So the Bladesinger is some kind of Wizard?

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I killed Aleena.
This just in. Mage kills swordmage and takes his stuff.
Excellent, now I can use one of my wizard minis that have a sword.

I'd rather see Swordmage redone as another build of Wizard, if Bladesingers can be too. It only makes sense, alongside the Arcanist, Mage, and now Bladesinger.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
Is this for real?
Is this for real?



Apparently. It says right in the PDF that it's a preview from the Neverwinter Campaign Guide.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
Okay, so here's another class that uses melee basic attacks (that key off intelligence as a class feature) and can use at-wills to boost those attacks after they hit. Plus he gets existing wizard utilities, and existing wizard encounter powers that he can use once per day.

There's little new stuff here, considering how good wizard at-wills are it feels lacklustre to ignore them in favor of (slightly boosted) melee basic attacks. That's probably why it gains a "big bonuses once per encounter" utility from the start.

Is there any way to poach an unleveled at-will or utility power, e.g. with Secrets of Belial?
Eh.  I have a nice mini that would work perfectly for the class, but to be honest, I'm not feeling it.  Single target effects do not an effective controller make.  The Hunter demonstrates that.  Plus, it's a swordmage, but it's a wizard.  And the Bladespell keyword means... what, exactly?  Or is it just another random keyword with no mechanical significance, like Elemental and Shadow?  I don't see much point, either in this being built from a wizard chassis, when it's not using any of the Wizard features significantly.

And yet another class gets Magic Missile as a feature when the Wizard doesn't.  Wut?

Overall, yay, original material, but this feels like it should have been a swordmage build, then it could have provided some goodies the Swordmage desperately needs, like... INT for MBAs without a feat.

I can't help but feel like this guts any chance of the Swordmage getting useful support any time soon.
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.
My only reaction is:  What the crap.

Controller, with better hitpoints and surges than most other controllers.
Controller, with Defender-level defenses due to leather + Int-primary + fake heavy shield.  Going Hide results in maximum Defender-level AC.
Controller, with a striker damage feature.  Your basic attacks are going to be doing 1[W]+Int+Dex, with the "+Dex" part scaling appropriately with tiers.
Controller, with a free Striker/Defender/Whatever encounter utility.
Vancian spellcasting, due to no longer having encounter powers

Seriously.  What the crap.  Maybe, just maybe, the lack of encounter powers will make it balanced, but I really doubt it.  I'm all for new ways of doing things, but this seems like too huge a leap from established structures.  I don't know what this class is supposed to do, what it's supposed to be, and what niche it's supposed to occupy in the larger 4e design space.

Edit:  "Bladespell" keyword really only means that you get to pick it as one of your three at-will no-action boosters.  I imagine future content would add more of such powers, using the keyword as a shorthand for "You get to pick this if you're a bladesinger."  But still, what the crap.

Edit:  I take back the comments on encounter powers, as the L1 encounter utility, L3 Arcane Strike, and L7 Steely Retort are likely to be encounter-level power boosts.  So it gets the full power breakdown, it's just the daily powers are weaker.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Whaaaaaat?!

Edit: Seriously, I'm not sure what to say about it.
The Bladespell keyword exists so that they can limit people from using more than one bladespell attack with each MBA. I actually kind of like this class, more than most essentials classes in terms of the setup. (Hitting people while tossing minor control effects on random other people) Is it effective? Eh. Using encounter powers as daily powers seems kind of dubious to me, and the amount of control this supposedly-controller class actually dishes out seems kind of light. It's at-will single-target control is as good as most controllers, but its utter lack of ability to control groups, apply extended effects or just generally pull an awesome controller makes it feel pretty dubious.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Looks like a fun class, and our first melee controller since the Druid.

Encounter powers as Dailies and no Daily powers should offset the Striker damage feature (which is dependant on a melee hit).

I really think they mis-roled the class, though. It has a Striker damage feature and Striker Hit Points with Swordmage level defenses. I'd probably call it a Striker Primary / Controller Secondary.

Looks fun to play, I'd give it a try.

The only thing that irks me is that they get Intelligent Blademaster for free, when Swordmages need a feat.
It's not a controller, though.  I'd like more melee controllers.  This isn't one.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
What I find inelegant (and a waste of space) is that every bladespell has to spell out "trigger: you hit someone while wielding a blade; special: only one bladespell per attack". It's basically five lines of redundantly repeated text that is redundant and printed twice. It's basically five lines of redundantly repeated text that is redundant and printed twice.



So anyway. What the class boils down to is this: when you hit with an MBA, one creature within 10 squares takes [dex] damage and gets one of (-2 to hit, slowed, prone, or slid 3 squares). That's pretty much how a hexblade or blackguard works; it's really a melee striker, not any kind of controller.

Now that I've had time to think for a sec...

Dex/Int means your Fort/Ref will suffer.  There are the feats to apply your shield bonus to Fort/Will though, so MC Fighter might be a good idea.  Also, Dex doesn't seem to be terribly important, so you can probably get away with 16/14/14/13/10/8 stat spread.

Feat taxes for AIP: Light/Heavy Blades and Int for MBAs.  Wish they did that for Hexblades and Swordmages.

Encounters as dailies?  Different.  Sucks that they can't be recharged by normal means, but it seems anything that recharges dailies would work still (Archmage ED for example)

Interesting to note that the at-will boosts don't need to target the same creature you hit with an MBA.

That encounter utility...wow.  Best self-buff ever?

Seriously.  What the crap.  Maybe, just maybe, the lack of encounter powers will make it balanced, but I really doubt it.  I'm all for new ways of doing things, but this seems like too huge a leap from established structures.  I don't know what this class is supposed to do, what it's supposed to be, and what niche it's supposed to occupy in the larger 4e design space.

I think I see what's going on, here, but I think that it's a bunch of poor choices.

The bladesinger at-wills are too different to be wizard at-wills too. I get that. That "special" line at the bottom should be folded into the new keyword, but maybe they did it this way to avoid the entry on the preview PDF. The Bladesong must be the equivalent of an encounter attack power. It's not lacking, either. The dailies are the problem. There is no good reason, mechanically, that bladesingers use encounter attack spells as their daily attack spells. These spells don't benefit from the at-wills. They could benefit from Bladesong, but that was the point of bladesong, I thought. It's certainly not unbalanced to give bladesong and wizard dailies, because with bladesong you're missing out on useful control effects (and this is supposed to be a controller).

The bright side is that by the phrasing of the Spellbook feature, you can multiclass another class and swap one of your wizard "dailies" for an actual daily from another class. But the rest of this, so far, is disappointing. I hope that there is something redeeming of this class, control-wise, in levelling up. This class has terrible control, if it has only what it appears to have at its disposal.

I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Ah, but Dex powers your striker damage feature!



D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Dont sorcerers get a melee basic attack they can use with a dagger? A half elf chaos or storm sorcerer can use one of these no action at wills to stack more damage...has the arcane keyword too so you get the bonus damage twice.
Sorc damage boost only applies to damage rolls, which the at-wills don't have.  "Unique to Bladesingers", don't make me laugh.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I'm not fond of the Int/Dex stat pairing. But the dex does conveniently provide multiclass rogue for suprising charge with rapier. It mostly appears to be a well meaning class. People were asking for melee controller, here it is. And it's the perfect kind of control/strike mechanic. You can be a charger as seems to be customary for melee basic attackers, your first encounter power is a striker power, so you are, for all intents and purposes, a striker. If you grab a race that does some damage with a minor or immediate action racial power, you're pumping out even more damage during your two round nova. Part of my main problem with controllers was that you want to control things you are not quite ready to kill yet, but that works against focused fire principles. With this build, you focus fire with your main attack, and by sacrificing part of your single target striker mechanic (dex damage) you can have an offshoot attack that debuffs, slides or knocks down an enemy or kills a minion.

I think the controller role could have been eliminated, and control could have been made into a secondary role for some classes, like striker/controller, defender/controller, or leader/controller.

I think this class is a win. Now go fix every other controller class out there to become striker, defender, or leader. Give guardian druids ability to use healing word once per encounter, tada, you have a great leader|controller. Give Swarm druids AC buff and a free single target mark, boom, you have a defender|controller.
If this is authentic, then the good news is: Essentials weapliment support.
if this is authentic then its awsome imo, 

it appears it should be a swordmage, but honestly it dosent matter to me i like it. 
So who wants to bet that you'll be able to make a far more effective "Bladesinger" with some sort of wizard/swordmage hybrid than the Bladesinger will be?  Just like how the warlock can be built to make a better Hexblade than the actual Hexblade or a better controller than the Binder.   
What I find inelegant (and a waste of space) is that every bladespell has to spell out "trigger: you hit someone while wielding a blade; special: only one bladespell per attack". It's basically five lines of redundantly repeated text that is redundant and printed twice. It's basically five lines of redundantly repeated text that is redundant and printed twice.



So anyway. What the class boils down to is this: when you hit with an MBA, one creature within 10 squares takes [dex] damage and gets one of (-2 to hit, slowed, prone, or slid 3 squares). That's pretty much how a hexblade or blackguard works; it's really a melee striker, not any kind of controller.


Agreed, this is one of those annoying recent things, where they have a perfectly good keyword, that could be used as a keyword (and therefore, all the redundant information could be written down once and referred to, that's what keywords are for), but instead they repeat all the text of the keyword in the power.  It's like what recently happened with Reliable, except that they are putting the keyword down as well.

Gotta love it.
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.

Agreed, this is one of those annoying recent things, where they have a perfectly good keyword, that could be used as a keyword (and therefore, all the redundant information could be written down once and referred to, that's what keywords are for), but instead they repeat all the text of the keyword in the power.  It's like what recently happened with Reliable, except that they are putting the keyword down as well.


And let's not forget the double flavor text. Basically, a power works like this:

Cunning Trip
During combat, it is a cunning maneuver to trip an enemy, causing it to fall to the ground.
[i]Power: Cunning Trip
You trip an enemy, making it fall to the ground.[/i]
Encounter, standard action, str vs fort, yadda yadda
Hit: 1[W] damage, and the target falls prone.

Either WOTC has too much spare ink, or they're too fond of their Department Of Redundancy Department.
Okay, how the @##$% is using another class' Encounter powers for  Dailies even remotely balanced?   I see that Bladesong is suppose to make up the difference in damage and effect, but that just seems like an overly-complicated gimmick approach to the problem that nearly every other striker will have better dailies than the Bladesinger, not to mention more encounter powers.

And don't even get me started on how they're handicapping the class right out the gate by making it int/dex. 
... Derp?

Welcome to Bizzaro Land, where your Controller's Strike, Lead, and for the love of god will not control.

I am aat something on a loss for how to feel about this class. It reeks cool. It really does, an elven warrior wading into the think of it, throwing down blade and spells in equal measure. It looks and feels different then any other class. On the other hand: Encounters as Dailies... Wat? Does Wizards hate Wizards? I can understand on some level looking to de-power controllers as they can just be encounter ruiners (or worthless if a DM does his best not to have his encounter ruined). On the other hand... I don't think Color Spray or Burning Hands is really going to work well as an "ace in the hole" when the cards are down. On the other hand: the at-wills, after a more studied look, are actually decent. Dazzling Sunray + Githyanki Silver weapon is some pretty hard control. Frost-Bite, and then Action Point for Unseen Hand to drag an enemy out of reach of Move-Charge. Dancing Fire is just good in general. Also, the fact that each Bladesong spell can target a different foe than the primary, we get what ammounts to super cleave, giving the bladesinger a way to deal with Minions baked-in.

...Thinking on it, the class is complicated as balls. Its really confusing to read. You're dealing with cross-referencing two seperate classes, and its at-will powers are more complicated than needed. Also, needing EVERY SINGLE FEATURE to key off of having a hand free gets silly by the fourth one.

So, Pre-Final-Pre-Final Verdict? Cool, but weird. And dubious in the extreme.
I am a: Lawful Good Dragonborn Paladin

Agreed, this is one of those annoying recent things, where they have a perfectly good keyword, that could be used as a keyword (and therefore, all the redundant information could be written down once and referred to, that's what keywords are for), but instead they repeat all the text of the keyword in the power.  It's like what recently happened with Reliable, except that they are putting the keyword down as well.

Gotta love it.



In their defense, and without trying to be snide, some people need that level of redundant explanation.
I killed Aleena.
I have a hard time believing this is actually a finished product.
They mention having a sword in one hand and a wand in the other, then go and repeatedly hammer over and over you can't have a weapon or shield in the other hand. Are they saying a wand isn't a weapon, or are they just nuts?
A wand isn't a weapon, it's an implement. Well, if you want to be nitpicky, it's also an improvised melee weapon, but then again so is everything else including the kitchen sink and your gnome teammate.
Ah, silly mistake.

Also, Arena Training Fighter Talent means you can use any weapon you are not proficient in as an improvised weapon - 1d8 for one-handed, 1d10 for two. I made a habit of picking up the corpses of my enemies as a quite efficient 1d10 weapon against their allies. Good times.
...

...Well, this is certainly something else. You know how we always joke about the Swordmage being all about Swordburst, guys? Yeah, this is more or less WotC taking it literally. I like it, I actually really like it...but goddamn, this is weird. It's like getting a Controller-type fighter, or a rogue that leads.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
My only reaction is:  What the crap.
Controller, with a striker damage feature.  Your basic attacks are going to be doing 1[W]+Int+Dex, with the "+Dex" part scaling appropriately with tiers.




It seems to me that the striker-ish bladespells all share a controller function, replacing a wizard's controller-style at-wills.  Note that bladespells can target anyone without 10, not just the guy you hit.  So, basically, instead of hitting a guy with ray of frost for 1d6+mods and slowing him, you have to hit anyone with a melee basic, then you get a weaker damage ray of frost on whoever's nearby.  Essentially, you're using wizard at-wills while meleeing -some- target. (This seems rather appropriate to me for the Bladesinger, especially given its 3.0 incarnation that could full attack while quickening its spells!)

My assumption is the increased defenses and hit points are simply a function of the fact that the bladesinger must melee in order to impose at-will effects that are ranged 5-20 for other wizards.
Definitely liking it. But definitely awkward.

Seriously, it's like this is what the Swordmage should've been.

If they would've built the Swordmage more as a melee Wizard, I think this'd be the perfect image of it, albeit in need of some minor tweaking.
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While I'm sure the class plays fine in whatever niche it's supposed to fill, this whole class smacks of lazy design with confusing elements. While the at-will powers are basically riders to Wizard at-will powers, they're needlessly complicated. Why not just make a standard action attack power, usable as an MBA or for OA's and Charges, and have these as part of the hit line riders? Why the over reliance on MBA's? While the at-wills are at least interesting, even though redundant and needlessly complicated, the rest of class just rides the Wizard's coattails. Have they run out of ideas for spells and powers up in Washington? Nothing new popping up in the WotC minds on how an arcane melee controller would behave?


Bladesong looks like an interesting feature just waiting to be abused like a red-headed step child. I mean wow, that's a better striker feature than what feat taxes Ossassins get, maybe even better than some other strikers. But it's on the chassis of a wanna be Swordmage who uses Wizard spells? What role is this class supposed to fill? Is it a controller? Is is a Striker? Is it a Defender without a mark?


Then the class starts to fall apart at the design level. At encounter power levels you get static pre-made choices, so as with other boring e-classes, they all end up looking the same. The only options you get are with dailies, but they aren't dailies. You're some sub-par Wizard flunky who can't cast mediocre Wizard spells per encounter so you get them as dailies. Burning Hands and Chill Strike as a daily? How is that even remotely interesting or unique? That's like a bad multi-class feat where you pick up an at-will as an encounter power. Worst part is it'll start to fall even more behind at higher levels. At best your daily power will only be worth another class's encounter power of two levels lower. If you get a miss effect you might get to do half-damage. You won't even be able to ride the keywords like Mages or the Implement riders like Wizards do. We complained when the Vampire only got one power option at some levels, but hell, at least it was an original power.


To complicate the matter they gave the Bladesinger a spellbook which needs two charts to manage another class's powers. One for how many spells you will needlessly have to print out and another for how many you actually get to use. But it doesn't actually deviate from the chart set in PHB 1! They're missing the utilities and dailies granted by Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies. Why confuse the issue with two extra charts?


My favorite on this trip down lazy design road is that you get Wizard Cantrips. Woop-dee-fricken-doo. Does WotC not realize that these powers are replicated in items? Is there no little spell that could have been created as something new? Oh look! They gave Bladesingers Magic Missile... That’s like getting fruit cake for Christmas. Wizards don't want it ever since it got turned into auto-damage so Mages get it for free. Mages don't use it so they gave it to the Bladesinger. Who gets it next Christmas? Bards?


So lets recap here. The Bladesinger gets:



  • Weird No Action At-Wills that ride on MBA's limited to one handed weapons with out holding a shield or another weapon in the off-hand. These powers all emulate things other classes At-Wills can already do but can target a second enemy.

  • An Awesome Encounter Utility built for Strikers.

  • And then they just poach crap from the Wizard.


That's it. That's all the design space it took to create this class which reads more like a Wizard who flunked out of the Spiral Tower and had to pick up a sword. But he's not really good at swords either since he's just limited to MBAs. While the Wizard is sliding (or pushing, or knocking prone, or debuffing the attack roll, or slowing, etc) multiple enemies in one shot, the Bladesinger is hoping he hits so that maybe he can push someone else. He's not smart enough to learn real dailies so he turns encounter powers into dailies.


What happened here? Did the publishing deadline come up and the class design just never got finished? Has WotC completely run out of ideas that they resort to breaking apart At-Will powers, poaching another classes powers verbatim, and tossing in one ore two new powers? Have the designers given up on 4e? Whats going on here? Why all this lazy design lately?

(Edited to try and fix formating) 

Throw a defender mechanic on it instead of the Bladesong striker mechanic, you'd probably have a decent enough Swordmage e-class.

Incidentally, has anyone else noticed that this class gets Wizard encounters as dailies, and around the same time, a bunch of Wizard encounters gained miss effects?  Hmm...
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.
Throw a defender mechanic on it instead of the Bladesong striker mechanic, you'd probably have a decent enough Swordmage e-class.

Incidentally, has anyone else noticed that this class gets Wizard encounters as dailies, and around the same time, a bunch of Wizard encounters gained miss effects?  Hmm...



We've known that Wizard powers were getting miss effects based on statements when HotFL came out. That being said, it is awfully convenient.
I killed Aleena.

Based on the article, a Bladesinger isn't a wholesale new class, it's a variant like Mage or Slayer. Additionally, reliance on basic attacks seems to be the philosophy of the day for fighting classes in 4e.  Given those considerations, I think that this gives the Bladesinger a unique flavor with all the feat and PP support of existing wizards (which it may or may not be able to utilize).  I also can guess that the lack of new powers is to avoid an already overwhelming amount of power bloat in the game.  This seems like a fairly creative attempt to add an iconic and much-loved class to 4e without creating a whole new class with its own library of feat support, mechanics, and power lists (a la Seeker).

I think the idea of playing a basic-attacking wizard is very appealing, much in the same way that the Knight's, Thief's, and Hunter's ability to enhance basic attacks very elegant and versatile, or in the way that I find a Defender Aura and Opportunity enforcement to be more versatile than Immediate enforcement.  I don't -always- want to play a basic attack spammer or an aura defender, but I think they're pretty easy to learn and master and can do a lot of protracted fighting in comparison to a pre-essentials character who uses more limited resources.

Maybe they heard Mellored made a massive DPR charging wizard and wanted to one-up him? Kulkor bladesinger ftw?
Given the small amount of the class we've seen, I think the Bladesinger is off to a promising start.  Some things to note:

1.  The MBA and the Bladespell are two separate instances of damage, so they double dip on vulnerability or generic damage bonuses.  Morninglord/Radiant One is +20+2xInt.  That's nothing to scoff at.
2.  This is a striker, not a controller, with out-of-the-box slow/prone.  If thief's at-will prone is good, so is this.

Even if you hate Int/Dex, it might be possible to dilettante Eldritch Strike or Vampire Slam and ignore Int altogether.

And wizard encounter powers are really not bad... RAW, you might be able to enlarge them, too.  (Have to double check the wording).

Plus, there is a lot we haven't seen yet.  If it already looks this decent given a small preview, it might even turn out to be fantastic. 

Human Bladesinger with Thunderwave as their bonus at-will?


Or can they do that, since technically, they don't have at-will attack powers?

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