Berserker as defender

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Can a berserker work as the sole defender in a party? Has anybody had any experience with this? The other members of the party are:

Druid
Cleric
Wizard
Barbarian
Thief 
They can work, but what is the motivation? In this situation literally any other defender is going to be better suited to the task.

Why do you want to play a Berserker? 

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

Actually I am playing a longtooth shifter wildblood warden in this party. Our DM, however has extended an open invitation for anyone who wants to, to "re-imagine" their character. The party is almost ready to level up to 2.

I like my warden and all; he does a great job defending- almost too good. Basically my problem is that when i lay down my marks they never leave my side. They may take swipes at allies, but they don't try to move away from me. Since most of the warden's powers are about movement denial, they seem to go to waste. I use Weight of Earth and Roots of Stone consistently, but the effects rarely come into play. Also the warden's mark punishment is even weaker than it looks on paper.

So, if i decide to re-imagine him i was considering either a knight or berserker- aura defenders. The other players are of varying talent levels re: playing their characters tactically and understanding their roles. The thief and myself are the best; wizard and barbarian are ok at it; the druid and cleric are noobs to 4E and DnD respectively. Actually i am new to 4E, but thanks to lurking for years on these boards i have a good grasp of RAW, just not a lot of practical experience.
If you want survivability, warden is a great class to go with. If you feel like something is missing from your game (like movement denial attacks being uneccessary) you have a great opportunity here upon levelling up to switch things up a bit. Don't like an at-will? Retrain it to another one. You also get a feat choice at 2 so pick up something that trends your character toward something else.

If you're not having fun though, why not try a different class? If your DM is already giving players the option to reimagine their characters and you guys are still level 1, I'm sure he'd be open to you saying you'd like to try something different (for one fight, session, level, whatever) to see if you prefer it, and if you don't you just swap back.
If you think it looks fun try it and see if you like it.  If you are the lone defender I would say take the flail feats so your punishment will be worth it (slides and prones are nice).  Remember the point of the berserker is to defend and then switch to striker after a couple rounds (you will probably not be defending too many rounds which can be good or bad depending on your view).  If you want better and more defender powers multiclass fighter and take power swaps. 
What race are you?

I'm guessing you're Str/Con style. In the off chance that you're a warforged, you could EASILY switch to a Knight and keep most of the flavor of a defender of the wilds.

Even if not, you could still pull it off without much trouble. Berserkers are good, but they're really designed to be a second defender, or a defender in a small party. Granted, the versatility may help you, but you'd really need to put a lot of effort into buffing your defender side.

If you do switch to Berserker, I heavily recommend both the Guardian theme and MC Warden, as both give you abilities which help you Defender after your aura drops. This is most valuable as it helps you 'backtrack' a bit if you drop it too soon, so you don't need to feel compelled to err on the side of caution in that regard.

It could work, but you're going to have to be careful, and you're not going to be an amazing defender. Still, aura defending is sticky, and the Berserker at-wills are nice for small area control.

If you're feeling brave, a hybrid Fighter|Warden can be pretty interesting. I'm not sure how good it is, but you can reliably keep two enemies marked at all times, so it's probably not too bad. 

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

Definitely DON'T MC Warden.  MC Fighter via Battle Awareness.  You want the Fighter support, and you want the extra punishment 1/enc without needing to mark.  You also really, really want a Fighter PP.  It's a much stronger MC than Warden.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I'm playing an 8th level half-orc berserker as the only defender in the party and it has worked out ok. Take the Guardian theme and MC fighter if you want to be more of a defender. Remember that you can multiclass to something else and swap out powers and as long as you dont use a barbarian primal power you wont trigger your fury. Take the berserker at-wills and swap out some encounter powers for fighter ones so that you dont go into your fury until you want to. I like to use Run Down as an at-will and then on my next turn knock the monster down with World Serpent's Grasp.

I dont like to take any of the rage dailies since they last the whole encounter and I dont want to be in my fury the whole encounter. I like the big damage dailies like Feral Rampage and Life-Ending Strike. I like to use Curtain of Steel as an immediate reaction to trigger my fury, then on my turn hit the monster with a daily and then spend an action point to finish him off. If I use Furious Assault, that can potentially be 10d12 worth of damage before the monster gets to go again. I've dropped a few monsters this way.

I like the arid option with Unarmored Agility so that I can have paladin-like AC with cloth armor and no shield (AC 29 at 8th level, AC 30 if I shift) but for more defense you can take the temperate land option and use a light shield and get a bonus to damage with 1 handed weapons.

I took a background that gives me access to stealth and I can now sneak around with the rogue and warlock since I have a good dex and no armor penalties.

He plays like a sneaky, big damage defender, which is cool because most defenders dont get to sneak around or do that much damage.
Battle Awareness is mechanically superior, yes. However, Defender of the Wild keeps the character leaning Primal, and that little bit of extra flavor in a feat is important to some players (even if it doesn't necessarily have to be). Also, Defender of the Wild gives you access to Warden's Endurance, which is an extra start-of-turn save. That can come in handy, even if it is only once per encounter.

Also also, Warden dailies are pretty baller and their mechanics help simulate a Rage without forcing you to drop into Fury.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

Depends what you want out of your character.  But if you want to be a better Defender, Fighter will help more.  Much, much more.

Though, Cleric could be argued - because Tactical Warpriest would let you continue to defend effectively after you throw the striker switch.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

If you are locking down a bunch of enemies adjecent to you, it sounds like you are doing the job well.  More than any other role, defender is a job.  You have to get out there and make the enemies attack you rather than the squishier party members.   I think I would shy away from the berserker because you can leave you party defenderless if you rage, and while they will probably survive fine, even short combats without a defender can be a real drain on surges.  Knight is a solid class, but can be a bid monotonous compared to a full AEDU class.


If the warden is working, I think I would look toward feats as others suggested.  Warden are defenitely a high hp/surge class, probably the best as those go.  There is something appealing to me about having a character that can take a huge beating and shrug it off when other character would be crying for the medic or making death saves.


TjD 

Yes, a Berserker is perfectly functional (and quite fun, IMO) as a party's only defender. Especially if you invest in some feats/items that allow you to prone enemies with your OAs. Run Down+World Serpent's Grasp, or Mark of Storm+Flail Expertise+Lightning Weapon.



I dont like to take any of the rage dailies since they last the whole encounter and I dont want to be in my fury the whole encounter.



You may want to re-read the entry for Berserker Fury. You're locked in for the rest of the encounter regardless of the power you use to activate it.


BERSERKER FURY
When you use a barbarian primal attack power, you enter your Berserker Fury until the end of the encounter. Alternatively, you can use a minor action while you are bloodied to enter the fury. The fury has the following effects.
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