Tesla: a Fighter PMC Invoker Controller, OR How to Immobilize Half the Battlefield At-Will

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Tesla: "The Lord of Lightning"
a.k.a. The Action Denial Divine Bolts Barrager

Half-Elf Weaponmaster Templar / PMC Invoker / Destined Scion


 Tesla

 


Credits

Valenkosh (Sir Marks-a-lot fighter PMC build inspiration), erachima (highlighted that fact that PMC doesn’t specify a leveled At-Will power swap, negating need for Archery Mastery), yargon (for posting a Divine Bolts Ranger|Invoker) and the many other CharOp regulars who have expounded on Pinning Challenge, Staff of Channeled Invocations, Power of Skill’d Divine Bolts, and Archery Mastery/Rapid Shot. Also Cazzeo for the Invoker handbook and LDB for the Fighter Handbook/build format.


Build Goals:


The premise of this build is to abuse the heck out of the Fighter’s Pinning Challenge feat, by combining it with an on-demand Rapid Shot that spams Divine Bolts as Basic Attacks.  The capstone of this build is to be able to inflict “immobilize At-Will” condition – both in and out of turn sequence – against large numbers of opponents at range, which can effectively deny attacks of circa two-thirds of the opponents likely to be faced by the party, or facilitate focus fire by isolating dangerous foes. This build aims to be a defender’s defender, benefitting from one of the strongest “melee controller” base classes while expanding the fighter’s sphere of control.



Level 16 Snapshot

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======


Tesla, level 16


Half-Elf, Fighter, Paragon Multiclassing


Fighter: Combat Superiority


Fighter Talents: Two-handed Weapon Talent


Half-Elf Power Selection: Dilettante


Background: Detective (Detective Benefit)


 


FINAL ABILITY SCORES


Str 18, Con 13, Dex 9, Int 12, Wis 24, Cha 11.


 


STARTING ABILITY SCORES


Str 14, Con 10, Dex 8, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 10.


 


 


AC: 32 Fort: 25 Reflex: 21 Will: 25


HP: 118 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 29


 


TRAINED SKILLS


Insight +24, Perception +22, Endurance +18, Religion +15


 


UNTRAINED SKILLS


Acrobatics +7, Arcana +9, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +10, Dungeoneering +15, Heal +15, History +9, Intimidate +8, Nature +15, Stealth +7, Streetwise +8, Thievery +7, Athletics +12


 


FEATS


Level 1: Melee Training (Wisdom) (retrained to Novice Power at Level 11)


Level 2: Acolyte of Divine Secrets


Level 4: Staff Expertise


Level 6: Hafted Defense (retrained to Power of Skill at Level 10)


Level 8: Acolyte Power


Level 10: Adept Power


Level 11: Versatile Master


Level 12: Pinning Challenge


Level 14: Mark of Storm


Level 16: Staff of Channeled Invocations


 


POWERS


Acolyte of Divine Secrets: Mantle of the Infidel


Dilettante: Divine Bolts


Fighter at-will 1: Threatening Rush (retrained to Rapid Shot at Paragon Multiclassing)


Fighter at-will 1: Footwork Lure


Paragon Multiclassing: Primal Gust


Paragon Multiclassing: Vengeance is Mine


Fighter encounter 1: Hack and Hew


Fighter daily 1: Comeback Strike


Fighter utility 2: Pass Forward (retrained to Divine Call at Acolyte Power)


Fighter encounter 3: Fearsome Command


Fighter daily 5: Glare of Oppression


Fighter utility 6: Deliverance of Faith


Fighter encounter 7: Fettering Glare


Fighter daily 9: Imperious Gaze (retrained to Cerulean Flames at Adept Power)


Fighter utility 10: Clearheaded


Fighter encounter 13: Shield Bearer's Vendetta (replaces Hack and Hew)


Fighter daily 15: Unyielding Avalanche (replaces Comeback Strike)


Fighter utility 16: Insightful Riposte


 


ITEMS


Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor +3, Eagle Eye Goggles (paragon tier), Feyslaughter Quarterstaff +3, Siberys Shard of the Mage (paragon tier), Hidden Shuriken +1, Ruby Scabbard (heroic tier), Aversion Staff +1, Rhythm Blade Spiked shield +1, Bracers of the Perfect Shot (paragon tier), Strikebacks (heroic tier), Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Amulet of Protection +4, Diamond Cincture (heroic tier), Rushing Cleats (heroic tier), Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier)


====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Magic Items (Expected GP = 160,000):
L16 (45,000 gp): Amulet of Protection +4 (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): +3 Feyslaughter Quarterstaff (AV)
L13 (17,000 gp): Siberys Shard of the Mage (paragon tier) (EPG)
L13 (17,000 gp): Bracers of the Perfect Shot (paragon tier) (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Eagle Eye Goggles (paragon tier) (AV)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (AV)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L7 (2,600 gp): Rushing Cleats (AV)
L5 (1,000 gp): Ruby Scabbard (heroic Tier) (AV)
L3 (680 gp): +1 Hidden Shuriken (DSCS)
L3 (680 gp): +1 Rhythm Blade Spiked Shield (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Aversion Staff (AV)
TOTAL: 154,680 gp


Surplus could go towards lots of tempest whetstones


Divine Bolts Schtick:


Rapid Shot: This is an At-Will Ranger power that is gained from Paragon Multiclassing (per PHB p 209 rules) and replaces one of Tesla’s two Fighter At-Wills (Threatening Rush). Due to the Paragon Multiclassing verbage, Archery Mastery is not needed to do the swap.


Initial Barrage: Your first goal is to immobilize enemies inside a penalty box – a 3x3 floating area that you want to first lock down brute/soldier/skirmisher/lurker enemy types for true action denial. This means either your divine bolts need to target each of them twice (and hit the second time), or you need to spend an action point to hit (or miss!) them beforehand with some other attack so they are marked via the Combat Challenge class feature. Enemies have to be attacked twice (hitting on the second attack) before the immobilized effect from Pinning Challenge kicks in.  This penalty box is “floating,” because once you gain the Mark of Storm feat you can slide these ‘boxed’ enemies towards other out-of-the-box enemies that you target and hit with divine bolts. Every out-of-the-box enemy that gets hit by a bolt gets slid towards the penalty box and is immobilized if attacked by Tesla the previous round.


Preventing Escape: With Tesla’s primary implement of choice – a Feyslaughter Staff – Tesla can prevent pesky teleporters – who comprise circa 14% of foes in paragon a 23% of foes in epic tier (based on review of Monsters in Compendium as of December 2010) from being able to escape. The *only* way such immobilized targets can move is via forced movement, which may present a bigger problem if it requires the enemies’ friends to attack them to enable forced movement. Further, even if forced movement is utilized to scatter the enemies somehow, Tesla can re-immobilize at least two such enemies At-Will, more if he’s able to still target two or more enemies in a new 3x3 ‘Rapid Shot box’.


Focus Fire: Over the next several rounds this cluster of immobilized enemies is likely to get more crowded if not outright slaughtered. The penalty box effectively turns in to a killing zone. Grouping together enemies in this three by three square area facilitates focus fire both from yourself and allies (via area/close attacks or damaging zones). An effective strategy could entail allies focus firing on non-immobilized opponents or immobilized artillery/controllers inside or outside (from secondary divine bolts) the penalty box. Allies adjacent to immobilized ranged controllers/artillery may also benefit from out-of-turn OA’s or deny those enemies their most potent attacks. Allies that utilize forced movement can also assist with corralling enemies into the penalty box, which increases overall effectiveness of the Divine Bolts barrage (kind of reminiscent of 3e shocking lizards).


Increasing Magnetic Lure (aka Dr. Octavius’s Tritium Fusion Reactor): With Mark of Storm, the more creatures that get trapped in the box the stronger the lure becomes to drag new creatures in to the killing zone. Every creature that gets targeted in the box grants an extra divine bolt which can be used for focus fire in or outside the box.  Further, by concentrating divine bolts on a single target outside the box, Tesla can slide the target multiple times with each hit. Focus fire increases damage and control (slide) of relatively weak individual divine bolts by an order of magnitude, making it easier to add additional creatures in to the box if not killing them outright. In the best case scenario, nine (non-flying) medium targets can get immobilized inside the box allowing nine additional DB attacks that can be focus fired on any other target/s, inside or outside the box.


Action Denial Tactics: The best way to deny enemy attacks is to keep them near the outer perimeter of Divine Bolts range, six or more squares away from Tesla and allies. At 6+ squares distance, most enemies without a ranged or area attack will be unable to attack allies or Tesla (even close attacks seldom exceed burst 5). If gloves of the wandering star can be acquired (replacing strikebacks), ideally Tesla wants to immobilize most enemies from 11 to 13 squares away, denying enemies occasional attacks (against Tesla) that include range 10 or close burst 10.  Even if Tesla’s allies engage in melee ‘boxed’ enemies, Tesla can prevent 1 or 2 of the trapped enemies from attacking Tesla’s allies one round every combat with Undeniable Challenge at Level 22. If Tesla’s melee-based allies wish to engage enemies inside the penalty box, they are advised to focus fire an enemy at a diagonal corner.  Tesla can reposition enemies in the box to still deny attacks from certain kinds of foes only capable of melee 1/close 1 attacks.


Example (X = immobilized enemy, A = melee ally):
____
_XX_
_XX_A
___XA
     AAA


Getting allies out of dodge: Allies are best served attacking either non-immobilized opponents, or immobilized artillery or controller opponents with priority to targets outside the box. A single burst 1 attack can also effectively target all the creatures in the box, who aren’t going anywhere as long as Tesla continues to hit them with Divine Bolts. Tesla works best paired up with AoE strikers and forced movement controllers (sorcerers and genasi wizards rejoice!).  While ranged/area attacks tend be the party’s most effective tools, some party members could find themselves get dragged in the box by choice or by force(d movement). Tesla has two minor action encounter utility powers to help out – Divine Call and Primal Gust. Divine Call can drag (pull) one or two unrestrained allies out of the box, which might be handy prior to unleashing non-ally friendly bursts (which Rapid Shot Divine Bolts effectively is). Tesla’s other power is Primal Gust, which can either target an ally OR an enemy and slide them 3 squares (no “to hit” roll needed).  This can also be very useful to get the Rapid Shot schtick going (see ‘Increasing Magnetic Lure’ above)– the more enemies clumped together in the 3x3 box the merrier.


Targeting Allies: WARNING – Cheese ahead! An ally in the box can actually facilitate this electromagnetic fusion so to speak. If the ally has means to resist lightning well, they might agree to be targeted to allow additional enemies outside the box to be also be targeted/immobilized.


To mitigate collateral damage, Tesla is under no compulsion to target an ally in the box with a divine bolt. Any ranged basic attack will do. With the right gear Tesla can safely target allies all but assuring misses. In order to not tie up magic item slots nor bind Tesla to a particular background (to get Thievery Fast Hands Skill Power), Tesla’s preferred Rapid Shot RBA versus allies utilizes a light thrown weapon that Tesla is not proficient in – a hidden shuriken +1 kept in a ruby scabbard. Tesla can target all enemies first in the box, then target allies. Since shuriken is a superior light thrown weapon, Tesla can target allies with his dump stat, Dexterity,  gains no proficiency bonus, and if possible attacks from 7+ squares away (to get an additional -2 long range penalty). Tesla is all-but assured to miss the ally; and even if he hits will do minimal (1d4+4 damage with Bracers of the Perfect Shot at level 16; could be eliminated entirely in the future if Tesla picked Nusemnee’s Atonement (but probably isn’t worth the feat cost)). Dice of Auspicious Fortune are the perfect complement for this build; now you can benefit both from bad die rolls to guarantee misses against allies along with good die rolls to hit foes.


Uber cheese – Tesla might be able to close his eyes right before chucking the shuriken for an additional -5 to hit penalty against the ally due to total concealment (check with your DM first!), all but assuring the ally will be missed except on a natural 20. 


Cover Issues: Enemies gain a cover bonus if other enemies obstruct. Once Tesla gains Mark of Storm he can target the closest enemies in the box without cover, and slide them out of the way using Mark of Storm to expose enemies in the middle/rear of the box formation and negate their soft cover.


Melee Potential:


Once Tesla picks up the Staff of Channeled Invocations feat, he can wield a staff implement and shield all day long without ever needed to make a weapon attack again. EVAR. He doesn’t even have a compelling need to bump Strength again other than to increase Fortitude. After reaching paragon, Tesla will probably never use his solitary Fighter At-Will power again (as long as he carries a staff in one hand and spiked shield with aversion staff in the other hand).  Divine Bolts with Mark of Storm as a “double” melee or ranged basic attack is mechanically better in every respect over Footwork Lure, and a Wis-based Divine Bolts barrage beats out Threatening Rush by a long shot.


Staff of Channeled Invocations enhances Tesla as a traditional defender (fighter). Pre-paragon, he already excelled at locking down one melee target due to high Wisdom Combat Superiority bonus.  Now he can potentially lock down two opponents with every BA. What’s better is his Combat Challenge and Opportunity attacks are Mark of Storm’d immobilizing Divine Bolts attacks in mid-Paragon. Whenever an enemy provokes Tesla can now smack both the provoking enemy and enemy’s friend provided the friend is also adjacent. So Tesla can potentially cause Action Denial by sliding (2 squares with rushing cleats) and immobilizing the provoking enemy along with a second adjacent enemy out of reach with a single Combat Challenge Immediate Interrupt or an Opportunity Attack.  And Tesla “never” misses Opportunity Attacks (+8 bonus to hit with Strikebacks after level 14).


Charge Attacks: Tesla can also charge up to two opponents with Staff of Channeled Invocations enabled-Divine Bolts. Both targets can be affected by Charge kit items if Tesla chose to focus on melee smackdown.


Boosting Marks: In Epic, the mark penalty even applies to an enemy that attacks Tesla along with allies if he acquires a Foe Binder ring. If Tesla acquires a Loadstone Statue this penalty increases to -3 when a marked enemy is within 5 squares of the statue (and Tesla can loan this statue to allies). While the statue is on his person, Tesla can all but force an adjacent enemy to provoke an OA if the enemy wants to move anywhere away from Tesla.


Catch 22 Punishment: Tesla has a few tricks up his sleeves for enemies that choose to attack him, or his allies. The encounter power he picked from Paragon Multiclassing is the Immediate Reaction Warlord Level 1 power Vengeance is Mine. If an enemy hits Tesla with an attack he counter strikes with Divine Bolts, sliding and freezing the provoker and attacking another enemy within range 10. Then the enemy gets attacked by one of Tesla’s allies. Ideally, Tesla has also acquired a Backlash Tattoo and Strikebacks for more Divine Bolts retribution when he’s hit. Shield Bearer’s Vendetta provides additional Immediate Action retribution when Tesla or an adjacent ally is attacked, and Combat Challenge protects his allies all day long.  Tesla is well positioned to lock down two enemies adjacent to him in addition to other enemies in (and an equal number outside) the penalty box.  If either of these enemies attacks Tesla (successfully) or an ally Tesla can respond by attacking both adjacent enemies, sliding them, and immobilizing them, possibly preventing and/or denying them further actions.


Defenses: Tesla carries an Aversion Staff +1 in his offhand, in the same hand that has a rhythm blade spiked chain shield +1. Any opponent that Tesla attacks gets marked – hit-or-miss – which grants the Aversion Staff +2 bonus to all defenses. If Tesla needs to avoid targeting allies in the penalty box, after attacking all the enemies with Divine Bolts Tesla’s MO includes dropping the Feyslaughter Staff (free action), drawing the hidden shuriken +1 from the ruby scabbard as part of the same action used to attack with the shuriken, rolling attack rolls against any allies in the penalty box (with the magic shuriken returning to Tesla’s hand after resolving each RBA), re-sheathing the hidden weapon (free action), and picking back up the Feyslaughter Staff (minor action). Tesla never drops the Aversion Staff and keeps the +2 item bonus to all defenses against any enemies targeted by Rapid Shot’d Divine Bolts.


Ability Scores: Tesla has an abnormally low strength (14) in the beginning as a fighter but a high wisdom (20), which are both bumped every stat increase. Fighter Two-Handed Weapon Talent class feature partially compensates low Strength along with Staff Expertise at level 4, but Strength was never intended to be Tesla’s strong suit. As a tradeoff, Tesla has the majority of his stat boosts (16 out of 22 points) invested in his pre-racial 18 Wisdom (20 with stat boost). The main reason here is to increase the odds of landing a Divine Bolts Basic Attack after receiving the Rapid Shot power in paragon to facilitate lockdown. And resist against being dominated and other nasty vs. Will effects. By paragon, other than a non-weapon keyword shield immediate reaction encounter power, all the attack powers that Tesla uses are Wisdom-based. Tesla has a solitary Fighter At-Will that gets ‘discarded.'


 


Level 30 Snapshot

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======


Tesla, level 30


Half-Elf, Fighter, Paragon Multiclassing, Destined Scion


Fighter: Combat Superiority


Fighter Talents: Two-handed Weapon Talent


Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Strength)


Epic Heroism: Epic Heroism (Wisdom)


Half-Elf Power Selection: Dilettante


Background: Detective (Detective Benefit)



FINAL ABILITY SCORES


Str 24, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 13, Wis 30, Cha 12.



STARTING ABILITY SCORES


Str 14, Con 10, Dex 8, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 10.




AC: 45 Fort: 49 Reflex: 44 Will: 48


HP: 203 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 50



TRAINED SKILLS


Insight +34, Perception +32, Endurance +29, Religion +22



UNTRAINED SKILLS


Acrobatics +15, Arcana +16, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +18, Dungeoneering +25, Heal +25, History +16, Intimidate +16, Nature +25, Stealth +15, Streetwise +16, Thievery +15, Athletics +22



FEATS


Level 1: Melee Training (Wisdom) (retrained to Novice Power at Level 11)


Level 2: Acolyte of Divine Secrets


Level 4: Staff Expertise


Level 6: Hafted Defense (retrained to Power of Skill at Level 10)


Level 8: Acolyte Power


Level 10: Adept Power


Level 11: Versatile Master


Level 12: Pinning Challenge


Level 14: Mark of Storm


Level 16: Staff of Channeled Invocations


Level 18: Improved Defenses


Level 20: Superior Implement Training (Accurate staff)


Level 21: Invoker Implement Expertise


Level 22: Devastating Invocation


Level 24: Marked Scourge


Level 26: Epic Reflexes


Level 28: Epic Will


Level 30: Epic Fortitude



POWERS


Acolyte of Divine Secrets: Mantle of the Infidel


Dilettante: Divine Bolts


Fighter at-will 1: Threatening Rush (retrained to Rapid Shot at Paragon Multiclassing)


Fighter at-will 1: Footwork Lure


Paragon Multiclassing: Primal Gust


Paragon Multiclassing: Vengeance is Mine


Paragon Multiclassing: Wrath of Battle


Fighter encounter 1: Hack and Hew


Fighter daily 1: Comeback Strike


Fighter utility 2: Pass Forward (retrained to Divine Call at Acolyte Power)


Fighter encounter 3: Fearsome Command


Fighter daily 5: Glare of Oppression


Fighter utility 6: Deliverance of Faith


Fighter encounter 7: Fettering Glare


Fighter daily 9: Imperious Gaze (retrained to Cerulean Flames at Adept Power)


Fighter utility 10: Clearheaded


Fighter encounter 13: Shield Bearer's Vendetta (replaces Hack and Hew)


Fighter daily 15: Unyielding Avalanche (replaces Comeback Strike)


Fighter utility 16: Insightful Riposte


Fighter encounter 17: Punishing Shield Block (retrained to Curse of Haemnathuun at Novice Power) (replaces Fettering Glare)


Fighter daily 19: Glare of Oppression (replaces Glare of Oppression)


Fighter utility 22: Undeniable Challenge


Fighter encounter 23: Fearsome Command (replaces Fearsome Command)


Fighter daily 25: Glare of Oppression (replaces Glare of Oppression)


Fighter encounter 27: Indomitable Battle Strike (retrained to Compel Action at Novice Power) (replaces Punishing Shield Block)


Fighter daily 29: Exhilarating Assault (retrained to Word of the Gods at Adept Power) (replaces Imperious Gaze)



ITEMS


Hidden Shuriken +1, Ruby Scabbard (heroic tier), Aversion Staff +1, Rhythm Blade Spiked shield +1, Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier), Eagle Eye Goggles (epic tier), Feyslaughter Quarterstaff +6, Bracers of the Perfect Shot (epic tier), Foe Binder Ring (paragon tier), Loadstone Statue (paragon tier), Shadow Band, Dwarven Dragonscale Armor +6, Siberys Shard of the Mage (epic tier), Cloak of Distortion +6, Gloves of the Wandering Star (paragon tier), Diamond Cincture (paragon tier), Stone of Storms (paragon tier), Zaarani's Solitaire (heroic tier), Boots of Quickness (epic tier)


====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L29 (2,625,000 gp): +6 Feyslaughter Quarterstaff (AV)
L29 (2,625,000 gp): +6 Cloak of Distortion (Dem)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): Boots of Quickness (epic tier) (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Elderscale Armor (PHB)
L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
L23 (425,000 gp): Bracers of the Perfect Shot (epic tier) (PHB)
L23 (425,000 gp): Siberys Shard of the Mage (epic tier) (EPG)
L22 (325,000 gp): Eagle Eye Goggles (epic tier) (AV)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L19 (105,000 gp): Gloves of the Wandering Star (AV 2)
L19 (105,000 gp): Foe Binder Ring (D 381)
L14 (21,000 gp): Loadstone Statue (AV 2)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Storms (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Zaarani’s Solitaire (SotAC)
L5 (1,000 gp): Ruby Scabbard (heroic Tier) (AV)
L3 (680 gp): +1 Hidden Shuriken (DSCS)
L3 (680 gp): +1 Rhythm Blade Spiked Shield (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Aversion Staff (AV)
TOTAL: 12,710,880 gp


Surplus could go towards lots of tempest whetstones


 


Progression Commentary

Fighter Powers: Tesla’s Fighter At-Wills provide a glimpse of paragon goodness – Threatening Rush for mass marking with charge attacks (+1 to hit!) and Footwork Lure for Mark of Storm’isque sliding; however given his sub-par Strength he’ll seldom use either unless he has leader boosts to his attack or he has combat advantage. Tesla’s level 1 encounter choice similarly grants a paragon preview – Hack and Hew for Divine Bolts MBA-like targeting. And Comeback Strike fighter 1 daily can grant a Tesla a healing surge in a pinch. For future fighter daily powers he trains out Comeback Strike and chooses a minor action, auto-damage minion-busting stance, Unyielding Avalanche. For his fighter encounter power Tesla picks up a gem at level 13 – Shield Bearer’s Vendetta – and is likely to keep that the rest of his career, although even that could be swapped out with Reserve Maneuver if he managed to squeeze in the feat (probably not).


Heroic Wisdom-based Powers/Feats: Melee training (Wisdom) is taken at level 1 to provide Tesla a default melee (basic) attack as a staff fighter. Tesla’s top Wisdom also makes him extremely sticky as a fighter. At level 1 Tesla also has two Wisdom-based encounter powers -- Divine Bolts (two target, ranged) and Templar’s Fist, his first potential action denial power. At level 2, Tesla picks Acolyte of Divine Secrets (MC Invoker feat) to get training in the staff implement (ideally an Aversion Staff to help shore up defenses), and Tesla also picks up a third Wisdom-based encounter power – Mantle of the Infidel to improve his image as a “long” ranged defender and doubles his marking penalty. At level 3 Tesla emphasizes his Templar heritage and picks up a fourth Wisdom-based (area) encounter power, which is really nasty – Fearsome Command, another potential action denial power with multiple targets.   By fourth level Tesla can also launch ranged and area attacks while in melee without provoking OA’s due to Staff Expertise. At levels 5, 7, and 9 Tesla continues to emphasize his Templar heritage by selecting Glare of Oppression, Fettering Glare, and Imperious Gaze, all of which have multi-target action denial potential and grant ally boons. Tesla also picks up Hafted Defense for a boost in defenses from level 6 until it’s retrained at level 10 for Power of Skill (to make Divine Bolts a basic attack). Tesla has an additional invoker daily attack power-swap option with Adept power (level 10) that he uses to swap Imperious Gaze for Cerulean Flames.  Cerulean Flames is a fantastic power used in conjunction (via Action Point) with a Divine Bolts barrage to slide enemies outside the zone, immobilize them, and deliver the blinded (save ends) condition to boot.  By sliding them in and out (via Mark of Storm bolts and/or allies) you can give affected enemies a near perma-blind condition.


Paragon Wisdom-based Powers/Feats: This is the tier where Tesla acquires the Divine Bolts Barrage schtick. At level 11 Versatile Master feat is selected, which makes Divine Bolts an At-Will (basic attack) power. Tesla retrains Melee Training (Wisdom) with Acolyte Power feat and elects Paragon Multiclassing in place of his Paragon Path. He doesn’t retrain to get an invoker encounter power (yet). He also selects Vengeance is Mine for his PMC encounter power to get Wis-based retribution when hit, and selects the Ranger (Hunter) Rapid Shot At-Will power in place of Threatening Rush. At level 12 Tesla picks up Pinning Challenge feat, and can now immobilize At-Will with Rapid Shot’d Divine Bolts. This schtick is further augmented at Level 14 with Mark of Storm feat for slides on every hit. Tesla picks up Staff of Channeled Invocations feat at level 16 to gain a Divine Bolts MBA. is further At level 17 Tesla retrains Fettering Glare for Curse of Haemnathuun for upgraded enemy action denial that boosts allies’ effective attacks. Tesla bolsters NADs at level 18 with Improved Defenses and accuracy at level 20 with Superior Implement Training (Accurate staff). Tesla upgrades Glare of Oppression to the level 15 version at level 19 for increased damage, and picks up Wrath of Battle (wizard daily 19) for an auto-hit range 20 AoE mass ‘domination’-lite power as his Paragon Multiclassing option.


Epic Tier Wisdom-based Powers/Feats: Tesla picks up the Destined Scion Epic Destiny for increased accuracy with attacks (including Divine Bolts) and boost to saving throws to help shrug off bad status effects. Tesla now focuses on offensive feats levels 21 to 24, picking up Invoker Implement Expertise to increase crit range, Devastating Invocation to mass damage (likely trapped) enemies whenever he scores a crit, and Marked Scourge to boost single target DPR such as when engaging solos. He boosts defenses levels 26 to 30, picking up Epic Reflexes, Epic Will, and Epic Fortitude.  At level 23 Tesla also upgrades Fearsome Command from the level 3 to level 23 (higher damage) version;, at level 25 Tesla upgrades Glare of Oppression from the level 15 to level 25 (higher damage) version; at level 27 Tesla retrains Curse of Haemnathuun for the invoker’s mass dominate until EoNT encounter power Compel Action; and at level 29 Tesla retrains Cerulean Flames for the invoker’s capstone mass dominate (save ends) daily Word of the Gods. ‘Nuff said.


Utility Powers: At level 2 Tesla also takes the Pass Forward utility power, used to help get flanking combat advantage against a variety of foes prior to attempting attacks with a fighter power; retrains it to Divine Call at level 8 to pull an ally out of dodge before unleashing an ally unfriendly power. At level 6 Tesla pick up Deliverance of Faith for an encounter THP boost as a minor action. At level 10 Tesla picks up Clearheaded to negate nasty effects -- Dazed/Stunned/Dominated as an encounter Utility No action power. And at level 12 he selects Primal Wind for his PMC utility power to play chess with an ally or enemy. Level 16 provides Tesla with Prescient Insight, an encounter utility that improves Tesla’s accuracy against the hardest-to-hit foes. And at level 22 Tesla takes Undeniable Challenge, which can protect Tesla’s allies every combat.


 


Caveat

The premise/assumption here is that Divine Bolts allows one or two creatures to be targeted whenever making a basic attack. This has been discussed in various CharOp threads and appears to be the general consensus (along with mixed CustServ responses). I’m not interested in debating this point in this thread.  For further discussion (whether you agree or disagree) please go to this thread: Divine Bolts as a Ranged Basic Attack: How Do?,  where it has been discussed. My interpretation is that for the purpose of Rapid Shot, for each Divine Bolt attack on a creature in or adjacent to the selected square, a second Divine Bolt (it’s twin) can target any other creature within range. Power of Skill’d Divine Bolts as an MBA via Staff of Channeled Invocations also grant two attacks whenever an MBA is provoked or takes place – this applies to Combat Challenge, Opportunity Attacks, and Charges alike.


 


Stuff I wanted to take but couldn’t fit

I’d like to be convinced as to whether any of these options should replace what I’ve already selected (and why).


Heroic Feats


Action Surge – Huge boost to hit with AoE/Rapid Shot Divine Bolts when spending an AP.


Battlewise – Wis bonus to Initiative = net gain of +10!


Superior Will/Fortitude – the riders are awesome, especially Superior Will.


Paragon Feats


Repel Charge – Smack 1-2 enemies in response to every charge attempt as an opportunity action.


Running Shot – Rapid Shot on the fly!


Epic Feats


Martial Resolve – helps stop the nastiest effects (other than dominate)


Strength Through Challenge – resist 5 against any foes attacked is nice.


Superior Initiative – combine with Battlewise for top Initiative.


Powers


Feywild Jaunt Utility 10 – At level 22, this combines with Undeniable Challenge to create guaranteed Action Denial of one or two foes for one round every encounter, but lose the versatility of Primal Gust.


Items


Staff of Ruin + Shield of Deflection (instead of Feyslaughter Staff + Bracers of the Perfect Shot) – Now all attacks deal Item bonus damage, and gain resist 10 ranged/area attacks.  Sadly teleporters can escape the penalty box.


Foe Caller Gauntlets (instead of Gloves of the Wandering Star) – An encounter immediate interrupt to teleport and smack a mark violater adjacent to you, but Divine Bolts can’t out-distance common enemy attacks (ranged 10)


Circlet of Arkhosia (instead of Eagle Eye Goggles) – helps resist negative status effects, but DB Rapid Shot gets a lot more difficult.


 


Appreciate any other comments for power tweaking, suggested equipment, etc.. This is my first attempt posting a Character Build for the forums so appreciate any/all feedback. The base Rapid Shot-Divine Bolt RBA schtick can be fully functional at Level 12.  By Level 16 Tesla has enhanced delivery of Divine Bolts (and Rapid Shot) by enabling melee DB’s and slides on all hits. This build also clearly improves when playing with house rules that grant feats intended to correct math fixes (e.g. Expertise and Improved Defenses feats).  With the math fix, I’d recommend bumping up Staff of Channeled Invocations to level 11 so this defender never lacks an effective melee basic attack.


Misc Questions:


Any recommendations on getting Action Points to use every encounter? (A DB barrage works best if Tesla can launch two standard action attacks during round 1 of every combat.)


Any other recommendations for an Epic Destiny, power selection or feat progression beyond level 16? (Is anything worth trade-off of effective +2 attack bonus granted by Destined Scion ED?)


Is there any way to increase Mark of Storm’d Divine Bolts slide at range other than a Quickbeam staff (for the ‘Forceful’ property)?  (I think an Accurate staff is better cause you have to hit to immobilize).


Could this build be viable if Strength was dumped completely?


Any recommendations to increase Divine Bolts damage? (I think the fact that they can compound on a single target may be good enough).


Considering Undeniable Challenge at level 22, is Feywild Jaunt a better lvl 10 Utility than Primal Gust?

Variants:


In the works…


Build Commentary

Tesla works best (and is surprisingly most efficient feat-wise) as a base Fighter PMC Invoker. Invoker was chosen as the only Wisdom-based class with Staff implement proficiency (chosen to avoid OA’s when using area and ranged attacks with Staff Expertise ) AND Staff of Channeled Invocations feat to remain a potent melee defender. The Templar theme offers the best assorted mix of action denial powers that are Wisdom friendly options in Heroic. And the fighter base class enables all powers to mark – crucial for ‘activating’ Pinning Challenge – which increases the value of utilizing non-fighter powers prior to unleashing successive Rapid Shot’d Divine Bolts barrages. 


Half-Elf was selected as the only race that can make this schtick work – Pinning Challenge (requires base class fighter or hybrid fighter) + Invoker Divine Bolts as an RBA that can mark + Hunter’s Rapid Shot (via PMC or Archery Mastery).  I would have preferred the Str-Wis stat bonus synergy (and MBA spawning racial/feats) of a minotaur, but couldn’t think of any way to get Divine Bolts to mark At-Will and get the rapid shot/pinning challenge combo.  Half-Elf could also get this schtick to work with Fighter PMC Druid (for Wisdom/staff implement synergy) with Versatile Master, but could no longer ‘invoke’ (it’s a pun!) melee punishment due to losing access to Staff of Channeled Invocations feat.


A shortbow weapliment option (aka Moonbow Dedicate) would have been nice to get Mindiron shortbow (+ Psychic Lock), but Sehanine does not have the Skill domain required for the Power of Skill feat.


One possible variant build is a Half-Elf hybrid fighter-ranger with Divine Bolts Dilettante and Defending Dabbler/Versatile Master chassis. In the end, a hybrid fighter actually requires more feats to make it viable than the pure fighter PMC route (You need Armor Proficiency (Chainmail), Hybrid Talent (One- or Two-handed Weapon Talent), Defending Dabbler, and Archery Mastery), gets worse defenses and less controller power swap options.  Your multiclass feat is still tied to a staff implement-based multiclass (so no Primal Sharpshooter/Primal Eye RBA synergy). Otoh, you do get a Paragon Path choice, which could make a viable albeit extremely feat-starved build.


Another variant (to the above) is to replace Divine Bolts dilettante with Biting Swarm and ignore the staff implement multiclass altogether.  This variant could be more damage-focused but have less control and would likely revolve around optimizing Biting Swarm in conjunction with Rapid Shot, Pinning Challenge, Psychic Lock (with a Mindiron weapon), and Primal Sharpshooter.  This variant would also be eligible for a Paragon Path (Traveler’s Harlequin or Son of Mercy sound appealing), or possibly Paragon hybrid to get the True Seeker’s bond Hybrid Talent (but the lack of a Str bonus makes this option less appealing).

Misc Stuff
Feel free to post now.
So how is Invoker PMC giving you a Hunter at-will? The page you quote says you can replace one of your at-wills with one from your second class. Your second class is Invoker
I'd love to know that also... also how he got a shaman utility and a warlord encounter power via paragon MC.  Is this some weird behavior of the character builder or are Bob and I missing something?
I'd love to know that also... also how he got a shaman utility and a warlord encounter power via paragon MC.  Is this some weird behavior of the character builder or are Bob and I missing something?


Versatile Master. It does more than just make Dilletante at-will: it allows you to pick your "Paragon Path" powers from any class. It actually makes the option halfway feasible.

All in all, I really admire this build. It's excellent lateral thinking; you just need to find a party that doesn't mind building itself around another PC. Which is another story altogether.

My only comment is that you can't use Divine Bolts on Combat Challenge. Combat Challenge doesn't let you make a melee basic attack; it lets you make a Strength-based, [1]W attack.

Bob, though, is entirely correct. At level 11, you can retrain Dilletante into a Ranger power, but you do still need to pick up Archery Master. You can't get a Ranger power from PMCing Invoker.
My only comment is that you can't use Divine Bolts on Combat Challenge. Combat Challenge doesn't let you make a melee basic attack; it lets you make a Strength-based, [1]W attack.

Incorrect. Combat Challenge grants a MBA.

Bob, though, is entirely correct. At level 11, you can retrain Dilletante into a Ranger power, but you do still need to pick up Archery Master. You can't get a Ranger power from PMCing Invoker.

Versatile Master says that you can choose powers from any class at 11, 12, and 20 if Paragon Multiclassing. Paragon Multiclass allows him to switch one of his at wills with another, and in this case Rapid Shot was selected to replace one of the fighter at wills.

It's VERY debatable whether Divine Bolts actually works to give you two attacks on each creature in your Rapid Shot area.

TBH, Divine Bolts is a huge RAW mess, as multiple-target RBAs are outside of normal assumptions of what an RBA will be.
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.
Assuming this all works, kudos on hammering out a build based on the Rapid Shot/Divine Bolts premise. This seems like a very cool/interesting/annoying build to bring to an standalone session, due to the surprise factor. If you'd bring this to one of my home campaigns though, I'd adapt reeeally quickly as a DM to your build. Still, a fine piece of Char-Opping. 

You do have the wrong picture though: 

Show


Almost too bad the build doesn't use orbs.
It's VERY debatable whether Divine Bolts actually works to give you two attacks on each creature in your Rapid Shot area.

TBH, Divine Bolts is a huge RAW mess, as multiple-target RBAs are outside of normal assumptions of what an RBA will be.



TSI has pointed out the main sticking point.  An entirely valid RAW reading of Divine Bolts means that when granted an RBA against a target you fire a single bolt.  (As this hits all targets and is the maximum number you can fire at the specified target.)

I'd also query whether you need to hold your staff in two hands or not to get the benefit of Pinning Challenge.  I think you're probably fine RAW but it is an easy counter arguement.

That said, this is a lovely piece of TheoOp.  Eternal Seeker worth looking at as an alternative build?
Even if you can't multi-hit (which i don't think you can).  It should still be fairly functional, (and a bit more reasonable).

1) attack everyone and mark them.
2) next turn (or AP), hit and immobilize.

Also, with rapid shot, since you'll mark your own allies, even if you miss.

And it seems that "keep them close" would be a choice feat for this.  As would world serpent's grasp (with grounding shot)

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.

I also would hold to the effect of Rapid Shot as well - you make 1 RBA against each target - even if Divine Bolts can fire 2 RBAs, that doesn't change that effect.
Except Divine Bolts doesn't fire 2 RBAs, it's a single RBA with two attacks. Not that I'm agreeing with the idea of second shots leaving the binding box, or using it to attack mobs twice with the same attack, but I can't say for sure it doesn't work that way, so I'm keeping neutral on the rules here.

The idea, though, is wonderful.
Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.



A staff is a weapon whether you're holding it in one hand, holding it in two hands, balancing it on your head, or it's sitting on the ground.

Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.



A staff is a weapon whether you're holding it in one hand, holding it in two hands, balancing it on your head, or it's sitting on the ground.




Sorry, but that made me think of this...

It is a weapon in a box
It is a weapon with a fox
It is a weapon in a house
It is a weapon with a mouse
It is a weapon here or there
It is a weapon anywhere
Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.

A staff is a weapon whether you're holding it in one hand, holding it in two hands, balancing it on your head, or it's sitting on the ground.

True, but you are not wielding it as one.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.

A staff is a weapon whether you're holding it in one hand, holding it in two hands, balancing it on your head, or it's sitting on the ground.

True, but you are not wielding it as one.

Rapid shot doesn't require wielding.
Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.

A staff is a weapon whether you're holding it in one hand, holding it in two hands, balancing it on your head, or it's sitting on the ground.

True, but you are not wielding it as one.

Rapid shot doesn't require wielding.



You can't make an attack with a weapon you aren't wielding. Unless you hold the staff two-handed, you are not wielding it, therefore you are not making attacks with it as a weapon, only as an implement.
Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.

A staff is a weapon whether you're holding it in one hand, holding it in two hands, balancing it on your head, or it's sitting on the ground.

True, but you are not wielding it as one.

Rapid shot doesn't require wielding.



You can't make an attack with a weapon you aren't wielding. Unless you hold the staff two-handed, you are not wielding it, therefore you are not making attacks with it as a weapon, only as an implement.



You can't make a weapon attack unless you wield a weapon correctly.  The staff is still a weapon whether you wield it one handed or two handed you just can't use it with a weapon attack without using two hands.  If a power requires that a weapon is involved but does not require it to be used as a weapon then a one handed staff is fine.
You can't make an attack with a weapon you aren't wielding. Unless you hold the staff two-handed, you are not wielding it, therefore you are not making attacks with it as a weapon, only as an implement.

Explicitly not true, via the Weapliment rules. You can't make a weapon attack without wielding it, but this is not a weapon attack, it is an attack using a weapon, which works fine.
Assuming this all works, kudos on hammering out a build based on the Rapid Shot/Divine Bolts premise. This seems like a very cool/interesting/annoying build to bring to an standalone session, due to the surprise factor. If you'd bring this to one of my home campaigns though, I'd adapt reeeally quickly as a DM to your build. Still, a fine piece of Char-Opping.

You do have the wrong picture though:

Nice picture!  I'm thinking of replacing mine with your find (in deference to THE one and only true "Master of Lightning") and make mine an sblock footnote. Otoh, I never played FF7, but Sephiroth's masamune longsword is as long as any quarterstaff I've ever seen.  And the lightning white streaks of hair makes the cosplay depiction I found kind of look like a feylord (not to mention elves and half-elves alike are sometimes portrayed with softer features then humans...).  But I digress.

Re: home campaigns, I can definitely see where spoiling the DM's fun can be detrimental to the campaign.  In a dedicated campaign I might be more inclined to pursue a staff of ruin and shield of deflection build.  This helps protect Tesla and boosts damage, but still allows the DM to do fun stuff with teleport (admittedly often to the party's detriment) but doesn't steer the DM towards more extreme options (like focusing on super long range AoE bombarders or At-Will dominators...of course balanced party composition should be prepared for even those types of enemies however rare).

At high levels one of Tesla's strengths is his high defenses.  Against opponents he marked, Lvl 30 defenses are AC 47, Fort 51, Ref 46, Will 50.  Marked opponents attacking Tesla with melee attacks need to hit AC 49, Fort 53, Ref 48, Will 52.  And marked/immobilized opponents attacking Tesla from more than 5 squares away using ranged attacks need to hit AC 53, Fort 57, Ref 52, and Will 56.  Opponents generally want to get closer to Tesla to have a better (or any) chance to hit him, but Tesla can strive to keep the most dangerous opponents a safe(r) distance away from him via At-Will immobilization.


Also, with rapid shot, since you'll mark your own allies, even if you miss.

With Combat Challenge, you can choose to not mark targeted allies (or even foes).  An important distinction imo.


Eternal Seeker worth looking at as an alternative build?

Eternal Seeker definitely grants flexibility and makes for a decent alternate ED.  However Divine Bolts would lose accuracy (-2 to hit each) so Tesla's main schtick would suffer.  And Tesla already has some pretty good Wisdom-based powers enabled by the Templar theme, Versatile Master, and Invoker PMC, so I'm not sure it's worth it.


And it seems that "keep them close" would be a choice feat for this.  As would world serpent's grasp (with grounding shot)

Keep Them Close would be great if it didn't require replacing the Templar theme.  Although with an Eternal Seeker epic destiny alternate build this could be a (much) later option.  The rules allow you to change themes, but it would be tricky.

World Serpent's Grasp and Grounding Shot are good picks for party members.  But the feat cost is rather steep for Tesla.  Any thoughts on what you might replace/tweak?

In any case, appreciate everyone's feedback!  Any more comments/suggestions?
Also, with rapid shot, since you'll mark your own allies, even if you miss.

With Combat Challenge, you can choose to not mark targeted allies (or even foes).  An important distinction imo.

It does mean that you can knock enemies marks off your allies though.  Which is a really rare trick to be able to pull off.

Also, with rapid shot, since you'll mark your own allies, even if you miss.

With Combat Challenge, you can choose to not mark targeted allies (or even foes).  An important distinction imo.

It does mean that you can knock enemies marks off your allies though.  Which is a really rare trick to be able to pull off.




So they can be penalized to attack targets other than you?
You can't make an attack with a weapon you aren't wielding. Unless you hold the staff two-handed, you are not wielding it, therefore you are not making attacks with it as a weapon, only as an implement.

Explicitly not true, via the Weapliment rules. You can't make a weapon attack without wielding it, but this is not a weapon attack, it is an attack using a weapon, which works fine.



That's incorrect.

Read the implement section for implements that can also be used as weapons.

"When an adventurer wields such an implement as a weapon, follow the normal rules for using a weapon."

Feats that rely on something being a weapon use the normal rules for using a weapon. So if you can't use the normal rules, the feats don't work.
So they can be penalized to attack targets other than you?


I don't think I thought that one through particularly well.
That's incorrect.

Read the implement section for implements that can also be used as weapons.

"When an adventurer wields such an implement as a weapon, follow the normal rules for using a weapon."

Feats that rely on something being a weapon use the normal rules for using a weapon. So if you can't use the normal rules, the feats don't work.

No, it isn't. It says if you're wielding it as a weapon, follow the weapon rules. It also says it is still a weapon. Exact same reason original Weapon Focus worked on Weapliments.
You can't make an attack with a weapon you aren't wielding. Unless you hold the staff two-handed, you are not wielding it, therefore you are not making attacks with it as a weapon, only as an implement.

Explicitly not true, via the Weapliment rules. You can't make a weapon attack without wielding it, but this is not a weapon attack, it is an attack using a weapon, which works fine.



That's incorrect.

Read the implement section for implements that can also be used as weapons.

"When an adventurer wields such an implement as a weapon, follow the normal rules for using a weapon."

Feats that rely on something being a weapon use the normal rules for using a weapon. So if you can't use the normal rules, the feats don't work.



You are using that sentence ioncorrectly.  That sentense is referencing using an implement as a weapon, which you are correct about (staff being used as a quarterstaff).  What is being questioned is the opposite which is using a weapon as an implement (quarter staff being used as a staff) which means you use it using the implement rules not the weapon rules.  Despite this it is still a weapon you just can't use it as a weapon, fortunately the power does not require a weapon to be used as a weapon it just requires that you use a weapon in the power (whether that be as a weapon or a weapon as an implement).

That's incorrect.

Read the implement section for implements that can also be used as weapons.

"When an adventurer wields such an implement as a weapon, follow the normal rules for using a weapon."

Feats that rely on something being a weapon use the normal rules for using a weapon. So if you can't use the normal rules, the feats don't work.

No, it isn't. It says if you're wielding it as a weapon, follow the weapon rules. It also says it is still a weapon. Exact same reason original Weapon Focus worked on Weapliments.



Page 275 of RC says no such thing. It says "a few, such as staffs, are expressly usable as both implements and weapons." - that's the closest thing I could find to your statement of 'it is still a weapon'

They don't mean the same thing. The next sentence makes that clear of when an implement can be also be considered a weapon at the same time, "When an adventurer wields such an implement as a weapon, follow the normal rules for using a weapon."


But he isn't wielding it as a weapon. He is holding a weapon as an implement. Still a weapon. It doesn't matter where it is, it is still a weapon. If I sheathe a longsword it is still a weapon.

Again, excat same reason original Weapon Focus worked. And we know that worked because of Word of God.
You can't make an attack with a weapon you aren't wielding. Unless you hold the staff two-handed, you are not wielding it, therefore you are not making attacks with it as a weapon, only as an implement.

Explicitly not true, via the Weapliment rules. You can't make a weapon attack without wielding it, but this is not a weapon attack, it is an attack using a weapon, which works fine.



That's incorrect.

Read the implement section for implements that can also be used as weapons.

"When an adventurer wields such an implement as a weapon, follow the normal rules for using a weapon."

Feats that rely on something being a weapon use the normal rules for using a weapon. So if you can't use the normal rules, the feats don't work.



You are using that sentence ioncorrectly.  That sentense is referencing using an implement as a weapon, which you are correct about (staff being used as a quarterstaff).  What is being questioned is the opposite which is using a weapon as an implement (quarter staff being used as a staff) which means you use it using the implement rules not the weapon rules.  Despite this it is still a weapon you just can't use it as a weapon, fortunately the power does not require a weapon to be used as a weapon it just requires that you use a weapon in the power (whether that be as a weapon or a weapon as an implement).




That doesn't work either. It doesn't state that it is still a weapon or treated as a weapon for any purpose. It states that, "It works like a normal implement."

Normal implements are not weapons...
Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.



This can not be true MwaO. How are you supposed to hit a target more than 5 ft away if you're holding the quartstaff in both hands?

"Staff Expertise
Benefit: You gain a +1 feat bonus ... When you make a melee weapon attack with a staff, the weapon’s reach for that attack increases by 1."
That doesn't work either. It doesn't state that it is still a weapon or treated as a weapon for any purpose. It states that, "It works like a normal implement."

Normal implements are not weapons...


Not quite, MWaO - see working like something =/= being something. As stated before, a sword is always a weapon, whether it is wielded in one hand or two, sheathed, laying on the ground, stuck in a stone, or lost at the bottom of a lake. In all cases, no matter what it is treated as, wielded as, or anything of that sort, it maintains a state of being which is 'a weapon'. The same applies to staffs and quarterstaves, songbows, pact hammers, etc.; any 'weapliment' has a state of being which defines it as two things - a weapon and an implement. No matter how it is being wielded or not wielded, it always maintains a state of being both of those things.
Staffs are only weapons when they can be used as weapons. If you're holding it in one hand, it isn't a weapon, it is only an implement and it is definitely not a two-handed weapon at that point.



A staff is a weapon whether you're holding it in one hand, holding it in two hands, balancing it on your head, or it's sitting on the ground.




Sorry, but that made me think of this...

It is a weapon in a box
It is a weapon with a fox
It is a weapon in a house
It is a weapon with a mouse
It is a weapon here or there
It is a weapon anywhere



I am awaken_D_M_golem , and my kitty avatar approves of this message.


Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

But he isn't wielding it as a weapon. He is holding a weapon as an implement. Still a weapon. It doesn't matter where it is, it is still a weapon. If I sheathe a longsword it is still a weapon.



Except when the rules describe differently...

The rules don't state that it is treated as being a weapon. The rules state that it is treated as being "like a normal implement." - if they did not mean 'normal implement' they would have just said 'implement'

Normal implements are not treated as being weapons though they can be used as weapons with specific exceptions. Such as a staff. That's part of being a normal implement. There's no need to describe that it is not a weapon because it has been described as being an implement. Because it is also a weapon for other purposes(just not for being used as an implement when only held), it can be wielded and that has certain other options.

At the point when someone decides to wield a weapon and use it as an implement at the same time, at that point, we go to the implements as weapons part to find out what happens. And at that point and that point only can it be treated as a weapon for pinning challenge and as an implement for divine bolts.
That doesn't work either. It doesn't state that it is still a weapon or treated as a weapon for any purpose. It states that, "It works like a normal implement."

Normal implements are not weapons...


Not quite, MWaO - see working like something =/= being something. As stated before, a sword is always a weapon, whether it is wielded in one hand or two, sheathed, laying on the ground, stuck in a stone, or lost at the bottom of a lake. In all cases, no matter what it is treated as, wielded as, or anything of that sort, it maintains a state of being which is 'a weapon'. The same applies to staffs and quarterstaves, songbows, pact hammers, etc.; any 'weapliment' has a state of being which defines it as two things - a weapon and an implement. No matter how it is being wielded or not wielded, it always maintains a state of being both of those things.



From a real-world logic PoV, what you say makes perfect sense. Game-world logic runs a little bit differently.

The implement rules expressly state otherwise in no uncertain terms - when you're wielding a staff, you use the normal weapon rules. i.e. when you're not wielding a staff, you don't.

So even if real-world logic would say that a staff which is always a quarterstaff which is always a weapon is always a weapon...game-world logic says that there is a specific set of circumstances where it is considered being a normal weapon and those circumstances are when it is being wielded.
No. Just no. A weapon is always a weapon and the rules do not say otherwise. All the say is that while using a Weapon as an implement it follows normal Implement rules (only has to be held, so 1h is fine, applies to implement powers, and etc.,). Nowhere does it say it stops being a Weapon and that text would need to explicitly exist because it is in contradiction to the whole fundamental principal of 4e that things only do what they say they do. Like weapons saying they are weapons and being weapons.

Which is, again, why original Weapon Focus worked for Implement powers when wielding a Weapliment. You might have some sort of credible argument that there are two possible readings (I don't think you do, but let us just say you do for argument's sake): we've been told your reading is the wrong one. Done. No possible debate left.
I'd love to know that also... also how he got a shaman utility and a warlord encounter power via paragon MC.  Is this some weird behavior of the character builder or are Bob and I missing something?


Versatile Master. It does more than just make Dilletante at-will: it allows you to pick your "Paragon Path" powers from any class. It actually makes the option halfway feasible.

All in all, I really admire this build. It's excellent lateral thinking; you just need to find a party that doesn't mind building itself around another PC. Which is another story altogether.

My only comment is that you can't use Divine Bolts on Combat Challenge. Combat Challenge doesn't let you make a melee basic attack; it lets you make a Strength-based, [1]W attack.

Bob, though, is entirely correct. At level 11, you can retrain Dilletante into a Ranger power, but you do still need to pick up Archery Master. You can't get a Ranger power from PMCing Invoker.

I love the concept of this build, however, I disagree that you are able to retrain either a fighter at-will attack power or the Dilettante power to Rapid Shot.  Rapid Shot is not a level 1 attack power and is therefore not eligle for selection via PMC for the same reason that a power such as Divine Challenge, for example, is not eligle for selection.  You have to swap apples for apples and that is just not the case in this situation.  The level of the power matters and has to be the same.  If not, what's to stop you from selecting a higher than first level psionic at-will attack power via PMC or Dilettante?
I love the concept of this build, however, I disagree that you are able to retrain either a fighter at-will attack power or the Dilettante power to Rapid Shot.  Rapid Shot is not a level 1 attack power and is therefore not eligle for selection via PMC for the same reason that a power such as Divine Challenge, for example, is not eligle for selection.  You have to swap apples for apples and that is just not the case in this situation.  The level of the power matters and has to be the same.  If not, what's to stop you from selecting a higher than first level psionic at-will attack power via PMC or Dilettante?

The Paragon Multiclassing section of PHB (p 209) states the following: "At 11th level, you can choose to replace one of your at-will powers with an at-will power from your second class." This section has never received errata. After updates the half-elf's 'Dilettante' racial trait was revised to state, "At 1st level, you can choose a 1st-level at-will attack power from a class different than yours. You can use that power as an encounter power." After updates the human's 'Bonus At-Will Power' racial trait was revised to state, "You know an extra 1st-level at-will attack power from your class."  The revised racial traits received the highlighted update verbage over three years ago, iirc.

In response to your question, Dilettante requires you to swap "apples for apples" and Rapid Shot is not an eligible swap option. The rules for Paragon Multiclassing otoh do not carry the same power type and level stipulations as 'Dilettante' nor 'Bonus At-Will Power' racial traits, but remain HIGH feat and lost paragon path opportunity cost (four feats to get an at-will power swap from the class you are entering; or from any class if you spend a fifth feat as a half-elf for Versatile Master).  All the lvl 11 PMC swap feature requires is a power with the At-Will usage type to be replaced with another power with the At-Will usage type (from your 'second class,' or any class in conjunction with Versatile Master).  Per RAW, Rapid Shot is an At-Will power and thus eligible to pick up via the level 11 PMC At-Will power swap.  Via paragon multiclassing you could similary swap a level 1 At-Will power (for example) for a higher level psionic power.  Unless PHB receives additional errata restricting PMC power swap rules, these are legal (albeit very 'expensive') swap options.
I agree with you that PMC on page 209 of the PHB says that you can "replace one of your at-will powers with an at-will power from your second class."  By RAW, it would seem that PMC allows you to do exactly what you say it does.

However, RAI and the character builder say that the only thing PMC allows you to do is to trade a first level at-will attack power from your class for a first level at-will attack power from another class.  You cannot select a higher level at-will attack power (e.g. Lightning Rush), a "non-attack" at-will power (e.g. Lay on Hands), nor a "non-level" at-will attack power (e.g. Rapid Shot).  You also cannot trade anything but one of your own first level at-will attack powers for the new power.  For instance, If you were a Paladin who chose the PMC route for another class' at-will power, you could not trade Divine Challenge instead instead of Enfeebling Strike to gain Divine Bolts.

Again, it has to be apples to apples and the first apple must be one of your first level at-will attack powers.

Also, I agree with you that PMC requires a "HIGH feat and lost paragon path opportunity" which is why most people believe it is not worth the investment.  However, just because it is expensive doesn't mean that it allows you to do anything except trade one first level at-will attack power of your class for one first level at-will attack power of another class.  It just means that usually it is not a good idea.

Let me conclude by saying again that I think this is a great idea and a clever build.  It's just that we disagree whether it is "legal" to select anything but a first level at-will attack power for PMC.

P.S. Maybe someone cleverer than I could do a search for cust serv's response on this because I am sure it has been addressed before.