Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook

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Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook


I am capable of manipulating matter on a subatomic level by speaking. A mere flick of my finger is sufficient to alter the gravitational pull of the planet. I shelve physics texts under "fiction" in my personal library. I consider the Laws of Thermodynamics loose guidelines, at best. In short, I am grasping the reins of the universe's carriage, and every morning I wake up, look the heavens and shout "Giddy up, boy!" You may never grasp the complexities of what I do, but at least have the common courtesy to feign something other than slack-jawed oblivion in my presence. I, sir, am a wizard, and I break more natual laws before breakfast than of which you are even aware.

-Vaarsuvius, Order of the Stick. (with all due respect to Rich Burlew)


Guide nearly complete: To do: Items and Sample Builds. If you have a well built optimised Wizard Build, post it and suggest it for inclusion.

So, why would you want to be a Wizard?


The archetypal spell caster: The Wizard is the original iconic magic-using character build. Not only that, but it can fill a huge number of thematic or flavourful character designs; the Blaster, the Enchanter, the Pyromancer, the Illusionist, the Necromancer, the Archmage, all are available to a Wizard with the right build elements.

Huge range of options: Being such an iconic class, the Wizard has among the largest and most varied support in all of 4e. This allows you to play many builds, but also allows for more eccentric choices. Want to be a Dwarven Wizard? A Thri-kreen? A Goliath? It can probably be made to work.

Versatility is your strength: Between the Spellbook, huge range of utilities and brilliant power selection, a Wizard can be prepared for near any situation and have an option up his or her sleeve for it.


This handbook uses the following rating system:

Red: Do not take this. Either truely bad, or there is something else doing the same job much better.
Purple: Either somewhat outclassed, has some weakness, or only good situationally (Which will be explained in its rating).
Black: You could do worse, but you could also do better. Middle of the road stuff.
Blue: Good choices. Ones that should be considered, or have good reasons for their use.
Sky Blue: Cream of the crop. Always strong options, and ones you probably need a reason for not taking.
Gold: A rarely used rating. Mandatory element, or a 'tax' on your character.
Green: Something not easily compared to others, or of a different kind of useful. A lot of non-combat options fall here.

(NB: These shades were chosen to suit my highly photosensitive eyes. Please let me know if you have a problem with them.)

This handbook uses the following sources:


AP - Arcane Power
AV
- Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 -
Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX -
Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DMA  2009 -
Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
DP -
Divine Power
DSCS -
Dark Sun Campaign Setting
Du XXX
- Dungeon Magazine, issue XXX
ECG -
Eberron Campaign Guide
FRPG -
Forgotten  Realms Player's Guide
HoFL -
Heroes of Fallen Lands
HoFK -
Heroes of Forgotten Kingdoms
HoFW - Heroes of the Feywild
HoEC - Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
MM - Monster Manual
MM 2 -
Monster  Manual 2
MOTP -
Manual of the Planes
MP -
Martial Power
MP2
- Martial Power 2
NWCS - Neverwinter Campaign Setting
PHB - Player's  Handbook
PHB 2 -
Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3  -
Player's Handbook 3
PHR D -
Player's  Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHR T -
Player's Handbook Races: Tiefling
PHH 1 -
Player's Handbook  Heroes: Series 1
PHH 2 -
Player's Handbook Heroes:  Series 2
PrP -
Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power


Please note that I do not plan to include the BoVD, due to the nature of its content and its illegality in LFR. If there are any truely standout options in that book, I may consider them.


A Handy Little Glossary:

AoE: area of effect, a spell that covers more than one square, usually a burst or a blast
AIP: The Arcane Implement Proficiency feat.
BA: Basic Attack (ranged or melee).
BBEG: Big Bad Evil Guy, the "boss fight".
Blaster: A build that values damage more than pure control.
Buff/Debuff: Empower an ally/weaken an enemy for example by affecting their chance to hit.
CA: Combat Advantage.
DIS: The Dual Implement Spellcaster feat.
DPR: Damage per round, valuable for blaster builds, but less so otherwise.
Dumpstat: A stat that is not important for the character, and kept low.
ED: Epic Destiny.
Friendly: An area effect power that targets only enemies. This will usually improve the rating of a power.
Gish: A mix between a caster and a melee warrior. Often uses blast spells from the front line.
Imposer: Orb of Imposition user, and/or a character specialised in save penalties.
Kicker/Rider: An extra effect to a power, usually tied to a class feature.
MAD: Multiple Attribute Dependency.
MBA: Melee Basic Attack.
MC: Multiclass, often shortened with a slash (eg: "Wizard/Swordmage" ).
Nerf: A change in the feature that reduces its power.
Nova: When you unleash a great number of powers/damage in a little time.
OA: Opportunity Action/Attack.
PP: Paragon Path.
RBA: Ranged Basic Attack.
Unfriendly: an area effect that targets indiscriminately friends and enemies (creatures).



Special Thanks To:

Nausicaa: For her hard work on The Power of Knowledge, the handbook which forms the basis for this one, and for prodding me into doing this.
Zathris: For the name.
The guys and girls of ##4eCo: For their help, company, and keeping me amused.
Anyone who posts: For the obvious reason.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

Arcane Fundamentals: The Class and The Races


Your power source is Arcane, your role Controller. You are 4e's first controller, and considered by many to be its finest for a large selection of quality powers, wide range of usable implements and vast amount of support.

But from there? Well, firstly you can choose to be one of five sub-builds: The Arcanist (also known as O-Wizard or Classic Wizard, from PHB1 and AP), the Mage (First introduced in HoFL), the Sha'ir (From HoEC) the Witch (From HoFW) or the Bladesinger (From NWCS). Due to its vastly different build- and play-style, I will not be covering the Bladesinger in this handbook. Please refer to this thread instead for that build.

Sub-build choices:

Basic premise: The Arcanist and Mage are very similar, but with different features. The Arcanist leans towards choice of implements, while the Mage to choice of powers. Both are very strong options. The Witch, however, is not. You trade a lot of features for not a lot in return.

Arcanist:

The class features centre around implement choices, which can be a little confusing to someone building a character for the first time, as their strengths may not be immediately apparent. This build is probably the better if you want to go more for the 'Generalist' or 'Archmage' types - masters of all kinds of magic, not tied to a single school or class of spells. The Orb of Imposition makes it overall a better save-debuffer and 'imposer' than the Mage, and the Arcanist is better suited for building a 'Summoner' archetype as the Mage has no features that benefit those spells. If you regularly use Ritual Casting, or plan to, the Arcanist gets it for free, along with bonus rituals.

Mage:

The class features centre around your choice of spells, as the features enhance one particular school of magic. The better choice if you want to build an 'Enchanter', 'Illusionist', 'Pyromancer' etc - any build for which the Mage has a school to suit will benefit from it. My personal preference is for the Mage, especially the Enchanter, but that's for its playstyle differences. They're both very good builds. Not proficient in Tomes, and doesn't get Ritual Casting, but these are minor, and can be solved with feats.

Sha'ir:

Constitution secondary is decent, but the fact of the matter is that the class features aren't very good. The only high point is the ability to swap out dailies and utilities. Getting a Familiar for free is decent, but like with the Witch, the two major builds can take the feat and not lose good class features in the process. The resistance feature is awful, as it is a low amount, scales slowly, encourages clumping of PCs, and does nothing to alleviate the fragility of your familiar while encouraging you to keep it active. Only getting to pick the resistance on extended rests also weakens it overall, due to the reasonable odds of it being wasted. At least this build doesn't lock your first level encounter choise.

Witch:

To be perfectly frank, this is a bad build. You trade off the good features of the two major builds to get a Familiar (A feat the others can take, and can be of good benefit for them to do anyway), minor skill bonuses (Which the Mage gets more of) and your level 1 encounter spell locked into a mediocre choice. Augury can be useful or completely worthless depending on your DM and can be duplicated by several rituals. This build really doesn't offer anything that can't be achieved by taking that feat and reflavouring the other two. Flavour-wise, it also steps on the toes of the Warlock and Druid, both classes that can also be reflavoured into a decent 'Witch'. I do not recommend you choose this build.


Class Traits:

Hit Points: Standard Controller faire. Not brilliant, but at least Con-secondary builds like the Summoner, Pyromancer, Evoker and Staff of Defense will have a better deal.
Surges: Again, standard. See Hit Points.
Defense Bonus: Will is one of the nastier NADs to get hit in, especially as a ranged character. A bonus here will serve you well, especially for the Con-builds who won't have as high a score.
Weapon and Armour Proficiencies: You'd be bad at this, except you're rarely in melee, Staves can be better than you think, and being Int-primary does good things for your AC. You'll still need to boost it a bit, but it helps.
Implement Proficiencies: Now this, you're good at. You have nearly all the good implements, and the rest can easily be picked up through feats (AIP or Multiclassing)


Arcanist Class Features:

Cantrips: As useful as you make them be. Skill substitutions, a light source, convenient distractions, these can do a lot for you. According to the Class Compendium Errata, you aren't locked into the cantrips in PHB1, so pick whatever you feel will be of most use.

Spellbook: Knowing multiple spells is useful if you know what's coming and to switch out in advance, otherwise just keep your best spells memorised and improvise.

Ritual Casting: Again, as useful as you make it be. Can cause problems with the cost of some rituals (especially in LFR) although some DMs are willing to houserule around this. It is nice getting a feat for free, especially when you also get some rituals thrown into the bargain.

Arcane Implement Mastery: The reason you're here. The main and most powerful feature of the Arcanist, with several options, listed below:

Implement Mastery Choices:

Orb of Imposition: The save-debuffer's option. Keys off Wisdom, and requires a fair bit of investment to truely use, but is very powerful. Gets better at higher levels when your selection of nasty save-ends effects gets better. Errataed to only work on the first save since the PHB, but that can be all you need. It can also be used to extend the effect of an at-will, but this is probably not going to see use for that.

Orb of Deception: Keys off Charisma and benefits Illusion spells. If you're considering this, I would recommend the Illusionist Mage School instead, as its benefits effect every illusion spell you cast, rather than once per encounter, and being Will-targetting spells, they tend not to miss. It also can't help you in small or single-enemy fights with the targetting restriction.

Staff of Defense: A +1 untyped bonus to AC is always a good thing. A reasonable Con modifier will save you getting hit once per encounter or so, and Staves have good feat support. A solid choice, although does little for your offensive power besides keeping you alive long enough to use it (Not that that's a bad thing, mind you...).

Tome of Binding: Your summons do more damage. Probably the premier choice for a Summoner, but as summons are dailies, this does require you to be a bit higher level to see regular use. Keying off Con does increase your personal toughness though, and that of your summons, so not a bad choice.

Tome of Readiness: Extra versatility and not tying yourself to a particular stat really make this choice shine. Pretty much the idea of having a trick up your sleeve. A Con and Wis score of 13 to get the Improved version in Paragon is a good idea.

Wand of Accuracy: While it is an accuracy bonus, this choice has issues: Wands generally aren't as good as the other implements, Wizards tend to be fairly accurate anyway, and it keys off Dex, which is redundant with your high Int for AC and Reflex, and thus will hurt your other NADs, and you can get Initiative elsewhere too. Better for the Eladrin, who can use a Sword as a Wand and have the stat boosts for it, but generally speaking, stay away.


Mage Class Features

Cantrips: As useful as you make them be. Skill substitutions, a light source, convenient distractions, these can do a lot for you. Pick whichever you feel will be of most use to you, and be creative.

Magic Missile: Not a brilliant power, but it doesn't cost you a better at-will, and sometimes you do just need to pop a minion. Gift horse, mouth, you know the saying.

Spellbook: Like with the Arcanist, useful if you know what's coming, otherwise just stick to specific powers. A lot more useful if you take the Enigmatic Mage PP.

Master of Lore: +3 to all of the Knowledge skills. Very useful, especially for a freebie, and even better for those taking the Sage of Ages ED.

Master of Spells: Being able to change your powers pretty much 'on the fly' is very, very useful. Improves the usability of your spellbook and helps you be prepared for anything.

School of Magic: The reason to play a Mage. A series of useful benefits that apply to all spells of certain Schools. Remember that you get two Apprentice and Expert features, and the Master benefit will also dictate the features of the Enigmatic Mage PP. Illusion and Enchantment combo well together, as does Evocation/Pyromancy and Nethermancy/Illusion.

Enchantment:

Keys off Charisma, but only really if you go for Enigmatic Mage or the excellent Entrancing Mystic PP. A good stat to invest in for Will defense and the skill boosts. My personal favourite out of all the Wizard's builds, because it's fun to make ogres club themselves in the head.

Apprentice: A stacking +2 to your forced movement, which this school features a lot of. Simple and effective.
Expert: Both useful skills that key off the same stat. Probably the best of the Mage's skill boosts for that reason.
Master: Extra accuracy on your forced attacks. Extremely useful.

Evocation:

Relatively stat-less, but the Enigmatic Mage benefits key off Con, which is a worthwhile investment for your durability and the synergy with the Pyromancy school's Master feature if you chose that as your primary.

Apprentice: Not quite like a weapon's Brutal property, but still a damage boost. Gets better later with powers that roll more dice, or have multiple damage instances like Chain Lightning. tiornys outlined the amount of damage increase this works out to in this post.
Expert: Both are useful skills, Endurance especially so on a more fragile class. You probably won't have a good score in Intimidate without some investment though.
Master: This will save you a huge amount of heartache throughout your career. Doesn't save you from immunity, but when you start seeing Resist 20 or higher in Epic, you'll be glad it's here.

Illusion:

The Enigmatic Mage benefit keys off Wisdom, but Illusionist feats key off Charisma, as does one of the two skill boosts, and synergises better with Enchantment, so you're better of with that as your secondary.

Apprentice: A defense boost in disguise, and stacks with Psychic Lock in Paragon. Together these can make you very hard to hit.
Expert: Bluff is good, Stealth, while thematic, is less so. It's not a class skill and you're unlikely to have the Dex to really benefit from it.
Master: Free CA, hit or miss? Yes please. Doesn't help you in the first round, but there are other options for that.

Necromancy:

Uses Wisdom for the Enigmatic Mage features - but that path isn't very good for a Necromancer. I'd probably recommend Con for the skill boosts, and added durability, especially if you're using and reflavouring summoning spells.

Apprentice: Useful in the lower end of heroic, but the lack of scaling hurts, especially if your DM is using MM3 monsters or their damage expressions. Fairly forgettable and near useless in later levels.
Expert: Neither of these are class skills, and you're very unlikely to have the stats to take advantage of both.
Master: Very, very useful. Necrotic resistance is fairly common. Pity it isn't the Apprentice feature, but can't have everything.

Nethermancy:

Statless, even in the PP. Choose what you want, although one of the skills does use Charisma.

Apprentice: Effectively a defense boost, but doesn't stack with anyother concealment you might already have. Does work for any other ranged characters in your party though, which is good for the sneaky types out there. Doesn't help your melee.
Expert: Like with the Illusionist, Stealth is thematic, but you're not that good at it. Intimidate's a bit better for you.
Master: Warlocks give up their armour slot for this effect, and consider it gold-rated. You don't even have to move to trigger it thanks to your apprentice feature. How's that for a sweet deal?

Pyromancy:

Keys off Constitution, although the skills run off Charisma. The former is probably the better to invest in, for the Master benefit.

Apprentice: A stacking damage bonus and ignore fire resistance? Hold up, I didn't put up the 'Striker' sign over the door by mistake, did I? You'll love this feature. Doesn't help with immunity, but there are ways around that.
Expert: Good skills from the same stat, but being at odds with your Master feature's requirement lowers the value. Besides, wouldn't you rather set things on fire than talk to them?
Master: Soft area denial and extra damage make this a very useful feature. Just be aware that it can hurt your party members too.



Sha'ir Class Features:

Gen Servant: Arcane Familiar for free, and the ability to swap out dailies and utilities is decent. In addition to all the other familiars available, there are four unqiue to you. Of the four, I like the Efreetkin the best for its passive effect, and the Djinnling's can see some use. All four have minor effects on daily use and the ability to change the origin square of an attack, but these require it to be active, which isn't so hot.

Sha'ir Cantrips: A rose by any other name... same deal, as useful as you make them be.

Elemental Resistance: And here comes the crux of the problem. Your familiar being active, plus your allies clumping, equals a low a mount of one element resistance, chosen only on extended rests. Using bad tactics to get a minor benefit that might go completely to waste is a very poor feature.


Witch Class Features:

As I have stated before, I do not recommend choosing this build. Many of its features can be duplicated elsewhere and reflavoured. However, for the sake of completeness, I will discuss its features here.

Cantrips: As useful here as on the other builds, that is, as much as your imagination allows.

Augury: This feature can vary from eminently useful to utterly worthless depending on how much your DM plays along with it, but overall, it can be duplicated by several of the Divination-type rituals.

Witch's Familiar: It's a free feat, but one of good benefit to the other builds anyway, should they take it. The only good thing about this feature is the spell replacement, but the Spellbook of the Mage and the Arcanist's Tome of Readiness can be made to do the same thing in a better way. The epic feature is weaker than it sounds, since you have to use the power first, which means delaying the benefit of your AP til round 2, and the Arcane Mastery feat does the same thing for dailies.

Covens: You get a choice of two covens, which give you training in a skill, a couple of skill bonuses and lock in your first level encounter power.

Covens:

Dark Moon Coven: This coven has issues. Its power keys off Wis, but gives you training in a Cha skill (redundant for Will defense) and a bonus in a Dex skill (redundant with Int, remember?) While Dread Presence is a large blast, it's unfriendly, and the amount of resistance it ignores is minor, as many undead have Resist 10 or better to Necrotic, which will still nullify the zone damage.

Full Moon Coven: At least the trained skill keys off Wis like the power. Problem is, you don't need training in Heal to hit most DCs for that skill, and it doesn't have any 'Trained-Only' uses. The other skill bonus is to a class skill, but again, Cha is redundant with Wis. Glorious Presence is at least a better power than the Dark Moon's offering, but is more a Cleric thing. Still, Radiant is a good damage type, it's forced movement and the THP might save your party some damage. There are much better encounter powers you're missing out on though.


Class Stats:


Intelligence is your primary. Other than this, though, the Wizard is not very dependant on its secondary stats for its powers, so your choice of secondaries will depend on your choice of class features and meeting feat prerequisites.

Strength: The dumpstat. You simply do not need it, unless you're a Genasi taking the Elemental Empowerment feat, in which case you need a good score here. Probably where you put the 8 in your array.

Constitution: Needed by Staff of Defense, Tome of Binding, Pyromancers and to a lesser extent Evokers. However, no wizard can really afford to ignore this stat, as it determines your HP and Surges. Probably either your second or third highest stat.

Dexterity: Redundant with Int for your AC and Reflex, but not quite a dumpstat, as you need a 13 for the Dual Implement Spellcaster feat. Does determine your initiative, but there are enough items and feats to boost that, or key it off a different stat that you don't really need a high score here for that. I wouldn't put a negative modifier here though.

Intelligence: Your primary stat, plain and simple. You want this at at least 18 after racial adjustments, if not 20. Wizard is one of the classes that can easily afford the 20 given its lack of reliance on the other stats, and it will give you an extra point of AC, Ref, To-Hit, and Damage. An 18 is acceptable if you need to spread out a bit for requirements, of course.

Wisdom: You probably want a 13 here for the feat Enlarge Spell, and Orb of Imposition users will obviously want a high score here. If you're an Enchanter, however, you can't really use Enlarge, and can happily dump it. It does power some useful skills though, and can used for initiative, so again, I wouldn't put the 8 here.

Charisma: A 12 here will get you the Spell Focus feat once you reach Paragon, and the Orb of Deception keys off it. Enchanters will probably want a high-ish score here to go with their skills, more so if you MC Warlock for Entrancing Mystic and want to use that PP's powers.


Races:

Sorted by source. Races from HoFL and HoFK will be under their original PHB1 and 2 listings.
PHB1:

Dragonborn: A bonus to two secondaries, a minor action blast power and some decent feat support make this a workable choice, but not a brilliant one.

Dwarf: Again, bonuses to two secondaries and decent feat support for keeping you on your feat and in place, but there are better options.

Eladrin: An iconic race, with great stats, especially if you pick Cha. Bonus to Arcana, an extra trained skill, Fey Step and some good racial support make this a top-tier choice.

Elf: Having to take Dex with the Int bonus isn't the greatest, but it's easily made up for by Elven Accuracy and a couple of great feats.

Half-Elf: Bonus to Con and a choice of another secondary make this a serviceable choice, and Knack for Success is a useful power. Dilletante is of little use to you though, given the usefulness of your in-class at-wills.

Halfling: Some good defensive features, but overall not a good choice. Far better at being a Sorcerer.

Human: The extra skill, feat and good NAD bonus are the drawcards here. Be careful with your stat array due to only getting one boost and you'll be fine. The extra at-will is useful in heroic where your at-wills matter more, but Heroic Effort is the better of the two options (And a good power at that).

Tiefling: Good stats and amazing feat support, especially for Enchanters and Fire-based Blasters. One of the best races for a Wizard, it's hard to go wrong with this choice.

PHB2:

Deva: Perfect stats for imposers, good features, some good feats and an amazingly good racial ED make this another top-tier pick.

Gnome: Good stats and some support geared towards an Illusionist build, but not a lot of it, and you are a touch slower. Not a huge penalty to a ranged character, but it's there.

Goliath: You won't benefit from the Strength bonus, but a choice of secondaries is okay. Could make a semi-decent (and very hard to kill) staff user, but that's about it.

Half-Orc: Pretty bad stats overall, and heavily geared towards smashing things with weapons. Not the right line of work.

Longtooth/Razorclaw Shifter: Neither of these races are really suited to a wizard, although the Razorclaw is the better of the two.

PHB3:

Githzerai: The stats for the imposer and some good defensive features, but the skill bonuses are a bit wasted and the feat support goes in a different direction from what you'd really like. Still decent.

Minotaur: Poor stat choices and heavy gearing towards charging in melee render this a pretty bad choice.

Shardmind: Great stats, some useful features and a smattering of good support make this race a good choice, even if they're thematically meant to be Psions.

Wilden: Two secondaries, and the Ancients and Hunter aspects could be useful. The Destroyer aspect is a waste on a Wizard though.

Eberron, Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, Dragon Mag and Heroes Of Series:

Changeling: Good stats and nice features, but a lack of support holds it back.

Drow: As much as Drow Wizards might feature heavily in some FR lore, they're just not really that good a choice. Okay stats and Darkfire can key off Int, but the race really is geared more towards a Sorcerer or Warlock.

Genasi: They make amazing blasters thanks to Elemental Empowerment, or choosing Con can make them a fairly good choice for other builds. The best choice for a blaster, although Tieflings have a slight edge for using Fire.

Gnoll: Poor stats and melee-centric features make this a poor choice.

Hamadryad: Int/Wis and either of the racial power's effects are useful to you. Pity you can't also get Int/Cha out of them, and they lack feat support. Still a good choice.

Hengeyokai: Some of the forms give decent mobility, and you can sustain powers in them, but that's about it. Somewhat thematic for wuxia- or Oriental Adventures-themed casters, but not really a good choice mechanically.

Kalashtar: Another Int/Cha option with some okay, but not ideal feat support. Their ability to deal with Will-targeting attacks and dazing effects will come in handy though.

Mul: A better Dwarf. Same stats, very durable and the option of Human feat support, plus their own options. Only lacking an Int bonus keeps them from a blue, almost a sky blue rating.

Pixie: Int/Cha and very thematic for an Enchanter. Being able to fly will help you get around the battlefield, and Pixie Dust is a useful power.

Revenant: While the feat support is good at keeping them up (I won't say alive) and the ability to take other race's support is useful, the stats and features are less than ideal.

Satyr: Two secondaries and a useful racial power, but that's all.

Shadar-Kai: Like the Elf, having to take Dex/Int hurts a little, but the racial power is nice and they have some interesting feats.

Shade: They have Int/Cha, and an Arcana bonus, but the stealth training is kind of a waste, the racial power is fairly useless and the healing surge penalty is very noticable on a Controller. Not recommended.

Thri-Kreen: A bit better than their stats would have you think. They're good at juggling implements, and speed 7 combined with the possiblity of using their racial attack will help keep them out of melee. Or you could use it with some blast powers if push came to shove.

Vryloka: Poor stats and a racial penalty do not help this race's cause. Necrotic resistance is nice, but there's good odds you'll go a couple of encounters or more without triggering the racial power. A pretty bad choice.

Warforged: Con/Int and their racial features will make for a very tough-to-kill wizard, but the racial support is meant for melee. Maybe if the old Repair spells were still around...

Monster Races:

Bladeling: A wis bonus and a racial power you can't hit with. No.

Bugbear: Bad stats and melee-centric.

Bullywug: If I had a rating worse than red, I'd use it here. Bad stats and a racial feature that will never trigger.

Duergar: A worse dwarf. Although at least you get to shoot your beard at people.

Githyanki: Good stats and useful features. The best of the Monster races, by quite a margin.

Goblin: Goblin Tactics will at least help keep you out of melee, but there's nothing else here for you.

Hobgoblin: A worse half-elf. Good racial power though.

Kenku: Not much on offer here either.

Kobold: I actually kinda like kobolds. Eberron dragon-related lore helps. But mechanically, they're just not a good choice here.

Orc: There are jokes about Big Dumb Orcs for a reason.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

The Beginnings of Power: Heroic Tier Spells (Part 1: Levels 1-5)


Powers will be listed with their source book, defense they target, keywords (other than the obvious Arcane and Implement) and with an E if they can be Enlarged. General ratings will look at the powers from the perspective of a Controller, with variations noted. I will list at the start of each level what I consider to be the best choices. Usually this will be the sky-blue choices. Remember that some times the blue choices might also be viable or have some situational advantage. Skill Utilities will be found at their respective level. Only class skill utilities will be considered, unless there is a truly standout option, and only highly rated powers will be shown. If it isn't there, it probably isn't worth it.

A note on Wall powers:
In my experience, Wall-type powers can be a pain to use if playing online via Maptools or similar, due to having to draw their zones and people forgetting what they do or exactly where they affect. They can greatly slow down play, possibly even at real tables due to inattentiveness. I don't have any experience of Play-by-Post play, but it may be similar there. Be aware of what your group is like if you consider these powers.

At-Will powers:
Enchanters should take Hypnotism and one of Beguiling Strands or Winged Horde. Illusionists should take Winged Horde and one of Illusory Ambush or Phantom Bolt. Blasters (Pyromancers and Evokers included) should be considering Arc Lightning, Freezing Burst and Thunderwave. Generalists and Imposers should take Winged Horde, but their other choice is pretty free. Otherwise, look for what will best suit your choice of features and character concept.

At-will Powers:

Arc Lightning: (HoFL) Reflex, Evocation, Lightning. A good power for blasters, thanks to long range, a decent damage type and good targetting. Otherwise a bit average. Better with Mark of Storm.

Beast Switch: (HoFW) Fortitude, Transmutation, Psychic. Psychic damage, proning, forced movement and OA-prevention is a potent package... but it's melee, which you're not. There are better options for back-up spells. Does have a good use with with War Wizard of Cormyr PP which turns it into an MBA, but that's of more use to the Bladesinger and maybe some odd-ball Half Elf builds. Pass.

Beguiling Strands: (HoFL) Will, Enchantment, Charm, Psychic. A huge blast of minion-popping forced movement goodness. Not enlargeable, and the damage is piddly, but if you're looking at this spell, you're not concerned with those factors. Gets even better in Paragon with Psychic Lock.

Breath of Night: (HoFW) Fortitude, Cold, Evocation, E. Cold is a decent damage type, and it can be made to cover a large area, but overall, Thunderwave is probably the better power, given the similarities between the two. Being unfriendly doesn't help when it's a burst. You could possibly make use of this power with cold support, but Admixturing Thunderwave will still probably be better.

Chilling Cloud: (PHB) Fortitude, Cold, Evocation. Again, Cold is a decent damage type, it's friendly, and handing out an attack penalty as an effect is decent, especially in Heroic, but with Psychic Lock in Paragon, Winged Horde starts to outshine it. Take this at lower levels if you want and retrain it later.

Cloud of Daggers: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Force, Zone. If you have a decent Wis modifier and a bit of forced movement, this can do a fair bit of damage, but overall this early-in-the-edition power is somewhat outclassed by later offerings.

Erupting Flare: (D388) Fortitude, Evocation, Fire. This power might sound good on paper, but what it actually does is give the enemy a fire damage aura to use on your allies. Too risky, and requires far too many other options to line up to actually make good use of it. Do not take this power.

Flame Arrow: (HoEC) Evocation, Fire. This is a really bad power. It encourages clumping, only works on specific characters, costs you an action you should using to attack, and does less damage than almost any of the other at-wills here.

Freezing Burst: (HoFL) Reflex, Cold, Evocation, E. A good power, and pretty much a must-have for blasters. Decent damage and area, and slides targets for even more convenient AoE positioning. Even Pyromancers should use this, although that will require converting the damage type.

Howling Wall: (HoEC) Fortitude, Evocation, Wall. Decent enough by itself as a fairly precise source of forced movement, although be wary of not having a damaging at-will. Better with some forced movement increasers or Agile Opportunist, as it can target allies.

Hypnotism: (HoFL) Will, Enchantment, Charm. Forced movement or a forced attack with an accuracy boost. Decent, but mandatory and the signature spell for Enchanters, who boost its accuracy even further. You can make an enemy target itself with the forced attack, if you want. Gets even nastier as you go up in level and enemies tend to have nasty basics that inflict conditions. Have I mentioned that I love this spell?

Illusory Ambush, Nightmare Eruption, Phantom Bolt, Phantom Cage and Phantasmal Assault: (AP, D380, AP and HoFL) Will, Illusion, Psychic. Illusionists have a number of choices for their at-wills, but Winged Horde should be their primary pick. These five will be competing for your second at-will, and are all fairly similar, so let's compare them all at once. Phantasmal Assault's 2nd effect is redundant with Winged Horde and while it does give your allies CA, they should have their own methods, or just be flanking. So pass on it.
Nightmare Eruption deals a bit more damage than the others, but requires enemies to be bunched up and has no real control to it. Also pass. Phantom Cage's rider effect is okay at low levels, but it doesn't scale and enemies will quickly start ignoring it. If you do choose it, retrain out of it later.
Between the other two, Phantom Bolt gives forced movement and does ever-so-slightly more damage, while Illusory Ambush offers an attack penalty that works in Heroic and stacks with Psychic Lock. Of the two, I feel Illusory Ambush is better once you get to Paragon, but the choice is largely personal preference. If you're Human, you could take both, but you'd be better served either branching out with a different at-will rather than over-specialising, or using Heroic Effort for accuracy.

Magic Missile: (PHB-HoFL) Force, Evocation, Auto-damage. Changing this power to the 'classic' version pretty much ruined it. Mages get it for free, so it's not as bad for them, but usually using it is a waste of a standard action. The damage is low, and scales very badly, and since the power does not hit and does not have a damage roll, it can't benefit from a large number of damage boosters and other support.
Things MM no longer works with:

Psychic Lock
Permafrost
WLR
WLMR
Siberys Shards
Academy Master
Critical Effects of any kind
Destructive  Wizardry (granted, was only possible with a Magic Missile Wand)
Elemental  Echoes
Dual Implement Spellcaster
Item Bonuses (you get the idea, any bonus that only applies to damage rolls or on hit)


(Thank you to Alcestis for compiling this list)


Nightmare Eruption, Phantom Bolt, Phantom Cage and Phantasmal Assault: See Illusory Ambush.

Ray of Frost: (PHB) Fortitude, Cold, Evocation. At-will slowing and a decent damage type, but blasters will probably be better served with Arc Lightning.

Restless Dead: (Hos) Reflex, Necromancy, Shadow, Zone. Has some synergy with Terrain Advantage to grant you CA, but not against the original target thanks to the 'adjacent' language. The targetting restriction will heavily limit the usefulness of this power as you increase in levels. Flavourful, but very weak. At least it doesn't do necrotic damage.

Rotting Doom: (Hos) Fortitude, Necromancy, Necrotic, Shadow. The effect line is the good part of this power. Stops regeneration and leader effects on monsters. The rest of it's pretty shabby though - necrotic is a bad damage type and the other effect would be great if it weren't limited to a certain creature type. (Admittedly a semi-common creature type, but it's still a limitation). Better for Necromancers, obviously, but still not great.

Scare: (Hos) Will, Nethermancy, Shadow, Psychic, E. A weaker, unfriendly version of Winged Horde that only benefits you. If you're close enough for this to matter, you're probably not benefiting from the Nethermancer Apprentice feature, and there are better ways for you to not take OAs. Pass.

Scorching Burst: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Fire, E. Rendered completely obsolete by Freezing Burst, except in certain circumstances: A very low level Pyromancer, who hasn't gotten a damage converter or Arcane Admixture yet, or who is playing in a campaign with low item use or who's DM doesn't allow conversion easily. In those particular cases, it is well worth considering.

Stone Blood: (Red Box) Fortitude, Transmutation, E. Once again, at-willing slowing is useful, doing so as an AoE is even better. I would have this largely obsolete Ray of Frost, except for one important detail: It's not legal to use in LFR, due to being from the Red Box.

Storm Pillar: (AP) Conjuration, Lightning, Evocation. After being errataed, this power's usefulness was limited. It can be useful for area denial, especially in narrow passages and bottlenecks. If you have ways to cause forced movement on the enemy's turn (Sliding OAs from the defender, Hypnotic Pattern, etc) then you can get a lot of damage out of this power, but it does take a bit of investment.

Thunderwave: (PHB) Fortitude, Evocation, Thunder, E. Unless your Wisdom is reasonably high, Beguiling Strands will probably give you more forced movement, but this power has some good selling points - Reasonable damage of a rarely resisted type and it can be Enlarged twice, thanks to Resounding Thunder. It's unfriendly, but blasts are a bit easier to target than bursts. A good choice, especially for blasters.

Unravelling Dart: (HoS) Fortitude, Nethermancy, Shadow. An odd power. It can do a lot of damage if you or others can bestow vulnerability, and even a mediocre wis score will boost it a bit otherwise. Not a regular choice, but if you have a party that deals in vulnerability such as Radiant Mafia with a Morninglord, then strongly consider it. No control value though, unless you're a Nethermancer, who can use it to get the benefit of their apprentice feature against two enemies.

Winged Horde: (D381) Will, Psychic, Illusion, E. An amazing power. Friendly AoE, Psychic damage, and lets your allies move as they will. Possibly the class's best at-will, and pretty much mandatory for Illusionists. (Close to it for everyone else while I'm at it).

Witch Bolt: (HoFW) Reflex, Evocation, Lightning. The sustain standard looks better on paper than in practice. Range 5 makes it hard to sustain, especially when you're not spending standard actions on better powers to slow or immobilise. Sustaining the power does not cause it to hit again, which limits the number of effects it will work with, and means it can't crit. A bad power.

Level 1 Encounter:
Controllers want Charm of Misplaced Wrath, Grasping Shadows, Illusory Obstacles, or Twilight Falls depending on class features and build style. Blasters want Burning Hands or Force Orb.

Level 1 Encounter:

Astral Wasp: (AP) Fortitude, Conjration. Can be made do a reasonable amount of damage if you invest in Con, but low level fights are often on small battlefields, which will limit this power's usefulness, and the effect is overall relatively minor, and completely ignorable if the enemy can make a ranged attack. Pass.

Burning Hands: (PHB-HoFL) Reflex, Evocation, Fire, E. A very large area and half damage on a miss make this probably the premier choice for Blasters, and definately for Pyromancers, although do be careful how you aim it.

Charm of Misplaced Wrath: (HoFL) Will, Charm, Enchantment.  The generally solid 'Charm of' line starts off with a great power that dazes and hit or miss forces an attack. A good choice, even better for Enchanters.

Chill Strike: (PHB) Fortitude, Evocation, Cold. An okay power, but outshined for both dazing effect and damage capability.

Conduit of Ice: (D382) Reflex, Evocation, Cold, Zone. The cold damage in the zone is enemies only, but the difficult terrain isn't. Good at scattering formations, but ideally bunching enemies up to kill them all is more useful. Better if you have an active familiar.

Darkening Flame: (HoS) Reflex, Fire, Necrotic, Necromancy, Shadow. A bad damage type and the effect can hurt your allies. Improved a little for a Necromancer, but they can do better as well.

Dread Presence: (HoFW) Will, Fear, Necrotic, Nethermancy, Zone, E. Given that many undead have resist 10 necrotic or better, the effect line isn't powerful enough to save the zone damage from being resisted. Ruined somewhat by fear immunity. While it does slow, Burning hands does the damage job better and doesn't force a secondary stat. A bit better for Nethermancers and Necromancers.

Empowering Lightning: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Lightning. A minor damage upgrade over an at-will, with a rider based on a bad class feature that might not trigger. Not what you're looking for.

Force Orb: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Force, E. Not as large an area or reliably as damaging as Burning Hands, but the very long range and good damage type make this a great choice for a Blaster looking to stay at range. The secondary attack says 'Area Burst 1' so it can be enlarged, and is friendly.

Glorious Presence: (HoFW) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Radiant, E. This really feels more like a Cleric power. Close burst isn't the ideal range for you, but it's friendly and does a good damage type. If you're invested in Wisdom and have a party using Radiant support, consider it.

Grasping Shadows: (AP) Will, Illusion, Psychic, Zone, E. AoE slowing and auto-damage and reslowed if you or others can force the enemy back in. A decent choice.

Icy Terrain: (PHB) Reflex, Cold, Evocation, Zone, E. Similar to Grasping Shadows, but a little weaker overall. A bit more useful if you Enlarge it and can also slow enemies in the DT created.

Illusory Obstacles: (HoFL) Will, Illusion. No damage, but used early and on the right enemies this is almost a Stun. A great way to mess up Team Monster's first round. Friendly too.

Leaden Transmutation: (Red Box) Fortitude, Transmutation. Only really good at making sure a target stays next to your defender. There are better options for slowing. Illegal in LFR.

Orbmaster's Incendiary Detonation: (AP) Reflex, Force, Fire, Evocation, Zone. Icy Terrain does this better. 2 fire damage is not much of a threat, even at very low levels. A bit better for OoI-users, but not enough to save it. A bit better if you face minions a lot, but you can use at-wills for that, really.

Ray of Enfeeblement: (PHB) Fortitude, Necromancy, Necrotic. Weakened is a good effect and does half damage on a miss, but Necrotic and targetting Fort is a bad combo. Passable for a Necromancer going into a solo fight.

Skewering Spikes: (D383) Reflex, Evocation. Untyped damage and decent targetting, but short ranged. Lacking the Evocation keyword hurts it a bit. Average.

Staffstrike Corrosion: (AP) Reflex, Evocation. This is little better than an at-will, and the Staff of Defense rider encourages using it early. Granted that's likely at lower levels when you have less encounter powers, but the added damage is miserably low. Avoid.

Twilight Falls: (Hos) Will, Nethermancy, Psychic, Shadow, Zone, E. Friendly area, can daze one target and gives your allies concealment. A great choice, especially when Enlarged and with Psychic Lock later.

Level 1 Daily: Controllers: Horrid Whispers, Phantom Chasm, Sleep, Watery Sphere. Blasters: Flaming Sphere or Fountain of Flame. Summoners: Dust Devil or Dretch.

Level 1 Daily:

Acid Arrow: (PHB) Reflex, Acid, Evocation. Good range, and a reasonable amount of damage, but there are better options.

Arcane Whirlwind: (D383) Reflex, Evocation, Thunder, Zone. A large zone which can be made larger, but it's unfriendly and chews up too many of your subsequent actions to really benefit from. Has some synergy with Agile Opportunist, but you do have to ask whether one, maybe two minors and a move plus your striker's immediate is worth granting an attack.

Bewitching Charm: (HoFW) Will, Charm, Enchantment. This feels like a poor man's Sleep. Aoe Dazing and a miss effect are nice, but if you care about or have invested towards failed first saves, Sleep is a far better power.

Charm of Forbiddance: (HoFW) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Psychic. A new, and not-that-welcome addition to the 'Charm of' naming line. The creatures that would most suffer from the effect (solos) are those most likely to save against it. Pass.

Flaming Sphere:
(PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Conjuration, Fire. Requires a bit of tactical positioning to use well, but this power can deal some very real damage. A top-tier choice for Blasters.

Fountain of Flame: (HoFL) Evocation, Fire, Zone. Friendly, does half damage on a miss, and meshes well with forced movement. Flaming Sphere can do more damage overall, but this power is easier to use.

Freezing Cloud: (PHB) Fortitude, Cold, Evocation, Zone. A larger area than Fountain of Flame, but unfriendly and short duration.

Grease: (AP) Reflex, Zone. A friendly (so long as you are) zone of proning, but that's really all it is. Better if your party is set up to take advantage of prone enemies, but it's average at best and a bit fiddly to use.

Horrid Whispers: (AP) Will, Psychic, Illusion. Friendly aoe slowing and an attack penalty with prone as after effect, and a condition on a miss. Pretty good.

Phantom Chasm: (HoFL) Will, Psychic, Illusion. Prone and Immobilised is an annoying combination to be inflicted with, it's friendly and the zone lets you reprone things with forced movement. Also pretty good.

Ray of Fatigue: (HoS) Fortitude, Nethermancy, Necrotic, Shadow. Weakening is a decent effect, it goes on hit or miss and you can get auto-CA for the attack. Let down by a bad damage type and being single target, but better for Nethermancers and Necromancers.

Rolling Thunder: (AP) Conjuration, Evocation, Thunder. Decent initial damage, but the secondary attack is minor and only likely to go off once. Pass.

Sleep: (PHB-HoFL) Will, Charm, Enchantment. Unconcious. As in, Coup de Grace, fight over. Requires a little bit of investment in save penalties or being an imposer, but if you can do that, this power will win you one encounter per day, everyday. Just watch your strikers' faces light up when they get to auto-crit things.

Slimy Transmutation: (Red Box) Fortitude, Transmutation, Polymorph. Hit or miss, not being able to attack means the target will pretty much waste one or more turns. The 'breaks on damage' condition weakens it a bit. Illegal in LFR.

Spirit Rend: (HoS) Will, Necromancy, Necrotic, Shadow. Friendly Aoe immobilisation and decent damage, albeit of a bad type, or turn undead into CA-granting charge-target-dummies. Not bad, but there are better. Necromancers can consider it.

Summon Dretch: (D385) Summoning, Reflex. A reasonably damaging summon, and a decent way to do off-turn damage if you're willing soak up the 1d6 it does back to you. By RAW it actually does 1d6+your mods (enhancement, DIS, focus et al, but not Int mod) so watch out. Only consider this if you have a decent amount of HP or patient leaders.

Summon Dust Devil: (D385) Summoning, Reflex. Not as damaging as the Dretch, but does forced movement, and the penalty from the Intrinsic Nature is relatively minor to you if you're careful.

Summon Fire Warrior: (AP) Summoning, Reflex, Fire. A decent OA makes this guy good at threatening areas or ranged attackers, but that's all he does.

Watery Sphere: (HoEC) Reflex, Transmutation, Zone. An immobilising attack that creates a moveable zone that drags the poor suckers caught in it with it, and you get to repeat the attack (only against a single target, but still). Pretty solid combination for board control.

Wind Blade: (HoEC) Reflex, Conjuration, Force, Transmutation. (Side question: Why Transmutation for this and Watery Sphere? Makes no sense to me.) Apart from the CA clause, which can be duplicated with Tome Expertise if you're fond of conjurations, this thing is kind of unimpressive, the damage it puts out is barely better than your at-wills, while costing you minor actions on top of the standard to attack. Pass.

Wizard's Fury: (D374) Force. Magic Missile is a bad power you didn't choose, remember? You could possibly consider this on a Mage, who gets that spell free, but even then, there are much better options in this level slot.

Level 2 Utility: You want Shield. Enchanters can consider Glib Tongue if they don't get attacked often, but should take Shield. Some of the others have niche uses, but Shield will probably be better. Have I mentioned Shield yet?

Level 2 Utility:

Arcane Insight: (DMA2009) Reroll a bad Arcana check. Useful for ritual casters and those taking Sage of Ages later on. Not really needed at this end of the level chart.

Charm of Protection: (HoFW) Block an attack that barely hits you, and lessen any damage it might do on a miss. Decent as it covers more NADs than Shield, but Shield's bonus lasts longer, is more powerful for the defenses it covers and the THP here are stat dependant.

Daunting Presence: (AP) Fear. Not as good as it sounds: Bonus to a non-class skill and the attack penalty doesn't work on ranged attackers or the fear immune. Not being able to use it when needed like Shield weakens it.

Expeditious Retreat: (PHB-HoFL) It's a lot of movement, but that's all, and it's daily. Pass.

Familiar Harrier: (D382) Teleportation. Your familiar gets to bound across the battlefield and be a flank buddy for Team PC. A decent option for those with a Familiar, but be wary of not getting to move yourself.

Feather Fall: (PHB) This would be great, if it weren't daily. Maybe if you're in Sharn...

Flare: (HoEC) Zone. Concealment for both sides that you'll provoke to cast, and you have a cantrip that can be a light source. Or just bring a torch.

Float: (AP) Cross a lava pit or similar. Could come in handy, but I wouldn't make this your main choice. Wis-keyed, but ignorably so.

Glib Tongue: (D381) A skill bonus and a conditional bonus to hit, which isn't conditional at all for Enchanters. Worth considering if you don't get attacked often and don't feel you need Shield.

Guardian Blades: (AP) Fear. A good disincentive to attack you, that works well with the White Lotus feats. I actually really like the flavour of this power, but it's daily and doesn't work on ranged attackers.

Instant Friends: (HoFL) Charm, Enchantment. It has RP-uses, but I really don't like this power - it feels like a throwback to 3.5e. Still, easy interrogation.


Jump: (PHB) This can actually be really useful. Get your defender into the enemy line, or yourself to a more advantageous position once every encounter.

Lifetaker: (HoS) Necromancy, Shadow. A daily leader-ish power, albeit with a decent effect and easy to trigger. Probably better for some leader|wizard hybrid than a pure build.

Memory to Mist: (D381) Another non-combat power. Like Nausicaa said, "punch the king and make him forget the bashing." I'm sure there's been an insufferable NPC somewhere in one of your campaigns you've wanted to do this to.

Moonstride: (D382) Get yourself away from an enemy and take half damage til your next turn. Useful, but Shield is still a little better.

Mystical Debris: (D383) Has some synergy with Terrain Advantage, but is overall quite weak. Enemies will either leave the square scot free, or jump over the minor amount of terrain created. And there are better ways to gain CA. Flavourful though.

Phantasmal Terrain: (AP) Illusion, Zone. It's a large area and a reasonable movement denier, but usually Team Monster sets the traps for you, not the other way around. Too situational.

Protection from Missiles: (HoEC) Zone. Non-moveable zone that protects against a keyword monsters tend not to use (Check their statblocks sometime, even the ones with bows don't always carry the weapon keyword). Daily too.

Shield: (PHB-HoFL) Stop an attack, once per encounter, and keep the defense bonus til your next turn. Simple and powerful. I can't even count the number of times this power has saved my Mage. Take it and love it. As close to Gold as I'll probably ever rate a power.

Simple Animation: (HoFW) An odd power. Move a statue around for cover, or put on a puppet show for the local villagers. Could come in useful.

Spectral Image: (HoFL) Illusion. Really more an RP power than a combat power, although if your DM RPs monsters according to how dumb they should be, you could get use out of it.

Summon Shadow Serpent: (AP-HoS) Summoning, Shadow. Or you could just get the Rogue or the Ranger to scout for you, and not waste a utility slot on this overall rather weak daily.

Skill Powers:

Arcane Mutterings: (PHB3) Arcana. You have cantrips that can do this, but they don't cover Bluff, and this one does all three social skills. A good choice.

Perfect Recall: (PHB3) History. I don't know how often you'd actually make a plain Intelligence check, but if it is often for you, getting a +5 bonus from training sounds good to me.

Root Understanding: (D383) History. The etymologist in me likes this power. Pretty much a pure-RP power, but it could come in really handy in the right sort of campaign.

Strategist's Epiphany: (PHB3) History. Not the powerhouse it used to be, thanks to errata, but still a good way to pump your own initiative 1/day if you don't have much invested in that yet. Lowers in value if you have a stat-swap and feat/item bonuses to init later.

Level 3 Encounter: Controllers: Maze of Mirrors or Color Spray. Blasters: Cordon of Bones, Fireshroud or Shock Sphere (Or possibly still Color Spray).

Level 3 Encounter:

Arcane Bolt: (D381) Force, Implement, Auto-damage. Magic Missile: The encounter power. Bad for all the same reasons.

Blissful Ignorance: (HoFL) Charm, Enchantment. Guaranteedly slow your enemies and allow your party free movement and attacks without fear of retaliation. Good, but overall I feel Maze of Mirrors is better despite the smaller area affected.

Call The Night Winds: (HoFW) Fortitude, Cold, Evocation, Zone, E. Large area with reasonable damage, but the heavily obscured zone penalises Team PC as much as it does the enemy. Too unfriendly to be really good.

Chill Claws: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Cold. An okay effect, but other powers at this level do that better, and Icy Rays completely outdoes it for damage.

Cinderfall: (D383) Reflex, Evocation, Fire, E. A mediocre AoE, and pop the one minion you missed. There are better AoEs at this level, or even at L1.

Color Spray: (PHB) Will, Evocation, Radiant, E. Large area, okay if not brilliant damage, but of a good type, and it dazes. A great power, and the evocation keyword makes it viable for Blasters who don't want to completely give up on control.

Cordon of Bones: (HoS) Fortitude, Necromancy, Shadow, E. The zone damage can really ramp up if you pop enough minions with the attack. A decent option for Blasters with a bit of forced movement, or teamed with someone with some.

Ebony Razors: (HoS) Will, Psychic, Nethermancy, Shadow, E. Good size and damage, but Color Spray has far more control. Nethermancers get concealment anyway, so the effect is a bit pointless for them.

Fireshroud: (PHB) Fortitude, Fire, Evocation, E. Ongoing damage is a bit rare among your encounter powers at this level, the area is very large, and it's friendly. A must-have for fire-based blasters, and pretty good for all others too. (Best use I've seen of this power was on a weird hybrid Barbarian|Wizard build, funnily enough.)

Grim Shadow: (HoFW) Will, Necrotic, Fear, Nethermancy, E. Decent enough and with a good effect, but let down a bit by a bad damage type and the Fear keyword. Would be awesome if it did psychic damage (you can convert it).

Hypnotic Pattern: (AP) Will, Illusion. This power looks good on paper, but I've never found it to be that useful in practice. It doesn't deny enough movement, and if you miss with the secondary attack, it does nothing but look pretty. A bit better if you stack it with other effects like Storm Pillar, but pretty mediocre by itself.

Icy Rays: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Cold. Good targetting and slowing on a miss is good. A bit outshined for control and damage options, but Blasters could give it a look if they're after precision.

Maze of Mirrors: (HoFL) Will, Illusion. Hit or miss, this power is going to mess up your enemy's first turn.  Unfriendly, but that's a minor issue if you drop it early.

Melting Pool: (D382) Fortitude, Evocation, Acid, E. There are better options for damage, and the Familiar effect is so minor and limited it may as well not be there. The large area would save its rating if Shock Sphere wasn't also AB2.

Pinioning Vortex: (AP) Fortitude, Evocation. Single target for an okay effect, but it will do basically nothing to a ranged enemy, or anyone with blasts or bursts. It'll stop a brute charging, but there are better ways to accomplish that. Pass.

Radiant Pillar: (D380) Radiant, Zone. Another pretend-to-be-a-cleric power. Blind is a decent effect, but it only lasts while in the zone. This power will do a lot of damage combined with a Morninglord and a bit of forced movement, so it can be worth a look.

Shock Beetle Swarm: (AP) Fortitude, Conjuration, Lightning, E. If it weren't for the 'at least' part, this power could do some great damage with a bit of a Con investment. As it is, it's pretty mediocre, especially being unfriendly. I feel like making some reference to Diablo 2, but this power isn't deadly enough to compare.

Shock Sphere: (HoFL) Reflex, Evocation, Lightning, E. A very large area of decent damage, and half on a miss. Unfriendly, but still a great pick for a blaster looking for range.

Level 5 Daily: Controllers: Tasha's Forcible Conscription or Visions of Avarice. Blasters: Acid Mire, Scattering Shock, or Summon Magma Beast. You could also go back and pick the other of the L1 dailies you didn't. Summoners: Imp or Magma Beast.

Level 5 Daily:

Acid Mire: (AP) Fortitude, Acid, Evocation, Zone. Reasonably damaging, and if your party is good at push+prone, it can keep adding up, but it's unfriendly, offers little control other than area denial by itself, and you can't move the zone. Worth a look for Blasters with a fair bit of forced movement on hand.

Bigby's Icy Grasp: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Cold, Conjuration. Okay against a single target, but unless you're heavily invested in Con, your Fortitude will be relatively easy to make escape checks against. Potentially a lot of damage if you have high defenses, but that will take investment.

Fire Mantle: (HoEC) Aura, Evocation, Fire. This sort of power tends to work better on Warlocks, especially hybridised charger gishes. For you, it's a bit of a waste. That said, the effect is pretty decent, so if you are some kind of odd gish or leader hybrid, it could be worth a look. (Watery Sphere is Transmutation, and this is Evocation? Did someone go into the filing cabinets while drunk or something?)

Fireball: (PHB-HoFL) Reflex, Fire, Evocation. THE iconic blaster spell. But it's only damage, and very unfriendly. A Blaster, especially a Pyromancer, can
consider it, but be very careful where you lob the thing. I would probably suggesting retraining it to Acid Mire if you pick up Fire Burst in 2 levels. If you're set on a fire-based power, Summon Magma Beast will generally outperform this. Still, it's traditional, and many of us will have a soft spot for it.

Foe to Frog: (HoFW) Fortitude, Polymorph, Transmutation. Slimy Transmutation, 4 levels later and LFR Legal. Still likely to waste something's turn, but feels a bit weaker at this level.

Glitterdust: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Radiant. Blind is a decent condition, and the effect line will really ruin certain creature types' days. But the small area affected, unfriendliness and short duration keep it from a higher rating.

Grasp of the Grave: (D372) Reflex, Necrotic, Necromancy, Zone. AB2 of friendly guaranteed damage, and dazes on hit. Would be blue were it not for the damage type. Necromancers should definately consider it.

Ice Knife: (HoEC) Cold, Evocation, Reflex. This feels more like an encounter power. It's pretty weak for a daily, and should be avoided. Cool concept though.

Phantasmal Assailant: (AP) Will, Illusion, Psychic. The effect is okay, but not spectacular, and it's only single target. Pass.

Savage Transformation: (HoFW) Fortitude, Polymorph, Transmutation. Since you can't dictate where the target goes, you're effectively granting Team Monster extra attacks, since the OA can be made even against PCs that shift. Do not use this.

Scattering Shock: (D383) Fortitude, Evocation, Reflex, Lightning. Rearrange the board, clump up your enemies and blast 'em all. You could do worse. An option for Blasters looking for precision and a minor in control.

Stinking Cloud: (PHB) Fortitude, Evocation, Poison, Zone. The effect is okay, but the obscuration works both ways, and poison is a commonly resisted or outright-immune damage type.

Summon Abyssmal Maw: (AP) Summoning. Play defender for a while. Not bad, and has some tactical use, or if you end up at a Defender-less LFR table, but nothing brilliant either.

Summon Imp: (D385) Summoning, Poison. Highly mobile, sneaky, and gives you a damage boost. Pity about the bad damage type, but at least its attacks themselves are untyped. The instrinsic effect is ignorable, so use it for off-turn damage.

Summon Magma Beast: (D385) Summoning, Fire. Slows and grants OGD to those it hits, and like the imp, has an ignorable intrinsic effect so long as you're careful. Just make sure to keep an enemy as 'the nearest creature'. Your defenders will love the Symbiosis effect.

Summon Shadow Servant: (Hos) Summoning, Shadow. Only selectable by a Mage with Expert Nethermancy or Necromancy. Summons a creature based on your specialisation (or pick one, if you have both for some odd reason). Necromancers can consider it, as the skeleton makes a semi-decent defender-lite, and is obviously flavourful. Nethermancers should probably stay away, as the beast's attack isn't very impressive. The at-will obscuring cloud is okay, but again, works both ways. Errata adding insubstantial improves its durability, although radiant damage will take it apart very quickly.

Tasha's Forcible Conscription: (HoFL) Will, Charm, Enchantment. Stun an enemy for a round and when they wake up, make 'em smack themself in the head. Good first turn power to let Team PC surround something. The fragility of the effect is a letdown, but can be used tactically to trigger the aftereffect. Decent, although the fragility of the miss effect does weaken that substantially.

Thunderstaff: (D380) Fortitude, Evocation, Thunder. Off-turn attacks like this are a bit more of a striker thing, but staves are good implements for you, and the large push will probably prevent whatever attack they were going to attempt to use on you. Plus it dazes (defeaned rarely has any effect). You could do worse. Does not do Thunder damage as advertised.

Visions of Avarice: (AP-HoFL) Will, Illusion, Zone. Enormous area of friendly clumping and immobilisation. Pity the secondary attack no longer also immobilises. Great if stacked with other zones, or for keeping enemies in Defender Auras and the like.

Web: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Zone. VoA does this better, and isn't unfriendly. Still, you don't have to sustain the zone, which gives it some use. A bit better with some creative use, or in narrow corridors and so on.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

The Beginnings of Power: Heroic Tier Spells (Part 2: Levels 6-10)


Level 6 Utility: Emerald Eye is a good choice, especially for Enchanters and Illusionists. Otherwise, Fire Shield, Summon Iron Cohort and Insightful Warning (Arcana Skill Utility) all have their uses.

Level 6 Utility:

Able Companion: (D380) Conjuration. Would be great, if it wasn't daily. Handy for repeatedly proning solo fights, but that's it.

Conjure Fortification: (HoEC) Conjuration. Generally, I expect my fortifications to be higher than a patheticly easy jump check. 5 squares isn't even enough to bridge some of the gaps you'll come across. Avoid.

Darklight: (HoS) Shadow, Zone. Honestly, just bring a torch. Being limited to a small static zone limits this power's usefulness in combat, although it could handy in the right sort of sneaky or Underdark campaign for non-combat use.

Dimension Door: (PHB-HoFL) Teleportation. Like Expiditious Retreat before it, it's just a lot of movement, for a daily. Pass. If this interested you, look at Wizard's Escape instead.

Disguise Self: (PHB) Illusion. Even with the bonus, you'll need a bit of an investment to get your bluff to the point of really being able to use. If you're willing to make that investment for the RP purposes, consider it. If not, pass.

Dispel Magic: (PHB-HoFL) Some enemies have very nasty conjuration or zone powers. However, they're few and far between enough that I can't recommened you keep this power around just for them. Your DM might allow it to work on force-fields and stuff, so it could be useful out of combat.

Emerald Eye: (AP) Ignore the insight bonus. This is an every encounter bonus to hit a defense you often target. Enchanters and Illusionists should not do without this power. Blasters can probably pass it by due to largely attacking Fort and Ref.

Evanesce: (HoFW) Zone. Being a reaction, it won't save you from the inital attack. It will prevent any further attacks, but you can't always predict whether they would have been aimed at you anyway. Wizard's Escape is far better than this.

Familiar's Call: (D382) Teleportation. If you have a familiar, this can be a lot of extra movement. Well worth considering in that case. Obviously useless to everyone else.

Fire Shield: (AP) Fire. It's daily, but it gives you resist to two common damage types, and since the trigger for the punishment is attack roll, it can kill the enemy before they damage you. Very good defensive power.

Force Ladder: (D383) Conjuration. Technically, it does have a combat use, but doing so will get you a PHB-slap from your DM and a lot of encounters with flying monsters. A very handy power for exploration and breaking into castles.

Glowering Wrath: (D381) Useful, but there are easier ways to get forced movement increasers, a lot of which are always on. Does stack with those though.

Invisibility: (PHB-HoFL) Illusion. The horrible range, sustain standard and being daily ruin this power.

Levitate: (PHB) Put yourself out of melee reach for one encounter. Decent, but the horizontal movement restrictions limit it quite a bit.

Oracular Maneuver: (HoFW) More a leader's power than your's, but like Insightful Warning, it's something to do with your immediate. IW's better though.

Refocus: (PHH 2) As useful as the unprepared spell in your spellbook for the given encounter. That is to say, hard to predict.

Revatilizing Charm: (HoFW) A no-questions asked condition remover. Decent, but leaders will generally do this better than you. Still, there are enough nasty Save Ends conditions out there, especially at higher levels. Some players strongly prefer having defensive tricks like this for those situations, if you're one of them, I have no real objections to you taking this.

Shadow Investiture: (HoS) Maybe if it was minor action. As it is, too situational, and keyed to an off-stat not all of you will have a decent mod in, to waste your valuable early round standard action on.

Spectral Hound: (AP) Illusion. Reasonable for a daily. +1 to all defenses and a flanking buddy for Team PC. Pity about the action type.

Summon Iron Cohort: (AP) Summoning. Effectively an extra pool of HP for you. Gets even better if you take Bonded Summoner or Rimetongue Caller as your PP. Plus, having a little armoured knight follow you around defending sounds very cute.

Wall of Fog. (PHB) Conjuration. Decent, but needs to be sustained and blocks Team PC's line of sight too.

Watery Double: (HoEC) Conjuration. Being able to fire around corners, or used forced movement from a different direction has tactical advantages. You could do a lot worse than this.

Wizard's Escape: (AP-HoFL) Teleportation. Negates an attack on you. Pity it got changed to daily.

Skill Powers:

Conceal Psyche: (DSH) Insight. +4 to Will and two okay saves and the ability to say "No, actually, I'm NOT dominated, thank you." is a good deal in my book.

Deliverance of Faith: (D385) Religion. Use a surge pre-emptively to buffer yourself against focus fire or heavy damage. Good for going into BBEG fights with. Better for those who are Con-secondary and have a higher surge count.

Experienced Arcana: (PHB3) Arcana. Halve the cost of nearly any ritual, and reroll a poor roll? That's a pretty good deal for those who do use rituals often.

Insightful Warning: (PHB3) Arcana. Once per encounter, increase the odds of you and your allies not suffering some nasty AoE. Wizards are relatively light on immediate actions, so this can be worth a look. (I managed to put it to use on a Swordmage, who are very immediate-intensive. A good power.)

Theologian's Shield: (PHB3) Religion. Decent resistance to a common damage type (and a not so common one). Good for those venturing into Ravenloft, or any other undead heavy campaign.

Warp in the Weave: (D385) Arcana. A bit of a heavy activation cost, but it does completely negate the attack on you. This could be worth the price in higher levels once enemies start doing more damage and bestowing nastier conditions.

Level 7 Encounter: Controllers: Charm of the Defender, Phantom Foes or Twist of Space. Blasters: Corrosive Mist, Lightning Bolt or Winter's Wrath.

Level 7 Encounter:

Charm of the Defender: (D381) Will, Charm, Enchantment. Slide one enemy into the middle of his friends and watch the carnage. Even if there's only one target it's still slide and immobilise for people to charge the target. A miss effect is just icing on a delicious cake.

Concussive Echo: (AP) Will, Charm, Evocation, Thunder. Charm and Thunder is an odd combo. A good minion popper, but 5 damage is unlikely to stop it attacking and this power does nothing to lower its odds of success. Pass.

Corrosive Mist: (D383) Fortitude, Evocation, Acid, Zone, E. Large area, reasonably damaging and comes with an auto-damage zone. A good choice for blasters.

Enemies Abound: (AP) Will, Illusion, Psychic, E. Good if your enemies and allies are already clumped together, but slightly outshined by other choices at this level.

Fire Burst: (PHB) Reflex, Fire, Evocation, E. Fireball: The encounter power. I almost wish the names were reversed, so a Blaster could shout "FIREBALL!" every encounter. What? You know you want to. Corrosive Mist is probably a bit better overall, but if you don't have a lot of forced movement, or just want point-and-shoot destruction, take this.

Fire Sea Travel: (D388) Reflex, Fire, Evocation, Teleportation, E. Close burst isn't really the range you want to use, but it does also get you out of there. The effect is handy, since it will impose an attack penalty on ranged attacks. More so if your DM RPs dumb monsters as dumb.

Ghoul Strike: (HoS) Fortitude, Necromancy, Necrotic, Shadow, Zone. Pretty average, but saved by the miss effect and chooseable range for an odd kind of utility. Better for Necromancers, but still kind of average.

Lightning Bolt: (PHB-HoFL) Reflex, Lightning, Evocation. Okay damage, half on a miss, good targeting, but nothing else. Blasters have better options for damage at this level, but precision is nice.

Murderous Twin: (HoS) Will, Nethermancy, Psychic, Conjuration, Shadow. A decent effect, but you do have to hit twice for the daze to go off, and it won't apply until the creature's next turn. The attack penalty does at least stack with Psychic Lock, and that feat will be reapplied on the second hit, so better if you have that feat in Paragon.

Phantom Foes: (HoFL) Will, Fear, Illusion. Autoslowing, and a reasonable chance the enemy will have to hit an ally at extra damage or even themselves. Unfriendly, but it only slows your allies so long as you don't apply the rest of the effect to them. Fear immunity will ruin this power, sadly.

Puckish Sprite: (HoFW) Will, Conjuration, Radiant. I prefer Charm of the Defender for forcing attacks, but this does come with an AoE attack penalty, and some damage of a good type on the initial attack. Pity it's not a charm/enchantment power.

Repelling Sphere: (D382) Fortitude, Evocation, Force, E. Again, close burst isn't your ideal range, but it could be worth considering if you have a familiar.

Spectral Ram: (PHB) Fortitude, Force, Evocation. I might have considered this worth a look at level 1. Here, it's just plain weak.

Thunder Cage: (D375) Fortitude, Thunder. Unlikely to really stop the enemy moving unless they're low on health, but this can be a decent double-hitter if you get your static mods up a bit. Pity it's only single-target.

Tomebound Ooze: (AP) Reflex, Acid, Evocation, Conjuration. Okay single target damage, a lot nastier if used on an enemy with multi-attacks, preferably an elite or solo that will AP to use them. The Tome of Binding rider actually weakens the power against those enemies, since it ends the damage on the first attack, and solo/elite fights are likely to have less enemies for it to blow up on.

Twist of Space: (AP) Will, Evocation, Teleportation. Okay damage, but the drawcard is the ability to group enemies up for you or someone else to drop further AoEs on. Remember that enemies get a save against this if you try to teleport them upwards to drop them, but there are less effects to resist or reduce teleportation compared to forced movement.

Winter's Wrath: (PHB) Fortitude, Evocation, Cold, Zone, E. Large area of a decent type of damage and adds a damage zone. Good with forced movement, but it's unfriendly. Corrosive Mist is a little better overall for Blasters, but this is decent, especially if going for cold support.

Worms of Minaurous: (AP) Fortitude, Evocation, Conjuration. Are you sure this isn't a Warlock power? Really? Okay then. Single target power for mediocre damage and a completely ignorable soft control effect. Ignore it.

Level 9 Daily: Controllers: Several good options; Face of Death, Mirage Arcana, Symphony of the Dark Court, Visions of Ruin (Circle of Death for Necromancers). Blasters: Melf's Minute Meteors, possibly Summon Hell Hound. Summoners: Succubus (Also a very good option for any controller).

Level 9 Daily:

Animate Dead: (D372) Summoning, Necrotic, AC. So you have to use a daily in a fight where you've already killed something, to do a fairly pathetic amount of a bad damage type? No. Not even Necromancers should consider this one, even if it screams thematic appropriateness (They should take Circle of Death instead). I would call this the Wizard's worst power, if Arcane Bolt and its ilk didn't exist. I take that back, since I just noticed it targets AC. This is now the Wizard's worst power.

Circle of Death: (HoS) Fortitude, Necromancy, Necrotic, Shadow. The damage is piddly (piddly necrotic too), but the effect is vicious, especially couple with some save penalties. Necromancers can definately consider this one.

Death Smoke:  (HoEC) Fortitude, Necromancy, Necrotic, Poison, Shadow, Zone. Low damage and an unfriendly zone of two bad damage types, that moves randomly? Definitely one to avoid.

Earthen Grasp: (HoEC) Reflex, Conjuration. The attack is okay, but enemies will just move out of it at first opportunity. Has far too strong competition at this level to recommend it.

Face of Death: (AP) Will, Illusion, Fear. Helpless means Coup de Grace-able, remember? Needs some investment in save penalties, but with that, or OoI this power becomes amazing. The miss effect is pretty nice too. Pity about fear-immunity.

Firescythe: (D383) Reflex, Evocation, Fire. Allowing your allies to avoid the damage sounds good on paper, but this power isn't damaging enough that it's going to kill every enemy your allies are now granting CA to (and taking an attack penalty against) for being prone.

Fool's Charm: (HoFW) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Psychic. At this level, I expect more from a single target wizard daily than ongoing damage and forced movement (Not even that if you're low on wisdom), especially one relying on failed saves.

Hex of Madness: (HoFW) Will, Enchantment, Psychic, Zone. Thankfully it's not Wis-keyed like many of the HoFW powers so far. It's friendly, and the zone does okay damage, but this is a very competitive level and it doesn't quite hold up to its opposition.

Ice Storm: (PHB-HoFL) Fortitude, Cold, Evocation, Zone. A good pick for blasters, offering them a large area of damage and a smidgen of control. Like Fireball, just be careful with the aim.

Lightning Serpent: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Lightning, Poison. Single target for okay damage and a weak condition. Maybe as an encounter power, but far too weak at this level of dailies.

Melf's Minute Meteors: (HoEC) Reflex, Evocation, Fire. One of the few old-edition spells to come back to 4e and actually be worth taking. (Must be something to do with how good it was in 2e). The premier pick for Blasters at this level. Even with the standard action to start it up, the secondary attacks are minor, and pretty good, and you get a defensive effect out of it. Brilliant.

Mirage Arcana: (HoS) Will, Illusion, Nethermancy, Psychic, Shadow, Zone. Possibly the single greatest thing to come out of Heroes of Shadow. Target it right and your enemies are left with basically no options. Being both Illusion and Nethermancy gives this power some good support too. Simply amazing.

Mordenkainen's Guardian Hound: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Conjuration. Pretty much no control, but it grants you minor action attacks. Blasters can consider this one, but Melf's is better. Pity about the standard action to summon it.

Mordenkainen's Sword: (PHB) Reflex, Conjuration, Force, Evocation. Completely overshadowed by the Hound above, even with the slightly better movement potential.

Phantasmal Killer: (HoFL) WIll, Fear, Illusion. It sounds good on paper, but it has issues: The effect can be broken by auto-damage such as auras and zones and the secondary attack, while decent, eats up your standard actions just for single target damage. Some synergy with Psychic Lock saves it from the absolute pits, but again, this is a competitive level.

Summon Arrowhawk: (AP) Summoning. It can mark, but not punish, does nowhere near the damage of the Hell Hound or the control of the Succubus. Avoid.

Summon Hell Hound: (D385) Summoning, Fire. Another nicely damaging summon with a relatively minor Intrinsic penalty. Get yourself some fire resist, be careful where you position it and watch the fires burn. Autodamage aura is a decent add-on. Blasters should give this one some serious consideration, especially for the damage buff of its Symbiosis effect.

Summon Succubus. (D385) Charm, Summoning. She dominates with her attacks. She can even do outside your turn if you're willing to take being dazed (Hint, Superior Will). Her Symbiosis effect is nice, but nothing special, although it does help to counter the CA you grant from being dazed. A fantastic power.

Symphony of the Dark Court: (HoFL) Will, Enchantment. A friendly power that dazes, hit or miss, immobilises if it hits, and your allies get to move into attack formation AND get a damage buff? What a combo.

Taunting Phantoms: (AP) Will, Illusion. A decent attack forcer, that also allows your allies to attack, if they're willing to suffer the penalty of the Effect line. Lacking the Enchantment/Charm keywords weakens it quite a bit. Better if you've got, say, a super-accurate Thief/Slayer/MBA-opped Avenger willing to make a save or two. Symphony, above, does the Leader-Wizard thing much better though.

Tome of Transposition: (D380) Enchantment, Reflex, Psychic. Okay single target damage and control, but really pales in comparison with the rest of the level. The miss effect is a lot weaker than it sounds, as a 'ranged daily power' excludes all area burst and close burst/blast powers, which most of your best dailies are. It also means this will generally want to be the first daily you use, limiting your tactics and versatility a bit. A poor choice overall.

Visions of Ruin: (AP) Fear, Illusion, Psychic, Zone. Lock your enemies into a small space and happily burn them down with ranged powers. The zone only affects those initally caught by the power, so your melee are free to wander in if they need to. Watch out for fear immunity.

Wall of Fire: (PHB) Conjuration, Evocation, Fire. Nasty if combined with some forced movement effects. Blocks line of sight for both teams so it might be hard to get enemies on the other side into the wall. You could consider it if you're willing to take the effort to make it work.

Level 10 Utility: Illusory Wall is a great option, but see my note on Wall powers, otherwise Mass Resistance, Blur or Repelling Shield.

Level 10 Utility:

Arcane Gate: (PHB-HoFL) You can use this power in combat, but so can your enemies. Good exploration or break-and-enter type power though.

Blur: (PHB-HoFL) A great defensive power for those nasty encounters with walls of archers, or if you just feel like staying out of the solo's reach, sight and mind.

Circle of Protection: (D382) Zone. It might give damage resistance, but it also encourages Team PC to clump up and get AoEed. Possibly worth it if you have other party members handing out bonuses for adjacency, but overall not brilliant.

Dig: (HoEC) Tunnel your way down into some caves, or have somewhere to hide the bodies bury your treasure. Could be useful.

Energy Devourer: (HoFL) A lot of enemies that deal large amounts of typed damage resist their own damage, and you can't predict that they'll be doing the same type as you. A bit better for Pyromancers or Evokers who ignore resistance, but not enough to salvage it, especially being daily.

Familiar Shape: (D382) Polymorph. Change yourself into something small and go sneakily scouting. Decent.

Feywild Spell Surge: (DMA 2009) A once per day do-over of a missed attack. Would be better as an encounter power. Eladrin can consider it, because of the bonus.

Flowing Evasion: (HoEC) An escape method for you, or enable an ally into a flank. Pretty decent.

Gale Wall: (HoEC) Conjuration. It's a wall. There's a better wall at this level. Even ignoring that, it's not that great, as the cover bonus is very specific and will probably hinder Team PC more than Team Monster.

Illusory Wall: (AP) Illusion. Another 'box the enemy in and burn them down with ranged attacks' power. This can really wreck an encounter with the right tactical usage, although do see my above note about wall powers.

Mass Resistance: (AP) Buffs like this aren't often CB10, and in the right encounters, this will prevent a lot of damage. I'm not normally fond of playing Leader-Wizard, but I've seen this sort of power completely neuter encounters. Not having to trigger it while Team PC is clumped up is great.

Mirror Image: (PHB) Illusion. One of the few buffs in the game that lasts more than one encounter, but it's fairly weak. It only benefits AC, while the nastier attacks against you at range target NADs, and the bonus drops whether a miss targetted an NAD or not. Blur and Shield are better defensive options.

Phoenix Step: (D388) Reducing damage of a fairly common type to zero is pretty nice, but it only works on that type. Worth considering if you're gonna take a trip through Fernia, the Elemental Plane of Fire, I guess. Note that you can trigger it off including yourself in a Fire power, or if you have a trigger happy Fire-Sorcerer in the party.

Repelling Shield: (PHH 1) Like Shield, but only works on melee powers. Lives up to its name with the forced movement.

Resistance: (PHB) Completely outclassed by Mass Resistance.

Summon Hammerfist Crusher: (AP) Summoning. Door in your way? Some REALLY ugly statues lying around? Summon this guy, problem solved.

True Seeing: (AP) A bit too situational for a daily utility at this level.

Umbral Leap: (HoS) Teleportation. Minor action teleportation is nice, and it has a decent range, but the light requirements weaken it a bit.

Wall of Gloom: (HoS) Nethermancy, Shadow, Zone. It would be decent, but it's in direct competition with Illusory Wall.

Witch Thorns: (HoFW) Transmutation, Zone. See above. Even without that, Wall 3 is fairly small, even if it can be expanded. The 'Special' box is interesting, but 25 HP is pretty piddly for something that gets hit automatically.

Witch's Reversal: (D382) Doesn't help when you miss that one key target, but does let you reroll any number of misses. The value of this power goes up the more large blasts/burst you have. Blasters could consider it for accuracy reasons, but lobbing fireballs at enemies trapped behind Illusory Wall is probably better.

Words of Deceit: (D381) Pretty much worthless to everyone except Enchanters, but even they should retrain it out once they get Entrancing Mystic's L16 feature.

Skill Powers: None.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

Power Ascendant: Paragon Tier Spells


The same comments on ratings and advice from previous posts apply here.

Level 13 Encounter: Controllers: Dark Gathering, Prismatic Burst, Mesmeric Hold. Blasters: Blackening Pyre, Prismatic Burst, Thunderlance or Twisting Lightning.

Level 13 Encounter:

Arcane Arrows: (D381) Force. Magic Missile, Multi-target. But only barely, and still bad for all the same reasons.

Arcane Chastisement: (D382) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Psychic. Another rare off-turn attack for you, and this one has one surprisingly nasty effect if used on a Solo or Elite - react to their first attack, and their options for their AP action are very limited, to the point where they may not take one. There are stronger options at this level, but this one can really benefit from the right timing. Would be blue, but the duration is a bit off - if the effect lasted til the end of the target's next turn, it would be truely powerful. The familiar effect will help keep it alive, but doesn't really strengthen the power much.

Blackening Pyre: (HoS) Fortitude, Fire, Necrotic, Necromancy, Shadow, Zone, E. Good damage, and combined damage types make it hard to resist (Well, except maybe for Fireskulls?). A bit of forced movement and a damage zone add some control, but not that much. Better for Blasters of all stripes, especially Necromancers.

Dark Gathering: (HoS) Will, Psychic, Shadow, Zone, Nethermancy, E. AoE friendly dazing, blind one target, obscuring for your enemies only, and it even does psychic damage? It's hard not to like this power.

Earth Brute: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Conjuration. Somewhat thematic for a summoner, but a pretty weak power overall. Okay damage, but the conjuration has limits on its usefulness, especially being immobile and the 'willingly' language. Pass.

Entangling Force: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Force, E. Stopping teleports and allowing your allies to punish shifts is decent, but a bit situational. Gets better as you move up into later paragon and epic, where enemy teleportation gets more common. A pity you can't drop it over your defender. The Wand of Accuracy kicker is a joke.

Frostburn: (PHB) Fortitude, Cold, Fire, Evocation, E. Despite the larger area and Evocation keyword, I feel Blackening Pyre does this better, due to the better triggers on its zone. Thunderlance also does large-scale AoE better. A non-fire based Evocation blaster could consider it if you're not keen on close blast powers, but still somewhat outshined.

Hold Monster: (HoFL) Charm, Enchantment. Another old spell returns to 4th edition. Pity it didn't do so in style. Limited range and single target limit its potential, and restrained isn't that big an effect. Mesmeric Hold does pretty much the same job much better.

Illusory Assailant: (AP) Reflex, Illusion. I'm a little surprised that this doesn't have the Conjuration keyword and doesn't target Will. As it stands, it's not that great. Decent single target damage, and a flank buddy for Team PC, but that's all. If it could make OAs, it would be a great area-denial power. But it can't.

Improved Dread Presence: (HoFW) Will, Nethermancy, Necrotic, Fear, Zone, E. Improved... not really. A small damage upgrade over the L1 version does not really help this power. And the previous comment about being better for Necromancers no longer applies with Blackening Pyre on the table. Skip this one.

Improved Glorious Presence: (HoFW) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Radiant, E. Pretty much the same thing as its L1 version, although the THP amount is more noticeable. Feels a bit weaker at this point in your career though. Again, if you have a wis mod worth a mention and a Radiant Mafia party, consider it, but Prismatic Burst also does Radiant damage. At this point, I wonder why you're not playing a Laser Cleric or Invoker though.

Mesmeric Hold: (PHB) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Psychic. Possibly one of the few damaging powers in an Enchanter's line up, and it's a decent one. Good targetting, okay if not spectacular damage, boosts itself for single target fights and a miss effect all add up to a solid package. Not top tier, but not a bad choice.

Mirror Sphere: (AP) Will, Illusion, Psychic. Pity it's not the original AP version. Still, it might make the target consider the next power it uses, but it doesn't impose conditions or anything else back on it. Note that automatically hitting means they can't crit themselves. Multi-attacking solos and elites can really ignore this power.

Orbmaster's Umbral Assault: (AP) Will, Illusion, Necrotic, Zone, E. Piddly damage and a very unfriendly zone. The OoI kicker improves the zone somewhat, but not the initial attack. A very poor choice.

Prismatic Burst: (PHB) Will, Radiant, Evocation, E. Large area, decent damage of a good type, decent effect and even if you miss, you still give out a penalty. Unfriendly, but still one of the best picks of the level, for both controllers and blasters.

Thunderlance: (PHB) Reflex, Thunder, Evocation, E. Another large area power of decent damage, and guaranteed forced movement. A good power, and the highest damage option here. Blasters who don't mind close range can definately pick this.

Twisting Lightning: (HoFL) Reflex, Evocation, Lightning. Damage, and nothing else. However, very precise damage, and does half on a miss, making it a great choice for Blasters.

Wake of Fire: (D388) Reflex, Evocation, Fire. A triple target attack, but only if you have three enemies all within 2 squares of each other, and you have to be close to one of them to start it. Too finicky on targeting and outdone for damage potential.

Level 15 Daily: Controllers: Slumber of the Winter Court, or pick up another level 9 power, where there are still many good choices. Blasters: Ball Lightning, Blast of Cold (NOT Cone). Summoners: Chainbearer is the best of a bad lot.

Level 15 Daily:

Ball Lightning: (AP) Reflex, Conjuration, Lightning. It's Flaming Sphere, that doesn't have to be sustained, moves faster, flys and slows those around it. Doesn't do Flaming Sphere's auto-damage, but still a strong power. Careful positioning can keep an enemy permanently slowed and your allies out of its attacks.

Bigby's Grasping Hands: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Conjuration, Force. A bit fiddly to use, but attacking as a move action is nice, so long as you don't need to move (careful with that). Pity your Fortitude will be relatively easy to escape against without some investment. The standard action damage option is okay, but not spectacular. A bit too action intensive and limited in potential to really shine.

Blast of Cold: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Cold. A power worth going into close range for. Friendly, great damage, large area, and you get some control, even if you miss. A great power for either type of Wizard.

Charm of the Dark Dream: (HoFW) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Psychic. Yes, I just rated a dominating power red. Removing yourself from play like this is too much - Team PC suddenly lacks any other control or damage you could have laid down, and if there are other monsters on the board, they have less targets, meaning more focused incoming fire. And you come back in charge range of whatever you dominated. This power completely ruins itself.

Cone of Cold: (HoFL) Fortitude, Evocation, Cold. Another returning power that should turn around and go back where it came from. Blast of Cold does more damage and is friendly, and read this power's effect line carefully: It can not kill minions. Do not take this.

Enervation: (HoS) Fortitude, Nethermancy, Necrotic, Shadow. Okay single target damage and a decent effect, but the check penalty is a bit of a joke. The only things likely to live long enough for it to matter (solos) will statistically make their save long before it reaches -4. That is a lot of THP to give yourself though. Probably better to use for one round of weakening and ignore the failed saving throws.

Evard's Dreadful Mist: (AP) Will/Reflex, Fear, Psychic, Nethermancy, Zone. Another power that works better on paper than in practice. The secondary attack is decent, especially with psychic lock, but the zone blocks your line of sight as well, greatly reducing your accuracy. Having to hit twice to get the damage, with that penalty in play is not a great option. Pass.

Fiery Constrictor: (HoEC) Reflex, Evocation, Fire. Reasonably precise, but not hugely damaging. Okay condition. You could do worse, but you can do better.

Hex of Woe: (HoFW) Will, Cold, Necromancy, Necrotic. Not a huge amount of single target damage, and I'm pretty sure Runepriests and Ardents were doing the same effect several levels ago. The effect doesn't apply to the inital attack either. If it were a blast or multi-targetted, it would be worth it, as is, pass this one up too.

Mental Maelstrom: (HoFL) Will, Illusion, Psychic, Zone. Party-friendly psychic damage and forced movement... that you probably won't use much since you'll want them to stay in the zone. Okay, but there are better options. A bit better in a party with a lot of forced movement, or with say a Knight standing in the middle of it. Really needs to slow or immobilise though.

Otiluke's Resilient Sphere: (PHB) Reflex, Conjuration, Evocation, Force. With the updated MM3 damage expressions, this sphere isn't gonna last long, and it just delays the fight against solos or elites. The sustain would be better if you didn't have to hit again. It can save an ally's life, but Leaders have much better powers for that, really.

Prismatic Beams: (PHB) All NADs, Fire, Poison, Evocation. A decent power. Reasonable damage and a large area of friendly dazing and two sets of ongoing damage. Controllers and Blasters both can consider this power.

Serpents of Flame: (D388) Reflex, Fire, Polymorph, Transmutation. So you're a defender now? While this power does give you off turn attacks, the range is very limiting, and will most likely encourage enemies to just stand and attack you. And if they did enough damage to be worth keeping away from allies, you don't want them to do that. Possibly worth considering on a defender|wizard hybrid, especially a swordmage.

Shunt Between Worlds: (DMA 2009) Will, Psychic, Teleportation. "The destination must be on solid ground." Where's the fun in that? Technically, this also means it's unusable in an aerial encounter, which can become more common at this level and upwards. You can use it to get enemies away from you, but not if you miss, and you can accomplish the same thing with movement utilities.

Slumber of the Winter Court: (HoFL) Will, Charm, Enchantment. Sleep, Mark II. Unconcious hit or miss (technically, it's better if you miss for combat purposes, but the inital hit effect is stronger). Invest in some save penalties and end one encounter per day, every day.

Soul Puppets: (D372-HoS) Will, Charm, Necromancy, Necrotic, Shadow. Blast of Cold and Prismatic Beams will outdamage this, but at least this has range. Better (and actually quite powerful) if you play in an undead-centric campaign or adventure.

Stonewrack: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Zone. The initial attack is fairly damaging, as is the zone, but its unfriendly, so watch your allies. Ranged enemies will likely just ignore this power. Better for blasters looking for a ranged offering.

Summon Chainbearer: (AP) Summoning, Fortitude. Solid area denial. Your melee will probably tell you how much they dislike threatening reach, and now you get to turn it around on the enemy.

Summon Invisible Stalker: (HoEC) Summoning, AC. Yes, AC. The biggest problem, apart from the lack of intrinsic actions or a decent (Any, really) OA, is the fact that the control on offer is a grab with a very easy DC to escape. Not a good power overall.

Summon Stormstone Fury: (D385) Summoning, Thunder, Reflex. Adding extra damage and miss damage to your blasts and bursts (including the summon's own attack) is good, but the intrinsic action is hard to use for off-turn attacks, since you have good odds of damaging your own team (again, with that extra damage). A bit too finicky to really use, unless your team has a lot of thunder resist somehow.

Summon Vrock: (D385) Summoning, Reflex, Poison. The attack isn't worth your standard action, the symbiosis effect is very limited (and a bad damage type) and the intrinsic penalty is extremely harsh. Avoid.

Vertigo: (AP) Will, Illusion. The effect line really makes this power, although the hit effect is amusing. A bit weak overall though, once both sides are settled into position. Could be better with forced movement of the right amount to trigger the effect, but overall quite finicky, like a lot of this level. Possibly worth it in a Headsman's Chop based team, but there will usually be better ways to prone available.

Vitriolic Sphere: (HoEC) Reflex, Acid, Evocation. I'd be impressed with this as a heroic encounter power. At this level, and as a daily, it is just far too weak.

Wall of Ice: (PHB) Cold, Conjuration, Evocation. Good area denial, and while the wall is somewhat flimsy, at least it punishes for attacking it. Usual wall comments.

Level 16 Utility: Flame's Protection, Fly, Insightful Riposte (Insight Skill Utility) or Stoneskin.

Level 16 Utility:

Alter Self: (HoEC) Polymorph. There are easier and lower level ways to achieve this effect with items. Or you could play a Changeling? A campaign with little to no magic items might make it more useful.

Beneficient Transformation: (HoFL) I'd like this better if you got all 3 benefits, or worked on the whole party. It's a bit too limited and situational as it is. Slightly surprised it doesn't have the Transmutation keyword.

Clever Escape: (AP) Illusion, Teleportation. Movement, invisibility and a target dummy are an okay combo, but it's daily, and the illusion is more likely to get included in a blast or poked by a minion (that 'touched' line) than really eat an attack. Like a lot of these powers, better if your DM RPs dumb monsters as such.

Cloud Form: (HoEC) Polymorph. Not being able to attack renders this power a lot weaker than Fly, but being able to slip through cracks has its uses for sneaking or escaping.

Dancing Shadows: (HoS) Nethermancy, Shadow. It might be an immediate, and it can stop an attack that barely hits, but concealment doesn't stop area attacks, and the aftereffect suffers badly from timing issues.

Dimension Switch: (D380-HoFL) Teleportation. Surrounded? Give them your defender instead. Situational, but not bad for it.

Displacement: (PHB) Illusion. Rerolling an attack might make the enemy miss, but it might also make them crit. Short range and will provoke an OA when used (Not a huge issue, but it's there). A bit too risky for general use, but can be worth it if you have a lot of attack penalties going around.

Flame's Protection: (D388) Fire. Fire Shield, as a multi-target encounter power. Shorter duration, but a decent effect.

Fly: (PHB) Flight is always useful. Just be careful not to get stunned, since you don't hover.

Greater Invisibility: (PHB) Illusion. Better range than the original, but still limited and a standard action. Better out of combat.

Mare's Body: (HoFW) Transmutation, Polymorph. +4 to speed is decent, but be wary of your new size limiting where you can go. Also, picking an origin square for bursts means you can hit yourself with unfriendly close bursts (Not a huge amount of your power list, granted.) This power produces some very amusing and possibly somewhat creepy mental images if used by, say, a Pixie or Shardmind wizard. Overall though, if you're gonna change your movement once a day, pick Fly.

Phantom Mask: (AP-HoFL) Illusion. Disguise your whole team and infiltrate somewhere. I'm sure you could make use of this, just mind the insight DC.

Phase Shift: (AP) Polymorph. I'd like this better if it was an encounter power, or sustainable. It could be useful, but it's fairly limited.

Soul Harvest: (HoS) Healing, Necromancy, Shadow. It's an okay heal, but daily with a hard to predict trigger that may not occur when you need it.

Spatial Lock: (D375) Zone. It's a standard action, and daily, but no-save, guaranteed denial of one of the Epic tier's more common and hard to counter movement types is worth considering. Probably worth being the second thing stored in your spellbook.

Spectral Vision: (AP) Illusion. Useable, but not brilliant - the effect breaks as soon as the enemy walks into lava, and your DM might give the enemy bonuses to see through it if you just put it up before them, or they know the area well. Could have some use out of combat.

Stoneskin: (PHB) If you don't use it on yourself, use it on your defender or leader. A decent power.

Summon Diamond Falcon: (AP) Summoning. A slightly weaker Fly, but doesn't eat your minor actions. Slightly more stylish way to travel, in my opinion. You could use it to get an ally out of a bad spot, or into tactical positions, or around the room for skill challenge reasons.

Tides of Fate: (HoFW) Doesn't help stop the failures in the first place, and at this level, you and your team should all have better ways of generating CA.

Words of Truth: (D381) Interrogation, easy mode. I still don't like these powers, but it could be useful in an intrigue based campaign... or completely ruin one.

Skill Powers:

Elemental Countermeasures: (PHB3) Arcana. Your Arcana check should be somewhere between Reasonable and Pretty Good by this point. A good roll will mean a pretty good amount of damage shaved off. It has merit, especially later on if you're making the investment towards Sage of Ages.

Insightful Riposte: (PHB3) Insight. Turn a close miss into a hit. That's always good.

Level 17 Encounter: Controllers: Charm of False Glory, Mass Charm (Hard decision!) or Phantasmal Horror. Blasters: Combust, Dancing Flames or Furnace of Sand.

Level 17 Encounter:

Charm of False Glory: (D381) Will, Charm, Enchantment. An even better version of Charm of the Defender. With some forced movement and use of the sliding effect, you can get multiple attacks out of your poor little puppet. (The free action attack limit does not apply to attacks forced by an enemy) You can even use it on an ally thanks to the 'creature' target line, but the limit will apply then. A truely spectacular power.

Choking Shadow: (HoFW) Reflex, Cold, Necrotic, Conjuration, Nethermancy. Repeatable single target damage and immobilisation would be decent in heroic, but here it's just pretty weak.

Combust: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Fire, E. Unfriendly damage. Lots of it, but that's it. Obviously better for blasters and pyromancers. I prefer Dancing Flames for them, but this does have range.

Dancing Flames: (HoFL) Reflex, Evocation, Fire, E. Large area of friendly damage with half on a miss. No control, but the premier pick for Blasters at this level (Unless you're allergic to close blasts).

Crushing Titan's Fist: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Force, Zone, E. The effect line only really works on targets you missed or those outside the zone. Stacks with difficult terrain. Not brilliant overall, but a Blaster looking to dabble in control with her damage could use it.

Dancing Bolts: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Lightning. It's sort of a triple target attack, but requires you to hit your first 1-2 targets, and limits your targetting options. The damage amount is a bit too low for this level as well. Too many penalties for no real gain.

Force Volley: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Force. Triple target daze that boosts itself for a solo fight and does okay damage. Decent enough.

Furnace of Sand: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Fire, Zone, E. A bit lower on the inital damage, but the zone can do some more to make up for it. Pity the blind is only while in the zone. A blaster with some forced movement on hand can consider it.

Gripping Chains: (AP) Reflex, Force, Evocation, E. Crushing Titan's First wins out over this, slightly, but not by much. The OA effect is less useful due to being unfriendly.

Horrific Shadow: (HoS) Will, Psychic, Illusion, Nethermancy, Shadow, E. Unfriendly close bursts are not your ideal powers, and the invisibility should be used to get away from monsters, not stand next to them for the minor auto-damage.

Ice Tomb: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Cold. It's a single target stun... that results in your allies being unable to attack the target. Situationally useful, but generally it's just going to result in delaying the inevitable. There's another stun at this level, as well.

Mass Charm: (HoFL) Charm, Enchantment. Talk about controlled chaos. Position your enemies wherever you want, have them all smack each other, then you and the rest of team PC let rip with other AoE. Simple, elegant destruction. Love it.

Night Tempest: (HoFW) Fortitude, Cold, Evocation, E. Like Choking Shadow, I'd be more impressed with this Feywild offering back in heroic. Dancing Flames outdoes it for damage and isn't unfriendly. Pass.

Phantasmal Horror: (AP) Will, Illusion, Fear. Single target stun, daze on a miss, and you get a damage bonus to boot. Decent, although fear immunity will apply.

Shard of the Endless Avalanche: (AP) Fortitude, Conjuration, Evocation. The name feels more Druid, or maybe an elemental themed monk. Anyway. Mediocre damage that requires bunched up enemies. Note that any forced movement increasers you have will not make the boulder move any futher than 5 squares. Very weak overall.

Soul Blight: (HoS) Fortitude, Fire, Necrotic, Necromancy, Shadow, E. Okay effect line if not spectacular for this level, but unfriendly, and there are better options for damage compared to the initial attack. The undead line improves it a bit, but the attack penalty will still apply.

Thunderous Transformation: (D382) Fortitude, Thunder, Transmutation. Bad single target damage, weak auto-damage that will affect your allies, and enemies get to save against forced teleportation if you try to send them upwards. The familiar line increases the damage potential, but one save will still negate it, and why is your familiar 20 squares up anyway?

Wand Coupling: (D380) Reflex, Evocation. "You must be using a wand", that also has an encounter power to use an at-will. You could use this as a double-tap attack power, but it either means one of your two implements is a mediocre wand, or you're carrying around a low level master's wand as a golfbag item. Too restrictive to really be worth it.

Level 19 Daily: Controllers: A pretty bad level, with one shining star in Wrath of Battle. Blasters: Probably Landslide or Summon Rockfire Dreadnought. Summoners: Black Devourer or Rockfire Dreadnought.

Level 19 Daily:

Acid Wave: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Acid. It's an unfriendly blast that doesn't do much more damage than your e17s. Pass.

Cloudkill: (PHB) Fortitude, Poison, Evocation, Zone. Stinking Cloud all over again. Bigger area, a bit more damage, but still just as mediocre.

Disintegrate: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation. Single target damage, and not a lot of it. And yet somehow it got nerfed since the PHB version. At least it doesn't destroy the target's possessions anymore.

Entombing Earth: (D372) Reflex, Necromancy, Necrotic. Ice Tomb was bad. This is worse - lower initial damage of a worse type, and delays the inevitable, save ends. Don't bother.

Evard's Black Tentacles: (PHB) Reflex, Nethermancy, Necrotic, Zone. Pity it isn't the original PHB version anymore. An immobilising zone of necrotic damage isn't that great for a daily of this level, although a Necromancer might like it.

Evard's Ebon Bindings: (AP) Will, Charm, Nethermancy, Psychic. Okay single target control, although it really requires heavy investment in save penalties to get to the good effects. Sadly, if you make it to the dominate, the target will still be stunned from the previous effect. Better for an OoI-user, or an Epic Tiefling with Royal Command of Asmodeus. The miss effect barely rates a mention at this level.

Feast of Destruction: (D388) Reflex, Fire, Evocation, Zone. Not a huge amount of fire damage, and a fairly ignorable zone. A bit better for Pyromancers, although Tieflings looking to use Icy Clutch of Stygia should stay away, as save preventation stops that feat working.

Fragile Form: (HoFW) Fortitude, Polymorph, Transmutation. Like a lot of similar effects, this power suffers from Solo save bonuses. If you're invested in save penalties and have fire damage dealers on Team PC, vuln 15 is quite a bit to dish out though, so consider it then. Very specific though.

Horrid Wilting: (HoEC) Fortitude, Transmutation. First question: Do you even own 9d4? If this had the Evocation keyword, it'd be a lot better for high odds of triggering the reroll, but as is, it's not that great. Weakening is decent, but as a single target spell, it suffers from solo save bonuses.

Landslide: (HoEC) Fortitude, Evocation, Zone. Pretty unimpressive, and the zone effect is fiddly to use. Blasters could give it a look if only for being a CB5 with okay damage and half on a miss.

Mass Transformation: (HoFW) Fortitude, Polymorph, Transmutation. A bit better than its lower level counterparts due to friendly area targeting, but the effect is still fragile. Pretty well worthless in a solo fight at this level.

Oppressive Force: (AP) Reflex, Evocation, Force. Single target damage, and ongoing + prone. Very weak for a daily of this level, in all honesty. If you have the save penalties to be worth it, take Evard's Ebon Bindings instead.

Plague of Illusions: (AP) Illusion, Will. What is with this level and mediocre single target effects? Thankfully, the failed save effects do not say instead, which would make this power completely worthless. The hit effect is at least decent, but again, Solos and save bonuses. Still better off with Ebon Bindings.

Summon Angel Wretch: (D380) Summoning, Fortitude, Reflex, Necrotic, Poison. The OA is probably the best thing about this summon. Pity about the bad damage types. Decent for a Necromancer though.

Summon Black Devourer: (AP) Summoning, Reflex. My usual comments about Grabs and your Fortitude apply. However, the proning OA is a very solid bit of control and area denial.

Summon Coatl: (D385) Summoning, Reflex, Radiant, Lightning. Okay damage of a decent mix, but the symbiosis effect is pretty bad and the intrinsic effect is unfriendly. Pass.

Summon Rockfire Dreadnought: (D385) Summoning, Reflex, Fire. Another summon to use for its Intrinsic effect for off turn attacks. The symbiosis AC bonus negates the penalty, and Fire resist is easy to get, even from your own powers. The Black Devourer's proning OAs offer more control, but this is a decent choice for a Blaster or a Summoner looking for damage.

Summon Shadow Servant: (HoS) Summoning, Shadow, Only selectable by a Mage with Expert Nethermancy or Necromancy. Note that this doesn't give you another use of the power, only higher level creatures to use with it, so it's effectively the same as retraining a lower level summon. Like its lower level counter part, the Nethermancy option only has your HS value in HP. Its aura and insubstantiality will counteract this to an extent, but only really in large fights.  At-will weakening is nice, as is the OA auto-damage but both are necrotic damage, and the OA has terrible range restrictions. Funnily, the summon is better for a Necromancer than you. As for the Necromancer's own option, it's decent, but not spectacular. The IR attack will break the immobilisation it dishes out.

Thought Cage: (HoFL) Will, Illusion. Continuing this level's trend of mediocre single target effects. It's a stun straight off the bat, but the fragility really ruins it. Okay aftereffect and miss lines at least.

Wrath of Battle: (HoFL) Charm, Enchantment, Fear, Psychic. The only truely good power of the level. Bunch your enemies up, get them to whack each other, and take damage if they miss, followed up with whatever other AoE team PC dishes out. Or even stack it with Mass Charm to double your fun. I'd almost rate it gold, when considering the rest of the level. Almost.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

The Epitome of Power: Epic Tier Spells


As before, same comments apply here.

Level 22 Utility: Mass Fly, Time Stop, Wraithform.

Level 22 Utility:

Acererak's Apotheosis: (HoS) Necromancy, Shadow. Say that ten times fast. Overall, a mediocre power. The main benefit is the THP, and there's a heroic tier skill power that does the same thing as an encounter power. Better if you need the necrotic resist, and more so if fighting enemies that do heavy poison damage. Or Lolth.

Arcane Recall: (HoFL) Like Refocus before it, its usefulness is hard to predict. It could either be just what you need, or go days without use.

Command Water: (HoEC) A bit specific, but you get to be Moses crossing the Red Sea. Can't really complain about that, especially since you are supposed to be an Epic Level WizardTM at this point.

Dimensional Journey: (D380) Teleportation. Long range, but a daily power, and your allies may not be able to easily follow, depending on their own teleport capabilities.

Dire Familiar Incantation: (D382) Polymorph. Turn your familiar into a meatshield and flank buddy for team PC that prones or applies forced movement. Decent, although obviously useless to those without a familiar.

Fire Sigil: (D388) "Until you leave your square". Sigh, what a waste of potential.

Globe of Invulnerability: (AP) Conjuration, Force. You can't take damage, but you can't deal it. The situations where this power would be useful are too few and far between to recommend it.

Living Iron: (HoEC) Polymorph. Pretty decent combination of buffs, but slowed all encounter long, along with vuln 10 lightning (after the resist all) is a pretty big penalty to slap on an ally. Unless that ally is a 23rd level+ Slayer, in which case, they'll probably love you for it.

Mass Fly: (PHB-HoFL) Does exactly what you'd expect. And that's a very useful thing for it to do. Like Fly, try not to get stunned.

Mordenkainen's Lucubration: (AP) How useful this is to you depends on how many of your powers have sustain lines. If the answer is 'a few' 'several' or even 'the majority', it's well worth considering for how many actions it can save you, or how many powers it can allow you to use at once. Otherwise, pass it by.

Mordenkainen's Mansion: (PHB) Better than sleeping out in the rough. There are wondrous items and rituals that can do this for you, but if they're not an option, give it some thought.

Phantom Legion: (AP) Illusion. Unless, for some gods-only-know-exactly-why reason, your life depends on your ability to stage The Phantom of the Opera at a moment's notice, you'll probably be hard pressed to really use this power in combat. Out of combat though, stage a false banquet as a trap, have your own hecklers at a tyrant's speech without risking your own neck... there could be a use for this.

Preserving Sleep: (HoFW) Leaders have better powers for this and many PCs will soon have their anti-death feature from their ED.

Time Stop: (PHB) Not being able to attack is less of a limitation than you'd think. Cast buffs, conjurations, summons... there's plenty to do with extra actions.

Umbral Stride: (HoFW) Decent extra movement, but Mass Fly is probably the more useful power of that type overall.

Wall of Force: (AP-HoFL) Conjuration, Force. Another wall with punishment for attacking it. If your DM rules that a burst hitting multiple squares deals several instances of damage to the wall, it will drop fast though.

Wraithform: (HoS) Nethermancy, Shadow. Take half damage and go where you please, all encounter long if you sustain it, and you even get to hover. Great.

Level 23 Encounter: Controllers: Animate Shadows, Charm of False Heroism, Deceptive Shadows or Horde of Puckish Sprites. Blasters: Chain Lightning.

Level 23 Encounter:

Acid Storm: (PHB) Fortitude, Acid, Evocation, Zone, E. Huge area, especially if enlarged. Has some of Stinking Clouds problems, but at least it's a better damage type. A bit better for Blasters, if only for the area of damage. Deceptive Shadows blocks enemy sight so much better than this though.

Animate Shadows: (HoS) Will, Nethermancy, Shadow, Necrotic, E. Damage isn't what this power is for (Bad type, and the secondary damage is so minor it may as well not exist). A few forced movement increasers and you can really mess up an enemy's turn when they find themselves well out from where they started. The effect line is probably superfluous at this level, but at least it's something.

Arcane Volley: (D381) Force. Another one in this line, and just as bad as the ones before it. The single target damage increasers do not increase its worth.

Astral Claw: (AP) Fortitude, Conjuration, Evocation. This might have been impressive in heroic, maybe early paragon. Here, it's just weak, and the secondary effect will be ignored.

Brutish Construct: (HoFW) AC, Conjuration. Yes, Implement vs AC, which puts a crimp in your accuracy. And that's not the worst part. It's ranged 5, but the auto damage requires that both the enemy and you be adjacent to the construct, which puts you easy attack range of all those nasty epic tier beasties. A truely bad power.

Chain Lightning: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Lightning. Odds are, you're going to hit the entire board with this one. Even controllers can consider this, since it renders minions near pointless. Gets really powerful with Mark of Storm.

Charm of False Heroism: (HoFL) Will, Charm, Enchantment. A solid upgrade to Charm of the Defender. Pity it's only single target at this level and you can't make the target attack itself, but it's still fairly powerful.

Crushing Necrotism: (D382) Reflex, Necromancy, Necrotic. Piddly damage and pathetic effects for this level. The familiar rider does not improve it.

Deceptive Shadows: (AP-HoFL) Will, Illusion, Implement, Psychic, E. Unfriendly but it's pyschic, and has a great effect line for ruining ranged enemies or those with threatening reach.

Flaming Rebuke: (D388) Reflex, Fire, Evocation. An IR attack, but the damage is pretty low. The stun is nice, but too specific to be relied on and has timing issues.

Freezing Bolts: (AP) Reflex, Cold, Evocation. Fairly weak for an encounter power of this level. The Wand rider improves it, but a blaster shouldn't really be using a wand.

Horde of Puckish Sprites: (HoFW) Will, Radiant, Zone, E. The opening attack's a bit mediocre at this level, but the effect's the real power here. Have one of your strikers wander into the zone and grant him or her several attacks against your enemies. I'd rate this higher, but being unfriendly means it's a bit finicky to use, and relies on timing to get the most benefit from if you want to involve an ally. You can happily have your enemies beat each other up of course. Also lacks the Enchantment keyword, sadly.

Orbmaster's Insuperable Lethargy: (AP) Fortitude, Nethermancy, E. AoE weakening is a decent effect, but Deceptive Shadows will most likely negate more damage. Better with the OoI rider.

Staffstrike: (AP) Fortitude, Evocation, Lightning. Mediocre single target damage and no control. The SoD rider will allow you to negate an attack, but that mean using a valuable early encounter standard action on this fairly worthless power. A bad choice.

Thunderclap: (PHB) Fortitude, Evocation, Thunder. Single target stun that does some damage. Those are always useful. Dazes on a miss too. You can do worse.

Vampiric Strike: (HoS) Fortitude, Healing, Necromancy, Psychic, Shadow. This feels like a heroic tier leader power. Which makes it fairly weak for one of your epic encounter powers. If you really need a self-heal, consider some of the skill utilities, or item powers.

Level 25 Daily: Controllers: Bewitching Gaze, Mind of Rage, Phantom Reality, or Prismatic Spray. Blasters: Prismatic Spray, Rime Beasts or Summon Marilith. Summoners: Abyssal Horde or Marilith.

Level 25 Daily:

Bewitching Gaze: (HoFW) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Psychic. Probably one of HoFW's best offerings for the Wizard. Dominate the enemy and they still get to take a full set of actions? Why not. March them past Team PC to provoke OAs and then have them attack themselves. Or just keep 'em marching so they pass more PCs. Even better if you catch one of those nasty enemies with at-will minor action attacks. Sustain standard keeps it from the top spot, but remember that EonT is better than Save Ends against some enemies. The miss effect is really nice, although Charm Vs Will rarely misses.

Bubbling Acid: (AP) Reflex, Fortitude, Acid, Zone, Evocation. Unfriendly damage with a mediocre zone, and the blind requires you to hit again and has timing issues. Not a good choice.

Cinder Storm: (AP) Reflex, Fire, Evocation, Zone. A bit better damage and conditions than Bubbling Acid, once you count in the secondary attacks, but to really get those attacks you need to be invested in save penalties, and there are better options at this level if you are.

Delayed Blast Fireball: (HoFL) Reflex, Evocation, Fire. Oh how the mighty have fallen between editions. Two actions to do less damage than other options here, or do 8d8 four turns into combat? A truely bad power.

Dooming Darkness: (HoS) Fortitude, Nethermancy, Necrotic, Psychic, Shadow, Zone. The zone is good at stopping enemy attacks and the secondary attack will help to keem them in it, but Team PC will have a hard time attack into it without AoE, and if the enemy goes out the other side you probably won't hit with the OA. A bit weaker than it really could be.

Elemental Maw: (PHB) Reflex, Evocation, Cold, Acid, Fire, Lightning, Zone, Teleportation. Needs more keywords. Large area of very hard to resist damage, but it's unfriendly. Dazed and prone is a decent combination, but remember the whole save-vs-teleport-into-midair thing. Not bad overall, but there are better.

Finger of Death: (HoS) Fortitude, Necromancy, Necrotic, Shadow. Well, I guess it can keep Delayed Blast Fireball company. It's a lot of damage, but only single target, and you're very unlikely to get both the 20 extra damage and the effect line on an enemy worth using a 25th level daily on.

Maze: (PHB) Will, Psychic, Enchantment. You'll get at least one round of banishment out of this, two, maybe three if your Will is fairly and the monster fairly dumb. But that's all it really does.

Moonlight and Darkness: (HoFW) Will, Necrotic, Radiant, Evocation, Zone. Friendly damage of a relatively hard to resist combo, with an okay but not brilliant zone effect. This would be rated higher, but you can do better for damage at this level. An Avenger with Painful Oath will love the extra 20 damage, but that's about it.

Mind of Rage: (HoFL) Charm, Enchantment, Fear. Turn one enemy into your own pocket charger. A great power, and a lot of fun to use, but let down slightly by the fragility of the effect.

Necrotic Web: (PHB) Reflex, Necrotic, Necromancy, Zone. It's Web Mk II with a damage element. Unfriendly and fairly easy to have used against you. Pass.

Orbmaster's Prismatic Sphere: (AP) All NADs, Evocation, Fire, Poison. Very similar to Prismatic Spray, but Stun > Daze, so that power wins out. This one does have range, and the OoI kicker, but it's unfriendly.

Phantom Reality: (AP) Will, Illusion. Control the target's movement, and they must save vs you deciding where their attacks go. And it's not even a save ends effect. Brilliant. Pity about the 'can't attack themself' restriction, but that really doesn't weaken the power much.

Prismatic Spray: (PHB) All NADS, Fear, Fire, Poison, Evocation. Two hits of damage, and a third that stuns, and it's friendly. Pity one of them's poison, but you can't have everything. A great power.

Reverse Gravity: (HoEC) Fortitude, Evocation. An amusing power, but not that effective. If there's enough room for the enemy to accumulate a decent falling distance, you're probably denying your melee allies a chance to do damage, and flying or teleporting enemies (Which a lot of epic enemies are) will just laugh it off.

Rime Beasts: (HoEC) Conjuration, Fortitude, Cold. Minor, conjure them around one enemy, standard to attack, AP, standard to attack again. Congratulations, you just attacked 8 times in one turn. Even if they probably will die horribly before you get to use them again, that's still a great use of your actions. A great spell for a Blaster.

Summon Abyssal Horde: (AP) Summoning, Reflex. Summon 3 defender-lites for large control and area denial, or just send all 3 of against one target for a multi-hitting beatdown. Really nasty to pack them around your defender's targets for lose-lose situations.

Summon Earthwind Ravager: (D385) Summoning, Fortitude. The symbiosis effect is decent and relatively easily triggered auto-damage, but its standard attack is mediocre and the intrinsic power is somewhat risky. It would be decent, but the other two summons at this level outshine it massively.

Summon Marilith: (D385) Summoning. Reflex. A triple-attacker that also lets you punish those who attack you. It doesn't get much better than that. The intrinsic effect is a bit painful, but not insurmountable (And fairly neglible if you use say, Stoneskin, on yourself).

Level 27 Encounter: Controllers: Charm of Puppet Strings, Impenetrable Gloom, or Steal Time. Blasters: Black Fire or Impenetrable Gloom.

Level 27 Encounter:

Black Fire: (PHB) Reflex, Necrotic, Necromancy, Fire, E. Friendly damage and lots of it in a large area. No control, but probably the best bet for a Blaster at this level.

Blazing Death Storm: (HoS) Fortitude, Necromancy, Necrotic, Fire, E. A minor damage zone is somewhat unimpressive at this level. A Blaster could take this if they want a ranged option, but I'd recommend either Impenetrable Gloom or Sequestering Force, which do similar damage with better effects.

Charm of Puppet Strings: (D381) Will, Charm, Implement. The 'Charm of' line offers up its final model, and does so with style. Domination, forced movement and potentially multiple forced attacks all in one easy to use package. Brilliant.

Confusion: (PHB) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Psychic. Charm of Puppet Strings is completely superior to this.

Forcecage: (PHB) Reflex, Force, Evocation. If there's no-one adjacent to the target, it's kind of a stun, but not really, since it can still use some defensive powers, or teleport. Take Steal Time instead.

Impenetrable Gloom: (HoS) Will, Nethermancy, Psychic, Shadow, Zone, E. Party friendly, decent damage, dazing with a potential to stun, and an obscuring zone done right. A good power, which even blasters should look at, as it compares favourably to the rest of the level for damage, while still being a strong control power.

Lost in the Mists: (AP) Will, Charm, Illusion. Again, Charm of Puppet Strings is the superior option.

Mind-Numbing Presence: (D382) Will, Enchantment, Psychic, Zone. Impenetrable Gloom dazes the same area more reliably and does more damage. Take that instead. The familiar line is pretty minor.

Phantasmal Dread: (HoFL) Will, Fear, Illusion, Psychic. This feels more like the Warlock's psuedo-conditions powers. Here, it's a bit underwhelming. -4 (-6 with psychic lock) is decent, but if the enemy backs up and uses a ranged attack or charges, they probably won't have to worry about it. Too situational to really be decent.

Sequestering Force: (AP) Fortitude, Evocation, Force, E. Unfriendly, but decent damage, and the effect can have it's uses in an AoE-heavy party about to unleash a nova or two. Not a top pick, but it could be useful to the right group.

Soul Fire: (AP) Will, Necromancy, Necrotic, Fire, E. Outshined somewhat for both control and damage options by it's competition.

Steal Time: (AP) Will. Single target stun, AND get the action back? It doesn't get much better than that. This power helps make up for spending your APs on Arcane Mastery. One of the best controller powers in the game.

Supreme Dread Presence: (HoFW) Will, Fear, Necrotic, Nethermancy, Zone, E. This isn't impressive at this tier, even less so with Black Fire on the table. Take that instead.

Supreme Glorious Presence: (HoFW) Will, Charm, Enchantment, Radiant, E. The area and damage have gone up since its paragon counterpart, but that's it. Once again, you could consider it in a radiant party, but at this level, with Radiant One as an option, or the likelyhood of you having a damage converter, you could use one of the other blaster options instead.

Tomebound Bloodbeast: (D382) Fortitude, Evocation, Conjuration. Single target damage and give yourself THP. Potentially a lot of THP, but that's all, no control or extra damage. A summoner using a lot of the self damaging summons like the Marilith can consider it to counter their durability issues. Please note that the Tome of Binding rider does not function, as that feature boosts damage rolls on summoning powers, where this is static damage on a conjuration power.

Level 29 Daily: Controllers: False Reality or Visions of Wrath. Blasters: Maybe Flash Freeze, or one of the summons from L25. Summoners: Take the other option from level 25.

Level 29 Daily:

Crack the World: (HoEC) Evocation, Reflex. I'm not fond of banishing powers as they tend to just delay the inevitable, but the combination of banish and ongoing, plus a grounding even flyers can't avoid is decent enough. The miss effect and the 'chasm' are a bit of a joke at this level though.

Devastating Whirlwind: (HoEC) Fortitude, Zone. A bit fiddly to use but you can sweep up most to all of the battlefield with this. Unfriendly though.

Energy Drain: (HoS) Fortitude, Nethermancy, Shadow, Necrotic. Single target stun, but you have encounter powers that do that. The aftereffect is decent, but if you're getting the failed saves effect from it, why did the target make the save vs stun in the first place? Okay effect line and awful miss line round out what would be a decent-ish power, if it wasn't competing with False Reality. Take that instead.

False Reality: (HoFL) Will, Illusion, Psychic. Speaking of which, meet the best single target control spell in all 4e. Stunned, Helpless, CDG-able. Like I said to Nausicaa when we were first rating these powers, good luck living to take the 4d10 from the aftereffect.

Flash Freeze: (HoEC) Fortitude, Cold, Zone. Pity it lacks Evocation. Blasters can consider this one, again for a large area of okay damage, but remember that while petrification allows CDGs, it also gives Resist All 20. The zone effect is pretty minor overall.

Greater Ice Storm: (PHB) Fortitude, Evocation, Cold, Zone. Immobilisation and DT aren't much in the way of control at this level, and otherwise it's just unfriendly damage.

Incendiary Cloud: (HoEC) Reflex, Fire, Zone. And once again, a mighty old spell falls from grace. Single target for fairly sad damage and a bad, unfriendly effect line. Also, note that as the power is not a burst, but measured as squares, increasing the size by 1 can be interpreted as just one additional square. The intent is fairly obvious, but the RAW is a bit vague. Do not take this power.

Legion's Hold: (PHB-HoFL) Will, Enchantment, Charm, Psychic. Oh how the mighty have fallen. It's still an enormous area to attack, but overall there are better options for your capstone daily for control.

Meteor Swarm: (PHB-HoFL) Reflex, Evocation, Fire. Like many of its earlier edition counterparts up the level chain, this one fails to impress. Decent damage and a large area, but depending on the size of your battlefield, you'll probably have a hard time not hitting an ally or two.

Miasma of Enfeeblement: (AP) Fortitude, Necromancy, Necrotic, Zone. Okay opening attack and decent effect line, but outshined by this level's other control offerings.

Moilian Flames: (HoS) Reflex, Necromancy, Cold, Necrotic, Shadow. Contagious OGD, with a penalty for the original target, but only single target to start with, and middling damage on the opening hit. Requires a bit too much fiddling around with forced movement and delayed damage to really be worth it.

Prismatic Wall: (AP) All NADs, Conjuration, Evocation, Poison, Fire. Orbmaster's Prismatic Sphere, the Wall version. Potentially a lot of damage and control, but it's a wall, and blocks both team's LoS. You can do better with simpler powers.

Summon Balor: (D385) Summoning, Reflex, Fire. Fairly damaging, but the Marilith does far more, and is a lot less risky to use. Avoid this one.

Summon Djinn Stormcaller: (D385) Summoning, Reflex, Lighting, Thunder. Decent symbiosis effect, but its attack is mediocre and the intrinsic effect is very unfriendly.

Summon Living Mountain: (AP) Summoning, Fortitude. If you have to take a 29th summon for whatever reason, at least this guy has some positives. Large area denial and a huge AoE prone attack. Pity he doesn't have threatening reach on his OAs.

Visions of Wrath: (AP) Will, Illusion. AoE domination, and the power doesn't go to waste if you or they miss. Brilliant.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

Power Defined: Themes, Paragon Paths, and Epic Destinies.


On Themes: As themes have a large skew towards melee support, the majority of them will not appear here. As there are fewer still that really add to your control value, most will be rated on overall versatility, or what additional capability they add to your character.

Themes:

Devil's Pawn: (NWCS) So long as you're careful not to damage your allies, the opening power is pretty good if short ranged, auto-damage and an attack/defense penalty, and getting resistance to a very common damage type is nice. The level 5 is specific, but untyped and a large value, so not too bad.

Fey Beast Tamer: (HoFW) An additional bag of HP for Team PC, and easy CA forever for you. Blasters will want the Owlbear's damage bonus, controllers could consider the accuracy-denying aura of the Fey Panther, the movement enabler of the Blink Dog, or just stick with boosting ally damage with the Owlbear. Do be aware that another figure on the board increases combat complexity a bit.

Firecrafter: (HoEC) Ignore the attack powers, they're horrendously inaccurate and not that brilliant even if they do hit. Other than those, the theme is decent enough. A minor action defensive buff (Don't make the secondary attack) that also gives movement, and an accuracy boost off your second wind, if you have a way to use that outside a standard action, or other reasons to use it.

Harper Agent: (NWCS) All three of the Pin's benefit powers are fairly good, but only getting to use one in any given encounter weakens it. But they are good powers.

Illiyanbruen Guardian/Knight of Synnoria: (NWCS/D405) Eladrin only. The theme is about getting extra oomph out of Fey Step, and it does it in two useful ways, minor action conversion and carrying an ally with you. A +2 bonus to a skill you're good at and another you can use are icing on the cake.

Knight Hospitaler: (D399) It might seem an odd choice, but you may have the Wisdom or Charisma to make it worthwhile, and depending on your power and PP selection, you may not have much use for your IA otherwise, and you do get an accuracy boost from it. If you lack a high Wis or Cha, ignore it.

Moteborn: (HoEC) A summon that buffs your damage and a bonus to checks using a skill you're good at? Why not. Nicely thematic, and has a fairly cool image in the book.

Noble: (D399) If your initiative is good (and it should be), the starting power is a good way to get the slower members of Team PC out of the Box-of-Death encounters tend to start in. The other features can be useful.

Noble Adept: (DSCS) Having an accuracy boost in your back pocket is always handy. (Illegal in LFR like all DS themes)

Oghma's Faithful: (NWCS) Largely RP based, although a skill reroll is always useful. The language benefit is fairly DM and campaign dependant, but could be pretty handy. A decent thematic pick for the more faithful wizards out there.

Ordained Priest: (D399) Pick Shining Symbol. This is of best benefit at low levels when you don't have as many encounter powers. You can probably retrain it later, but in the lower brackets, another attack penalty and some friendly damage is a decent power to have. The level 10 could come in handy occasionally.

Order Adept: (D399) A decent blaster power (at low levels, anyway) and bonuses to a defence you want and your best skill make for a solid package. Great for those going for Sage of Ages in Epic.

Primordial Adept: (HoEC) Probably the best choice for Blasters with the right elemental choices, due to the always on damage bonus at L10. Do note that despite the flavour text, nothing actually stops you mixing and matching the utility powers. Vezzuzu's Armor is a decent little defensive buff, and Solkara's Grasp can add a lot of damage if you're willing to risk that sort of range (It does compete with Shield though).

Renegade Red Wizard: (NWCS) Mage only. Trade your secondary school for a -2 save penalty and +2 to Bluff and Intimidate. A great trade for controllers of all stripes, especially Cha-secondary Enchanters and Illusionists. One of the few truely +control themes. The starting feature is situational, but it could help with a surprise round, especially with the Chameleon's Mask cantrip (you're pretty bad at stealth otherwise), and +1 to attack a fairly common creature type is a nice bonus.

Sarifal Feywarden: (D405) Any fey race except Drow required. Primarily for Blasters with a lot of close burst/blast attacks. While short ranged, the aura can add up to a lot of extra damage, especially if your allies do similar damage types to you, and +1 to one of your weaker defences, and one that gets targetted a fair bit at short range, is solid.

Scholar: (D399) Monster knowledge checks tend to be something you're good at, so it should be fairly easy to benefit from the starting power's defense bonus, and blasters will like the damage boost. An extra trained skill and languages can come in handy, and the level 10 feature combined with the Traveller's Insight feat can make you quite the lie-detector. Plus it's extremely thematic.

Templar: (DSCS) Thematicly more meant for an SK-pact warlock than you, but practitioners of magic gotta go somewhere on Athas. Okay if not brilliant control power that buffs an ally as your starter benefit. (Again, illegal in LFR)

Unseelie Agent: (HoFW) Not really a good theme, except for one brilliant little purpose: Having a +1 Lancing Dagger or similar superior implement from level 1. I'm sure most of you out there have had it happen: You roll a 20 at level 1 or 2, but don't do any extra damage since you don't have a magic implement/weapon yet. Well, problem solved. Retrain it later when you get actual decent magical equipment though.

Veiled Alliance: (DSCS) Psychic damage opening power that can put enemies in some bad situations. ("But if I don't attack the invisible defender, he'll attack me...") Decent, but not exceptional. (Again, illegal in LFR)

Wizard's Apprentice: (D399) Pretty good, if short ranged, starting power, a freebie common item and language and a bonus to your best skill add up to a package it's hard to go wrong with in heroic, although it starts to lose steam later when your power selection improves and the item becomes obsolete or outlevelled. Thematic for the right kind of background story though.


On Paragon Paths: For simplicity and because nearly all PPs use this format, I will usually refer to parts of a path with the following notations; e11 - The 11th level encounter power, f11, f16 - the 11th and 16th level features respectively, u12 - the 12th level utility, d20, the 20th level daily. Under the MC and Racial PP sections, only those worth taking, or especially relevant (due to pre-requisites or features relating to the wizard) will be mentioned.

Paragon Path Advice:

Since there is such a wide range of paths available, I've listed here the ones I generally consider the best or strongest options for given builds.

Generally strong options, or fairly versatile and not restricted to any one build: Arcane Wayfarer, Academy Master, Life Singer (MC Bard) Divine Oracle (MC Cleric) Spellstorm Mage, Adroit Explorer (Human racial path), Turathi Highborn (Tiefling racial path)
Illusionists: Divine Oracle (MC Cleric) Enigmatic Mage: Illusion school (Mage only) Phiarlan Phantasmist (Dragonmark of Shadow)
Enchanters: Entrancing Mystic (and look no further than that)
Nethermancer: Enigmatic Mage: Nethermancy school (Mage only) or Phiarlan Phantasmist (Dragonmark of Shadow)
Summoner: Bonded Summoner or Rimetongue Caller
Pyromancer/Fire Blaster: Master of Flame or Enigmatic Mage: Pyromancy school (Mage only)
Other blasters: Blood Mage, Malec-Keth Janissary (MC Swordmage, especially if Thunder-based), Speaker of Xaos, Lyrandar Wind-Rider (Dragonmark of Storm)

Wizard Paragon Paths:

Academy Master: (D374), Any Arcane Class. Extra accuracy and damage with your at-wills, and later with your encounter powers as well. Better for blasters than controllers overall, but a solid choice either way.

Arcane Wayfarer: (AP) Adds some extra control, but the real boon from this path is the f16 Wayfarer's Step. Since it's specificly listed as a movement mode, it also benefits from any speed increasers you may have. A great way to get around without provoking OAs.

Battle Weaver: (HoS), Any Arcane Class, 2 or more illusion at-will or encounter powers required. The best part is the save penalty on illusion powers. Adding slow to your at-wills is decent, but you'll be using them less at this level. The AP feature is fairly weak, and the u12 and d20, while tacticly rewarding, are very fiddly and require a fair bit of book-keeping. Decent and flavourful, but nothing exceptional.

Battle Mage: (PHB) Average features and powers hold back a path with a decent AP feature and u12. The OAs are decent, but innacurate, and the damage doesn't scale into Epic, Battle Edge is okay, Forceful Retort has terrible range and Closing Spell is worthless unless used last in the day. Subpar overall.

Blood Mage: (PHB) Famed for some amazingly overpowered combos pre-errata, but still decent afterwards. The AP feature, u12, and d20 are great, the other features situational but useful, and Blood Pulse can still cause a fair amount of damage or make an enemy consider its options.

Bonded Summoner: (AP) Summoners only. The AP feature is very handy for action economy, especially later when it's full well possible to summon multiple creatures at once. The f11 might come in handy occasionally (and can be triggered at-will as a minor action with the Mage Hand cantrip), and the f16 and u12 do wonders for your summons' durability. The e11 is a better Hypnoptic Pattern, since it damages and lets you slide rather than just pulling.

Draconic Antithesis: (D369) Most of the anti-dragon paths from this article are fairly specific, but this one's usable, if not spectacular. The AP feature's pretty terrible, even in a dragon fight (The extra action will usually be of more benefit), but the f11 will save you a lot of damage over your career, and the f16 will come in handy often enough. The e11 and d20 take a bit of timing and foreknowledge to really use to full potential, but are very effective. The u12 will ruin certain encounters. You can do better, but it's solid and servicable.

Enigmatic Mage: (HoFL) Mage only. This path's features vary by your chosen Master school benefit, with only the f11 and f16 being constant, in two useful, if slightly restrictive, powers to rearrange your spellbook on the fly. Broken down by school as follows:
Enchantment:
The AP feature is situationally useful, the e11 is pretty good, but the u12 and d20 are pretty bad, the latter being let down by the fragility and sustain standard of its effect. Overall it's solid, but Enchanters have a few much, much stronger options.
Evocation:
The damage boosts of the AP feature and the u12 are the drawcards, but don't really make up for an awful e11 and d20. The former is Magic Missile: Fire, and the latter does pretty low damage for a blaster-y daily of its level, and the sustain line is an unfriendly joke.
Illusion:
This one's a fairly good options for illusionists, although not quite their top-tier pick. The AP feature's decent, although you probably won't have a great Wis mod, the e11 and d20 let you pick powers outside your school and still benefit from your features, and the u12's a nice leader-y durability power (although again, there's a skill power that does this per-encounter). If you like the versatility of your spellbook, and benefit from it a lot, consider this a great option, especially with the path's native powers.
Necromancy:
This one's pretty bad. The AP feature has awful range and is keyed to a stat you don't need very high, the e11 is decent, but unfriendly, and can break formations, the u12 belongs on a Divine class, and isn't that great there either, and the d20... they're minions. Do I need to say more?
Nethermancy:
The AP feature and e11 require a bit of tactics to use really effectively, but can be decent. The u12 has possibilites, but remember, you can't hurt allies if they don't want you to. The daily's one of the few truely good Wall powers in the game, and is small enough (and with a sufficiently powerful secondary attack) to be worth the complexity. Overall solid, better once you get the daily.
Pyromancy:
A decent option with a series of damage boosts. Try and save the AP feature for a high dice power, especially if you get extra dice in somehow. The u12's another boost, but don't let it encourage you into frying Team PC, especially since you ignore fire resist. The d20's one of the most damaging powers in the wizard list and great fuel for the AP feature, but try not to blow yourself up.


Familiar Keeper: (D374) Any Arcane Class, Familiar. The dominating d20 is the only good thing about this path. The other powers and features are mediocre at best, and require your familiar to spend the majority of its time active, which usually isn't a good idea.

Favored Sha'ir: (HoEC) Sha'ir only. Wow, 4 pages for one PP. That's gotta be a record. The AP feature is decent, the 11 feature is an okay healing power, the e11 is decent, but triggering the secondary benefits off your resistance feature makes them unreliable. The u12 is awful. The f16 is actually pretty good, especially the Efreetkin and Djinnling effects. None of the summons for the d20 are particularly impressive. A very mixed bag overall. Pity it requires you to be a Sha'ir.

Hermetic Saboteur: (AP) I like this path conceptually, but it's not that great. Two CA features is a bit redundant, and there are better ways to get it, being able to reposition blasts is good, but it's only 1/enc and the e11 and u12 are pretty situational and restrictive. The d20's powerful, but unlikely to be triggered more than once or twice.

Legendary Witch: (HoFW) Witch only. Firstly, it requires you to be a Witch. And even if you are, for whatever reason, it's a bad path. The f11 has terrible range, although blind immunity is decent. Both AP features are minor and forgettable. Both e11s are mediocre at best. Both u12s are actually pretty good, but don't make up for the rest of the path. The f16 is encounter flight, which is decent, although you'll need those minors for other things as well. The d20s are truely awful. "The only attacks you can make in this form are melee basic attacks" -which you're bad at, and the path does not correct this fact - "and the secondary power, which you can only use once." - and isn't very good. - Avoid this path like you should be avoiding the build it requires.

Lyrandar Wind-Rider: (EPG) Mark of Storm required. Lightning and/or Thunder based Blasters want the f11. The AP feature's useful enough, and considering Feather Fall is normally daily, the f16's not too bad. The u12's pretty much Fly 4 levels earlier. It's a pity the other powers don't natively benefit from the f11, but there are ways around that. (Like all dragonmarked paths, illegal in LFR)

Master of Flame: (D388) Any Arcane Class. Not great, unless you're a Pyromancer. The AP feature's a bit average, but the f11 and f16 are great, especially since the 16 can Enlarge your dailies, and stacks with that feat for the powers it does work on. The u12's another damage boost, and the e11 and d20 are fairly powerful, if unfriendly.

Master Preserver: (DSCS) Any Arcane Class. Kind of Dark Sun only, due to the Arcane Defiling reference. That aside, it's a decent path with a leader-y outlook. The AP feature's good, the f16's great for party surge efficiency, and accuracy boosts are always welcome. The e11's not bad, although is really best used when someone needs a heal. The u12 is a very good use of your otherwise oft-wasted IA and the d20 is amazing. A good option, especially if you want a bit of extra healing in the party.

Phantasmagoric Scoundrel: (D386) Training in Arcana and one of Bluff or Thievery required. A good choice for a Wizard looking for out-of-combat utility or RP flavour with deceptive rituals and arcana skill substitution as features. A pair of decent powers and an additional use of an illusion power round out the path, and make up for the slightly subpar AP feature. (Can't have everything)

Phiarlan Phantasmist: (EPG) Mark of Shadow required. Not technically a wizard path, and not legal in all settings and campaigns due to the Dragonmark requirement (LFR players take note), but a phenominally powerful option for an Illusionist. A save penalty that applies beyond the first, extra accuracy, a handy little AP feature, good e11 and a great d20 that summons a very mobile psychic damaging beasty all add up to a great package. The u12 seems a bit odd, but remember mark penalties will stack with any others you throw out. Hard not to like this one.

Planeshifter: (MoTP) Pretty solid and nicely flavourful path overall. The AP feature's great, the f16 is situational, but amazing for those situations, and the e11's effect is normally reserved for dailies. The u12 and f11 are more RP-benefits than anything else, but can make themselves useful. The d20's damage is hard to resist, but not spectacular, and the effect is weakened by bad timing on its expiry.

Rimetongue Caller: (AP) Primordial Language required, Summoners only. More offensive leaning than Bonded Summoner. The AP feature's pretty average, but the f11 and f16 are great buffs to your summons (Including utility summons, which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the summon in question), the u12 is very vicious with later multi-attacking summons (Like the Marilith) and the d20's solid. A good choice.

Shadow Shaper: (HoS) 1 or more Illusion powers required. The e11 and u12 are the best parts of this path. The e11's damage is piddly, but dazing as an effect is pretty strong. The f11 can be an accuracy boost against certain enemies, but is usually not worth the trade. At this level, you're unlikely to benefit from the AP feature, and the f16 can be duplicated in a feat. The d20's a decent friendly dazer, but a bit average in power for its level. Illusionists can do better than this.

Shadowthief: (HoS) Any Arcane Class. The shadows are additional book-keeping with triggers meant for a striker, not a controller, and the powers that use them are pretty bad. Avoid.

Silverstar: (FRPG) Any Arcane or Divine class, must worship Selune. Pretty bad path overall for you, except for getting an encounter stun at level 11. If that appeals, or your campaign is actually about hunting werewolves, consider it, but otherwise, stay away.

Simbarch of Aglarond: (FRPG) This path is a bit confused in its focus. Very +Leader, until you get to the hyper-accurate damage booster that is the e11 and the fairly good blaster self-save granting d20. Possibly worth considering if you want to be self-reliant (EG: LFR players with unpredictable or unreliable group compositions.) I have seen the e11 put to very brutal effect with the right damage powers.

Sivis Truenamer: (EPG) Mark of Scribing, Supernal Language required. Like the Phiarlan path, illegal in LFR. The features are all fairly useful to you, except the f16 (And obviously less so to a Mage who lacks implement mastery). The f11 does wonders for your durability. All 3 powers are fairly good, although do note that the e11's auto-hit line means the enemy can't crit itself.

Speaker of Xaos: (HoEC) Training in Arcana Required. Pretty potent overall, especially for an elemental-themed Blaster. Add targets to your attacks on AP, brutal 1 for your spells, and extra damage free actions from the e11 and d20. The f11 and u12 require elemental enemies, but there's enough of those and the effects are very good, so that doesn't drag the path down.

Spellguard Wizard: (FRPG) The powers are better than the features, although increased durability isn't bad. The AP feature's awful though. The f11 is interesting, if a bit odd. The e11's a decent enough use of your IA, and the u12 and d20 lock down two of the more annoying things monsters can do. Pity the u11's zone can't be moved. Solid, but not exceptional. Feels a bit more like a Bladesinger's path than your's.

Spellstorm Mage: (PHB) A fairly good blaster-y path, and not bad for others due to the power recycling feature. Ignore the wisdom requirements, as you still add 1/2 your level to ability checks, and the f16 will still pop minions without it. The d20's great for clumping enemies for subsequent powers (likely boosted by the AP feature), but the u12 and e11 are fairly average (A 1 square high wall can be jumped or flown over without any real effort).

Tome Adept: (D380) Arcanist only, Tome implement mastery required. The AP feature and f16 are good, but don't compensate much for the weakness of the other features and powers. A bit better if you use rituals heavily, but overall somewhat subpar.

Unseen Mage: (AP) This power would be better, except most of your options for turning invisible, including this path's powers, really just aren't that good. A minor damage boost from the f16 does not make up for this fact.

War Wizard of Cormyr: (FRPG) Affiliated with Cormyr, whatever that means to you. The real draw here is the ability to convert a power to a basic attack (Actually of more use to Half Elven Knights than you, amusingly). Still very worthwhile if you regularly play with a Warlord or other BA-granter. Fortunately the rest of the path is no slouch. The AP feature should really be redundant to you by now, but the f16's extra damage is always welcome and easy to trigger, and the e11 and d20 are both fairly large AoEs, although the latter has a forgettable effect. The u12's a wall, but could be handy if you're the only ranged party member.

Weaver of Chance: (AP) A truely bad path. Real gamblers of this style stack the odds in their favour. This path doesn't. It doesn't help that 4 of the 6 options on the d20 aren't very good. If you really enjoy randomness of this style, play a Chaos Sorcerer instead (A lot more support for it, and has a few ways to stack the odds).

Wizard of the Spiral Tower: (PHB) Post-errata, this path has its uses, if not brilliance. The main draw is the ability to use a longsword as a weapliment and still get your implement mastery benefits. The AP feature is usually going to be worse than actually taking the extra action, and the f16 won't do much damage, but it's a nice little bonus. Melee range powers aren't that useful to you overall, but are good for rendering enemies impotent while you move somewhere better. The u12's great for telling monsters with dominates or similar where they can shove it. Decent, but there are better options.

Multiclass Paragon Paths:

Animus Predator: (D385) MC Shaman. You'll need Wisdom to use this path's powers, and it's not really worth it without them. Good for getting through insubstantial, and better if your party likes elemental damage types (Especially with say, an Elementalist or Desert Wind Monk who don't pierce resist natively). More a party-op or flavour choice (Reflavour that spirit companion to a summoned elemental, perhaps?), but it's decent enough at it's job.

Divine Oracle: (PHB) MC Cleric. That podcast was right, this path is well worth MCing for. A great AP feature, never get surprised again, roll twice for initiative, and more importantly, will attacks for hyper-accuracy (That miss penalty won't come up often, and Superior Will will counter it nicely). The e11 is an amazing power, and the u12 has its uses (although your strikers might complain about the can't crit feature, and don't use it when CDGs are an option). The d20 is pretty mediocre, but the rest of the path more than makes up for it.

Entrancing Mystic: (AP) MC Warlock. A truely amazing path for Enchanters. Massive save penalties that your allies can benefit from too, combined with extra accuracy for your charm powers and recycling of the ones that miss. A lot of your charm encounter powers are effect powers, but those that roll to hit often have a miss effect anyway, which makes this feature great. The AP feature is mediocre, as is the e11, and the u12 is okay but has timing issues. The d20 does something hit or miss, and if you've gone down this route, you may as well have the attack-calibre Charisma needed to use it.

Flame of Hope: (PHB2) MC Invoker. A reasonable +leader path, with a great AP feature for insuring your nova round lands, and helping out Team PC. Not really that great for a pure wizard, since it doesn't add much in the way of control beyond 1 turn of accuracy, but pretty good for a leader|wizard hybrid, or if you do want +leader for some reason. Divine Oracle or Entrancing Mystic do always-on personal accuracy and other benefits better than this path overall. The f11's reasonable, but the f16's pretty bad and the u12's only really going to work on 1 attack per day, weakening it quite a bit.

Hammer of Vengeance: (PHB2) MC Invoker. A fairly good path for controllers with Wisdom as their secondary. The big draw is the f11, a save penalty you and your allies benefit from. The AP feature is free damage, but not much of it, and the f16 would be a complete waste except for the path giving you two Divine powers. The powers are decent, but obviously require an attack-calibre Wisdom (Most likely from OoI users). If you haven't made that investment, perhaps pass this one up.

Life Singer: (AP) MC Bard. A lot like Divine Oracle, trading somewhat weaker features for better powers. The f11 and f16 are great, and you'll want an attack-calibre Charisma for the e11 and brutal d20. The u12 is situational, but handy. The AP feature's a waste though. Overall, DO is better, but this is a decent option.

Malec-Keth Janissary: (MoTP) MC Swordmage. Only really meant for Blasters. The only reason you're looking at this is the f16, which lets you add keywords to your powers without relying on items or Arcane Admixture. (Although the AP feature plays nicely with this idea). You can't really use the first f11, although the second is nice. The e11 and u12 tend to put you where you don't want to be, but could come in handy. Reserve Maneuver the e11 though. The d20's a great blaster power.

Phrenic Master: (D394) MC Shaman. A surprisingly +controller PP from a Leader class, this path offers a save penalty on APs, dazing retribution for attacking your spirit, and the ability to redirect your powers through it. A dazing e11, damage reducing u12 and dominating d20 round out the package. A very good pick if you've got the Wisdom for it.

Storm Scourge: (AP) MC Warlock. Only for Lightning-based Blasters. And they want the f16. Because it's fun, and really vicious when mixed with lightning blasts or Chain Lightning. The d20 has a great effect line, so no big deal if you miss with it. You generally won't be able to invest enough in Charisma to hit with it or the e11 on a blaster setup.

Racial Paragon Paths:

Dragonborn:
Ninefold Master: (PHR D) A blaster-y path, the real draw is increasing the usability of your breath attack. The u12's pretty good, but the other two powers are average at best.

Glee-born: (D385) Mediocre to sub-par features, but the powers are decent. Not a great choice overall.

Mithral Arm: (D385) A collection of good features and a great utility (It's Shield, but better!) let down by a pretty weak daily. A good choice for a D-born controller wizard.

Eladrin:
Bralani Wintersoul: (D384) A decent path for an Eladrin Cold-based Blaster, with some control thrown in for good measure. A bit of an odd combo in the first place, but good for that combo.

Shiere Knight: (PHB2) Okay features and decent, if slightly inaccurate, powers with a good escape utility. You could do worse, but you can also do better.

Elf:
Twilight Guardian: (PHB2) Extra accuracy on APs, boosts to a very useful skill, and being able to ignore the DT you create are all decent. The powers are a bit subpar for control and inaccurate though.

Genasi:
Element Unchained: (D391) Mainly for Blasters in need of a decent way to convert damage types on their powers, thanks to the f11.  The AP feature's okay, the f16's pretty good, the e11 is near unresistable, the u12 is pretty horrible, and the d20 would be pretty good if you can somehow get a decent basic attack. Sadly that's a bit difficult for you, outside of MC Swordmage for Intelligent Blademaster. But if you did that, you should take Malec-Keth Janissary.

Gnome:
Fey Beguiler: (PHB2) The only good things about this path are getting a second use of one of your utilities and the skill training. Everything else ranges from average (the e11) to the downright awful (the d20 and the AP feature)

Human:
Adroit Explorer: (PHB2) Always a strong option. Extra APs, an extra use of one of your best powers, and greatly increased survivability. The d20's a bit average, but the rest of the path is great.

Shardmind:
Shard Disciple: (PHB3) Extra mobility out of your decent racial power, an extra use and some controller-y powers make this a reasonable choice.

Tiefling:
Lost Soul: (PHR T) The real draw here is the AP feature, which adds quite a boost to a Blaster's nova, and the turn after it. The f11's free damage, but from a trigger you would rather didn't happen. The f16's okay, the u12's great and the e11's a good of use of your IA. The d20's a wall, but the climb clause can cause a lot of damage. Decent enough.

Turathi Highborn: (PHB2) Good for both Blasters and Controllers, thanks to its +damage features and controller powers. Pity about the inacuraccy, but a Staff of Sleep and Charm will help that. You can use the e11 on your favourite melee striker for real viciousness. A great choice, if a bit unfocused overall.


On Epic Destinies: Again, only those worth taking or of particular relevance will be listed.

Epic Destinies:

Archlich: (AP) An Int boost, auto damage options, and limited power recovery that gets less limited at 30.  A good choice, although be wary about dying before level 24, with the whole 'gone for a day' clause.

Archmage: (PHB) Your original ED, and it's still an amazing option. Increased usage of your dailies, especially at 30, a great anti-death feature and a no-questions asked recycling utility (Best used out of combat because of its action type, or while under the effect of Time Stop).

Archspell: (AP) Archmage does the reusable-daily thing better, although the utility power here is pretty decent.

Avangion: (DSCS) It's really more a leader ED than your's, but the features are solid. +2 to Int and either Wis or Cha, flight, Admixture:Radiant for all your powers and amazing healing options for keeping your party going. Doesn't really help you as a controller, but Blasters may like the admixture.

Chosen/Demigod: (PHB/DP/FRPG) A bit cliché by now, but it's always a powerful option. +2 to two stats of your choice, power recovery and a solid anti-death feature. Anthem of Progress, High Arcana and Unerring Foreknowledge are probably your best bets for the utility.

Demiurge: (PsP) MC Psionic class required. +2 to Int and Cha is decent, although more flexibility would be nice, but the real draw is the 24 feature which gives you extra APs to feed to Arcane Mastery, or lets you use that feat and your PP's AP feature in the same encounter.

Destined Scion: (HoFK) Really could do with some more style, but getting +2 to 2 stats and an accuracy boost and a 'no, actually, I hit that target, thank you' power is pretty good.

Draconic Incarnation: (D388) +Int and another stat, and you get to turn into a Dragon. Wins points for style more than anything else, although getting two extra dailies at 30 is decent.

Elf High Mage: (D367) Elf or Eladrin only. The best part is the second 21 feature, although +Wis might be a total loss depending on your build. Pre-determined rolls, Dice of Auspicious Fortune style, are fairly useful. Cheaper rituals is handy if you make use of them regularly, but wasted otherwise, the utility's a bit underwhelming, and the 24th and 30th level features play out very weirdly. Overall I wouldn't recommend this.

Eternal Seeker: (PHB) Generally, Wizard is one of the classes poached from, rather than doing the poaching. Still, there are some odd builds that might make use of it. Its potential really depends on what you're trying to achieve and what's available in other classes to assist that.

Feyliege: (AP) Fey Origin, Half-Elf or Warlock with Fey Pact required. I like the 24th feature conceptually, but overall, this ED has fallen a bit subpar. The real power is in the 30th level feature, and that can be done earlier for Tieflings, or accessed via Soul of the World or Reincarnate Champion.

Immanence: (AP) Very defensive, and fairly powerful when taking typed damage, but basically worthless otherwise. Doesn't really help you control or blast, other than by keeping you on your feet to do so. Still, that's not a bad thing to do.

Indomitable Champion: (HoFL) Stat boosts, the ED. Pretty much the definition of solid, but kinda boring. However, you can't really go wrong with it, and it does lessen your relative squishiness.

Lord of Fate: (AP) Unaligned alignment required. One of the five or six (or so) mechanical elements in the game that require a certain alignment. Being able to return a nasty save-ends condition to an enemy is nice, pity it doesn't negate it on the PC affected. Decent anti-death feature, but the 30th feature would be better if it came in earlier, and the utility makes combat boring. Team PC should all be hitting on 10 or better, but so might Team Monster depending on their level. Plus it means no crits and no nat 1's, for either side. Could be better.

Magister: (AP) +2 to Int's good, although depending on your power selection, the 21st feature might only benefit your Will. The anti-death feature's pretty good, as is being able to use rituals as standard actions, although its most powerful use was errataed (There's a reason it mentions Imprisonment specificly). The utility's usefulness depends on your best item power, so fairly variable.

Master of Moments: (PsP) MC Psionic Class required. The big draw here is the sheer number of extra actions this gives you. Those with a lot of sustain powers will definately want to consider this one. Fortunately, the other features are solid, although the anti-death feature comes in later than I'd really like. I'm not fond of 'delay the inevitable' powers like the utility, but it gets around a lot of solo daze/stun immunity features and could be useful in the right situation.

Parable: (AP) The features are a bit eclectic, with the only really good one being the action-denying utility, especially when used on a blast that hit most or all of Team PC. You can duplicate the 21st feature, or just fly or teleport by now, the 24th does nothing for when you get hit, or any conditions that might get applied hit or miss, and the anti-death feature comes in late. Pass.

Planeshaper: (D372) +Int and a double up of your best encounter power start this ED off with a bang. The utility's fairly useful, but be wary that it will probably cause a missed turn or two. The 30th level feature's amazing, and a lot of fun for the creative. The 24th feature's reasonable, but unpredictable and unreliable. A good choice overall.

Radiant One: (DMA 2009) Probably the ED of choice for Blasters looking for another damage bonus, with the amazing 21st feature adding your Int mod again - even to auto damage like zones, splash effects and Magic Missile. And again, the rest of the ED is no slouch, with a good anti-death feature, a utility that can make you pretty well invulnerable and being able to say 'My turn now!' at 30.

Reincarnate Champion: (PrP) MC Primal Class required. You're here for one reason: The 21st feature letting you access off-race support, namely that of the Tiefling, especially Royal Command of Asmodeus. Fortunately, you can still get +Int out of it,  and the skill boost and anti-death are both decent. The 30th feature's probably a bit mediocre, but you might be able to get creative with it. Tieflings obviously don't need this, neither do Deva who have a native option for the same trick.

Sage of Ages: (AP) My personal favourite ED. The 24th feature is great, the 21st is decent, and even better once it helps you use the truely amazing 26 utility, which is well worth investing in Arcana for. (+5 to saves, +2 to defenses and attacks? Since when do PCs get to be Elite Monsters?) The anti-death feature comes in late, but is very powerful. This ED really exemplifies the 'Knowledge is Power' concept the Wizard runs off.

Soul of the World: (D385) Deva only. Access Tiefling feat support, get +2 Int/Wis and cherry pick other classes' powers. One of the most powerful EDs out there, although again, like Eternal Seeker your in-class powers will probably suffice. There are some very nice utilities you can fish for though.

Storm Sovereign: (D372) Not bad for thunder or lightning based blasters, although the elemental conversion benefit comes in later than it really should. The utility is a fun one to spring on your enemy.

Winter Sovereign: (D372) Good for cold based blasters. Save penalties against your effects, get around resistances, free admixture, teleportation and a utility to raise your AC to stratospheric heights. Lacks an anti-death feature, but still pretty good overall.

Witch Queen: (HoFW) Familiar required to benefit from features. At least it doesn't require you to be a Witch. The anti-death feature takes you out of the campaign for a day, without a counter offering like Archlich, and the 24th feature feels like a PP effect. Remember that your 2nd wind is most likely a standard action. The utility is actually pretty good, but mind that it doesn't go to waste on a minor encounter. The 30th feature's decent, but comes in late, and by this point you should know which encounter powers you need, and there are other ways to achieve this effect.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

Power Accentuated: Feats


Like with Themes, Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies, only those worth taking or of special relevance will be listed. There are also a few trap options that need to be pointed out. Any additional requirements will be listed after the feat's source.

On Feats; Basics:

For a Wizard, feats fall into 5 basic categories in terms of how they benefit you, as follows (in no particular order):

1) Accuracy. Expertise feats, Combat Advantage feats, using Superior Implement Proficiency on an Accurate property, Hellfire Blood, etc, fall into this category. You need accuracy - while some powers have good miss effects and/or effect lines, generally speaking, if you don't hit, you don't control or do damage. You need at least an Expertise feat to keep up with 4e's basic system math, and a feat or two beyond that will always help your cause.

2) Initiative. Battlewise, Improved Initiative, Imperious Majesty fall here. You want your Initiative decent to high. The sooner you act, the sooner you lay down control on Team Monster, the sooner you win and the less damage everyone takes, and you can move on to the next encounter, or continue the epic storyline before you.

3) Defenses. Unarmoured Agility, Improved Defenses, Superior Will, etc, fall here. A dead Wizard does no controlling or damage. Taking a couple of defense feats will help stop this occuring.

4) Damage. Implement Focus, Silvery Glow, DIS fall here. Obviously less important for the controller than the blaster, but you shouldn't ignore this category completely. (Unless you're an Enchanter, as your powers do not do damage directly) Even small contributions add up to Team PC's overall power.

5) Versatility/Effects. Psychic Lock, Second Implement, Arcane Familiar, Spell Focus, etc, fall here. These are the feats that make you better at what you do, eg: Psychic Lock adds another debuff to your powers, Enlarge Spell makes them hit more targets. There will always be a useful and/or fun feat somewhere in this category for you.

On Feats; Must-haves, the important and the 'taxes':

Here I will list the feats I consider either important, build-defining, or just plain neccessary for your character to perform like they should. The feats often called the 'taxes', but also those that are just such large increases in effectiveness that no Wizard wanting to be called 'optimised' should do without them, along with those that are just generally good options if you can take them.

-An Expertise feat: Ideally Staff, Tome or Orb. Blasters can use War Wizard's if they pick up AIP:Blades, but really shouldn't be targetting allies anyway.
-Basic defense boosters: Unarmoured Agility or Leather Armour Proficiency, Improved Defenses and Superior Will (Lower priority, but if you qualify for it, you should take it at some point for its secondary effect)
-Extra accuracy boosters: Superior Implement Proficiency: Accurate, Elven Arcane Precision (Elves), Hellfire Blood (Tieflings)
-Initiative: Improved Initiative (Retrainted to Superior in Epic), Battlewise for the Wis-secondary (Battle Intuition for Devas), Imperious Majesty for Cha-secondary Tieflings.
-Damage (Primarily Blasters): Implement Focus or a better feat bonus if one is available to you (Such as Silvery Glow, or the elemental typed options in Paragon). Dual Implement Spellcaster, Destructive Wizardry, Elemental Empowerment (Genasi) (Additional bonuses, such as conditionals or ways to impose vulnerability should also be considered)
-Versatility: Spell Focus, Enlarge Spell (Except Enchanters), Psychic Lock (Depending on power selection), Arcane Mastery, Quickened Spellcasting, Improved Tome of Readiness (ToR Arcanist)
-Illusionists: Psychic Lock (Enough illusion powers do psychic damage), Phantom Echoes (The Master Mage feature will be consumed by an ally)
-Summoners: Careful Summoner


Heroic Tier Feats:
Class Feats:

Arcane Fire: (AP) You can get a fair bit of extra damage out of this, but the constraints it puts on your power selection and the interactions with other support for those damage types individually make it more effort than it's really worth.

Arcane Implement Proficiency: (AP) Your existing selection is pretty good, so it's not really needed, except that it allows you to use Weapliments in the form of Blades, which opens up your range of enchantments a bit. Generally a specialised feat.

Bitter Cold: (D380) Cold powers vary between targetting Fort and Reflex, weapon using allies will largely target AC, and implement users are unlikely to consistently benefit from this. Pass.

Burn Everything: (D388) Fire-based Blasters should consider this one, mainly for getting around Immunity. (Evokers and Pyromancers ignore resistance anyway) If you don't run into immunity very often, ignore it. You'll probably get a feel for whether you need it or not from your campaign.

Careful Summoner: (AP) Con 13. Summoners should not do without this one. Your summons will usually be closer to the front line than you, and thus a bigger target. Keeping them alive is important.

Destructive Wizardry: (AP) Dex 13. Blasters should definately pick this one up, but not until after some of the more basic damage boosters (Focus, DIS)

Dual Implement Spellcaster: (AP) Dex 13. Most controllers will have two good implements, so the damage boost can be worth it to them, and no Blaster should do without this feat, ever. Enchanters can ignore it, due to largely lacking damaging powers.

Enlarge Spell: (AP) Wis 13. Everyone should have this feat (Except Enchanters, as the majority of your powers fall under the 'doesn't roll dice for damage' clause) It's not as much of a damage penalty as you might think, and being able to cover more enemies will more than make up for it. Other controllers envy you this feat, it's that good.

Expanded Spellbook: (PHB) Wis 13. As useful as you find the Spellbook itself to be. I wouldn't make this high priority though.

Far Spell: (D380) Generally speaking, battlefields don't get large enough for you to really need this. If your campaign and DM style prove otherwise, consider it, but it's not really needed.

Immolate the Masses: (D380) Far too minor a benefit, and one that could easily go several fights without triggering.

Phantom Echoes: (AP) Cha 13. Illusionists should always have this one (The Master Mage: Illusion benefit will be consumed by an ally's attack before your's the vast majority of the time) Generalists with a heavy leaning towards Illusion powers should also consider it. Obviously if you take this, you don't really need to look at the other CA feats.

School of Magic Apprentice/Expert/Master: (Class Compendium) Do not ever take these feats. For three feats, you trade Implement Mastery to get one spell school, when a real Mage gets two. You can achieve a better version of the same result by taking Ritual Caster as a Mage. These feats are a trap and a waste of resources.

Stoking the Fire: (D388) Another one for the Fire Blasters. I really feel I should make some pun on stacking kindling at this point. Another damage bonus is always welcome, although again, not before the basic boosters.

Sympathy of Flame: (D388) I wouldn't bother with this one on a Fire Blaster, given it's a Feat bonus with a conditional trigger. It's a relatively easy trigger to meet, but a lack of stacking really hurts it, plus it's more book-keeping than the other bonuses.

White Lotus Riposte: (D374) The only really decent feat of the White Lotus line, as it offers a disincentive to attack you, especially with its Master version in Paragon.

General Feats:

Arcane Familiar: (AP-HoFW) There are several beneficial familiars for the different builds, some with strong enough benefits to make this a great feat. [To go into more detail later]

Armour Proficiency: Leather: (PHB) +2 AC for one feat. You want either this, or Unarmoured Agility. Enough attacks will probably come your way that this will save you some pain.

Battlewise: (HoFK) Get your Initiative from Wisdom instead of Dexterity. A great option, although obviously of best use to the Wis-secondary. Devas and Tieflings can ignore this feat, as they have better racial options.

Beguiling Enchantment: (PHB3) A pretty good defensive feat for Enchanters, although it doesn't benefit your allies, and remember that many of your powers don't actually 'hit'. Best considered later on when your feat slots are a bit more free.

Coordinated Explosion: (PHB2) An accuracy boost for your friendly blasts and bursts, but it will make unfriendly ones more likely to damage Team PC. Consider your power selection as to whether this one will really benefit you.

Disciple of Lore: (HoFL) +1 to all your trained skills and you auto-qualify for it. Decent enough.

Distant Advantage: (PHB2) A reasonable way of gaining CA, especially for those with largely single-target powers.

Echoes of Thunder: (PHB2) A good little boost for Thunder-based Blasters.

Expert Ritualist: (PHB2) Ritual Caster required. Good for those who regularly use rituals, to get a bit more benefit out of them.

Fey Bond: (HoFW) Pretty average by itself, but it opens up a pretty good feat in Epic.

Fey Cantrip: (HoFW) Fey origin or Fey Bond feat. Get an extra cantrip. Could be useful if you want another one of the skill substitution options.

Hafted Defense: (PHB3) A decent defensive bonus, but generally if you're using two implements you aren't gonna meet the 'in two hands' clause. Better if you are only using the one Staff for whatever reason.

Implement Focus: (HoFL) A decent always on damage bonus. Most of you should make room for this one (Except Enchanters) to add your small contribution to Team PC's effectiveness. Blasters should take this, but should retrain it in Paragon for one of the elemental typed feats, or Silvery Glow if they qualify.

Improved Defenses: (HoFL) You pretty much need this feat. If not in heroic, you should definately have it by Paragon. It will make a huge difference in your durability.

Improved Initiative: (PHB) Going first is important for you. This feat will greatly increase your odds of doing so. Retrain it to Superior Initiative as soon as possible in Epic though.

Note: You may only take one of the following three Dragonmark feats, and remember they are illegal in LFR.

Mark of Scribing: (EPG) Reasonable, if not brilliant by itself and decent for adding to your RP versatility, and required for the Sivis Truenamer PP.

Mark of Shadow: (EPG) Decent in combination with the Chameleon's Mask cantrip, or a surprise round, but the real reason to take it is for the Phiarlan Phantasmist PP for Illusionists.

Mark of Storm: (EPG) Very strong in the hands of a Thunder- or Lightning-based Blaster. Adding forced movement to everything you do is great.

Oncoming Storm: (PHB2) A conditional accuracy boost. A bit hard to use consistently, but decent if you manage to mix lightning/thunder on the majority of your powers (Storm Genasi, Malec-Keth Janissary)

Orb Expertise: (HoFL) You need the accuracy bonus, and the secondary benefit is amazing. A truely great feat. You should take either this or Staff Expertise (Obviously also dependant on your choice of implements)

Quick Draw: (PHB) Dex 13. Useful for implement juggling, but there are other ways to do that, and the initiative bonus doesn't stack with Improved.

Resilient Focus: (HoFL) +2 to every save you'll ever make. Always useful.

Silvery Glow: (D386) Must worship Sehanine (Selune in LFR, otherwise reflavour to fit home campaign?). A solid upgrade to Implement focus for Cold or Radiant-based Blasters.

Skill Power: (PHB3) Level 2 or higher. There are some useful skill powers, some of which are at levels you don't want to sacrifice your native powers. This makes for a pretty good use of a spare feat slot.

Staff Expertise: (HoFL) Again, you need the accuracy bonus, and the secondary benefit is truely, amazingly powerful (To the point of sometimes getting power creep accusations thrown at it) Never provoke an OA with your powers again, ever. Take this. (Again, dependant on your implement selection)

Superior Implement Training: (PHB3) +1 to hit, damage boosts, extra crit effects, these can do a lot for your build and should always be strongly considered.

Superior Fortitude/Reflex/Will: (HoFL) Str/Con 15, Int/Dex 15, Wis/Cha 15 respectively. They don't stack with Improved Defenses, so it's only another +1 to the relevant NAD, but that's not a bad thing. The big draw is the secondary benefit. Fortitude's is okay, but not exceptional, Reflex gets you CA in round one, at which point you shouldn't have trouble re-acquiring it, and Will's is amazing. If you qualify for Sup Will, you should definately take it at some point for the secondary benefit alone.

Terrain Advantage: (HoFK) You have a few powers that generate DT, notably Mystic Debris. Not a bad way to generate CA for yourself, but not the best either.

Tome Expertise: (HoEC) Finally, tome users get their own expertise feat, and its a doozie. All your conjurations cause your enemies to grant CA to everyone. Awesome. Hint: Mage Hand is a conjuration.

Toughness: (PHB) Usually considered a waste of a feat slot these days, but Summoners could give it some thought as summons run off your HP value as well. Plus it increases your durability.

Unarmoured Agility: (PHB3) +2 AC for a feat. It's this or Leather Armour Prof. I prefer this one for flavour reasons (Wizard, Robe...)

Versatile Expertise: (PHB3) Obsoleted by the other expertise feats.

Vicious Advantage: (PHB3) You have enough powers that bestow these conditions, and your allies might be handing them out as well (Knights do this well, for example) that this is a good way to get your CA.

Wand Expertise: (HoFL) Ideally you shouldn't be using a wand as your primary implement, but for those that do, you need this.

War Wizard's Expertise: (D402) Like the other expertise feats, you need the accuracy bonus. This one isn't rated as highly since it requires you to get blades as an implement (AIP, MC Sorc or Swordmage, etc), and you really shouldn't be including allies in unfriendly attacks. LFR players also need to remember that they can not do so without that ally's consent.

Wintertouched: (PHB) Part of the Permafrost combo with Lasting Frost in paragon. Not as powerful as it used to be, but still decent for Cold Blasters once you hit Paragon. Not worth it until then though.

World Serpent's Grasp: (HoFK) Like with Vicious Advantage, you have enough powers involving these conditions to consider it, or if you have allies regularly handing out slow. Prone by itself isn't that strong, but combining it with other effects is decent enough.

War Wizard's Staff: (D391) Get an ally out of being blown up by your attacks. Decent enough, although you should be able to do without this with tactics.

Racial Feats:

Deva:
Battle Intuition: (D374) A better Battlewise. You should always take this.

Magic of the Ages: (AP) Memory by itself should be enough to boost you over that you shouldn't need this on top of it.

Radiant Power: (PHB2) Mentioned because it's a trap. The extra damage is nowhere near enough to compensate for a -2 to hit. Do not take this.
Dragonborn:
Draconic Spellcaster: (AP) Expertise and Focus, so long as your powers line up with your breath. You'll probably require an elemental converter, but 2 for the price of 1 is decent.

Powerful Breath: (PHR D) Switch your breath over to Int, if you want a bit more accuracy and damage out of it.
Dwarf:
Rune-Scribed Soul: (AP) Use that minor action second wind for a decent self-buff. A good choice.
Eladrin:
Twist the Arcane Fabric: (AP) Generally you'll be wanting to use Fey Step yourself, but this could be a decent emergency measure.

Eladrin Sword Wizardry: (AP) Dex 13. Replace the generally unimpressive range of wand enchants with the much more impressive line up available to longswords. A huge improvement for wand users.
Elf:
Aerenal Arcanist: (EPG) Aerenal Background required, Illegal in LFR. Get even more versatility out of your spellbook. Solid.

Elven Arcane Precision: (AP) No Elven wizard should be without this feat.
Genasi:
Elemental Echo: (AP) Turn your (usually useful anyway) racial power into a damage and accuracy buff. Awesome.

Elemental Empowerment: (AP) The reason to play a Genasi Blaster, and the reason they're the king of that hill (With some competition from Tieflings for fire-based blasters)
Gnome:
Gnome Phantasmist: (AP) Expertise and Focus for Illusion powers. 2 for the price of 1 is pretty good, but Staff and Orb expertise have better secondary benefits overall.

Magic of the Mists: (AP) Could be useful occasionally, but I wouldn't make it a high priority.
Human:
Action Surge: (PHB) Extra Accuracy is always welcome, although you should probably retrain this in Epic once you get Arcane Mastery.

Arcane Reserves: (AP) Decent in low heroic, but there are other feats to take first, and by the time you have a slot free, you shouldn't be using at-wills much.
Kalashtar:
Dual Mind Strength: (D385) A better Focus feat, for Psychic powers, which you have a fair number of.
Pixie:
Teeny Target: (HoFW) Control from your ally's pocket or the top of their head and get cover for doing so. Awesome. (I want to rate it higher just for the relevance to my forum avatar...)
Shadar-Kai:
Devious Jaunt: (DMA 2009) This can add up to quite the range on your racial power.

Reaper's Touch:
(DMA 2009) I wouldn't bother, unless you're a Mage, at which point you suddenly have an MBA (One of the few ways for a Wizard to gain a relevant one)
Shardmind:
Psychic Focus: (PHB3) Unimaginately named, it's a better Focus for Psychic damage. Decent enough, with your power selection.
Tiefling:
Hellbook: (PHR T) Similar to Tome of Readiness, for fear or fire powers. Decent way to go dipping into your spellbook.

Hellfire Arcanist: (D381) A better focus for Fire powers, and extra forced movement for fear powers, which you have a few of. Solid.

Hellfire Blood: (PHB) The reason Tieflings compete with Genasi for Blaster-dom. Stacks with everything else.

Hellfire Master: (D381) Made a save? Well, take some damage anyway. Combine with Icy Clutch of Stygia for real fun.

Hellfire Terror Lord: (D381) A bit too specific and situational to really spend a feat on.

Icy Clutch of Stygia: (PHR T) You have enough powers that do ongoing damage to trigger this. There are whole builds around this feat, actually. Stack with Hellfire Master for increased nastiness.

Imperious Majesty: (D381) Use Cha for initiative, and get a defense bonus against those you beat to the punch. Enchanters will especially like this one.

Warlock's Wrath: (D381) MC Warlock required. An honourable mention for this feat for Enchanters (who want to MC 'lock anyway), Illusionists and anyone else with a strong Cha-secondary, as it turns your racial power into a very strong stacking defensive buff.

Wizard's Wrath: (D381) Infernal Wrath is a decent power, but this one's an improvement. The other benefit's decent, but having to wait til an enemy is bloodied sucks a bit. Easy CA and get around any annoying immunities. Great.

Wrathful Magic: (AP) Not really worth the feat slot, since it only gives you single target 1/enc miss damage, and as shown, there are better things to do with your racial.


Paragon Tier Feats:
Class Feats:

Acid Splash: (D380) Con 13. Optimising around missing is a pretty poor investment, and this feats relies on neither your best element or secondary stat.

Arcane Admixture: (AP) A fairly niche feat, not usually needed, unless you're a Blaster attached to a certain spell, or wanting to pull off a specific trick with elemental support. Does have some very powerful potential, eg: Admix thunder + Resounding Thunder for burst size increases.

Arcane Reach: (PHB) Dex 15. It has some tactical uses, but the stat requirement is a bit of stretch on a redundant stat.

Arcane Ritualist: (AP) If you have a favourite ritual you use often, and it keys off a skill you're not so hot at (Nature being a good example), this lets you fix the problem.

Consuming the Weak: (D388) You need a way to impose vulnerability on a regular basis to get this working well. It's a reasonable amount of extra damage, but requires a fair bit of investment. A fair number of fire powers already bestow ongoing as well.

Energy Recovery: (D380) Wis 13. It's a trigger you can pull off, but it's a piddly amount of THP overall, and they won't stack if multiple targets fail. Pass.

Improved Orb of Deception: (AP) Cha 15. Eh... by this point your allies should have a form of CA generation, or your Illusion powers will probably be causing it anyway.

Improved Orb of Imposition: (AP) Wis 15. If you're using Orb, you'll probably qualify for this. That said though, it's a bit mediocre overall, as the creatures you really care about failing regular saves on are unlikely to care much about the amount of damage this deals.

Improved Staff of Defense: (AP) Con 13, Dex 13. +1 to all NADs, and it stacks? Yes please.

Improved Tome of Binding: (AP) Con 15. 10 THP isn't a lot overall, but it's still a durability increase. Nice if you can fit it in.

Improved Tome of Readiness: (AP) Con 13, Wis 13. Technically, this lets you use your favourite daily utility pretty much every counter (And later, every encounter with a bit of power recycling), since you can expend a higher level encounter util. Just be aware that some DMs consider this cheesy (And if they don't already, they might do so after you show them why). That said, it is a VERY strong feat. Just be ready for a PHB-slap or two.

Improved Wand of Accuracy: (AP) Dex 15. Wand Expertise does this better.

Lightning Transport: (D380) Con 13. Fairly situational, although a lightning-based blaster could consider it. Fortunately, it lacks the 'non-minion' condition, so once you're throwing around Chain Lightning, this can be a fair bit of mobility.

Phantasmal Destruction: (D380) Expanded crit range! ...for illusion spells. While critting is fun, it's not really that brilliant a feat, given the generally average to low damage of illusion spells (And a few that do none at all), and you're unlikely to have much in the way of other crit-generated effects.

Second Implement: (PHB) Arcanist only. Added versatility. Probably of best use to Summoners, since it allows them to have both Staff of Defense and Tome of Binding.

Spell Focus: (PHB) Cha 13. No controller wizard should be without this one. Blasters can overlook it, as can Summoners, depending on power choice, as summons tend to bestow their better conditions as end of turn.

Sympathetic Transference: (D380) A bit specific, and depends on your power selection, but it wins points for being able to end conditions that don't allow a save.

War Wizardry: (FRPG) -5 to hit your allies and deal half damage. Great for the Blasters in the crowd, although my usual comments about careful aim apply. Also remember LFR (and some DMs) only allow ally targetting with their permission.

White Lotus Master Riposte: (D374) A better disincentive to attack you, using an action your powers tend not to consume. Decent, but you won't be using at-wills all that often in Paragon. (Also, even if you're being granted basic attacks, Magic Missile will not trigger this).

General Feats:

Burning Vapors: (HoEC) Acid is an unusual element for a Blaster to specialise in, but if you do, you want this feat.

Danger Sense: (PHB) Really increase your chance of going first with your initiative bonuses. Solid.

Fiery Blood: (HoEC) No fire-based Blaster should go without this one. Improved damage and free (not-that-conditional) splash damage? Awesome.

Icy Heart: (HoEC) And the same goes here for cold-based Blasters. I actually like the secondary effect here better, as it makes enemies less likely to get away from your blasts or melee allies.

Inescapable Force: (PHB) You have enough powers that deal force damage, and insubstantial is very, very annoying, Improves in value if your DM likes undead (Wraiths et al)

Lasting Frost: (PHB) The other half of the permafrost combo, a great pick for cold-based Blasters.

Lightning Arc: (PHB) This can be really funny with powers like Chain Lightning. Not a top-tier or first pick choice, but a good one to have a bit of fun with.

Lightning Soul: (HoEC) And the Lightning-based Blaster's choice, with probably the best of the secondary benefits, due to its range.

Psychic Lock: (PHB) A truely great feat. No Illusionist should lack this, and everyone else will probably have enough psychic powers for it to matter. (Except Blasters and Enchanters)

Reserve Maneuver: (PHB2) Save yourself from a bad PP encounter power. Not needed often, but handy if you take an MC path and can't use the power well.

Resounding Thunder: (PHB) Increase the size of your Thunder AoEs, and it stacks with Enlarge Spell? Sounds good.

Solid Sound: (PHB) Con 13. There are enough powers that deal these types, and taking Malec Keth Janissary means you'll trigger it pretty often. Decent enough.

Thunder's Rumble: (HoEC) Last but not least, the thunder-based Blaster's damage feat. Nice little escape secondary benefit too.

Racial Feats:

Githzerai:
Shared Danger Sense: (PHB3) Allies get to go earlier. Decent enough.
Tiefling:
Dispater's Iron Discipline: (PHR:T) You'll have a decent modifier for this, and those are annoying conditions. Combines brilliantly with Superior Will.

Glasya's Charming Words: (PHR:T) Ignore the feat bonus. You're here for domination. A solid effect, although I'd recommend holding off until epic, where expanded crit range becomes easier to access.

Secrets of Belial: (PHR:T) Oooh, let's go fishing for whatever utility we want! The best answer is the Druid 6th level utility Serpent's Cunning from HoFK. +1 to hit and your best skills? Of course you want that, especially for those planning to take Sage of Ages. Another good option is the Swordmage's 16th level utility Borrowed Confidence from Arcane Power, for an every-encounter turn of double-rolling for near confirmed hits.


Epic Tier Feats:
Class Feats:

Arcane Mastery: (PHB) Generally, the power of your dailies at this point will outweigh the lost action. An incredibly strong feat, and really one no self-respecting wizard of any stripe should do without.

Explosive Spellcasting: (AP) Blasters can give this some thought, especially if they have an expanded crit range. One thing of note is that if you manage to score more than one crit in a burst, you can stack all your crit dice on to one poor creature. (I crit three minions? Well, that one standard in the middle is about to feel it, isn't he?)

Focused Wizardry: (AP) There's pretty good odds at this point that all, if not most, of your powers are AoEs. The accuracy boost from this feat is not hard to trigger at all.

Nightmare Wizardry: (AP) Cha 17. Illusion crits daze. That's decent, but a lot of higher end illusions are pretty strong control by themselves. A bit better if you took Phantasmal Destruction in paragon, I guess, but I wouldn't prioritise it.

Quickened Spellcasting: (AP) No wizard should be without this one. An extra spell in a turn means more control or more damage, or even both depending on your at-wills.

Spell Accuracy: (PHB) Even with only a +2 or so wis mod, this is a very nice feat for allowing you to aim spells as you please. If you took War Wizardry, you can probably retrain it to this.

Wizard Implement Expertise: (PHB) Dex 15, Int 21, Wis 15. Critting is fun, but by itself, this isn't a neccessary feat, especially with having to stretch for the pre-reqs. Blasters will probably want it, as will Tieflings with Glasya's Charming Words. Basically, if you have any investment in crit effects other than this, consider it, if not, you can live without it.

General Feats:

Epic Fortitude/Reflex/Will: (PHB2) Patch up your weaker NADs, and boost your Reflex through the roof. Probably won't need the latter, but the other two are pretty nice.

Epic Resurgence: (PHB) Reasonable, although it might come up at the wrong time for the powers you really want to recover.

Fey Shift: (HoFW) Fey origin or Fey Bond feat required. Since you probably don't provoke OAs for attacking, this feat will also mean your movement is pretty unlikely to provoke them either. Awesome, and very appropriately epic-magic-user-y.

Superior Initiative: (PHB3) You took Improved Initiative for a reason. Retrain it to this and enjoy.

Racial Feats:

Gnome:
Vanishing Act: (PHB2) Turn your racial into an awesome escape power. Solid, and it works with most teleport power boosters.
Tiefling:
Royal Command of Asmodeus: (PHR:T) Stun is good, Dominate is better. An awesome feat.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine

Power Through Diversity: Multiclassing.


The Wizard is one of the few classes in 4e that can build itself purely with its own options. However, I'd be lying if I said that were the most effective way to do so all of the time. There are several good MCs that can be of very high benefit to your build, and a few others that are nice addons if you don't need a specifc one (Such as if you're not MCing for a certain PP or ED).

General Multiclassing Advice:

The main reasons to multiclass are for Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies, or certain feats that are of benefit to you. I'll list here the options that are of best benefit to given builds.

Any build looking to use weapons as implements: Swordmage or Sorcerer, as these get you the ability to use Blades as implements (All blades for the SM, daggers for the Sorc).
Any controller heavy on Will-targetting attacks: Cleric for the Divine Oracle PP.
Enchanters: Warlock for the Entrancing Mystic PP. Always.
Blasters: It depends on your elemental focus, if you have one. Swordmage for the Malec-Keth Janissary PP, Warlock for the Storm Scourge PP, or Sorcerer or Warlock just for the entry feat if you are taking a native PP such as Academy Master or Master of Flame.
Save penalisers (Imposers): Invoker for the Hammer of Vengeance PP, Warlock for the Entrancing Mystic PP's save penalty aura, Shaman for the Phrenic Master PP, or one of the Will-targetting options, as many good imposer powers do so.

If you are taking a native PP, and don't feel any of the above options fit your build, some of the multiclassing entry feats are still worth looking into just for versatility or build options (Bard, Cleric, Sorcerer, Shaman and Warlord especially).

Bard:
Of best benefit to those who target Will almost or completely exclusively. The main reason to go into Bard is for the Life Singer PP, with its decent features and good control powers. That said, it does also offer a couple of good skill boosting feats as well in Bard of All Trades (D383) and Bardic Knowledge (PHB2) The best way into the class is with Bardic Dilletante, (PHB2, requires Cha 13) giving you a 1/day heal and access to training in one of a very wide skill list. The other MC feat, Bardic Ritualist (AP) is largely redundant for you.

Cleric:
Also of best benefit to those who target Will almost or completely exclusively. The drawcard here is the Divine Oracle PP, with its double rolls to target Will. Initiate of the Faith (PHB, requires Wis 13) is the easier entry feat to qualify for, giving you training in a skill you're good at, a 1/day heal and the ability to use Holy Symbols, some of which have some very handy enchantments. That said, if you can qualify for Divine Healer (DP, requires Wis 15) and your DM supports the interpretation that you can swap Healer's Lore for Battle Cleric's Lore, then that feat becomes superior, if only for the AC boost. It still gives you Holy Symbol proficiency, but the Heal skill training is a mediocre benefit. If you can't make that swap, avoid it.

Invoker:
Neither entry feat is particularly great, although Acolyte of Divine Secrets (PHB2, requires Wis 13) is the better one, and more usable if you are Wis-secondary. The Hammer of Vengeance PP with its save penalty is the main draw for this class. Divine Secretkeeper (DP, requires Wis 13), the other entry feat offers a choice of skill trainings, but you already have ritual casting.

Shaman:
If you take the Spirit Talker (PHB2, requires Wis 13) entry feat, you can then take Mending Spirit (PrP, requires Spirit Talker) to give you a 1/encounter heal. It also opens up access to the Animus Predator and Phrenic Master PPs. It's not exactly the direction I'd normally suggest taking a Wizard, but summoning a spirit with its own attack and healing abilities do support being reflavoured into a necromancer or bloodmage or something similar. It could fit your RP concept really well. Don't forget the combination of conjurations and Tome expertise either.

Sorcerer:
Only really for Blasters who don't need a different MC for a PP. The entry feat Arcane Prodigy (PHB2, requires Cha 13) gives you daggers as implements, and a 1/encounter damage boost best used on a large AoE for maximum benefit.

Swordmage:
Like the Sorcerer, this one is primarily for Blasters, giving access to the Malec Keth Janissary PP and its elemental damage addition/conversion options. The better of the two entry feats to use is Blade Initiate (FRPG, requires Int 13 only), which gives you all blades as implements, and a nice defensive 1/day power. The other feat, Heart of the Blade (AP, requires Con 13, Int 13) does give other skill options, but you're not that good at either, and the Swordbond feature is mediocre at best.

Warlock:
The single best MC for enchanters, due to the amazing Entrancing Mystic PP. Anyone with a leaning to Charm powers or fond of save penalties will also benefit from that path. The best entry feat is Binding Initiate (D402) due to having no requirements whatsoever, and giving a decent, if somewhat situational 1/encounter utility and at-will power. Lightning based Blasters can also consider it for the Storm Scourge PP, although that requires using the Pact Initiate feat (PHB, requires Cha 13) to gain access via the Fey Pact. Any other Blaster can consider the feat Student of Malediction (AP, requires Con 13, Cha 13) for adding Warlock's Curse to a nova sequence, although they may have to spread a little thin to meet those stat reqs.

Warlord:
Only for those who don't need anything else from MCing, due to a very powerful entry feat in Resourceful Leader (MP2, requires Int or Cha 13). You qualify for it automatically, and it benefits your allies' AP actions all day, every day. It seems a bit of an odd fit thematically to me, but if you RP your wizard as more of an astute historical tactician/scholar type, it might make sense.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
reserved the 10th

-sample builds-
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
reserved the 11th

-tactics and suggestions- (Low priority until majority of guide complete)
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
reserved the 12th.

-that spare bit of construction yard full of random equipment and piles of bricks that students nick to make shelving and hold up tables-
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Good luck! Cool
OOoooooh finally!!

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

reserved the 12th. Okay, that should be enough space for construction.


Hahahahahaha.

Enough space. That's a good one.

*nightmarish flashbacks...*

Good luck, bud.  Lookin' forward to the finished result. :3 
Thanks guys.

And yes, Nausicaa, I know, I've been dragging my heels a bit. Finally found a more interesting name though, thanks to Zathris.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Any plans to expand the multiclass section with a part about hybrid wizards? That's something I miss in a lot of guides.. but maybe that's intentional. 
Possibly, but I doubt it. I might make some comments about hybriding, but I'm not very familiar with it, and to be honest, I don't like the hybrid rules much. If I do add something, it will be well after the rest is complete.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Fair enough. While I personally think wizards are one of the most boring classes to hybrid with, I'm sure there are more than enough interesting builds out there (wizard|swordmage comes to mind). And otherwise you can always refer interested readers to MwaO's hybrid guides. 
Introduction, class features and races are done.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Correct me if i'm wrong, but doesn't a witch get the moon coven power for free?
Thus it would have 2 level 1 encounter powers?

At least that's the way it looks in the compendium.

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.

No it does not. HoFW PG 89: "Your 1st-level wizard encounter attack power is determined by your Moon Coven choice."
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
I was trying to find a reason to not rate witches as red.  Many people in this forum over-react and claim things are that utter crap because they are not twin-strike or KAM.

However, i agree with the red rating.  Even if you never used ritual casting and where going to spend a feat on a familar anyways.

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.

That's pretty much my thoughts on the matter - what you lose doesn't make up for what you gain, when there is basicly nothing unique to or about it.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
I was trying to find a reason to not rate witches as red.  Many people in this forum over-react and claim things are that utter crap because they are not twin-strike or KAM.



Unfortunately there is not. Witch is really bad even compared to, say, necromancers.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

I agree with the red rating.  I would not rate witches higher than purple in heroic, but after that they are red. I really don't like the level 24 feature since even at high levels you are usually better off taking another standard action than recharging an encounter power, especially since the vast majority of good paragon paths give you a bonus with action points spent for actions.
I agree with the red rating.  I would not rate witches higher than purple in heroic, but after that they are red. I really don't like the level 24 feature since even at high levels you are usually better off taking another standard action than recharging an encounter power, especially since the vast majority of good paragon paths give you a bonus with action points spent for actions.

I'm pretty sure you still get the bonus for most of the PP's.  Most just say "spend an action point" and not "spend an action point to take an action".

Though it does kinda make me want to try and use it in a defiling + avenging spirit + warmaster combo...   mabey with steal time.


Though it really just seems like the witch is missing a feature.  Like...  you can put your familar in active mode even if it already was damage.

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.

At-wills are done. That was... enlightening... shall we say.

Quite why there are five single-target, psychic damaging Illusion at-wills, each with slightly different effects, really is beyond me.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
I just wanted to say good luck on this RuinsFate!
A note on Half-Elf Dilletante:  Attack-Granters (Direct the Strike and similar) can be a really effective way to have a damage option on tap for almost no investment if you have anyone with an optimised MBA in the party.  You don't really need to do anything but take Versatile Master in paragon for it, and you gain a high-damage option for when nothing else matters.  Anyone taking Hypnotism can ignore this, obviously.
I don't really see that as a selling point for the feature, to be honest. It doesn't really add control and is an odd fit flavourwise. It can be an effective option, but it's not really what the class is meant to do. And while blasters look for damage options, generally people going for that build are looking for personal damage, not at the hands of someone else.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
I'm pretty sure you still get the bonus for most of the PP's.  Most just say "spend an action point" and not "spend an action point to take an action".



I just checked and almost every wizard specific path's action point feature, including legendary witch, requires you to use the action point to take some sort of action to get the benefit.  The only exceptions are for wizard of the spiral tower (which also recharges an encounter power), sorcerous sword (only for bladesingers), and draconic antithesis, which lets you reroll an attack instead.
Might i suggest sorting by color instead of alphabetical? 

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.

Might i suggest sorting by color instead of alphabetical? 



Seconded.

Also, how about rating the option to be a Bard => Resourceful Magiciain and going just about full Wizard? I've played that, and it plays like a Wizard with better powers. True, it's only a real Wizard starting level 16-18 or so, but it plays better than a regular Wizard in some ways. I mean, at those levels, it really is a Wizard with some Swordmage/Artificer/Bard dips for powers.
Might i suggest sorting by color instead of alphabetical? 



You are not always looking for the best power. Maybe you just want to check out a rating. Color sorting is definitely less handy than alphabetical sorting, expecially when you have a lot of similar-rated powers.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/14.jpg)

Powers are sorted alphabetically in the sourcebooks and the character builder, and as Nausicaa said, someone might be tossing up between just a few powers and want their ratings specificly, which will be easier to find by name than by colour.

As for being a Bard/Resourceful Magician, no, I don't think it's neccessary to do that. There already is a Bard guide, with several good suggestions on taking RM as your PP. Also, that's a fairly advanced build, so anyone who knows to start building it will probably realise they need to look for good wizard powers and will be able to sort through my ratings to find what they need.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
I'm pretty sure you still get the bonus for most of the PP's.  Most just say "spend an action point" and not "spend an action point to take an action".



I just checked and every wizard specific path's action point feature, including legendary witch, requires you to use the action point to take some sort of action to get the benefit.  The only exceptions are for wizard of the spiral tower (which also recharges an encounter power), sorcerous sword (only for bladesingers), and draconic antithesis, which lets you reroll an attack instead.

ok...  a few PP's would still work. 

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.

Quibble:

You state in the subclass description that mages are not proficient in Tomes.

That's not true.

From Mordenkainen's Magnificient Emporium, page 51:

"Wizards are automatically proficient with using tomes as implements."

That means, regardless of the original sourcebooks, Arcanists, Mages, Bladesingers, and Witches all have tome as one of their implement proficiencies.
I know that sentence, but I'm expecting it to end up in an FAQ or clarified in an errata document at some point. It's largely moot anyway, Tomes are of little benefit to the Mage.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
The guide looks good so far.

One thing I think warrants mentioning is that Unraveling Dart does have some control application for Nethermancer Mages, since it benefits from their school of magic class feature. In their hands, it's a pretty good anti-artillery spell that they can pull out at any time.