefits from houserules such as free expertise feats.
Any ranged striker with an RBA can be optimized around that.  I gave my StarLock CHR 20, the Arcane Reserves feat, and all the +RBA equipment (which is L1-2-3) so I can kick out a 1d10+10 Eldritch Blast all day every day at L5.  My next project is going to be getting my Curse out so I can act more like "a Warlock", not "a blaster Wizard with a whole lotta fluff text".

Neat trick: an MBA/RBA party can get the (L4?) gloves with "Property: When you are bloodied, your friend nearby can make a basic attack."  You never need to upgrade them because properties don't scale - so you could make your own right away as top-end items, or wait until they are cheap to buy.  (Your Essentials Strikers buddies will love you.)  When my Warlock gets rich, he is going to get a half-dozen and pass them out at the beginning of LFR adventures, then collect them back at the end of the session.

Best complements I have yet received:

Show

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

Show

Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

Auspisios (Sp) birth is great background for characters that do not have prim/sec con.  It allows you to use your primary stat for HP instead of con and 8-12 extra HP at 1st level can be a very big deal.  Combine that with toughness and you have very high HP build.

Mathius
Apparently people have trouble realizing the problems addressed early on in this thread and the others like this. You can come up with fun tricks and things in four levels, but by level four you have 3/4 feats, and 5/6 powers. Humans trump everything else at this level because of the additional feat and power. You can build toawrds a trick, but "optimization" is hard because  to be truly practically optimized for something specific you generally have to lose something else due to lack of resources. Sure I can make something with huge DPR by level 4, but he's probably gonna lack in other areas. But, alas, carry on.


 
Well, I'm probably more interested in fun tricks than "optimization" in the sense you mention.  However, just because a character lacks something doesn't mean they aren't optimized; to me, optimization just means you do the best at getting what you want out of the character, given what you have to work with.
I think non-humans do just fine at low levels.  At low levels, some of the racial powers are much better than what you can get with the human's extra feat / power.  They tend not to result in as focused a character, but they can do a nice job of adding a secondary role / filling a weakness.

Got some stuff to look at and sum up now...
Any ranged striker with an RBA can be optimized around that.  I gave my StarLock CHR 20, the Arcane Reserves feat, and all the +RBA equipment (which is L1-2-3) so I can kick out a 1d10+10 Eldritch Blast all day every day at L5.  My next project is going to be getting my Curse out so I can act more like "a Warlock", not "a blaster Wizard with a whole lotta fluff text".

Neat trick: an MBA/RBA party can get the (L4?) gloves with "Property: When you are bloodied, your friend nearby can make a basic attack."  You never need to upgrade them because properties don't scale - so you could make your own right away as top-end items, or wait until they are cheap to buy.  (Your Essentials Strikers buddies will love you.)  When my Warlock gets rich, he is going to get a half-dozen and pass them out at the beginning of LFR adventures, then collect them back at the end of the session.



I went through the online compendium looking for Gloves with the word "basic" or "bloodied" in the text and found nothing that seemed close to this item. Do you happen to know what it is?
Apparently people have trouble realizing the problems addressed early on in this thread and the others like this. You can come up with fun tricks and things in four levels, but by level four you have 3/4 feats, and 5/6 powers. Humans trump everything else at this level because of the additional feat and power. You can build toawrds a trick, but "optimization" is hard because  to be truly practically optimized for something specific you generally have to lose something else due to lack of resources. Sure I can make something with huge DPR by level 4, but he's probably gonna lack in other areas. But, alas, carry on.

You should also remember the optimized, does not nessassarily mean specialized. The invoker build above is a controller that can bring some extra damage versatility and be fun. With the new themes these also now brings more low level optimisation to the table. A guardian hellish rebuke tiefling warlock, can bring some interesting pain to encounters for instance... Actually I may go and build that now, just to see what it's like.

Grace, level 1 snapshot

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Grace, level 1
Tiefling, Warlock
Build: Scourge Warlock
Eldritch Pact: Infernal Pact
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Gritty Sergeant Benefit: Weapon Proficiency (Greatsword)
Background: Gritty Sergeant (Gritty Sergeant Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 18, Dex 10, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 17.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 15.


AC: 16 Fort: 14 Reflex: 12 Will: 14
HP: 30 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 7

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +8, Arcana +6, Bluff +10, Streetwise +8

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics -1, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering -1, Endurance +3, Heal -1, History +1, Insight -1, Nature -1, Perception -1, Religion +1, Stealth +1, Thievery -1, Athletics

FEATS
Level 1: Armor Proficiency: Chainmail

POWERS
Eldritch Blast: Eldritch Strike
Infernal Pact: Hellish Rebuke
Warlock encounter 1: Chains of Levistus
Warlock daily 1: Armor of Agathys

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Rod Implement, Chainmail, Greatsword
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


So a quick fun infernal warlock, with a greatsword...
Hits a target with Hellish rebuke, and make it trigger with guardian's counter, if they target an ally with in 2 of you.
If they do, swap with ally and you get to invoke Hellish rebuke's damage {1d6+4}, then use your infernal wrath for a further {1d6+3} and then make a basic attack, which is your Eldritch strike for +7 vs AC for 1d10+4 damage.

All at 1st level... not to shabby, bet we could improve upon it...
Apparently people have trouble realizing the problems addressed early on in this thread and the others like this. You can come up with fun tricks and things in four levels, but by level four you have 3/4 feats, and 5/6 powers. Humans trump everything else at this level because of the additional feat and power. You can build toawrds a trick, but "optimization" is hard because  to be truly practically optimized for something specific you generally have to lose something else due to lack of resources. Sure I can make something with huge DPR by level 4, but he's probably gonna lack in other areas. But, alas, carry on.


 
Well, I'm probably more interested in fun tricks than "optimization" in the sense you mention.  However, just because a character lacks something doesn't mean they aren't optimized; to me, optimization just means you do the best at getting what you want out of the character, given what you have to work with.




Optimization is about making quality choices when one is presented when making a character. At lower levels the amount of choices is lower therefore the difference between an optimal character and a normal character is negligible. We are talking about a difference of less than 5-10 dpr for strikers (unless you dpr kings it which is completely impractical for actual play). It isn't until paragon you start see the big divide between optimized and normal characters simply because the amount of choices are there to let you see the difference between someone that picked quality choices and someone who was a bit more chaotic.

Furthermore, trying to get the most out of your character at level 4-8, could very well pigeon-hole you later on as you simply can't retrain enough option fast enough or you have some options that are not retrainable (like a 17 starting stat to optimize for level 4-7). You need to have a plan for paragon when making an optimized character to prevent this and simply because of the above paragraph, the amount it 'hurts' you is negligible.


The best way to optimize for heroic and not hurt yourself with the above is to take a build and look where you could retrain. Take Shoot to Thrill, Rogue MC is fairly useless until you get treetop sniper, perhaps fill that in with a damage feat then retrain it later. Look for a way to have a light shield on an implement user before DIS becomes efficient. Maybe an Exec Axe is better than a gouge for 4 levels and you don’t have your charging items to make spear expertise useful. It is little stuff like that.



Furthermore, trying to get the most out of your character at level 4-8, could very well pigeon-hole you later on as you simply can't retrain enough option fast enough or you have some options that are not retrainable (like a 17 starting stat to optimize for level 4-7). You need to have a plan for paragon when making an optimized character to prevent this and simply because of the above paragraph, the amount it 'hurts' you is negligible.

On the other hand, if you know that you will only play between the levels of 4 and 8 and will never reach paragon, then you don't have to worry about what kind of state you'll be in in paragon. Furthermore, in that situation it's somewhat disheartening to look for interesting builds and be stuck looking at builds that, while definitely playable in heroic tier, are largely built to take advantage of paragon path features.

I'm joining a campaign this Friday at level 3, and I'm moving out of state in two months, so I doubt I'll see level 8 (much less paragon), prompting me to make this character:
Show
Sekhmet, Level 3 Deva Paladin

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 13, Dex 8, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 19. 

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 13, Dex 8, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 17. 

AC: 22 Fort: 14 Reflex: 15 Will: 17
HP: 40 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 10 

FEATS
Level 1: Mark of Warding
Level 2: Power of the Sun 

POWERS
Lay on Hands: Ardent Vow
Paladin at-will 1: Enfeebling Strike
Paladin at-will 1: Virtuous Strike
Paladin encounter 1: Valorous Smite
Paladin daily 1: Majestic Halo
Paladin utility 2: Bless Weapon
Paladin encounter 3: Hold Fast 

ITEMS
Sunblade Longsword +1, Dwarven Plate Armor +1, Amulet of Physical Resolve +1, Siberys Shard of Radiance (heroic tier)


The rest of the party consists of a Cleric, Avenger, and a Monk, so Power of the Sun gives a nice force multiplier that other party members can take advantage of, and Ardent Vow and Bless Weapon give me the ability to make up for any damage shortfall. I chose Hold Fast because the Cleric has Cause Fear, and sometimes we'll want to pile on OA damage without actually letting the enemy get away. Next level I can pump Cha and Con and take Battle Intuition to bring my initiative up to snuff. 
exceptions don't make the rule.
" ... Enchant ... " is kinda a mini-game, all unto itself.


Level 6 it takes one ritual slot, for a Wizard or m Wizard. Cheap but late.

Level 4, the party goes to town, and buys a Ritual Book of Enchant.
And says: "Thank you monty haul DM". Party needs a Ritual Class.

Level 3 during, Ritual Class has preplanned his wishlist to include
at the level 4 item slot a Ritual Book of Enchant. Party understands this.

Mark of Making feat, can be taken at levels 1 or 2, or retrained in either or level 3.
Then retrain it away at level 4 after writing Enchant (and the others)
into the Ritual Book. Have to be a Ritual Class. At level 1 it's expensive.
It might be useless for the 2 to 4 no treasure encounters, followed by
the 4 item treasure slots, and only after gets to the Gold treasures.
Can use it to make cheap expendables.

Artificer, but not m Arty (I'm not so sure about h Arty - afb yada yada).
Same as MoM feat above, except you can't retrain away a Class Feature.
Up 1 feat relative to MoM feat until level 4, then down one class feature.


I say MoM feat at level 2. It's worth it there.
No hinky gygaxian DM trouble during level 1.
Does the party want +1 to hit, or +1 to AC, or +1 to NADs ?
Or all of them ?!
And for just one little feat slot.

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

 

This build seems strong straight from the bat at level 1 and does not sacrifice anything in the later levels (as far as I can tell). You tank decently and hit like a truck. As soon as you acquire a vanguard/avalance hammer weapon your charges on a cursed+challenged target do as much as 4d10+8 damage.

[spoiler]Revan, level 4
Human, Warlock|Paladin
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Sorcerer-King Pact (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Reflex
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Hybrid Paladin: Hybrid Paladin Fortitude
Hybrid Talent: Paladin Armor Proficiency
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power
Background: Sarlona, Crusading Zealot (+2 to Diplomacy)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 14, Dex 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 21.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 18.


AC: 23 Fort: 16 Reflex: 17 Will: 18
HP: 42 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +12, Streetwise +12, Endurance +5, Diplomacy +14

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics -1, Arcana +2, Dungeoneering +1, Heal +1, History +2, Insight +1, Intimidate +7, Nature +1, Perception +1, Religion +2, Stealth -1, Thievery -1, Athletics -2

FEATS
Human: Hybrid Talent
Level 1: Mindbite Scorn
Level 2: Crimson Fire
Level 4: Bludgeon Expertise

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Eyebite
Hybrid at-will 1: Enfeebling Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Valorous Smite
Hybrid daily 1: Armor of Winter's Grasp
Hybrid utility 2: Call of Challenge
Hybrid encounter 3: Delban's Deadly Attention

ITEMS
Preservation Shield Heavy Shield (heroic tier), Avalanche Hammer Warhammer +1, Bracers of Mighty Striking (heroic tier), Agile Plate Armor +1[/spoiler
I went through the online compendium looking for Gloves with the word "basic" or "bloodied" in the text and found nothing that seemed close to this item. Do you happen to know what it is?


I goofed up.  What I have in mind is a Weapon of Shared Wrath +1 put on a pair of Spiked Gauntlets.  The result uses your Hands slot and looks like a pair of gloves.  If I'm not mistaken (which never happens Embarassed ), people can still use normal weapons and wear these Gauntlets, too.

Best complements I have yet received:

Show

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

Show

Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

At level 5, a cleric can use Moment of Glory to give all allies resist 5 (sustain minor) and then use Iron to Glass to give an increasing melee damage debuff that stops at +10.  Solo fights with melee monsters become laughable as attacks do 2 or 3 damage.

At level 9 (not quite low heroic), a cleric can use Stream of Life and Divine Power makes it so you regenerate the 5 ongoing you would take, so you are able to just give out 15 surge free hitpoints each round.

Both of these combos require using two dailys, which isn't great, but they are pretty powerful.
Clerics can get regeneration from other sources.  They should usually be taking brew potion ritual for potions of regeneration (160 gp if you ignore the uncommon part), but longtooth shifters and clerics of melora can also get free encounter regeneration.
Good point.  So that would put the Stream of Life combo at level 6 if the cleric is a longtooth shifter, melora worshipper, or relatively wealthy.
Just one minor point about melora.  The regeneration is 2 in heroic, but kicks up to 4 in paragon and only works while bloodied so keep that in mind.  The shifter regen is also only when bloodied.

The regeration potions are the best way to go if you can get them since the regenerattion keeps going even when not bloodied, but they cost money and a surge. 
Just one minor point about melora.  The regeneration is 2 in heroic, but kicks up to 4 in paragon and only works while bloodied so keep that in mind.  The shifter regen is also only when bloodied.

The regeration potions are the best way to go if you can get them since the regenerattion keeps going even when not bloodied, but they cost money and a surge. 


I'm away from my books, but I recall that potions of regen specifically don't work over bloodied.  
The nice thing about longtooth shifters is that using the encounter power on a blood fury hand axe will give him +2 damage all encounter, and also ensure that he heal up to 1/2 HP before spending a surge for healing.  
DPR King Candidates 3.0
How much damage should I shoot for?
You're fired : 1 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .2 KPR Fair Striker : 2 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .4 KPR Highly Optimized : 3 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .6 KPR Nerfbat please : 4 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .8 KPR It's OVER 9000!!!!!: 5 Kills Per 5 Rounds = 1+ KPR
DPR? KPR? KP4R? Bless you
DPR = Damage Per round ~= Chance to hit * damage on a hit KPR = Kills Per Round. 1 Kill = 8*Level+24 damage = DPR/(8*level+24) KPNR = Kills Per N Rounds. How many standards can you kill in N rounds?
The wording is a bit wierd and my memory was slightly off.  You do not regain any hitpoints with the potions while unbloodied, but you can use one while not bloodied and the effect kicks in all encounter whenever you are bloodied.

With melora's tide it stops working for the entire encounter the instant you are no longer bloodied.  Longtooth shifter you have to be bloodied for it to be started, but I think it restarts if you are ever bloodied again that encounter.
exceptions don't make the rule.



No, but they do make valid points for this thread, as such "exeptions" are (among other things) exactly the reason I started this thred.

I suspect that characters which are played from level 1 up to paragon (or higher) are, realistically speaking, the exceptions.  In the real world, if you start at a low level, you foten only play for a few levels before moving on to another character / game.
I've posted it before, and I ran into the 'but its not good at high level play' argument ... so maybe it will be better received here.

Human Rogue.
1) Bogtangle Heritage
1) Bogtangle Warrior
2) Blowgun
4) Vicious Advantage

There, now, at level 4, you have a character that has a ranged immobilize @-will that also happens to enable combat advantage and thus sneak attack damage (which you can later boost with backstabber).  Technically the combo will start working at level 2, but you get the sneak attack damage component added on at level 4.

At this tier there isn't much that can deal with a ranged immobilize (especially when you're piling on sneak attack damage). 
Starting from level 1, a Swordmage with Booming Blade and Rose King's Shield can get 10 THP at-will.
This thread has a bunch of Swordmage|Warlock builds in it for striker/defender shenanigans with Aegis of Assault and Eldritch Strike. [/blatant advertising]
1st level Assault Swordmage|Warlock, charisma primary. Take eybite as an at-will and pact blade manifestation. 

1d6+1d6+cha with eyebite during your turn. Being invisible nearly forces the mark to attack someone else, allowing you a second attack at 1d10+1d6+cha with combat advantage.

If everything hits, it's 1d10+3d6+2xcha every turn, which is respectable, though not better than some other builds here. 
1st level Assault Swordmage|Warlock, charisma primary. Take eybite as an at-will and pact blade manifestation. 

1d6+1d6+cha with eyebite during your turn. Being invisible nearly forces the mark to attack someone else, allowing you a second attack at 1d10+1d6+cha with combat advantage.

If everything hits, it's 1d10+3d6+2xcha every turn, which is respectable, though not better than some other builds here. 


This only works theoretically. Because of the changed invisibility rules you 'only' get an effective +5 on your defenses, and if you get high Cha (Which you need because you want to hit) you're completely dumping AC and HP. I built it with 20 Cha for a +5 to hit, and this is what came out. At 13 AC +5 from being invisible, it's still easier (and smarter) for the enemy to whack you than it is to whack whatever else there is.

I'm rather sad it doesn't work though, it seems like such a nice idea on paper. 
 I built it with 20 Cha for a +5 to hit, and this is what came out. At 13 AC +5 from being invisible, it's still easier (and smarter) for the enemy to whack you than it is to whack whatever else there is.

I'm rather sad it doesn't work though, it seems like such a nice idea on paper. 



As a human, I would go 16 int, 18 con instead, avoid pact blade manifestation, and take eldritch strike(con).

The charisma build should be Eladrin (or other Int/Cha) and go 20 Cha, 16 Int.

At level 1 you have 15 AC, 20 against your mark. Ideally you're working with other melee characters, and you force the mark to provoke an AoO to get to you.

At level 2, you might consider taking hybrid talent for shadow walk - at this point you're on par for AC with any other warlock. 
Oh i see, yes. In my hurry i'd forgotten there were other races out there than human. You forego some damage though, not getting Mindbite Scorn early (I have no clue what Pact Blade Manifestation does though, so feel free to correct me on that).