Mul Berserker (Defender/Striker)

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I have built a Berserker out to lvl 10 for an upcoming Dark Sun game. The concept is an Arena Fighter akin to the Dwarven Slayers from Warhammer (2 handed weapon, no armor, eat's face in battle). We're starting at lvl 1, but I built him out to lvl 10 for sanity sake.

Garoth the Bloodstained, Berserker lvl 10

Str 18
Con 14
Dex 16
Int    8
Wis 10
Cha 12

1 Dwarven Weapon Training
2 Unarmored Agility
4 World Serpent's Grasp
6 Headsman's Chop
8 Spear Expertise
10 Improved Defenses

A: Stalk and Strike
A: Run Down
1E: Batter Down
1D: Thunder Hooves Rage
2U: Shrug it off
3E: Brutal Slam
5D: Feral Rampage OR Silver Phoenix Rage
6U: Run Rampant OR Cull Weakness
7E: Curtain of Steel OR Deny Escape
9D: Eye of the Maelstrom OR Oak Hammer Rage
10U: Howl of the Alpha Wolf


I'm leaving myself some room in 5-10 to fill either Striker or Defender roles as they come up. Also, a lot of the powers seem situational, so I'm waiting to see how the game progresses before making the final decision. Any suggestions for optimizing the build further?
In my experience, the combo World Serpent's Grasp+Headman's Chop is difficult to pull off because the enemies will simply stand up before your turn comes up again. It might be better for your melee allies to grab Headman's Chop.

Resilience of Stone is also a very nice feat for any Mul... 
IIRC Dwarven Weapon Training doesn't give proficiency with a gouge. So need to change something there. I would also drop charsima or con some more to pump more points into dex. This seems to be more of a striker then a defender so giving up more con isn't that big of an issue. 
IIRC Dwarven Weapon Training doesn't give proficiency with a gouge. So need to change something there. I would also drop charsima or con some more to pump more points into dex. This seems to be more of a striker then a defender so giving up more con isn't that big of an issue. 

Uh... yeah, it does. DWT gives training with all Axes and Hammers, superior ones included. Also, getting a Dex higher than 16 on a Mul is kind of build-point intensive, so I don't think it's really worth it.

Anyway, looks good. As was mentioned, Headsman's Chop is a little iffy considering that it mostly relies on your allies knocking guys prone. If they do, great, keep it! If not, Berserk Vitality will give you some extra toughness every time you enter a Fury, so that might be good.
Strange, I thought since it was a dual group type (Sear and Axe) DWT didn't apply. Well Guess I get to go retrain a few of my characters now that I learned that tidbit.
Strange, I thought since it was a dual group type (Sear and Axe) DWT didn't apply. Well Guess I get to go retrain a few of my characters now that I learned that tidbit.

An Axe is an Axe, even if it is also a spear, a polearm, or a heavy blade. It just has those things in addition to its axe-ness.
DWT does give you Gouge, although it probably shouldn't from a balance perspective. 

One strong consideration for gouge barbarians should be fighter-multiclass and novice power to get Rain of Blows.  Three attacks on the same target is a huge benefit.  You have the dexterity for it.  If you're going to multi-class into fighter, the best option is Battle Awareness, but you do not meet the wisdom prerequisite.  You could get there now by dropping constitution and charisma, but that is a pretty hefty cost. Instead, I'd change you charisma bonus to wisdom, grab a different multi-class now, and then swap the multi-class feat once you get to paragon levels and you et the auto +1 to wisdom to meet the prerequisite.

There are also a number of great fighter class spear feats that work will with a barbarian that will do some charging, etc... 

If I were going to roughly follow your plan, my feats would be:

1.) DWT
2.) Spear Expertise (SE)
4.) Retrain SE -> Fighter Multiclass, Novice Power: Rain of Blows
6.) SE
8.) Unarmored
10.) Improved Defenses 

D&D & Boardgames If I have everything I need to run great games for many years without repeating stuff, why do I need to buy anything right now?
There was no good reason for a 12 Cha, TBH. I was planning on swapping some stuff around depending on feat selection.

Rain of Blows at 4th lvl worries me a little. At that point, I have Batter Down (Martial) and Brutal Slam (Primal). I want to have the option of entering Fury every encounter, so I'm fairly stuck on 1 primal, meaning we're talking about swapping Batter Down for Rain of Blows.

Batter Down: 2W + Prone
Rain of Blows: 3 1W attacks

Which is better?

As for Headsman's Chop, I though standing provoked an OA? Therefore, I spend my round knocking them down with Run Down+WSG and then get +5 dmg on the OA. I'm taking it this isn't how that works. I agree, though, that this looks more like a Striker build and will therefore swap Headsman's Chop for Berserker's Vitality.

I'm now contemplating the necessity of WSG in this build... Something more survivy and less controlly would be better suited...
1) Rain of Blows is way better damage than Batter down.  Getting your modifiers three times makes a huge difference, and it's some striking you can do without dropping your defender aura.  Proning is good, but...

2) Standing does NOT provoke an OA, it just wastes the enemy's move action to stand up, so given that being prone makes them grant CA, pretty much every enemy will stand up when it can (unless you're doing KAM cheese or something else that triggers off knocking them down again).  Given that,

3) I think WSG is good if you're taking Run Down, because once you slow that enemy, whether it moves or shifts to get away from you, you can knock it over.  That's pretty solid at will proning (it takes two attacks, but since it will always interrupt their attempt to move, that's not a big problem).  Given that, you might not need an encounter power for proning.  If you want one, I like the level 3 primal one from PrP that prones, pushes, and does 1d8+mods to an enemy adjacent after the push.  Of course, being level 3, that precludes Rain of Blows...

4) I do recommend finding space for Berserk Vitality.  In encounters that you plan to spend mostly in striker mode, it's a solid HP buffer.  In encounters where you get beat down while defending, it can keep you alive for awhile when you flip the switch. 
You make really good points. That means I have 8 feats to fit into 6 slots...

Dwarven Weapon Training
Unarmored Agility
World Serpent's Grasp
Spear Expertise
Improved Defenses
Fighter MC (Battle Awareness, Swapping Cha and Wis and +1 Wis at 4 to qualify)
Novie Power: Rain of Blows to replace Batter Down
Berserker's Vitality

I'm thinking either:

1) DWT
2) UA
4) Retrain UA -> Battle Awareness; NP -> Rain of Blows
6) UA
8) Berserker's Vitality
10) Imp Defenses


1) DWT
2) UA
4) WSG
6) Berserker's Vitality
8) Spear Expertise
10) Imp Defenses

The first option if I feel more Striker as I level and the second option if I feel I need to fill the Defender role more.
Improved Defenses is nice, but can be pushed off to early paragon. DWT, Expertise, and UA are all critical, and you should take them in that order.  Then I'd take Berserker's Vitality, and Battle Awareness, in either order.

I also second taking Resilience of Stone somewhere late in heroic. You don't even need to MC to get it, and it's one of my favorite feats for defenders: self-healing is good, and self-healing that can turn a hit into a miss is fantastic.

I would also go with the following array:
16+2 Str
11+2 Con
16 Dex
8/10 Int
13 Wis
10/8 Cha

You can't afford to put a point into Wis from level-up; you need to be pushing Strength and Dex for your entire career. The difference between a 13 and a 14 Con is a single healing surge in heroic, which you get back at 11th level.

This array qualifies you for Battle Awareness whenever you want to take it, and helps with Perception and Will saves.
Also, think about taking Surprising Charge after you MC fighter (also, after you have 17 dex of course).
I just realized that I cannot trade Batter Down for Rain of Blows since Brutal Slam is a lvl 1 encounter and Rain of Blows is a lvl 3 encounter. DOH! What's even worse is that I'm almost completely unwilling to trade my Encounter Fury entry for another Martial power at fourth lvl... Also, I don't believe that Rain of Blows is better or worse than Curtain of Steel. Currently, Brutal Slam is the only encounter that doesn't trigger fury, so I think some work needs to be done there.

I'm going to start working on a Hybrid Fighter/Berserker build. Maybe that will be better suited for what I want to accomplish.

Edit: Hybrid characters work differently than I thought. That idea won't work unless I can get a houseruled Hybrid Berserker pick...
IIRC Dwarven Weapon Training doesn't give proficiency with a gouge. So need to change something there. I would also drop charsima or con some more to pump more points into dex. This seems to be more of a striker then a defender so giving up more con isn't that big of an issue. 

Actually it should if you are having problems with the builder then start with weapon proficency gouge as a second feat.  Then select and equip weapon.  After that select dwarven weapon training.  It will take and not be red.  Pretty sure its a bug.
It's a little late, but some food for thought, perhaps bass ackwards, for a Dwarf/Mull berserker, focus on Strength and Con (18 in each after stat bumps) with leftover points pumped into dexterity and wisdom for some minor defense boosts.  start with hide, later spend 2 feats on chain and scale armor proficiency.

Take Temperate Heartland (bonus 2 damage when using a 1-hander, +1 to charge speed), use a waraxe or a craghammer and a small shield, which should help your reflex defense. Or take the Winter one (bonus to will defense) and use an Urgrosh and go the two-handed fighting and defense feats, although this one is pretty feat intensive.

Vanguard Weapons and Horned helms and Badges of the Berserker for some solid basic attack damage.  Talking d12+2d8+d6+9ish at low levels during frenzy.

Take Dwarven Durability and Berserk Vitality.  With your pumped up constitution you will have a massive surge value, translating to better healing and a lot of temps when you frenzy.  Also when using heavy armor, you don't have to lose 2 AC when you frenzy from dropping defender ability.  With World Serpent's grasp, even when in frenzy, an enemy you knocked prone won't be able to attack and walk away from you without provoking.

I'd doing something similar with a Dragonborn Berserker right now at level 17, Draconic Heritage racial feature gives a boost to surge value, without taking a feat.  Instead of dwarf weapons, I'm taking the flail route, which a dwarf could do just as easily.  Fighter multi-class, Iron Vanguard (con modifier damage on push and prone), Draconic Heritage (str modifier damage on push and prone); my basic attacks prone (FLail Expertise+Lashing Flail), and whenever I prone or push an enemy, 11 damage, and some powers do both, so I'm getting 22 extra damage on powers that push AND prone.

I'm in +4 wyrmscale, using a heavy shield currently, 131 hp, surge value at 38, 13 surges a day. AC 34, Fort 32, Ref 28, Will 26.

+4 Vanguard Triple Headed Flail. So +23 to hit right now.

My basic attacks are doing d10+25 with prone.  Opportunity attacks d10+2d8+25 with prone.
Charges at d10+d8+d6+25 and prone.  And this is while I'm in defender mode.

Cheese time, WEREBEAR THEME + Claw gloves.  Now AC 35, Fort 33, and when I have combat advantage against an enemy +d10 to any attack roll.  When I frenzy charge someting while I have combat advantage i'm getting 2d10+3d8+d6+25 and prone on my basic attack.  And if a prone enemy wants to get up and go somewhere else, they either have to skip attacking to shift, or they provoke from me (1or2d10+2d8+25 and prone) when they try to charge.  Even in striker mode, this Berserker is sticky, after the monsters start to realize they are taking around 50 damage everytime they think they can ignore you.

Also I've got 3 daily rages, I've taken the resist ones and regen one, makes me pretty hard to kill.  Utilities are self heals like third wind and feral resurgence and Reactive surge.  Glorious Victory is pretty good, but I just retrained it to heavy shield proficiency since I'm not having trouble staying alive.  Iron vanguard and high level utility let me get up after I've been reduced to 0 hp, which has not come close yet.

I've been playing a warforged battlerager that always attacks twice each turn at full modifier bonuses from feats or encounters in another campaign, this guy does more damage though it is limited to single target, he's just as durable, and his punishment for ignoring his defender aura is twice as potent as the fighter's combat challenge attacks.

Is it silly to waste feats on armor that another class would get for free?  I tend to think not since paladins or fighters would have to spend extra feats to try to match this damage anyway.  Pumping my con instead of dex gives me a lot more surges and hitpoints and berserk vitality temps than a regular high dex berserker would have.  I am of the opinion that a defender needs as many surges as he can get.  Especially since in my campaign, a failed skill check tends to mean you lose a surge.

Also I made an incredible mini for this character out of a Legion Warmonger and Reaper mini dragonman head.
If you're concerned about entering Fury (and ar at 10th level), the best way to do it is to pick Curtain of Steel as your E9.  spend your first turn getting in place (and quite likely, charging anyway), then the minute anyone sneezes in your direction, you smack them, which causes you to fury.  if this fails, you should at least be picking a primal O-Barb at-will, so you will always have some means of proccing fury even if you're not bloodied.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
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