A little problem with Strengh and my Swordmage ;)

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Hi,

I'm a little (much) upset about Assault Swordmages and his secondary ability (strengh), i navegate through Character Builder and Compendium for a time searching one or two reasons to take a decent Strengh and i haven't found anything.

In Swordmages'world the Strengh vs Constitution comparation is a pathetic joke, while Constitution affect good at-will powers, your healing surges, your hit-points, etc strengh only affect your MBA (and we have Intelligent Blademaster...), Athletics skill (a important one), heavy blade feats (impossible to optimize because their DEX req.), and a few acceptable encounter powers.

Can you advice for me a good build for a assault swordmage that use a high str?

Thank you

Hybrid with barbarian.
Hybrid with barbarian.



+1. Barbarian|Swordmage works out very nicely, particularly as Barbarian Armored Agility is basically better than Swordmage Warding anyway in terms of Hybrid feats. Hide+1+Int should equal 18 with a 2-handed weapon. Leather+1+Int = 17 with a two-hander, 19 with a one-handed weapon.
I will prove it in a few minutes, a valuable advice, thank you.

Likewise Wizards should arrenge this disaster, with some feats or some good powers (with str), it's easy.

The thing is, if you build for those encounter powers that use STR they turn into some pretty hot stuff.
You are correct in saying that the ASM needs much better power support at high levels. Many shieldmage powers should actually be ASM based.
Hi,

The swordmage | barbarian is a viable pc, have you tried a swordmage | fighter or a swordmage | warlord? The swordmage | wizard is a good idea but my hp, my defenses are low.

Thanks!



Swordmage|Fighter can survive on the basis of having good power selection but really has nothing else going for it. The defending styles don't mesh.



They're actually pretty good at meshing. Aegis is a mark and Swordmage has a burst at-will. Go up to a set of two targets in burst 1 formation, Aegis one, use a single target Fighter power on the other. Now they're both subject to combat challenge. At 11th, one can do Come And Get It, AP for Swordburst and on the next round, Swordburst again, then aegis 2 survivors, who are set up to be Swordburst'd again.

If your Defender can repeatedly attack 2+ targets in a burst and/or trigger CC, they're going to end up doing a lot of distributed damage.
Well, it's ridiculous the swordmage|cleric's AC... 22 at lvl 1, the only problem in this build is the HP, but all the rest is "almost" perfect.

I will post it and wait for a wise critics

Thanks
Are you not taking Auspicious Birth / Born Under a Bad Sign for your background? There is rarely a good reason not to. The exceptions being when your Con is already a primary (or /maybe/ a close secondary), you need a martial proficiency to make your build work, or some corner case skill optimizations.
Are you not taking Auspicious Birth / Born Under a Bad Sign for your background? There is rarely a good reason not to. The exceptions being when your Con is already a primary (or /maybe/ a close secondary), you need a martial proficiency to make your build work, or some corner case skill optimizations.



Or when you take Thay or Impilitur.
I like to select a fair number of powers before committing to a secondary stat. Then I'll look at those powers for riders and weigh them against other concerns such as initiative, hit points, prerequisites for planned feats, skills, etc.

I don't really care what WotC says the secondary stat should be in the class/build description, because they are occasionally wrong in general and frequently wrong in specific. For example: a Cunning Bard is Int-secondary, but a Charm specialist Cunning Bard has little use for Int outside of rituals and skills - so probably would do better to be Dex-secondary for initiative and skills (and maybe AC in some cases), or Con-secondary for HP and skills.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I like to select a fair number of powers before committing to a secondary stat. Then I'll look at those powers for riders and weigh them against other concerns such as initiative, hit points, prerequisites for planned feats, skills, etc.

I don't really care what WotC says the secondary stat should be in the class/build description, because they are occasionally wrong in general and frequently wrong in specific. For example: a Cunning Bard is Int-secondary, but a Charm specialist Cunning Bard has little use for Int outside of rituals and skills - so probably would do better to be Dex-secondary for initiative and skills (and maybe AC in some cases), or Con-secondary for HP and skills.

You don't make your Charm Specialist Bards Resourceful Magicians and poach all the good Warlock/Wizard Charm spells which either require Int or have Int riders?
Perhaps he prefers Life Singer for its benefits on vs. Will attacks? It's not an implausible build direction for a charmer at all.
I like to select a fair number of powers before committing to a secondary stat. Then I'll look at those powers for riders and weigh them against other concerns such as initiative, hit points, prerequisites for planned feats, skills, etc.

I don't really care what WotC says the secondary stat should be in the class/build description, because they are occasionally wrong in general and frequently wrong in specific. For example: a Cunning Bard is Int-secondary, but a Charm specialist Cunning Bard has little use for Int outside of rituals and skills - so probably would do better to be Dex-secondary for initiative and skills (and maybe AC in some cases), or Con-secondary for HP and skills.



Yeah, but if you are right then there aren't relevant differences between one build or another, you can use the same stats for a Shielding Swordmage or an Assault Swordmage (in the last sm handbook the only one Assault build has much more CON than STR...) with the flaw that feats and riders for your build are based on different stat, that combined with a less effective powers (i don't remember a single lvl where a Assault SM power is better than a Shielding SM power) leave your PC in a very bad situation (in efficency terms).

I only say that are some build on some classes that are underpowered (and not used at all), while, for example, cleric has battlecleric powers (all very very good for a defender) or fighter has 17 standard lvl1 at-will there are another builds that need a little "refresh".

I post here my Assault Swordmage lvl 30 and my Hyb SM/Cleric lvl 30 (without optimize) for a little comparation, i never have a real interest in hybrid builds (i thought, and think, that a pure build has to be better than any hybrid build, but now there are OP build (i don't think about combos) with the Battlecleric Hybrid.


Thanks

 
Are you not taking Auspicious Birth / Born Under a Bad Sign for your background? There is rarely a good reason not to. The exceptions being when your Con is already a primary (or /maybe/ a close secondary), you need a martial proficiency to make your build work, or some corner case skill optimizations.



Or when you take Thay or Impilitur.




Or Arcane Student who saw too much...
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Sardis PROVA2 - Copy (1), level 30
Genasi, Swordmage/Cleric, Tactical Warpriest, Draconic Incarnation
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid) Option: Aegis of Assault
Hybrid Cleric Option: Battle Cleric's Lore
Hybrid Talent Option: Swordmage Warding
Ancient Resurgence Option: Intelligence
Ancient Resurgence Option: Strength
Elemental Manifestation Option: Stormsoul
Extra Manifestation Option: Causticsoul
Arcane Student Who Saw Too Much (Arcane Student Who Saw Too Much Benefit)
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 28, CON 14, DEX 12, INT 28, WIS 10, CHA 14
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 16, CON 12, DEX 10, INT 16, WIS 8, CHA 12
 
 
AC: 52 Fort: 46 Ref: 42 Will: 41
HP: 187 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 46
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +29, Athletics +29, History +29
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +16, Bluff +17, Diplomacy +17, Dungeoneering +15, Endurance +19, Heal +15, Insight +15, Intimidate +17, Nature +17, Perception +15, Religion +24, Stealth +16, Streetwise +17, Thievery +16
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Genasi Racial Power: Promise of Storm
Swordmage Feature: Aegis of Assault
Cleric Utility: Healing Word
Genasi Racial Power: Acid Surge
Swordmage Attack 1: Greenflame Blade
Cleric Attack 1: Righteous Brand
Cleric Utility 2: Shield of Faith
Swordmage Utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Swordmage Utility 10: Impenetrable Warding
Tactical Warpriest Attack 11: Battle Cry
Tactical Warpriest Utility 12: Battle Favor
Cleric Utility 16: Divine Armor
Cleric Attack 17: Divine Phalanx
Cleric Attack 19: Holy Wrath
Tactical Warpriest Attack 20: Battle Pyres
Swordmage Utility 22: Giant's Might
Swordmage Attack 23: Meteor Strike
Wizard Attack 25: Summon Marilith
Swordmage Attack 25: Quicksilver Blade
Cleric Attack 25: Righteous Might
Draconic Incarnation Attack 26: Draconic Form
Swordmage Attack 27: Maelstrom Blade
Cleric Attack 29: Ravage
 
FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Versatile Resistance
Level 6: Heavy Blade Expertise
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 10: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 12: Shocking Flame
Level 14: Vigorous Assault
Level 16: Vexing Flanker
Level 18: Toughness
Level 20: Extra Manifestation
Level 21: Rapid Aegis Reaction
Level 21: Total Aegis
Level 22: Double Manifestation
Level 22: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 24: Strength Through Challenge
Level 26: Epic Fortitude
Level 28: Swordmage Implement Expertise
Level 30: Epic Will
 
ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit
Fortification Scale Armor +6 x1
Cloak of the Phoenix +6 x1
Blade of the Eldritch Knight Bastard sword +6 x1
====== End ======

It'snt a optimized build. I have a question: can i mark with Warpriest's Challenge every turn to the same target?

PD: Righteous Might + Giant's Might? It's an absurd combo... they do the same but stack in every point.


Not optimized he says....

The only things I'd change is to steal a point from CON, dump CHA, add all that to WIS. 15 in Epic lets you take Superior Will. Dump Epic Fort and Vigorous Assault for Battle Awareness and Elemental Warrior to recharge PoS on crit.

This is damn close to my Boomstick build(that I'll get around to posting someday) 
It's a good build, and warpriest is, well, excellent for any str defender, the only drawback is in flavour XDD (inicially i searched a swordmage PP).
Any MC option other than Fighter (i'm now searching fighter options in Compendium )

THanks!

I like to select a fair number of powers before committing to a secondary stat. Then I'll look at those powers for riders and weigh them against other concerns such as initiative, hit points, prerequisites for planned feats, skills, etc.

I don't really care what WotC says the secondary stat should be in the class/build description, because they are occasionally wrong in general and frequently wrong in specific. For example: a Cunning Bard is Int-secondary, but a Charm specialist Cunning Bard has little use for Int outside of rituals and skills - so probably would do better to be Dex-secondary for initiative and skills (and maybe AC in some cases), or Con-secondary for HP and skills.



Yeah, but if you are right then there aren't relevant differences between one build or another

Excuse me?

I didn't say the secondary stat doesn't matter. I also didn't say that I avoid the stat WotC recommends. I said that I don't care what WotC says about the secondary stat.

On those occasions when their recommendation is right for my character, the odds are extremely good that I'll make the same choice on my own.

On those occasions when their recommendation is not right for my character, I'm probably better off with my own choice.

There is no case where I expect to be better off accepting their recommendation as opposed to choosing for myself (so long as I am not prejudiced against their recommendation).

But the choice of secondary stat DOES matter. There are differences between an Int-secondary Cunning Bard and a Dex-secondary Cunning Bard. Let alone between either of them and a Valorous Bard.

you can use the same stats for a Shielding Swordmage or an Assault Swordmage

Yes, you can. Presumably there are reasons it isn't a good idea (I've never built, let alone played, a swordmage), but I wouldn't make that choice unless it offered some other advantage to either the mechanical concept or the characterization. (And I care about characterization; it's why my implement Bard has a theme whose free level-1 power requires a weapon attack.)

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I only said that in the Swordmage context if you take an Assault Swordmage and invest in CON (that is is the best option) you finish the character creation taking, in essence, the same powers that a Shielding Swordmage (more or less).

In game terms Assault SM based in STR has better melee basic attacs, better STR skills and acces to one or two swordmage feats based in STR and, if you invest in DEX, to Heavy blade feats. This last is the only real advantatge that I can see (inclusive with the DEX invest, you can also take Improved Warding Shield (substitutive for Hide Armor)).

On the other hand if you go for CON Assault SM you have to take Intelligent Blademaster (but if you want 20 INT probably in STR based you need it too), have more HP and Surges, have better riders with better powers.

In the end the Assault SM STR build is not optimal, and only with "wierd" combinations it become better.

I agree with you in every point, i don't use the Wizards reqs. with all clases either, but in the SM, if you want to do "something" different than a CON build (with a non-hybrid build) is very very difficult, inclusive with the "feats and powers support" supposed to STR, and in terms of efficency almost every time you end with a suboptimal CON build (because all CON powers are shielding or ensaring).

Insist: i either use Wizards "advice" in some clases, but in SM case i don't know how made a STR Assault swordmage (without hybrids) competitive versus  CON Assault Swordmage (and not to talk about Shielding Swordmage).

Thanks
I only said that in the Swordmage context if you take an Assault Swordmage and invest in CON (that is is the best option) you finish the character creation taking, in essence, the same powers that a Shielding Swordmage (more or less).



Yes, so why are you Assault? In that case you have a lot of powers with riders that you cant use.


In game terms Assault SM based in STR has better melee basic attacs, better STR skills and acces to one or two swordmage feats based in STR and, if you invest in DEX, to Heavy blade feats. This last is the only real advantatge that I can see (inclusive with the DEX invest, you can also take Improved Warding Shield (substitutive for Hide Armor)).

On the other hand if you go for CON Assault SM you have to take Intelligent Blademaster (but if you want 20 INT probably in STR based you need it too), have more HP and Surges, have better riders with better powers.



Yes, The STR swordmage is in the same place the STR cleric/CONlock used to be. Most of the class powers use the other stat even those powers that are meant for your build.. Bad WotC.


In the end the Assault SM STR build is not optimal, and only with "wierd" combinations it become better.



It takes a lot, but there are good ASM powers, you just need to use every trick in the book to boost your damage output. 


I agree with you in every point, i don't use the Wizards reqs. with all clases either, but in the SM, if you want to do "something" different than a CON build (with a non-hybrid build) is very very difficult, inclusive with the "feats and powers support" supposed to STR, and in terms of efficency almost every time you end with a suboptimal CON build (because all CON powers are shielding or ensaring).

Insist: i either use Wizards "advice" in some clases, but in SM case i don't know how made a STR Assault swordmage (without hybrids) competitive versus  CON Assault Swordmage (and not to talk about Shielding Swordmage).

Thanks



A STR ASM is competitive with a CON ASM, its just not really competitive with an SSM without several build tricks. It can be done, and you posted a good example of it, its just that it truly is a "one-true way" option.
I only said that in the Swordmage context if you take an Assault Swordmage and invest in CON (that is is the best option) you finish the character creation taking, in essence, the same powers that a Shielding Swordmage (more or less).



Yes, so why are you Assault? In that case you have a lot of powers with riders that you cant use.




Because i like much more teleporting rear my enemy and stab it than reduce his attack to a harmless blow with an "invisible" shield XD


In game terms Assault SM based in STR has better melee basic attacs, better STR skills and acces to one or two swordmage feats based in STR and, if you invest in DEX, to Heavy blade feats. This last is the only real advantatge that I can see (inclusive with the DEX invest, you can also take Improved Warding Shield (substitutive for Hide Armor)).

On the other hand if you go for CON Assault SM you have to take Intelligent Blademaster (but if you want 20 INT probably in STR based you need it too), have more HP and Surges, have better riders with better powers.



Yes, The STR swordmage is in the same place the STR cleric/CONlock used to be. Most of the class powers use the other stat even those powers that are meant for your build.. Bad WotC.

Yeah, if only WotC stop to give options to their favorite classes and look around them they can upgrade the players experience without creating these difference between classes. It's wierd for me that i must go to hybrid str build to make a Assault SM competitive in my party. And i'm comment this about SM but i imagine that there are other classes in the same situation.


In the end the Assault SM STR build is not optimal, and only with "wierd" combinations it become better.



It takes a lot, but there are good ASM powers, you just need to use every trick in the book to boost your damage output.

Yeah, but take all damage boost leave your defensive power very reduced, and there aren't (logic) very good SM feats or powers (for example if the +3 to damage to MBA using Aegis escalate through tiers (+3/+6/+9) then you have a good option) than boost your damage output.



I agree with you in every point, i don't use the Wizards reqs. with all clases either, but in the SM, if you want to do "something" different than a CON build (with a non-hybrid build) is very very difficult, inclusive with the "feats and powers support" supposed to STR, and in terms of efficency almost every time you end with a suboptimal CON build (because all CON powers are shielding or ensaring).

Insist: i either use Wizards "advice" in some clases, but in SM case i don't know how made a STR Assault swordmage (without hybrids) competitive versus  CON Assault Swordmage (and not to talk about Shielding Swordmage).

Thanks



A STR ASM is competitive with a CON ASM, its just not really competitive with an SSM without several build tricks. It can be done, and you posted a good example of it, its just that it truly is a "one-true way" option.



Yeah, but (say me silly) i think that hybrid build has to be a bit worse than pure class, in exchange for versatility.

I belive (and don't hit me for it please ;) ) than if fighter has 17 at-wills all the classes must have 17 at-wills or in other words a class have 4 at-wills all the classes must have 4 at-wills (or five o six, but not four times).

Because i like much more teleporting rear my enemy and stab it than reduce his attack to a harmless blow with an "invisible" shield XD



Eh, Aegis is overrated for an ASM(Mostly because only the Shieldmage gets the riders that bump marks up to Aegis). Its astonishing how little an ASM actually tries to enforce his mark. From having to not be included in the attack, the attack actually hitting and wanting to move back to your Aegis target it just doesnt go off that much.


Yes, The STR swordmage is in the same place the STR cleric/CONlock used to be. Most of the class powers use the other stat even those powers that are meant for your build.. Bad WotC.



Yeah, if only WotC stop to give options to their favorite classes and look around them they can upgrade the players experience without creating these difference between classes. It's wierd for me that i must go to hybrid str build to make a Assault SM competitive in my party. And i'm comment this about SM but i imagine that there are other classes in the same situation.






Yeah, but take all damage boost leave your defensive power very reduced, and there aren't (logic) very good SM feats or powers (for example if the +3 to damage to MBA using Aegis escalate through tiers (+3/+6/+9) then you have a good option) than boost your damage output.



Heh, that might be a feat worth taking then...No, you wanna go with general damage boosters and all the item power ups you can find(shards, armbands, etc...)


A STR ASM is competitive with a CON ASM, its just not really competitive with an SSM without several build tricks. It can be done, and you posted a good example of it, its just that it truly is a "one-true way" option.



Yeah, but (say me silly) i think that hybrid build has to be a bit worse than pure class, in exchange for versatility.



Not if the two classes synergize well. ASM and STR cleric is a combo I hadnt really considered but it does look good and you can find good cleric powers in levels where SM powers are weak and vice versa.


I belive (and don't hit me for it please ;) ) than if fighter has 17 at-wills all the classes must have 17 at-wills or in other words a class have 4 at-wills all the classes must have 4 at-wills (or five o six, but not four times).



FTR has so many at-will because it has so many build options, but I agree that every 'build' of a class should have at least two at-wills that go with it. ASM has one at-will(Greenflame) built for it and is forced to poach cross-stat at-wills for its others(Swordburst and GF are two sides of the same coin). If Booming or Frigid where str/con it would be a huge boost to the ASM. 




FTR has so many at-will because it has so many build options, but I agree that every 'build' of a class should have at least two at-wills that go with it. ASM has one at-will(Greenflame) built for it and is forced to poach cross-stat at-wills for its others(Swordburst and GF are two sides of the same coin). If Booming or Frigid where str/con it would be a huge boost to the ASM. 





Yeah, and Greenflame... well, it's too rare to apply in good terms (when are you targeting a enemy with many enemys around?), and this type of powers repeat and repeat over the SM levels (like Acid Burst for example). If only Booming Blade use also STR (and not talking about Frigid) would be an acceptable improvement.



A STR ASM is competitive with a CON ASM, its just not really competitive with an SSM without several build tricks. It can be done, and you posted a good example of it, its just that it truly is a "one-true way" option.



Yep.  

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Sardis PROVA2 - Copy (1), level 30
Genasi, Swordmage/Cleric, Tactical Warpriest, Draconic Incarnation
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid) Option: Aegis of Assault
Hybrid Cleric Option: Battle Cleric's Lore
Hybrid Talent Option: Swordmage Warding
 
Level 10: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 18: Toughness
====== End ======



Why Bastard Sword? You really gain very little from the Bastard Sword proficiency over a Long Sword. I suppose you could use Battle Cleric's Lore to make up the warding difference and go to a Fullblade. Not taking Toughness until 18 is also waiting until after it is most useful.  
Yeah, agree with the toughness. (i didn't think too much on feat progresion, and this is a better way to do it, thanks).

About the fullblade (and with all my sorrow (i play since 2ed and in every edition i played two types of player: wizard or guy with a greatsword (or inclusive fullblade when it was a "special" blade of ogres)) now there aren't enough good twohanded weapon feat support (and sadly i belive that ever will be here) to exchange +1 to damage and high crit for +2 bonus to AC.

Elsewise what type of action have you to spend for take your bastard with two hands? (i don't know it, and if you can do it with a free...)

Thanks
It's a free action to grab it with two hands, but that action ends your +2 warding bonus for the round as you're wielding it two-handed. Bastard Sword really gives you next to nothing over a Long Sword except moving from a d8 to a d10, which is really paltry. You're not a multi-attacker and there's better uses for the feat.
Its cheesy, but....it takes a free action to hold with both hands. It is a free action to let go with a hand. Net result: double grip your weapon, attack with weapon, let go of weapon with one hand, keep your warding bonus during the enemies turn.
Its cheesy, but....it takes a free action to hold with both hands. It is a free action to let go with a hand. Net result: double grip your weapon, attack with weapon, let go of weapon with one hand, keep your warding bonus during the enemies turn.


Really not worth the feat, you gain +1.1 damage per w, which by paragon is less than nearly any other damage increasing feat.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
He asked how, so I let him know. But you are totally right. Its not optimal.

As a side note, I cannot recall if SM Warding requires you to hold or wield a weapon with one hand free. If its only hold, then you can do the same cheese with a two-hander.
Yes, this feat is a bad invest if i don't do many attacks (+0,5 over a longsword per hit or +1,5 if i take in two hands)).

Perhaps change it for Escalating Assault?

Its cheesy, but....it takes a free action to hold with both hands. It is a free action to let go with a hand. Net result: double grip your weapon, attack with weapon, let go of weapon with one hand, keep your warding bonus during the enemies turn.



This is where the debate lies. Some very liberal DMs will let some people get away with it but you are wielding the sword with two hands when you make attacks two-handed. I meet it half-way in that if you use an interrupt one-handed then your warding increases again. It's not a big deal either way except in forum debates. Smile

As for tricks, one is go Earthsoul and take Earthshock Master, base it on Dex (or lowest of attributes available), so you miss often and Elemental Echo. It's +1/+2 at Heroic but +1/+4 at Paragon and +1/+6 at Epic.
Yes, this feat is a bad invest if i don't do many attacks (+0,5 over a longsword per hit or +1,5 if i take in two hands)).

Perhaps change it for Escalating Assault?




Escalating Assault is an even worse investment. It does absolutely nothing until the second time you use your Aegis in an encounter. Unless you can guarantee that every encounter is going to 3+ rounds, you can Aegis multiple targets in round 1(Not a chance) AND your DM is going to violate 4-5 times an encounter(laughable) youre better off with Bastard Sword. Its not GREAT feat selection, but its top-tier in the sorry group you can choose from.
It's a free action to grab it with two hands, but that action ends your +2 warding bonus for the round as you're wielding it two-handed. Bastard Sword really gives you next to nothing over a Long Sword except moving from a d8 to a d10, which is really paltry. You're not a multi-attacker and there's better uses for the feat.

There is no reason to think that. Warding says when you're wielding a blade in 1h and nothing in the other you have +3. It is a free action to shift grip. It doesn't say "When you're wielding a blade in 1h for your whole turn you get a +3.." that'd be bizarre. It isn't a matter of having a liberal DM so much as a DM who plays by the rules (as in, say, sanctioned play).
There is no reason to think that. Warding says when you're wielding a blade in 1h and nothing in the other you have +3. It is a free action to shift grip. It doesn't say "When you're wielding a blade in 1h for your whole turn you get a +3.." that'd be bizarre. It isn't a matter of having a liberal DM so much as a DM who plays by the rules (as in, say, sanctioned play).



"Weilding" is and has always been an undefined term. Defining it as "used to attack" is entirely within the realm of a sanctioned play DMs purview.
Wielding is not explicitely defined, no. But it isn't hard to figure out the RAI of wielding that is RAW compliant.

Defining wielding as actively making an attack is all sorts of nonfunctional. By that definition, if you aren't attacking /right now/, then you aren't weilding the weapon. Period. So SM is only functional while you attack. But let us pretend that isn't an issue. Let's just assume it means you had to attack with it sometime during your turn or over the past round or something. This would still mean that if the SM didn't get to make an attack for some reason (let's say he saved the day by granting a dying ally a heal check), then warding is just gone. So no, that is definitely not RAI.

If we assume it means just holding the weapon, then we get rogues attacking with essentially +4 d8 weapons. Since WoTC specifically mentioned that was also not intended, it is safe to assume that isn't RAI either.

That only really leaves the following contextual interpretation. Wielding in the general sense just means you have the weapon at the ready and are able to attack with it at the moment, with a specific clause that if making an attack that it only counts as wielding it if specifically attacking with that weapon during the attack.
LoL, your justification is completely off. For example, there's no written rule that a heal check takes two hands, one hand, no hands, one foot or signing a drinking song. Heck, healing happens in a Burst 5/10/15 by either arcane, divine, psionic or even as inspirational/encouraging words. Your heal check analogy doesn't hold water.

Warding is described as maintaining your "extra" magical shielding with your otherwise free hand. In other words you cast a basic magical ward (+1) that can be stregnthened by using your off-hand to create a greater "shield". The +1 bonus and primary AC stat offsets the use of heavy armor.  Notice the bonus to off-hand maintaining is also the same bonus as using a heavy shield. Consistency. For a +1 bonus to AC you can feat to Hide, just like a Scale-wearing defender can feat to Plate. Again, consistency. Using a two-handed weapon is akin to a Great Weapon Fighter vs. a one-handed weapon and warding roughly equivalent to a Sword & Board fighter. The Sword & Board fighter doesn't let go of his Heavy Shield to grab his weapon two-handed, so again, on the basis of consistency, why would a swordmage's warding work differently?

You interrupted the "extra" warding to grab the weapon with two hands.

Also, if you're making "all" your on-turn attacks two-handed, logically it means you're wielding it two-handed.

It would probably be better if Swordmage Warding was listed as a Standard Action to cast/improve but going by what we have the whole grabbing with two hands bit seems justlike trying rules shenanigans.

And again, at the end of the day, +1 damage really isn't a big deal, especialy regarding the swordmage class.
See my original post: it is a cheesy use.

The justification is /not/ off. By defining wielding as attacking, then the bonus from warding that requires you to wield a weapon in one hand cannot occur if the SM is not attacking.

I used a random skill check to point out a justifiable reason the SM might not attack during their turn, which would mean their bonus goes away. In a stricter sense, as I already pointed out, that defintion would mean the SM only gets the bonus during an attack and at no other time. That is absurd.
Which again is off. The warding is maintained and consistent by having the off-hand maintained and consistently free, kind of like holding a shield if you're a sword & board fighter. You don't stop using your shield while you're attacking, it's there so long as it's in your off-hand slot. 

This means is continually occupies your off-hand slot in order to be used. You can take off your shield and then grab your weapon two-handed, but then you have to put your shield back on in order to use it again. This constitutes more than "just grabbing it", they're strapped on. For consistency, warding would work the same way (intended). The warding bonus doesn't just happen, it needs to be actuivated by "casting" the additional shielding power. Think of it as conjuring a magic shield. For clarification it should be listed as an action, but as it's not, this is what we have to go on.
You obviously don't know how Swordmage Warding works, so let us review it:

Swordmage Warding
While you are conscious and wielding either a light blade or a heavy blade, you maintain a magical force around you. This field provides a +1 to AC, or a +3 bonus if you are wielding a blade in one hand and have your other hand free (not carrying a shield, an off-hand weapon, a two-handed weapon, or anything else).

Bold emphasis mine. Now, as you can see, the bonus is not always there because you have a hand free. It is there because you are wield a light blade or heavy blade. IF you happen to have one hand free while doing so, the bonus gets a bump. If we define wielding as making an attack, though, then when the SM is not making an attack, there is no bonus AT ALL.

Please note, it is a different mechanic than a sword and board fighter from top to bottom. It is contingent on a weapon, not a dedicated shield hand. It doesn't provide a shield bonus. Etc. I can only assume it lacks such consistency since, being a different class and mechanic, WoTC thought it both redundant and boring to homogenize all the classes and their elements.

Also note, the AC bump only requires the off hand to be free. So items that keep that hand free should technically be usable with it (light shields, wrist razors, axe gauntlets, and versatile weapon hand switching shenanigans).