The Cheesewizard

81 posts / 0 new
Last post
"Unlimmmiitttteeedd Powwwaaahhhhh!" Darth Sidious, a Cheesewizard

"Do not ask which creature screams in the night. Do not question who waits for you in the shadow. It is my cry that wakes you in the night, and my body that crouches in the shadow. I am Tzeentch Cheesewizard and you are the puppet that dances to my tune..."




The Cheesewizard goes first either with raw Initiative (+36, +37 Mage version, and Danger Sense reroll) or Strategist's Epiphany, uses Archspell + Prismatic Spray + Asmodeus' Royal Command + Talisman of Terror + Skull Mask + Spider Familiar + Spell Focus + Mind Fire + Persistent Poison + Hellbook to use the Prismatic Spray daily as an encounter power twice per encounter with an effect long -12 penalty to saving throws to dominate/ravage everything in a close burst 5 (6 with Enlarge Spell). Cunning Staff applies a recurring -4 penalty to the first saving throw, all but guaranteeing, even against a solo, that the first save will fail. If employing an Orb of Mental Dominion, you will effectively dominate everyone in the encounter for its entire duration, solos included. In otherwords, old school 3.5 style wizard ****.



Supplementary Tricks/Elements/Qualities:

You can also draw and spam Orb of Karmic Resonance dailies as a free action (thanks Battle Harness) to use on particularly troublesome and resistant creatures/solos as needed. Orb of Mental Dominion can likewise help to nullify the higher saves of Solos, allowing for effectively indefinite domination on a hit (requiring ~17 saves before a successful one).

In the meanwhile it continues to dominate stuff with Steal Time and other encounter powers. Steal Time can also allow it to store up an Standard Actions indefinitely each time it hits. This is because the 'stun' effect never ends (the expiry point before which the Standard Action must be used) as it never exists in the first place because the stunned effect is substituted with dominated via Royal Command of Asmodeus.

Against enemies that just can't be dominated or that have lame domination auto-ending effects, it has Face of Death (or Visions of Ruin), which is also an illusion power, thus gaining an additional effect long -2 penalty via Illusionist's Gloves for a total of -12 with a -16 penalty to the first roll, rendering most mobs immobilized and helpless for the rest of the encounter.

Curse Eye Tattoo can be employed to impose an additional -2 (save ends) penalty.

Should have only a 5% chance to miss vs Will on average with a reliable attack bonus of +44 (+45 Mage version): Base +36, +1 power bonus (Serpent's Cunning), +2 CA (obtained reliably via Phase-Mist Shroud and Nethermancy Master), +1 Phase-Mist Shroud (which it can reliably get via Psionic Image), +1 Coordinated Explosion, +2 Arch Spell, +1 Ring of Sorrows, +1 Hellfire Blood (Mage version only). In the unlikely event of a miss or nat 1, use Mark of Six Fingers/Dice of Auspicous Fortune (used preemptively)/Insightful Riposte/Adept's Insight, etc... to turn that frown upside down.

The Mage version is either impervious to surprise via Alertness or gets +1 to hit via Hellfire Blood.

Salves of Power are used to regain use of Prismatic Spray, as well as the Opal Ring of Remembrance.

Against immune enemies it uses Wizard's Wrath to automatically take away their immunities; there is no resisting the Dominator. Multiclass Poisoner deals with those otherwise annoying poison immune mobs. The Mage variant ignores fire resistance to Prismatic's ongoing and fire damage.

With Improved Tome of Readiness cheese it uses the almighty Illusory Wall as an encounter power (Wizard only).

Hellbook allows the Cheesewizard to use Prismatic Spray an additional time per encounter as it swaps out a prepared spell for another use of Prismatic Spray (which isn't preparing).

Versatile Spellbook makes sure the Cheesewizard always has whatever utility power he needs.

Orb of Nimble Thoughts + Staff of the Traveller + Battle Harness gives us 5 quickswitch Teleport 9s per short rest.

Utility Staff +3 on a quickswitch can increase the range of our encounter powers by +3.

Several Staves of the War Mage +1 can be quickswitched to increase the Prismatic Spray burst to size 7.

Finally, while an enemy is subject to Prismatic Spray, the Cheesewizard can force the target to run its speed + 2 around his Storm Pillar, for 100 automatic lightning damage if the target is slowed, or 200 if the target has base speed 6, provoking OAs in addition to the ongoing 15 fire damage. If the target is slowed and has a teleport speed, you can have the target run-teleport as high as possible regardless of slow status, falling through the Storm Pillar's squares to take 75 automatic lightning damage plus fall damage.



Other Cheese Series Characters:



"Immune: Poison" will wreck your day.
"Immune: Poison" will wreck your day.



Nah, Wizard's Wrath; it removes all immunities. I understand that Immune: Fear isn't the only thing I have to worry about.

If there are too many to Wrath, I've always got Illusory Wall and my single target encounter dominations. 
Gah! I've been trying to figure out how to stack save penalties for encounter long daze for a week now! And you've done it with dominate, on multiple enemies!

Bravo to you sir, but damn you for being cleverer than I am.
Thankee good sir.

Also, revising the build to take the Poisoner multiclass so that pesky mobs with poison immunity get ****ed.
Added Persistent Poison so now creatures are at a effect long -12 penalty to save against the poison immunity ignoring Prismatic Spray.
OK, where's the cheese coming in? Obviously, this is a highly optimized wizard who's very adept at stacking save penalties, but is that what makes it cheesy? What makes this better or worse (depending on your point of view) than a normal save-penalizer at epic tier?

Perhaps it's just that I'm bad at reading epic statblocks/sheets and really grasping all the nuances, but what pushes this over the top?
OK, where's the cheese coming in? Obviously, this is a highly optimized wizard who's very adept at stacking save penalties, but is that what makes it cheesy? What makes this better or worse (depending on your point of view) than a normal save-penalizer at epic tier?

Perhaps it's just that I'm bad at reading epic statblocks/sheets and really grasping all the nuances, but what pushes this over the top?



The fact that, even as optimized L30 builds go, it's game breaking. It always goes first (+35 init with reroll or Strategist's Epiphany against especially high Init mobs), and it almost always hits (thanks to a 95% base hit chance, to say nothing of one time boosters like Emerald Eye), and when it doesn't due to Nat 1s or low rolls vs high Will opponents, it has Dice of Auspicious Fortune and Adept's Insight. It has at least two uses per encounter of a daily that will singlehandedly shut down pretty much every combat in the game, dominating everything in the encounter for its entire duration (due to -16 initial save, and -12 recurring saves, and Karmic Orbs). There is no immunity to it either thanks to Poisoner and Wizard's Wrath. 

The 'cheese' part specifically has to do with collective abuse of Tiefling racial support, Archspell's Daily as Encounter mechanics, and keyword specific save penalizers.

These are all things even an optimized L30 imposer/save penalizer cannot normally do.
Small nitpick thing: You can't ToR Strategist's Epiphany for multiple reasons.  It's not in your spellbook, for one.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Small nitpick thing: You can't ToR Strategist's Epiphany for multiple reasons.  It's not in your spellbook, for one.



Yeah, that's one of the RAW things I wasn't sure on (the other being which of Hellbook or Reserve Maneuver would give me an additional use of Prismatic Spray; my money is on Reserve Maneuver); I dropped Superior Will and Dispater's for Imperious Majesty and Danger Sense; if the monster never gets a chance to act, which it should not, they're not necessary.
Great job

Now please delete this before anyone from Wotc reads this and brings out the nerfbat :p
Great job

Now please delete this before anyone from Wotc reads this and brings out the nerfbat :p



Eh, nothing really needs nerfing. It's just a very optimized wizard. No real exploits, just a focused build that does what it's built for and the gods be damned if anything tries to stop it.
My Works
My House Rules Cryptic Commander: a Tiefling Wizard|Warlord - Arcane Wayfarer - Planeshaper that focuses on controlling every creature in an encounter. Feyknight: A Half-Elf Knight - Gladiator Champion - Marshall of Letherna build that uses Eldritch Strike and the White Lotus Riposte feats to create a decent catch-22 with his mark aura. Novamancer: a Wizard/Swordmage - Malec-Keth Janissary - Radiant One that specializes in area damage, somewhat item dependent but is capable of massive damage. the Epic Crit-Fisher: Avenger/Ranger-PMC-Eternal Seeker with a 2,560 damage crit-fishing nova. Eldritch Slayer: A Slayer - Kulkor - Destined Scion that uses a similar trick to the Knight, combined with Kulkor for some decent DPR. Polearm Seeker|Fighter: A Seeker|Fighter/Psion - Kensei - Destined Scion build that uses Polearm Momentum to not be super bad. Generic Runepriest: A generic type Runepriest/Fighter - Hammer of Vengeance - Destined Scion
One does not
111819409 wrote:
99856009 wrote:
by RAW, you can't horse into the forge of the dawn titan.




...Couldn't resist.


Well, someone might consider a permanent -12 to saves game breaking
Well, someone might consider a permanent -12 to saves game breaking


It is a little game breaking, but by level 30 you're almost supposed to break the game, especially if you're a wizard. TBH if I was DMing for this thing everything he fought would have a bit of save bonus/the ability to shrug off dominate once per encounter or some other resistatory thing. Probably reduce Dominate to Daze or something of the like. At that high of a level everything you fight is likely to have heard legends of you. There's nothing any character can do that a DM can't deal with.
My Works
My House Rules Cryptic Commander: a Tiefling Wizard|Warlord - Arcane Wayfarer - Planeshaper that focuses on controlling every creature in an encounter. Feyknight: A Half-Elf Knight - Gladiator Champion - Marshall of Letherna build that uses Eldritch Strike and the White Lotus Riposte feats to create a decent catch-22 with his mark aura. Novamancer: a Wizard/Swordmage - Malec-Keth Janissary - Radiant One that specializes in area damage, somewhat item dependent but is capable of massive damage. the Epic Crit-Fisher: Avenger/Ranger-PMC-Eternal Seeker with a 2,560 damage crit-fishing nova. Eldritch Slayer: A Slayer - Kulkor - Destined Scion that uses a similar trick to the Knight, combined with Kulkor for some decent DPR. Polearm Seeker|Fighter: A Seeker|Fighter/Psion - Kensei - Destined Scion build that uses Polearm Momentum to not be super bad. Generic Runepriest: A generic type Runepriest/Fighter - Hammer of Vengeance - Destined Scion
One does not
111819409 wrote:
99856009 wrote:
by RAW, you can't horse into the forge of the dawn titan.




...Couldn't resist.


It was meant as a compliment, no disagreement here.
The fact that the build focuses not only on aplying a huge save penalty but also on overcoming immunities which may cripple its power shows that this is a very well thought out build
Well, someone might consider a permanent -12 to saves game breaking


It is a little game breaking, but by level 30 you're almost supposed to break the game, especially if you're a wizard. TBH if I was DMing for this thing everything he fought would have a bit of save bonus/the ability to shrug off dominate once per encounter or some other resistatory thing. Probably reduce Dominate to Daze or something of the like. At that high of a level everything you fight is likely to have heard legends of you. There's nothing any character can do that a DM can't deal with.

Also worth pointing out that by optimizing for stun/save penalty, this build inevitably gives up something on damage.  That's not a complaint: for a hard controller like a wizard, damage is often a secondary consideration at best. 

But it is entirely possible (and fun!) to build a wizard that rains down death and destruction in a much more direct fashion to a level that some might consider game-breaking at epic.  That wizard will have some decent control ability, but nothing like this build.  If it were possible to do both in the same build, that would be truly broken, but at it stands this level of power is simply what "Epic" means.

Also, as someone who enjoys playing a high-level wiz, nice job!  Thanks for sharing.



Small nitpick thing: You can't ToR Strategist's Epiphany for multiple reasons.  It's not in your spellbook, for one.



Yeah, that's one of the RAW things I wasn't sure on (the other being which of Hellbook or Reserve Maneuver would give me an additional use of Prismatic Spray; my money is on Reserve Maneuver); I dropped Superior Will and Dispater's for Imperious Majesty and Danger Sense; if the monster never gets a chance to act, which it should not, they're not necessary.



Only if you have a non-tactical DM and/or a DM who has decided that there's no point in even attempting to challenge the group because they're that good.

Example:
Round 1: You annihilate the cardboard cutouts occupying the board.
Round 2: The DM brings the real encounter onto the field.

Example 2:
The encounter starts at range 50 because you're fighting really spread out archers who intend to kite the party. Your max range power is 20. So you need to move 30 squares just to be able to target one of them, let alone several of them.

Going first is really powerful, but no matter how strong you are, there is no auto-win button in 4e unless your DM lets you auto-win. 


Only if you have a non-tactical DM and/or a DM who has decided that there's no point in even attempting to challenge the group because they're that good.



Good point.  I had this conversation with my DM just a couple weeks ago because he seemed frustrated that we were blowing through encounters too easily, thanks in part to the wizard I'm playing.

Basically, I said he needed to give us at least two separate, credible threats in a single encounter to make it a challange, because the defender and/or the wizard can lock down any single threat long enough to make it not matter.  Having monsters spread apart, or join the fight at different times, or simply having more monsters are ways to accomplish this, but one should not expect epic fights to work like they did in heroic or paragon tiers of play.



Only if you have a non-tactical DM and/or a DM who has decided that there's no point in even attempting to challenge the group because they're that good.



Good point.  I had this conversation with my DM just a couple weeks ago because he seemed frustrated that we were blowing through encounters too easily, thanks in part to the wizard I'm playing.

Basically, I said he needed to give us at least two separate, credible threats in a single encounter to make it a challange, because the defender and/or the wizard can lock down any single threat long enough to make it not matter.  Having monsters spread apart, or join the fight at different times, or simply having more monsters are ways to accomplish this, but one should not expect epic fights to work like they did in heroic or paragon tiers of play.




If you're having the conversation with your DM, that also means that you might want to tone it down a bit. Better to be playing a non-completely optimized character in a campaign than not playing at all...
I like the build; it's an improvement over my Winter Wizard (I don't remember what it's actually called) from back when we originally got the save penalty nerfbat; I could reach the same level of save penalty, but I never thought of the immunity piercers (which may not have been around then anyway).  Yay!  And of course, by not relying on the Winter Sovereign destiny you're free to get Archspell (although I would probably take Archmage, as it would let you kick the trick off earlier, even if you lose the +2 to hit).
Obviously a DM can make any encounter challenging with a combination of fiat, homebrew and arbitrary monster properties. That said, in a standard environment of its level this Wizard is a complete game breaker even by optimized L30 standards.

Even if a DM tries to wear it down with waves, it has two uses _minimum_ of Prismatic Spray, and can obtain plenty more with Salves and other means. And, of course, those perma-dominated standards, and effectively perma-dominated elites are still around to help you out.

When it comes to sacrificing damage, that's inconsequential except perhaps against solos, because everything else is effectively perma dominated (Solos being dominated on average for a 'mere' 4 saves), and even against solos, you can surely maintain the domination long enough via Encounters and Karmic Orbs, or you can simply recast Prismatic Spray.

Hmm. Might end up switching to Archspell actually; I love the L24 Archmage feature to death, pun unintended, because it is extremely robust insurance, but I doubt it will ever really see use for this character. I also may have the character become a Mage instead of an Arcanist in order to benefit from Master Nethermancy which will give me guaranteed CA via Phase-Mist Shroud; losing Illusory Wall as an encounter is a bit of a heavy price to pay, but I can't see it ever being used practically.
Great job

Now please delete this before anyone from Wotc reads this and brings out the nerfbat :p



Eh, nothing really needs nerfing. It's just a very optimized wizard. No real exploits, just a focused build that does what it's built for and the gods be damned if anything tries to stop it.



Tiefling needs nerfed; wizard not so much. The racial feats that tieflings have access to just put them way too far ahead of what any other race can do as a Wizard (except maybe devas, but that's partly because the deva epic destiny lets them be tieflings too).


Well, someone might consider a permanent -12 to saves game breaking


It is a little game breaking, but by level 30 you're almost supposed to break the game, especially if you're a wizard. TBH if I was DMing for this thing everything he fought would have a bit of save bonus/the ability to shrug off dominate once per encounter or some other resistatory thing. Probably reduce Dominate to Daze or something of the like. At that high of a level everything you fight is likely to have heard legends of you. There's nothing any character can do that a DM can't deal with.

Also worth pointing out that by optimizing for stun/save penalty, this build inevitably gives up something on damage.  That's not a complaint: for a hard controller like a wizard, damage is often a secondary consideration at best. 

But it is entirely possible (and fun!) to build a wizard that rains down death and destruction in a much more direct fashion to a level that some might consider game-breaking at epic.  That wizard will have some decent control ability, but nothing like this build.  If it were possible to do both in the same build, that would be truly broken, but at it stands this level of power is simply what "Epic" means.

Also, as someone who enjoys playing a high-level wiz, nice job!  Thanks for sharing.






See the wizard build in my sig for an example of this. I saw it in play, fully geared at level 30 at the end of a Darksun campaign. It was a sight to behold.

But yes if a wizard could perma-dominate an entire encounter while also dealing hundreds of damage in huge bursts that would be truly broken.
My Works
My House Rules Cryptic Commander: a Tiefling Wizard|Warlord - Arcane Wayfarer - Planeshaper that focuses on controlling every creature in an encounter. Feyknight: A Half-Elf Knight - Gladiator Champion - Marshall of Letherna build that uses Eldritch Strike and the White Lotus Riposte feats to create a decent catch-22 with his mark aura. Novamancer: a Wizard/Swordmage - Malec-Keth Janissary - Radiant One that specializes in area damage, somewhat item dependent but is capable of massive damage. the Epic Crit-Fisher: Avenger/Ranger-PMC-Eternal Seeker with a 2,560 damage crit-fishing nova. Eldritch Slayer: A Slayer - Kulkor - Destined Scion that uses a similar trick to the Knight, combined with Kulkor for some decent DPR. Polearm Seeker|Fighter: A Seeker|Fighter/Psion - Kensei - Destined Scion build that uses Polearm Momentum to not be super bad. Generic Runepriest: A generic type Runepriest/Fighter - Hammer of Vengeance - Destined Scion
One does not
111819409 wrote:
99856009 wrote:
by RAW, you can't horse into the forge of the dawn titan.




...Couldn't resist.


If you're having the conversation with your DM, that also means that you might want to tone it down a bit. Better to be playing a non-completely optimized character in a campaign than not playing at all...

Exactly. There's character optimization, and there's social optimization.

Don't ruin the DM's fun, and save the big guns for when the party would otherwise be in trouble.
Produced the Mage version. This trades in Illusory Wall as an encounter for superior initiative (+37 vs +36), a better History score for Stategist's Epiphany, improved damage and to-hit on Prismatic Spray via Hellfire Blood, and guaranteed CA via Phase-Mist Shroud + Nethermancy Mastery. It also ignores all fire resistance to Prismatic Spray's fire damages.

Replaced the Auspicious Birth background with the Officer out of Retirement background for even more initiative (+36/+37 Wizard and Mage respectively) and a bonus to History for an even better Strategist's Epiphany.

Replaced Archmage ED with Archspell for +2 to hit, making the build more effective against unusually high Will, or overleveled enemies.

Replaced Diplomacy with Insight for Insightful Riposte, giving the build _even more_ insurance to hit against high Will, overleveled enemies.
Produced the Mage version. This trades in Illusory Wall as an encounter for superior initiative (+37 vs +36), a better History score for Stategist's Epiphany, improved damage and to-hit on Prismatic Spray via Hellfire Blood, and guaranteed CA via Phase-Mist Shroud + Nethermancy Mastery.

Replaced the Auspicious Birth background with the Officer out of Retirement background for even more initiative (+36/+37 Wizard and Mage respectively) and a bonus to History for an even better Strategist's Epiphany.

Replaced Archmage ED with Archspell for +2 to hit, making the build more effective against unusually high Will, or overleveled enemies.

Replaced Diplomacy with Insight for Insightful Riposte, giving the build _even more_ insurance to hit against high Will, overleveled enemies.



and you get magic missile for FREEEEE!!!!! lol :D

My Works
My House Rules Cryptic Commander: a Tiefling Wizard|Warlord - Arcane Wayfarer - Planeshaper that focuses on controlling every creature in an encounter. Feyknight: A Half-Elf Knight - Gladiator Champion - Marshall of Letherna build that uses Eldritch Strike and the White Lotus Riposte feats to create a decent catch-22 with his mark aura. Novamancer: a Wizard/Swordmage - Malec-Keth Janissary - Radiant One that specializes in area damage, somewhat item dependent but is capable of massive damage. the Epic Crit-Fisher: Avenger/Ranger-PMC-Eternal Seeker with a 2,560 damage crit-fishing nova. Eldritch Slayer: A Slayer - Kulkor - Destined Scion that uses a similar trick to the Knight, combined with Kulkor for some decent DPR. Polearm Seeker|Fighter: A Seeker|Fighter/Psion - Kensei - Destined Scion build that uses Polearm Momentum to not be super bad. Generic Runepriest: A generic type Runepriest/Fighter - Hammer of Vengeance - Destined Scion
One does not
111819409 wrote:
99856009 wrote:
by RAW, you can't horse into the forge of the dawn titan.




...Couldn't resist.


Hellbook and/or Reserve Maneuver allows me to use Prismatic Spray additional times per encounter (not sure on the exact legality, but at least one of these should work). Thoughts on this?




If your plan is to use Reserve Maneuver to use Prismatic Spray in place of an encounter power, it doesn't work; Reserve Maneuver only lets you choose a power you don't already have, and you have Prismatic Spray.  Hellbook won't work because it doesn't grant an exception to the rule that you can't prepare the same spell twice. 
If your plan is to use Reserve Maneuver to use Prismatic Spray in place of an encounter power, it doesn't work; Reserve Maneuver only lets you choose a power you don't already have, and you have Prismatic Spray.  Hellbook won't work because it doesn't grant an exception to the rule that you can't prepare the same spell twice. 



Hellbook should work because you're not technically committing the action of preparing as per the description in the class entry, but swapping.
If you're having the conversation with your DM, that also means that you might want to tone it down a bit. Better to be playing a non-completely optimized character in a campaign than not playing at all...

Exactly. There's character optimization, and there's social optimization.

Don't ruin the DM's fun, and save the big guns for when the party would otherwise be in trouble.

Absolutely. 

In this particular case, we're all long-time friends and I don't think his frustration is with the party.  He's using purchased material and it still has pre-MM3 damage expressions, poorly-designed encounters, and we're a bit over the target level, so he's having to re-tune it to make it a challenge, and that particular night it was a bit too easy.  It doesn't help his cause that we've played these characters for more than a year over 15+ levels and know what we are doing, but he's used to that.  When I DM'd for our group a while back, I had the same problem.

That all said, there are nights when I avoid using my dailies so that other players can shine and to make those spells more special when I do break them out.  But if the encounter needs to be over so that we can get to bed, or all hell breaks loose, it's nice to have options.
Added details concerning Storm Pillar damage potential when paired with Domination.
So, as I mentioned previously I enjoy this build; however, this build has obvious flaws:  DM throws multiple 'serious' monsters at you at different times in one encounter (something like, one encounter = 1 solo with 3 or 4 normals, 2 elites with 5 or 6 normals, 1 super solo)

More than likely you've already used up your good stuff before you get to the second wave, let alone the third.

So how important (really) is Phiarlan Phantasmist? Sure it's a -2 to the save, but -10 is still pretty hefty; and the cunning weapon too needs to go.  Archspell has to be changed back into Archmage.  Finally, while Mage or Pure wizard is cool, do we really lose anything by hybriding, with, say Cleric?

Why you ask? Well, first: we get a feat (no need for Mark of Shadow), that we can do something neat with; specifically, get 19-20 crit range with our lovely staff.  Second, we get to be a Divine Oracle, and roll twice when we attack with Prismatic Spray (hurrah!), making the attack much more reliable (and giving us a 19% crit rate too).  Finally, we get to use a Hellfire Staff... and now suddenly, when we crit, we get to recharge Prismatic Spray!  The horror!

Lastly, since we're an archmage, we figure out another feat to drop (perhaps Enlarge Spell, probably Hellbook since we recharge Prismatic Spray regularly now anyway) and take Arcane Mastery; and now between action points and archmage features we can use another daily spell every single encounter: Introducing Cloudkill.  (Or really, anything else you'd like that will last until the end of the encounter and give you extra attacks each turn.  Perhaps summon succubus since it targets Will, but it would daze you.. so probably not.)

Now we not only throw Prismatic Spray (lets say 3 targets), but we also attack every enemy on the map with Cloudkill (6 targets) every turn.  That's 3 damage rolls per target (more if you want to abuse zone stuff, but we'll ignore that), so now suddenly you can even do striker level damage, but it's also 9 attack rolls, which means each turn you have about a 60% chance of recharging Prismatic Spray; and on the turns you aren't using it, well, you're still a high level wizard; you have other cool shenanigans floating about.


So now: You can use Prismatic Spray twice every 3 rounds (which actually hits more often, even though you lose the +2 to hit from Archspell), and it still has a -10 penalty to it's stun/dominate, that still ignores immunities; you also get to deal massive damage to everyone, constantly (probably close to 100 DPR, per Prismatic Spray target), since you get to use Cloudkill every single encounter; but since you don't do that much damage per individual damage roll, as long as your allies have significant poison resistance (30 or so), they won't be taking much damage from the Cloudkill, assuming they don't match their playstyle to yours to avoid the zone. (If you fit in War Wizardry, they would take practically no damage)  And for giggles, you can heal now!  Which means you can probably negate all the damage that your cloudkill ends up doing to the party anyway.
So, as I mentioned previously I enjoy this build; however, this build has obvious flaws:  DM throws multiple 'serious' monsters at you at different times in one encounter (something like, one encounter = 1 solo with 3 or 4 normals, 2 elites with 5 or 6 normals, 1 super solo)

More than likely you've already used up your good stuff before you get to the second wave, let alone the third.



This build has a _minimum_ of two (2) uses of Prismatic Spray in a close burst 6 per encounter. On top of this, we have Salves of Power, and the Ring of Remembrance. Finally, standards and minions are perma-dominated. Elites remain dominated except if they roll a 20, and autofail the first save; in otherwords, it takes 15 saves on average before an Elite will no longer be dominated. Burning out is pretty damn unlikely. In the meanwhile, all these dominated mobs can help us with any subsequent waves. In otherwords, this is not a real flaw.

So how important (really) is Phiarlan Phantasmist? Sure it's a -2 to the save, but -10 is still pretty hefty; and the cunning weapon too needs to go.  Archspell has to be changed back into Archmage.  Finally, while Mage or Pure wizard is cool, do we really lose anything by hybriding, with, say Cleric?



Very. Why? Because:

A: We lose Phase-Mist Shroud, which means we lose perma-concealment, perma +1 to hit and perma-CA.

B: We lose Mind Fire, which means we go from permadomination for standards to an average ~15 save domination. We go from an average ~15 save domination for Elites to ~6 save domination, and for Solos, we go from an average ~5 save domination to an average ~3 turn domination (these figures all assume we have the Cunning Staff. Subtract a save from each figure otherwise).

In balance, losing Phiarlan Phantasmist is unacceptable, and this is not a rule of cool decision.

Why you ask? Well, first: we get a feat (no need for Mark of Shadow), that we can do something neat with; specifically, get 19-20 crit range with our lovely staff.  Second, we get to be a Divine Oracle, and roll twice when we attack with Prismatic Spray (hurrah!), making the attack much more reliable (and giving us a 19% crit rate too).  Finally, we get to use a Hellfire Staff... and now suddenly, when we crit, we get to recharge Prismatic Spray!  The horror!



Given Dice of Auspicious Cheese, and two uses of Prismatic Spray per encounter minimum, losing the ability to ignore poison immunity/resistance, and the loss of Mind Fire, I'm not sure whether the Divine Oracle is worth it, despite it freeing up a feat.

Second, in order to multiclass into the Divine Oracle, Mark of Shadow will be converted into a multiclass feat which will be only marginally more useful, and mutually exclusive with the Poisoner multiclass feat (which allows us to ignore poison immunity and most poison resistance).

Third, while Hellfire Staff is a neat idea, and I'd actually considered it, it is probably not worth the loss of effectiveness vs solos (note also that Lifesinger contributes minimally to crit rates, only applying on a _miss_):

Say we have 4 encounters.

The first encounter assumes 5 standards, second encounter assumes 2 elites and a standard, third encounter assumes a solo, and fourth encounter assumes 4 minions, 2 standards and an elite, averaging 4 targets over 4 encounters:

(1-.95^4)*4 (number of encounters) = 0.741975% chance of an encounter recoup trigger.

If we go further to assume Prismatic Spray is used twice every other encounter against half the average amount of targets on the second use:

((1-.95^4)*4+(1-.95^2)*2) = 0.936975% chance of an encounter recoup trigger.

Without the Cunning Staff we reduce the average effect duration by 1 save across the board for Elites and Solos, to 14 and 4 saves respectively. I don't think an effect duration above 10 rounds for a non-solo is meaningful, though higher is obviously preferable, so all we're practically losing in this case is 1 save for a solo, but that is significant. So let's go with the assumption that, without Cunning Staff, the duration lasts 3 saves for solos, 10 for Elites, and 10 for Standards. 

Another use works out to an average of 8.99 rounds of effect, counting all 4 minions as a Standard: ((12*10+3)/13)*0.95 = 8.99 multiplying that by 0.936975 gives us ~8.42 additional saves of effect per target on average for a 4 encounter work day, or ~2.1058513125 per encounter, per target. 

Seems like a good deal right? Probably not; keep in mind we have 2 uses of Prismatic Spray per encounter, so this is overkill for most purposes (solos being a possible exception), and we have plenty of Salves of Power plus the Ring of Remembrance for exceptional circumstances/enemies that require multiple applications, so a conditional recharge of Prismatic Spray less than once per workday is probably not as useful in balance to the Cheesewizard as improved efficiacy against solos, which is the build's greatest achilles. Remember, at 10+ rounds of duration, Elites and Standards aren't a problem with -12 recurring. Solos are. I personally would not sacrifice the improved efficiacy against solos for 0.94 of another Prismatic Spray use per extended rest, or even twice that in the event the crit range is doubled.


Lastly, since we're an archmage, we figure out another feat to drop (perhaps Enlarge Spell, probably Hellbook since we recharge Prismatic Spray regularly now anyway) and take Arcane Mastery; and now between action points and archmage features we can use another daily spell every single encounter: Introducing Cloudkill.  (Or really, anything else you'd like that will last until the end of the encounter and give you extra attacks each turn.  Perhaps summon succubus since it targets Will, but it would daze you.. so probably not.)



As detailed above, Hellfire Staff (alone anyways) cannot regularly recharge Prismatic Spray such that Hellbook can be safely disposed of (and even if we could, I would not dispose of a no questions asked additional use of Prismatic Spray per encounter). Sacrificing Enlarge Spell for Arcane Mastery is perhaps worth consideration, particularly if the Archmage ED is taken.

That said, whether the Archmage ED is worth taking over Archspell is completely contingent on whether Divine Oracle or Lifesinger is taken, because the accuracy hit is otherwise unacceptable relative to the benefit derived, and I don't think that in net, the Divine Oracle or Lifesinger is worth it for a host of reasons listed above.

Divine Oracle + AM + Hellfire Staff

Pros: 

* 19% crit range, due to freed crit range expanding feat (Danger Sense no longer required).
* 0.74148279% chance on average of a PS recharge per encounter.
* 1 use of a Daily per encounter via Arcane Mastery + Spell Recall (no longer need Wild Talent).
* 1 freed feat.
* Cannot be surprised.
 
Cons:

* No longer ignores poison resistance and immunity.
* PS Standards/Minion SUE reduced to 14 turns down from infinite (loss of Mind Fire and Cunning Staff).
* PS Elites SUE reduced to 5 turns, down from 15.
* PS Solos SUE reduced to just under 2 turns, down from 5.
* Crit recharging PS arguably excessive/superfluous.
* _much_ less effective overall vs Solos due to lack of crit-fish targets and inferior save penalization.

In summary the changes are dubious, or controversial at best (Hellfire Staff vs Cunning, Lifesinger/Divine Oracle + AM vs Phiarlan Phantasmist + Archspell + Poisoner). However substituting Enlarge Spell for Arcane Mastery may be worth consideration, allowing us to more regularly employ Face of Death, and other powerful secondary dailies to improve the build's raw lethality.
A correction: the Divine Oracle nerf was stealth-erratad. It still works for Wizard powers.
A correction: the Divine Oracle nerf was stealth-erratad. It still works for Wizard powers.


Nice. Even so, for the same reasons the Lifesinger is undesirable vis a vis the Phiarlan Phantasmist, so is the Divine Oracle. On the other hand, it allows us to never be surprised which is really nice, and takes away yet another mechanism the DM can use to **** the build over, and it saves us a feat on Danger Sense, and crit fishing improves to a 0.43% (standard crit range) or 0.74148279% (19-20 crit range) occurance rate per encounter.

Still, I'm not sure if these benefits are adequate to warrant the loss of Poisoner and Mind Fire, though the 3 AB reduction (no +1 from Phase-Mist, no more auto-CA from Phase-Mist) is more than compensated for by the rerolls. It does make the AM more attractive, though with the added loss of Archspell's +2 to hit, the hit rates about even out between the two builds.
 
Saves Until Expiration or SUE is the # of saves required until the probability of a successful save is greater than 50% assuming no saving throw modifiers besides +2 for Elites, and +5 for Solos.

Divine Oracle + AM + Hellfire Staff

Pros:

* 19% crit range, due to freed crit range expanding feat (Danger Sense no longer required).
* 0.74148279% average chance of a PS recharge per encounter.
* 1 use of a Daily per encounter via Arcane Mastery + Spell Recall (no longer need Wild Talent).
* 1 freed feat (can't take the Poisoner feat, due to multiclassing as Cleric).
* Cannot be surprised.
 
Cons:

* No longer ignores poison resistance and immunity.
* PS Standards/Minion SUE reduced to 14 turns down from infinite (loss of Mind Fire and Cunning Staff).
* PS Elites SUE reduced to 5 turns, down from 15.
* PS Solos SUE reduced to just under 2 turns, down from 5.
* Crit recharging PS arguably excessive/superfluous.
* _significantly_ inferior vs Solos due to lack of crit fish targets and inferior save penalization.

That all said, I think that Alertness might be better than Hellfire Blood for the Mage version to prevent DMs from mitigating its important first turn advantage.
Some other thoughts that came to me as to how to make this build even more degenerate:

The Orb of Mental Dominion I think is worthy of consideration as a Solo destroyer; with -12 recurring, Solos have a 20% chance of saving (17 or better). With the Orb, that 20% becomes a 4% resulting in a whopping 17 SUE. +3 Orbs of Mental Dominion can be purchased very cheaply at 9k apiece. With Versatile Expertise, there is a +4 to hit differential between it and a +6 accurate Staff, but this can be compensated for by contingency attack boosters in the event of a miss.

Further, we could hybridize to Invoker and get Power of Tyranny in order to auto penalize up to two creatures with -2 to saves, hit or miss, causing Elites to Autofail, and Solos to only save on a 19 or better. In conjunction with the Orb of Mental Dominion, this means that the solo would have a mere 1% chance (SUE 69!) to save as long as its saving throw is kept depressed in this way.

Lastly, we can use Secrets of Belial to impose a further -2 penalty to saving throws encounter long with the L6 Swordmage Utility Fate Spurned Foe. In conjunction with Power of Tyranny, even a solo would be dominated forever.
Modern solos throw off daze, stun, or dominate automatically, so I don't think you should focus on trying to get to those numbers with your daze/stun/dominate powers.

Should have weaken or attack penalty/blind powers for when you face solos. 
Modern solos throw off daze, stun, or dominate automatically, so I don't think you should focus on trying to get to those numbers with your daze/stun/dominate powers.

Should have weaken or attack penalty/blind powers for when you face solos. 



That's precisely why it has Visions of Ruin and Face of Death in reserve.
Of course, then you run into DMs like me who have a "boss mob" concept.  I don't allow my bosses to be controlled at all by anything and just ignore the rules.  Players actually like it better that way.  Usually I do boss+adds, so the controller still shines at locking down the adds (never been a fan of solo-only fights).
We don't lose Poisoner, as we become hybrid cleric, not multiclass cleric; however, as I clearly haven't looked closely enough at what is triggered by Phiarlan Phantasmist, you could very well be correct that we don't want to lose it.  I will go try to do my homework more closely.  (Also:  As Hellbook requires you give up something else, and that the thing you gain is a daily spell, and with Archspell/Archmage, Prismatic Spray is an encounter spell, there will be some DMs that might argue the point - or at least, I have not yet seen an argument that I think would work on all DM's - so my desire for a different recharge system is based on that.  It's also based on the fact that I assume DMs will use 15+ monsters (non minions) per encounter at epic levels vs optimized characters, as based on math I did last year - effectively, I toss out all normal considerations for monsters per encounter, and assume crazy powerful things).
Well, someone might consider a permanent -12 to saves game breaking


It is a little game breaking, but by level 30 you're almost supposed to break the game, especially if you're a wizard. TBH if I was DMing for this thing everything he fought would have a bit of save bonus/the ability to shrug off dominate once per encounter or some other resistatory thing. Probably reduce Dominate to Daze or something of the like. At that high of a level everything you fight is likely to have heard legends of you. There's nothing any character can do that a DM can't deal with.

Also worth pointing out that by optimizing for stun/save penalty, this build inevitably gives up something on damage.  That's not a complaint: for a hard controller like a wizard, damage is often a secondary consideration at best. 

But it is entirely possible (and fun!) to build a wizard that rains down death and destruction in a much more direct fashion to a level that some might consider game-breaking at epic.  That wizard will have some decent control ability, but nothing like this build.  If it were possible to do both in the same build, that would be truly broken, but at it stands this level of power is simply what "Epic" means.

Also, as someone who enjoys playing a high-level wiz, nice job!  Thanks for sharing.






See the wizard build in my sig for an example of this. I saw it in play, fully geared at level 30 at the end of a Darksun campaign. It was a sight to behold.

But yes if a wizard could perma-dominate an entire encounter while also dealing hundreds of damage in huge bursts that would be truly broken.



Wizards that perma-dominate an entire encounter DO deal hundreds of damage in huge bursts. All you have to do is have each target run/charge by, say 3 of your allies with decent OAs, and there ya go - hundreds of damage in huge bursts.

Also, perma-dominated = win. Even if the rest of your party chooses to sit down for a cup of tea between each of their standard attacks.
Wizards that perma-dominate an entire encounter DO deal hundreds of damage in huge bursts. All you have to do is have each target run/charge by, say 3 of your allies with decent OAs, and there ya go - hundreds of damage in huge bursts.

Also, perma-dominated = win. Even if the rest of your party chooses to sit down for a cup of tea between each of their standard attacks.



Let's not forget the 100 autodamage minimum from Storm Pillar.

@ Nelphine: Ah, hybrid Cleric. Worth consideration, especially seeing as we can use Power of Tyranny with Astral Seal via the freed feat. Again though, I'm leery of losing that -2 recurring saving throw penalty. That's pretty huge.

As for Hellbook, it's on pretty solid ground. It's a daily you cast as an encounter, and it takes up a daily slot after all. If it counts as a daily for the purposes of preparation, it should count as a daily for Hellbook.

Concerning 15+ mobs, that's fine; more chattel for the all-powerful Cheesewizard to dominate eternally.