Arcane high-damage striker

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Hi.

I'm looking to put together a striker that deals top-level damage for all three tiers of play. The character can be any Arcane class or an Arcane hybrid with any other power source. Also, the character has to be human or human looking. Elf, half-elf, vyrloka, tiefling, etc are good, but no bugs, goliaths, dwarfs, or halflings, etc.

Due to party make-up I don't have to worry too much about survival, but we don't really have any enabling characters. I need to be high damage because the group has a tendency to gum through encounters. None of us have ended up below bloodied in the last 3 levels. We have a Cha-ladin hospitaler and a heals focused cleric.

It is a Dark Sun campaign, with obvious exceptions. We are currently in Paragon tier, but the DM may take us both forward or backward in levels. I have access to whatever feats and items, including other world's world-specific feats and items. We are given, for treasure, a "level x item of your choice," so the build cam be item specific. I am willing to exploit any and all cheese necessary to get the dpr to sky high limits.

Any suggestions of previously built builds or how to get started? Thanks loads.
Hi. I'm looking to put together a striker that deals top-level damage for all three tiers of play. The character can be any Arcane class or an Arcane hybrid with any other power source. Also, the character has to be human or human looking.

Wizard or sorcerer, then. Or why not a Wizard PMC Sorcerer?

It's not technically a striker, but a Genasi mage with the Pyromancy and Evocation schools and the Elemental Empowerment feat does pretty sick damage, from what I understand. 
It's not technically a striker, but a Genasi mage with the Pyromancy and Evocation schools and the Elemental Empowerment feat does pretty sick damage, from what I understand. 



Not sure that would meet the 'human looking' requirement though.
Windsoul Genasi can look a lot like humans (well, elves), in some of the art. And given Athas' connection to the elemental planes... could be able to make it work
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Tiefling hellock is pretty decent, as long as you have a way to ensure taking damage each round so that Hellish Rebuke hits twice. Shadowrift Blade is the obvious way to do it, although hybrid battlemind for Lightning Rush can work nicely as well. The latter can be really nice for triggering your defender's mark punishment, and also does a bunch of out-of-turn damage, but does require your opponent to actually hit you if you want to trigger Rebuke with it (although you could of course trigger Shadowrift Blade off Lightning Rush, that kind of defeats the point of using LR in the first place).

Basically, make sure you stack as many damage/hit modifiers as possible and you'll do well. Ashen Rod/Incendiary Dagger, Dual Implement Spellcaster, Blood Pact of Cania, Hellfire Blood, that sort of thing.
Pyromancy Mages are actually quite well off in the damage department.  Control is a bit lacking, and a lot of the Fire damage dailies leave a lot to be desired, but otherwise it's a very solid venture.  Both the Master of Flame and the Pyromancy's special Paragon path are exquisitely good paths for them.
Tiefling hellock is pretty decent, as long as you have a way to ensure taking damage each round so that Hellish Rebuke hits twice.

Tieflings don't look like humans.

Hi. I'm looking to put together a striker that deals top-level damage for all three tiers of play. The character can be any Arcane class or an Arcane hybrid with any other power source. Also, the character has to be human or human looking.

Wizard or sorcerer, then. Or why not a Wizard PMC Sorcerer?


You keep bringing this up as if it is a good idea. It isn't. You are trading five feats, your multiclass slot, and your PP for a secondary stat to damage. That isn't how Wizards out damage Sorcs.
Tiefling hellock is pretty decent, as long as you have a way to ensure taking damage each round so that Hellish Rebuke hits twice.

Tieflings don't look like humans.


They can.  Heck, look at the Wizard handbook and look at the picture Nausicaa has on her first post - while it's probably not a true Tiefling (and just is a normal human with a goat-horn metal mask), I could definitely see a Tiefling with normal human color tones.
Hi. I'm looking to put together a striker that deals top-level damage for all three tiers of play. The character can be any Arcane class or an Arcane hybrid with any other power source. Also, the character has to be human or human looking.

Wizard or sorcerer, then. Or why not a Wizard PMC Sorcerer?


Wizard main stat: Intelligence -- Sorcerer main stat: Charisma.
Wizard secondary stats: Anything, oftentimes Wisdom or Constitution -- Sorcerer secondary stat: Dexterity, Strength.

See the problem? 
Can you use spellbook (especially on a Mage) to mitigate some of that? Not that you couldn't use a couple things from sorcerer (Slaad's Gambit, some utilities). At-Will's a straight up loss no matter, though, and that's a shame on a wizard.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Ah, good point.

And yeah, that's a lot of burnt resources. Might not be bad for certain players, though.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
PMC Sorcerer is strictly inferior to MC Fighter and being a Dragonborn, and not significantly better (in terms of raw damage) than MC Swordmage for Malec-Keth, or Pyromancer's Enigmatic Mage, or Master of Flame, or Blood Mage.
"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.
PMC Sorcerer is strictly inferior to MC Fighter and being a Dragonborn, and not significantly better (in terms of raw damage) than MC Swordmage for Malec-Keth, or Pyromancer's Enigmatic Mage, or Master of Flame, or Blood Mage.



Hell, Malec-Keth and Master of Flame both change the scope of things by methodizing other ways of increasing your damage.  Master of Flame gives you a DOT on crit (which, if you take Stoking the Flame, have expertise in Totems somehow for the Totem that amplifies ongoing Fire, etc., can really spike your DPR even more) AND a burst/blast expander, and Malec-Keth just says "screw it, everything burns" and adds 2.5 fire damage to every single power you possess.  On top of which, just by being a Swordmage, you get access to Dagger implements.

PMC Sorcerer does none of this (well, except for Dagger implements).  It pigeonholes you into using Charisma as your secondary and requiring it to be on par with Intelligence, and if you don't go that route, it's, as Erachima said, five or so feats wasted into a marginal increase in damage, when this could all be accomplished by Dual Implement Spellcaster, Stoking the Flame, SIP Cinder Wand/Accurate (anything)... leaving two feats open for both defensive and offensive options.

PMC Sorcerer is too much expenditure for a niche benefit.

PMC Sorcerer is strictly inferior to MC Fighter and being a Dragonborn.

You  obviously didn't see the "must look like a human" requirement, either...
Tiefling hellock is pretty decent, as long as you have a way to ensure taking damage each round so that Hellish Rebuke hits twice.

Tieflings don't look like humans.



Also, the character has to be human or human looking. Elf, half-elf, vyrloka, tiefling, etc are good, but no bugs, goliaths, dwarfs, or halflings, etc.


You have trouble reading, don't you? Were you actually trying to help the OP, or just looking for a poor excuse to tell people off when they're giving useful, solicited advice?

Hellock can work as any race with a constitution bonus, though. Just not as good as Tiefling.
Tiefling hellock is pretty decent, as long as you have a way to ensure taking damage each round so that Hellish Rebuke hits twice.

Tieflings don't look like humans.



Also, the character has to be human or human looking. Elf, half-elf, vyrloka, tiefling, etc are good, but no bugs, goliaths, dwarfs, or halflings, etc.


You have trouble reading, don't you? Were you actually trying to help the OP, or just looking for a poor excuse to tell people off when they're giving useful, solicited advice?

Hellock can work as any race with a constitution bonus, though. Just not as good as Tiefling.



To be fair, I don't think that list of races was in the post originally. When I replied to Lord_Ventnor I was thinking that additional clarification on what 'looks human' would be helpful.

 
my guess is "substantially different in size or gross physical appearance from human". dwarves are remarkably short (although not so short they can't hit human levels), goliaths are very tall, halfings are small (I assume this leaves out gnomes and pixies). bugs have 4 arms.

my guess is that the qualification is soft and DM adjudicated. My guess is that if it can wear a cloak and a little foundation and pass as human, you are good. Tieflings can have tiny horns, thus pass the cloak test. my guess is that genasi would as well. dragonborn, no, as they have a snout.
PMC Sorcerer is strictly inferior to MC Fighter and being a Dragonborn.

You  obviously didn't see the "must look like a human" requirement, either...


Dragonborns just need to wear a hood ;)
Dire Radiance Paladin/Warlock was posted recently in this forum.  You can run Mindbite Scorn and Crimson Fire at levels 2 and 4 to get top tier striker damage in Heroic, then retrain as needed later.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

If someone else is already looking to run a Morninglord, you could probably also retool it with a Vryloka Baladin Son of Mercy and give up the tiefling epic tier nastiness for more damage and control in paragon through Mighty Challenge and World Serpent's Grasp.
.. except that whole divine chatracter thing in the Dark Sun campaign, you mean. Tongue out
To be fair, I don't think that list of races was in the post originally. When I replied to Lord_Ventnor I was thinking that additional clarification on what 'looks human' would be helpful.
 


Well, it was certainly already posted when I read it. I specifically checked the OP to see if Tieflings were OK.

I dunno. It just annoys the heck out of me when I put effort into giving advice, and out of nowhere comes Shaka telling me off.

.. except that whole divine chatracter thing in the Dark Sun campaign, you mean. Tongue out


Yar. And Morninglords outside FR. Could always try talking the DM into reflavouring the Paladin bit though. A lot of paladin tricks are arguably martial, either through arms mastery or an imposing/inspiring presence (similar to how Warlords do it). If some abilities can't be explained that way, flavour it arcane and call it "magic" (you're half warlock after all).
So is refluffing allowed? Why can't you pick a genasi and say the is a human but covered in elemental tattoos they've had since birth (or gained via some ritual)? Stormsoul genasi evocation mage going lightning/thunder probably has the best overall burst DPS IMO. Item of choice would be an accurate staff of ruin

Alternately (assuming refluffing is allowed), I've been playing around with a tiefling warlock/wizard hybrid build that's pretty fun (not MAX dps, but still very nice). Eldritch Blast is SO much better as an RBA than MM.

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I dunno. It just annoys the heck out of me when I put effort into giving advice, and out of nowhere comes Shaka telling me off.

Sorry. When I saw it, I only saw human or elf as being possibilities. I don't know if I'm misremembering it, or if the author edited it.

Please, carry on.

Githyanki hybrid wizard hell lock + blood Mage. So you've got hellish rebuke, a AOE and loads of damage. Burning hands is good here also. Armour of agathys anyone?
Ah - bad miss on the Divine source.  That would be me focussing on the "The character can be any Arcane class or an Arcane hybrid with any other power source.  Also, the character has to be human or human looking." stipulations and not paying attention to the rest. 

Morninglord, I assume, is refluffable, just as WotC encourages us to use SK's outside of Dark Sun.  If you can't get to divine, though, that's an issue.

Here's a happy ending to it? 

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
PMC Sorcerer is strictly inferior to MC Fighter and being a Dragonborn.

You  obviously didn't see the "must look like a human" requirement, either...


Dragonborns just need to wear a hood ;)


My reply was as a counter-point to PMC suggestions, however, since I've been called out:
Revenant Dragonborn is Dex/Cha. Class: Sorcerer (Storm/Wild) or Hexblade (Fey/Gloom).
www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/pa... and Until then, Doppleganger Mask and a Disguise Kit give you a +7 to Bluff to disguise.  Bluff being a Cha based Class skill, even your party won't know unless you tell them.

Optimal?  Nope. Better than PMC? Yup.
"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.
Human Infernal Hexblade -- optimize hellish rebuke?

Kinda boring though... 
To clarify, tiefling, genasi are fine. Dragonborn, not so. More clear than Looks Human qualifier would be "could star in a blockbuster action flick.". Gimli will never be a leading man, but a tiefling or mul could be. Raleel, above, nailed it. It is a very soft requirement set by the story.

re-Flavoring is cool. I would prefer to avoid a divine class, but retrofitting divine into arcane would work if that is the best damage. I'm looking for the most damage focus I can and control is a distant secondary.

How does the genasi lightening blaster work compared to the fire focused blaster types (whatever race that may be.)? Do either of them suffer from common resistances? What about warlock vs wizard?

What about a warlock charge build or half-elf something or other? I have heard talk of (but can't find) a wizard KAM build. Is that worth anything if was it done over by a WOTC hot fix?

Thanks, so far this has been really helpful!
If you think a Dragonborn couldn't start in an Action Flick, you've never seen these guys without the help of a Wardrobe Assistant :p

I personally believe Tiefling Fire > Genasi Lightning because you don't have that silly Str requirement, and Pyro/Evoker is a bit better than Staff Mastery now.  Psychic striker also works (Gith/Shardmind/Kalashtar Nethermancy/Illusion Mage MC Cleric Divine Oracle Superior Implement with Undeniable (Crystal Orb or Wrathful Symbol) Resplendent Gloves and Headband of Intellect, you have nearly constant CA from class features, an extra +1 hit on top of that, AND roll twice to hit, and several bonuses to damage.  It's only a few points behind Fire/Lightning in terms of damage, but has HEAVY control (Psychic Lock for -2, Allies have Concealment for -2, lots of Forced Movement, Blinding, etc.)

Warlocks kinda fail at the "competitive damage across all tiers" requirement.

The Wizard KAM build was basically a joke to show that KAM is so powerful, you can completely ignore every aspect of one of the most powerful classes in the game and still do above-average DPR
"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.
Str/dex based bladesinger multiclass fighter going into the shocktrooper PP.  Take rain of blows as an encounter power by using a feat.  Wield a talid and your favorite light blade.  Every encounter use your dance and then unload both encounter powers for massive damage.  The at wills sort of act as at will striker mechanics. 
Warlocks kinda fail at the "competitive damage across all tiers" requirement.



That's why I recommended the Dire Radiance Paladin/Warlock.  Rolling +2d10 bonus striker damage in heroic is pretty competitive, and then once you set up the Forceful Challenge / Dire Radiance combo you've got solid DPR and a rough anti-melee catch-22 through paragon, with damage boost from Morninglord.  Tiefling provides the final damage boost in Epic.

If you're happy reflavoring AND committed to Arcane Striker, that's how I'd do it.
On the otherside of the coin from Zathris, I personally like the genasi more.  That having been said, it's pretty razor edge close for me.

Genasi is a little better at the nova spike with Promise of Storm and Elemental Empowerment, has a touch of consistency once you get to 10th and can ignore nearly all elemental resistances, and a small amount more diversity in damage types that they can lean into (and attendant effects).

Tiefling is more consistent with damage over the levels and can lay waste to a much larger area with Master of Flame, gets his resistance ignoring ability earlier, and has a nice little bit of ongoing damage feat support.

Both are wide and deep in feet support, both really can lay on the pain. I have about a dozen versions of each sitting in my OCB, and only ended up with the genasi because of the backstory.
More clear than Looks Human qualifier would be "could star in a blockbuster action flick.". Gimli will never be a leading man, but a tiefling or mul could be.

I'm being completely unhelpful here, but had to point out that the actual stars of the movie you just referenced were... halflings. Laughing
I dunno. It just annoys the heck out of me when I put effort into giving advice, and out of nowhere comes Shaka telling me off.

Sorry. When I saw it, I only saw human or elf as being possibilities. I don't know if I'm misremembering it, or if the author edited it.

Please, carry on.



It's OK then, you said the magic word ;)
my guess is "substantially different in size or gross physical appearance from human". dwarves are remarkably short (although not so short they can't hit human levels), goliaths are very tall, halfings are small (I assume this leaves out gnomes and pixies). bugs have 4 arms.

my guess is that the qualification is soft and DM adjudicated. My guess is that if it can wear a cloak and a little foundation and pass as human, you are good. Tieflings can have tiny horns, thus pass the cloak test. my guess is that genasi would as well. dragonborn, no, as they have a snout.

A gnome with a hood can pass as a human

 

... child.

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A gnome with a hood can pass as a human

 

... child.



Two gnomes and a hooded robe, perhaps?
Two DS-specific suggestions:

Sorcerer-king pact warlock. It fits DS and Mindbite Scorn raises curse damage to 2d6, one of those is psychic. Kalashtar get a +2 psychic damage feat for easy damage early on, but other races work too.

Sorcerer with Veiled Alliance or Templar theme and use the power swaps. Once you swap in a theme power or two your ally-friendly bursts and blasts can make targeting multiple enemies a lot easier, and you get your sorcerer bonus to damage since the theme powers are Arcane. Depending on your party/DM, ally-friendly bursts/blasts can let you regularly target 1-3 extra enemies with each spell, which is a lot more damage (though it's spread out). Plus, you get a bit of a secondary role beyond striker. Race is pretty flexible.
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