The PH1 fighter predicament

70 posts / 0 new
Last post
so the thing is, how do i make a human fighter using the players handbook 1 builds not suck?
here are some problems
1. why should i play human when the much more optimal path is half-orc, goliath, minotaur, or even dwarf?
2. the base fighter build pales in comparison to the ones presented in Martial powers 1 and 2, and even the essentials fighters
3. fighters arent even that great at defending or striking, compared to paladins, wardens and even barbarians

i guess i should also mention that i need to keep up with two optimized drow, one a sorcerer and the other a ranger, meaning our DM must compensate for their overpowerdness to keep encounters from being one sided

so what should i do?

EDIT: i forgot to mention i'm trying to make a defender fighter with the one handed weapon talent class feature
First, read the Fighter's Handbook all the way through. That alone will answer a lot of your questions.

Second, the PHB Fighter builds are considered the best thanks to all the support you'll see when you read the handbook. Third, the Fighter is widely regarded as the top defender class in the game (and even those who say otherwise universally include it in the argument, at least).
First, read the Fighter's Handbook all the way through. That alone will answer a lot of your questions.

Second, the PHB Fighter builds are considered the best thanks to all the support you'll see when you read the handbook. Third, the Fighter is widely regarded as the top defender class in the game (and even those who say otherwise universally include it in the argument, at least).

thanks, i just personally have never seen much reason to use such a build, and as a bad defender the only thing i think it really has going for it (as opposed to paladins and wardens) is the no shifting with combat challenge, other wise the paladins and wardens marking abilities, and thier natural higher defenses (wardens use con instead of dex, paladins have plate armor and lay on hands) it just doesnt really seem to work that well in comparison
Here's a bigger problem:

You present a list of problems as facts, when no one will agree they are facts.
Here's a bigger problem:

You present a list of problems as facts, when no one will agree they are facts.

you wanna elaborate or just call me an idiot?
I'm not calling you an idiot, you just have come with a list of formal assumptions that no one will agree with, so it's very limited in what we can do for you.

Humans are a fantastic race for a wide variety of reasons, especially at low level.  Bonus defenses, bonus feat, wide feat support, Heroic Effort... it's a very long list.  You would need to tell us why you consider it suboptimal or what your concerns are.  Not tell us that it is, cause we won't agree.

Weapon Proficiency Fighters don't even remotely pale to late offerings.  Unless you're doing something wacky they tend to be the go-to approach.  Even this late in the edition there are very few things that compete with a free +1 to hit.

Fighters can be great at both Defending and Striking.  They have more feat support and options than any class in the game.   They are the standard by which all other defenders are judged. 

Read the guide Litigation posted above, it's very comprehensive.  Tell us what level you're working with and what the other party builds are.

Don't tell us Fighters suck. ;)
1. Human is a very good race for fighters.  Extra at will and feat, good NADS, and adroit explorer PP along with other good support.  There are other ones that are arguably better, but not by a huge amount.

2. The base 2 PHB1 builds are overall probably the best two fighter builds.  Not by a huge amount over arena, brawler, or battlerager, but a little better since they have a lot of the best feat support.  They are definitely overall better than tempest style, but even tempest is decent.

3. Fighters are probably overall the most solid defender class.  Not by a huge amount, but they have so much support that even the defenders that are competing with them (paladins and wardens in particular) often mc into fighter to poach feats or paragon paths.  Next to battleminds they are probably the best off striker defenders.
ok, read the guide
typically when i play a class, i never really find a need to have more than two at-wills, the only ready exceptions i can think of are wizard, warden and barbarian, the extra feat is nice i wont argue that, but how does it compare to one less ability modifier on my secondary stat?
Brawler fighters seem to be the prime defenders, being able to literally hold an enemy in place, while tempest fighters have better minion control and battleragers pretty much just stomp people down and grab temporary hit points. sure the defence of a heavy shield is nice, and the +1 to attack is great, i just dont see how it can compare to a dex tempest fighter/brawler or a wall of a battlerager
ok, read the guide
typically when i play a class, i never really find a need to have more than two at-wills, the only ready exceptions i can think of are wizard, warden and barbarian, the extra feat is nice i wont argue that, but how does it compare to one less ability modifier on my secondary stat?
Brawler fighters seem to be the prime defenders, being able to literally hold an enemy in place, while tempest fighters have better minion control and battleragers pretty much just stomp people down and grab temporary hit points. sure the defence of a heavy shield is nice, and the +1 to attack is great, i just dont see how it can compare to a dex tempest fighter/brawler or a wall of a battlerager


If you don't want a 3rd at-will then you pick Heroic Effort.  Accuracy is always a good choice.  Which is also why PHB1 Fighters are the best; that +1 to-hit goes a long way.  Statistically, that 5% improved accuracy will turn a miss into a hit roughly every other combat, factoring in OAs, combat challenge attacks, and multi-target powers.  It can make going with a +2 proficiency weapon less painful (hello Craghammer!), or make you that much more accurate if you stick with a +3 proficiency weapon. 

The argument largely really is as simple as "accuracy is your highest priority in 4E."
thanks alot guys, this is actually turning into a viable character plan, this is a character that ive been wanting to make but just wasnt sure if it could stand on its two legs compared to other fighters (to be honest it still seems to me that goliath warden takes the cake of best defender, but im sure this will work nearly as well)
thanks alot guys, this is actually turning into a viable character plan, this is a character that ive been wanting to make but just wasnt sure if it could stand on its two legs compared to other fighters (to be honest it still seems to me that goliath warden takes the cake of best defender, but im sure this will work nearly as well)



Goliath Warden is going to be below most of the good stripes of Fighters, Paladins, Swordmages, and Battleminds. Put simply, that build is, probably in the bottom tier of defenders.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!

If you've got a DM who always respects marks and generally treats you like you're maintanking in WoW, then yeah, Goliath Earthstrength Warden is hard to beat. When the only thing you need to worry about is durability, Warden's got you covered.


When you've got a more tactical DM that treats you like an obstacle to get around and not a wall to bludgeon through, you realize it's lacking.

Yeah, Wis Wardens (especially Wildblood) are typically more effective as defenders than Con Wardens because they can easily qualify for Polearm shenanigans (and they have better overall defenses, of course).  Contrary to what the PHB2 might say, Con Wardens are the more striker-y builds thanks to the support that hammer-wielders get.

In any case, Wardens start at a disadvantage compared with other defenders until they get to a high enough level where they're pretty much popping an "I'm sticky now!" power every encounter.  My experience playing the class is minimal, but I enjoyed an early Paragon (one-shot) better than a Heroic-tier (also one-shot) Warden. 
so now that im more learned about the glories of the PH1 fighter (after looking at it, it truly does mean to not let anything get past you) know im starting to think about making him a polearm fighter, only thing is my friends have told me about a polearm feat that basically gives threatining reach, but i cant find it in any of the books i have
so now that im more learned about the glories of the PH1 fighter (after looking at it, it truly does mean to not let anything get past you) know im starting to think about making him a polearm fighter, only thing is my friends have told me about a polearm feat that basically gives threatining reach, but i cant find it in any of the books i have



Polearm Gamble is probably what they are talking about, but it doesn't actually give threatening reach. There is no persistent way to get threatening reach as a PC.
Yeah, Wis Wardens (especially Wildblood) are typically more effective as defenders than Con Wardens because they can easily qualify for Polearm shenanigans (and they have better overall defenses, of course).  Contrary to what the PHB2 might say, Con Wardens are the more striker-y builds thanks to the support that hammer-wielders get.

In any case, Wardens start at a disadvantage compared with other defenders until they get to a high enough level where they're pretty much popping an "I'm sticky now!" power every encounter.  My experience playing the class is minimal, but I enjoyed an early Paragon (one-shot) better than a Heroic-tier (also one-shot) Warden. 



Just popping in to say that Wildbloods are the One True Build for Wardens at every level, including striking. You ain't beating Wildblood Frenzy with the CON Warden stuff anytime soon, and Wildblood Speed is such a ridiculously powerful feat that it turns everything else into a nullity.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
alright well heres the finished guy, im actually quite happy with how he turned out

Level 7 Human Fighter
Ironwrought theme (heroes of elemental chaos)
STR 20 DEX 15 CON 10 INT 8 WIS 14 CHA 10

Feats
Heavy Blade Expertise
Blade Oportunist
Shield Push
Battering Shield
Improved Initiative

Equipment (not including magic)
Broadsword
Heavy Shield
Scale Armor
and a few javelin just in case

AC 22 FORTITUDE 21 REFLEX 18 WILL 16

At-wills
Cleave
Threatining Rush
Tide of Iron

Encounters
Steel Serpent Strike
Dance of Steel
Come and Get It
Precise Strike (Ironwrought theme)

Dailys
Comeback Strike
Rain of Steel

Utilities
Shielding Sides
Steely Resolve (Ironwrought theme utility)

tell me what you guys think
A) Bad stat array. 16/14/14/13 pre-racials. Do it.
B) Blade Opportunist is a crap feat. Get a bastard sword instead, a broadsword is a waste.
C) Get Shield Feint. It's that good. Consider Footwork Lure too, but seriously, Shield Feint.
D) Glowering Threat. It's an autopick and for good reason. Also consider Battlefury Stance + Bloodiron Armor to counterbalance it, for those fights where Rain of Steel isn't an option.
E) You can do better than those level 1 and 3 powers. I recommend checking the Fighter's Handbook.
F) Take Mobile Challenge. You'll be glad you did. Also consider Mark of Warding and of course, Weapon Focus. If your punishes don't hurt, enemies will take 'em.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Just popping in to say that Wildbloods are the One True Build for Wardens at every level, including striking. You ain't beating Wildblood Frenzy with the CON Warden stuff anytime soon, and Wildblood Speed is such a ridiculously powerful feat that it turns everything else into a nullity.

Oooh, yea. Str 17, Dex 13, Wis 15 Githzerai Wildblood with Monastic Disciple and at L11 take Zuoken's Centering and retrain something to Wildblood Speed. Wildblood Frenzy, Pressing Attack, and Guardian's Pounce with a little help from Centered Flurry of Blows? Hell's to the yes. The build literally explodes immediately upon hitting paragon, especially if you go Son of Mercy.

Hey, there's my monthly quota of agreeing with Armisael! And it's only the 7th! Nice to have one thing out of the way. ;)    

Just popping in to say that Wildbloods are the One True Build for Wardens at every level, including striking. You ain't beating Wildblood Frenzy with the CON Warden stuff anytime soon, and Wildblood Speed is such a ridiculously powerful feat that it turns everything else into a nullity.

Oooh, yea. Str 17, Dex 13, Wis 15 Githzerai Wildblood with Monastic Disciple and at L11 take Zuoken's Centering and retrain something to Wildblood Speed. Wildblood Frenzy, Pressing Attack, and Guardian's Pounce with a little help from Centered Flurry of Blows? Hell's to the yes. The build literally explodes immediately upon hitting paragon, especially if you go Son of Mercy.

Hey, there's my monthly quota of agreeing with Armisael! And it's only the 7th! Nice to have one thing out of the way. ;)    




Trust me, that's only a part of it. It gets absurd if you can deal autodamage while moving (Pitted Flowstone for instance?). Mark the entire encounter with Erupting Font (get a buddy who can manufacture ongoing damage and have him tag you with it - it's plenty easy to make sure you'll get to use it early), then just get ready. Either your enemies rush you to avoid proccing your autodamage (which means they're very likely to miss you because hey, Warden, you got great defenses outside of REF!), or you start spamming the fight with free damage against multiple targets, to amazing results. It's like getting free Warden's Fury attacks if enough enemies disregard you!
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
A) Bad stat array. 16/14/14/13 pre-racials. Do it.
B) Blade Opportunist is a crap feat. Get a bastard sword instead, a broadsword is a waste.
C) Get Shield Feint. It's that good. Consider Footwork Lure too, but seriously, Shield Feint.
D) Glowering Threat. It's an autopick and for good reason. Also consider Battlefury Stance + Bloodiron Armor to counterbalance it, for those fights where Rain of Steel isn't an option.
E) You can do better than those level 1 and 3 powers. I recommend checking the Fighter's Handbook.
F) Take Mobile Challenge. You'll be glad you did. Also consider Mark of Warding and of course, Weapon Focus. If your punishes don't hurt, enemies will take 'em.



actually i used the fighter handbook to make this guy, and taking all of those into account im pretty happy with how he turned out and will probably keep him this way
A) Bad stat array. 16/14/14/13 pre-racials. Do it.
B) Blade Opportunist is a crap feat. Get a bastard sword instead, a broadsword is a waste.
C) Get Shield Feint. It's that good. Consider Footwork Lure too, but seriously, Shield Feint.
D) Glowering Threat. It's an autopick and for good reason. Also consider Battlefury Stance + Bloodiron Armor to counterbalance it, for those fights where Rain of Steel isn't an option.
E) You can do better than those level 1 and 3 powers. I recommend checking the Fighter's Handbook.
F) Take Mobile Challenge. You'll be glad you did. Also consider Mark of Warding and of course, Weapon Focus. If your punishes don't hurt, enemies will take 'em.



actually i used the fighter handbook to make this guy, and taking all of those into account im pretty happy with how he turned out and will probably keep him this way



/shrug

Your call. It kinda beats me why you'd ask for advice and then say you don't need it, but whatever.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
A) Bad stat array. 16/14/14/13 pre-racials. Do it.
B) Blade Opportunist is a crap feat. Get a bastard sword instead, a broadsword is a waste.
C) Get Shield Feint. It's that good. Consider Footwork Lure too, but seriously, Shield Feint.
D) Glowering Threat. It's an autopick and for good reason. Also consider Battlefury Stance + Bloodiron Armor to counterbalance it, for those fights where Rain of Steel isn't an option.
E) You can do better than those level 1 and 3 powers. I recommend checking the Fighter's Handbook.
F) Take Mobile Challenge. You'll be glad you did. Also consider Mark of Warding and of course, Weapon Focus. If your punishes don't hurt, enemies will take 'em.



actually i used the fighter handbook to make this guy, and taking all of those into account im pretty happy with how he turned out and will probably keep him this way



/shrug

Your call. It kinda beats me why you'd ask for advice and then say you don't need it, but whatever.



well yeah, i did get a quite a good amount of advice, and it helped me make way better decisions, but when it boils down to it, i dont have Dragon magazine/ character builder, making it nearly impossible to take feats like mobile challenge or powers like shield feint, so with what i can do this is what i feel is right

plus, its never a good thing to do exactly what someone tells you, it takes alot of the fun out of the game
A) Bad stat array. 16/14/14/13 pre-racials. Do it.
B) Blade Opportunist is a crap feat. Get a bastard sword instead, a broadsword is a waste.
C) Get Shield Feint. It's that good. Consider Footwork Lure too, but seriously, Shield Feint.
D) Glowering Threat. It's an autopick and for good reason. Also consider Battlefury Stance + Bloodiron Armor to counterbalance it, for those fights where Rain of Steel isn't an option.
E) You can do better than those level 1 and 3 powers. I recommend checking the Fighter's Handbook.
F) Take Mobile Challenge. You'll be glad you did. Also consider Mark of Warding and of course, Weapon Focus. If your punishes don't hurt, enemies will take 'em.



actually i used the fighter handbook to make this guy, and taking all of those into account im pretty happy with how he turned out and will probably keep him this way



/shrug

Your call. It kinda beats me why you'd ask for advice and then say you don't need it, but whatever.



well yeah, i did get a quite a good amount of advice, and it helped me make way better decisions, but when it boils down to it, i dont have Dragon magazine/ character builder, making it nearly impossible to take feats like mobile challenge or powers like shield feint, so with what i can do this is what i feel is right

plus, its never a good thing to do exactly what someone tells you, it takes alot of the fun out of the game



You might notice I don't have a little subscriber icon under my avatar either. I'm on the same boat as you, but that hasn't stopped me - it's merely a question of splitting up 15 bucks a month among your group (so something like 2.50 a month assuming your DM pitches in and you have five players including you) and then browsing through a mountain of PDF copies of the magazines. I don't use the CB, and it's a pain at first, but you quickly learn to speed through bookloads of material. Really, getting what you need is just a matter of a bit of effort - there's entirely legal ways to gain book access even if you don't have the $$$$ for the sub right now. But that's a matter for a different thread and probably the Offtopic Tavern.

Anyway, re: doing what you're told, think of character optimization like a sport. Take Tennis, for instance - you can kinda flail your racket and maybe get a couple points in, but until you learn how to measure your swings and movements and channel power into your shots properly, a trained player is going to paste you. CharOp is much of the same: until you've trained yourself to find all the materials you need and quickly make very strong sheets, it's a good idea to pay attention to us. It might not be all that fun right now, but five minutes of listening now will save you hours spent browsing books down the line, and earn you oodles of fun as you do better than you would have just by blindly picking powers.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
A) Bad stat array. 16/14/14/13 pre-racials. Do it.



16 Str, 14 Con, 14 Dex, 13 Wis? Am I seeing that right?

Could you please elaborate on this, so I can see why that array is so good?

(I know the reply wasn't meant for me, but I'm trying to learn as well )
I dare say 16 Str, 13 Con, 14 Dex, 14 Wis, if we're talking about a Polearm Figther. You'll want Polearm Momentum as soon as you can, and that means 15 Dex/Wis. Starting with 14/14 means getting it at 8, else you need to wait Paragon.
hmm, the more i look at it the more i realize that i dont need dance of steel, and im going to go with my gut instict and take shield edge strike despite what the fighter guide says
hmm, the more i look at it the more i realize that i dont need dance of steel, and im going to go with my gut instict and take shield edge strike despite what the fighter guide says



Don't. That power does not scale. At all. It just doesn't work. Trust me on this if you're willing to listen to us on anything. Shield Edge Block is trash.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
hmm, the more i look at it the more i realize that i dont need dance of steel, and im going to go with my gut instict and take shield edge strike despite what the fighter guide says



Don't. That power does not scale. At all. It just doesn't work. Trust me on this if you're willing to listen to us on anything. Shield Edge Block is trash.



doesnt that mean i could just retrain it when it becomes garbage? for right now where my fighter is going into a party with two strikers he needs survivability over damage

not really sure what else to put in besides Dance of Steel or Shield Edge Strike
hmm, the more i look at it the more i realize that i dont need dance of steel, and im going to go with my gut instict and take shield edge strike despite what the fighter guide says



Don't. That power does not scale. At all. It just doesn't work. Trust me on this if you're willing to listen to us on anything. Shield Edge Block is trash.



doesnt that mean i could just retrain it when it becomes garbage? for right now where my fighter is going into a party with two strikers he needs survivability over damage

not really sure what else to put in besides Dance of Steel or Shield Edge Strike



No see, the thing is that it kind of already is garbage and a couple points behind in to-hit IIRC. And it's gonna get worse and worse to boot. If you've got nothing else to use, I recommend either Parry and Riposte or Rain of Blows. Both are always handy in a pinch.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Seconded.
Also, you may THINK you don't need damage, but you'll hardly find something more convenient than a -triple- attack at level 3. Top your striker's nova with RoB, and you'll see mobs exploding like there's no tomorrow. That requires a light blade, flail or spear of course, but then, they're not exactly weak weapon groups :P
Really, it's no surprise you're deeming the Figther as ineffective on off-striking, when you pass up on stuff like RoB.
Shield fighter is fine for the first 10 or so levels, then retrain as a 2-weapon fighter. Shield-based fighter just does not seem to have gotten the same support as other builds. However, it still has a lot going for it with the right combination of feats and magic items.

Fighters provide excellent combat powers. 2nd stat is 2 less because you aren't playing a dwarf/half-orc/whatever? You know that's a whopping 1 difference in the modifier, right? 1 point of 2ndary damage or effect? whoopity-do. A decent choice of feat more than compensates.

I've been playing a fighter since 4th came out in one game--just making it to lvl21 (yeah, bouncing between many games means we go slower). He's more effective than the controller for, well, controlling monsters. By wading into the middle, bouncing their opportunity attacks, and using a CBurst1 to mark everything adjacent to him, or stopping movement if they outright try to get past, yeah, very effective.

You just have to plan and build propperly. Just like every other character class.
I respectfully disagree with your statement about Shield Fighters. By your level, a shield-based Fighter can Daze at-will very easily, Daze and Slow without real effort, and Daze+Slow+Prone with the right build. There are shield builds that are as sticky as you can get, honestly. It's not that easy for dualwield or 2hand Fighters (while Brawlers certainly have their match).
Shield fighter is fine for the first 10 or so levels, then retrain as a 2-weapon fighter. Shield-based fighter just does not seem to have gotten the same support as other builds. However, it still has a lot going for it with the right combination of feats and magic items.

Fighters provide excellent combat powers. 2nd stat is 2 less because you aren't playing a dwarf/half-orc/whatever? You know that's a whopping 1 difference in the modifier, right? 1 point of 2ndary damage or effect? whoopity-do. A decent choice of feat more than compensates.

I've been playing a fighter since 4th came out in one game--just making it to lvl21 (yeah, bouncing between many games means we go slower). He's more effective than the controller for, well, controlling monsters. By wading into the middle, bouncing their opportunity attacks, and using a CBurst1 to mark everything adjacent to him, or stopping movement if they outright try to get past, yeah, very effective.

You just have to plan and build propperly. Just like every other character class.



Just chiming in to say that in spite of being ready to defend the two-hander fighter to the death and thinking it's the most powerful build, this is patently, blatantly false. Shield builds have incredible support and this whole post, while correct in conclusions, gets there by pure dumb luck and taking the right wrong paths.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I have a 2-handed fighter (Fullblade) that I have played from level 1 to level 21 in LFR.  She is quite handy on the battlefield.  She MCd Avenger for 2x per encounter Oath of Enmity and she is a Favored Soul.  I still haven't decided on her epic destiny but I am on the fence about Eternal Defender.  I think it'll be a while before my LFR group plays through the EPIC2-1 mod again, so she will likely never get above 21, but it was a fun ride.    Oh.  And she's human.

I have a Polearm Gamble 2-handed fighter who is a Warforged.  He started at level 11 and wields a Glaive.

I have a Brawler Fighter (using Monk Unarmed Strikes) who is a Dragonborn.  He started at level 1 and is currently level 13.  When he started as level 1, he was a 2-handed weapon user but it didn't fit for the type of character I wanted him to be, so I retrained him to Brawler around level 4 and he dual-wielded Spiked Gauntlets until the new Monk MC feat came out which gave him the Monk Unarmed Strike. 
ok, so this is a good topic, its definitely making humans and fighters not bad for me, i now know
1. why choose human? extra feat can easily level the playing field where a racial encounter or extra stat come into play, and with certain classes an extra at will is no laughing matter
2. why choose fighter instead of pally/warden? i now realize my DM isnt always going to focus the guy rushing in first (although he has a nasty habit of doing that with bugbears, thats how i lost my Dragonborn Bard) hes more likely going to focus the guy slicing of knee caps left and right or the guy shooting off 20+ damage at-will from all the way in the back, the fighter has stickeyness over paladin and warden
3. fighters might not be the hardiest defenders or the hardest hitters, but they can take an asswhooping and deliver one all the same

i still got some refining to do, i realize im going to have to put in a bit of effort on this guy to get him to do a bit more damage, but stickyness is my primary concern

and im keeping blade opportunist, since im notoriously bad on dice rolls
hmm, the more i look at it the more i realize that i dont need dance of steel, and im going to go with my gut instict and take shield edge strike despite what the fighter guide says



Don't. That power does not scale. At all. It just doesn't work. Trust me on this if you're willing to listen to us on anything. Shield Edge Block is trash.



Shield Edge Block isn't horrible. It just isn't great. It should mean that you get missed by an attack from your mark and maybe ding your attacker for a little damage. In actual play, I found it quite useful to confuse DMs with my LFR Charisma Fighter MC Paladin - she'd Divine Challenge an opponent, move next to them, Brash Strike with Harlequin Style them, thereby giving them the choice of attacking her at -2 or double-violating her mark. And she had Shielded Sides to further boost her defenses.

A lot of them would choose to attack her anyway, and then she'd force them to miss once a combat. If I managed to hit, so much the better.

But for most Fighters, it is just Black(as per LDB), simply because you're likely to miss and you're not always going to get attacked. 
I dunno, the fighter is probably the 2nd best off striker among the defenders.  The only time shield edge block is a good pick is if for some reason you have a non str based build.
I dunno, the fighter is probably the 2nd best off striker among the defenders.  The only time shield edge block is a good pick is if for some reason you have a non str based build.



From actual play experience, it was great for a multi-marking fighter. I attracted a lot of attention and therefore focus fire and it made it really difficult for DMs to take me down.

The thing that makes Shield Edge Block good is when the DM is convinced that they don't want to violate your mark - at which point, it acts very much like a 3rd level Stun. 
Wouldn't rain of blows with the proper weapon be better in nearly every instance?
Now you have me curious. Please inform and educate me.
What shield-based power does stun or daze? And at will? There's an at-will Daze power?
At what level?
what Source?

I have other questions, but let's start with that.