What Are 4E Iconic Spells or Powers ?

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After having read recently in a recent Rule-of-Three that 4E doesn't have many recognizeable Spells like previous Editions, i decided to ask the Community how true it is.

What Are 4E Iconic Spells or Powers ? One such renowned and popular that just by evoking its name we know it is D&D 4th Edition.

I'll go ahead with a few to start: 

Twin Strike - Ranger 1
Moment of Glory - Cleric 1
Avalanche Strike - Barbarian 1
Rain of Blows - Fighter 3
Swordburst - Swordmage 1
Commander's Strike - Warlord 1
Sly Flourish - Rogue 1
Come and Get it - Come on which fighter isnt packing it?
Lightning Rush - Ditto for Battleminds
Oh yeah Come and Get it and Lightning Rush definitly !
Eldrich Blast (Warlock 1)

Sleep
Flaming Sphere
Certain Justice
Liegons Hold
Stinling Cloud
Fireball - for unmittagated suckage done to an icon
Magic Missile - One of the most hated erratas (not for the change but for the reason)
Destructive Salutation
Righteous Brand - Pre Errata
Masterful Spiral (monk 1, kicking the ass of everything within 10 feet? yes please)

Tide of Iron (Fighter 1, one of my favorite at-wills just because of its awesome. Who hasn't envisioned pounding back an enemy or slamming them against the wall with their shield in any story about men carrying shields?)

Thunderwave (Wizard 1, because throwing things around at-will is cool)

Inspiring Word (Warlord 1, come on, how can shouting "Stop bleeding you wussy and get back on your feet!" and then having it work not be the best thing ever?)

Actually, put every Warlord power ever in that category. The Warlord is the most iconic thing in 4e as far as I'm concerned.

Also, Knockout (Rogue 9) because hitting things on the back of the head and having them collapse to the floor is cool. 
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Blade Cascade
Healing Word
Inspiring Word
Healing Spirit
Majestic Word
Healing Infusion
etc.

Second Wind

Acid Orb

wild shape - although this was present in other editions, the 4e presentation of altering no more than appearance without changes to character attributes (such as abilities, size, senses, resistances, movement) is a change. Debate on its worth could go one for a while, but it certainly is iconic in 4e.             
Since the marking mechanic is one of the notable hallmarks of 4e I vote for Divine Challenge or other similar mark and punish powers.

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.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Commander's Strike.  Enabling leadership is probably the best and most innovative thing about 4e, and Commander's Strike is basically the ultimate enabling power.
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They're mechanically handy, often the best power for that class and level. They're fun things to break out at a table. But are they iconic?

Can you look at the name and just know what the spell does? Is it so interesting that the kernal of what it does will survive to future editions? Is it as memorable and interesting as something like fireball or polymorph or sneak attack/ backstab?

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I'll second tide of iron. It's the first thing I thought of when I read the title - it pushes monsters back using a shield, the name fits, it's obvious what it does, and it's a good power to boot. It's very, very fighter-esque.

In a similar vein, twin strike (although personally I think it's a lot more boring that doesn't make it less iconic). You attack, twice. It's on a striker, so that obviously makes sense, and almost all rangers take it if they know what's good for them. 
Iconic things don't need to convey exactly what they do in name alone. I doubt anyone has a strong image from things like "Beholder" or "Mind Flayer" or "Githyanki" even though they are extremely iconic as far as D&D goes.

They just need to be memorable and interesting, which most of these powers certainly are. 
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Excluding latest version of already-iconic spells like sleep, magic missle, flame strike and the like...

...and excluding powers that are merely notorious for having been broken or needing errata:


Tide of Iron
Thunderwave
Sly Flourish
Commander's Strike
Come & Get It
Healing/Inspiring Words


I asked my DM about it, and she actually came up more with mechanics - mark, quary, slide, etc - what powers can do, more than the names, are uniquely 4e.  But with  little prompting:

Second Wind - may not be a power, but it's made a big difference to the game.
Hammerfall Step
Enemies Abound
Visions of Ruin
Thunderwave
Sly Flourish
Bait & Switch

When she plays, her favorite character is an arcane wayfarer wizard, in case you couldn't gues...

 

 

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As far as I'm concerned powers become iconic through play. The reason powers are memorable is because of how, when, and how often they're used. Like a signature spell or attack. Like the last long campaign I was involved in everyone had a signature power; I was the invoker and mine was Fires of Judgement, the barbarians was escalating violence, the fighters was steel serpent strike, the warlord's was direct the strike and the monk's was crane's wings.
Iconic things don't need to convey exactly what they do in name alone. I doubt anyone has a strong image from things like "Beholder" or "Mind Flayer" or "Githyanki" even though they are extremely iconic as far as D&D goes.

They just need to be memorable and interesting, which most of these powers certainly are. 



I don't think that's entirely true.  I think they need to be memorable, interesting, and popular.


Iconic things are things that, at one point or another, show up in every campaign eligible for them to show up in, because everyone wants to see them there.  (The common joke in my group at the end of each session is "did we have a dungeon?  did we have a dragon?  if yes to both, the DM delivered!")


In general, I think for 4E, the at-wills are about 900% more likely to be iconic than any other power, especially because the concept of at-will powers is basically unique to 4E (yes, I know, reserve feats from 3.5, but they weren't really at-will and also were really just 4E design leaking into 3.5 in my opinion).
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
In general, I think for 4E, the at-wills are about 900% more likely to be iconic than any other power, especially because the concept of at-will powers is basically unique to 4E (yes, I know, reserve feats from 3.5, but they weren't really at-will and also were really just 4E design leaking into 3.5 in my opinion).



This ;).

/\ Art
Here are some others: 

Lightning Revelation (Invoker 1)
Disruptive Strike  (Ranger 3)
Five Storm (Monk 1)
Oath of Enmity (Avenger 0) 
Attack On The Run (Ranger 9) 
Low Slash (Rogue 3)
Knockout (Rogue 9) 
Magic Weapon (Artificer 1) 
Chaos Bolt (Sorcerer 1)
Brutal Barrage - it certainly is
Nightmare Vortex - one use of this and no one forgets
Lodestone Lure - requires a Mortal Combat 'get over here'

I like battlemind :p
As far as I'm concerned powers become iconic through play. The reason powers are memorable is because of how, when, and how often they're used. Like a signature spell or attack. Like the last long campaign I was involved in everyone had a signature power; I was the invoker and mine was Fires of Judgement, the barbarians was escalating violence, the fighters was steel serpent strike, the warlord's was direct the strike and the monk's was crane's wings.



I agree with this, one time I played a Fighter mercenary that everyone remembers as being this sort of duelist and really good at one on one fights. His trump card? Villain's Menace, it's all on how you describe it, it became iconic for that power because that's when he rolled his sleeves and started getting serious, one time I even told a hobgoblin the famous phrase "I am not left handed".

The flavor and hook behind Tide of Iron is solid. The actual mechanic is "meh" being just damage and a push like a dozen other powers. Which was the point of the article: they took all the iconic powers and mechanics and quadrupled the powers that could do it, making the iconic less special.
But I think Tide of Iron is worth revisiting as a martial power for 5e. 

Which one is Sly Flourish again? Is that the rogue At-will with extra movement? Or extra damage for being good looking?

Honestly, I don't even pay attention to my player's or parTy's powers any more. Changes too fast to keep up. They could be using a random Power Name Generator on their iPhones and the game would pay the same.
(if any programmers have free time, that would be a super fun ap or web site gimmick: a random 4e power generator. )

When paying my Druid I was fond of Storm Spike, Pounce, Thorn Spray, and a couple others I can't remember because I reflavoured the heck outta them. But not really unique and iconic to 4e. 

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The first powers that sprung to mind for me was Healing Word, Commander's Strike, Tide of Iron, Thunderwave, and Sly Flourish. Thinking on it some more, Elven Accuracy is pretty memorable, and Heroic Effort is on its way. Dragon Breath would be in that list if it didn't have such a generic name.

I think class-based Encounter and Daily powers will have to really stand out from the crowd (either by being popular or infamous) to ever be considered iconic. Hence, Blade Cascade and Come and Get It get mentioned quite a bit.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I'd have to agree with Arcane_Guyver on this one, at least about the encounter/daily powers.

For me some of the iconic 4e powers are Tide of Iron, Healing Word, Thunderwave, Flaming Burst, Sly Flourish, Elven Accuracy, and while not a typical power the knight stance Defend the Line.

Some iconic 4e things that aren't powers may be the Tenser's Floating Disc and Read Object rituals as well as the Dwarf's ability to minor action second wind.
Sly Florish is the best! Also, I have a special place in my heart for Bigby's various spells, though those are not exactly forth ed exclusive.
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Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
Deft Strike > Sly Flourish. Extra movement and easy ranged CA > cha damage.  

Piercing Strike > all. Weapon attack vs. reflex is full of win. It has been my trusty companion since 2008. 
Having played other editions and other roleplaying games, I will limit my choice of iconic 4th edition powers to those which are (as far as I cna tell) unique thereunto.

Inspiring Word does what it says, and does something unprecedented.
Twin Strike is de rigeur.
Every fighter learns Come and Get It!
Many a wizard uses Thunderwave to great effect.

There are many other terrific powers, although as has been pointed out, every group is different, so certain powers become common-place in one group which are never seen in another.




Member of Grognards for 4th Edition
Having played other editions and other roleplaying games, I will limit my choice of iconic 4th edition powers to those which are (as far as I cna tell) unique thereunto.

Inspiring Word does what it says, and does something unprecedented.
Twin Strike is de rigeur.
Every fighter learns Come and Get It!
Many a wizard uses Thunderwave to great effect.

There are many other terrific powers, although as has been pointed out, every group is different, so certain powers become common-place in one group which are never seen in another.


good list I think blinding barrage is of similar stripe.

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The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
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Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

There are a number of powers I like specifically because they reflavor so well does that make them "anti-iconic"?
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Commander's Strike definitely deserves a mention. 

Also a huge fan of Beacon of Hope. That's probably my favorite panic button. I've seen that power turn many battles around. 
Commander's Strike definitely deserves a mention.  


Nods.... Im finding the entire Warlord class one of those stand out evocative elements but hey.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

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To anyone who thinks Pathfinder is outselling D&D
While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
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General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
It's probably just me, but it seems to me that the 'iconic' elements of a game tend to be the overpowered/broken ones.  Perhaps that's why they're harder to find in 4e ... because the game actually has some semblance of balance.

I also agree with the idea that what power is 'iconic' depends on the character who has it and how he uses it.
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It's also harder to identify an iconic anything when there are so many good options for so many classes, and so many particular builds. Which really is kind of the point of this edition - most options are good options.
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I agree with both Salla and Incenjucar on this one.  The iconic powers in the past were the ones that everyone used.  Why did everyone use them?  Because they were clearly the best.
So while 4E has all of the old iconic spells (fireball, lightning bolt, magic missile, flame strike, etc), they are no longer the must have options.
For my group, I mention Rune of Peace.  After the first time I used it, the DM started calling it "Rune Of Neutering," "Rune Of Castration," etc.

Roleplaying is for roleplaying.  The rules are for the game.

Vicious Mockery was a big one for my group.  Thorn Whip, too.  Tide of Iron has been mentioned already.  I always have trouble leaving Dancing Cobra alone for monks, even though it's a less-than-overpowered option.  Twin Strike, obviously.  Nothing says "#@$* off" quite like Riposte Strike.  For wizards, I always grab Flaming Burst because, hey, at-will explosions.  Eldritch Blast, for some reason.  And of course, Commander's Strike, Direct the Strike, and every warlord power in the same vein.
Previous editions had more unique and interesting spells,  going through the 4e list above, they all seem rather forgettable.  

Hopefully 5e will reinvent itself and have fewer, more unique, more iconic powers and spells.
 
Previous editions had more unique and interesting spells,  going through the 4e list above, they all seem rather forgettable. 
 


So are almost all old edition spells after a couple years. the question is for powers that will last the test of time
Really there were only a couple memorable spells per level, and most of those were mostly the ones that keep getting remaid every edition (fireball, magic missile, etc), and even got remade  in 4th. 

Plus this list is just Powers, and not rituals, it would be ALLOT longer if it included rituals. And it is not really including powers that are from past editions
I am comfortable adding rituals to the batch...  my favorite being Comrades Succor, which I usually refer to as Blood Brotherhood or some variation. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

For something to be iconic, it can't have a bland name.  It needs to have character, and be something that can kind of seep into a public consciousness ever so slightly bigger than the players of the game.  Fireballs and scorching rays and Magic Missile are all iconic because they do something simple and they have a simple name and they have character.  Nothing else really does Magic Missile and nothing else really does Fireball.

Few powers have any significant character.  The only ones I can think of are like, Fey Step (simple teleport but it has a cool flavour and easy name), Elven Accuracy (stupidly simple here as well; it's mostly the name carrying it), and Twin Strike because it tells you exactly what it does and is just really prolific.  Outside of that I can't say anything besides Direct The Strike, to be honest.  Everything else has awkward naming and generic effects.  They might be staples but rarely iconic.  Shift+Stab just can't really be iconic no matter what rider you tack on to it.

I think the mutability and openness lets you kinda make anything into what you want it to be but you sacrifice the capacity to make it well-defined and give the power its own personality.
Lets see

HitEm (commanders strike)
Twin Strike
Come and Get it
Thunderwave
Blinding Barrage


Honestly...even with the fact there are certain powers I think of when I think of a 4e class...very few make me think 4e in general...too many of 4e's powers are just 'the same but better' or 'completely the same' or 'so close they might as well be the same'.

Most of the stuff that makes me think of 4e are honestly not powers, but mostly mechanics as well as a splash of feats.

Frostcheese makes me think 4e.
Radiant Mafia says 4e.
Chargecheese makes me think 4e.

But what especially does it is different combat mechanics.
Push, Daze, Stun.   all of those..really make me think of 4e.

There are other things as well..but they arn't flattering..so no need to name em.  But powers?  No..very few stick out in my mind.
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