best defender???

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I would like to know your ideas on which defender is best at defending...
It depends on what portion of "defending" is most important to you.

Armor Class?  Paladin.  They're the only class that starts with Plate Mail proficiency without spending feats.  That means that more AC-based attacks will miss and not do damage to or affect the defender.

Hit Points? Warden.  They're the only class that gets the 17/7 hit point progression (17 + Con score at level 1, 7/level thereafter), so they will by and large have the largest hit point totals, surge values, etc.

Mobility?  Swordmage or Paladin.  They don't have to be adjacent to their targets to trigger their mark punishment, so they're more able to move around the battlefield to where they can be most helpful.

Marking?  Battlemind, Warden or Fighter.  They're the only ones who can mark multiple enemies in Heroic tier (although it costs the Battlemind Power Points to do so, and the Fighter relies on either having an area attack or gaining extra attacks).

Damage?  They all have plusses and minuses.  Battleminds are best against solos and elites (who tend to do more damage), Paladins are the most consistent (their damage does not require a to-hit roll).

Stickiness?  Fighter (whose mark punishment triggers on movement and can stop movement), Warden (who has a lot of powers that slow, immobilize, and/or create DT around them), or Battlemind (who can move with their mark).

Leader-secondary?  Paladin, Lifespirit Warden or Shielding Swordmage.  Paladins and Life-wardens get more healing powers than other defenders, and Shielding Swordmage use their mark punishment to reduce damage.

Controller-secondary?  Warden.  A good number of their powers inflict status effects such as slow and immobilize.

Striker-secondary?  Fighter or Assault Swordmage.

(EDIT TO ADD: All above answers are my opinions, YMMV, DBAD, etc.) 
loose [loos] vt. to let loose; to release; to unfasten, undo or untie; to shoot or discharge. lose [looz] vt. to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery; to fail inadvertently to retain (something) in such a way that it cannot be immediately recovered; to suffer the deprivation of. LEARN THE DAMN DIFFERENCE. The pen is mightier than the character builder. Copy this to your sig if you like 4e but don't use the CB. "OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E." -RedSiegfried

To my opinion, marking ability, armor class and controller-secondary can help a lot. Though mobility and damage can be very important.

A good balance should do the trick! Cool

You want my honest suggestion?  Get together some friends, make up some characters, and try out different ones in sample encounters (preferably the same encounters each time, so they're tested under the same circumstances).  Because here's the thing: the defender (or, really, the class, race, or whatever you're debating on) that's going to work best for you as a player is the one you enjoy playing.  And the best way to figure that out is to play them. 

The comments I made in my previous post should give you a decent place to start from (e.g., "I think marking as many things as I can, so I get beat on as much as possible and wipe it all away with one healing surge, will be fun, so let's give a Warden a try"), but really, you won't know until you sit down and try it out.
loose [loos] vt. to let loose; to release; to unfasten, undo or untie; to shoot or discharge. lose [looz] vt. to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery; to fail inadvertently to retain (something) in such a way that it cannot be immediately recovered; to suffer the deprivation of. LEARN THE DAMN DIFFERENCE. The pen is mightier than the character builder. Copy this to your sig if you like 4e but don't use the CB. "OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E." -RedSiegfried
thanks for the pointers tgough I would prefer a less condescendent tone next time, I am no noob!
This is a difficult question, as it really depends on your party.  The only defender I haven't played is the battlemind, so I can't comment on that.  The best defender revolves around what the rest of your party needs you to do.  My adventuring party was a bit light on damage.  So I went with a fighter.  For a defender who has to do single target damage, fighter is simply amazing.  I was also the only defender.  So the sticky fighter with his movement denial was pretty key.  It varies with the build of each defender as well.  From my play experience, they all have areas where they can excell.  If you need good damage and can get by with a more single target defender, fighter and strength paladin are great.  Movement denial can be handled by a good warden or fighter.  If you want an enemy to waste their turn being ineffective, the swordmage is pretty good.  You usually have to chase after the swordmage.  The swordmage also has some good control features.  If you need some crowd control, the charisma paladin is pretty awsome, as is the warden.  Survivability and soaking damage is the warden's game, along with the paladin and their nice defenses.  This is all opinion based on what I've tried. 

Personally, I love defenders.  It's fun carving out your own little niche to make the DM's life hell.  So I'd also recommend trying out a couple different defenders and seeing what you like.  I discovered that I'm partial to the fighter, but I've had a blast with them all. 
thanks for the pointers tgough I would prefer a less condescendent tone next time, I am no noob!



i think maybe condescending is what you mean?

secondly i don't think their response was condescending. it is simply true that you will enjoy playing that which you enjoy playing. and enjoying the character means you'll play better.

i play a melee ranger striker in one of my groups, i find the actual class boring. it does not matter that it is the highest damaging class in the game, if i find it boring then it is less favourable for me to play.

also as above said, this depends a lot on your party. possibly more than any other role.
Armor Class?  Paladin.


Kinda, you can make a Swordmage on the character builder that starts with 22 starting AC.  Though its a little cheese as the CB seems to give you shield proficiency when you take weapon proficiency in Spiked Shield.  Without that though, you can still go starting AC 21 for a swordmage.  10 + 5(int) + 2 leather, + 3 warding + 1 improved swordmage warding (or hide armor) = 21.  +1 AC/Ref for a spiked shield in the main hand (so human for the extra feat).  A spiked shield in the main hand doesn't mess with Swordmage Warding because it is a light blade and warding specifically states that you cannot have a weapon or a shield in the offhand.
Ours is a world where people don't know what they want, and are willing to go through hell to get it. -Don Marquis

Marking?  Battlemind, Warden or Fighter.  They're the only ones who can mark multiple enemies in Heroic tier (although it costs the Battlemind Power Points to do so


Not necessarily, Wilden battleminds can take a feat that lets em mark an extra enemy as long as their in a certain aspect. Plus they get a level 2 utility (encounter IIRC) that marks everyone in like burst 3 for a turn. 

Stickiness?  Fighter (whose mark punishment triggers on movement and can stop movement), Warden (who has a lot of powers that slow, immobilize, and/or create DT around them), or Battlemind (who can move with their mark).


Battleminds win hands down after level 7. Because at level 7 they become so sticky they can inflict their mark punishment on enemies they haven't even marked :33.

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.



Battleminds win hands down after level 7. Because at level 7 they become so sticky they can inflict their mark punishment on enemies they haven't even marked :33.


erm how? i know about lightning rush but this is entirely different to their mark.
although it works fantastically if you have a second defender who has already marked the lightning rushed enemy
Battleminds win hands down after level 7. Because at level 7 they become so sticky they can inflict their mark punishment on enemies they haven't even marked :33.

Not quite, but it makes for a good ten-second answer. :-)  Of course, by that same logic, Battleminds "win hands down" at level 1 by taking Conductive Defense.

Trust me, I was running a level 13 Battlemind with Conductive Defense, Lightning Rush and Forceful Reversal.  It would come around to the monsters' turn in the initiative order and my DM would just kind of slump over and put his head in his hands as we read off their conditions ("This one's marked, this one's under CD-watch, and Walwen still has his Immediate.  Just sayin'").
loose [loos] vt. to let loose; to release; to unfasten, undo or untie; to shoot or discharge. lose [looz] vt. to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery; to fail inadvertently to retain (something) in such a way that it cannot be immediately recovered; to suffer the deprivation of. LEARN THE DAMN DIFFERENCE. The pen is mightier than the character builder. Copy this to your sig if you like 4e but don't use the CB. "OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E." -RedSiegfried
 
Battleminds win hands down after level 7. Because at level 7 they become so sticky they can inflict their mark punishment on enemies they haven't even marked :33.



erm how? i know about lightning rush but this is entirely different to their mark.
although it works fantastically if you have a second defender who has already marked the lightning rushed enemy


It's a little hard to tell until you've interacted with me for around 10 seconds, but I tend to be quite facetious and to that end will often make objectively inaccurate statements that are completely true when one looks at the intent behind them :33.

Honestly I think one of my favorite battlemind moments was when I first hit epic and got the topaz crusader class feature that makes me immune to dazed/dominated. Quite glad I took that given that apparently epic level adventurers with god-slaying power spend most of their time taking one action a turn. It was particularly fun to lightning rush a domination attack that itself did like 1d4 damage to compensate for domination being stupid.

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
thanks for the pointers tgough I would prefer a less condescendent tone next time, I am no noob!



That's a pretty ironic statement considering you asked a "noob" question in the first place...  I think Owaru did a great job of providing a comprehensive guide of defender classes for you.  You asked a question that is totally subjective with a myriad of possible answers.   It depends on what classes you're playing with, what kind of defender you're looking to play, what kind of defender you would enjoy playing etc.  After explaining the strengths of all defender classes, you needed further "guidance" in which defender class to play.  If google, this forum, and experienced/informed players can't help you pick a class, then you might just be a "noob".  There's really no need to bite the hand that feeds you.
I have only played a warden and a battle mind.  and only to level 10 and 14.  I personally feel the warden did a better job keeping creatures off allies.  As almost ever encounter by level 7 i was able to keep every creature i got close to on top of me for the 4 to 5 rounds that the combats would last.  I did take multi class fighter to get the level 3 rain of blows power as our group was kinda dpr light.  This seemed to help things along during tough and solo encounters.  My guess is a hybrid fighter / warden would be pretty nasty as a defender.
I've played a few different Defender classes, but once I played a Knight, I was pretty much sold.  At first glance (and level), the Knight doesn't have very many options to work with.  Two stances you can take is nice, but I've found that you end up using one or the other 90% of the time.  Making endless MBA's isn't tactically interesting either.  On the other hand, there's no need to mark foes, or worry about which one to attack if they get squirrely- if it's next to you, you can hit it.

A simple tactic with the Knight is to build on their Defend the Line Stance, making you the stickiest thing around.  Hit a guy, he's slowed.  Hit him again, he's proned (thanks to World Serpent's Grasp).  To boost accuracy, you can even take Vicious Advantage.

At low-to-mid Heroic, the Knight is a well-oiled machine, but yes, it's boring.  The Power Strike Feats in Mordenkainen's, however, do add another dimension.  Hammer Daze is a personal favorite.  There's nothing like the look on the DM's face when you Daze an enemy with an opportunity action.

Towards the end of Heroic, you start getting some tricks worth talking about, with Weapon Specialization and Shield Block.  Shield Block isn't amazing, but it gets the job done.  Weapon Specialization, however, adds a new dimension to your Power Strike.  When earlier in your career, you Power Striked right off the bat to deal more damage, now you hold it in reserve, because it can really mess up an enemy's day.

       
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
Take a look at your party and understand what their needs will be.
Most strikers,particularly ranged,have excellent mobility. Leaders tend to be a stick in the mud.
Druids can be the toughest pure controller,but most others will be very fragile.
Ask yourself if your fellow players use their characters as designed to greater or lesser effect.
Is the party built to absorb damage? - Melee strikers,one leader,no ranged specialists,one defender is a recipe for heal exhaustion.
While I,m in a big party(8) I think we are well designed if not ideal.
We have 2 ranged strikers,ranger and sorcerer,who both can scout.
We have 2 leaders,bard and warlord,each with different buff specials.
We have 1 controller,a wizard,that hampers saves as a specialty.
We have 3 defenders,fighter,paladin,and warden.
I'm the warden and pick up where a 2nd controller makes sense. We have 2 Devine Oracles in party,and 2 players with the tainted wound feat.
From my experience I think warden does more in mass coverage of the field,and functions well with the least amount of leader buffing.
Our paladin is the boss medicine:he does the direct interaction with the lead opponent.
The fighter can fly,and general has the most auto-damage effects. He's the favorite for paladin and wizard buffs for his ability to move the immediate theater of combat.
Tank, it's not a noob question, just for starters.  You can have played dnd for 20 years, even played a defender role most of them, but never really thought about what would make a defender optimized.  All the way through 3e my decisions on character build had nothing to do with mechanics and everything to do with RP.  Even now, with a far more combat oriented build, my defender is built around my character's back story.  

As for addressing the actual question at hand. There is no best defender.  If you're there to stand in front of the enemy and take attacks,  the important thing is to make attacking you their best/only option.  If your defenses are too high, the mark penalty will be ignored unless you have some way to compensate for that, like a vicious mark penalty, be it striking or control.  If your mark penalty isn't vicious, you then have to make yourself a more appealing target by having defenses that they have a realistic chance of hitting.  Simply a risk vs reward thing.  Personally, my build has decent defenses, good control and good striking.  I'm virtually always their only real option be it because they can't get to another target, I've reduced their to hit by so much that it's almost certain to miss, and/or my mark will result in them almost certainly taking a fair amount of damage and missing anyways.  

Then there's the defend from afar method.  I've used this method before as well.  I personally prefer the other method, but I've seen this used quite well, and think I did a pretty good job of it myself, too.  Debuffing and damaging while staying out of range of your marked target can prove very interesting.  With some builds, it really frees you up to help focus on another enemy while still doing your defender job on with the mark.  

Despite what others have said on here, you can easily build multi-marking swordmages, control heavy fighters, etc.  I used to play a swordmage on a melee striker heavy table.  The two things I needed to do for them was to curb the damage they took and keep as much marked as I could.  I did this by picking up feats and powers that let me aegis more enemies, utilize stronger interrupts, and keeping myself away from them.  Worked well, but didn't fit my prefered play style(I now play a striker on that table).  I currently play a tempest fighter on a lfr table.  The players vary, and it's able to do his job just as well despite the party's make-up.  My fighter does his job by having multiple bursting powers(mostly minors) that debuff and mark, multiple attacks that debuff/restrict movement, and a mark punishment that deals a high amount of damage and restricts movement.  This character tends to just hold a group of enemies down while everyone else beats on them.  Easily the most fun character I've gotten to play in 4e.

So, really, I just don't think there is a best defender class.  Not even a best defender class for a specific role.   Generally, we've all been playing long enough that we know our style of play.  I'd just take that, look at the defenders available, and then build accordingly.  The best defender build, like any other role, is the one you know you'll be able to execute well, not the one that has a brightly glowing neon "optimized" sign over it.
Dragonborn Tempest
Torrinn Letrah Erekgard, level 14 Dragonborn, Fighter (Weaponmaster), Fear Walker Build: Tempest Fighter Fighter Option: Combat Superiority Fighter Talents Option: Tempest Technique Dragonborn Racial Power Option: Dragonfear Wandering Duelist (Wandering Duelist Benefit) Theme: Mercenary FINAL ABILITY SCORES STR 22, CON 14, DEX 20, INT 9, WIS 11, CHA 14 STARTING ABILITY SCORES STR 16, CON 13, DEX 16, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 11 AC: 30 Fort: 32 Ref: 28 Will: 25 HP: 107 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 28 TRAINED SKILLS Athletics +19, Intimidate +23, Streetwise +16 UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +11, Arcana +6, Bluff +9, Diplomacy +9, Dungeoneering +7, Endurance +8, Heal +7, History +8, Insight +9, Nature +7, Perception +7, Religion +6, Stealth +11, Thievery +11 POWERS Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack Mercenary Attack: Takedown Strike Dragonborn Racial Power: Dragonfear Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge Combat Agility Power: Combat Agility Fighter Attack 1: Dual Strike Fighter Attack 1: Cleave Fighter Utility 2: Glowering Threat Fighter Attack 3: Daunting Onslaught Fighter Attack 5: Dervish's Challenge Fighter Utility 6: Kirre's Roar Fighter Attack 7: Come and Get It Fighter Attack 9: One Against Many Fighter Utility 10: Fearsome Threat Fear Walker Attack 11: Wave of Terror Fear Walker Utility 12: Aura of Fear Fighter Attack 13: Menacing Surge FEATS Two-Weapon Defense Level 1: Two-Weapon Fighting Level 2: Net Training Level 4: World Serpent's Grasp Level 6: Improved Defenses Level 8: Dragging Flail Level 10: Vicious Advantage Level 11: Draconic Arrogance Level 12: Flail Expertise Level 14: Lashing Flail ITEMS Adventurer's Kit Alchemical Silver Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier) x1 Predatory Flail +3 x1 Belt of Vim (heroic tier) x1 Courtier's Cape +3 x1 Elven Chain Shirt (heroic tier) War Ring x1 Dice of Auspicious Fortune Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) x1 Forgemaster's Gloves (heroic tier) x1 Lullaby Net +3 x1 Kord's Mighty Strength (level 13) Laughing Death Earthhide Armor +3 x1 Planestrider Boots x1