Rate my Swordmage

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So, I've been waiting to play in a 4e DnD game since... well, I've only played in 1 4e game, and I ended up being the healer because nobody else was playing that role.

I've wanted to get some critique for my "ultra-awesome-doom character" for a while, and I'm bored at work and I have three hours to kill, so I think I'll put him out there for the world to see and see whether or not it's a good character in the real world, or if it is just good in my mind.

General Character
 
Stormglaive, level 30
Genasi,
Swordmage, Anarch of Shyr, Arcane SwordBuild: Assault Swordmage Swordmage Aegis: Aegis of Assault

Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Polearm)Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Elemental Manifestation: Stormsoul
Quickened Spellcasting: Booming Blade
Trusted Spellcasting: Maelstrom Blade
Spellsword Perfection: Maelstrom Blade
Background: Aundair (City) (+2 to Arcana)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES  Str 12, Con 21, Dex 12, Int 26, Wis 18, Cha 12.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES  Str 8, Con 15, Dex 10, Int 17, Wis 13, Cha 10. html_removed


Defenses
 
AC: 45 Fort: 37 Reflex: 40 Will: 39
HP: 210 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 52
TRAINED SKILLS Arcana +34, Insight +24, Endurance +27, History +32
UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +16, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Dungeoneering +19, Heal +19, Intimidate +16, Nature +21, Perception +19, Religion +27, Stealth +16, Streetwise +16, Thievery +16, Athletics +16 html_removed html_removed



Feats
 
FEATS
Level 1: Melee Training (Intelligence)
Level 2: Elemental Echo
Level 4: Mark of Storm
Level 6: Oncoming Storm
Level 8: Echoes of Thunder
Level 10: Versatile Expertise
Level 11: Elemental Blade Attunement
Level 12: Resounding Thunder
Level 14: Solid Sound
Level 16: Uncanny Dodge
Level 18: Shocking Flame
Level 20: White Lotus Defense
Level 21: Indomitable Will
Level 22: Total Aegis
Level 24: Hafted Defense
Level 26: Quickened Spellcasting
Level 28: Trusted Spellcasting
Level 30: Shared Warding html_removed html_removed



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Powers
 
POWERS
Swordmage at-will 1: Booming Blade
Swordmage at-will 1: Lightning Lure
Swordmage encounter 1: Lightning Clash
Swordmage daily 1: Dimensional Thunder
Swordmage utility 2: Eldritch Speed
Swordmage encounter 3: Blastback Swipe
Swordmage daily 5: Lingering Lightning
Swordmage utility 6: Silversteel Veil
Swordmage encounter 7: Thunderclap Strike
Swordmage daily 9: Blade Bolt
Swordmage utility 10: Tactician's Measure
Swordmage encounter 13: Ensnaring Bolts (replaces Lightning Clash)
Swordmage daily 15: Free the Storm Within (replaces Dimensional Thunder)
Swordmage utility 16: Elemental Countermeasures
Swordmage encounter 17: Thundering Vortex (replaces Blastback Swipe)
Swordmage daily 19: Lightning Rod (replaces Lingering Lightning)
Swordmage utility 22: Borrowed Ascension
Swordmage encounter 23: Lightning Bolt Charge (replaces Thunderclap Strike)
Swordmage daily 25: Bounding Lightning (replaces Blade Bolt)
Swordmage encounter 27: Maelstrom Blade (replaces Ensnaring Bolts)
Swordmage daily 29: Astral Thunder Blade (replaces Free the Storm Within)  html_removed





ITEMS
Shockweave Starleather Armor +6, Cloak of the Phoenix +6, Vorpal Glaive +6, Coif of Focus (epic tier), Couters of Second Chances (epic tier), Storm Gauntlets (epic tier), Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Airstriders (epic tier), Baldric of Valor (epic tier), Strongheart Tattoo (epic tier), Opal Ring of Remembrance (epic tier)

tactics

Tactics: The idea of this character is that he can do a lot of damage to a lot of creatures, as well as taking advantage of using feats and class benefits to allow Maelstrom Blade to be used multiple times an encounter as an interrupt and also as a regular attack.

Also, using Promise of Storm alongside Elemental Echo, Echos of Thunder, Elemental Blade Attunement, and Shocking Flame gives me a lot of bonuses just for being Genasi, giving me bonuses to attack rolls and damage, increasing burst/blast sizes, and otherwise owning.



 


Level 30, Start of First turn.  Assuming having reached on milestone for maximum effect of items, also assuming that character has two enemies adjacent to him, and that both were already marked with Total Aegis by him last turn.


 


 


Minor Action.  Promise of Storm.  Until EONT, +3d8 to all thunder/lightning attacks.  Triggers Elemental Echo Feat, get +1 to arcane attack rolls and +6 to arcane damage rolls, and Shocking Flame, +4 extra damage on melee attacks.


 


Minor Action (Granted By Ring of Free Time).  Go into Stance of Chaos.  -2 to attack rolls, +1d12 extra lightning, fire, or cold damage.


 


Standard Action.  Lightning Bolt Charge.  +34 Vs AC, 4d4+27+3d8+1d12 on first target.  Activate Storm Gauntlets, add 3d6 to that attack, add thunder keyword, and gain extra 6 thunder damage on all later melee attacks until EONT.  Second attack, 2d4+27+3d8+1d12.  Triggers Solid Sound, add +2 to either fort, reflex, or will until EONT.  Hit also triggers White Lotus Defense, get +1 to all defenses against hit enemies.


 


Action Point.  This triggers Spellsword Recall from ED.  Malestrom Blade (close burst 2 due to feats).  6d4+27+3d8+1d12 on primary.  Resolving of Action Point triggers Blade Flurry Action from PP, make basic melee attack.  +34 Vs  AC, 4d4+18+1d12.  Use of thunder power triggers Solid Sound again.  Add +2 to one of remaining NADS


 


Minor Action(Sacrifice Move):  Use Booming Blade from Quickened Spellcasting.  +32vs AC, 4d4+21+3d8+1d12.  Use of thunder power triggers Solid Sound again.  All NADS get +2 until EONT at this point from triggering Solid Sound 3x in one round.


 


 


If all attacks hit:


 


 


Also, if either of these enemies trigger the Aegis, they take an additional 6d4+27+3d8+1d12, since Maelstrom Blade can be used again as a response to Aegis being triggered, half damage on a miss.


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I'll admit, it takes a while to get your head around the mechanics of how he works, but typically by the second turn I can have a +2 bonus to at least 2 of my NADs, and am rocking a +38 or higher attack bonus for attack rolls against monsters due to feat/power interaction, and generally being able to slide enemies around with each one of my powers.

I just wanted to get some feedback from power-optimizers and see what they thought about my character.  Granted, it's using a whole bunch of stuff that's just perfect for him, so I don't expect it to ever get that way in a real game.  



Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
Whilst im not experienced enough to offer full PEACH I can say you should of gone for the Intelligent Blademaster feat rather than Melee Training- its a swordmage only version of Melee Training that doesnt give the half damage penalty.
Also your FORT is too low for a tank- take Epic Fortitude for a +4 boost.
In fact all your feat choices are a touch sub optimal- look for Herid Fels handbook for some good all around advice for making this dude better. link= community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
Time for some thrilling heroics....
Whilst im not experienced enough to offer full PEACH I can say you should of gone for the Intelligent Blademaster feat rather than Melee Training- its a swordmage only version of Melee Training that doesnt give the half damage penalty.
Also your FORT is too low for a tank- take Epic Fortitude for a +4 boost.
In fact all your feat choices are a touch sub optimal- look for Herid Fels handbook for some good all around advice for making this dude better. link= community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...



What half-damage penalty are you talking about?  I haven't updated from the old character builder, did they change melee training somehow, because I don't see a benefit of having Melee Training over Intelligent Blademaster... they do the same thing, only one is class-specific.
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
Melee training was errata'd to give only half your chosen ability modifier to your damage roll whereas Intelligent Blademaster does not.
You've got the beginnings of a good thunder swordburster, the handbook will point you in the right direction.
For some more specifics about your feat choices no Greater Swordmage Warding, Rapid Aegis Reaction or Arcane Admixiture on Swordburst are some rather important mistakes. Also white lotus riposte can give your DM a real headache about whether to respect or ignore your marks- you'd be shocked how effective it can be.
You should also be aiming for AT LEAST 45's in all defenses, your FORT/WILL (depending on build) is gonna be significantly harder to raise to that but a little optimising will bring it up.
Arcane Sword is also absolute pants.
Time for some thrilling heroics....
Well, that explains why your feats are horrible, your options are about a year out of date.


  1. You should have Intelligent Blademaster instead of Melee Training

  2. All SM should have either Greater Swordmage Warding and/or Improved Defenses

  3. White Lotus Defense is a good feat at level 5, by 20 (when you take it) it's a nonfactor

  4. Shocking Flame is....ok, I'm assuming it's there to kick Promise of Storm so you can fake like a striker

  5. Indomitable Will is crud compared to Superior Will

  6. You should take Double Aegis by 12 and use it as a retrain spot for Total Aegis at 21st

  7. You should read Herid_Fel's Swordmage handbook

Well, that explains why your feats are horrible, your options are about a year out of date.


  1. You should have Intelligent Blademaster instead of Melee Training

  2. All SM should have either Greater Swordmage Warding and/or Improved Defenses

  3. White Lotus Defense is a good feat at level 5, by 20 (when you take it) it's a nonfactor

  4. Shocking Flame is....ok, I'm assuming it's there to kick Promise of Storm so you can fake like a striker

  5. Indomitable Will is crud compared to Superior Will

  6. You should take Double Aegis by 12 and use it as a retrain spot for Total Aegis at 21st

  7. You should read Herid_Fel's Swordmage handbook



Thanks for the input.  Kind of upset that, having not paid attention for a year, that feats have changed that much.

Switched MT for Int Blademaster (seriously, that melee training nerf is stupid, why'd they do that?)

Greater Swordmage Warding isn't in my character builder for some reason.  Whatever it is, it sounds nice.  It's wierd it's not in my character builder, because it's an Arcane Power feat.  Are there prerequisites for it?

I'd like to think that most of my "mistakes" come from not looking too deep at the character before posting.  I kind of envisioned this character as a "damage the entire battlefield when mark is ignored"-type defender.  I'd probably do better if I had a current subscription to insider.
 
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
You're also missing two of the best Swordmage powers available: Dimensional Vortex and Hypnotic Swordplay (E13). Those are good enough to keep for a long, long time.

I'm also a fan of going Strength for Assault Swordmage and not needing Intelligent Blademaster at all. You can leave it at a starting 16 if you like, you should be teleporting in to combat advantage on your Aegis trigger and then you're still essentially getting a +1 to hit while alos giving you a decent Con and access to Superior Will at Paragon. If you want a few more HP, I suppose take Toughness as it scales but 10ish surges should be fine, depending on the group.   
Er, going Str instead of Con makes no sense for an Assault Swordmage.  For the price of 1 feat you gain +1 or +2 to hit on basic attacks, +3 through +8 surges, a ball of hitpoints (unless you took Auspicious Birth for your background), and the occasional useful rider.
Or can go Wis for Wandering Swordmage.  Or if you want to hybrid with Avenger (not a bad choice since Painful Oath and the 19-20 crit feats work when you hit your OoE target, so SM powers would get those...unless they were errataed, in which case, ignore this part).  Or hybrid with Cleric or Invoker (Cleric w/ Battle Cleric Lore makes up for loss of SM Warding though this is likely to be errataed in the future; Invoker for strong control powers)
Or can go Wis for Wandering Swordmage.  Or if you want to hybrid with Avenger (not a bad choice since Painful Oath and the 19-20 crit feats work when you hit your OoE target, so SM powers would get those...unless they were errataed, in which case, ignore this part).  Or hybrid with Cleric or Invoker (Cleric w/ Battle Cleric Lore makes up for loss of SM Warding though this is likely to be errataed in the future; Invoker for strong control powers)



Hybrid Avenger only get OoE on Avenger powers.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Er, going Str instead of Con makes no sense for an Assault Swordmage.  For the price of 1 feat you gain +1 or +2 to hit on basic attacks, +3 through +8 surges, a ball of hitpoints (unless you took Auspicious Birth for your background), and the occasional useful rider.



Backgrounds do make quite a difference, yes, I should have put that in but every build listed on this forum uses a background or theme so I left it out. And Strength opens a lot of riders and multiclasses that can be useful for a Swordmage.  
Or can go Wis for Wandering Swordmage.  Or if you want to hybrid with Avenger (not a bad choice since Painful Oath and the 19-20 crit feats work when you hit your OoE target, so SM powers would get those...unless they were errataed, in which case, ignore this part).  Or hybrid with Cleric or Invoker (Cleric w/ Battle Cleric Lore makes up for loss of SM Warding though this is likely to be errataed in the future; Invoker for strong control powers)



Hybrid Avenger only get OoE on Avenger powers.



That's true.  But the feats Painful Oath and the 19-20 crit feat only specify that you hit your OoE target.  You don't actually need to get the double roll.
Er, going Str instead of Con makes no sense for an Assault Swordmage.  For the price of 1 feat you gain +1 or +2 to hit on basic attacks, +3 through +8 surges, a ball of hitpoints (unless you took Auspicious Birth for your background), and the occasional useful rider.



Backgrounds do make quite a difference, yes, I should have put that in but every build listed on this forum uses a background or theme so I left it out. And Strength opens a lot of riders and multiclasses that can be useful for a Swordmage.  



Strength riders and the powers that have them generally aren't really worth it.
I disagree. Just a couple of examples:

Burning Blade is a good power because it makes your mark more potent and ups party damage for an encounter.

Barbarian Multiclass is nice, especially if you want to power swap for Curtain of Steel in the weaker E7 slot.

Warlord Multiclass is good, especially since it opens up Paragon Paths such as Freedom Fighter which is actually good for a defender. It also opens the Elemental Companions feat, depending on how you value defenses/resistances.

etc.

While a 13 STR is fine for base multiclasses, the powers/paragon paths they open up rely on Strength.
I like starting with 12, with the intent of getting 13 at Paragon for Battle Awareness. Greater Swordmage Warding is also worth it.
While I disagree with most of what you said Gunthar (I don't really care for either Barb or Warlord MC, and the Freedom Fighter PP is grossly overshadowed by a lot of native Swordmage PPs like Malec-Keth, Wandering SM and Sigil Carver), I like a starting a 12 post racial for the two reasons I mentioned above.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Fair enough, I really like Malec-Keth but like Freedom Fighter for the interrupt and attack Essentially an "extra" mark/interrupt mechanism a round earlier than Malec-Keth and the Level 20 also giving me an extra mark. Sometimes the +4 is enough to stop the attack, sometimes my AC is higher than that over whomever I'm saving.
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