And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook

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"Superior tactics isn't something I run out of.  I can keep this up all day long."


 


Table of Contents



  1. Introduction and selling points of PM (this page)

    • Includes a comparison of PM vs WSG

    • Also includes general guide information (ratings, definitions, etc)



  2. Weapon and Implement overview

    • Includes pros & cons of Push vs Slide

    • Notes on ability scores, and starting the combo early vs late



  3. Races overview and rating

  4. Class overview, and a detailed discussion of the most optimal classes and races

  5. Powers: List of applicable powers, by class

  6. Feats: Relevant feats that enable and enhance PM combos

  7. Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies that assist the combo

  8. Magic Items that enable and enhance PM combos

  9. Discussion of strategy with a prone-inducing build

    • Plus options for the DM on how to respond to a PM build



  10. Example combos and complete builds

  11. Index of feats/items/etc to get the combo started


Introduction - Why does this feat need its own guide?


This is a guide for using the Polearm Momentum feat from Martial Power, which allows you to knock targets prone consistently and effectively with the right support.  Someone once proposed that this is one of the most stolen feats in the game, in that many classes multiclass into fighter just to get it.  With the vast variety of options available to so many classes, and the wide spread of strategies and builds that can come from it, I felt it was expedient to create a guide devoted to this feat.

There are several options out there for a prone build, but PM offers some advantages.  It does not require that the target be slowed (world serpent builds; see comparison below), nor require other circumstantial effects that are a pain to keep applied -- you just have to push or slide 2, which is easy.  It typically allows you to prone targets at-will, on Opportunity Attacks, and on many interrupt attacks like the Fighter's Combat Challenge.  Many characters can have the combo out as early as level 2 or 4 without a serious hit to stats, and there's a host of ways to make the combo work with a variety of classes, including spellcasters!

PM benefits classes from all roles (primary and secondary).  Defenders especially benefit from knocking enemies prone, because it allows them to be stickier and lock the target down (either adjacent or far away) and protect allies.  Strikers like to keep enemies prone for the combat advantage, and for keeping enemies compromised and well-positioned.  Prone enemies have a hard time getting out of flanking and walls of fire.  Controllers and leaders likewise want to keep enemies inhibited and away from vulnerable allies (including themselves), and they love to make a target vulnerable to the rest of the party by knocking them on their face and positioning them next to a striker or defender.

Once PM is combined with other feats like Heavy Blade Opportunity or Polearm Gamble, characters can create insanely effective combos that shut enemies down, protect allies, and make your character a force to be feared.

With all that said, PM has stringent requirements that must be met.  First, you must be a fighter to take the feat.  This isn't as restrictive as its sounds, since multiclassing (one feat) and hybrids can easily satisfy the fighter requirement.  Second, you must have Dexterity and Wisdom both to 15 to take the feat.  This is harsh for classes and races who don't match well with either of those two stats, though it's still doable.  Third, you must be using a polearm or spear, either as a weapon or implement for the attack.  Check the weapon & implements overview section for information on how best to do this.  Fourth and finally, you must push or slide an enemy 2 or more squares with that power to trigger the prone.  A variety of powers, feats and items are available to facilitate this.

Polearm Momentum text

Heroic tier feat
Requirements: Fighter, Dex 15, Wis 15
Benefit: Whenever you use a polearm or spear attack to push or slide a target 2 or more squares, you can also knock that target prone at the end of the forced movement.


In Summary, a Polearm Momentum combo offers:


  • The ability to knock enemies prone with your at-will powers, as well as with many other powers that push or slide

  • The ability to reposition and prone enemies as an OA or immediate interrupt with many classes.  Defenders are especially fond of this.

  • Nearly all the requirements are up-front, so once you've bought into the combo it's easy to implement it simply by pushing or sliding the target.

  • Prone is a potent status that limits the opponent's actions (especially while it's dazed), and allows bonuses to melee attackers.


To do the combo, you must meet these requirements:


  • Class: Be a Fighter (even if you must multiclass or hybrid into it)

  • Stats: Dex 15 & Wis 15

  • Weapon/implement: Use a spear or polearm for the attack (there's plenty of ways to do this even for spellcasters).  PM won't work with powers that don't use a weapon/implement.

  • Power: Use a weapon/implement power that pushes or slides 2 or more (using feats/items/etc to add push/slide or increase distance to 2 is a common strategy).


There's surprisingly many ways to meet these requirements, even for spellcasters and classes that don't normally push/slide.

Some other caveats and quirks we've discovered


  • Same action: From what I can tell, the weapon/implement power you're using to push/slide needs to push/slide as part of the same action.  I've not seen any official rulings either way, but it seems pretty likely to be this way and I'm erring on the safe side.  WSG+HS builds have a similar problem: they only trigger on an attack, and a free action push isn't technically an attack power.

    • For example, the fighter's Tide of Iron power works, as does the barbarian's Pressing Strike.  If a barbarian is in the Iron Hammer Rage and then hits with another attack power, Iron Hammer adds a push to that power and triggers PM.  Mark of Storm + a lightning enchantment is able to add slides to every attack you make.

    • However, Rage of the Tyrant pushes as a separate, minor action, instead of adding a push to the attack action. Likewise the Knight's Hammer Hands stance pushes as a free action, instead of adding a push to the attack action.



  • Target of the Attack: only enemies targeted by the attack are affected by PM (it specifically mentions only the target).

    • Wolfstone Fury can push multiple creatures, but only the target would be proned by PM (if the target was even adjacent).  Tidal Rage can slide multiple enemies with each attack during the rage, but PM only affects the target of the attack that triggers the slide.

    • However, the fighter power Scattering Swing targets each enemy in the burst you can see, meaning PM will trigger separately against each.






Polearm Momentum builds specialize in applying forced movement and prone by nature.  Many can also specialize in the following:


  • Reach: 2-4

  • Battlefield Control, as a defender, controller, etc

  • Attack penalties (stacked with prone)

  • Defender stickiness

  • Self- and Ally-protection (intercept attacks, disable enemies, prevent approach)

  • Extra Damage (e.g. damaging each time you push or prone target)

  • Charging (charge attacks will reposition and prone target, in additon to other effects)

  • Exploiting prone targets with your and allies' attacks

  • Threatening Reach

  • Prone with ranged/area spells, or ranged/throwing weapons

  • etc etc


Which of these you do depends a lot on your class, feat and power selections.  I demonstrate a few in the combos section, and many are shown off nicely in the example builds.


Polearm Momentum vs World Serpent's Grasp


As mentioned above, there are two major branches to building a prone-inducing build: Polearm Momentum and World Serpent's Grasp.  Unfortunately there is not currently a WSG handbook; otherwise I'd link to it (I may make one someday).  I think WSG is a very valid option for a prone build, with real advantages but also with disadvantages.  I present this comparison to help people choose which path is right for them.  It's true I'm potentially biased because I'm writing a PM handbook only, but I've tried to give a fair and accurate assessment of the pros and cons of each.

I mean... How DARE you doubt me!  ;)

PM vs WSG


Requirements


  • Stats (Advantage: WSG)


    • Polearm Momentum requires 15 Dexterity & 15 Wisdom.

    • WSG builds typically have no such requirements.



  • Weapon/Implement (Advantage: WSG)

    • Polearm Momentum only works with Polearms and Spears, and requires powers with the Weapon or Implement keyword.

    • WSG doesn't care about the weapon you're using, opening the doors to many potent combos (especially with hammers).  Presumably, WSG activates even on attacks that do not use a weapon/implement (so long as it's an "attack").



  • Forced Movement (Advantage: WSG)

    • PM only triggers on a push/slide of 2 or more.  PM struggles with slides on ranged and area powers, because these are hard to increase to 2 with items/feats.

    • WSG does not itself require forced movement, but Hindering Shield does.  However, HS cares nothing for distance or type of forced movement, making it much more open.  This can free up the feat or item slot that PM uses to increase forced movement, and HS works on a wider variety of powers.



  • Required Conditions  (Advantage: PM)

    • WSG requires the Slow effect.

    • PM does not require any conditions (just push/slide).



  • Shield   (Advantage: PM)

    • PM does not need a shield, but can benefit from one.

    • Most WSG builds do require a shield because they rely upon Hindering Shield to generate Slow.  A notable exception is rangers using Hobbling Strike.



  • Single vs Multi-attack  (Advantage: PM)

    • WSG builds typically require multiattacking.  The first hit applies slow (usually with HS), and the second hit exploits the slow to prone the target.  Some notable exceptions exist (possibly monk).  Only a few classes can multiattack at-will, limiting WSG's options for that route.

      • It is hard to use a shield and still dual-wield (a common way to multiattack at-will with HS).  Rangers do well with hobbling strike, or ranged and throwing weapons (since only one weapon is required for ranged attacks).  Spiked shield as one of the weapons is another option.



    • PM only requires one hit to prone the target. It benefits from multiattacks, typically exploiting the prone condition it just caused.



  • Earliest Payoff (Advantage: PM)

    • Hindering Shield, a common staple of WSG builds, is a Paragon feat.  This means many WSG builds are paragon bloomers at the earliest.

    • PM can be working at-will as early as level 2-4 in many builds, and gets better in Paragon with various feats.

    • Note that WSG itself is Heroic, so a few builds that can reliably generate and exploit Slow effects can start to perform earlier than Paragon.  For example, rangers using Hobbling Strike.



  • Range (about equal)


    • WSG and PM work well with both melee and ranged powers/builds.



  • Who Gets Proned (Advantage: WSG)

    • PM only prones the target of the attack, even if other creatures were pushed or slid.

    • WSG triggers simply on hitting a slowed target with an attack, and HS applies slow with any forced movement during an attack.  Both work against non-targets.



  • Required Class (Advantage: WSG)

    • PM requires that classify as a fighter, so non-fighters typically have to spend a feat to multiclass into it.

    • WSG has no class requirements



  • Daze (Advantage: WSG)

    • WSG builds can use hammers to daze at-will, a major advantage over PM in Epic.  Daze is an amazing condition when combined with prone.

    • I haven't figured out a way to daze at-will in a PM build.



  • Team Reliance vs Self-Sufficiency (varies)


    • Instead of using HS, some WSG builds rely on allies to apply the slow.  This is a nice option to have, but relying on an ally to make your build work can be tricky and uncomfortable.

    • PM is entirely self-sufficient, which can be good or bad: you don't need allies to do part of the requirements for you, but you don't have the option either.






In the end, World Serpent's Grasp can be easier to get out because it does not have specific stat/class/weapon requirements.  However, it requires applying the slow condition and almost always requires multiattacks to exploit the slow (making it harder to then exploit the prone on the same turn).  Plus a staple method of creating the slow condition (Hindering Shield) is Paragon, so most WSG builds wait until level 11 or later to perform.  That said, WSG's ability to use hammers to mix Daze with Prone at-will can be devastating.

Polearm Momentum has stricter requirements (some of which can be harsh for a few classes), but they're all paid up-front.  Once you've made the investment, you only need to hit once to prone a target, and multiattacks get to exploit the prone on the second hit.  PM builds are inherently forced movement oriented too, so enemies tend to be prone in advantageous positions.  Plus, many PM builds come out in Heroic instead of Paragon, if not early Heroic (level 2 or 4).

That's my view your options.  I hope it's helped!



Scope of This Guide


This guide is specifically focused on Polearm Momentum.  I'm going to omit a huge amount of useful stuff that a character would be out of his mind to not use, simply because I could never hope to cover it all.  I'm just focused on stuff that directly relates to enhancing a PM combo, with the occasional noteworthy side item inserted at my discretion.

I do this out of practicality and self-preservation.  The scope of this guide is naturally rather large, given that I need to cover every race, class, feat, etc that can make a valuable contribution to a PM build.  I'd rather leave everything that's outside this scope to other guides that specifically cover a class or race in the detail they deserve.  You will want to take a weapon/implement expertise feat, defense feats, and so on, even though I don't cover them in this guide.


Ratings


Colored & bolded text typically indicates I'm rating the value and effectiveness of a feat or power.  This rating applies to its relevance and helpfulness in a PM combo, not overall.  Feats I rate poorly for their contribution to PM builds may still be extremely valuable and something you would take anyway.  I only rated them poorly because they don't help PM.

Note that these ratings are also not always universally applicable to all PM builds.  I'll try to note when they're circumstantially good or bad, but if don't then don't be offended that I gave a gold rating to a feat that only applies to one class.  :D  These ratings are suggestions, not the law.

BTW, I willfully, knowingly and shamelessly pilfered this ratings list from the Fighter Handbook, because I think LDB did a good job with is ratings. 

Red: Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Purple: Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Black: OK. You could do worse than pick this, but if you're pressed for feats then you won't miss it.
Blue: Good stuff. You probably want this.
Sky Blue: Excellent value.  You almost certainly want this.
Gold: Nearly anyone compatible with this option will want it.  A defining choice for a build, or possibly anyone taking PM.


Sources


This is a list of books & supplements and their abbreviations.  I will try to eventually cover all these sources; however, if I don't get around to them all (and no one offers to do so for me) then I'll probably remove them from the list so I'm not misleading people into thinking I've got that source covered.

Italics shows a source I haven't examined in detail yet, so I'm probably missing important stuff (unless it came up in my compendium searches).

AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DSCS or sometimes DS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
DP - Divine Power
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
HotFK
- Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
MOTP
- Manual of the Plains
MP - Martial Power
MP 2 - Martial Power 2
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHH 2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
 PrP or sometimes PP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power

Special thanks



  • People in the original discussion thread.  Thanks for the ideas, encouragement and help!  Special thanks to mccowen for the original idea to do a dedicated handbook, even though he wasn't able to be around to do the guide himself.

  • LDB for his amazing fighter handbook, from which I drew inspiration for how to format my own guide.  Plus, his guide for fighters pointed out some amazing feats and items that made some PM builds possible in the first place -- both fighter and non-fighter.  That's part of why I started this guide.

  • Everyone posting -- thanks for your comments and ideas!

  • I got the image at the top of this thread from the Ronin build's thread.  I have no idea how to credit its origins, as the thread's author appears to be gone and I can't ask where he got it.  If you know, please tell me so that I can give credit, and replace it if the author does not approve of its use.


How to help


If you want to suggest a feat/power/weapon/etc for this guide, I'd appreciate details where to find it, especially if compendium doesn't list it for whatever reason.

I love ideas and new takes on the combo.  Feel free to post your build idea (or a link to your build is preferrable to reposting the whole thing here, when able).  I'm planning on including a few links to builds in the guide itself, but I anticipate the greatest ideas to be in the discussion that follows.

I also welcome discussion on my ratings and other parts of the handbook, and I appreciate suggestions for things to add to the guide or fix/change.  I'm only one person though, so I'm limited on how much and how often I can update this guide (and my day job wears me out).  Don't be offended if I don't get to it immediately, I mean no slight against you.  :D

If you see something missing from the guide, suggest it.  It's quite likely that I've missed something, especially since I don't track new releases very closely.
When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook

Weapon and Implement Overview


PM's only true item requirement is that you're using a polearm or spear.  It's a pretty important choice for weapon users because proficiency, damage, and other weapon properties have a huge role to play in the build.  Most implement users are less concerned with which spear/polearm they use than they are with how to use it with their powers.  This section tries to give useful advice to both sides.



Weapons


This section is dedicated to the weapons that qualify for Polearm Momentum.  This choice is critical, as only spears and polearms benefit from PM, and which weapon you choose can have major implications for your class, feat choices, etc.  For example, a halberd qualifies for polearm and axe benefits, while a greatspear counts as a polearm and spear and offers better accuracy.  Most of these options have only a +2 proficiency (greatspear and talenta being the only exceptions), so classes that use a weapon as a weapon instead of as an implement should take note and plan appropriately.

There are two major categories of that apply to most characters:

One-handed spears can easily be combined with a shield and the Battering Shield feat to get the 2+ push/slide necessary, or with a magic item that increases push/slide distance.  A shield is a major survivability bonus for defenders and can offer feat & power support, and many builds choose this to great effect.
Using a magic item instead of a shield saves a feat and allows the off-hand to be left unoccupied.  This is handy for builds that need an empty off-hand to gain certain benefits, such as a Swordmage or Brawler Fighter.  It can also allow two-weapon fighting, which is important to rangers, tempest fighters, and so on.  However, magic items of this nature often start at level 7 or 8 (with staggering weapon as the rare exception), so characters depending on such an item may have to wait longer to start the combo.

Polearms naturally occupy both hands, but they make up for this with reach, feats like Polearm Gamble, paths like Polearm Master and Stoneblessed, and so on.  Polearm Gamble alone allows for some incredible strategies, especially for defenders.  However, polearms typically require either a magic item, the Spear Push paragon feat, or some other method to get their base push distance up to 2+ and initiate the combo.  This means waiting a bit longer to get the combo out.

The Urgrosh is a special case in that it is a double weapon, an axe+spear that occupies both hands.  It's not a polearm and doesn't allow a shield, meaning its strategies and feat choice are quite different from the two major builds.  It's and the very similar githka are discussed a little more below.

Polearms


Glaive (PHB): A heavy blade + polearm combo is nice for many builds.  Heavy blades have great feat support, including Heavy Blade Opportunity which allows using at-wills as an OA (which is especially nice for psionic classes who have tons of at-will powers).  Combined with Polearm Gamble, this has immense implications for classes like battlemind, who can do great things with it.  Depending on application, this can make glaives powerful or really powerful in Paragon.

Great Spear (AV): Though most (or all?) characters must use a feat to gain proficiency with it, the great spear is an excellent weapon due to its high accuracy and good damage die.  This is one of only two PM weapons with a +3 proficiency bonus, so it's a favorite among many PM builds.

Halberd (PHB): An axe + polearm combo is interesting.  Axe feats tend to require lots of strength and constitution, which is challenging because PM already has stringent requirements in two stats.  However, axes offer some nice damage bonuses and a few fantastic gems like Knockback Swing, an epic tier feat that always pushes on an OA even if you miss.  Many polearm builds will be trading in their weapon for a halberd in Epic to make Polearm Gamble unholy powerful.  Because of this, in Epic a Halberd can be rated much better.

Longspear (PHB): The longspear is available to everyone, and is nice if you need a spear+polearm weapon.  It's like a less accurate version of the Greatspear, and many classes do not require a feat to gain proficiency.  However, unless you're really interested in using a spear specifically, this weapon may be less exciting than a glaive, etc.

Talenta Sarrash (EPG): This weapon is quite unique.  Like the Glaive, it's a Heavy Blade + Polearm.  In addition it offers a +3 proficiency (the only accurate PM weapon other than great spear), decent damage and high crit.  It's also a small weapon, allowing halflings & gnomes to get in on the combo fairly effectively, so I rate it as mandatory for them.  The trade-off?  It lacks reach despite being a polearm, and it's superior so you'll likely have to spend a feat to get it.  Unfortunately Polearm Gamble requires reach, since you make the attack as an interrupt before they enter the adjacent square.  Without reach the attack fails.  There are ways to increase your reach though (arena training fighter, eternal defender ED, etc).

Trikal (DS): Essentially a halberd by a different name, so see its rating and info.

Zadatl (D 391): A high-crit polearm that's otherwise quite similar to a longspear (d8 instead of 2d4 damage, but otherwise same deal).  If you want to spend a feat upgrading from Longspear for high-crit, this may be your thing.  If high crit isn't worth a feat, look elsewhere.  Personally if I was looking to spend a feat on a superior weapon, I'd go with greatspear.



Non-polearm Spears


Gouge (DS): This is a two-handed non-polearm weapon, so its role is different than that of the other weapons listed here.  It's the best damage players can get with a spear, and it's an axe too (combining spear+axe feats is nice).  However, by occupying two hands it doesn't allow using a shield to start the combo, so keep that in mind.

Gythka (DS): A double weapon, like the Urgrosh -- both your hands are occupied, so no shield and no reach.  Somewhat applicable to dual-wielders.  The advantage is that it's defensive and it's Heavy Thrown 5/10.  This could be nice for players who want to use PM with throwing weapons, though it may not offer much advantage over a 1-handed spear and a shield unless you also want to use it to dual-wield.  The heavy thrown and no dual weapon group is what differentiates it from the Urgrosh.  Instead of getting to mix spear and axe feats, you can chuck it.

Javelin (PHB): A simple weapon that many classes can access without a feat.  Has the heavy-thrown property and is one-handed, allowing use of a shield.  Longer throw range but lower damage die than a trident.  For classes without military weapon proficiency, this is a better option.

Spear (PHB): One-handed weapon with slightly higher damage die than a javelin, but not throwable.  The versatile property doesn't apply to most builds, who would either use a shield or prefer a better weapon.  Trident is probably a better choice, in that its stats are identical and it also offers heavy thrown.  However, the Spear is a simple weapon instead of military, so more classes can access it.  For those classes, this is a better option.

Tratnyr (AV): This appears to be little more than a trident with longer throwing range (or a javalin with higher base damage).  Spending a feat for this "superior" weapon probably isn't worth it, unless you were going to spend a feat for proficiency with something anyway (in which case this is a decent option).

Trident (AV): Decent damage die and heavy thrown, but very short throw distance.  A favorite for spear+shield builds because its base damage die is pretty decent, and it's a military weapon instead of superior.  Versatile won't apply to most PM builds.  Take a look at Javelin or Spear if your class only offers simple weapon proficiency.

Urgrosh (AV): A double weapon, interesting choice.  Probably only relevant for two-weapon fighting characters, for whom it's much better.  As an axe/spear, this weapon qualifies for an interesting feat selection, assuming you count it as both an axe and spear for both hands (this interpretation varies wildly from player to player and DM to DM, so be careful).  Great damage, but no room for a shield or empty off-hand.  As with polearm builds, you'll likely require a magic item to consistently push 2+ squares.



Misc

Gauntlet Axe (DS): This axe doesn't work with PM, but it doesn't occupy a hand slot either.  This is useful for polearm users who want to dual-wield.  Also helps brawler fighters, among other characters that need to keep their off-hand free.  The defensive property gives an AC boost, which is nice for not occupying a hand.  If you have this and a heavy shield, you might have a +3 to AC.  Whatever the devs might have intended with this weapon, expect pushback from your DM if you interpret this too loosely or use it in weird ways (like dual-wielding with a polearm or stacking AC bonuses).  ;)



Implements and YOU!



Not playing a weapon class?  Don't give up hope.  Many implement-only classes can use Polearm Momentum very effectively, but they need the ability to channel their push/slide powers through either a polearm or spear, treating it as the implement for their spell.  PM does not require that the polearm/spear be used as a weapon, so implements are fair game.

To do this, you have several options.  Some classes naturally have the ability to use a PM weapon as an implement.  For example, Swordmage can use a glaive with its implement powers, and a monk can use as an implement any weapon with which he's proficient.  Assassins can do this too.  That gives these classes a free ticket to start proning enemies furiously.

Hybrid characters that include such a class will share its implement freedom, even for the other class' spells.  This means a swordmage/wizard would be able to use PM on wizard spells that push and slide.  If you haven't dabbled in hybrids before, now's the time to look into it.  You have some very potent combos at your disposal.

For arcane characters, the feat Arcane Implement Proficiency is another way to gain a glaive as an implement, since swordmages can use heavy blades.  For Totem users like Druid, the Alfsair Spear enchantment allows you to use a spear as an implement.  Other non-arcane characters that hybrid with fighter can multiclass into Swordmage to use a glaive as an implement.

So yes, implement classes can use PM, and some of them are very good at it.  This greatly widens the number of viable classes for Polearm Momentum, since you're not limited to only weapon users.  Keep in mind with any class, however, that the power you're using to push must have the weapon or implement keyword, or PM does not apply.


Push or Slide?


Polearm Momentum will trigger off of either a push or a slide, so long as its distance is 2 or more.  These types of forced movement are common among powers, and there's ways to add them to powers that didn't originally have them (most famously, Mark of Storm).  However, they are not created equally.

First of all, push and slide act differently:


  • A slide lets you move the target in any direction you want, even back and forth.  This often makes it better than a push for positioning.  You can, for example, slide the creature next to you to keep it under control; slide the target into flanking next to melee allies, or slide it back and forth across hazardous terrain like an Acid Mire (wizard zone spell).  How nice!

  • A push must always move away from you with each square of movement.  It can wiggle side to side or go in a straight line, so long as each square is farther from you than the previous one.  Pushes are harder to manage and ultimately less convenient, but they get the job done.


You must push or slide 2, if you want to trigger PM.  So it's imortant to know how hard it is to increase it from 1 to 2.


  • Melee attacks have many options to increase both push and slide distance, including shields, magic items, and so on.

  • Close attacks have a bit more limited support, but there's always rushing cleats.  They do fine with slides and especially pushes.

  • Ranged and Area attacks usually have no trouble with increasing push distance, but have great difficulty increasing slides.  Characters using ranged or area attacks will usually want to favor those that push, unless the distance of the slides they can access is already 2 or greater.  On rare occasion, a class will offer some way to increase slide distance under certain circumstances.  Occasionally you'll find a gem like the avenger's Hammer of Judgement paragon path, which increases all forced movement by 2 against bloodied opponents.

  • Occasionally an at-will power will already push or slide 2, like Thunderwave.  These are uncommon, however.  Encounter and daily powers that do this are more common.

  • There are simply more effects that increase push distance than slide distance.  The spear push feat, ring of ramming magic item, etc increase push distance regardless of damage type, power range, etc.  Slides are typically best reserved to builds with lots of melee & close attacks, unless they don't need to boost the slide distance.

  • Special Gray Area (use at your own risk): If your DM agrees that 2 instances of slide equal slide 2, then adding a second slide to a sliding power will work.  For example, using Mark of Storm to add another slide 1 to the ardent's Unsteadying Rebuke power, to equal a total slide of 2.  However, there is still much controversy over whether this is actually valid, and the issue is still being discussed.  No official word from WOTC on the matter (and I don't trust CS), so it's totally up in the air right now.  Proceed with caution.


You also have options for how to get a push/slide on your attacks in the first place.


  • Choose at-will, daily and encounter powers that already have a push or slide.  For ranged/area sliding attacks, it's best if slide distance is already 2 or greater, since slides are hard to increase for those.  Also make sure they're weapon or implement powers, or PM simply won't apply.

    • For example, the fighter Tide of Iron at-will power naturally pushes 1 square.  The ardent power Unsteadying Rebuke naturally slides 1.  The wizard power Thunderwave naturally pushes equal to your wisdom modifier, which is already 2 or higher by the time you qualify for PM.  These are all at-will powers.  The fighter daily power Staggering Blow naturally pushes 3 squares.



  • Choose a feat that adds a push or slide to one or all of your powers, favoring at-wills so that you can knock enemies down at-will.

    • For example, Longhand Student causes the fighter power Cleave and the warlord power Viper's Strike to push 1 square while wielding a 2-handed polearms/spears.  Mark of Storm causes all lightning powers to slide, which is every attack you make if you have a lightning-enchanted weapon/implement.




Some classes, feats, and other options give special bonuses or perks to pushes and/or slides.  Some examples include:


  • Polearm Momentum, of course!

  • The Iron Vanguard paragon path and Draconic Arrogance feat will damage an enemy whenever you push it or knock it prone.  They don't reward slides, however.

  • Hindering shield slows the target whenever you push or slide, so long as you're wielding a shield at the time.



Overall, pushes are the easiest.  They have the best support for range & area attacks, and melee & close like them just as well.  Unless you're doing a ranged/area class though, slides work just as well, if not better.  Slides are better for positioning, and much more plentiful for some classes.


Ability Score Notes


This is some general information that didn't fit anywhere else, so I include it here.

Show

Given PM's stringent attribute requirements, classes and races that favor Dex and Wis (especially as a primary ability score) have a big advantage over those that don't really use those attributes.  Ideally you would have a race that adds to your class' primary ability score and one of PM's requirements, but that's not always the path you want to take -- some races and classes offer an amazing payoff together, if you can pull it off.

Besides your class' primary and secondary atributes, others that are enticing in a PM build are Str and Con, because the Draonic Arrogance feat and Iron Vanguard paragon path allow you to apply Str/Con mod damage every time you push and every time you knock prone.  For a dragonborn with a strength of 26 and a con of 20, this can easily add +26 damage to your attacks in late game because both mods apply when you push and when you knock prone.  However, I want to warn you of the MAD tendencies of such builds.  A dragonborn fighter, for example, now has to put significant points into Str, Con, Dex and Wis, which is painful spread.  Such a build will probably wait until paragon to start the combo at all, because it wants to maximize str & con.

MAD builds can work, but they're slower to get going and may have to sacrifice or cripple other parts of their build (class features etc) to get what they want.  If you're okay with waiting until Paragon or Epic to qualify for PM and start putting it to work, that's fine... but know what you're sacrificing to do it.  Paragon and epic can be a long wait for a build idea to pay off.

Likewise, many builds can start the combo as early as level 2.  In fact, a human fighter could actually start as early as level 1.  However, there's always a price to pay.  In the human fighter's case, starting at level 1 means starting with 17 in his primary attribute, a high price that most optimizers do not recommend.  Builds that start the PM combo at level 2 will usually start with 18 or higher in their primary attribute, but they're giving up accuracy feats and +3 proficiency weapons to get the combo out early.  Until they catch up (by getting the accuracy feat and possibly upgrading to a great spear), they'll be less accurate and possibly less damaging than builds that focus on pure stats.  I once compared a push-prone fighter to an accuracy-focused fighter, and the accuracy build's attack bonus was 3 higher.  So an early-performing PM build might have to give up a bit for its combo, at least for the first 4-6 levels or so.

So MAD builds tend to have to choose between putting off the combo until later, or having lowered stats for a while to get it out sooner.  Understand what you give up in any build path you choose.  PM will likely force you to make some sort of tradeoff, be it mild or major.  Making sacrifices isn't bad, so long as they pay off and give you more back than you gave.

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

The Race Categories


Your starting stats will depend on your race, and this in turn affects how soon you can pull out the combo and how many stat points you have left for other stats (like Con).  To make rating them a little simpler, I've separated races into 5 categories.  Their order doesn't necessarily indicate any race's overall quality for PM, just how directly their stats favor the build (category 4 & 5 are the worst, but a category 3 race could be better overall than a category 1 race, so don't read too far into it).  Categories I and II can easily access the combo, Category III can reach it by level 4 without trouble (or 6 if they have to multiclass into fighter first), and the rest struggle terribly.  The difference between Cat 1, 2 and 3 races isn't that great when they have to wait until level 6 just to get enough feat slots anyway.

In these categories, I assume starting with less than 18 in your primary stat is taboo.  If it's not such a big deal to you, then you can get the combo out earlier than I describe (even level 1 as a human fighter; I really don't recommend mauling your primary stat to do this though).  In many of these examples I use fighter for simplicity, even though another class might be a better example.

Note that these categories change with the class+race combo.  A race may be category I as a battlemind, but category IV as a fighter.  The best case is a class that uses Dex and Wis as its primary and secondary, with a race that gets a bonus to both... but that's rare.  :D

Racial Categories



  • Category I Races get their class primary stat and either Dex or Wis (minotaur for fighter, dwarf for battlemind, etc).  A Category I fighter can start with Str18/Dex15/Wis15, immediately qualifying for PM (and the combo by level 2 or 4) instead of having to wait until Level 4 or later.  They then have 3 points left over for any other stat boosting they want.  Example: Str18/Con13/Dex15/Int10/Wis15/Cha8.

  • Category II Races do not get a bonus to their primary stat, but do get both Dex and Wis (elf, razorclaw shifter, etc).  They can pump their primary to 18 at the cost of 16 points, and use the remaining 6 points in Dex and Wis.  They have no points left for other stats, but they get to start the combo by level 2 or 4 just like Category I.  Category II races are distinctly valuable in that they can do any class fairly well, even if that class isn't a Dex/Wis class.  Example: Str18/Con10/Dex15/Int10/Wis15/Cha8.

  • Category III Races get a bonus to a primary stat, but no bonus to Dex or Wis (dragonborn or dwarf fighter, for example) and must wait until the level 4 stat boost to qualify for PM.  If you're not a fighter or you're going for a polearm build, that's probably the earliest you could start the combo anyway.  A spear+shield fighter will have to wait a bit longer with a Cat 3 race, though once these races reach level 4 they're no longer behind.  Example (dwarf fighter): Str18/Con13/Dex15/Int10/Wis14/Cha8.

  • Category IV Races do not get a bonus to their primary, nor do they have bonuses to both Dex and Wis.  They do have a bonus to either dex or wis, but not both (for example, eladrin fighters).  Taking a hit to your primary (starting with less than 18) to raise Dex and Wis to 15 is really not an option, so these races will need to wait until level 8 or later to pull out the combo (an eladrin fighter could, for example, start with 18 str, 15 dex, and 13 wis, boost wis twice, and start the combo as early as level 8).  Players should generally avoid these races, unless starting the combo in late heroic or paragon is an option AND the race offers something valuable over the more suitable races (for example, a racial trait, feat, paragon path, etc that really shines with this combo).  Example stats (dex/int bonus race): Str18/Con10/Dex15/Int12/Wis13/Cha8.

  • Category V Races do not get a bonus to any of the main stats of your class or PM (tiefling fighter, for example).  This puts them at a serious disadvantage, and typically makes them ill-suited to a Polearm Momentum build of that class unless they bring a very special bonus (such as a racial feat or trait that cannot be passed up).  Even though these races might make okay fighters/rangers/etc normally, PM's stringent stat requirements basically exclude them from favoring this build.  At best, they could start the combo in paragon.



Summary of Races


There's a wide range of valuable race picks for a push-prone build, depending on the class you're taking.  Here are some general notes on each noteworthy race, before we get into the classes themselves (and their best racial choices).

Races are clumped by source (PHB1, 2, etc).  I would organize them by category, but a race's category changes wildly per class.  Eladrin are, for example, Category 1 as swordmages but Category 4 for fighters.

How I'm doing the ratings for races: I'm rating decent races as blue (those with PM-compatible stats or or some form of support relevant to the combo).  Decent races with minor caveats or low support get black, and races with problems get purple or red.  Cyan is great, meaning they have extra support that makes them pretty relevant to the combo in more than just stats (some helpful feat, paragon path, etc).  Any race I consider awesome gets a gold rating and a puppy.

These ratings will vary wildly once paired with the classes (some lackluster races get really good in some cases, while many of the highly rated races are not so great in most applications), so take them with a grain of salt.

PHB1

Dragonborn: A strength boost and the Draconic Arrogance feat make this race pretty valuable to most strength builds, especially with the Iron Vanguard fighter path, though stats are a bit MAD due to a lack of wis or dex boosts.  Also okay at con and charisma classes, though if you're not using Draconic Arrogance then dragonborn loses some steam.
A special note for strength builds: Since draconic arrogance only kicks in at paragon, it would be worth going with polearms since they also perform well in paragon (due to polearm gamble and heavy blade opportunity).  It's also worth looking into the Iron Vanguard paragon path, to stack it with draconic arrogance and deal double Str + Con mod damage to enemies by pushing them and knocking them prone.  Done well, this can be very potent.

Dwarf: Dwarves are survivors.  This is important because a PM build tends to get attacked a lot, especially as a sticky defender.  For this reason I rate dwarves higher as defenders, and yes I'm totally playing favorites (though revenant is even better at survival).  Dwarves' minor action second wind allows them to heal without taking the heat off of enemies, and they have a number of feats which enhance their healing.  A bit MAD in a strength class because they then forfeit the bonus to wis, making it hard to start the combo as early as other races.  However, they excel in Con & Wis classes like battlemind.  Devoted challenge helps the combo for sticky fighters.

Eladrin: Eladrin stats lend themselves to intelligence classes like Swordmage.  Dexterity as a second stat helps to qualify for the combo more easily.  The Eladrin Soldier feat is also ideal for anyone who wants to use a spear, especially a great spear.

Elf: While elves have no feats or other options available to directly enhance the combo, their stats apply perfectly to meeting PM's requirements (Category II or better race).  They're also crazy mobile, with high speed and the ability to shift on difficult terrain, making the all-important positioning a lot easier (and a defender elf who traps an enemy on difficult terrain keeps them from shifting or crawling away easily).  Their reroll power is a great way to make a crutial attack connect, which is important for when you need to make sure an enemy hits the floor.

Half-Elf: Good for Con and Wis classes.  The versatile master feat in paragon is also a way to get at-will pushing for classes that lack one, without having to paragon multiclass.  In these cases half-elf is much more valuable, if not mandatory to get out the combo.

Halfling: Halflings CAN do the combo even with weapon-based classes, thanks to the Talenta (check the weapons section).  They also do some mage classes quite well.  Their bonus to Dex is also perfect for PM builds.  However, they don't offer much in the way of feats etc to support the combo.

Human: Humans' most direct contribution to a PM build is the wolfstone feats (each of which gives a power).  You have to take 2 feats to get it, but the resulting Wolfstone Frenzy at-will power is great for PM and works with any weapon class.  The human's extra feat and at-will can also go a long way in some classes.  Being able to pick your racial stat boost also helps humans do well in any class.  However, having only one racial stat boost makes it a little harder to qualify for PM's stringent requirements without harming your primary stat (unless you're playing a wis or dex class).

Tiefling: Sadly, tiefling stats are unsuitable for the combo.  They do not offer a dex or wisdom boost, nor do any tiefling options enhance the combo directly.

PHB2

Deva: A reasonable choice for intelligence and wisdom classes.  Wis bonus gives easier PM access, but there's not much else this race does for a PM build.

Gnome: Unsuitable stats make it hard to get PM, and small size limits them in choice of weapons/implements (talenta comes to mind).  Gnomes will be more suited to spellcasting classes, obviously, but they don't have much to offer for a PM build.

Goliath: Goliaths make great strength and wisdom classes, and the wisdom makes PM access easier (yes, despite it not being mentioned in the errata, goliaths can do wis as their secondary stat).  The Stoneblessed paragon path is great in the combo, especially for polearm users.  With the right support, Stoneblessed can be very effective.

Half-Orc: Good for Strength & Dex classes, and the dex gives easy access to PM.  Not a lot of direct bonuses to the combo, but good strikers.

Shifter (Longtooth/Razorclaw): Longtooth shifters get a nice bonus to wisdom, for easy PM access.  Not bad as fighters or other Str & Wis classes.  Razorclaws are like elves in their stats (Category II or better race).  Both flavors of shifter offer the Moonstalker paragon path, which is interesting if you like to stand right next to the enemies you've knocked prone (allowing your allies to wail on them for bonus damage).  This paragon path is best suited to a high-wisdom defender like a fighter or battlemind, and might be enough to increase the shifter rating.

PHB3

Githzerai: Like Elves, gith match PM's stat requirements without troubles (Category II or better race).  They do not appear to have direct support for the combo, but are an all-around good choice with some good defense options.  The saving throw bonus against daze, dominate and stun is great, and the initiative bonus really helps a PM build get out there.

Minotaur: Their wisdom bonus helps with meeting PM's requirements for a Str & Wis class, and they have some bonuses to charging.   I don't see much race-specific bonuses to the combo, but they're a good choice for wis and str races.
Minotaurs do have the ferocity trait, which in a PM build could be very useful if you interpret pushing the enemy out of range before damage is applied as cancelling the attack (I lean in this direction, but check that your DM does too before getting your hopes up).  This could be a very effective way to stay alive, so long as you have enemies in your reach and can hit them.

Shardmind: Good for a wisdom and intelligence race, and the wisdom bonus applies directly toward PM's requirements.  Not much support for the combo, but we may see some in future supplements.

Wilden: As with elves, the stats match with PM's requirements (Category II or better race).  Not much racial support for the combo yet.  Wildens have several interesting racial power choices, which may be useful in a PM build.  For example, pursuit of the hunter is nice in that it lets you chase an opponent down when it tries to leave, which is nice for a defender or striker.  Wrath of the Destroyer is effective if you have something nasty attached to your basic attacks (such as mark of storms).


Other sources

Note on Monster Manual Races: I'm too lazy to rate the races that are only found in monster manuals.  There's probably some really cool choices there, but there's a lot of them and they don't have a lot of support.  Plus it can be hard to convince a DM to let a player use them.

Changeling (EPG): Likes Dex and Cha classes, but offers little support.

Drow (FRPG and HOFK): A category II race that also likes Cha + Dex classes.  Less support than elves, but neat choices of racial powers and a trance is handy.  I haven't seen much in the way of PM support though.

Genasi (FRPG): While Genasi are normally lackluster to PM builds due to less relevant stats, Stormsoul Genasi do better.  Combine Shocking Flame with Mark of Storms to trigger PM on every melee attack.  This allows Mark of Storms users to choose a different weapon enchantment than lightning.

Gnoll (D 367): Not much support, but they do get a dex bonus.  Happiest in a dex+con class, and able to get some damage bonuses.

Kalashtar (EPG): Wisdom bonus helps PM, and otherwise the race likes charisma classes.  Saving against dazed and dominated at the start of your turn is nice, and the racial power boosts will for you and allies.  Not much PM support though.

Mul (DS): Great for Con and Wisdom classes.  Like dwarf, they're a bit MAD in a strength build.  They can choose to take either human or dwarf feats, which is an amazing selection (it even includes the wolfstone feats).  Nice toughness and amazing racial power too.

Revenant: The revenant is the probably the most dynamic race in the game (as of this writing).  It can pick a secondary race (from its past life) and count as that race, to qualify for feats, paragon paths, etc.  You don't get its racial features, but otherwise it's open.  It's like the racial form of multiclassing.  This lets you, for example, use the goliath Stoneblessed paragon path in a dex+con race.  The revenant is also crazy-good at survival, probably the best.  To top it all off, the revenant also gets Dex and your choice of Con or Cha, making it great for a lot of PM builds.  Depending on how you design a revenant build, it can be very good or amazing.  However, the revenant isn't the end-all answer in every situation, and I'm not presenting it as such.  Don't go crazy.  :D
Since this race has a massive number of options and recommendations that could scarcely be touched upon here, I recommend checking out the Revenant Handbook.

Shadow (HOS): Though it's okay for Cha+Dex classes, it lacks support.  The One with Shadow power is quite interesting for a sneak and strike from the shadows theme.

Shardar-kai (D 372): Category 2 or higher race that also likes intelligence classes.  Likes to sneak and teleport, and gets a nice saving throw bonus.  Not much support though, as it's a dragon magazine race instead of one of the major sources, and doesn't add much to PM.

Thri-Kreen (DS): A category 2 or higher race, including str+dex classes.  Decent racial features (aware during rest, good jumper, quick draw, etc).  Not much support for PM, but a fine choice for just about any class.

Vryloka (HOS): A cha+dex race that's semi-undead.  Some interesting racial features, but again, not much support.

Warforged (EPG): The stats don't fit PM at all.  They're a fantastic race normally, but they don't do much for PM buids.


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

Class Listing


Because so many classes can pull off the push-prone build effectively, it's worth analyzing each and discussing which races are the best match.  This is a relatively light skim over the options.  The best, most optimal ones will be discussed in detail later.

Classes from the PHB

Cleric (Templar & Warpriest): Clerics have the weapon power Burden of Earth for PM abuse, and the Mark of Storm feat works well for melee builds too.  In fact, expect to play a melee weapon cleric if you want to put PM to any good use, and expect to struggle a little with stats since you won't have as much direct use for wisdom or dex.  Ranged cleric attacks do use wisdom, which would be great if any ranged at-wills had push 1 or slide 2.  As of this writing, none do.  Plus, you would need to find a way to use a spear or polearm as an implement, which would probably involve hybrids.  So ranged clerics are not a natural choice for PM, but melee clerics do alright (and Mark of Storm really helps).
If you're doing an essentials Cleric (Warpriest), you'll either want to take the Earth Domain or pick up Mark of Storm and a lightning weapon.  To my knowledge, the Templar Cleric can grab stuff from Essentials (allowing you to take burden of earth), but I'm not certain.
Other stuff to note

The Tactical Warpriest (formerly just Warpriest) paragon path's L16 feature is an interesting addition for a sticky defender, and fighters sometimes multiclass into cleric to get it; however, clerics themselves don't as often go for it because they're more leaders than sticky defenders.  The paragon path does get more potent in a PM build, however.



  • If you wish to do a Melee+Ranged cleric who enjoys a good healing bonus from Healer's Lore, that favors Str+Wis races like Goliath, Minotaur, and Longtooth Shifter.  Str+Dex races also work: Half-Orc, Minotaur, Thri-Kreen, and Goliath.

  • If you don't care about doing ranged cleric powers and wish to go full-melee, choose Battle Cleric's Lore (D 400) instead of Healer's Lore and don't take wisdom above 15.  This helps to alleviate the MAD issue.  You still need Dex and Wis at 15 at some point, so a Str+Dex or Str+Wis race is a good idea.  Probably pick Cha as your tertiary and wear scale armor.

  • Going hybrid as a ranged cleric? A hybrid cleric who can use PM implements is still unlikely to trigger PM with his wisdom-based cleric powers very often, so his other class should trigger PM at-will to fill the gap.  Wisdom now becomes the primary stat, and the cleric has his choice of charisma or strength as a secondary (unless he favors something else for his hybrid class).  Wis+Cha races include Kalashtar and Deva.



Fighter: As the class which Polearm Momentum requires, fighter does not have to multiclass to get it (this allows a fighter the option to multiclass to something else, when that's helpful).  In addition to doing the combo at-will with ease, the fighter is able to get the push-prone combo on his OAs and Combat Challenge attacks, making him deadly sticky.  A few choice at-will powers also give the fighter some nice options in how the combo works.
A special note about the Arena Training option

While normally weapon talent is too good to give up, arena training may be a strong competitor.  Depending on your interpretation of its rules, it allows you to apply entire feats from 2 weapons (4 with the extended arena training feat) to each other so long as the feats give a feat bonus to attack/damage.  With staff expertise alone you could create an arena fighter with 1-handed spears that have reach 2, or a goliath with a reach 4 polearm.  However, this powerful interpretation of arena training may get errata'd out at some point, if WOTC decides it didn't intend for this.  Only time will tell.  You may also have trouble convincing your DM that this is the intended interpretation.  You've been warned.  Sealed



  • Dragonborn: Slightly more MAD than other options.  Really performs in paragon, as your strength will be naturally high and draconic arrogance will hit hard with each push and each prone.

  • Dwarf: Though dwarves naturally make great fighters, in this build they're a bit MAD and can't start the combo until level 4.  However, Devoted Challenge (MP) in the shield build makes the dwarf better for sticky defender styles.  Since a PM defender gets attacked a lot, a healing focused dwarf could improve its rating -- being able to second-wind as a minor and use your standard to prone the guy that's nearly killing you is a nice helper.

  • Category II races: These have no problems getting the shield combo out by level 2 with 18 strength.

  • Goliath: Goliaths have great fighter stats, and a nice two-handed weapons feat.  Their Stoneblessed paragon path is pretty nice for fighters as well.

  • Human: An extra at-will helps because fighters have several that are excellent in a push-prone build; otherwise their racial accuracy power is a nice way to turn a miss into a hit, which fighters need to do sometimes.  The extra feat helps as well since fighters have so many options.  However, slow to pull out the combo because of only one +2 stat.

  • Shifter (Longtooth or Razorclaw): Both shifters are decent choices for stat reasons.  Their paragon path is fairly useful, especially for a slide-prone fighter that keeps prone enemies adjacent frequently (footwork lure lovers take note).

  • Half-Orc & Minotaur: Good matching stats, and both like charging if that's your thing.



Paladin: Hmm... Paladins do not appear to make natural PM choices.  They do get wisdom as a secondary stat, but none of their at-wills offer natural pushes or slides.  Not even their defender immediate interrupt benefits from PM.  I also haven't seen any push/slide/prone-friendly feats, paragon paths, etc.  There's always Mark of Storms and lightning enchantments, if you still want to.


Ranger: With feat support (Staggering Strike), rangers can trade one of their quarry dice to push-prone at-will.  It doesn't come as naturally as to other classes, but they manage rather well.  Dual-striking rangers can prone on the first hit, then take advantage of the prone enemy on the second strike (assuming the enemy isn't out of range by then), and mark of storm actually works even better for this.  Archer rangers can also do the combo with staggering strike, curiously enough, and have their own unique benefits.  Ranger stats (str/dex and wisdom) match rather well with PM's requirements, so there's nothing thrown away (any extra dex goes to their AC, so even melee rangers want it).


  • Archers using heavy-thrown spears are Dex+Wis, which means any category II race is excellent.  Otherwise any dex race is a good choice.

  • Melee rangers want Str+Wis, or more likely Str+Dex since they probably prioritize AC over more wisdom once PM is accessible.  Nice options include, but are not limited to, Half-Orc, Minotaur, Thri-Kreen, and Goliath (though you're unlikely to enjoy goliath's 2-handed weapon bonuses).  Category II races also work fine.

  • Razorclaw Shifters and especially Longtooth Shifters make great melee rangers who love to stand next to their prone victims to take advantage of the Moonstalker paragon path.  Dual-striking rangers are able to expoit the prone bonuses rather effectively.




    Rogue: Rogues don't make natural PM users.  Pretty much all their powers and their sneak attack require a light blade, and I have yet to see a lightblade + spear/polearm dual-type weapon.  The Versatile Duelist feat lets them use 1-handed heavy blades... but I have yet to find a 1-handed spear+heavy blade (or any 1-handed polearm), so Rogue still isn't able to do the combo.  If you want a dexterity-based PM build, look into Monk, Ranger (archer), and Assassin.


    Warlock: Warlocks have poor stat synergy with PM, but they do offer a couple of at-wills (though mostly to other classes).  Eldritch Strike is a slide-inducing melee weapon at-will power which many con/cha classes will want to steal (as a hybrid or half-elf); however, warlocks themselves are less interested in staying at melee range all the time, since they're typically low-AC squishy ranged strikers.  Essentials warlocks have Echoing Dirge, which is a lot better for your at-will PM needs (and it can target 2 creatures).  There's also other pushing/sliding encounter and daily powers for more PM exploitation.  The Hexer paragon path is almost worth a look, since it lets you slide a creature 1 square any time you deal your warlock's curse damage to it (not until L16 though).  Unfortunately it's hard to increase the slide distance, so not a good option.  A PM Warlock gets better in Paragon by combining Eldritch Strike with Polearm Gamble to keep enemies away from your squishy striker organs.


    • Warlocks just can't win in terms of stat synergy.  I've.... I've got nothing.  Just pick a Category II race.



    Warlord: Thanks to the Longhand Student feat in MP2, Warlords can now participate in the prone at-will fun using Viper's Strike.  This really helps lock an opponent down if you push it next to a defender, since they're prone and the stand+shift method of escape will provoke OAs.  Another excellent at-will is opening shove, which will prone the target before the ally's attack.  Warlords are also perfectly happy taking Mark of Storm to exploit PM with their other powers.  As the party leader/healer, a warlord will also like the ability to keep enemies away with Polearm Gamble and Heavy Blade Opportunity, especially with the at-wills mentioned above.  Unfortunately, warlords do not have good stat synergy with PM, leaving them quite MAD; they'll have to dampen their int/cha features to get their Dex & Wis up high enough.


    • Warlords need Strength primarily, so any Str+Wis or Str+Dex race does well enough (goliath, half-orc, minotaur, etc).

    • Category II Races are also good choices.

    • Might I recommend Dragonborn for a Charisma warlord?  Draconic Arrogance is pretty decent here, though still MAD.



    Wizard: One of the best options out there.  I recommend Mage over Arcanist because it works better (see the mage entry in the essentials classes section).  As a controller, a wizard benefits from the forced movement + prone emphasis of a PM build.  They can choose dexterity or wisdom as their secondary stat, which is nice for a PM build (especially since thunderwave pushes based on wis mod). To make PM trigger, either take the feat Arcane Implement Proficiency (glaive), or hybrid with swordmage to get a spear/polearm as an implement.  This class offers two of the best at-will PM powers out there, Thunderwave and Beguiling Strands, which are both close blasts that trigger PM right out of the box.  Wizards and Mages both have a great choice of pushing and sliding powers that fit PM perfectly throughout their career.  They also have a vast assortment of deadly, deadly zone and wall powers available to them (Acid Mire, Wall of Fire, and their ilk), which combine well with the slide+prone focus.  A wizard and his allies will love pushing enemies inside, and a PM build has the added bonus of proning the target in the death zone.


    • Favor races that offer intelligence, and either dexterity or wisdom.  Wizards put wisdom to great use with many of their powers, too, so it's an ideal secondary.  Dex probably does not need to go above 15 unless you need it in your build.  Int+Dex and Int+Wis choices include Shardar-kai, Elf, Githzerai, Changeling, Gnome, Eladrin, Deva, Shardmind, and Kalashtar.

    • As expected, Category II races are a fine option.




    Classes from the PHB2

    Avenger: Avengers are voracious strikers with their oath of enmity, and their Overwhelming Strike power lets them prone at-will with ease once they get a slide-boosting item.  They also get wisdom as their primary attribute, with the option of dexterity as a secondary for pursuing avengers.  This makes stats easy, easy.  An elf PM avenger starting with 20 wisdom and 16 dexterity is potent and easy to do.  The oath of enmity lets you roll twice for your attack rolls, meaning you have an amazing chance to prone the unfortunate target of your enmity.  They do not get automatic shield proficiency, however, so Battering Shield users should keep that in mind (opt for rushing cleats instead, if able).


    • Category II Races.  They're all perfect for Avenger and PM stats.

    • Elves are especially interesting for their racial attack reroll power, which could either be redundant or a great addition to the avenger's rerolls.

    • Otherwise, other wisdom races are a good choice.  If you want to be an isolating avenger, wis+int races will do alright with PM.  Str+Wis races are useful for avengers who want to access Polearm Gamble + Heavy Blade Opportunity easily.

    • Shifters do quite well as Avengers with their stats, and the Moonstalker path is a good fit for both Avenger stats and strategy.



    Barbarian: Right from the get-go, you can push with Pressing Strike for an at-will PM build.  A barbarian also offers some rages like Iron Hammer Rage that let you push the target 2, slide adjacent enemies, etc for the rest of the encounter, as well as some good pushing encounter powers.  Some barbarians also like having lots of Constitution, if you want to go down the Iron Vanguard route.  Overall barbarians are a great choice, despite limited or no stat synergy with PM.


    • Barbarians need strength, and then prefer either constitution or charisma.  They benefit from dexterity for better AC, but otherwise they struggle with being MAD in PM builds.  I recommend a Str+Dex or Str+Wis race, unless you're waiting until Paragon to pull out PM.

    • Otherwise, choose a category II race.


    Bard: A natural at-will PM user with staggering note at level 1, and lots of other good push/slide powers covering nearly every level.  Bards don't have good stat synergy with PM unless they take the Prescience virtue.  It favors wisdom as a secondary and is a nice choice for a PM leader with defender tendencies (which suits PM builds just fine).  One of Bard's offerings is its crazy multiclassing capability, allowing you to multiclass into any number of classes and mix and match feats, a paragon path, etc from all kinds of classes (though I have yet to use this myself and I'm not sure how helpful it is for our purposes).  Their limited implement choice can be solved with the Songblade enchantment on a glaive, Arcane Implement Proficiency, and other methods.


    • Prescient bards are happy with a Cha+Wis or Cha+Dex race, such as Deva, Kalashtar, Drow, Shade, Vryloka, Revenant, Halfling, and Changeling.

    • Category II Races are good too.



    Druid: Druids have wisdom as their primary attribute, and dex as an option for secondary.  If you can manage to use a spear/polearm as an implement (say, the Alfsair spear enchantment or hybriding with monk), druid offers both a spell (chill wind) and a beast form power (savage rend) to slide targets at-will.  However, it's hard to increase chill wind's slide distance.  There's also a few slide/push encounter & daily powers scattered about.  If you're able to push a lot, then guardian druid might take con as a secondary for iron vanguard abuse.  Druids also have the potential to get extra second winds per encounter, and that extra healing can be very handy if you're playing defender as a secondary role.
    So in summary, a bit limited in powers and they need an implement solution, but great stat matching.


    • Any category II race: Having perfect stats for a Dex+Wis Druid or Druid/Monk hybrid, races like elves, githyanki, razorclaw shifters and the like are great choices.

    • Otherwise, favor a race that offers Wisdom.



    Invoker: You'll have to find some way to use a spear/polearm as an implement (probably via hybrid).  This is a big impediment, and it lowers invoker's rating.  Once that's solved, Astral Wind is a close blast that pushes, perfect for PM.  I haven't yet seen much more PM support.  One benefit is that wisdom is an invoker's primary stat.


    • Category II races do quite well

    • As do wisdom races with con or int as a secondary.



    Shaman: Wisdom as the primary helps a lot.  They also use totems as their implement, making it easy to solve the PM implement problem using an Alfsair Spear enchantment.  Unfortunately, shamans lack a pushing/sliding at-will, so a half-elf (dilettante in paragon) or human (wolfstone frenzy) may be a good racial choice.  Another option is Mark of Storm plus the Cyclone Spirit feat.  Its ability to increase any forced movement distance is nice, though its requirements are inconvenient and the forced movement must begin next to your spirit (and spirits can be very vulnerable).


    • Category II races do well

    • Wis+Con/Int races are a good choice too



    Sorcerer: Sorcerers can choose Dex as a secondary, which works quite well with PM.  Dragonfrost is an excellent pushing at-will that's also a ranged basic attack, and sorcerers have PM-worthy daily and encounter powers too.  As an arcane class, sorcerers also get to use arcane implement proficiency to solve their implement woes.  This all combines to produce a very effective PM class.


    • Cha+Dex races include Drow, Shade, Vryloka, Revenant, Halfling, and Changeling.  Also Cha+Wis races: Deva and Kalashtar.

    • Category II Races

    • Dragonborn make a decent choice for a Str+Cha sorcerer, if you like draconic arrogance abuse.  However, expect to take PM later because you'll be a bit more MAD.



    Warden: Not much in the way of natural PM powers or abilities, but Mark of Storm works rather well.  Warden's Fury is arguably an improvement over a fighter's Combat Challenge.  It doesn't require the enemy to be adjacent and can combo with PM using  mark of storm, so a long reach (3 with Stoneblessed + polearm) creates a large radius of protection.  And it combos well with Mark of Storm and PM to cancel the enemy's attack, helping wardens to benefit from PM through stickiness.


    • Wardens with a Str+Wis or Str+Dex focus fit PM well.  Half-Orc, Minotaur, Thri-Kreen, Goliath, and Longtooth Shifter are all natural choices.

    • Category II Races




    Classes from the PHB3

    Ardent: As Leaders, ardents benefit from the PM because it helps keep enemies off allies and themselves.  They can use their level 3 at-will Unnerving Shove to do the combo, though it's difficult to have their con up high enough early on.  Trying to boost con makes them a rather MAD PM class despite having wisdom as a secondary ability.  If you're able to get Mark of Storms, that might be easier.


    • Cha+Wis races fit the bill nicely but are rare.  Look into Deva and Kalashtar.

    • Cha+Dex races get you just as close: Drow, Shade, Vryloka, Revenant, Halfling, and Changeling.

    • Otherwise look through the Category II races.



    Battlemind: A natural pusher or slider from level 1, and has the ability to push in a close blast on occasion with its level 1 at-will Bull's Strength.  Telekinetic Savant solves the problem of how to increase all pushes and slides if you can take it, potentially freeing an item slot.  Also offers lots of damage reduction and other ways to soak damage (critical for a sticky push-prone build that will attract attacks).  Many at-wills offer mobility and a spread of other options.  In Paragon, the Polearm Gamble and Heavy Blade Opportunity mix makes a PM Battlemind unholy powerful (even without being to augment those attacks, he has a lot of mobility and other options).



    • Dwarves and Muls are excellent survivor battleminds, with Wis as a secondary.

    • Other Con+Wis and Con+Dex races work well, like Revenant, Half-Orc, Halfling, Half-Elf and Wilden.  Battlemind has so many excellent options, it has no need for half-elf to steal an at-will.

    • Category II races

    • Dragonborns and other Con+Cha races have good battlemind stats, but match less effectively with PM's requirements.  Also note that Draconic Arrogance isn't likely to help a Battlemind build, due to no Str usage.


    Monk: Monks pull off the combo naturally with Crane's Wings, allowing them to push-prone enemies at-will without much trouble.  They also have dragon's tail if they want to prone enemies before the combo takes hold.  The fact that they value both dexterity and wisdom makes them doubly PM-worthy.  Monks are also valuable hybrids because they can use any weapon with which they're proficient as an implement (including spears), which opens doors for the other class in the hybrid to do the combo as well.


    • Category II Races: Given that dex is the monk primary and wis is a valid secondary, you have your pick of the litter for good races.  The category II races that are normally good choices become excellent choices here.

    • Otherwise picking something with Dex is a good choice.



    Psion: Lots of pushing and sliding at-will powers throughout its career (starting at L1) make this a great pick for PM builds.  Telekinetic psions also have Wisdom as their secondary, helping them match up with PM's requirements.  Unfortunately, a psion struggles with using a spear or polearm as an implement (because they are not arcane), so expect to hybrid with something that can.


    • Int+Dex and Int+Wis choices include Shardar-kai, Elf, Githzerai, Changeling, Gnome, Eladrin, Deva, Shardmind, and Kalashtar.

    • Or any Category II race.



    Runepriest: A melee weapon leader class.  A Str+Wis runepriest manages pretty well in a PM build, so long as he has a way to push or slide consistently.  Runepriests naturally lack this, unfortunately, so they will likely rely on Mark of Storm or a hybrid to pull off the combo.


    • A Str+Wis or Str+Dex runepriest matches well with Half-Orc, Minotaur, Thri-Kreen, Goliath, and Longtooth Shifter.

    • Category II Races are another option.



    Seeker: Using PM with seeker presents a challenge.  You would think a Seeker that throws heavy thrown spears would be ideal, but seekers appear to lack any naturally pushing or sliding at-will powers.  The slide 1 from Mark of Storm is hard to increase to 2 on ranged attacks, too.  Instead, I would recommend trying one of these:

    1. Use Half-Elf to steal an at-will from another class by Paragon.

    2. Hybrid with another class to use some of its pushing ranged powers.  I can't think of any great suggestions to combine with a seeker though (ranger lacks a pushing at-will except with staggering strike).

    Once you solve the at-will problem, a seeker's favored stats (Wisdom and Dex/Str) are ideal for a PM build.  Some choice hybrids for its stats include Fighter, Ranger (melee or archer), Warden, Avenger and Monk; however, they may not offer the pushing on thrown weapons that you needed so make sure that's covered somehow. Just be warned that this is one of the harder classes to get working with PM, despite looking so easy at first glance!


    • Seeker's stats are right in line with PM's.  If you're going for Dex+Wis, then any Category II Race works perfectly.  Wis+Str seekers will like Goliath, Minotaur, and Longtooth Shifter.

    • Half-elf is useful for stealing an at-will by paragon.  As a Con+Wis race it's also not a bad choice for seeker.





    Other sources


    Artificer (EPG): I don't know much about artificer, but it's an arcane weapon/implement class with a pushing at-will.  That has the makings of a functional PM build.  Take Arcane Implement Proficiency to use spear as an implement if needed, and choose wisdom as your secondary stat (tinkerer or warrior).  The Thundering Armor at-will power works very well with PM right out of the box.  For mark of storm users, there's several artificer at-wills that are melee or close, so it's easy to increase the slide distance to trigger PM.  This includes static shock, which is melee 5!


    • Int+Wis and Int+Dex races are ideal: Shardar-kai, Elf, Githzerai, Changeling, Gnome, Eladrin, Deva, Shardmind, and Kalashtar.

    • Otherwise, pick a category II race.



    Assassin (HOF & D 379): Assassins are not very well supported at the time of this writing (very limited feats etc), because they're not a core class -- they're from a dragon magazine article and HOF.  However, as a Dex race that can use weapons, and that can use any weapon with which they're proficient as an implement (like the monk), they're fairly well-suited to a PM build.  Expect to use mark of storm and lots of melee attacks, since none of their at-will powers push or slide on their own.  Beware the powers that have very specific weapon requirements and are incompatible with PM.  There are a few powers though that are very interesting, including Inescapable Blade.


    • Category II Races work well.

    • Otherwise any dex race, especially Dex+Cha or Dex+Con.  I am too lazy to list them.



    Swordmage (FRPG): Swordmages are, unfortunately, barking MAD in a PM build.  The closest they come to stat synergy is an assault swordmage using his strength to qualify for Polearm Gamble.  That said, a swordmage that takes PM much later in his career (paragon or epic) to avoid hosing his other stats does okay.  The Luring Strike and Swordburst at-wills are excellent choices, and swordmages have the ability to jump around the batlefield to make good on their marks (while many defenders must remain adjacent).  Aegis of Assault does knock prone with PM and Mark of Storm, though it only punishes the attacker instead of preventing the attack.


    • PM Swordmages struggle terribly with stats.  A shielding swordmage is terrible without a good constitution, so take the long view with PM and favor an Int + Con race like Genasi or Warforged.  You'll be waiting a long time for PM, but you won't be reaming your build to do it (or it won't be as bad).

    • Assault Swordmages will want Int + Str, which basically means Genasi.  However, with Melee Training they can afford a lower strength in exchange for PM's requirements (they'll miss out on some secondary bonuses on powers like extra damage, but prone could be worth it).  This opens the floodgates to Int+Dex and Int+Wis races: Eladrin, Elf, Shardmind, Githzerai, Deva, Gnome, and Shardar-kai.

    • As always, there's the Category II Races.



    Vampire (HOS): Vampire is an implement class.  To be able to use it with PM, you would have to be able to use a spear or polearm as an implement.  That would probably require a hybrid, and I'm not seeing a Vampire Hybrid option in the compendium as of this writing (that will likely change in the future).  Too bad, since vampire stats (Dex+Cha) are nice for PM, and the Vampire Slam at-will power is excellent.



    A few Essentials classes

    I haven't gone through all the essentials classes yet (heck, I'm still fuzzy on some aspects of how they work; haven't done my homework yet).  However, I'm trying to make notes on some of the more important ones here.

    Fighter (Knight and Slayer): Both the knight and slayer lack a natural way to push and trigger PM.  Hammer Hands comes closest, but sadly it pushes as a free action, which is separate from the weapon attack that triggers it (and the free action is not technically a weapon attack, so no PM).  Assuming you don't house-rule Hammer Hands into a functional state, essentials fighters do have a few options.
    -The first option is Human.  A human can pick his extra at-will from the Weaponmaster fighter's list (so cleave, footwork lure, tide of iron, etc).  Humans can also get access to Wolfstone Frenzy if they want to spend 2 feats to do it.  However, neither of these options benefits from the Knight & Slayer's boosts to basic attacks.
    -The second option is to use a half-elf to obtain the warlock's Eldritch Strike as a knight.  It's con-based, counts as a basic attack, and is fully PM-compatible.  This doesn't become a great option until Paragon, where the Versatile Master feat allows you to use Eldritch Strike at-will.  Once that happens, add a slide booster and you'll prone on basically every hit.
    -The third option is the Mark of Storm feat, assuming your DM lets you take it.  This will add a slide to every attack, including basic attacks.  Add in some form of slide booster plus Polearm Momentum, and you're in business.
    The Knight/Slayer focus on basic attacks also works quite well with Polearm Gamble.  Both Mark of Storm and Eldritch Strike work with PG and let you partake of all the melee denial your non-essentials bretheren have been enjoying.


    • Knight prefers Str+Con, while Slayer prefers Str+Dex (which is more PM-friendly).  You won't benefit from wisdom as well as you would with a weaponmaster fighter, but you have to have it for PM.  Personally I think the slayer puts dex to better use than does knight with constitution, so maybe knight can afford a lower con score to get his dex and wisdom up.  That is UNLESS you plan on using Eldritch Strike, in which case you should probably dump strength instead.  I'm not going to bother listing races at the moment.  Maybe later.



    Wizard (Mage and Bladesinger):


    • Mage: The mage is ridiculously well-suited to a PM build.  It comes with tons of wicked sliding and pushing powers (including the Beguiling Strands at-will power), many of which get even better with the Enchantment School Apprentice class feature.  Arcanist Wizards will often take these powers for their own PM builds, but a mage has direct access and the Enchantment bonus to push/slide distance.  The strategy for qualifying for PM is more or less the same as for the Arcanist Wizard, and you have full access to all the same attack powers, including evil walls and zones.  It's rare that I rate a class this highly, but I think this one earns it.

    • Bladesinger: The bladesinger has a few encounter powers that push/slide, but it lacks an at-will power to trigger PM.  It can still use mark of storm and a lightning weapon for melee/close attacks, or obtain an extra at-will with human or half-elf.  The dexterity secondary ability matches PM's requirements nicely.  The class appears to be able to use a glaive as an implement in the same way a wizard gains access (arcane implement proficiency), but many bladesinger features require a 1-handed weapon and a free off-hand, so you'll be missing out on a lot of stuff.  Even though this class can do PM, it's not the greatest fit in my opinion.  I'm open to counter-arguments and suggestions though!





    Themes

    I haven't looked deeply into all the themes available, but this one has been pointed out to me and it's just too good to omit.

    Iron Wolf (D 400): Every encounter attack power knocks prone, and almost every one then follows up with an attack against the same target (exploiting the prone).  These are great attacks for any prone-focused build.  Not all PM builds can prone on the first hit of a multiattack and then exploit the prone (often that requires mark of storm or some other combo that not all builds can do), so consider taking this theme.




    TODO: Detailed discussion of the race+class combos that are the best PM builds, such as dwarven battlemind, dragonborn fighter, etc.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook

    At-will powers


    At-will powrs that can push or slide are prized by PM builds.  PM's ability to prone enemies at-will without a lot of hassle is part of what puts it ahead of other prone methods.  At-will powers can also be combined with Heavy Blade Opportunity for some nasty OAs (including with Polearm Gamble), making them extra potent.

    Note that these are NOT the only at-will powers that can push or slide.  Mark of Storm, barbarian rages, and other sources can make others trigger PM just as well, but I can't reasonably list and rate every possible power so I don't.  I do occasionally mention something that's noteworthy though.

    I'm ordering at-wills for a class alphabetically, except for psionic which I order by level.

    Artificer

    Thundering Armor (EPG): An interesting choice in that it pushes the target away from an ally instead of away from you.  It's also technically a close burst power (that targets only 1 enemy), so it's easier to enchance the push distance.


    Ardent

    Unnerving Shove (L3, PHB3): A natural pushing power, though ardents are not likely to have a high con mod early on (they're pulled between PM's requirements, Charisma as a primary, etc).  Gets better or great later on with a with higher con mod.

    Unsteadying Rebuke (L3, PsP): This can only be used as an immediate reaction, when an enemy attacks you with melee, so make sure you have another good at-will you can use.  Sadly, this power doesn't let you get in extra attacks easily because you lose your standard action on your next turn unless you augment 2 (your average attacks per round doesn't really change without augmenting).  With the slide triggering PM, you can use this better than most ardents by punishing attacks with a slide-prone rebuke.  However, if you're going to be attacking that enemy anyway and you don't want to pay the augment cost, this at-will might not buy you much (and may be a bad idea if you intended to use something more powerful next turn).  With power points, you're basically able to spend your power points as a mini action point to get extra attacks per round when enemies attack you (making this power a bit better).

    Emotional Flood (L17, PsP): Grants temp HP in addition to pushing.  Doesn't depend on your con mod to push, though by this time your con can be high enough to make Unnerving Shove a better option.

    Ruinous Scream (L23, PsP): Another pushing power, and it deafens (for what that's worth).


    Assassin

    Inescapable Blade: A dexterity-based weapon attack that has +2 reach and ignores cover and superior cover.  Given that some PM builds are very reach-focused, this power may be worth stealing with half-elf.


    Avenger

    Overwhelming Strike (PHB2): A staple for PM avengers.  You have to shift and slide the target into the spot you left, leaving you adjacent.  Make sure you can take a hit.


    Barbarian

    Pressing Strike (PHB2): Great pushing power that also lets you shift 2 before the attack, even through enemy spaces.  Top-notch choice.

    Savage Reach (D 384): Good sliding power for polearm users.  Non-reach weapons don't work.


    Bard

    Staggering Note: Very low damage, but pushes 2 and lets an ally get in a melee basic attack at any point during the forced movement (even at the end, when they're prone from PM).


    Battlemind

    Bull's Strength (L1, PHB3): Often the staple starting power for PM Battleminds, which many builds will hold onto for a long time.  Its damage doesn't scale well, but it pushes its targets and can be augmented into a reach attack or close blast 3.  A very solid option!

    Visions of Terror (L3, PHB3): Push 2 without any push boosters, making this a natural choice.

    Wrenching Claw (L3, DS): Solid sliding power, though it requires that the slide end adjacent to you.  Can be augmented for +1 reach.

    Forceful Reversal (L7, DS): An immediate reaction when you're hit, so you can't use this unless it's triggered.  Damages and pushes the target, but you don't get your standard action next turn unless you augment 2.  The augment 2 does keep the enemy from standing until its next turn though, which allows you to exploit its prone during your turn.

    Dizzying Strike (L13, PHB3): Slides 1.  The augments don't trigger PM, though.

    Dazzling Assault (L17, PHB3): This is an immediate interrupt that only activates when your marked victim tries to shift, so have another at-will available that you can use when you need it.  Slides (and thus prones with PM), and immobilizes the target.  Great way to stop the enemy's attempt to get away, but you forfeit your standard action on your next turn unless you augment 4.  The augment 4 does produce some very nice damage though.

    Entangling Weapon (L17, PHB3): Good slide power.  The Augment 4 is nice, as it deals decent damage and slides the target 2 on your following hits for a turn (but not this one).

    Ruinous Grasp (L17, DS): If the target of the attack is marked by you, you can choose it as the creature to slide 3 so that PM will activate.  Not always convenient, but the slide 3 is nice.

    Armor of Blades (L23, PHB3): Another attack that can only be used as an interrupt.  It damages the target and redirects the attack to you.  Great way to protect an ally, though you forfeit next turn's standard action unless you augment 6.  You do get 3[W] out of the augment though, which helps.


    Cleric

    Burden of Earth (D 392): Thank you Dragon Magazine!  Clerics can now push at-will without mark of storm.  As an added bonus, it gives a power bonus to the attack roll for the next guy to attack the victim, which stacks nicely with the CA bonus of prone.

    Storm Hammer (HOFL): Storm and Devout clerics can gain this power, which works nicely with Mark of Storm.  However, with the Devout Warpriest path at 11th level those clerics start pushing 2 with it, and don't need mark of storm.  In this case the power has a slightly better rating, though you are locked into a paragon path to do it.


    Druid

    Chill Wind (PHB2): While this does slide lots of targets, it's hard to boost the slide so that it triggers PM.

    Savage Rend (PHB2): Great beast form attack that slides.  It's melee, so rushing cleats and the like work fine for triggering PM.  It's also a basic attack, allowing it to be used as an OA to prone an enemy (making a druid a fine semi-defender).  Fun fact: If you chose Battle Awareness as your fighter MC feat, you can use this power as the interrupt and slide the enemy out of reach of its attack to cancel it.


    Fighter

    Cleave (PHB): The Longhand Student feat makes this push with a polearm, and it keeps its extra damage to the adjacent target.  Not useful for non-polearm users and takes a feat to get started, so I rate it a bit lower (perhaps unfairly).

    Footwork Lure (PHB): Prones an enemy when you slide it a little extra before depositing it in the spot you left.  This power requires you to deposit the enemy adjacent to you, which is dangerous for characters near death or sporting weak defenses.  It's also hazardous when you're defending adjacent allies, unless you have your CC attack.  However, for a defender who wants to keep enemies under control, this is a very effective power.  You also get a shift out of it, which can be handy for positioning.  Works for any PM weapon, especially polearms that can grab from long range and pull an enemy into CC and OA threat range.

    Tide of Iron (PHB): The natural choice for shield users, this power lets you push the target and shift into its place.  The shiffting is optional (unlike Footwork Lure) so you don't risk messing up your positioning if you need to hold still.  Without some major fanangling (i.e. loose interpretation of gauntlet axe), polearm users won't be picking this feat.

    Weapon Master's Strike (D 382): While not a natural push/slide power, it does have a nasty surprise for enemies that try to shift away.  Great for fighters because their OAs are extra accurate, stop enemy movement, and have the potential to trigger PM with the right feat.  Excellent way to lock an enemy down in a PM build.  Note that this at-will does not increase its damage to 2[W] in Epic.


    Invoker

    Astral Wind (PHH 2): A close blast 3.  Targets fortitude and isn't ally-friendly, but pushes 1.  Also has some bonus damage (con mod) if the enemy tries to approach you, which is suitable to a controller's needs.

    Sun Strike (PHB2): Another ranged power that slides only 1.  Unless you have a way to increase the slide, pass this up.


    Monk

    Crane's Wings (PHB3): An excellent push power with a good damage die and interesting movement technique.  Take care to note that it targets fortitude.

    Five Storms (PHB3): Not a natural push/slide power, but worth mentioning because a monk with Mark of Storm and a lightning implement enjoys proning a crowd.


    Paladin: Nothing yet.


    Psion

    Force Punch (L1, PHB3): Melee power that pushes 1, which can be increased easily enough.  Also pushes other adjacent foes but that won't trigger PM.  You can augment it to increase the push.

    Betrayal (L3, PHB3): Oh, this would be fun if only the slide were larger than 1 without having to augment.  Hard to increase on a ranged poewr.

    Psychic Anomaly (L3, PsP): Summoning an anomaly at-will that lets you make OAs against adjacent enemies when they start their turn is nasty enough, but add the slide 3 and suddenly PM triggers and prones the targets too.  An excellent power for proning and repositioning enemies at-will.

    Dread Spirit (L7, PHB3): Another ranged power that slides only 1 unless you augment it.

    Kinetic Buffer (L7, PsP): Close burst 1 that pushes 1, plus a bonus to defenses.  Not bad.  It's not ally friendly unless you augment it, and it targets fortitude, but still a solid choice.

    Inexplicable Attraction (L13, PsP): Ah, finally a ranged slide power that works.  This one slides 3 so long as you end it adjacent to any creature.  Also a nice augment 4 that targets 2 creatures and penalizes them for not sticking by their buddies.

    Kinetic Wave (L13, PsP): Push in a close blast 3.  Targets allies and fortitude, so be warned.  Can be augmented 4 to increase the blast to 5 and the push damage to your wisdom mod.

    Sudden Control (L23, PHB3): Slide the target, knock it prone with PM, and then make it attack its ally.  If you augment 2 to punish the creature for missing, it works well since prone will affect its accuracy.  Sadly, the slide distance is equal to your charisma mod, which may not be very high because of PM's requirements.  As this is a ranged power, it's hard to find ways to increase the slide distance enough to get use out of this power with PM.

    Kinetic Detonation (L27, PsP): Area burst 2 within 10 squares that pushes 2.  Low base damage, but you can augment 2 or 6 to make the spell nastier by increasing damage, burst radius, and possibly push distance.  Not a bad choice at all!


    Ranger: Nothing yet, but rangers can use the Staggering Strike feat to trade a die of hunter's quarry for a push on any attack once per round (or Mark of Storm), so pick any at-wills you like.  I recommend twin strike.


    Runepriest: Nothing yet.  If only Rune of the Astral Winds were a weapon/implement power.


    Seeker: Nothing yet.


    Shaman: Nothing yet.


    Sorcerer

    Dragonfrost (PHB2): Great pushing power, and a ranged basic attack (which may upgrade its rating).


    Swordmage

    Luring Strike (AP): Damage is low because the regular int mod bonus is omitted.  However, you get two shifts and slide the target adjacent (into the space you left with one of the shifts).  One of the shifts happens before or after the attack, giving you some great options.  One especially effective strategy is to slide the target close, then shift away.  This works uniquely for swordmage because their marks trigger their immediate from a distance, so staying adjacent no longer matters (if they attack an ally you will be there to punish them).  This method gets even better with polearm gamble and heavy blade opportunity, since crawling to you will trigger a violent reprimand.  All in all, an excellent positioning tool, especially in a PG build.

    Sword Burst (FRPG): Not a natural PM power, but with enough support (e.g. mark of stom and either a lightning weapon or arcane admixture) it's a welcome ally-friendly burst power that slides.


    Vampire

    Vampire Slam (HOS): It's a pushing implement power with melee 1 range, and it can be used as a melee basic attack.  It also uses Dex as its primary.  That has a lot of potential for abuse, say with the Kulkor paragon path plus Draconic Arrogance, or with Polearm Gamble.  Expect to bend over backwards to get it to work in a build though, since you'll need to be able to use a spear or polearm as an implement (vampires can't normally), and I don't yet see Hybrid Vampire as an option in the compendium.  I suppose a half-elf could steal it for use in another class, though.


    Warden: None so far.  You'll probably need mark of storms to get PM at-will.


    Warlock

    Echoing Dirge (HoS): Pushes up to 2 targets 2 squares.  Not bad at all.

    Eldritch Strike (PHH 1): Damages, slides 1, uses Cha or Con, and is a melee basic attack.  Yes, that's about right.  This is one of the most frequently pilfered at-wills, because so many other classes want to use it (possibly upgrading its rating).  Nasty in combination with Polearm Gamble, as well as anything else that grats you a basic attack (warlord ally, immediate interrupt attack, etc).


    Warlord

    Opening Shove (MP): You deal no damage, but this power targets reflex, pushes the target, and lets an ally attack it or shift away.  It's a weapon power so PM will trigger, allowing the ally's attack to exploit the prone enemy with prejudice.

    Viper's Strike (PHB): Pushes the target if you have the Longhand Student feat and wield a polearm.  Deals damage and and lets allies get an OA if the target shifts, which works really well for shutting down the newly proned target.  Send the party defender or striker a present.


    Wizard

    Beguiling Strands (HOFL): Pathetic damage (and no damage roll so nothing gets added to it), but it's a close blast 5 that targets Will and pushes 3 and triggers PM right out of the box... yes, that will do nicely.  Plus it's ally-friendly, so it's a great option to spam in a crowd.
    Fun extras you can add



    • Psychic Lock feat: The psychic keyword works well with Psychic Lock to hinder enemy accuracy (-2 for a round if you hit them).  This is in addition to proning a crowd and pushing them around.  What a fantastic option to spam at-will!

    • School of Magic Apprentice feat: You can trade in your arcane implement (which sees little or no use in a PM build because you're using a glaive instead) for the Mage's Enchantment Apprentice class feature, which increases the push by 2 for this and other enchantment powers you grab from mage.




    Freezing Burst (HOFL): This would be great, but it's hard to increase the slide on an area attack.

    Hypnotism (HOFL): Another slide on a ranged power... but this one is 3 squares right out of the box so no problem.  Unfortunately this power deals no damage on its own, and to get the slide for PM you have to give up making the target attack its ally.  Still, the choice between the two is okay since PM makes the slide option really tempting.

    Phantom Bolt (AP): Not a great option, as slides on a ranged power are hard to increase to trigger PM.

    Thunderwave (PHB): A close blast 3 that pushes.  A bit smaller area than beguiling strands, but full damage so it's a good competitor.  However, unlike beguiling strands this attack is unfriendly to allies and targets Fortitude (which isn't the best stat to target much of the time).  However, the push distance is dependent on your wisdom, which is already 2+ if you qualify for PM.  The distance scales nicely with increases in wisdom, potentially allowing you to chuck targets quite some distance at-will!
    Also, it's a thunder power, meaning Resounding Thunder increases its size to 4x4.



    Other interesting powers


    Unless someone wants to compile the list for me, I'm not prepared to list every encounter and daily power that pushes or slides.  Compiling and maintaining such a list would be a harsh form of self punishment that not even I I think I deserve.    However, I will list some powers that are especially noteworthy, if not downright evil.

    In a general sense, besides just picking powers that push or slide, you can also prioritize those that inflict debilitating conditions like daze or stun (both of which are amazing when combined with prone).  If you have a feat like Mark of Storm or some other effect that makes every attack push or slide, then that frees up your power selection greatly (though daily and encounter powers that push/slide a lot are quite nice).  Given that PM will probably make enemies turn on you, you should also invest in healing and defensive powers.

    Especially for spellcasters, I recommend zones, walls and personal-range powers that damage when a creature enters or starts its turn inside.  These are awesome in a PM build because you can force enemies in with ease, and prone enemies have trouble escaping the death zone without totally forfeiting their other actions.  Examples include Hunger of Hadar (warlock), Rain of Steel (fighter), Blade Barrier (cleric), and Wall of Fire (wizard).  I won't be listing them all because the list is huge, but keep an eye out for them when picking powers.


    TODO: "Dammit Scottie, I need more powers!"  "I kinna do it cap'n, I don't have the time!"
    I'll add more as they're recommended to me. 


    Bard

    Compulsion (L5 Daily, AP): Activates PM, and you get to slide the target at the start or end of its turn (repeatedly applying prone) until it saves.  Enemy cannot use move actions (which includes standing up) until they save.  Excellent daily for a PM build!

    Thunder Blade (L9 Daily, PHB2): For the rest of the encounter, your at-wills slide 2 as long as the slide ends adjacent to an ally.


    Fighter

    Savage Butchery (L29 Daily, MP2): If you're using a halberd and an enemy doesn't get up between attacks (or you use an action point), you can get another 1[W] damage out of this power.  It also targets up to 3 creatures, making up for its rather lackluster base damage.

    Shield and a Hard Place (L9 Daily, D 385): Grab the target and deal str mod damage until it escapes.  And since you're a primary source of proning targets, this could be ideal.  Really nice if you have bonuses to keeping the target from escaping grabs, though that's usually brawler territory (and they don't often use shields).


    Paladin

    Aspect of Domination (L6 Daily Util, HOSF): At-wills push on hit, though the distance is your Cha mod.


    Warden

    Form of the Fearsome Ram (L1 Daily, PHB2): For the rest of the encounter your at-wills will push 1, or increase their push by 1 if they already do it.


    Wizard

    Summon of Earthwind Ravager (L25 Daily, D 385): While the creature is summoned, your at-will and basic attacks push 2, plus some other fun stuff.


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

    Feats for a prone-oriented build



    The central feat of this build is, of course, Polearm Momentum.  It is a fighter-only feat, so other classes will either have to be hybrid fighters or multiclass into fighter to procure the feat.  It's worth it, and many classes (such as battlemind) will have a taste for fighter options anyway.

    Beyond multiclassing into fighter, the other feats I list here are directly relevant to the Polearm Momentum combo.  As spectacularly good as feats like Weapon Expertise and Resilience of Stone may be, I'll leave their discussion to the other fine class-specific manuals.  This guide focuses on feats that directly enhance and facilitate a PM focus.

    I'm splitting the feats list into several categories, depending on the power source, class or race they require.  Since everyone has to either be a fighter or multiclass into fighter for the combo, I'm listing fighter feats first, and all other classes in a nested sblock.  When a feat is going to be listed in multiple sblocks (i.e. a feat that requires both fighter and dwarf), I'll detail it once and only list it elsewhere (with a note on where to find its detailed listing).

    Fighter Multiclass Feats

    You have several feats to choose from to get you into the fighter class. You may be sore about having to spend an additional feat getting into fighter just to get Polearm Momentum, but fear not, the feat is not wasted. Every one lets you choose a fighter class skill, and you get one other bonus that mimics a fighter option in function but not in name (for example, even though it acts like Combat Challenge, it doesn't qualify you for CC feats, etc).


    Some of these side bonuses are handy despite their limitations. Remember though, the goal is to get into fighter, even if you don't care about the side bonus. Pick the feat that works for your stats. Thanks to the magic of MP2, if you can now get into fighter with 13 Con, Dex, Wis, or Strength. These new options are really helpful for characters that don't have the stat points to spare!


     


    Battle Awareness (MP: Str 13 and Wis 13) – Skill training, and once per encounter you can simulate a combat challenge attack. The enemy doesn't have to be marked which makes it really versatile, especially if your class has an at-will that counts as a melee basic attack and causes a slide/push to cancel a melee attack (I remember having fun as a Druid, for example).


     


    Brawling Warrior (MP2: Str 13 or Wis 13) – Skill training, and if you have an off-hand free you can gain +1 to attack or AC once per encounter. Nice that the stat requirements are an OR not an AND, so non-strength classes take note even if your offhand will always be occupied. You already have ample Wis for PM, so this feat is ideal.


     


    Cyclone Warrior (MP2: Str 13 or Dex 13) – Skill training, and if you're dual wielding with the right armor, you get a scaling bonus to damage once per encounter. Again, even if you don't care about the tempest-like ability, this feat is valuable for the OR in its requirements. You already have ample Dex for PM, so this feat is a great option for the combo.


     


    Student of the Sword (PHB: Str 13) – Skill training, and once per encounter you get a +1 bonus to attack with a 1-handed or 2-handed weapon (you choose which when taking the feat, I imagine... but it doesn't say!), and you can mark the target even if the attack misses.


     


    Wrathful Warrior (MP2: Str 13 or Con 13) – Skill training, and once per encounter you gain con mod temp HP when hit by a close or melee attack. If you have an okay con mod then this may be the best of the bunch because it's so easy to benefit from the temp HP. Once again, the stat requirement is an OR not AND, so con users take note (I'm looking at YOU, Battleminds!).





    General Feats

    Heroic



    Battering Shield (Heroic, PHB3) - If you're wielding a heavy shield, this increases push/slide distance by 1 for melee attacks.  It's an excellent way for shield users to get the combo started, possibly even mandatory (especially in low-magic campaigns).  Be aware, however, that it does not apply to close attacks.

    Bludgeon Expertise (Heroic, HOFL/HOFK) - While normally worthless in a PM build, this feat is very useful for Arena Training fighters who interpret the feat-sharing feature as sharing the whole feat (see notes on fighter).  It's a nice way to add 1 to slide distance.

    Deadly Draw (Heroic, PHB3) – Sliding enemies is what tiggers do best, and combat advantage is a great reward for sliding an opponent next to you.  The enemy will likely be prone in this combo though, so CA will often be implied.  Situationally better against opponents that might resist the prone, like dwarves, but that's not much.

    Grounding Shot (Heroic, PHB3) - Ranged users will like this feat, be that you or members of your party.  +2 damage against prone targets and ignore the ranged penalty against them.  Possibly a must in a ranged PM build that expects enemies to still be prone when they attack (such as a multi-attacking ranger).  Otherwise, this feat faces the same dilemma as Headman's Chop: how to hit the enemy again before it gets the chance to stand.  If you have ranged allies, this is an especially good feat for them because you'll be generating prone enemies consistently.

    Headsman's Chop (Heroic, PHB 3) – The combos page offers an example of how to exploit this as a brawler fighter or ranger.  It takes a good chunk of support, and you usually want to do more than just this feat to enjoy the payoff.  You can add another +5 with Gauntlets of Brutality, and still more damage with the Moonstalker paragon path.  With enough support and ways to keep the target prone, this could be a good or great focus.  Without that kind of support, you'll probably get the most use out of it when enemies choose to crawl rather than stand up – hit them when they're down to remind them they're playing by your rules.
    Another (somewhat easier) way to get use out of this feat is the free attack granted by the Kulkor Arms Master paragon path at L16.  Kulkor + headman's chop + gauntlets of brutality is a great way to get bonus damage into a prone-focused build.
    This is a great feat for your allies to take, FYI, since you'll be providing a constant stream of prone enemies for them to murder.  Same with Grounding Shot.  However, unless you can do afford the investment to keep enemies prone or multiattack frequently, you probably won't be using this feat much yourself.

    Jousting Charge (Heroic, D 401) - If you do a lot of mounted combat, this lets you trigger PM when you charge.

    Staff Expertise (Heroic, HOFL/HOFK) - Utterly worthless, unless you're a fighter with Arena Training and you interpret the feat-sharing feature to mean all parts of the feat are shared (see notes on fighter).  In that case you can add +1 reach to your polearm/spear (up to a reach of 5 with Stoneblessed + Eternal Defender).  Then suddenly it's amazing.

     

    Paragon


     
    Heavy Blade Opportunity (Paragon, PHB) – Glaive users take note, this feat lets you use an at-will as an OA, which is great with polearm momentum.  The ability to use any un-augmented weapon at-will power canbe very potent.  Can become ridiculously powerful with polearm gamble in the right hands (i.e. psionic classes like battlemind, who have tons of at-wills).  Other classes with good at-wills can put it to good use.  Fighter example: Footwork Lure is a nice at-will power for snagging the enemy, sliding it into a new position, and knocking it prone. Weapon Master's Strike grants an OA when the target shifts, lasting a full round. A pushing Cleave is another option, if you don't already have forceful opportunist.  Note that HBO only works with at-will powers that have the weapon keyword, and you can't spend power points to augment the power while using it through HBO.  This saps some of the awesome things people were doing with Battlemind builds, but oh well.

    Polearm Gamble (Paragon, PHB) – For those who opted for polearms, this feat makes for some very interesting strategies, especially if you can push/slide on an OA and knock the target down/get it away from you (forceful opportunist and mark of storm, for example). Melee enemies that do not have reach may find it impossible to approach you. Could be very effective in Epic with Knockback Swing and a halberd, since you'll push-prone an approaching enemy even if you miss.  Also insane when a psionic class like battlemind combines it with heavy blade opportunity.  Pushing basic attacks like Eldritch Strike, and the Forceful Opportunist feat, are also   quite effective along these lines.  You might as well purchase a sign to post out in front of you which reads, "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here".  Loses a bit of steam in Epic when enemies have reach and mobility, and the battlefield is more open & 3D (making it hard to get enemies to enter squares adjacent to you).  Depending on how your DM plays, that can downgrade this feat's rating, especially in Epic.
    Special Rules Notes

    Reach Required: Not all polearms have reach, specifically the Talenta.  The way this feat works is you attack the enemy as an interrupt before it enters the adjacent square, so it's 2 squares away when you attack.  This is great if you can immobilize the target with Pinning Strike, or in our case push it away and prone it before it ever got in range.  However, if you can't reach the target from 2 squares away, the attack fails.  Players using a non-reach polearm like the talenta should either forget Polearm Gamble, or should increase their reach somehow.  Examples include using an Arena Training fighter with staff expertise, or the Eternal Defender epic destiny.

    Won't Trigger on Shift, Teleport or Forced Movement: I've been informed that the long and bloody war on whether PG triggers on shifts etc is finally over.  It does not trigger on shifts, teleports or forced movement.  Rather than explain why, I'm just going to describe ways to deal with it.  First, get yourself some Antipathy Gloves, which will prevent enemies from shifting up to you.  Second, be prepared for teleporting enemies.  Your DM is very likely to introduce you to some.


    Psychic Lock (Paragon, PHB) - With a psychic attack (including using a githyanki silver glaive), this applies a -2 to attack rolls.  This combos well with the -2 from being prone.  The enemy can either spend a move action to stand and reduce the total penalty to -2, or he can stay prone and attack at a -4 penalty.  Great way to stack up the harm.

    Resounding Thunder (Paragon, PHB) - Increases burst size of thunder powers, but not lightning.  Thunder is an uncommon damage type for most builds (and there's no thunder item to change damage type to thunder, unlike lightning), though arcane admixture can add it to a power you like.  If you have thunder powers and you can't help but think "Hmm... this blast should be larger", this is the feat for you.  When applied to the right power, it can be very effective.

    Spear Push (Paragon, PHB) – If you don't have a magic item to do it for you, and you're not using a shield (in that case use battering shield), then use this feat bump to up your push distance to the magic number of 2 for Polearm Momentum. Unfortunately it's a paragon feat and its Str requirement is quite high, which is sorry news for non-strength classes. If you're already pushing 2+ and you have a spare feat, this is a great way to further increase the distance to keep enemies from crawling to you or reaching your allies.



    Fighter Feats

    These feats can also be interesting to other classes who only multiclassed in, unless the feat requires something that multiclassing doesn't give (like combat challenge or fighter weapon talent).


    Also of interest is the feat listing in lordduskblade's amazing Fighter Guide.  I regularly referred to it while compiling this much shorter list. Remember to take feats to improve your initiative and survivability, especially with a PM defender build.


     


    Heroic


     


     Extended Arena Training (Heroic, DS) - Players who are already abusing the amazing Arena Training option for fighters will like this feat (see notes on fighter), which gives an additional 2 areana weapons with which to stack feats.  With the right focus this gets ridiculous.  You could, for example, combine Staff Expertise and Bludgeon Expertise to add +1 reach (reach 5 on a glaive with stoneblessed and eternal defender, for example) and +1 to slide distance for all your polearm's attacks.  If you (or your DM) don't interpret Arena Training loosely enough for this, however, then this probably isn't worth the feat.

     


    Forceful Opportunist (Heroic, D 379) - Pushing on an Opportunity attack is a very powerful addition to a PM Defender's arsenal, especiallywith Polearm Gamble.

     


    Hindering Shield (Heroic, D 385) - A hit against an enemy while you're wielding a shield applies slow.  The slow only lasts until the start of your next turn instead of the end (which is a problem for WSG builds), but for most players that won't matter much.  Slow + prone is a nice combo, especially if you've pushed the target more than 2 squares away.


     


    Mobile Challenge (Heroic, D 378) - This lets you follow the enemy trying to shift away after you tag them with your CC attack.  If you're using shield push, this will help you stay closer to the enemy, though they'll probably be farther than 1 square away by then.


     


    Pin Down (Heroic, D 368) – Brawler fighters may love this, with the right support.  A prone target you're grabbing can't stand until the grab ends (you let go or it escapes).  Given the Brawler's focus on grabbing and holding grabs, this could be a great way to exploit PM's prone... especially with Headman's Chop, Gauntlets of Brutality, and/or Moonstalker.


    Shield Push (Heroic, PHB) - Shield users can use this to turn their CC attack into a powerful ally defense, especially since it ties into the PM combo so well.  If you hit the enemy, you push it out of range and knock it prone, preventing the attack meant for your ally unless the attacker has enough reach (and they'll still be prone, so -2 to the roll).  Non-shield users or MC characters without Combat Challenge are uninterested.


     Swift Spear (Heroic, D 378) – At first glance, you can combine this with any means to increase slide distance (magic item, etc) to slide and prone an enemy with a spear OA (be it two-handed or one-handed).  You do have to end the slide adjacent to you, however, so it's most suited to a Defender role. The feat gets really interesting if your opportunity attacks already push and knock prone, allowing you to then slide the proned enemy back to you where you can keep them under control.

     
     

    Paragon


     


    Pinning Challenge (Paragon, D 379)- Hitting a marked target with a melee basic attack like an OA or CC attack immobilizes the target? After it was pushed away and knocked prone? Yes please.  This is a great way to lock an opponent down and keep it off of you or an ally, or keep it in a wall of fire or other horrible hazard.



     Staggering Challenge (Paragon, D 378) - Shield users may like this, as it knocks prone on a CC hit without forced movement (not even requiring polearm momentum).  This gets past resistance to forced movement (i.e. dwarves).  This feat may be effective before you get the full combo together; otherwise, Shield Push already does all you need.


     

     


    Epic


     

    Allied Opportunity (Epic, MP2) – TODO: Depending on whether you can gain this benefit at the end of the forced movement, you could push/slide the target to an ally and let him get in a free attack.  Not sure if that's how it works though...


     

    Knock-Back Swing (Epic, MP) – Making every OA push and knock prone whether you hit or miss is potent, and just plain mean with Polearm Gamble. However, your Con must be 17 for this one (hard to do in some builds), and you must be wielding an axe-polearm (halberd) for Polearm Momentum to still kick in.  Unfortunately, by Epic the monsters have reach, mobility, and other means to bypass Polearm Gamble and provoke fewer OAs in general, so the PG+KS combo becomes less exciting by the time it's available.  However, that's somewhat DM-dependent, and this feat is still great for situations like a defender locking down a ranged creature.  If the creature tries a ranged attack, it's going down even on a miss.


     


    Mobile Warrior (Epic, MP)– With a glaive or any spear, you can shift 1 after the attack even on a miss, allowing you to follow your target after pushing and proning him. Unlike mobile challenge, this applies to every attack (not just CC). Using forced movement can be trouble if you push the target out of your realm of influence, so being able to follow it wherever it goes helps a lot.


     Rapid Combat Challenge (Epic, D 387) - An additional use of Combat Challenge is a cause for celebration for Shield Push users, because they're now able to stop a second attack against allies (if they can multi-mark, anyway).  Helpful for when the monsters wise up and start using a pariah to take the fighter's one CC attack so others can attack safely.  For other users this feat may be less relevant or worthless (i.e. no combat challenge).




     


    Martial Feats

    Heroic


    Catspaw Style (D 368) - Requires Cha 13, but may be useful to lovers of Footwork Lure.  You can skip shifting and instead slide the target to any square adjacent to you.  Can make positioning with Footwork Lure a lot easier and more versatile.  Is that worth a feat?  Eh, up to you.



    Longhand Student [Lesser Feat] (Heroic, Combat Style for Fighter/Warlord, Heroic, MP2) – Cleave (fighter) and Viper's Strike (Warlord) now push 1. This is a critical component for granting polearm users the ability to push and knock prone at-will as soon as they can increase push distance, without mark of storm.  For warlords and some fighters it's probably their ticket to doing the combo at-will, so take heed!


     


    Partisan Polearm Infantry/Partisan Polearm Captain [Greater Feat] (Heroic, Combat Style for Fighter/Warlord, Heroic, MP2) – These feats give CA when you push, which you could be doing often. Limited to non-spear polearms though, and can't be combined with Longhand Student in the same attack.  The CA isn't fantastic because prone enemies already give CA.


    Arena Fighting Feats

    Raam's Maw Practice (DS): Threatening Rush (Fighter) and Paint the Bulls-Eye (Warlord) now push 1, giving these classes a way to prone at-will.  This is mostly important for polearm fighters, who are a bit limited in their options early on without Mark of Storm.


    Spear and Shield Style (D 368): The fighter's Tide of Iron's reach increases by 1, and the warlord's Opening Shove lets him shift.  These are both staples for PM builds of those classes, so this may well be worth a feat.  The main reason I mention it though is because this is a great way to get reach in a shield build, even if only for 1 power.



    Class-Specific Feats for classes other than Fighter



    Battlemind

    Heroic



    Lure of Iron (Heroic, PHB3) – It's a trap: Making mind spike slide the target is nice, but it doesn't activate the Polearm Momentum combo because mind spike is not a weapon/implement power. Not a terrible feat to take, but not applicable to this combo.


    Telekinetic Savant (Heroic, DS) - Requires the Wild Focus power, so wild battleminds only.  A major feat for battleminds who are willing to take the (otherwise less than optimal) wild path, since it allows them to increase the push & slide distance of all their battlemind powers and get the combo going.  This can be used to replace Battering Shield and free their shield hand for wielding a Glaive or Greatspear, or it can replace the magic item filling that role.
    Unfortunately, Wild Focus favors Charisma and thus stretches your stats quite thin (or leave Cha low and forfeit the wild focus benefits).  Battle Resilience offers better stat synergy, but you'll have to use Battering Shield or a magic item to increase push/slide distance.  Keep these trade-offs in mind when deciding whether this feat is right for you.


    Thundering Force (Paragon, DS) - Requires the Wild Focus power, so wild battleminds only.  However, this feat allows you to add the Thunder keyword and damage type to all your psionic force powers.  This is fantastic for Mark of Storm builds, and allows combining with other thunder feats like Resounding Thunder.



     


    Psion

    Heroic


     


    Controlling Advantage (Heroic, PHB3) – Increasing forced movement by 1 square goes a long way toward the combo, though you have to have CA against the target. A forceful implement is probably much better.



     


    Ranger

    Heroic


     


    Staggering Strike (Heroic, MP2) – Exchange one die of your Hunter's Quarry damage to push an enemy, essentially allowing you to push at-will. This is the Ranger's opening to the Polearm Momentum combo, and it works for both melee and ranged attacks.



     


    Shaman

    Paragon


     


    Cyclone Spirit (Paragon, PrP) - You have to choose World Speaker Spirit, but this feat causes all forced movement you and allies cause to increase by 1, so long as the movement started adjacent to your spirit.  Spirits are very vulnerable, especially once the DM figures out your spirit is the key component of your build.  However, this may be a good way to increase push & slide distance for shamans and anyone hybriding (or multiclassing?) into shaman.



     


    Warden

    Heroic


    Swaying Branches (Heroic, DM 392): Slide 1 on your Warden's Fury attack lets you slide the attacker away from your ally and knock it prone with PM.  Similar to shield push for a fighter, possibly way better (slide instead of push, doesn't require shield, and doesn't require adjacent).  Very effective way for a warden to play defender and keep attacks focused on himself.  However, one critical difference is that you must give up damage to slide/prone with this feat.  Another, possibly better option is mark of storm and a lightning weapon.




    Wizard

    Heroic


    School of Magic Apprentice (Heroic, CC): Swap out your Arcane Implement Mastery feature (which sees little use in a PM build because you're using a Glaive) for the mage's Apprentice Mage feature.  I recommend picking the Enchantment school for the bonus to push and slide distance, which affects Beguiling Strands and any other enchantment powers you steal from mage.  Many of the enchantment powers are perfect for PM, so this is actually a great option if you pick more than one or two.



    Arcane Feats

    Heroic


    Arcane Implement Proficiency (AP): Want to use a glaive as an implement as, say, a wizard or warlock?  Not a problem.  So long as any other arcane class is "associated" with an implement (so swordmage for glaive), you can use it too with this feat's help.  Non-arcane classes can use this feat too, so long as they multiclass or hybrid into an arcane class (though this can be tricky since you need to multiclass into figher already for PM).  In some cases where an implement class has no other way to channel implement spells through a spear/polearm (for example, cleric), this feat is required to get the job done.


    Enlarge Spell (AP): You can take a -2 penalty to each damage die to increase the burst/blast size of an arcane spell by 1.  Though it reduces your damage, it can help catch more enemies, which is especially nasty in a PM build that will prone said targets.  Arguably nicer for spells that don't roll a lot of dice anyway (such as at-will powers), since they take the lowest hit for the return they get.


    Paragon


    Arcane Admixture (AP): The ability to add lightning or thunder to a key power in your arsenal is very valuable to a Mark of Storm build.  This could turn a perky burst or blast spell into an evil harbinger of proning death.  The downside to this feat is it only affects one power at a time -- to apply it to 5 powers you must take it 5 times.  It's really useful to add Thunder to a key at-will or other power that normally wouldn't trigger PM with Mark of Storm... do it once or twice, but don't go crazy.  You only have so many feat slots, and lots of other great options.


    One final note: with the way resistance works, adding more damage types to a power makes it harder for enemies to resist the power (they have to resist all its damage types or it penetrates right through).  This makes arcane admixture a doubly-effective feat, and possibly superior to a weapon/implement that simply replaces all damage types with one type (lightning weapon, for example, makes your build vulnerable to lightning-resistant enemies).  However, a lightning glaive will apply to all of your powers, while arcane admixture only affects one power per time you take it.  Know the trade-off when you choose.



    Divine Feats

    Heroic


       
    Power of Skill
    (Heroic, DP)
    - This is great for avengers who want to use Overwhelming Strike, a sliding power, as a basic attack.  In the right combo (e.g. with polearm momentum) it can be quite effective.  Invokers may also be interested, since divine bolts is a lightning power that mixes well with Mark of Storm to trigger the combo.

    Power of Storm [Domain] (Heroic, DP) - Storm Domain only.  Lets you change the damage type to thunder for specific at-will powers.  This means mark of storm will trigger and start the combo.  You also get a +2/+3/+4 damage bonus, making this better than Arcane Admixture (plus it's heroic level instead of paragon), though keep in mind that it replaces damage types instead of adding to them.  Unfortunately it only applies to specific at-will powers, but they're not bad at-will powers (actually pretty good).

    Racial Feats

    Dragonborn

    Paragon


     

    Draconic Arrogance (Paragon, MP) – Each time you push, and each time you knock a target prone (so twice when you do both), you deal damage to the target equal to your strength modifier. If you have any kind of strength bonus (especially if it's your primary or secondary stat), this is a great feat to have. Also take a look at the fighter paragon path Iron Vanguard, which does this with Constitution (and stacks with this).  Note that the damage on push and prone applies even if PM wasn't involved.  This means Wolfstone Frenzy and other powers that push more than the target (or those that don't use a spear) will get the full benefit.


     



     


     


    Dwarf

    Any dwarf should make use of the excellent dwarven healing feats like Resilience of Stone and Dwarven Durability, since a push-prone defender tends to be targeted a lot. However, dwarves do offer something more directly related to the combo as well.


    Heroic


     

    Devoted Challenge (Heroic, MP) – Add wisdom to the attack and damage roll of Combat Challenge attacks, putting their accuracy on par with OAs. Really nice for the shield fighter who likes to push-prone with CC, meaning enemies will NOT opt to attack allies or shift.


     



     


    Eladrin

    Heroic


     


    Eladrin Soldier (Heroic, PHB) – Proficiency with all spears you say? And a +2 bonus to spear damage rolls? Sounds like a fantastic way to get a Greatspear and start tearing it up.  Also a good way to get better spears for classes with only simple weapon proficiency, or worse.



     


    Genasi

    Paragon


     


    Shocking Flame (Paragon, FRPG) - This feat could allow stormsoul genasi using Mark of Storm to trade in their lightning enchanted weapon for something else, because it adds lightning damage (and thus the lightning keyword) to all your melee attacks (basically serving the lightning enchantment's role).  However, it ONLY applies to melee attacks (not your close or ranged attacks), so keep that in mind.  Pick this if you really need a different weapon enchantment, otherwise the lightning enchantment probably does better.



     


    Goliath

    Avalanche Reaver (Paragon, MP2) - Goliath only.  Hitting with a charge attack also pushes the target 1 square, triggering PM.  You can shift into any square the target vacated, which could be interpreted to mean any square along its push path since you extend the push to 2+.  In any case, for a charge-focused build this could be excellent.  Charges are not as easy to exploit as an at-will power, but it's great to apply PM to them.



    Half-Elf

    Paragon


     


    Versatile Master (Paragon, PHB 2) – Classes that lack an at-will push power would do well to look at half-elf because of this feat. It allows you to use your dilettante power at-will (instead of only once per encounter), allowing you to gain access to a push or slide power that suits you.  If your class has no better way to push or slide at-will, this feat may be a life saver.



     


    Human

    Wolfstone Heritage (D 386) - A somewhat boring feat for a polearm build.  The true value is in the feat it unlocks, Wolfstone Warrior.


    Wolfstone Warrior (D 386) - Humans who can spare the two feats should take special note of this one.  It lets you trade out an at-will for the Wolfstone Frenzy at-will power, which on a hit damages its target and then pushes all adjacent enemies 1 square.  It also works with your highest ability score, so it's perfect for any weapon class.  For classes who lack at-will pushing powers, this could be their ticket into the combo.  Do note that PM only prones the target of the power, so that makes wolfstone frenzy a little less amazing, but valuable all the same.



     


    Shadar-kai

    Dread of Sakkors (Heroic, D 391) - Lets you push 2 and slow the target on a hit.  You have to be insubstantial, though, so it's usually very situational (epic revenants can do it easily).


     


    Warforged

    Heroic


     


    Warforged Superiority (Heroic, MP 2) – Knock prone on an OA, which is nice before the PM combo takes shape, or if you're not taking Forceful Opportunist.  Also great in combination with Polearm Gamble, though most characters will have the full combo working by then and will have trained out this feat.  Thus, this feat becomes redundant or obsolete after the PM combo kicks in.






    Dragonmark Feats (EPG)

    As stated in the Fighter Handbook, Dragonmark feats are different from other Heroic Tier feats in that: (a) you can only have one of them at a time, and (b) they usually come with an associated race, which I will be noting. Note that the feat doesn't actually force you to be of that race, so if your DM agrees, you can take this feat while being a member of another race.


    There are also other potentially biting roleplay implications that your DM may pull on you, depending on his style and expectations. If you're playing an Eberron campaign and are the right race, AND you're okay with the roleplay riders of the feat, feel free grabbing these as they're quite powerful. Otherwise check with your DM for any caveats.


     


    Mark of Storm (Heroic, Half-Elf) – Combine this with a lightning-enchanted weapon to slide with every attack, be it an at-will, encounter, daily, OA, immediate interrupt basic attack, etc. If your DM lets you take this, you just might be crazy not to.


    Note that it's somewhat unwise to have every attack you make be a single element (you'll understand when the DM first sends shambling mounds after you).  Mark of Storm builds are very vulnerable to lightning-resistant or immune enemies, so make sure you have a backup plan, even if that means turning off your lightning weapon's damage type.  It's okay to stop knocking enemies prone to be able to damage them.  ;)

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

    Paragon Paths


    You don't have to choose a paragon path that fits Polearm Momentum, as there are lots of great paths out there.  However, some of these can turn a good PM build into an amazing PM build with what they offer.

    Note that the vast majority of these paragon paths are for melee builds (I didn't find many ranged options, sorry).  If you're willing to give up the daily & encounter powers you can often put the path features to work in a ranged build, if that's worth it to you.

    If none of these paths suit your build, pick something that does.  You don't have to pick a path that matches with PM to make a good build!

    Beastbloodied Minotaur (D 369): A permanent +1 reach at level 16, and push/slide on its util and daily are the PM-worthy featues of this build (note that the encounter power is not a weapon attack and won't trigger PM).  You also get an attack when bloodied, +2 speed at L16, and a free charge when you spend an action point.  As far as reach goes, Stoneblessed makes better use of it with Threatening Reach, but this is an overall very good path.

    Devout Warpriest (HOFL): Warpriest only.  This path is noteworthy because it causes the Storm Hammer at-will power to push 2, among its other benefits.

    Iron Guardian (PHB3): Interesting Battlemind path for its Aspect of the Iron Guardian daily attack, which gives you an augment 1 for your at-wills for the rest of the encounter: Adjacent enemies who fall prone or start their turn prone take con mod damage.  Costs a daily to start and a lot of power points to keep going though.  Other battlemind paths may actually be preferable, or something non-battlemind like moonstalker.

    Iron Vanguard (PHB): This is a perfect fit for a PM build, as it offers an encounter power that pushes (and thus prones); a daily that pushes, prones and dazes; and a L16 ability that damages enemies every time you push them and every time you knock them prone (twice if you do both).  It also offers great action point features, and lifegain when you kill enemies.  Note that Trample the Fallen applies to every push and prone, not just those that apply to PM (so Wolfstone Frenzy users will love it).  This path strongly favors a high strength and constitution, though it's still decent without the con bonuses.  Non-strength classes like Battlemind may choose to take this path even though they'll miss out on the strength-based powers, simply for the con bonuses like trample the fallen.

    Kulkor Arms Master (MP2): Great choice even though it requires a feat you probably won't use, and several of its features will not benefit you.  Why?  This path offers a great L16 called Smite the Fallen.  This gives a free melee basic attack against an enemy when you prone it with a melee attack, but only once per round.  A PM build that slides targets (keeping them within reach) and prones them with PM regularly will be able to get a lot of use out of this path.  It essentially allows you to exploit your own prone-generating build every round, because you're always multi-attacking.  Just make sure to keep targets within your melee reach after the push/slide so you get the extra attack (reach boosting is useful for push builds, but that can be tricky).  If you want to build a character that exploits prone with Gauntlets of Brutality and Headman's Chop, this is a great way to do it.  The attack and utility powers are all excellent and work fine in a PM build.
    Note that you won't reap all the benefits of this path.  While there are several PM-compatible axes, none of them are versatile so expect to miss out on the other 2 Kulkor features (and the bonus of its required feat).

    Longarm Marshal (MP): Focused on bonuses to spears.  You'll probably love the +1 bonus to attack rolls, and the other options in this class are quite nice too.  The action point feature increases reach in addition to the action, which is better than polearm master's feature (boost reach instead of an action. boo! hiss!).  The problem is one feature and both attack powers want a high intelligence, which is hard for a warlord to meet after satisfying PM's requirements and boosting Strength.  However, even with an int mod of just +1 this path isn't bad... you just miss out on a bit.  The L16 feature will be weak (except perhaps against minions) and you won't get quite as much pushing and ongoing damage on the encounter and daily power.
    If the +1 bonus to attack rolls interest you, look at the fighter's Kensei paragon path.  It gives a great attack and damage bonus, and has pretty good powers (though none that push or slide).

    Malec-Keth Janissary (MOTP): Normally lackluster for our purposes, this paragon path gets really interesting at level 16 for Mark of Storm users.  It allows adding Lightning or Thunder to all of your attacks, regardless of those powers' class.  So every fighter/ranger/etc at-will, encounter and daily power will deal thunder damage without needing a lightning enchantment on your weapon/implement.  If you can multiclass or hybrid into swordmage, this is a great way to get slides on every attack you can make.  Fighters and Bards should have no trouble with the multiclassing option, otherwise hybrid.  If you can then increase those slides to 2 (easy if they're melee and close attacks -- Rushing Cleats), then you're in business.
    Oh, and swordmages benefit from it too!  ;)

    Moonstalker (PHB2): Shifters only (Revenant Shifters qualify just fine).  This is a great option if you have a decent wisdom and intend to spend a lot of time adjacent to enemies after you prone them (for the Pack Tactics +wis bonus to damage for the whole party), so sticky defenders will like it much more than others.  Go for the Throat is harder to expoit unless you have multiattacks or a way to keep a target prone; for example, powers like Twin Strike (ranger) and Shield and a Hard Place (fighter) make for a nasty attack.  Rangers and other natural multiattackers can put Go for the Throat and Pack Tactics to very good use on a regular basis, as can brawler fighters with Pin Down.  Wis mod + 1d6 (2d6 in epic) against a prone target on the follow-up hit is a nice bonus.
    Stats note: This path strongly favors a high wisdom with its features (and the daily power's shift) and expects it for encounter power; however, it uses your choice of dexterity or strength for its daily.  Wis and Str/Dex tends to favor classes like avenger, fighter and monk, not swordmage or warlock.  These stats also match well with the requirements of the Polearm Gamble + Heavy Blade Opportunity combo.

    Polearm Master (MP): Polearm Master is an extraordinary choice for polearm builds.  It offers de facto threatening reach (though not by name) for an entire encounter, increased forced movement, great attack powers, and a reach 2 Combat Challenge-like ability that's always active.  Unlike some of the other options here, Polearm Master demands only one stat: strength.  There's a minor but unnecessary-to-boost wisdom bonus to the encounter power.  All your other stats are your business, and you're rewarded all the same.  A great competitor to Stoneblessed (see below for a side-by-side comparison).

    Ravager (MP): You have to be a battlerager fighter to take this, which isn't often optimal for a PM build.  Even though the encounter power pushes, it doesn't push the attack's actual target, so PM doesn't apply (there's always mark of storm though).  That's two strikes already...  The one interesting bit is when you start using its L16 feature Marauding Fury, which gives you another try when you miss.  With Mark of Storm (or another melee basic attack power that pushes/slides), this greatly increases the chance that an enemy you attack is going prone with PM.  However, this usually isn't as effective as it sounds, especially compared to other paragon paths being offered.  Plus, Marauding Fury only works while you're bloodied, further lowering its charm.  As interesting as this seemed for a PM build at first, I can't say I recommend it for PM users over what else is available.

    Reaving Axe Savant (MP2): Rangers only and requires a feat you won't use, but still decent.  You get another +2 bonus to attacks against prone enemies (in addition to the CA), and a free basic attack against a prone enemy when you spend an action point.  Given that rangers can attack twice and prone on the first hit, that's not bad.  Even though the feat is for 1-handed axes only, this path doesn't actually use that so it's fine for a PM build.

    Soldier of Conquest (D 372): Interesting for its Fell the Foe utility encounter power.  Triggering on an OA that hits and damages, it causes the OA to knock the target prone and you get an OA against the target if it tries to stand, for 1 round.  Otherwise not amazing, and you probably have better choices.

    Stoneblessed (PHB2): Golaith only (Revenant Goliath works fine).  Offers a permanent +1 reach to any weapon, some con bonuses to damage, and a 1-round threatening reach that can be used every encounter.  The threatening reach is especially nasty given the naturally huge reach of this path.  A great competitor to Polearm Master (see below for a side-by-side comparison).  Requires strength for its powers, and greatly rewards a high constitution.  Note: If you want yet another permanent boost to reach, look at the Eternal Defender epic destiny.

    Warforged Juggernaut (EPG): Great focus on charging, and adds push 1 when your charge hits.  Given the investment needed for PM, I'd recommend having other at-will push/slide methods (don't do PM only when charging); however, if charging is a focus of your build, this is a good way to enhance it further.  Also gives nice survivability bonuses.


    Polearm Master or Stoneblessed?


    Polearm Master vs Stoneblessed is a tricky choice, since the two paths offer both similar benefits and stark differences.  I find a side-by-side comparison of similar and different features helps:


    • Combat Challenge with Reach: Polearm Master gets CC-like attack within reach 2 (so they don't have to be adjacent), but it's not CC by name (so CC feats don't apply, but basic attack bonuses do).  Stoneblessed doesn't get anything like this.  This feature is always active (once you reach L16) and stacks nicely with the threatening reach below.

    • Utility gives Threatening Reach: Polearm Master gets a threatening-reach-like effect for an entire encounter, as a daily power.  Stoneblessed gets threatening reach by name, but only for one round.  However, stoneblessed can do this every encounter, whereas polearm master gets one encounter per day.  So do you need to threaten in short bursts multiple times per day, or do you want a daily power that lasts all encounter (for example, during a boss fight)?  Also take into account the Longarm Grasp feature, which is always active and stacks with the util.  Stoneblessed can use the util much more frivilously though, so the pressure is off (you don't have to save it for an encounter where you'll really need it).

    • Extra Reach: Polearm Master can spend an action point for +1 reach for a round, instead of an extra action.  Stoneblessed gets +1 reach permanently, so his AP is free for better uses and he has awesome reach all the time.  Also, when stoneblessed spends an action point to take an extra action, it gets +2 AC in addition to the action (not instead).  In terms of reach and action points, SB has the advantage.  Note that both paths can choose Eternal Defender as their epic destiny for yet more reach.

    • Polearm Master gets +1 to forced movement, permanently.  None for  stoneblessed.  By then you probably have an item, feat, etc to cover forced movement distance, so this is probably a welcome bonus instead of a deal maker.  That extra push/slide dist can be very potent though, as it further disables enemies wanting to charge you.  It can also replace the feat/item and free up the slot for something else.

    • Stoneblessed gets 2x con mod extra damage on crits, polearm master does nothing special on crits.

    • Encounter Power: PM's encounter slides and deals half damage on a miss, while SB's encounter does a bit more damage on a hit (unless you're exploiting the slide+prone with DA, which gives a better bonus to PM).  I personally prefer PM's encounter power.

    • Daily Power: SB targets one creature for 4[W] damage, and then enters a stance that gives a con mod damage bonus to all your at-wills.  PM's daily only does 3[W] damage and offers no stance, but targets in a close burst 2 (potentially targeting lots of enemies).  Both deal half damage on a miss.  I prefer PM's daily for the multi-targeting.

    • Ability Scores: Both use strength as the primary ability score.  Stoneblessed benefits from a high con with its encounter, daily, and L16 feature.  If you have a poor con, you're missing out on those bonuses, though that's not sufficient reason alone to pass up SB (its reach and threatening reach are very nice).  Polearm Master doesn't care about anything but strength -- it's just as good no matter the secondary stat(s) you choose (which is nice since Polearm Momentum pulls you thin as it is).  The only other stat mentioned by Polearm Master is Wisdom, which increases the slide in the encounter power (and you already have 15 wisdom for this build -- no need to boost further for Polearm Master's sake).




    Epic Destinies


    It's rare that an epic destiny does anything specific for PM builds.  Instead, pick your ED based on what works best for your build overall.  That said, I'm trying to track down and identify EDs that are interesting for PM, since there's a couple that are noteworthy.

    Eternal Defender (MP): Well-suited to strength classes, because of its str bonus at L21; however, would be worth taking for others too.  At L24 your reach increases permanently by 1 (unless you're a small race).  This works really well with the Stoneblessed and Polearm Master paragon paths, which both put high reach to very good use.  A Stoneblessed with a polearm would have its reach at a permanent 4.  Wielding weapons as if you were a large creature also has implications for weapon damage dice (see PHB page 220).  The level 30 feature is a nice free crit once a day when you need it, or it can turn a miss on a crutial attack into a hit.  A fantasic choice for many builds, but PM users will enjoy it doubly so.

    Prison of the Winds (D 371): Nice destiny with a daily stance that pushes and/or prones on every melee hit.  By Epic you should be doing this already, but adding an additional push-prone on each hit doubles up the damage from Draconic Arrogance and Iron Vanguard.  Nice choice for Con and/or Dex classes because of the +2's.  Also makes you insubstantial while bloodied, which isn't bad.

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

    Magic Items


    Far from being a complete list, this section mentions only the magic items that are directly relevant to a PM build.  Especially valuable are items that allow the build to function, such as the lightning weapon enchantment and push/slide enhancers.


    Enchantments that increase push/slide distance


    These enchantments are central to a lot of PM builds.  Some feats, paragon paths, and other options are available, but many characters will prefer to use a feet or weapon item slot instead. 

    Avalanche Boots (D 385, L10): Increase pushes by 1.  Also gives a bonus shift after charging, which is very nice.

    Controlling Weapon (AV, L8+): Increase pushes by 1. Many characters have better choices for their weapon enchantement, but if you have no better way to boost your push distance, this will do the job.  Doesn't affect slide dist.  Push distance doesn't continue to scale with level.

    Gauntlets of the Ram (PHB, L8): Increase all pushes by 1, no matter the source.  Hands slots can be a bit contested in some builds, but otherwise a great option.

    Ring of Ramming (AV, L18): Increases all pushes by 1, straight up.  Later-game item, though.

    Ring of the Deep Wood (D 396, L18): Increase all pushes by 1, just like the rig of ramming.  Again, level 18 is a long wait.  Nice encounter power, especially for builds that like inflicting slow (world serpent comes to mind, but many PM builds do slow too).

    Rushing Cleats (AV, L7): Increases push/slide distance by 1. The foot item slot is less contested than others, making this enchantment a mainstay of melee/close PM builds.  Covers both push & slide for close and melee attacks, but does nothing for ranged and area attacks.  If you're doing a melee build, this may be the best option.  Most ranged and area attackers probably gain nothing unless they have a couple close attacks.

    Staggering Weapon (PHB, L2+): Increases slides and scales with item level.  Heavy Blades and axes only, so only useful for users of Glaives and Halberds, as well as other spears/polearms that are also heavy blade or axe (gouge, etc; sorry Great Spear users).  Increases slide distance by its enhancement bonus, but not push distance.  Works only for weapon attacks, not implements.  This is a fantastic early solution for sliding weapon builds, and it gets better with higher enchantments.  If you need a low-level item solution because you don't have access to feats to increase the distance, this may be the best (or only?) option.



    Enchantments that create push/slide


    These items can actually add push/slide to all of your attacks, with a little support.

    Lightning Weapon (PHB, L5): Whether applied to a weapon or implement, this enchantment combines with the Mark of Storms feat to turn every attack you make, be it a daily, at-will, OA, basic attack, etc, into a slide that triggers PM.  It does this because changing a power's damage to lightning also adds the lightning keyword to the power.  If you're taking Mark of Storms, you're probably getting this too.


    Enchantments that turn spears/polearms into implements



    Alfsair Spear (AV2, L3+): This is a must have for totem classes like druid, because it lets them use a spear as an implement so PM triggers.  Other characters don't get much from it.

    Songblade (D 390, L1+): Bards can use a glaive with one of the Songblade enchantments as an implement.  Obviously non bards don't care.  The flavor of songblade basically changes its daily power, and sometimes offers other effects.  Note that bards don't need this as much as totem classes need Alfsair Spear, because bard is an arcane class that can simply take Arcane Implement Proficiency (glaive).


    • Bard's Songblade (L1+): The basic version with no other perks.  Cheaper to buy and lower level, so points for availability.

    • Echoing Songblade (L4+): Lets you repeat a bard encounter power next turn whenever you get a critical hit with it.  This isn't a daily power, so you enjoy its property as often as you get critical hits (however often that is).

    • Harmonic Songblade (L2+): Daily power boosts an ally's attack roll and defenses.  This power doesn't scale with level.  This power doesn't scale with item level.

    • Harsh Songblade (L3+): Daily dazes enemies within 2 squares for a round when you hit with a bard thunder power.  This power doesn't scale with item level.

    • Lifting Songblade (L20+): Daily gives an encounter-long +4 bonus to damage to all allies within 20, and the bonus increases by 2 when team hero kills an enemy.  This power doesn't scale with item level.

    • Piercing Songblade (L13+): Daily power applies an encounter-long AC penalty to an enemy you hit with a bard attack power.  This power doesn't scale with item level.

    • Tuning Songblade (L3+): Has both a property and a daily power.  The property applies a scaling penalty to saving throws against ongoing thunder damage whenever you hit with the weapon.  The daily power applies non-scaling ongoing thunder damage when you hit, and you get a +2 power bonus against the target.  Great when you have more sources of ongoing thunder damage.

    • Venomous Songblade (L3+): Daily power applies the weakened (save ends) status when you hit with the weapon.  This power doesn't scale with item level.




    Enchantments that exploit prone



    Gauntlets of Brutality (AV2, L17): Adds +5 damage to melee attacks against prone enemies.  If your build has lots of ways to get attacks against enemies while they're still prone (multi-attacks, keeping them prone, etc), then this is an excellent choice (as are headman's chop and moonstalker).  But if enemies keep standing up before you get a strike in, you might not find much use for this... though your allies might love it.



    Throwing Enchantments


    These are useful for PM weapon builds that want to do lots of throwing, who will like them a great deal.  Other characters probably have better choices available to them, and won't be interested.  PM actually works fine with heavy thrown (so long as the resulting push/slide is 2+), so these builds can do mean things from a distance.

    Crashing Weapon (DM 386, L9+): Make your axe heavy thrown 5/10.  Halberd, gouge, etc users might like this.  Decent daily power and crit.  High level though, so look to other enchantments.

    Dwarven Thrower (DM 385, L2+): Another axe-only enchantment, which gives heavy thrown 6/12.  Lame daily power though.

    Farbond Spellblade (AV2, L2+): Heavy/light blade only, so turn a glaive into a heavy thrown 5/10 weapon.  Also a little bonus for swordmages who want to call their blade back to them.

    Hungry Spear (AV2, L2+): Lets you turn your spear (including great spear) into a heavy thrown 10/20 weapon, and has a nice encounter power for immobilizing the target (but you lose your spear until the effect ends).  Offers the best range, and is probably the best option unless you're using a non-spear polearm.


    Other Enchantments of Interest



    Antipathy Gloves (AV, L10): This item makes entering a square adjacent to you cost an extra square of movement, as though it were difficult terrain.  It has three uses for PM builds:


    • First, it greatly impedes most enemies shifting or moving past you even if your OAs are not enough.  This is great for a defender who needs to protect allies.

    • Second, it can make shifting toward you very challenging.  This is very useful for builds that can get Threatening Reach (such as Polearm Master and Stoneblessed).  It's also helpful for non-defenders who like to push enemies toward an OA-happy ally (moving triggers an OA from ally, but shifting can't reach you).  Not many enemies can shift 2+ at-will.  It also makes it harder for slowed enemies to reach you with a charge after you've tossed them away and knocked them prone, and it could shut down crawling to you.  This is great for anyone in a PM build.

    • Third, it closes a major gap in Polearm Gamble's defense strategy, and it becomes available at level 10 (shortly before you can take PG).  Grab this item if you don't like enemies simply shifting past the wall of pain.  Only enemies that can shift 2+ can reach you that way, but teleportation and forced movement will still get through.



    Grasping Weapon (AV, L6+): Nice way to grab enemies in a Pin Down build, but other builds won't care.

    Githyanki Silver Weapon (MOTP, L9+): Combined with the Psychic Lock feat, this allows you to apply a -2 penalty to attack rolls with every hit.  This combos well with the prone -2 to attack rolls, and encourages a target to spend the move action to stand if it can (to at least avoid one of the -2's).

    Soul Shield (D 385, L18): Like the Gauntlet Axe, this is a way to have an offhand weapon while using a polearm (for dual-wielding, mostly).  It doesn't count as a shield, however.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook

    Strategies of a Polearm Momentum build


    So you've got the combo working.  Now what?  It turns out there's a lot of fun stuff that you can do with a build that regularly applies forced movement and knocks a target prone.

    I like hazards

    D&D is filled with hazards, ranging from cliffs to magic fields to things that explode for no apparent reason.  There's also zones like wall of fire, hunger of hadar, and other hazardous zones created by players.  Pushing an enemy into these hazards is fun and rewarding, but what's even more fun?  Knocking them prone inside so it's harder to escape.  A PM build lets you force enemies in and prone them at-will, meaning they will be focusing most of their actions escaping the hazard instead of attacking your party.  Polearm Gamble lets you set a nasty trap for enemies that will send them flying back into the field if they accidentally approach you in their attempt to escape (especially if you immobilize them with pinning strike).

    This becomes even more effective if either you or your ally are creating and controlling the zones, because you can determine their layout and summon them when needed.  Relying on environmental hazards is less reliable, because that's in the hands of the DM who may not look forward to seeing his creatures thrown off cliffs and into fire pits.


    Sticky defenders love prone

    If you're playing a defender and you want to do a better job of shutting enemies down and keeping them focused on you, PM is a great way to accomplish this.  With the right support, your opportunity attack and sometimes your defender immediate interupt can both prone a target, making attempting to escape you a poor option.  After the first couple of times you prone an enemy that's trying to escape or target an ally, enemies will conclude that's a bad idea.

    For example, a sticky fighter will enjoy feats like Shield Push plus either Swift Spear or Forceful Opportunist, and powers like Weapon Master's Strike.  With PM, these guarantee that the enemy is in for a sharp rebuke if it targets allies or leaves, and it will probably fail its attack in the process.  If the enemy attacks an ally while adjacent to the fighter, Shield Push will make the interrupting Combat Challenge push and prone the target, and its attack fails unless it has reach.  If it tries to shift away after a Weapon Master's Strike, that provokes both an OA and CC attack; without WMS, it still provokes CC for a push + prone.  If it tries to move away, combat superiority stops the movement, and the OA pushes and prones.  Its next turn's movement action must be spent standing, and it now has the same poor list of options available.  With nothing but bad options, the enemy will likely settle for attacking you and leaving allies alone.

    If your build pushes a lot, you can add a slide to get the target back in an adjacent position so it stays locked down.  For example, getting Mark of Storm lets you drag the enemy back into an adjacent square after Shield Push sends it away.  If you make sure it's out of reach of its target, its attack still fails.

    Also consider Antipathy Gloves, which make entering a square adjacent to you cost 1 extra movement.  That appears to affect every square of movement, so an enemy trying to move or shift past you to reach allies is in for a serious challenge.


    Send allies a gift

    Forced movement + prone is a great way to deliver a prone enemy to a melee ally's jaws.  A melee defender will have an easier time locking down a prone target, and a melee striker will benefit greatly from the combat advantage.  And you're delivering the target with a push or slide, so they don't even have to spend a move action to reach it.

    To get away from the ally, the enemy would have to stand and move/charge (provoking an OA), or crawl (provoking an OA and staying prone).  If it's not marked by the defender, it can stand and shift, but it's just wasted its entire turn.  The enemy will likely attack the ally instead, so make sure that ally can take a hit.

    This is an especially great tactic for leaders and controllers, as well as ranged strikers -- move the enemies away from me and next to the defender instead.  They'll love that.


    Combine with other conditions

    Prone is a strong status effect to be able to apply at-will.  However, it becomes significantly worse with other status effects like Slow or especially Daze.

    Slow: Look into Hindering Shield, a Paragon feat that slows enemies when you push/pull/slide them while wielding a shield.  Since you're already using forced movement to trigger PM, this combos well and can be applied at-will.  If you push enemies far enough away from you or allies (3 squares), they cannot stand and charge because they are out of range.

    Daze: Daze + Prone is an amazingly effective combination, especially since the enemy may be pushed/slid out of range of its attacks.  Daze limits creatures to 1 action per turn: a Standard, Move OR Minor action... and standing is a move.  The enemy now has a choice: attack something with a ranged/reach attack with the prone -2 penalty (if it even can), or spend its turn standing or crawling and doing nothing else.  For an isolated melee enemy, standing up or crawling is the only option.  Unfortunately, daze is not easy (or perhaps even possible) to apply at-will in a PM build (most daze builds use hammers, which is an advantage of using World Serpent's Grasp).

    Stacking Attack Penalties: Now that the target is prone, it's taking a -2 penalty to attacks until it stands.  Stacking more penalties on top of this is fairly easy.  For example, a defender's mark will add another penalty if the target attacks someone other than the defender.  The psychic lock feat adds another -2 penalty when you hit with a psychic attack (which can be every hit with a githyanki silver glaive).


    All Things Polearm Gamble!

    Alone, Polearm Gamble is potent.  If an enemy enters an adjacent square, you get an opportunity attack in exchange for granting CA.  "But Professor, what if we pour some Polearm Momentum to the mixture?"  I'm glad you asked.

    Safety from Combat Advantage: Normally Polearm Gamble is a big gamble because the enemy now gets to exploit its CA against you (and some enemies have nasty perks that trigger on CA).  But with PM, hitting the enemy will push or slide it away, making it pretty hard to exploit the CA while it lasts.  Even if the enemy can attack, the -2 to attack from prone invalidates the +2 from CA (though other effects may apply).

    Limit Enemy Options: Let's say you hit a target, push it away, and prone it.  Naturally it wants to get revenge by attacking you or a nearby ally.  There's just one problem with that strategy: the enemy is now lying prone 2 or more squares away from you.  If it has no ranged attacks, its only way of reaching you is to stand and charge.  Once it reaches a square adjacent to you, Polearm Gamble triggers and sends it flying back.  If it does have ranged attacks, it must either accept the -2 to prone and crawl to where it wants to go, or it must stand before its attack.  This greatly limits the movement abilites of ranged enemies, though not as severely as it does to melee.
    Note that applying Daze to the target you prone is even more effective (see above).

    Wall of Denial: Melee enemies without reach have a poor chance of approaching you successfully.  As soon as they enter the adjacent square, they're sent flying back and knocked prone.  This is a great way to create an invisible wall in front of you and allies, which few or no enemies dare attempt to cross.  In addition to blocking narrow hallways and/or protecting yourself and allies, you can trap enemies in alcoves and dead ends so they cannot get out -- if they try, you slam them back in.  The only limiter is missing... unless you wield a halberd.

    Halberd of Harm: PG gets nastier with a halberd and the Knockback Swing feat, because you push whether you hit or miss!  Even if you miss, the enemy goes flying back and falls prone.  Unless the melee enemy is a dwarf or other PM-resistent creature, you are unapporachable.

    Heavy Blade Abuse: What's better than an OA?  Often an at-will power.  Heavy Blade Opportunity gives some classes very potent OAs, including those that slide or push a creature and allow you to reposition yourself with a shift.  Combines nicely with Polearm Gamble too.  Examples include:


    • Slide and Shift: In addition to sliding the target and knocking it prone, you get to reposition yourself with a shift.


      • Avenger's Overwhelming Strike

      • Fighter's Footwork Lure

      • Swordmage's Luring Strike



    • Toss to an Ally: Push the enemy next to an ally and prone it.  As an added bonus, the ally gets to attack it.  If that ally is a defender, that's a great way to lock the enemy down.  If it's a fighter with Combat Challenge, then the enemy is now marked and unlikely to go anywhere soon.

      • Warlord's Opening Shove



    • Straight Push or Slide: If you don't have mark of storm, swift spear or forceful opportunist (or want to replace them with HBO), using an at-will lets you slide or push on your OAs in addition to any other effects on the at-will.


      • Barbarian's Pressing Strike

      • Cleric's Burden of Earth

      • A host of Battlemind powers, which allow mobility and others.  Unfortunately, you can't augment an at-will power while using it with HBO.





    Back to the Basics: If you can't do heavy blade opportunity because you have no melee weapon at-wills, then most any power that's a Melee Basic Attack or that says it can be used as an OA (that doesn't have special triggers) works with PM, even if it's not a weapon attack.  This means at-will powers like Savage Rend (druid) and Eldritch Strike (warlock), and encounter powers like Meticulous Stab can all be used with polearm gamble and other OAs.  This is a common strategy for builds that take Eldritch Strike.

    Make approaching you even harder: Antipathy Gloves make entering a square adjacent to you cost 1 extra movement.  Charging, crawling, slowed and shifting enemies will all have a much harder time approaching you, especially if you're keeping them at just the right distance.


    Trampling Dragons

    A character with high strength or constitution can make good use of Draconic Arrogance or Iron Vanguard.  A character with both stats at a decent level can do both.  For Dragonborn players with decent strength, Draconic Arrogance deals your strength mod as damage each time you push and each time you knock the target prone.  A character with decent constitution can deal is con mod as damage on the same triggers using the Trample the Fallen feature at level 16.  Both of these trigger separately, and affect both a push and a prone.  By level 18, a dragonborn PM fighter with Str 23 and Con 18 could be dealing 6 + 4 = 10 damage on each push, and on each prone.  That's 20 extra damage on every pushing power that triggers PM.  At level 18, that kind of damage bonus is hard to dismiss.

    Both of these trigger even on effects that would not trigger PM, such as powers that are not implement or weapon powers, or that push more enemies that just the power's target.  Think of the human's Wolfstone Frenzy, the knight's Hammer Hands stance, or the barbarian Tyrant's Rage.

    But beware of enemies with high resistance to typeless damage.  The amount of damage you're dealing with these options is relatively small: typically 4-9 each, so it's low even in epic levels.  Most resistances eat into it effortlessly, or even nullify it.  Draconic Arrogance and Trample the Fallen also trigger separately, meaning if you're doing 5+4 = 9 damage on a push, an enemy that resists 4 damage will only take 1 damage total, not 5.


    Surviving your fanbase

    Now that you've strutted your stuff and shown the DM what you can do, he may respond by having monsters target you more often.  This is especially true for sticky defenders, since they leave enemies no option but to target you.  This is not necessarily the DM picking on you or getting revenge for doing well.  Think of it from your perspective: when one enemy in an encounter is proving to be a major pain, you usually want that enemy to die first, right?  At the very least, you want to keep it busy and focused on itself, so it doesn't continue to interrupt or threaten the whole party.  Welcome to the DM's new reality.

    If you're effective enough at annoying or locking down enemies, expect more enemies to target you when they can, including ranged enemies that will totally bypass Polearm Gamble's wall.  There's only so much you can or should do about this (especially when you've dedicated feats, items, and powers to the combo in the first place), but here are a few options:


    • Improve your defenses.  Especially if you're a sticky defender.  This is more than equipping a shield and better armor for AC.  You should also improve your NADs (non-AC defenses).  Will can be an especially bad defense to get hit often, because so many nasty conditions come with will attacks (including stun, daze, dominate, etc).  However, fortitude and reflex also have their banes, and it varies from enemy to enemy.  If one of your defenses is wide open, the DM will likely exploit that.

    • Improve your healing options.  If you're a dwarf or other strong healing race, then you're off to a great start.  Make sure you have the ability to heal when the party leader can't get to you on time (or has run out of healing).  Second wind, powers that give HP or Temp HP, and healing potions are all options.

    • Improve your saves.  A PM build has a hard time keeping enemies prone if they can keep him dazed, stunned, etc.  If this becomes a problem, a few feats, powers and items improve saving throws, give additional saves, or let you make saves against certain conditions at the start of your turn.

    • Improve your relationship with the party healer.  Buy him a burger or something.  You brown-noser.  ;)

    • Know when to back away.  Total Defense and/or Second Wind can save your life.  So can powers that let you shift or teleport out of hotspots.




    If you have strategies to suggest for this section, feel free to share in the thread!



    Strategies for the DM (how the DM might respond)


    This is a section that will probably interest both DMs and players.  While PM is not overwhelmingly powerful (this is not a stun-lock build), it's annoying to the DM to have his creatures knocked on their faces every turn, or worse, locked down so they can't do much of anything.  There are a few things a DM might try to deal with this, to keep a player from being overly powerful and dominating, or becoming bored by a lack of challenge.

    Reach & Ranged attacks: Enemies that can stand and still attack after being pushed and knocked down are an important counter to this build, especially when Polearm Gamble is involved.  Ranged and reach enemies can also attack while prone, when doing so is suitable.  Including a few more ranged attackers in an encounter is a good idea.  Don't do too many though, for two reasons: first, it's less fun for the player if he never gets to use his strategy; and second, dedicated ranged creatures are vulnerable to being prone and adjacent to a defender, leaving them few options.

    Enemy Mobility: In Epic, many monsters get high movement speed; flight, teleportation, or lots of shifting; reaction abilities; etc.  Such creatures are able to outmaneuver a push-prone build more easily, especially a Polearm Gamble user who is relying on an enemy entering an adjacent square.  You don't have to wait until Epic, however... such creatures are spread throughout the tiers.  You can also homebrew a few creatures that can stand from prone as a minor or free action, or shift while standing normally.

    Dwarves and similar races: A dwarf gets to reduce push distance, which can cause PM to not trigger if the PM player doesn't push them far enough.  Furthermore, even if he does manage to knock the dwarf prone, they get to roll a saving throw to prevent it.  If the DM sends a dwarven mercenary band after your party, expect to have a hard time using your combo on them.  From a roleplay perspective this is perfect: your enemies, feeling threatened, find and hire a mercenary band that is uniquely qualified to counter your strategy.  There's probably enemies other than dwarves that have this property, and I know a few magic items convey similar benefits (and can do more with a little DM tinkering).  Also check out the Stonefoot Reprisal feat for ideas.

    "I've studied all your moves": The bane of innovation is immitation.  This is especially true in D&D when your own best strategies can be used against you by an enemy.  A DM may send an opponent who has a similar fighting style from his own background, or who has studied your moves and developed his own method for immitating and/or countering them.  An obsessed NPC who thinks he has the PM player figured out is great for roleplay, and could give the DM a much needed pawn to challenge the party again.  Combine with a dwarf for a character that both immitates and counters the combo, which would make a very worthy recurring rival for that player.

    Focusing on the PM player: There's a difference between picking on a player and focusing on him.  You, the DM, don't want to be mean-spirited and target a player to punish him for doing well.  However, you can certainly challenge him.  Plus there's the roleplay aspect of a dangerous player: from the monsters' perspective, they're facing someone they fear or want to suppress (the players do the same thing against enemies that annoy or threaten them).  Enemies might gang up on the PM player or try a new strategy to outmaneuver him.  Including ranged enemies that can damage the player enough to send him into defensive mode is a good strategy, as is applying conditions like slow or (with a light touch) daze or stun.  Against a Polearm Gamble exploiter, ranged and reach attacks are quite effective.  Just make sure to not get too heavy handed.  If a player feels he's being unfairly picked on, that kills the fun.

    House Rules - Shutting down the combo: Simply house-ruling a player's strategy out of existence is a dirty and mean tactic, though some DMs will actually go this far.  If they think you're simply too powerful to handle any other way, they're going to make a ruling that weakens or invalidates your build completely.  It's dark, it's evil, it kills the joy of playing, and it's probably overkill against something as moderate as Polearm Momentum.  However, it can happen.  Whether this is a likelyhood, and whether you can negotiate a more fair outcome, is all dependent on your DM's personality.

    House Rules - Adding a challenge: Preferable to simply sniping a player's build is coming up with creatures, effects, or situations that will challenge him more.  Similar to Dwarves above, a DM can create creatures that resist or punish forced movement or being knocked prone.  House-rule that some creatures, like slimes, are unaffected by being prone or can't be knocked prone at all.  This can easily be taken too far, so a DM should avoid being heavy handed.  For example, these should not be the only creatures the party fights (or even the majority), or else it's indistinguishable from simply shutting down the combo.  However, mixing these creatures into encounters with a light touch will change the strategy for the PM player, and force him to pick his battles more carefully.
    Examples:


    • Rotfruit Orchard: These are moving plant creatures with toxic fruit or pods hanging from their branches.  As an immediate interrupt to forced movement or being knocked prone, they drop a fruit/pod that breaks open for a close burst 3 attack that deals necrotic and/or poison damage, and possibly apply a condition like Daze or ongoing damage.  Including a few of these in an encounter will make the player very wary of who he targets with PM powers.

    • Sneering Grep: A lizard that becomes ferociously angry when prone.  While prone, it takes ongoing 5 damage.  However, it also gains access to a nasty at-will power that can only be used while prone, and it can shift its speed + 2 as a move action.  It can stand as a minor action, which it will usually do after its fury attack.  The flavor of this enemy could be an armored lizard whose organs are harmed (or its lungs are compressed) when it's upside down, and so it has evolved a ferocious behavior that discourages predators from knocking it on its back.

    • General house rule: Spirits cannot be knocked prone.  Unless the party fights a lot of spirits, this may be an appropriately balanced house rule that adds threats to the PM player without invalidating him against too many of the enemies he'll fight.  The party may fight several all-spirit encounters, so long as other encounters are balanced out so the player doesn't feel neutered all the time.




    What's the secret?  Measured responses.  The DM wields godlike powers in D&D, and about the only limits he faces are what the players are willing to endure, and his own morals.  An overly heavy-handed approach kills the fun for one or more players, and they may simply leave in disappointment or disgust.  If a player is getting overly powerful it's absolutely appropriate to respond (and you may not be able to help upsetting the player), but the nature of the response matters a lot.


    Rewarding a PM Build


    PM-DM relations are not actually all that adversarial -- in fact, DMs shouldn't be limited to only keeping players in check in any case.  There's also delivering rewards when players complete objectives, are especially creative, work well as a team, or make a lasting individual contribution.  But what does a PM player want?  This section offers several specific ways to reward a PM player and make the game fun for him.

    That's Exactly the Item I Wanted!: It's a good idea for the player to share his build plan with the DM to give ideas on what he wants in terms of items.  A Rushing Cleats or Lightning Weapon +3 drop a few levels earlier than they can be enchanted can make a player's day.

    That said, don't limit the positive reinforcements to item drops!  You have many more tools at your disposal.  And don't feel pressured to feed the player's build with all the items he wants if that's not your DM style -- if the player wants the items that badly, he can pay to have them enchanted.

    Choice of Enemies: Most PM players will love to fight enemies they have tuned their build to handle.  Including a few melee enemies in a battle against a PM + Polearm Gamble player could make his day -- and it can make for a funny scene as the enemies repeatedly bounce against his PG wall uselessly.  Or give a sticky PM defender a ranged enemy he can lock down.  Occasionally giving the player such targets is a good way to reward his build and let him see it perform at its best.  Don't overdo it or it becomes boring; however, the occasional doomed enemy can be delightful.

    On the other hand, giving the player a tough challenge where his prone strategy ends up carrying the day can be even more satisfying.  A big bad boss that he can prone to slow down and keep off of allies is a great way to let the player show his stuff, without either of you feeling like you're throwing him a bone.  This can lead to some great stories for the party to tell: The healer was near death and the boss charged him, but the PM player managed to snag and prone the enemy with an opportunity attack, just in a nick of time to save the healer and turn the tide!

    Satisfied Slayer: Another option is stroking the player's inner slayer and playing up the descriptive side of the mechanics.  Slayers love to hear rich descriptions or their prowess and the reactions of enemies.  Remember, a Polearm Momentum build is designed around a theme of superior strategy and tactics (think of the movie "300").  When the player is using these advantages well, play it up with descriptions of his skillful employ of tactics, the carnage he creates, and the enemy frustration in trying to break past him -- or even make enemies afraid of him.  When the enemies are doing well, even by dice-induced luck, describe the enemy's glee at having bypassed his strategy.  It will make the player's comeback all the more thrilling.

    Hazards and Favorable Terrain: PM players specialize in pushing and sliding enemies around and knocking them prone where they stop.  This means hazards like fire, spikes on the walls, pits, and traps are all fantastic tools in a PM player's hands.  The first time the player slams an enemy into spikes on the wall Mortal Combat style, or drops a prone enemy into a nest of voraciously hungry blood spiders, will be a moment the whole party remembers.  Polearm Gamble players love tight spaces and choke points that they can guard effectively.  A PM player could also enjoy knocking an enemy prone so it doesn't have enough time to escape a rolling boulder.

    Just like giving the player enemies he will enjoy fighting, you also have the option to give him terrain and environments that he can exploit.

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

    Example combos


    Simple Polearm Gamble combo

    Enemy gets adjacent, enemy goes flying.

    Piece 1: Polearm Gamble feat
    Piece 2: Polearm Momentum feat
    Piece 3: Rushing Cleats item or some other push/slide increase
    Piece 4: A Polearm
    Piece 5: A feat to make OAs push or slide: Swift Spear, Forceful Opportunist, or Mark of Storm.

    If your enemy moves adjacent to you, that triggers polearm gamble, giving you an OA.  The OA pushes or slides, and rushing cleats increases the distance to 2 or more.  This, in turn, prones the enemy with PM.  If you prone the enemy exactly 1 square away or with a barrier between you and it, standing and charging will be tough.


    Combat Challenge that Matters

    Combat challenge is a decent way to control enemy behavior, until the DM decides he doesn't care about taking an extra hit.  Then it's just damage.  If you want to be supremely sticky, you need to make your CC attacks matter to the enemy.  How about adding prone?

    Piece 1: Fighter with Combat Challenge
    Piece 2: Javelin, Trident, or some other 1-handed spear
    Piece 3: A Light or Heavy Shield
    Piece 4: Polearm Momentum feat
    Piece 5: Shield Push or Mark of Storm feat
    Piece 6: Battering Shield feat, Rushing Cleats item, or some other push/slide increase
    Piece 7 (Optional): Forceful Opportunist feat
    Piece 8 (Optional): Pinning Challenge feat
    Piece 9 (Optional): Polearm Master paragon path

    If a marked enemy tries to shift or makes an attack against an ally that doesn't include you, he's in for an exciting surprise!  If you hit with the Combat Challenge attack, Shield Push or Mark of Storm will push or slide him before his attack can resolve.  This allows you to push or slide the enemy out of its reach so its attack fails.  It's also prone, so its movement options are very limited, and if it doesn't stand you and your melee allies get free combat advantage.  You can either push/slide the enemy away from you and your ally, or slide it in close and adjacent to you (away from the ally) so you can keep it locked down.

    Add Pinning Challenge to make sure your enemies stay where they are, because your OA and CC attacks immobilize them.  Forceful Opportunist adds all this fun to your OA attacks too.

    Optionally taking Polearm Master in paragon means you can make Combat Challenge-like attacks within a reach of 2, which is really potent.  However, it's not combat challenge by name, so Shield Push won't work (you need to use Mark of Storm).


    Prone with nowhere to go

    Slow and immobilize are great ways to shut down a target.

    Piece 1: 1-handed Spear
    Piece 2: A Light or Heavy Shield
    Piece 3: Polearm Momentum feat
    Piece 4: A melee power that pushes/slides, or the Mark of Storm feat with any melee power
    Piece 5: Battering Shield feat
    Piece 6: Rushing Cleats item, and/or other ways to increase push/slide distance
    Piece 7: Hindering Shield feat
    Piece 8 (Optional): Pinning Challenge feat
    Piece 9 (Optional): Forceful Opportunist feat
    Piece 9 (Optional): Polearm Gamble feat

    Your chosen power (or powers) will now push/slide the enemy 3 or more squares, prone it, and slow it.  Kudos to you if it's an at-will power, because now you can do this every turn.  The enemy is slowed, so it probably can't move far enough to reach you in a single action.  It's also prone, so it has to use a move action to stand first.  This also takes charging out of the mix.  Some enemies (like kobolds) can shift as a minor action or do other trickery to get in close, but many melee enemies simply can't.  If the enemy is ranged, he can still attack, but must either swallow a -2 to hit or spend his move action standing, which is a great way to limit his mobility.

    The 3 optional pieces cause your opportunity attacks to push 3+, prone, and immobilize the enemy.  Polearm Gamble grants OAs when an enemy enters an adjacent square.  You can see what will come of that (muahahaha).


    Trampling Dragons: Deal Str+Con modifier damage twice per round

    Draconic Arrogance and Iron Vanguard are great ways to boost your damage.  Both are Paragon options (in fact, Iron Vanguard doesn't get Trample the Fallen until level 16), so plan your build accordingly.

    This combo covers Fighter and Barbarian, but other classes work too.  See the section at the bottom for more info.

    Piece 1: Dragonborn
    Piece 2: Fighter, or Barbarian + Multiclass Fighter (or another class that uses both Str and Con)
    Piece 3: A melee at-will power that pushes (such as Tide of Iron or Pressing Strike)
    Piece 4: Polearm or Spear
    Piece 5: Polearm Momentum feat
    Piece 6: Rushing Cleats item, or another way to increase push distance
    Piece 7: Iron Vanguard Paragon Path
    Piece 8: Draconic Arrogance

    Whenever you use a power that pushes, it will push 2+ and prone the target.  By level 16, this triggers Trample the Fallen (Iron Vanguard L16) and Draconic Arrogance on the push, and again when it falls prone.  That's Str + Con + Str + Con modifier damage added to your attack, simply for doing what you already do in a PM build: pushing and knocking prone.  To make the best of this, you may want to pump Str and Con as high as you can get them once PM's requirements are met.  PM takes a lot of points, but assuming a Strength of 23 (+6) and a Constitution of 18 (+4) by level 18, you would be doing 20 extra damage with your attack.

    You can do this basically every round so long as you hit.  It's an at-will combo that works just as well with your encounter and daily powers that push.  If the target was already prone, you probably don't get to apply prone again (it's up for rules interpretation), but you do get to enjoy the combat advantage from standing adjacent to it while it's prone.

    This combo mixes well with Polearm Gamble and other evil PM combos listed here.


    Comparison with Pit Fighter+Marked Scourge

    For comparison, consider a Str+Wis Pit Fighter with Marked Scourge. Against an already marked target, you can add 2x your wisdom modifier to your damage rolls once per round (and pit fighter continues to work on additional attacks during that round).  At level 18, a fighter with 23 Str and 23 Wis is getting +12 damage once per round.  The Trampling Dragon combo is more complex, but it repositions and prones the target and does more damage.  Draconic Arrogance and Polearm Momentum could, however, be added to the Pit Fighter + Marked Scourge combo.  Assuming 23 Str, 15 Dex and 22 Wis at level 18, that takes the once per round damage bonus to 18.  PM builds have more potent paragon paths than Pit Fighter available to them, though.


    Dropping either Str or Con for more options

    You don't have to get both Draconic Arrogance and Iron Vanguard.  In fact, trying to do so is slightly MAD because PM is already pulling your stats a bit thin as it is (Str+Con at max, plus Dex+Wis at 15).  You could dump the Con requirement by going with a Dragonborn Fighter/Barbarian without Iron Vanguard (pick a different paragon path).  Or you could play as a pushing Dwarven Battlemind who doesn't worry about strength.  You'll drop your bonus damage by a bit, but you may do a lot better with with the less diluted stat spread.

    By not needing one of the two stats, you open the list of available classes.  You're best off sticking to those that favor [str/con] and [wis/dex], one as their primary and the other as their secondary.  Also make sure the class does a lot of pushing, as this combo doesn't work with slides.

    For example: A Str+Dex Monk, or a Con+Wis Battlemind.




    These two combos involve creating PM fighters without relying on the Mark of Storm feat, for those of you who cannot (or do not wish to) use it.  They list lots of pieces, but many are optional.

    Shield Fighter without Mark of Storm

    Piece 1: Heavy Shield and a 1-handed spear (trident, spear, javalin).
    Piece 2: Tide of Iron at-will power (PHB), requires shield but pushes 1
    Piece 3: Battering Shield feat (PHB3), wielding a heavy shield increases push with melee attacks by 1 (not close attacks, sadly)
    Piece 4: Polearm Momentum feat (MP), knocks prone with a push/slide of 2+ using polearm or spear.  Req: 15 dex & 15 wis.
    Piece 5 (Optional): Shield Push feat (PHB), pushes target hit by Combat Challenge
    Piece 6 (Optional): Forceful Opportunist feat (D 379), push targ hit by OA and shift into square vacated
    Piece 7 (Optional): Spear Push feat (PHB, Paragon), increase push by 1 with polearm/spear.  Either stack with Battering Shield or retrain it out
    Piece 8 (Optional): Draconic Arrogance feat (MP, Paragon), deal str mod damage when you push a target or knock it prone (twice if you do both)
    Piece 9 (Optional): Iron Vanguard paragon path's L16 feature: Trample the Fallen (PHB), deal con mod damage when you push a target or knock it prone (twice if you do both)
    Piece 10 (Optional): Pinning Challenge feat (D 379), to cause your OA and CC attacks to immobilize the target until you next turn starts.  They're then prone and immobile, so charging is not an option.
    Piece 11 (Optional): Hindering Shield feat (D 385), to slow enemies so they cannot simply stand and charge easily.  You don't have to get an OA or CC attack to slow the enemy, making this useful in cases where pinning challenge doesn't apply.

    This combo has great defenses due to the shield, and is focused on protecting allies.  The first four pieces can be had as early as level 2 (without wrecking your strength score... L1 is a bit too early; look at races that give +2 to str and either wis or dex).  Together they allow you to push enemies 2 squares and knock them prone at-will with Tide of Iron.  Pieces 5 and 6 further enhance the combo, allowing you to do the push+prone with Combat Challenge and OAs, making you a very serious threat to enemies and a great defender.

    If  enemies shift away, move away, or attack an ally, your OA or CC attack  will send them flying and knock them prone, solidly interrupting what they were  doing.  Make sure you boost your defenses appropriately, as you're  likely to be attacked frequently once enemies realize there's no better  option.
    You can have all of these in place by level 6, and it's independent of the magic items  you get (it even works in no-magic or low-magic campaigns).  You can, of course, further enhace the build with magic items, and even replace the Battering Shield feat with an item that increases push distance if you can't spare a feat slot (perhaps allowing you to complete the combo sooner).

    Pieces 10 and 11 are ways to keep enemies where you want them, and limit their ability to stand and charge (because they are either slowed or immobilized).  This is a nice and effective bonus if you can spare the feat slots.
    The remaining optional pieces become available in paragon, and offer improvements but are not critical.  Spear Push adds to the pushing, and also applies to close blast/burst powers (Battering Shield does not).  Draconic Arrogance is great if you choose dragonborn as your race, as it adds damage every time you push and every time you knock prone.  Iron Vanguard offers some decent pushing powers and benefits, and its L16 feature is the Constitution version of Draconic Arrogance.  Your con mod won't be maxed because of the steep requirements of Polearm Momentum, but it doesn't have to be terrible either.  If you have both in mid-Epic, for example, you could be doing 26 extra damage (for example) with each attack that pushes and prones.

    Polearm Fighter without Mark of Storm

    Round One
    Piece 1: Any polearm, be it a glaive, halberd, longspear, great spear, etc.
    Piece 2: Polearm Momentum feat (MP), which knocks targets prone when you push or slide them 2+ squares with a spear or polearm.  Requires 15 dex & wis.
    Piece 3: Footwork Lure at-will power (MP), which slides the target, allowing you to knock them prone that way too
    Piece 4: At least one of these, to increase push 1 to push 2 so all our pushes trigger polearm momentum:
        Rushing Cleats item (L7, AV) - this is the most common pick because it's a good use of a foot slot, and it leaves more contested item slots open
        Controlling Weapon item (L8+, AV)
        Gauntlets of the Ram item (L8, PHB)
        Spear Push feat (paragon, PHB) - waiting until paragon for the build to pan out hurts, but it's an option
    Piece 5 (Optional): Cleave at-will power (PHB), which gets better with Longhand Style
    Piece 6 (Optional): Longhand Style lesser feat (MP2), which allows you to push at-will with cleave
    Piece 7 (Optional): Forceful Opportunist (D 379), which causes your OAs to push
    Piece 8 (Optional): Pinning Challenge feat (D 379), to cause your OA and CC attacks to immobilize the target until you next turn starts
    Piece 9 (Optional): Weapon Master's Strike (D 382), which lets you make OAs on a shift (replacing footwork lure once cleave is pushing)

    Round Two
    Piece 10: Polearm Gamble (PHB, paragon), which grants an OA as the enemy approaches
    Piece 11: Antipathy Gloves L10 item (AV), which makes it hard for enemies to bypass Polearm Gamble by shifting
    Piece 12: Knockback Swing (MP, epic), to push with OAs even when you miss (retrain out forceful opportunist)
    Piece 13 (Optional): Draconic Arrogance feat (MP, paragon), deal str mod damage on a push and/or prone
    Piece 14 (Optional): Iron Vanguard paragon path's Trample the Fallen L16 feature (PHB, paragon), deal con mod damage on a push and/or prone

    This combo is less independent of items than the Shield path.  You either need to wait to get Spear Push in paragon, or get one of the items before it starts to really pay off.  Until that happens, using pieces 1-3 together at least allows you to slide and knock enemies prone at-will, and you get to slide the target right back to you and keep him close.  You can start doing this as early as level 2 without wrecking your strength score.

    Once you have the pieces 1-6 together, the build becomes especially potent.  You now push and knock prone at-will with cleave, and any time you hit with an opportunity attack.  The combo unfortunately does not apply to Combat Challenge attacks (unlike the shield path), but this build makes up for that in paragon with some of the fun tricks it can pull.  You also have the option of Pinning Challenge, so that both OAs and CC attacks pin the target in place so it cannot shift or move away if you hit.

    Piece 9 is an interesting choice.  Retrain Footwork Lure to get it (once cleave starts pushing), and it pays off nicely.  Being able to have an OA when the enemy shifts means two things: 1) you get to attack twice because both your OA and CC attacks trigger (do CC first because the OA pushes them out of range), and 2) you can push the target and knock it prone if it dares shift.  This discourages enemies from trying to get away from you.

    Round Two starts in Paragon.  Polearm Gamble is a game changer, because now enemies provoke an OA simply by walking up to you.  This is as close to threatening reach as most characters get (the stoneblessed and polearm master paragon paths are also good, though shorter duration ways).  Not being able to apply the full combo to CC attacks hurts you less now that enemies have an immensely hard time approaching you (and those you guard) in the first place.  Adding antipathy gloves makes it so that shifting up to you is also not an option for most enemies (I want to avoid a rules discussion of whether PG triggers on a shift... that's up to your DM).

    Polearm Gamble's promise is if a melee enemy makes the mistake of approaching, he has a high chance of taking an OA to the face, flying across the room, and landing prone (and remember, you add your wis to OA attack rolls).  This naturally tends to spoil any dastardly plans that creature had for your party.

    Now that enemiy is far away and lying prone.  It would have to stand up before it could try a charge, and it probably does not have enough actions this turn to do that unless it has action points (and what a fantastic way to get a boss to waste its action points).  At best, it could fire a ranged attack from a prone position, or try again next turn (and we wish it luck!).  This shuts down most melee enemies -- they need reach or teleport just to get past your wall of polearm murder.

    Once you hit epic, grab Knockback Swing and switch to a halberd.  Now your OAs always send enemies flying, even if you miss.  This makes Polearm Gamble crazy potent.

    The optional pieces Draconic Arrogance and Iron Vanguard allow you to add damage every time you push an enemy and every time you knock it prone, which will be very often.  This damage can add up to a shiny bonus to each attack, be it your standard action or OA.



    Exploiting Prone for Damage and Profit!

    Headman's Chop, Gauntlets of Brutality, and Moonstalker are 3 very potent sources of damage against a prone target, but how to put them to work?  Two great options are dual-wielding rangers and brawler fighters.

    Ranger:
    Piece 1: Mark of Storm feat
    Piece 2: Rushing Cleats item
    Piece 3: Twin Strike at-will power (and any other multiattacks that hit the same target)
    Piece 4: Lightning Trident item (main hand)
    Piece 5: Longsword (off-hand)
    Piece 6: Polearm Momentum feat
    Piece 7: Headman's Chop feat
    Piece 8 (optional): Moonstalker Paragon Path
    Piece 9 (optional): Gauntlets of Brutality item
    Once you have pieces 1-6, you have the basic combo.  This can be as early as level 4 if you get a merciful drop from the DM (rushing cleats), but otherwise shoot for late Heroic.  Adding moonstalker and the gauntlets amplifies the pain rather nicely.  Assuming you have the gauntlets by level 16, you're able to prone on your first hit, and get 1d6 + 10 + wisdom modifier (probably +5) bonus damage on the second hit.  Your allies also get to add your wisdom modifier to their damage rolls against the target.  If for some crazy reason the enemy fails to stand on its turn (or before your next attack), you will get the damage bonus on both attacks when you attack next (this is a great use of action points, fyi).  Unfortunately, maximizing your wisdom and strength will leave you with low dexterity -- and thus AC -- so be careful.

    Brawler Fighter:
    Piece 1: Mark of Storm feat
    Piece 2: Rushing Cleats item
    Piece 3: Grappling Strike at-will power
    Piece 4: Lightning Trident item (main hand)
    Piece 5: Polearm Momentum feat
    Piece 6: Headman's Chop feat
    Piece 7: Pin Down feat
    Piece 8: Inescapable Hold feat
    Piece 9: Quick Draw feat OR Gauntlet Axe item
    Piece 10 (optional): Moonstalker Paragon Path
    Piece 11 (optional): Gauntlets of Brutality item
    A World Serpent's Grasp combo is also very effective, but here's a Polearm Momentum take on it (which offers big advantages).  Step 1 is to grab, typically with Grappling Strike or some other brawler power.  The Mark of Storm + PM combo will make sure they're prone on the same hit, so your next attack is prepared to exploit it.  The enemy cannot easily stand because of the Pin Down feat.  They must first escape the grab, which uses up a move action.  Only then can they use a move action to stand, and you're ready to prone + grab them at-will again.  When you attack them while prone with a longsword (using quick draw) or gauntlet axe (always equipped), you gain all of the bonuses offered by Headman's Chop, the gauntlets, and/or Moonstalker (1d6 + 10 + wisdom modifier bonus damage).

    Keeping the enemy prone this way is also an effective sticky control mechanism, and the prone enemy is less accurate if it attacks you -- so you're not throwing everything into a damage-only combo.  Note that this combo is rather feat heavy: though you can get it out in Heroic, you may need to spend some feat slots elsewhere (e.g. defense and accuracy) and push off the full combo until early paragon or so.

    Adding Kulkor
    Another way to get use out of this feat is the free attack granted by the Kulkor Arms Master paragon path at L16.  Kulkor + headman's chop + gauntlets of brutality is a great way to get bonus damage into a prone-focused build.  Kulkor works alone for this, or you can combine it with one of the builds above to great effect.  If you have a high wisdom modifier and lots of allies who will attack the prone enemy, moonstalker might have a leg up; otherwise kulkor is an excellent way to generate extra damage on your own.


    Arena Mastery for Mega Reach and Other Evils

    It has to be said, if the arena wording can indeed be interpreted as transferring all the feat's effects (not just the feat bonus to attack and damage), then you can do some amazing things with it.  For example, monkeygentleman and others brought up this combo for a PM build:


    • Extended Arena Training

    • Your choice of Spear/Axe/Heavy Blade Expertise or weapon focus, etc (to tie greatspear, glaive, halberd, or other spears into the combo)

    • Staff Expertise (permanent reach +1)

    • Bludgeon Expertise (+1 to push & slide distance)

    • Your choice of one other expertise feat.  Here's the full list in the compendium as of this writing (though new ones are coming out, such as flail!):


      • Axe Expertise: Reroll a 1, which is great with the longspear or glaive because that's a 1/4 chance per die.  Also ties in halberd to the combo

      • Bludgeon Expertise: as above, +1 to push/slide distance

      • Bow: +1 damage/tier vs isolated targets (but you need to attack at reach)

      • Crossbow: Ignore partial cover and superior cover

      • Heavy Blade: +2 AC vs OAs; also ties in glaive to the combo

      • Light Blade: +1 damage/tier with CA

      • Sling Expertise: Don't provoke OA with ranged/area attacks.  Great for throwing weapons like javelins.

      • Spear Expertise: +1 damage/tier with charge attacks.  Also ties in spears to the combo.

      • Staff Expertise: as above, permanent +1 reach





    With Staff+Bludgeon Expertise, your weapon will have reach +1 and will automatically move a target 1 square more with push/slide attacks.  This is great with a Polearm Momentum build, because now all push/slide attacks trigger the prone.  You can have a permanent reach of up to 3 in Heroic, 4 with Stoneblessed in Paragon, and 5 with Eternal Defender in Epic.  Or on the milder end (saving your paragon and ED for something else), you can have a reach of 2 with a 1-handed spear+sheild combo.  Or have a twin-striking reach 2 ranger.  Toss in a gauntlet axe to be able to twin-strike with a polearm, since the gauntlet axe doesn't occupy a hand.

    The caveats?

    1. You give up accuracy that comes with fighter weapon talent, and possibly more accuracy if you're not using a +3 weapon.  Don't let that stack up too much.

    2. This is powerful enough and open enough to interpretation that you may have trouble convincing DMs and other players that it works that way.

    3. WOTC could errata it out of existence at any time, if it hasn't already.

    So enjoy it while it lasts.  :D


    TODO: More combos


    List of example complete builds


    I'm still collecting builds, so feel free to share!
    Guidelines for getting a build posted here, and other notes

    Listing Notes:
    Your build doesn't have to go all the way to 30, so long as it does great stuff in its chosen level range.  I link to several builds that stop at level 6, 11 or 18, for example.  I'll try to note where a build stops for reader convenience, but otherwise it's not a big deal to me.

    Magic item dependence vs independence doesn't affect whether you're listed or how good I think the build is, but I'll try to note item-independent builds for the players who are interested.  This is especially important for Dark Sun campaigns, where relying on getting specific magic items is a bad plan.  I'll also try to note whether a build uses mark of storm, for players who value the distinction.  MOS builds tend to be more powerful  and easier to pull off.  However, they're more vulnerable to lightning resistance, and some DMs won't let players take the feat at all, so I like to point out whether a build uses it.  So I'll try to make distinctions like that, but I don't think one is better than the other.

    My description of your build will be whatever I noticed as I read it.  A long description doesn't necessarily mean a better build, and my enthusiasm and level of detail can vary based on how much time I have to read/write and how recently I've eaten.  :D  If I don't cover the right bases with my description or you think something is missing, please let me know!

    Guidelines:
    In addition to looking for build effectiveness, I'm also looking for enthusiasm.  Your build should be strong and put PM to good use, and your description of the build and what it can do should reflect this.  Flaunt its strengths, and make sure the build is better as a result of adding PM.  If not, it's probably not a good example.  Don't build a character that uses PM simply to build a PM character; instead, build a character that you feel becomes awesome when you add PM.

    I just don't want people making builds with PM unless they think it's a good build.  PM is often a trade-off, and if players don't feel the trade-off is worth it and they're not excited about the strategies it creates, it's better to do something different.  A player should never build a PM character who they feel is weaker because they took PM -- the trade-off should make you stronger by adding more strategy, not make you trade away more important features at a loss.  Even though I'm running a PM Handbook, I want to be careful about over-selling it or pushing it into areas where it isn't effective.

    Also, a CharOp note: I've learned by hard experience that you basically face a PR problem when sharing a build like this.  A few people here on the Character Optimization forum will be appalled at a build that trades any number of stats for nothing more than what they see as a "gimmick" strategy.  If you haven't explained why you want to build this way, they'll naturally assume it was a mistake or naive error.  That can quickly turn the discussion to discarding the build and creating something else instead, and you won't get any help optimizing the build you set out to create.  And it's usually not malicious or condescending -- they're really trying to help you make a better character, and they don't see any good reason why you made these trade-offs.
    When sharing a build that trades stats for strategy, it's a good idea to explain the choice, describe the benefits and what's traded to get them, and sell the build for what it is.  Don't over-sell, but also don't be too quick to dismiss it simply for its weaknesses like lower secondary stats -- someone on this forum is sure to do that for you.  ;)  You walk among wolves here, and they will unmaliciously and efficiently pick apart your build to the bone, usually for its betterment.  That's why we share our ideas and ask for feedback, after all -- and these people are good at what they do.  But if you're not showing off your build's best perks and explaining why they're valuable to you, people will assume they're not valuable and direct you to do something else.  And if you're not excited enough about those perks to defend them, people might be right to tell you to throw it out for something else.

    And remember to make a PM build for the right reason.  If the build is being portrayed by its creator as weak and only here to put x feat on y class, that's the wrong reason to create a character and they'll call you out on that.  Or they can do worse than criticize you -- they can ignore your thread entirely. 

    So, to summarize, I'm looking for:

    1. Effectiveness -- despite the trade-offs and compromises that come with PM, this character is better with PM than without it.

    2. Enthusiasm -- "This build is awesome because..."  Describe the great strategies, combos, and benefits of adding PM to your build.  If you're struggling to do this, PM may not be pulling its weight after all.





    • Ardent

      • Empathic Elements: Mudslide, by PaulO: It's the second build listed (mudslide) that incorporates PM.  An ardent build with excellent healing, item independence, and PM to boot.  Also uses polearm gamble and eldritch strike to keep enemies away, granting masses of temp HP to allies along the way.  This is an excellent example of how to combine a potent healing leader with the controller aspect PM offers.



    • Avenger


    • Bard

      • Pole Dancer: A Polearm Bard by Dielzen: A PM bard that comes together at level 11.  Sports a melee basic attack that slides 9 and prones.  Lots of focus on defense too.  A tight build with not much room for customization, but very solid and functional.



    • Battlemind

      • Ronin by langeweile: An excellent example of a mobile Battlemind using PM and polearm gamble (among other options) to do terrible things to enemies.  Doesn't rely on Mark of Storm, either.  A bit old (new materials and rulings have come down the pipe since its writing), but still a great build.  Note: Unfortuntely, there is an error in his guide... he mistakenly says that Battering Shield will let him push on his close attacks (common mistake).  This problem goes away later when the build switches to a Glaive.

      • Battlemind MC Prone-Dazed by mellored: This build uses Mark of Storm and lots of slides.  It applies daze regularly (which is amazing with prone) and is fairly well-defended.



    • Battlemind|Warlock


    • Druid


    • Fighter

      • Half-Elf Twin Strike Polearm Shenanigans by monkeygentleman: This Mark of Storm build uses half-elf to steal twin strike from ranger, then abuses it with impunity.  It has a permanent reach of 3 fairly early using Arena Training, makes good use of headman's chop, and uses slides to rearrange enemies.  It doesn't go past level 12 (as of this writing).  A great example of Arena Training put to work.



    • Psion/Swordmage

      • The Untouchable Mindblade by svendj: A combination of Psion and Swordmage that brings the best of both to a PM build.  He lists several effective combos the build offers thoughout its progression.  As of this writing, he's taken it up to level 20, with plans to go all the way to 30.  He doesn't use Mark of Storm, and is relatively item-independent so the build's options are very open.



    • Ranger

      • Flying Gouge Momentum by Jay_Ibero_911: An example of a spear throwing build that prones with PM.  The first hit prones the target, and the second hit gets a bonus with grounding shot.  Aside from the Hungry Spear enchantment, the build makes no magic item demands so it's pretty open.



    • Shaman


    • Swordmage


    • Wizard

      • Push-Prone Wizard, by Wazat1: A PM wizard made by me to show off the awesome stuff this class can do.  This wizard triggers PM on nearly every spell, including some that prone both on a hit and on a miss.  Its at-wills push entire crowds and prone them (like in a 5x5 ally-friendly close blast).  It likes to abuse zones like Acid Mire and Wall of Fire, repeatedly pushing/sliding enemies inside for extra damage, then proning them so it's harder for them to get out and still attack.  I provide both a Mage and an Arcanist version, though the Mage is better.



    • Warlord

      • Pronelord, by Teracide: A charisma warlord focused on buffs, repositioning, granting attacks to allies, and delivering prone enemies to said allies with violent intentions.  Build goes to level 11 (as of this writing), where it grabs PM and starts the combo.



    • TODO

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

    Index of combo-critical components



    The title is a fancy way of saying: if you're trying to get the combo started and need to complete some requirement (create slides, increase push/slide distance, etc), here's a handy quick-lookup reference.  I'll leave the ratings and details to the other pages in the guide.

    This section does not cover class at-will powers (they have their own section dedicated to them).


    Causing Slide


    If you don't have an at-will power that slides, or want even more to do so, try these options.

    • Mark of Storm (feat) with one of the following:

      • Lightning Weapon (enchantment for weapon/implement)

      • Arcane Admixture (feat)

      • Shocking Flame (feat, genasi)

      • Malec-Keth Janissary (swordmage paragon path)





    • Swift Spear (feat), but only for OAs




    Causing Push


    If you don't have an at-will power that pushes, or want even more to do so, try these options.

    • Forceful Opportunist (feat), but only for OAs

    • Knockback Swing (feat), but only for OAs

    • Longarm Student (feat, Fighter/Warlord), but only affects a couple at-wills

    • Raam's Maw Practice (feat, martial classes), but only affects certain at-wills

    • Staggering Strike (feat, Ranger) turns a die of hunter's quarry into a push 1

    • Warforged Juggernaut (paragon path, Warforged), but only on charge attacks

    • Wolfstone Warrior (feat, Human), gives you a new pushing at-will




    Increasing Push/Slide Distance


    Many options for increasing push to the magic value of 2, but not many for slide.

    • Controlling Advantage (push and slide, feat, psion), but only while you have combat advantage

    • Controlling Weapon (push, item)

    • Cyclone Spirit (push and slide, feat, spirit shaman), but only if forced movement starts adjacent to your spirit

    • Gauntlets of the Ram (push, item)

    • Hammer of Judgement avenger paragon path (push/slide), but only against bloodied opponents.

    • Polearm Master (push and slide, paragon path)

    • Ring of Ramming (push, item)

    • Ring of the Deep Wood (push, item)

    • Rushing Cleats (push and slide, item)

    • Spear Push (push, feat)

    • Telekinetic Savant (push, feat, battlemind)




    Using spears/polearms as implements


    Classes that use an implement must have some way to use a spear as that implement.  Luckily they have several very good options.


    • Alfsair Spear (enchantment), for totem classes

    • Arcane Implement Proficiency - Glaive (feat), for arcane builds

    • Multiclass Swordmage, usually only for fighter hybrids

    • Hybrids: Both classes of a hybrid can use each other's implements for their own powers.

      • Hybrid Monk (proficient with a weapon?  it's a monk implement too)

      • Hybrid Swordmage (glaive)




    Stealing at-will powers from other classes


    Like a boss!


    • Versatile Master (feat, half-elf)

    • Hybrid

    • Paragon Multiclassing (soooo not recommended)


    Qualifying as a fighter


    You must be a fighter one way or another to get PM.  Those not playing as a pure fighter will likely multiclass into it, since it's cheaper (one feat) and simpler than a hybrid.  Hybrid solutions are trickier, but can offer their own charms.  Pure fighter offers the chance to multiclass into anything else for any interesting feats, though there are not many compelling reasons to do so.
    Fun fact: Technically, you can be 3 or more classes at once.  A hybrid character that multiclasses can count as 3 classes, and a bard can multiclass as often as he wants.  There's not a lot of reason to do this though...  Simplicity is often best.

    • Multiclass Fighter (one feat, see feats list for choices)

    • Hybrid Fighter

    • Pure Fighter




    Things that directly exploit prone


    Once you have your victim knocked down, you can do more than just enjoy the +2 to attack.  Your allies can enjoy lots of extra benefits that only happen when the target is prone, and so can you if you can attack again before the target stands.


    • Dealing More Damage:

      • Headman's Chop feat

      • Grounding Shot feat

      • Gauntlets of Brutality item

      • Moonstalker paragon path (gives bonuses to you and allies)



    • Kulkor Arms Master paragon path gets a free melee basic attack when it prones a target

    • Any effects that trigger on combat advantage (such as your rogue ally's sneak attack, shock trooper paragon path, etc)

    • Keep the target prone with a grab using Pin Down



    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Placeholder page: In case I need the space to add more, or shift things down.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Placeholder page: In case I need the space to add more, or shift things down.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Placeholder page: In case I need the space to add more, or shift things down.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    I've got a polearm momentum Warden|Barbarian in store for a campaign I'm in. I'm looking forward to a little help. ^_^
    Good guide concept.  Mentioning a few key builds would probably be useful:
    Super Knight and Super Duper Knight - CON-based Knights using Eldritch Strike as their only attack power.  This makes abosolutely everything they hit prone.  It's a very solid build, albeit a huge one-trick pony.
    Wizard builds using PM on Thunderwave/Beguiling Strands cast through a Glaive as an implement.  The latter, in particular, can thoroughly hose massive groups of enemies.
    Polearm Momentum, Polearm Gamble, a Glaive, and Heavy Blade Opportunity (or some other reach weapon, and some other means to slide or push on an MBA) - this can serve to make some character simply impassable as long as they keep hitting.
    Mildly cheesy Hunter thrown-weapon builds which can autoprone even on a miss with Clever Shot, and can stack all three clever shot effects together using PM and Hindering Shield.

    Probably loads mroe I've forgotten, or wasn't aware of in the first place.
    Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
    I'm awfully glad someone has taken it upon themselves to make this guide. Here's hoping it doesn't precipitate nerfbat attention from Wizards!

    Like Chainlink, I've been looking for some advice for my Monk/Sentinel Moonstalker lightning PM build. The build prones with all attacks (most of which are close or area) and dishes out +wis bonus damage to allies via Moonstalker. I think it will be extremely playable and very fun, but it needs some tweaking to really count as "optimised" - so if anyone has any advice for me, post it here or on the thread for the build.

    And if you like it, or any of the ideas contained therein, you're more than welcome to mention it/link to it in your guide.

    A few things off the top of my head that may be worth mentioning in the guide:

    PM builds (like any forced movement specialists) typically rock at abusing zones or other effects triggered by movement - an obvious one was spark slippers till they nerfed it, but there are plenty of other abuseable zones out there. The build linked above does a bit of this, e.g. via Steps of Grasping Fire (zone set up with move action prior to attack, 14 damage per square slid, about 5 squares at epic (2 from lightning+cleats, 3 from CB FoB + cleats/centered master feat). Another example (not crazily powerful but arguably upgrades the power from black to blue or sky blue) is Razor Snare - 2d6+wis damage, followed immediately by a separate damage roll for 2d6 damage - AOE multiattack, yay! I'm sure there are plenty of builds that do it better, too.

    As you've already pointed out, PM really rocks with ANY slide on OA/II attack. Another example worth mentioning, I believe, is Fire Hawk. The druid at-will is already a sky blue power, but becomes seriously nasty lockdown when combined with a lightning spear + PM. Use it on a melee target out of range, and if they stand and charge *anyone* they suffer a negating opportunity action on their first square of movement. Alternatively, use it on a ranged foe - you may not utterly negate their attack but it will seriously mess them up.

    Anyway, keep up the good work! 
    Thanks for the responses, everyone!  I'm getting the feats page (page 6) posted now, since it's the next most complete.  There's still lots of holes though (especially since I don't have Insider), so suggestions are welcome.  I've also added the weapons & implements section, which could be considered complete until someone shows me where it's not.  :D

    The idea of this thread is to be a central location for getting and giving help on PM.  I'm in the same place as you guys -- I have build ideas I want to refine, but there's no central resource for PM builds and ideas.  It's all scattered across the forum, and that makes it really hard to look it all up.

    It's a huge, wide-scoped guide, so I appreciate help and suggestions.  I'll be soon posting the pages I already have prepared (in various stages of completion), and filling out the guide from there.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Genasi (well stormsoul) should probably be sky blue. With mark of storm and shocking flame in paragon they can pull off polearm momentum with any class/build provided they meet the modest ability score spread and wear a pair of rushing cleats.
    Feats section is up.  Obviously lots of holes to fill, but it's up.  :D


    Genasi (well stormsoul) should probably be sky blue. With mark of storm and shocking flame in paragon they can pull off polearm momentum with any class/build provided they meet the modest ability score spread and wear a pair of rushing cleats.



    I will look into the stromsoul genasi.  From what I remember, however, Promise of Storm is not an implement power and doesn't push/slide, so I ended up passing it by.  Shocking flame appears to only be a damage bonus, doing nothing for PM.  I'm probably missing something critical...  Help me out?
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Feats section is up.  Obviously lots of holes to fill, but it's up.  :D


    Genasi (well stormsoul) should probably be sky blue. With mark of storm and shocking flame in paragon they can pull off polearm momentum with any class/build provided they meet the modest ability score spread and wear a pair of rushing cleats.



    I will look into the stromsoul genasi.  From what I remember, however, Promise of Storm is not an implement power and doesn't push/slide, so I ended up passing it by.  Shocking flame appears to only be a damage bonus, doing nothing for PM.  I'm probably missing something critical...  Help me out?


    Shocking Flame adds Lightning damage to your attacks.  Promise of Storm tacks on extra damage, and Mark of Storms will add the forced movement effect, which Rushing Cleats make sufficient for PM to trigger.
    You should probably give some mention to the Gouge.  As the highest average [W] weapon that qualifies for polearm momentum, and as axe/spear with some specific tricks, it deserves mention.
    D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
    Shocking Flame adds Lightning damage to your attacks.  Promise of Storm tacks on extra damage, and Mark of Storms will add the forced movement effect, which Rushing Cleats make sufficient for PM to trigger.


    Excellent.  That allows the player to choose a different weapon enchantment than lightning.  Definitely worth noting.  Thanks!

    Edit: Do you mind quoting its stats for me?  I don't have access to DS right now, and it should probably be added to the guide earlier rather than later.  If it's one-handed, then it's the best option available to spear+shield users.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Class & Race overview is up, and only sparsely populated.  :D

    You should probably give some mention to the Gouge.  As the highest average [W] weapon that qualifies for polearm momentum, and as axe/spear with some specific tricks, it deserves mention.


    Doh, missed your post.  Sorry.

    Actually, I've been aching for an axe/spear for the awesome feat combos.  Is that in Dark Sun?  I've used one in a campaign I recently played, but don't remember its source.

    Edit: If someone can quote its stats for me, that will save me from a lookup.  I don't have DS right now.  :D  If it's one-handed, then that's an incredible option for shield users (though it's probably 2-handed).
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    It gives melee powers lighting damage (and therefore the keyword, if I'm not mistaken) then Mark of Storm adds a slide to all lightning powers. It does only work for melee powers though. I'm not sure if only weapon though, I think just melee.
    Gouge is two handed. Yes it is from Dark Sun. Spear/Axe groups, 2 handed, 2d6 Brutal 1, +2 Prof.

    Eagerly awaiting the addition of avenger to your guide. Overwhelming Strike +Power of Skill +Battle Awareness + Polearm Momentum +Staggering Weapon (or other slide enhancers). The class already favors wis, pursuit builds favor dex as secondary. Well suited, IMO, if a bit demanding in feats.

    Edit to add: Great concept for a guide, BTW, and long overdo. Thanks for your contribution. =)
    Excellent.  Added the gouge, which I rated blue for its great damage and weapon group combination.

    I'm actually looking forward to doing Avenger too.  I browsed through it about a week ago out of interest, and it looks potent.  Thanks for the combo you posted; I'll look into it and probably mention it in the guide if it's wicked enough.  :D
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    I certainly can't take credit for the combo, but I think you'll like it. It may be outside the purview of your guide, but along with polearm gamble and long step, it is a great way for pursuit avengers to trigger their censure, as team monster likely wastes their turn trying, and failing, to get close enough to attack.
    Okay, looked up the combo and it makes sense.  Unfortunately, battle awareness is also a fighter utility power, so I got confused for a bit.  :D

    Also, I was mixing up Avenger and Ardent.  Ardent is another class that can do the combo (though not as easily), and has the potential to do good things as a leader.

    I've added Power of Skill to the guide, since it's a valuable feat for PM avengers (and possibly other classes).
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Update: I've added more races and classes.  At this point I'm fairly exhausted, so it's time for sleep (where *did* the time go?).  This is how I spent most of my Sunday, and I may not have this much free time for a while, but I got a good chunk of stuff done.

    I could use help and suggestions if anyone wants to contribute.  For example: Pick a class and list the races that work best for it, especially in a PM build.  Suggest a feat, paragon path, etc that makes a class or race worth selecting for the build.  I haven't looked much into DS, FRPG, or the essentials material, so those areas are ripe for the picking.

    Good night, everyone!  I hope what I've posted so far is helpful to someone.  There's lots more to go, and some of the best is probably still to come.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Human can manage this as part of any class with the use of the Wolfstone Heritage and Wolfstone Warrior feats. This puts you behind only 1 feat thanks to the human bonus feat. It also pushes/prones all creatures adjacent to you not just the target.  THis allows for some interesting combinations that you might not normally see with this trick.
    That's cool.  Where are the Wolfstone feats located?  I would guess either Essentials or a Dragon article.
    When my computer inevitably explodes and kills me, my cat inherits everything I own. He may be the only one capable of continuing my work. And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook
    Well, I'm not much of a self-promoter, but I did a Bard PM build awhile ago, it's the "Pole Dancer" build in my sig.  Might help you with some of the bard stuff.  It's nothing special, just Polearm Momentum/Gamble on a Bard chassis.
    And a very productive Sunday it was!

    A note re: Druid. Druids can use Alfsair spear if they just want a spear, rather than a lightning spear. With this route, they could take staggering smash and stack up on encounter/daily powers that daze/stun in addition to chill wind. This works pretty well because daze+prone is a very potent combo.

    If they want to use any other spear/polearm enchant, such as the lightning weapon enchant, then hybrid monk is a very good route, as monks bring quite a few nice AOE powers to the table and have good stat synergy. Centered Breath Flurry of Blows doesn't trigger polearm momentum (as it lacks the weapon/implement keywords) but it adds some additional sliding into the mix, which is nice for abusing zones. A mark of storm hybrid druid should seriously consider Fire Hawk as their at-will. Against melee foes, the opportunity prone provides some hard knockdown (provided you can hit), and it is very effective vs. artillery as well.

    Primal Storm and Summon Elder Pack Wolf are sky blue or gold quality capstone dailies for a polearm momentum druid.
    Woo! At last, the long-awaited PM handbook, well done Wazat!

    You might want to somehow mark the sources youve (partially) covered in some way, so people know what sources there still are to comment on and such.

    I haven't really looked at the guide yet, but i will later. Good to see it finally started off though.  
    That's cool.  Where are the Wolfstone feats located?  I would guess either Essentials or a Dragon article.


    Dragon 386. You qualify with the Heritage feat, and the Warrior feat lets you swap an at-will from your class with an at-will that deals 1[W] + highest ability mod to one target, and pushes all adjacent enemies 1 square. 
    Halflings have the Talenta Sharresh for a Heavy Blade/Polearm
    You probably haven't, but don't forget Beast Form druids using Alfsair Spears - this is one of the best ways for them to get a spear as an implement, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it had been designed with PM in mind.
    Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
    Is there any swordmage polearm build?

    They have a problem with stats (int + con class, need dex, wis and str for polearm gamble) but they dont need to stay adjacent to use aegis of shielding, so polearm gamble is nice.

    And i am not sure if you can use Luring strike to prone. If you have an item to increase slide in 1, I think it works, and with heavy blade opportunity works too.

    Luring Strike
    Show


    You step behind your foe, strike quickly, and then dart away, drawing the creature after you.

    At-Will        Arcane, Weapon
    Standard Action      Melee weapon

    Target: One creature

    Attack: Intelligence vs. AC

    Hit: 1[W] damage. You shift 1 square and slide the target 1 square into the space you occupied.
    Level 21: 2[W] damage.

    Effect: Before or after the attack, you can shift 1 square.
    Sapphire - Swormage Dragon Guardian - Dont touch my allies build. Swordmage / Sigil Carver / Draconic incarnation The Holy Slayer - A Striker - Defender Fighter | Cleric / Barbarian - Paragon of Victory WEREBEAR BATTLEMIND: You wont go where you want. - A Battlemind (Druid) / Unbound Nomad / Topaz Crusader
    That should work, as long as you're careful to slide the enemy into the square you vacated when you shifted - you would still have to slide it the extra square, though - going to a square adjacent to the target square, than to the target square.
    Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
    That should work, as long as you're careful to slide the enemy into the square you vacated when you shifted - you would still have to slide it the extra square, though - going to a square adjacent to the target square, than to the target square.



    Seems logical...

    then you can slide / prone / reposition to a bad position an enemy, and slide away from him 1 square all in 1 at will power... this is nice.

    If he is melee without reach, he cant charge you, he cant hit you, and he will trigger polearm gamble if he moves adyacent. And if charge an ally... aegis triggers, or interrupt power (trasposing lunge, etc.). Nice.

    The only problem is that you lose +2 armor and the stat array.

    With genasi it can be 14 11 14 16 14 8.
    11 CON is not very high but in level 11 you can get polearm gamble/momentum and be with a longsword in heroic. Heavy blade opportunity at 12

    Or make hybrid (fighter) and take scale armor from the hybrid talent
    Sapphire - Swormage Dragon Guardian - Dont touch my allies build. Swordmage / Sigil Carver / Draconic incarnation The Holy Slayer - A Striker - Defender Fighter | Cleric / Barbarian - Paragon of Victory WEREBEAR BATTLEMIND: You wont go where you want. - A Battlemind (Druid) / Unbound Nomad / Topaz Crusader