Han Shot First: A Scoundrel's Guide

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Han Shot First: A Scoundrel's Guide

 


IMAGE(http://i328.photobucket.com/albums/l323/ninjafrank88/Han.png)

 

A misnomer. Han shot only.

 


This is a Rogue Handbook that is intended to be a successor to LDB's Dirty Deeds...Done Dirt Cheap Handbook for Rogues, but with a slightly greater tilt towards power-playing, intended to be of more use to advanced players and the char-op community. We're frankly at a stage in this class's lifecycle that where the discussion no longer revolves around how to build a successful rogue, but rather how to build a truly epic rogue that would fulfill and adhere to Charop's lofty standards for performance. Be warned that some of the evaluations made in this guide will often appear jaded and cynical, while other ideas might appear absolutely heretical by conventional Charop standards. I look forward to discussions regarding these subjects.

 


Formatting for this guide is mostly a cross between Litigation's Paladin Guide and LDB's previous rogue guide.

 


Why Play A Rogue?

 

Strikers are the most prevalent role in the system. Therefore, every Striker has to have a particular niche in order to set itself apart form the rest. Here are a few things that I feel make the Rogue special and thus worthy of consideration:

 

Rogues are versatile - Rogues have the distinct advantage of being able to switch combat styles essentially on a whim. Additionally, your powers cover a variety of offensive methods, from mobility to heavy damage to status effects. If you like bringing pain to your opponents in a plethora of different ways (sometimes all as part of the same action), this is your class.

 

Rogues are tactically rewarding - Some degree of tactics is required to play a Rogue because of his focus on being a stealthy, mobile Striker. The better you are at that, the better your Rogue will be. If you enjoy the tactical aspect of the game, the Rogue will not disappoint you.

 

Rogues are team players - Rogues are iconic in the fact that working with allies makes them a whole lot better, because it makes the conditions they require to thrive easy to achieve. In return, a Rogue in his element takes a lot of pressure off of the rest of the party. If you want to be a character who works in tandem with those around him to devastating effect, this is your stop.

 



This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:

 

Red - Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Purple - Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Black - OK. You could do worse than pick this.
Blue - Good stuff. You probably want this.
Sky Blue - You want this. Period.
Gold - Why haven't you taken this yet? A defining choice for a build, or even the whole class.

 

 

 


References/Related Literature:

 

[To fill in with links later]

 

 

 

Power Source and Role:


Your power source is Martial, and your role is Striker. The Martial power source as a whole is more aggressively oriented than other power sources, and the tendency is further expanded upon by the Striker role, which is perhaps the most aggressive by nature. To that end, the Rogue is geared toward bringing things down, by any means necessary. You'll find that you have a lethal cocktail of effects to bring about that end, as is described here:


Burst/Nova/Spike Damage - You're no ranger, but you can work up a pretty respectable multi-attack sequence in a hurry. You're also in unique possession of another brand of nova combo: a Knockout + Coup De Grace sequence for a massive critical hit.


Damage Per Round (DPR) - The key methods to building a DPR machine is to use one of several mechanics: multi-attacking, charging, or critfishing. Though it perhaps takes more effort and lateral thinking than a ranger, the rogue has means to access and build around any of these qualities.


Debilitating Effects - And now we come to what you're really good at. You'll find that your power list endows you with the ability to use just about every status effect that carries a keyword, and then some. Among the Strikers, only the Warlock is a match for you here.


Survivability - And now we come to the Rogue's Achilles' heel: your average hit points along with your weaker armor proficiencies, combined with a middling set of defensive powers and abilities means that the Rogue's ability to survive is something that you have to bear in mind as you do your things and take your risks. This is not nearly as big of a problem for perma-hidden builds.


Targeting Capacity - A mixed bag. You've plentiful mobility options that allow you to open on anyone you want, anytime you want, and you're not constrained to position dependent striker features like Warlock's Curse or Prime Shot, but do have a dependency on CA. Until you have a way to generate CA on demand, your targetting has a large dependency on teamwork - the guy you can flank or have CA on may not always be the guy you wanted to kill the most.


Secondary Role Effectiveness

Controller - Given their plethora of status effects and ways to make the opposing party's life miserable in general, it's really no surprise Rogues are a good fill-in for this role. This isn't even build-specific; just about any Rogue will be packing enough incapacitating effects to do this and do it well.

Defender - It somewhat works...you have to specifically build yourself that way, most notably using a Riposte Strike catch-22 loop. Works better if you hybrid.


Leader The role of the Rogue is mostly to take advantage of opportunities, though on occasion you can grab a power to help others. However, don't expect to make up for not having a full Leader or even a strong backup Leader with a Rogue: he's just not equipped for that.



Baseline Mechanics:


Game Mechanics

Hit Points - 12 + Con score at level 1, and 5 each level thereafter. You got the standard-issue Striker hit point total, which is all you could really expect, honestly.

Healing Surges - 6 + Con modifier. Standard issue for the role.


Defense Bonuses - +2 to Reflex means your strongest defense is very strong, but the other two were kind of left hanging. Ah, well.


Proficiencies

Armor - Only having Leather and no shields means you got almost nothing on this deal.

Weapons - You're shoehorned into suboptimal weapons, the pain of which is only ameliorated nominally by class features that make this easier to swallow. Players interested in playing certain niche variants may find it advisable to grab proficiency in rapier via a background and just not deal with this crap at all.



Class Features

First Strike - Free means of Combat Advantage is never a bad thing, even if it does actively discourage you from taking Superior Reflexes due to the benefit overlap.

Sneak Attack - A hell of a good Striker feature. Feat support can potentially trade a cut of the damage to instead, turn this into a hit-debuff monstrosity. The fact that it works once per turn also makes you one of the greatest possible allies to a warlord.


Rogue Tactics

Artful Dodger (PHB) - A huge AC buff against opportunity attacks is very welcome, as it allows the Rogue to move with impunity against certain enemies.

Brutal Scoundrel (PHB) - The straight up most damaging striker option for rogues.


Cunning Sneak (MP 2) - A build highly geared towards stealth and being perma-hidden in battle, this is the most defensive of the rogue builds. Note that your secondary stat isn't Int, as this feature works completely independent of stat. In fact, more than likely, you're going to want to go Wis as your secondary for the Darkstrider PP.


Ruthless Ruffian (MP) - Literally, I will challenge anyone around to make an RR build that holds a competitive edge, because I'm still trying, and still losing sleep over it. Either way, between the bad weapon selection (note: the feature specifically only includes the club and the mace, not the weapon group itself, so you can' t even get useful weapons like a Singing Stick), the multi-stat dependency, and the ridicule from your fellow players, you should avoid this unless you absolutely know what you're getting into.


Weapon Talent

Rogue Weapon Talent (PHB) - More or less the default choice. Even a rapier specialist grabs this, since, light blade support will carry over to daggers, and the dagger will invariably be at least your ranged option.

Sharpshooter Talent (MP 2) - Take this if you're a ranged crossbow specialist, or a Ruthless Ruffian and you're sure you're never going to touch a dagger.




Ability Scores:


Strength - As a Brutal Scoundrel, you want this to be as high as you can afford it to be, and for chargers, its basically a second primary. It also bears merit for an a Rogue who doesn't use Daggermaster, and thus needs Light Blade Mastery to get improved criticals. No one really wants to dump this all the way down, though: Athletics is an important skill.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-16, before racial adjustments.


Constitution - More HP and surges are nice for the rather squishy Rogue, and you can also use it to afford an armor upgrade, though your ability score needs likely call you elsewhere. Regardless of what you do with your Rogue, I wouldn't recommend bottoming this out: you have to stay upright somehow.
Recommended Starting Score: 11-14, before racial adjusmtents.


Dexterity - This is your main stat. A number of builds can even justify starting with a pre-racial 18. Boost it every chance you get.
Recommended Starting Score: 16-18, before racial adjustments.


Intelligence - Despite having a build whose powers have secondary effects keying off it (the Cunning Sneak), the fact of the matter is that Rogues have little to no use for this ability score, since the class feature itself doesn't require it. A rudimentary investment should be enough for Cunning Sneaks looking to use the secondary effects on their powers, and everyone else can just flat-out dump it.
Recommended Starting Score: 8-12, before racial adjustments.


Wisdom - A major contributor to skills, and basically your secondary if you're a cunning sneak headed for Darkstrider. You also want either this or Charisma at 15+ for Superior Will in Epic.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-14, before racial adjustments.


Charisma - Boosts quite a few social skills, and helps out Artful Dodgers' mobility to keep you safe as well while you manever about the battlefield, as well as some rider effects for their powers, so it's very necessary for them, but its not entirely critical to keep it on par with Dex. Brutal Scoundrels could also use it to round themselves out on the skill and defense fronts. Either this or Wisdom needs to be at 15+ for Superior Will in Epic.
Recommended Starting Score: 10-16, before racial adjustments.



Recommended Arrays

16, 16, 13, 11, 10, 8: Dual-stat Brutal Scoundrels looking to charge or poach some big-gun multi-attacks (all of them are str-based) take this and never look back. The 13 goes to Wis in order to qualify for Superior Will in epic.


18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8: Most conventional rogue builds can safely take this. Dex-Str for a brutal scoundrel, Dex-Wis for a Cunning Sneak, Dex-Cha for Artful Dodger, the latter two of which get Superior Will in paragon.


18, 13, 13, 10, 10, 8: Fairly specific to Artful Dodgers not going Daggermaster that would like to take the most painless route to a 17 Str in epic for Light Blade Mastery.

 

Races: 

 


A quick note here: it is not absolutely vital to get a race to stat bump in both your primary and a secondary, as exception only a handful of specific builds (dual-stat Str/Dex Brutal Scoundrels) rogues tend to be a class that can be played without significant loss if your secondary stat isn't completely kept on par with your primary, so a number of 'primary-stat only' races ends up being top-tier picks regardless. Also, do note that I do not consider Int to be a real secondary stat for any kind of rogue. It is tertiary, at best.
 


Races - Primary and Secondary Stats

Changeling (EPG, Cha/Dex or Int) - Well, it is a Dex/Cha race, that gets you blue here. That there's no good feat support for this race really keeps it from the big leagues though, and the utility of the disguise feature is rather roleplay dependent. However, if you took this race specifically because you wanted go the route of the Arena Champion PP, then this is basically your cornerstone race.

 

 

 

Dragonborn (Draconian) (PHB/D421, Cha/Con or Str, Dex/Cha) - Well, Dragonborn was already a decent enough race on its own, but they really made top tier when they printing Kapak Draconians. At-will flight, a CA conditional that mimics a rogue feat, Toxic Saliva, and Dex primary, along with all the usual dragonborn support (Draconic Arrogance, etc). You couldn't really have asked for much better.

 

Drow (FRPG, Dex/Cha or Wis) - Another top-notch race, it has a power to grant CA at Melee and at range, along with the perfect ability scores for the job and some very powerful racial feats. Dread Fang is also a spectacular racial PP for a ranged build.

Half-Orc (PHB2, Dex/Con or Str) -  +2 Str and +2 Dex means you're an awesome Brutal Scoundrel, especially with an extra damage feature and some buffering against getting beat down. A prime pick for a Rogue, and the go-to choice for a charger build.

Halfling (PHB, Dex/Cha or Con) - Given that you can use almost every weapon that's good for Rogues (so the main detriment of being Small doesn't apply), and that your support is mind-blowingly good for keeping the rather fragile Rogue upright, this is a prime racial choice.

Pixie (HotEC, Cha/Int or Dex) - Meet the new S-tier in rogue races. Actually, you could play this a number of ways - you've got the right stats for a Artful Dodger build, but your feat support and racial qualities actually pull you more towards Brutal Scoundrel or Cunning Sneak play. Streak of Light charger? Riposte/Vigilante Justice? Permahidden Yakuza build that parks on top of the enemy's square? Yeah, its as awesome as you can imagine. Check out mellored's pixie guide for more ideas.

Thri-Kreen  (DSCS, Dex/Str or Wis) - Bonuses to Strength and Dexterity make you a super Brutal Scoundrel, and you can even go the Darkstrider Cunning Sneak route with Dexterity and Wisdom. Toss in some Elf-like base speed and a minor action attack, and you have a favorite.

Revenant (HoS, Dex/Con or Cha) - Twin Strike by being a dead Half-Elf, brokenly good racial support, on any class chassis to make you utterly unkillable. I'd rate this race gold if it didn't feel so scummy about it. The fact that this is listed under both primary and secondary stats is a bit of a joke - what you're really doing is picking a race you wanted to optimize around, then mount it on a dex-primary character. Take a look at mellored's Revenant guide to check out what I mean.

 

 

 

Satyr (HotFW, Cha/Con or Dex) - The right stats for an Artful Dodger, and with a surprisingly useful racial ability. Lack of racial support stings though.

 

 

 

Shade (HoS, Cha/Dex or Int) - I don't care that the stats line up. Lose a surge? No deal.


Vryloka (HoS, Cha/Str or Dex) - Has the right ability scores, higher-than-average speed, and an excellent racial power. Blood Dependency can be a bit annoying, but it doesn't hurt this race too much.



Races - Primary Stats Only


Eladrin (PHB Cha/Int or Dex) - The Dexterity bonus is gold, as is the extra skill and +1 to Will defense, but the Intelligence bonus is of a more limited use (certain Cunning Sneaks only). A strong choice nevertheless, especially because the teleport opens up a huge amount of tactical options for you.

Elf  (PHB Dex/Int or Wis) - The Dexterity bonus is good, but the Wisdom is only appealing to certain Cunning Sneaks. Elven Accuracy make this race good for any rogue build, though, and the alternative racial Sense Threat and Reactive Stealth just make this race the best damn Darkstriders, period.

Githzerai (PHB3 Wis/Int or Dex) - Similar to Elves with regards to their attribute bonuses, but with different and not necessarily worse racials. Build expansions for a nova sequence are possible if feat-intensive, and Storvakal is an OK PP if you're interested in that.

Gnome (PHB3 Int/Cha or Dex) - While it does provide the all-important Dexterity bonus, and it has some strongly related racial abilities and feat support, the fact of the matter is that the race is Small and slow, which holds it back a bit.

Human  (PHB, Any Stat) - The extra At-Will buffs your tactical options in a big way (as can Heroic Effort), you're good at just about any Rogue build you want to try, and the bonus feat and skill make you extra awesome. To boot, your racial support for this class is actually pretty good (gasp!). A very strong pick for this sort of thing.

Shifter, Razorclaw (PHB2, Dex/Wis) - Same stats as Elf, so the usual applies, but crappier racial and support.

Wilden  (PHB2, Dex/Wis) - You had me a 'free charge every encounter', buddy. That the stats line up correctly is just icing.


Races - Secondary Stat Only

Deva (PHB2, Cha/Int or Wis) - Poor stat alignments, minimal support for this class. Could be worth something excellent in epic via Soul of the World ED, but bad until then, which makes it generally bad. Take the revenant version instead.

Dwarf (PHB, Con/Wis or Str) - Low speed, Str/Con. That would make this purple. However, racial support that lets you use hammers and axes for rogue powers and sneak attack capability each have their epic-tier build trees that not only make this racial choice redeemable, but also hilariously effective. Seriously, imagine a Dwarven charger rogue with a gouge (note: requires a very specific ED). Words don't even begin to describe the awesome.

Genasi (FRPG, Str/Int or Cha) Sure, you only get +2 Str, but to judge this race based purely off of stat alignment would be terribly shortsighted. Stormsoul gets the one of the most ridiculously powerful racial abilities in the game, as well as Shocking Flame, which is literally just +2/4 damage for free - and its typed, so you can use it to activate dragonshards for tap vulnerabilities. Bottom line is, these guys make amazing Brutal Scoundrels, and is one of the rare races where it doesn't actually pay to play the Revenant version.

Goliath (PHB2, Con/Wis or Str) - A bonus to a secondary, and +2 Con and a tough-guy sort of racial power makes it a serviceable choice.

Half-Elf (PHB, Con/Wis or Cha)- You probably really just wanted to Dilettante Twin Strike. Try coming back as a dead Half-Elf (aka Revenant) instead.

Hamadryad (HotFW, Wis/Cha or Int) - Goliath-analogue, but for Artful Dodgers because the only stat alignment you get is charisma. Gets a worse rating due to nonexistant feat support.

Kalashtar (EPG, Cha/Wis or Int) - +2 to Charisma is nice, but +2 to Wisdom is of more limited use, and its abilities seem to be more Leader-oriented than anything else. Not the line of work for them.

Minotaur (PHB3, Str/Wis or Con) - You could claim to get away with playing a Brutal Scoundrel with those stats, but you can't really claim that it would work all that well given the mostly useless racial support.

Mul (DSCS, Str/Con or Wis) - You know how I said Dwarves are at least a passable race because you can use a hammer or a gouge in epic? Only this is that much better because you don't take a speed penalty, gain a much needed surge, and have an awesome racial ability that counters your worst problems.

Shardmind (PHB3, Int/Wis or Cha) - Secondary ability only, poor racials. If you wanted to be a construct, Warforged is only about a thousand times cooler.

Shifter, Longtooth (PHB2, Str/Wis) - This provides both secondary attributes for the average Brutal Scoundrel, as well as a racial power that will make you a heck of a lot harder to take down and gives you amazing surge management. This can work.

Tiefling (PHB, Cha/Int or Con) - Secondary stat bump, extra killing power when your opponent is bloodied, and feat support for a wierd fire-build if you like, and access to Secrets of Belial. These are all inherently very good benefits...but Revenant trumps this by having all that AND the right stats for the job, so try coming back as a dead Tiefling instead.

Warforged (EPG, Con/Str or Int) - Tough, good racial ability, good feat support and a premier +striker charge-centric PP. But here's the real cincher: combined with a bloodfury weapon (and some reasonable amount of DM tolerance), these guys make the most surge-efficient rogues in the game, which is worth a ton in my book.


Races - Monster Manuals, Etc


Bladeling (MOTP) - I don't much care that you get the Dex stat aligned, other Dex/Wis races are just flat out better due to support.

Bugbear (MM, Str/Dex) - Str/Dex, oversized wielding? Win. The premier brutal scoundrel. Ignore the racial power - can't complain about it, but that gets mostly washed out in the greater scheme of action economy constraints, to the point that is not really a racial power. The real point here was oversized wielding anyway.

Goblin (MM) - Halflings with no support. Eh.

Gnoll (D367) - Very solid. Racial support lets you use an encounter power on a charge. Yeah, no kidding. Good luck convincing your DM.

Kenku (MM 2) - Stat bonuses in the right places, and extra bonuses to hit for flanking? A tasty choice for a Rogue.

Kobold (MM) - With shifty now gone in the new rewrite of Kobold, this is now just a race with barely the right stats qualifications, and not all that much going for it, especially for a small character.

Orc (MM) - It has no skill bonuses, the only attribute it boosts that you care about is Strength, and its racial power is useless to any Rogue who doesn't boost it. Skip this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skills:

 

 

Class Skills

Acrobatics - This skill a prerequisite for Tumbling Strike (E17 - yes, its a gold power) and Darting Strike (E3), and thus basically makes it required for most of you, period. The fact that is an iconic rogue skill with ridiculous amounts of combat and roleplay uses is mere icing on the cake.

 

 

Athletics - Kind of redundant with Acrobatics in some aspects, but it can do things the other can't, and it keys off a prime stat for Brutal Scoundrels. Also required for Leaping Dodge (U16).

 

 

Bluff - A standard pickup for a charisma-type. Also a cornerstone component to an Arena Champion build.

 

 

Dungeoneering - Required for Darkstriders, but otherwise skippable. In all likelihood, the party radar should have this skill covered. If you're the party radar, grab it.

 

 

Insight - Doesn't really get used that often from my experience. The real point of this is that this unlocks the Skill Power Insighful Riposte, which is frankly better than Nimble Blade.

 

 

Intimidate - Required to use Rattling powers, and if you want to have a wide plethora of social skills.

 

 

Perception - While your Wisdom may or may not be awesome, there really is little reason to skip out on this skill.

 

 

Stealth - A non-choice, though I can't fathom a character refer to itself as a Rogue and not having this.

 

 

Streetwise - Campaign dependent and more situational than any of the other skills, and thus usually the first one that gets skipped over. I'm just calling 'em as it is.

 

 

Thievery - Non-choice. Although notably, this is one of the first ones hybrids tend to skip out on.



Recommended Non-Class Skills

Diplomacy - Helps round out your social arsenal, and you're more or less expected to have this if you're doubling as the party face.

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended/Notable Backgrounds

 

 


The Short List: Gritty Sergeant if you're a Rapier-user, Auspicious Birth/Born Under a Bad Sign for everyone else.

Recommended Backgrounds

Gritty Sergeant: Easiest way to get proficiency in Rapier and a +1 Initiative boost to boot? Heck yeah.

Noble Bred For War: The other way to get a Rapier, and a boost to a social skill. But you probably wanted Gritty Sergeant.

 

Auspicious Birth/Born Under a Bad Sign: In all honestly, even if I wanted to be a rapier build, I would default to taking this at level 1 and ask to retrain it later at level 4-6. A limited HP pool in conjunction with sub-par defenses is the achilles heel of a rogue, and this does a lot to up your survivability during those critical levels where your HP pool is especially lacking. Non-rapier builds can more or less stick with this forever.

 

Wandering Duelist: Noted only because this is the biggest background bonus to intimidate out there, for you intimidatomancers.

 

Chessenta: Pretty damn cool Action Point buff if your DM thinks you can roll a 7 on a D6.

Impiltur: Worth a mention because it opens a feat that allows you to double-roll on intimidate checks.

 

 

 

A Discourse on Rogue Weapons:

 

 


A conversation about rogue weapons shouldn't always begin and end with daggers. They are statistically the best weapon to use for a rogue, in general, but there are perfectly valid reasons to consider your other options, and frankly, I've a personal hatred for the puny little damn things. If you're here because you're looking for a valid reason to ditch that d4 forever, then by all means, read on.

Recommended Weapons


Light Blades

Dagger - Well, this does happen to be your best weapon by default, if only because of your class feature's built-in accuracy. You're likely to at least keep one in your off-hand throughout your career as your ranged option (presumably, you took light blade expertise so your most credible ranged option is going to be a thrown dagger). If you're a hybrid rogue though, you're obviously not getting the rogue weapon talent feature and can safely ditch the dagger in favor of something more powerful in you main hand.

Katar - If you shelled out a feat for this, that could have been a rapier instead. 

Kukri - Same deal as Katar. The fact that Rogue Weapon Talent offsets the +2 Proficiency bonus does not make this any better. 

Rapier - Highest [W] damage of all light blades outside of Spiked Chain, which means that if you're a hybrid or charger with Surprising Charge, you're coming straight here. Of course, you don't get a proficency with this naturally, so be prepared to spend your background, a feat, or a really bland theme for it.

Shortsword - Because you absolutely cannot stand daggers or something like that. This is generally trying to make the best of a bad situation where you somehow can't access Rapiers, at which point you might as well just use a dagger. This only becomes more excusable if your PP was Shocktrooper, at which point you probably traded down your rapier and retrained your background for something else.

Shuriken - Bad trap all around. Daggers are absolutely superior in pretty much any situation. Well, except one. This gets a purple instead of red because you can use this with an extremely niche set up to get at-will pushing at ranged with Disheartening Strike.

Spiked Chain - Well, its not a light blade until it eats up your MC feat, so you better know what you're getting yourself into. But it is a 2d4 light blade/flail double weapon that gets you all the flail support, so it could see use. I consider it most valuable on a hybrid or a specialist build. And for the record, yes, you can get at-will prone with flail expertise on a scoundrel rogue. The mechanism comes from an at-will augment feat in combination with Disheartening Strike.


Ranged Weapon:

Hand Crossbow - Pretty much the default ranged option if you're going for a dedicated ranged build.

Slings  - Needs an extra feat tax (Deadeye Slinger) to make it truly great, but its a competitive enough weapon on its own give your choices, and the sling-only power list actually makes you care enough to want to use one.


Other Weapon Groups, and Why

Maces - Presumably because you're a Ruthless Ruffian. The only valid weapon here is the specific weapon of the same name mace, since the Club is strictly inferior in every way. Why not a Singing Stick, you ask? Because your class feature is written in a certain way that it literaly only works with those two weapons. So why are you playing a Ruthless Ruffian again?

Heavy Blades - Requires Versatile Duelist or an Eladrin racial feat. You're likely here because you wanted to do something with Heavy Blade Opportunity, or else wield a Githyanki Silver/Sorrowsong Blade to run a psychic lock combo. Default weapon here is a longsword. Anything further is likely too feat-expensive for too little benefit.

Axes - Requires access to a Dwarven racial feat Tunnel Stalker. Axes aren't actually a really good weapon group for you, so we don't necesssary care, but that's not what the real meat of this weapon group is. Note how the feat is written - 'when you wield it in one hand', you get the benefits. That means you can be an Eternal Defender (Fighter ED) and use a halberd or gouge for hilarious shenanigans. Again, for epic tier use only.

Hammers - Need to be a Dwarf again. Tunnel Stalker covers this, but Lethal Hammer Training is a strictly more beneficial feat. Like axes, there's literally no reason to do this unless you're running an epic build, at which point you have a Hindering Shield/Overwhelming Impact combo with a Warhammer that can at-will daze.

Flails - See entry on Spiked Chain, above. Spiked Chain Training is the only way you'll get this to work.

Bows - You're an Elf who took Treetop Sniper. You lose the +1 to hit from your class feature for a bigger damage dice (par trade), but that cost you a feat, so, you not getting the best deal here unless you're coming in via another class or a hybrid. Longbow is pretty fine here, though I can see arguments for going all the way to Greatbow.
 

 

At-Will Powers

 



The standard charop model for strikers is that unless you have a very good reason to do so, you should take as many nonstandard-action attacks as possible for your encounters and dailies, and optimize around repeatable at-will performance. You're probably going to spend at least 30-50% of the time using at-wills, so make sure your choices are tactically sound.

The short list: Piercing Strike is excellent, Acrobatic Strike, Clever Strike, and Deft Strike are all very solid general-purpose picks, Riposte Strike, Disheartening Strike, Sly Flourish are build-specific picks you probably would have wanted for their respective builds. 
 

 

 

Melee

Acrobatic Strike (MP 2) - A staple mobility at-will, and one of the better ones in the business, giving you choice to shift before the attack (combine with a shift with your move action to manuver into a flank without any issue), or after the attack (withdraw, and take your movement action to disengage completely and hide behind your fighter. Escaping a grab is situational, but sure, we'll take the free pileup of benefits. Very good toolkit power for a variety of situations.

 

 


Clever Strike (PHH 2) - A long, long time ago, this might have actually been considered overpoweredly good. As a striker, your responsibility is to attack with CA to deliver sneak attack every turn, without fail, and this power removes any pretense of the excuses otherwise. If your group's teamwork isn't particularly strong, you somehow are attacking with reachor just want a safety net for when all else fails (did you know you can't gain CA for flanking while dazed?), this power is a nice pick.


Duelist's Flurry (D 381) - A trap power. No weapon damage roll, no static mods, no deal. If you wanted a no-questions asked way to deal sneak attack damage, refer to Clever Strike instead. As an at-will slide power, this does address a specific weakness of the rogue in that you traditionally don't have much in the way of forced movement. But this still doesn't redeem this power in the least.


Piercing Strike (PHB) - Poster-child for why rogues are deadly-accurate. As a rogue, you deliver a massive wad of damage when you hit, so make sure you hit. This gets obsoleted in paragon if you take Deft Blade and have a good MBA, but should you partake of its feat supportyou'll find excellent use out of it throughout your career.

Optimization-Friendly Augments: Criterion of Balic Practice, Raam's Maw Practice

Riposte Strike (PHB) - Rating assumes you've an attack-caliber Str stat (or some wierdo Daring Blade build). At minimum, this power offers a deterrence effect to attacking you, and is even worth a free guarenteed extra attack when used in conjunction with MC Fighter - Battle Awareness. Those willing to invest heavily into this to try and guarentee the riposte, which includes some combinations of race, theme, paragon path or even hybridization, can turn this into a DPR machine that outdamages a Twin Striker. Check out the Specialist Builds section for some ideas.

Side Note
Actually, even if you weren't a Str build, you can still attempt to take this for deterence, by mindgaming/bluffing your DM out of character. Describe the effect of the attack fairly vaguely, such as 'if he attacks me next turn, I get a riposte attack as an interrupt' without mentioning that riposte wouldn't hit the broadside of a barn, and see if that's good enough to scare him. If he calls you out on your bluff, you then take Nerathi Vanguard Style, and continue using his 'knowledge' against him.


Optimization-Friendly Augments: Vigilante Justice Style, Impending Doom Style, Nerathi Vanguard Style, Red Cloak Student

Ranged
Preparatory Shot (MP 2) - Awful and unnecessary. No damage roll, no deal. And even if it did, it would still be awful.

Melee or Ranged

 

 

Deft Strike (PHB) - A strong mobility at-will. For melee builds, I slightly prefer Acrobatic Strike, but Deft Strike also offers ranged versatility, along with the option of some of the most ludicrously good feat support in the game. For ranged builds this is almost even a staple power, as it tends to be used in conjunction with a wall or any other position of full cover to gain stealth and attack from stealth with a move 2.

 

 

Optimization-Friendly Augments: Black Arrow Style, Harlequin Style, Hunting Wolf Style, Draji Palatial Practice, Daring Performer 


Disheartening Strike (MP) - Bread and butter power for Ruthless Ruffians. But that's not why you're here (and hopefully you're not playing a RR). You're here because its a versatile melee or ranged power with a control effect, which only gets better with feat augments that either make it a slide 1 in melee or push 1 at ranged. Intimidatomancers can also take the feat support for this power and run with it, because its ridiculous.

Optimization-Friendly Augments: Bloodhound Style, Exotic Fighting Style, Untamed Berserker Style, Kulkor Battlearm Student, Mountain Thunder Student


Gloaming Cut (MP 2) - I'd argue that this is only good for you if you built your character wrong. Gets a black because of the utility factor of being the largest post-attack shift power in the game, but its so borderline purple, its not even funny.

Optimization-Friendly Augments: Gulg Hunter Practice, Midnight Blade Student, Silent Shot Student

Palming Strike (D389) - Because you're level 1 and needed the action economy to break out a healing potion. Or you have some weird build that uses alchemical/consumable items, those are really the only things that are elevating this from being red. For what its worth, this is the one of two powers on the rogue without a specific weapon requirement.

Probing Strike (PHH 1) - Underwhelming effect. Simply not worth the power slot. For what its worth, this is the only two powers on the rogue without a specific weapon requirement.

Sly Flourish (PHB) - Bread and butter for Artful Dodgers. Take it if you are one, and no reason, not even augment feats, will justify taking this if you're not.

Optimization-Friendly Augments: Harrowing Swarm Student, Deft Hurler Style


 

 

 

Combat Style Feats

 

 

These feats augment your at-will powers to give them additional effects, and some of them are frankly cornerstone for specific builds. This is a huge list though, with a handful of diamonds in a sea of turds, so I'll only be describing the ones that are really great. A more comprehensive list can be found in Dielzen's The At-Will to Power: A Guide to At-Will Enhancing.

Note also that you only can only apply one of them at a time, so pick carefully. Anything that looks mildly good could very easily have a better style feat that you'd rather use instead.

Deft Strike

Battle-Scarred Veteran
Black Arrow Style - One of the easier ways to get CA at range.
Daring Performer - Decent standalone benefit, cornerstone feat for an Arena Champion build.
Draji Palatial Practice - Key feat for a hit-debuff build. The untyped penalty stacks with everything else (everything else: Disheartening Ambush, Underhanded Tactics, Mindiron Crossbow/Psychic Lock)
Expert Chainfighter
Fluttering Leaf Style
Ghostwalker Style - Shift 1 after the attack instead. The fact that it's explicitly a separate free action, makes it absolutely key for a ranged permastealth build.
Harlequin Style - Immunity to OAs from the movement of this power, period.
Hunting Wolf Style - Move 2 after the attack instead. Its theoretically an ok benefit, but the move is attached to the power rather than a free action, which makes it useless for stealthing. Take Ghostwalker Style instead.
Leaf Runner Student
Nibenay's Glory Practice
Serpent Fang Style - Interesting potential for a poison user
Trickster's Blade Style
 
Disheartening Strike

Arena Specialist
Bloodhound Style - Slide 1 on a melee hit
Exotic Fighting Style - Push 1 on a hit with a Superior Weapon. Melee users don't care because Piercing Strike does it better. Worth a look for ranged users.
Kulkor Battlearm Student - +2 Damage on a Ruthless Ruffian.
Lolthdark Style
Mountain Thunder StudentRuthless Ruffians can hit vs Fortitude. Kind of need to compensate for their subpar accuracy.
Precision Ambush Style
Tyrian Victory Practice
Untamed Berserker Style - The generic black rating belies the fact that this an absolute goldmine for intimidatomancers (hint: go str/dex, and pack a Cincture of the Dragon Spirit).
  
Gloaming Cut
 Gulg Hunter Practice - Weird Leader-y benefit to allow your ally to shift 1
Midnight Blade Student - With a light blade, you target Reflex
Silent Shot Student 
  
Piercing Strike
 
Arkhosian High Style
Criterion of Balic PracticeShift 1 after a hit. The fact that it is its own free action makes it great for a permastealth build, and if you're an elf, this is is utterly bonkers.
Raam's Maw PracticeRemember how rogues don't have much for forced movement? Push 1 on an accurate at-will is very nice. Gateway drug for further optimization. 
   
Riposte Strike
 
Corellon's Wrath Style 
Cruel Cut Style
Eldaarich Guarded Practice
Grudge Style
Impending Doom Style - A -2 attack debuff, solid attack prevention. 
Nerathi Vanguard Style - Makes your Riposte Strike fully Str-independent, and still very useful. Did you also take Mark of Warding with this?
Red Cloak Student - Yeah! +1 AC/Ref as an effect, just for using this power. Mark of Warding makes this utterly sick.
Starlight Duelist Style 
Urikite Staff Practice - Damage buff if you land your riposte. Boring, but fair.
Vigilante Justice StyleProbably the posterchild for this power. Turn your Riposte Strike into an off-defender power and make it a whole lot easier to trigger. This is a cornerstone augment for Riposte Strike catch-22 builds.
Warborn Fury Style - A -3 attack debuff, but has an off-stat requirement and only lasts for one attack. Impending Doom is more general-purpose and applicable.
    
Sly Flourish
 
Cat's Paw Style 
Deft Hurler Style You're here because you're a halfling and wanted a free extra attack.
Mocking Knave Style
True Arrow Style Ignore long range penalties, which is actually a legitimate concern with short range thrown weapons.
Harrowing Swarm Student - Your bread and butter at-will now inflicts Rattling. Nice. You may now safely retrain out of Disheartening Strike.
     
 

 

 

Powers - Heroic Tier

 


Level 1 Encounter Powers

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:


A decent way to start off your career. Most of you will come out of here taking Dazing Strike as a quality control and CA-extension power. Ranged or nova-centric builds look at King's Castle instead.

 

 

 

 

Melee:

 


Acrobat's Blade Trick (MP 2) - A generic close burst power. Its good enough.

Dazing Strike (PHB) - Dazing is a nasty debuff to be handing out at L1: it disables opportunity attacks so you and your allies can move about with impunity, only allows 1 action (so be sure everyone ends their turns 1 square away from the target so he can't hit anybody if he has Reach 1), and grants you CA (so you get a free Sneak Attack next round regardless of your positioning). Beautiful.

Fox's Gambit (MP) - A Piercing Strike that allows Artful Dodgers to make a huge shift across the battlefield. A solid way to get in a better position in a hurry.

Guarded Attack (MP) - The upgrades this power has over Riposte Strike are very minimal, so I'm sure I wouldn't spend the selection on it.

One-Two Punch (MP 2) - As a Rattling multitarget attack, this is pretty decent, and particularly good if you've specc'd yourself to be a hit-debuff build.

Opening Move (D 381) - Kick the combat off with a big defensive buff that should allow you to go wherever you want to go without fear of retribution. Very good for Charisma-based Rogues in general, though everyone else likely doesn't want it.

Positioning Strike (PHB) - A weapon attack against Will defense is very likely to score a hit, and a slide of the magnitude granted to an Artful Dodger can easily be used to set your opponent up for something ugly. A good power overall.

Sly Lunge (MP) - You have to have CA to even use this power, and all it does is the same damage as an At-Will and set up CA for the next turn, which you likely won't even need, given that you already have CA. With that in mind, not even the extra damage from Brutal Scoundrels makes this palatable.

Termination Threat (MP) - For most Rogues, this is equal parts Disheartening Strike and Sly Flourish. For Ruthless Ruffians, it's a living example of why the build doesn't work: the power requires a tertiary ability to be any good, and it forces you to spam Rattling attacks (some of which aren't worth a lick). Nah.

Torturous Strike (PHB) - You're only here because you're a Brutal Scoundrel, because everyone else finds King's Castle strictly better. And well...you more or less do as well, being that thats a more accurate 2[W] nova option with much wider tactical applicability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranged:

 


Distracting Shot (MP 2) - Given the fact that combat advantage is actually easier to obtain in Melee, this will likely provide little to no benefit for your ally, and offer no more damage than an At-Will. Cunning Sneaks get to hide under certain circumstances, but that's not enough for a very underwhelming power.

Impact Shot (MP) - So you get a little extra damage over an At-Will, and a square of pushing. Rather situational, by itself, and pretty much garbage compared to what's available. Not my choice.

Skip the Rock (MP 2) - So... this power basically hits two targets, and I have to choose between who gets respectable (not even good) damage and who gets dazed? The condition and the fact that it's at range are the only redeeming factors.

Unbalancing Shot (MP) - Slowing is nice for a pure Ranged Rogue facing Melee opponents, as it means you can move away with no fear of them catching you. Plus, you can take Vicious Advantage to get some CA out of this deal as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melee or Ranged:

 


King's Castle (PHB) - The power description pretty much says it all: get yourself out of a hot water position and set your Defender ally up for some lockdown. Heck, you could even use your move action to set up a flank if you're in Melee. A very versatile power that hits Reflex for decent damage, and overall a strong choice.

Shadow Strike (MP 2) - Hitting and hiding is nice, but this deals the same damage an At-Will does. Unimpressive.


Level 1 Daily Powers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:


A good list, though nothing quite on par with Controller or Leader dailies. The only thing that comes close to an 'I win the encounter' power that you'd expect from a daily is Blinding Barrage, which loses steam at later levels due to terrible damage scaling. Nova specialists take Press the Advantage, chargers like Handspring Assault because it let's them AP to charge again.

 

 

 

 

 

Melee:

 


Checking Jab (MP) - Essentially Disheartening Strike with a (save ends) slow + CA combo benefit attached. The damage is piddly compared to the competition, and slow + CA is nice, but not essential. 

Duelist's Prowess (D 381) - A bit of controversy with this one. Officially, no errata has been issued for this power to give it the weapon keyword, which makes this terrible. However, the compendium version does list it with the weapon keyword, though it's not recognized as an official change. Talk to your DM about this, because if he were reasonable, this power would be that much better.

Handspring Assault (MP) - Chargers take this and love it, because the free shift 2 afterwards let them charge again on a nova. That, and rolling a fistful of d8s as your nova is excellent.

Pommel Smash (MP) - Some nice damage, and a penalty to attack rolls for the opponent. Serviceable, and even good for those carrying a big weapon like a Bastard Sword or a Rapier.

Precise Incision (MP) - Being Reliable and hitting Reflex is overkill in my mind, but you can never be too certain. I'm not the biggest fan of the power, but it does pour on plenty of pure damage for those of you carrying a larger weapon (which tend to be less accurate than the Dagger).

Press the Advantage (MP) - It's a free action attack! 2[W]+mods on a free action attack makes it seriously better than any vanilla 3[W] option, and the miss damage is surprisingly helpful when it matters. This is your go-to nova option for this level, and if you pass on this, you might even consider coming back for it at level 5.

Spinning Blade Leap (MP 2) - WHOA. You get to shift your speed BEFORE and AFTER the attack, and a decent-damage hit? Talk about hit and run. The damage is just OK, but the mobility is downright nuts. A good choice.

Twilight Menace (MP 2) - While I can appreciate Stealth tactics on a Rogue, this only hides you from one enemy, and only until he makes a save (then there's no concealment to hide behind, unless you high-tailed it out of there). Not what I'd be looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranged:

 


Scattering Shot (MP 2) - It's Reliable if you're hidden, does OK damage, and imposes penalties on all enemies adjacent to the target. The fact that it requires clustering to be effective and it's not impressive statiscally makes me not like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melee or Ranged:

 


Blinding Barrage (PHB) - Seriously de-fanged with the nerf, but a mass-blind still an encounter-defining power at level 1. No damage roll does mean no static mods though, and so this power falls from acceptable striker damage standards all too quickly. Retrain at late heroic.

Confounding Attack (MP) - The "Making your opponents hit their allies" powers are pretty nice to have, but bear in mind this does require setup to be fully effective.

Easy Target (PHB) - Some decent damage, combined with ongoing CA and Slow. I give it an edge over the very similar Checking Jab because of the ability to use it in Ranged combat, where it's harder to get CA than in Melee.

Hounding Assault (MP 2) - You get a Rattling hit that turns all your Melee attacks Rattling for the encounter. Obviously not that good if you're a pure Ranged Rogue and thus don't plan on engaging in Melee.

Trick Strike (PHB) - Good damage on a power with Ranged capability, and sliding 1 square on every hit can allow you to set him up for something very ugly with your party. I like this power.


Level 3 Encounter Powers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:


Low Slash. Low Slash, Low Slash, Low Slash. Almost every build and playstyle has a reason to take this, and if you don't, You'd Doing It Wrong. Pure ranged builds maybe take Fleeting Spirit Strike something, and really think hard about why they couldn't have taken the minimal effort and zero investment needed to do a dagger/crossbow melee/mix build instead so they could have gotten Low Slash.

 

 

 

 

 

Melee:

 


Bait and Switch (PHB) - It attacks Will for decent damage, then Artful Dodgers get a good shift out of the deal. The switching positions is rather marginal IMHO, but this is a very good power even in the situations when that effect has no tactical impact.

Blade Vault (MP) - This power will have approximately the same damage as Torturous Strike for Brutal Scoundrels (maybe even more if your weapon is smaller), and it grants you 2 squares of shifting. Solid.

Brutal Trick (MP 2) - Big damage, but it provokes an OA (a bit of a no-no). Better for Artful Dodgers, who are very unlikely to get hit by that OA.

Darting Strike (D 381) - Requires training in acrobatics, before anyone asks (now go and hide your shame that you didn't bother to take acrobatics). This is an excellent power to have, because it generates its own CA, only expends an opportunity action you weren't going to use anyway, and hands out a free shift. Particularly good at keeping pesky Artillery and the like locked down in Melee.

Defender's Cohort (MP) - Essentially Torturous Strike with Rattling, except the extra damage is Charisma-based and conditional on the enemy being marked. Solid enough.

Flailing Shove (MP 2) - A basic attack with a small push and some splash damage. Not what I'd be looking for, frankly.

Flamboyant Strike (MP) - Good damage, and a small shift for Artful Dodgers. Pretty much the same as quite a few powers on this list.

Jumping Blade Assault (MP 2) - A charge that knocks prone. That's pretty decent, but the rider is on the wrong build that doesn't like to charge nearly as much, and regardless, all chargers should be picking Low Slash anyway.

Low Slash (MP) - This power has it all: it comes in as a minor action, it attacks Reflex, it slaps on a status effect, gives you a free slide, and can even come in for extra damage for both builds. One of the best powers on the Rogue list, bar none, and one you'll likely keep for your entire career.

Maneuvering Strike (MP 2) - A slightly larger Piercing Strike that gives you a choice between handing out CA or grabbing it for yourself. Serviceable.

Nasty Backswing (MP) - Free action attack that's reliable, that's nice. Triggers less often than you think, though. And if it doesn't trigger reliably in most of your encounters, that's kind of a waste.

Setup Strike (PHB) - A generic attack that gives you a turn of CA. Underwhelming.

Startling Offensive (DSH) - Ah, the new big gun in town. Compare vs Darting Strike - it's an easier trigger, a wider trigger area, and a much better hit effect...but a much more precious action commodity. I like this over Darting Strike it works against three things that Darting Strike doesn't: enemies charging from 4 away, enemies with reach that approach you, and enemies with uncommon modes of movement (shifting, etc).

Strike and Move (D 381) - A generic attack with a good shift attached if you're an Artful Dodger. Solid enough overall, and better for the build I just mentioned.

Topple Over (PHB) - Knocking prone is only any good for most Rogues if you plan to run away or burn an AP and attack again, because the opponent will stand up and negate the generated CA. As such, an unimpressive power, though it is better for Brutal Scoundrels because they are exceedingly unlikely to miss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranged:

 


Flattening Shot (MP 2) - Push + prone on a Ranged attack? Nice, and it even has a bit of extra damage for Cunning Sneaks. Be warned, though: this is Sling-only, which does reduce its appeal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melee or Ranged:

 


Enforced Threat (MP) - A slightly more damaging Disheartening Strike that can generate its own CA if you're a Ruthless Ruffian. Unimpressive.

Fleeting Spirit Strike (MP 2) - Essentially Spinning Blade Leap (a L1 Daily), with a bit less shifting distance, but the ability to use it at range. Cunning Sneaks even get a free Stealth before and after the attack. Sweet.

Shadow Steel Roll (MP 2) - Very similar to Fleeting Spirit Strike, except that you get the shifting once and don't have to roll to hide twice. It also has a damage bonus for Cunning Sneaks. A bit better for them, but about the same for everyone else.

Trickster's Blade (PHB) - A generic hit followed by an AC buff. Decent, if a bit odd in outlook.


Level 5 Daily Powers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:


A lot of people consider this a largely unimpressive level. If you feel the same, consider looking back on your D1 list. Still here? In that case Bloodbath offers a definitive nova option at this level, while Go For The Eyes wins the best control power race by a narrow margin. If your group has good team work and/or good MBA/OAs though, consider Compel the Craven for a leadstrike attempt.

And lastly, if you're about to take Flashy Riposte, stop it. Right now. Take Surefooted Retort, the strictly superior option. You have little excuse otherwise.

 

 

 

 

Melee:

 


Bat Aside (MP 2) - It has solid damage, it has Rattling, it imposes a large shift, then you can use it for a pretty hilarious "bowling ball" effect against any enemies within 2 squares of each other. This power can be useful.

Clever Riposte (PHB) - An OK attack that lets you add a little extra damage and a shift as a reaction after you're attacked. The damage from the reaction can rack up over time, but it does take a while, and the shift after getting hit usually doesn't do much. A solid, but limited, power.

Compel the Craven (MP) - I erred towards the conservative side on this one. Blue is actually the minimum base rating, because if you have two good allies in position with good OA/MBAs, this straight up outdamages the likes of Bloodbath. Further, if your DM has a healthy tolerance for power-gaming, you can even ready this to go off on someone else's turn, thus activating your own OA for a double-tap. One caveat: it needs at least a +1 Cha mod for it to function, which standard Brutal Scoundrel won't necessary have for a while.

Deep Cut (PHB) - Some solid ongoing damage for Brutal Scoundrels, but the unreliable nature of ongoing damage and the fact that it's Melee-only means I'm not all that much of a believer.

Downward Spiral (MP) - A Rattling Close burst attack that knocks prone regardless of a hit. Unfortunately, the damage is just too piddly for me to recommend this in good faith, and you don't want to be in the situations where this power would be useful.

Driving Assault (MP) - Multi-attack power gets you a blue here by default...but did you miss Bloodbath? That one does hits a NAD, has an auto-damage effect which is more or less an auto-hit. And it effectively lets you apply your SA damage twice. Not a lot of excuse to take this over it.

Duelist's Demand (381) - This is actually a very strong Defender-style power, since your opponent is literally forced to fight you. Given that you have CA, you have the edge here. A pretty good choice, especially if you tag someone like an Artillery, who doesn't like being in Melee.

Flashy Riposte (MP) - Objectively, an immediate reaction 2[W] gets a fair rating at this point. But I've seen too many people grab this one when instead, the strictly superior immediate interrupt power Surefooted Retort is available more or less obsoletes this. That one requires training in acrobatics, for those of you wondering why you can't find it, but didn't we just establish that training in acrobatics is essential for members of this class?

Mocking Strike (MP 2) - An attack against Will (so it's an easy hit) that nets you +3 to hit for the encounter. I like hit bonuses, but the Rogue is in less need of them than most, and to boot the attack itself is average, therefore the power is average.

Surefooted Retort (MP) - An interrupt, does half damage on a miss, negates some potentially tactically bad situations for you. That's get blue in my book. This is by and far, preferred over the other immediate action daily Flashy Riposte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melee or Ranged:

 


Bloodbath (MP 2) - This power is peculiar in that it has an Effect line for an extra attack, complete with modifiers. In my mind, that's an autohit, so you get an attack with some solid ongoing attached plus a guaranteed second hit. That's cool.

Go for the Eyes (MP 2) - It's not expended if you miss while hidden, and the effect is absolutely nasty, first blinding him then slapping on attack penalties, all the while disallowing shifting. A very powerful pickup for most Rogues.

Hobble (MP 2) - Reliable attack for low damage that knocks prone and disallows standing until a save. The duration is unreliable, which is my main problem with the power, and prone isn't the nastiesty status effect out there.

Lurker's Assault (MP 2) - You move in hidden, get a shot off, then stalk off and hide again. I'm not seeing how this is all that much better than Fleeting Spirit Strike for most Rogues, especially since only Cunning Sneaks can hide. Not impressed.

Staggering Assault (MP) - A hit with a (save ends) slow debuff attached. It also has a little more damage if the target wasn't bloodied when you hit it. Not as good as Level 1's Easy Target, and that was a middle-of-the-road power.

Walking Wounded (PHB) - This is a very nasty mobility debuff to slap on, especially against flying enemies who can't hover, as it effectively ruins most creatures' ability to position themselves. The damage is lower but that doesn't really matter.


Level 7 Encounter Powers

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:


Meleers taking a strictly MOAR DAMAGE approach to striking think long and hard about whether they ought to take that ranged minor Snap Shot anyway, or possibly nab Circling Predator for the only multi-attack they're going to get for a very long time. Or they could just go back and take Startling Offensive or Darting Strike from the E3 list. Ranged users shouldn't even have to ask. There's good control/party assist powers for people who actually want a standard action power here, but there's a lot and I can't be bothered to list then all, save for Tight Squeeze - if you've got a party that can actually make this useful, give it a look.

 

 

 

 

 

Melee:

 

 

Circling Predator (MP) - Well, you finally get someting rangers get at level 1. Builds with a Str stat actually worth a damn can look elsewhere for powerswaps, but Daggermasters, Dex/Cha, or heavy Dex-invested builds don't have much of a choice here if they want the best nova possible, and for those builds I'm begrudgingly giving this the top rating because its probably going to be your only native dex-based multiattack power for half your career. 


Dismaying Slash (MP) - A power that screams "combo me!" because it is obviously lackluster by itself. Fortunately for it, the Rogue has a few powers who could use the penalty it imposes well, and it does have Rattling. Serviceable.

Double Fall (MP 2) - A two-target prone attack, but the damage is kind of lacking. Better for Artful Dodgers because of the shift, though otherwise forgettable.

Imperiling Strike (PHB) - A devastating AC/Reflex penalty makes a round of party hits much easier to land, which can help you out of an otherwise sticky situation. Good to have around, and epic if your Strength is really high (about on par with your Dexterity).

Lashing Blade (D 381) - I liken it to pseudo-AoE striking, because that's effectively how you'd probably want to use it - but unlike a close burst 1, it operates as a series of melee attacks on different turns, which can and will trigger sneak attack each time if you've got the CA. Of course, you are burning a standard action for it, so its nothing too mind-blowing, but this does a pretty interesting niche use in that it is an absolutely cheese-free way to dish out a second helping of Sneak Attack damage off-turn, without resorting to readied action shenanigans that your DM might frown upon.

Leg-Breaker (MP 2) - A Rattling power with a little soft control attached. Solid, but not my first choice by any stretch of the imagination.

Pinning Blade (MP 2) - Low damage, but restrained hands out free CA and -2 to hit while immobilizing. A decent power, and better if you're a Dagger Rogue and thus don't depend on your weapon dice for the bulk of your damage.

Rogue's Luck (PHB) - While having a backup option should you miss is nice, the fact of the matter is you usually don't miss, and this power is a generic attack on a hit. Not impressive.

Sand in the Eyes (PHB) - Blinded is a nasty status effect and hitting Reflex is good, but the damage is a bit lacking for a top rating at this level. Still a good power, especially if you favor a Dagger.

Shadow Boxer (MP 2) - As hilarious as tagging someone then hiding behind him sounds, the fact of the matter is that the damage of a basic attack with a Stealth check attached is not that great a power.

Slice Free (D 375) - Shifting half your speed is a very tangible benefit, though little else about the power impresses. Middle of the road.

Spring the Trap (MP) - A weak AoE with only 1 square of shifting, and only Rattling if you're a Ruthless Ruffian. Beyond underwhelming.

Tight Squeeze (DSH) - Against medium or smaller creatures, this power effectively does nothing, and is a piece-of-junk positioning power. Against large or larger opponents, however, and with some allied help, you basically force an enemy to squeeze for the rest of the encounter...and in doing so, provoke a truckload of OAs for leaving a square during the squeeze, making this the Rogue version of Hail of Steel...at level 7. So yeah, a dual rating. Take this if you find yourself fighting large creatures a lot, or are prepared to take a power that is completely awesome 50% the time, and uselessly deadweight the other half of the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranged:

 


Painful Shot (MP 2) - Heavy damage, and free CA if you're a Cunning Sneak, but it's Sling-only (boo) and you get CA from being hidden from your opponent anyway.

Snap Shot (MP) - That light blue is a base rating for generalist and melee rogues, who still want to give this a long hard look despite fierce competition from Darting Strike back at level 3. Ranged rogues just don't even have to think about it, and just grab it for life. A Ranged attack as a Minor Action. First class that has this, only class that has this. Rangers MC Rogue just to poach this. That should say something right there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melee or Ranged:

 


Cloud of Steel (PHB) - While it is an AoE attack (which is usually at odds with the focus fire credo of the Striker), and it is a pure damage power (and it doesn't even pack that much of it), the fact of the matter is this covers a need for the Rogue, which is dealing with multiple opponents. Also, builds that center around manufacturing criticals or that focus on Stealth attacks like it more.

From the Shadows (MP) - Move, shoot, move again, hide. Done to death by the powers before it, and those powers had more goodies (like bigger damage) attached. Serviceable for Artful Dodgers, lame elsewhere.

Hectoring Strike (MP) - It trades in a bit of Torturous Strike's damage for CA, Rattling, a slide, and Ranged capability. I can tell you that's a fair trade for a few higher levels of availability.

Killer's Ambush (MP 2) - Big damage for an Encounter power, and it even allows you to slink away afterward. Extra sexy for Cunning Sneaks, who get an easier time of the "hide afterward" business. Nice.


Level 9 Daily Powers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:


So, uhh...Knockout Blow. If you're a ranged build, you suck it up, grab a dagger, and do it anyway. Or Rogue's Recovery, I guess. Those who can inflict Dead faster than they can be bothered to inflict Unconscious can take Profit from Weakness instead.

 

 

 

 

 

Melee:

 


Aerial Assault (MP 2) - It's solid damage v. Reflex that gives you a free move action and the option to manufacture CA should you need it before the attack. It can see use; though the movement aspect of the power is underwhelming, the entire move + hit package is actually pretty solid.

Crimson Edge (PHB) - Tags a NAD, has some ongoing damage and free CA attached, and some OK damage on the initial hit. Not impressive.

Deadly Positioning (PHB) - You slide him around (preferably into a flanking position with a nearby ally), then you tag him with an attack that will help you move him where you want him. Solid enough.

Into Harm's Way (MP) - Channel your inner Warlord. The fact that it hits Will defense and provides a 1-2 punch makes it worth having.

Knockout (PHB) - Status conditions are a great way to take enemies out of the fight, and unconsciouness is second only to death in that category. A very powerful choice for a Rogue to set himself or an ally up for a devastating coup de grace moment, or just plain take someone out of the fight completely for a round (or more, if your opponent rolls a bad saving throw).

Not Worth My Time (MP) - Were this not a (save ends) power, I would have judged it as appropriate for an Encounter power, not a Daily. Not sold on this one.

One Hundred Knives (MP 2) - While this may seem lackluster at first glance (rolling for the extra damage feels a bit unnecessary when you first look at the power), this power does have some critical fishing potential in that you get 3 swings, and you also ensure your Sneak Attack damage this way. Serviceable.

Profit from Weakness (MP 2) - When you don't feel like getting hit, you really don't feel like getting hit. Rattling, auto-prone, +4 to defenses. The guy now has to exceed your defenses by 8 to land the hit, and not before you peg the crap out of with a hit vs Reflex that comes baked in with CA to deliver guarenteed Sneak Attack. On a build that prefers not to deviate from its usual schtick to go out of its way to grab Knockout, this is the way to go.

Vexing Escape (MP) - Constantly shifting away when you get approached can have some use against an enemy without reach who you are forcing to expend lots of action to come after you, but in all likelihood the uses of the effect require some thought to truly extract benefit from them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranged:

 


Agonizing Shot (MP) - While I'm a big proponent of mobility denial on a Ranged character and this does hit Reflex, it's At-Will level damage on a Daily. The ongoing damage makes up for it somewhat, but this is not a higher-echelon power.

Burst Fire (MP) - Ranged AoE against Reflex for only damage. Usually not the kind of power you want, but some builds could wring some use out of it.

Raining Death (MP 2) - Conditional targeting, piddly damage, and AoE focus. Not what I'd be looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melee or Ranged:

 


Bewildering Assault (MP 2) - I don't like the conditional target business (though some builds are quite proficient at hiding so it won't be an issue for them), and the benefits do make it a very usable power. Extra sweet if you have prolific multiattackers in your party.

Not It (MP) - I'm all for supporting the party Defender, but handing out a generic mark for him is something a Bard can do as an At-Will, and the attack they attached to this effect is not worth being a Daily.

Rogue's Recovery (MP) - Power recovery can work well with the access you have to attacks that don't require a standard action to use, and it can deal some decent damage if you choose not to go that route. Nice.

Swift Strike (MP) - A decent "opening salvo" sort of attack. Good at that niche role, but just a generic hit otherwise.

Vexing Sting (MP) - Precise Incision, with Ranged capability and an attack debuff attached. About the same relative power level as its predecessor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powers - Paragon Tier


Level 13 Encounter Powers



Synopsis:


Trade your Dazing Strike for big brother Stunning Strike. Or if you really want something from the Low Slash/Snap Shot/Darting Strike/Startling Offensive power four, go grab one of those instead. Ranged builds once again question their career decisions, then either try for a powerswap off-class, or settle for Powerful Shot.



Melee:



Cunning Cyclone (MP) - A Rattling close burst attack that gives you the option of dividing your Sneak Attack dice among the targets. Not impressed, since the damage is kind of low and the attack does nothing special.

Daunting Attack (MP) - Dazing Strike with Rattling attached, and it stuns if you're a Ruthless Ruffian. Unless you're one of them (and I highly recommend you don't be), Stunning Strike is straight-up better.

Fool's Opportunity (PHB) - Rating assumes you have an offensively-oriented defender with a credible mark punishment (hell, even an assault swordmage will do due to the auto-hit wording on this power), because this then becomes a beefy double-tap power with a roulette status effect, depending on the monster. Don't bother if your defender is a battlemind, shielding swordmage, paladin, or aura-based defender.

Strike of Dancing Shadows (MP 2) - A move that allows you to slip and get an attack off without losing your cover (automatically remaining hidden is very nice). Much better for Cunning Sneaks because the increase in shifting distance gives you a lot more options as to where you hide.

Stunning Strike (PHB) - Given that Stunning is one of the most powerful status effects you can slap on an opponent as it essentially buys you a whole free turn against it, having access to it every encounter is a very good thing.

Toppling Slash (MP) - Pushing, knocking prone, and Rattling is a pretty solid combination to have.

Unbalancing Attack (PHB) - A "backup Defender" power, I question its utility because usually, you're the one a monster's willing to eat an OA to get next to, and if you take that part out it's just a generic damage attack.

Vaulting Charge (D 381) - Ugh, I hate it that they keep giving charge powers to the wrong rogue build. This is an good mobility power paired with a generic 3[W] charge for most people, but it gets much better if you have a noteworthy charisma score, and becomes genuinely competitive with Stunning Strike for an Artful Dodger.


Ranged:



Numbing Shot (MP 2) - Sure, it requires a Sling, but tagging a NAD, knocking the opponent prone, and weakening him on a pure Ranged attack is worth something.

Powerful Shot (MP) - Decent damage, pushes back, and slows. Nice to have for a Rogue who does not intend to get in Melee.

Skip Shot (MP) - A generic hit that inflicts a little damage to a nearby enemy. The only real use I can see for it is minion-popping without having to invest an action (or an attack) on it, and that's not good enough.

Veiled Missile (MP 2) - A Ranged attack against Reflex that packs solid damage and its own concealment. Cunning Sneaks don't even have to invest additional actions to hide. This can see use, but it adds little to the average Cunning Sneak's repertoire.


Melee or Ranged:



Bounding Escape (MP) - A generic hit that lets you jump away afterwards. Not only have other powers at earlier levels done this better, but the jump is Strength-based, yet the secondary effect requires a Charisma-based build. Kind of dysfunctional, this one.

Flitting Demise (MP 2) - An attack that has a condition to use, and it's just damage plus a Stealth check. There are better ways to do this sort of thing.

Killing Shadow (DSH) - Really? Shadow Steel Roll did this, and did it way better. At level 3, and that was not even one of the better powers on the E3 list. The fact that most cunning rogues can literally do this at-will now via Deft Strike + Ghostwalker style puts this firmly in the useless category.

Tornado Strike (PHB) - You tag two enemies with a sliding attack, then move away. A nice way to get out of a jam or to wreak havoc among enemy ranks, especially for Artful Dodgers.

Wicked Reminder (MP 2) - Essentially a Disheartening Strike that slaps on vulnerability to weapon attacks, plus it hits a NAD if you're a Ruffian. The initial damage is lame, though, and the vulnerability doesn't play nice with implement users. Nah.

Level 15 Daily Powers


Synopsis:


Pretty boring level. Bloody Path is kinda hilarious and so I usually ending up taking it, but what you should really be doing is checking back on your D9 and D5 lists.


Melee:



Bloody Path (PHB) - While this power doesn't require actual attack rolls from you, it does work by provoking OA's, so it's on this list since most OA's work at Melee range. It can be quite nasty against monsters with status effects on their MBA's (though you don't get any guarantees as to what effects the monsters are packing), and it can even focus-fire under the right circumstances. One of the few bright spots at this level, even if you don't get Sneak Attack damage from it.

Bold Feint (MP) - Turn a hit on you into a hit for an enemy. This power is nice to have, though it has its limitations in that you're likely unable to focus fire a single target with it (unless you are attacked by something else while you're hacking away at your main enemy), and that you have no guarantees as to when it's going off and what you're getting out of it.

Finish It (MP) - A generic entry attack for a Melee-only Daily (and conditional targeting as insult to injury), but an ongoing 5 your opponent can't shake off without healing does have some potential (effectively +5 damage every turn for the rest of the encounter). Not the best choice, but at least it's not totally useless.

Garrote Grip (PHB) - While it feels thematic, the fact of the matter is that only 1 build among you is really suited to hold down an opponent with a grab (that would be the Brutal Scoundrels who chose to keep Strength as a viable attack stat), and even then you have to hold him down three whole turns before this power is as effective as Knockout. Nope.

Lurker's Threat (MP 2) - Conditional targeting (and hiding in Melee is harder than it is at range), but it has some decent damage, slaps on a daze, slides, and makes others grant you CA. Not for every Rogue, but solid for the ones who can use it.

Ripple Effect (MP) - A hit vs. Reflex for a decent slide, and a little extra damage and a smaller slide for another opponent. Bascially an Encounter power effect with a little more damage on the primary attack. Not impressive.

Vicious Cooperation (MP) - Requires a bit of setup (and an ally with a decent MBA), but you were likely to be in this situation by default, and this can put up some pretty respectable damage.

Whirlwind of Blades (MP 2) - Spinning Blade Leap with a little extra damage and riskier movement. I waited half my career for this?!


Melee or Ranged:



Arterial Slice (MP 2) - Similar to Bloodbath, but with a slightly more robust initial attack (more damage, hits Reflex), the ability to be used at range, and minus an autohitting Effect line. Given that, it's solid, but not quite a top power unless you have improved criticals, which make it better.

Courage Breaker (MP 2) - Apart from having one of the larger keyword collections on an attack power, it does have solid damage, Rattling, and a (save ends) slow for Ranged folks, as well as an area attack penalty to inhibit clustering. Decent for a primarily Ranged Rogue.

Mind-Boggling Onslaught (MP) - It's low on the damage scale, and the penalty it slaps on can be resisted by fear-immune creatures, and you have to eat up your minor action to sustain it, or end the penalty for only one turn of dazing. Very mediocre.

Slaying Strike (PHB) - This power is very Jekyll-and-Hyde; it goes from being barely sufficient for a Level 1 Daily when your opponent is not Bloodied to being pretty nasty if they are. Not that great because you can't cut loose whenever you like, but not that bad either.

Vicious Slice (MP 2) - An attack penalty and some ongoing damage is a decent debuff collection, though the triggering attack is obviously nothing special.

Wounding Strike (MP) - Even under the best conditions, the attack is not very impressive. The fact that it imposes a condition for optimal usage is borderline insulting.

Level 17 Encounter Powers


Synopsis:


The question isn't whether or not you're auto-picking Tumbling Strike because you freakin' are, but whether you're replacing another minor action attack for it. I personally prefer an encounter selection setup with two minors attack and a standard control power, so I ending keeping Low Slash ditching Darting Strike or Snap Shot for it.



Melee:



Audacious Strike (MP) - Move 4, deal your damage, then shift 2. A nice hit-and-run power to have every encounter, but it's out of its league compared to some other powers on the list.

Blistering Outburst (MP) - A close burst that hits a NAD for low damage and -2 to hit. There are signficantly better options at this level.

Escape Artist's Gambit (MP) - Condition removal is nice to have, as is a shift. Better for Artful Dodgers because of the size of said shift.

Leaping Dagger Kick (MP 2) - A charge that knocks prone regardless if you hit or not is nice, and dazing with it if you're an Artful Dodger is nicer.

Path of the Blade (D 381) - A shift, and two attacks that slide at any two points during the shift (so you get 4 attacks total. Very good to have.

Stab and Grab (PHB) - Replacing immobilize on a grab with restrain is good with the damage and NAD-hitting this attack carries, but few Rogues will be able to maintain this grab for an extended amount of time, plus some enemies can't be grabbed. Too conditional for my taste, but there's some potential here.

Stinging Squall (MP) - A close burst power with Rattling that imposes weakened against you, which is nice for escaping an ugly situation battered but alive. Markedly better for a Ruthless Ruffian, though I still don't recommend you take that feature.

Tumbling Strike (D 381) - Shifting your speed while ignoring enemies and difficult terrain, then dealing good damage would be good under normal circumstances, but this one shatters all expectations by being available as a minor action. Too good to not have.


Ranged:



Dazing Shot (MP 2) - Sling only, but dazing and knocking down if he chooses to spend the action on a move or an attack make it a virtual lock for the ones who use that weapon.

No Escape (MP) - Though it is a pure Ranged power, it's easier to use on a Rogue that engages in Melee because of the nature of the trigger. A good power overall, though I question the frequency it'll come up somewhat.

Unerring Shot (MP 2) - A generic attack that you don't lose if you miss. Borderline insulting, to be honest.


Melee or Ranged:



Dragon Tail Strike
(PHB) - A big Riposte Strike, but this time the attacks hit a NAD, it's Ranged-friendly, the riposte attack uses Dexterity, and it's super-accurate for Brutal Scoundrels. You could do a lot worse than pick this.

Excruciating Reminder (MP 2) - A Rattling attack for solid damage that carries the promise of more damage should the opponent miss with an attack (and you just provided -2 to hit). A nice toy for Ranged Rogues.

Guerrilla Blitz (MP) - Move your speed, do some solid damage, get a defensive buff. More applicable to Melee than Ranged, but a solid power nonetheless.

Houding Strike (PHB) - A nice tag against a usualy weak NAD, and free CA and a defense bonus that makes Artful Dodgers love this power.

Surprising Assault (MP 2) - A Ranged attack with dazing and a chance of stunning if you are a Cunning Sneak. Good overall, and great for them.

Level 19 Daily Powers


Synopsis:


Hilt Slam for a save-ends stun, but you may not really care all that much if you've already gotten your preferred dailies at 1, 5, 9 as you probably won't really need to upgrade til 29. Ranged users get a fairly nice power in Daunting Barrage though.



Melee:



Blood Squall (MP) - A close burst version of an attack that would never be worthy of being at this level otherwise. Still bad, but not worthless.

Bloodbath Attack (MP) - So this essentially gives you another ability score to damage rolls for the encounter, while sporting an OK entry attack. I like this for Strength-based Rogues.

Blurring Assault (MP 2) - Though it is situational, this can be used as a devastating alpha strike as well as a way to make a battlefield uncluttered in a hurry. It also has application in larger-scale battles. Not my top choice, but not a bad power.

Flying Foe (PHB) - You get some damage and a big slide, plus some damage if he runs into something (hint: you do want him to run into something; as a secondary damage roll on the power, any bonus that applied to the previous attack applies to this one), so this can be a pretty good power (since slide lets you move him wherever you want), provided you don't hit an ally with it.

Hilt Slam (MP 2) - Hooray for a (save ends) stun! You even get some forced movement out of the deal, so who cares if you grant CA for a turn? Your opponent is likely stunned and in the jaws of your Defender now; his life expectancy is now a matter of how many powers you had left before you landed this.

Merciless Cut (MP 2) - The attack is kind of underwhelming right now, but a free shift attached makes it a more palatable option, though it's decidedly not a top power (or something you haven't already seen ad nauseam).

Stolen Vitality (MP) - The damage and effect are underwhelming for a Melee power of this level, and THP don't sway my argument, especially when they're as few as the ones provided by this power.

Strong-Arm Vitality (MP) - A hit that offers a turn of domination. I don't like it all that much because of the fact that you don't get (save ends) to have the hope of another turn, you can't make him attack himself, and the clause that prohibits it from being attacked by your allies if you want to preserve the effect, though nobody can deny dominate is both awesome and rare on your list.


Ranged:



Demoralizing Shot (MP 2) - You tag an enemy with a solid Rattling attack, then have his allies move away from it and grant CA. Decent, but something feels kind of lacking.

Uncanny Ricochet (MP) - A flat-damage attack with a chance at another flat-damage attack should you miss. I'm not sold on this because of the lack of rider effects, and that Rogues overall don't miss a whole lot.


Melee or Ranged:



Daunting Barrage (MP) - A close blast attack that dazes. While dazing is not as devastating as Blinding Barrage's effect, this has the potential of lasting more than a turn, the presence of Rattling, and having more damage and more area. A worthy successor to the above mentioned power, though not a must-have.

Feinting Flurry (PHB) - ...By the gods! It hits Will defense, does some good damage, and then slaps on a nasty debuff (eats up your minor action, though). This is very good for Charisma-based Rogues in general, especially if they deviated from the typical high accuracy paths.

Maiming Strike (MP 2) - An interesting control power, it can be nice in keeping a shifty or mobile target from getting away from you or your Defender, at least not without taking a wallop. It's solid.

Marked Beating (MP) - I'm not a fan of conditional targeting, but that's literally the ONE flaw I found with this power. It's enough to be a bit of a concern, but this power is still a pretty nasty thing to do to your opponent regardless.

Snake's Retreat (PHB) - Some major weapon damage on this one, and a potentially strong, but fundamentally limited mobility effect (at these levels, everything is Large+ and thus has Reach 2+, so it's not negating many, if any, attacks). A pretty good power overall, though.



Powers - Epic Tier


Level 23 Encounter Powers


Synopsis:


Some of you won't even bother swapping up powers here, but those of you, melee or ranged, that are intent on keeping at least one standard action/control-heavy power in your arsenal look to Steel Entrapment for some sick-nasty AoE lockdown.

Melee:



Collapsing Riposte (MP) - Tagging someone in nasty fashion for missing you with a Melee attack is nice to have around, especially when you knock them down. Dazing is good for CA and preventing OA's, but in all likelihood it won't be around for their next turn, so it's not that groundbreaking a rider.

Cutthroat's Rebuke (MP 2) - Essentially a Riposte Strike that has more damage and Rattling on the initial attack, and knocks prone on the counterattack. While these are some nice improvements, the core of the power's problems remains unchanged.

Death Dance (MP) - An AoE for decent damage, plus a shift for Brutal Scoundrels. I wouldn't suggest putting yourself in a situation where this power will be a strong option, but sometimes you won't have a choice.

Felling Gash (MP) - An attack against Reflex that knocks prone is nice, but unless you're a Ruthless Ruffian (and you shouldn't be) it's not really at the level of the top options.

Killer's Retreat (MP 2) - A classic "hit and hide" Melee-only power, it doesn't really offer anything above from a little extra damage over previous versions of this ability. Unimpressive.

Scorpion Strike (PHB) - Unlike most interrupts in the Rogue's arsenal, this one triggers when an ally hits the enemy, which makes it much more useful in a focus-fire context. Additionally, it provides Brutal Scoundrels the ability to reposition for a new victim or a safe escape route in order to deal with another enemy or keep their nose clean. Better for them, but for most other Rogues it doesn't beat Low Slash or Tumbling Strike.

Shimmering Blade (D 381) - You consume your standard action to tag your opponent in response to a multitude of close-combat actions. Since it's an opportunity action, it essentially adds an effect to your OA's and makes them more reliable. To me that's not worth a standard.

Tendon Tear (MP 2) - Knocking down and restraining is one hell of a debuff, especially because you can simply step away with little fear of retribution and essentially waste their turn. Not quite as good as a full stun, but darned close.


Ranged:



Crack Shot (MP) - A Ranged Area attack that sends everyone in it down to the floor. Given the effect that knocking prone has on flyers and the general utility of an ally-friendly Ranged Burst (plus some solid damage), not even my dislike of deviating from the focus fire goal of a Striker can hold this power down.

Fell the Strong (MP 2) - Tagging the foe with a decent soft control effect and making him grant CA as a Cunning Sneak isn't very attractive at this level.

Fettering Shot (MP) - Immobilization is great to have as a Ranged character, since it forces the enemy to engage in Ranged combat (your strong suit) or not engage at all. It also comes with solid daamge to make it more appealing, though another power on this list can perform the same function against more foes should you choose to get a bit closer.


Melee or Ranged:



Blindside (MP) - The condition itself is easy to meet for you at this point in your career. However, you've had access to a dazing Encounter power since level 1, and all this offers over it is a few extra dice and the ability to be used at Range. Rather underwhelming given the options here.

Dazing Double Shot (MP 2) - Spreading the dazing love around, plus a shift for Artful Dodgers. Dazing makes you happy, so this power is good because it gives you options for next round, especially since it can be used at range.

Knave's Gambit (PHB) - A generic attack on a hit, an enemy "friendly-fire" equivalent on a miss. I'm not salivating off either use, but having a solid attack go off regardless of what the d20 feels like giving you is worth something.

Steel Entrapment (PHB) - Immobilize a small army every encounter. This is an amazing opening salvo and an absolute flagship power that is nearly on par with Wizard analogues at this level, and demonstrates why rogues can make ace controllers on the side. If you left space on your encounter power list for a standard action power, this is it.

Level 25 Daily Power


Synopsis:


Visceral Strike for another save-ends stun. Rogue's Resurgence is basically a double-attack for either melee or ranged builds since you use it to recover Tumbling Strike or Snap Shot.


Melee:



Acrobatic Assault (MP) - 3 generic hits, against 3 targets. Not the strongest thing your Rogue can be doing at this level of play.

Astounding Assault (MP 2) - A hit with a large slide, and a secondary effect which is almost certain to waste a Melee opponent's turn, and will hinder a Ranged one. While that sounds good on paper, the fact that the enemy chooses the option more palatable to it weakens the power.

Cruel Pursuit (MP) - A double whammy attack with a sizable slide and shift attached in between. This can see good use.

Ghost on the Wind (PHB) - A tag for very solid damage, plus a disappearing act in Melee that grants free CA after it's done. Nice to have, since it effectively means most enemies can't hit you on their next turn.

Gory Slash (MP) - This is a decent power for a Rogue that doesn't mind flitting in and out of Melee range, as you can land this then fall back and hack away at your opponent with Ranged opponents with little fear of retribution from a melee opponent. Not the strongest power, but it has its uses.

Persistent Menace (MP 2) - The damage on the initial attack is low, but the ongoing damage is high (which sort of cancels out), plus it has ways to make that ongoing damage stick, which is nice for making a rather unreliable way of getting your damage across less so. Not my first pick, but it works, especially if your allies lay some (save ends) effects that you can help last with it.

Reaching Blade (D 381) - Given that the trigger is when your ally lands an OA, this is VERY DM-dependent, thus limiting what could have been an absolutely brutal power, since it grants you free repositioning and At-Wills (not MBA's - At-Wills).

Shocking Execution (MP) - The raw numbers it brings up aren't gonna make me jump out of my seat, plus the stink of conditional targeting mitigates the awesome of an AoE attack debuff. Underwhelming, if you ask me.

Visceral Strike (MP) - A (save ends) stun is always a good thing, especially when it comes with an aftereffect that's almost as crippling. Slapping on weakened and slowed after being stunned means you have a decent shot at disabling the enemy for the whole encounter.


Ranged:



Perfect Shot (MP 2) - Generally not useful given how accurate rogues already are and how this power completely lacks any other effect. The niche use that gets this a purple, however is that you can make whatever trashy attack you want that would have never hit otherwise with this, and still have it hit in order to apply your item daily effect. That +1 Targetting Crossbow that you've somehow been keeping around for whatever reason, for example...


Melee or Ranged:



Biting Assault (PHB) - The damage is low for a Daily of this level, but ongoing plus weakened makes up for a lot of that. Uninspiring, but effective enough to be considered.

Bounding Assault (MP 2) - One big charge in Melee, and it can be used in Ranged if need be. Serviceable for playing nice with one of the best ways for any character to get extra damage.

Hamstring (PHB) - Fairly similar to other powers on this list, but with the weakest debuff (slow) of them all. As such, it's the least interesting one.

Magnetic Shot (MP) - Lots of dice, and 3 ability modifiers to damage. Given that powers at this level can packing the same or more dice, and that you probably won't have all 3 modifiers this adds to damage at a high level, I'm not impressed.

Ricocheting Strike (MP 2) - It lets you deal your Sneak Attack damage twice, which doesn't happen too often, and it provides solid damage against the primary target. Solid enough.

Rogue's Resurgence (MP) - This either offers Encounter power recovery (which is very good at this level thanks to things like Tumbling Strike) or the most weapon damage dice you'll roll with a single attack Rogue power. It looks good to me.

Level 27 Encounter Powers


Synopsis:


You'll probably want to trade Stunning Strike (if you still kept it) for Perfect Strike.  Or if you were ranged, you trade out whatever junk you had that wasn't Steel Entrapment and Low Slash for it.

Melee:



Craven's Bane (MP 2) - Given that you have to bloody the enemy with the attack for it to be anything but a generic hit and even the additional application requires setup, this is a very underwhelming pick.

Dance of Death
(PHB) - One could make the argument that you can turn this into a multi-attack by immediately moving around afterwards provoking OAs, but it assumes your DM takes those OAs. The current rating assumes your DM plays optimally.

Deflected Strike (MP 2) - While this power seems cool at first glance, its limitations are pretty apparent, which limits the things you can actually do with it, making it solid, but not spectacular.

First and Final Strike (D 381) - A nice power to have, it rolls in a use of Combat Tumbleset and a strong defensive buff with a good, damaging attack.

Hurling Pounce
(MP) - A hit with a push, and a hit for another enemy. Yawn.

Hurricane of Blood (PHB) - Just damage, but plenty of it and you're exceedingly unlikely to miss if you're a Brutal Scoundrel. You could do worse than this, especially if you favor large but less accurate weapons like Rapiers or Heavy Blades.

Sheathe the Blade (MP 2) - Vulnerable 10? Lasts until the start rather than the end of your next turn? The best analogues for this sort of power on other classes are inflicting vulnerable 10+Stat, and are doing it 10 levels earlier. Don't do this to yourself.

Skirmishing Strike (MP) - It's another minor action attack, so there is that. But it is strictly worse than any of the other stuff you could have gotten due to the hit penalty, so the question really comes down to how badly do you really want all 3 of your encounter slots filled by minor action attacks. Its usually not that big of a deal.


Ranged:



From Pebble to Boulder
(MP 2) - A stun that knocks prone is good for inconveniencing your opponent for two turns' worth of actions, especially if it's a primarily Melee character. A prime pick for the Sling users.

Perfect Sniper (MP 2) - A only-damage attack with conditional targeting, whose only perk is remaining hidden if under total cover/concealment. Not enough to be good in my mind.


Melee or Ranged:



Killer's Gift (MP 2) - A stun with a slide compensates for the conditional targeting you have to put up with very nicely to make this a very good power, especially for Cunning Sneaks.

Perfect Strike (PHB) - Ok, this is a bit overblown because you're effectively rolling against the enemy's highest defense in order to land a stun (which at this point, is the same or higher than AC). What this power really is an attack vs. AC that stuns, usable at ranged, that can do at least a bit of damage if you missed by a hair. I'm ok with all of this as it still deserves the sky-blue rating, just know that this power is imperfect.

Safe Bet (MP) - Behold what Riposte-style powers should look like. Both the initial and reprisal attack work at range, it triggers off an ally being attacked, and allows for significant repositioning before delivering your payload. Very nice, though most Rogues will need Melee Training if they want to use this in close combat.

Stunning Assist (MP) - Given that the other powers on this list offer stunning and some other goodies, this is not the flashiest power on this list. That said, it's not a bad choice, since the condition it requires is relatively easy to satisfy.

Stupefying Violence (MP) - Some decent damage, Rattling, and a slide. While it's certainly not going to win any "best power ever" contests, it's not a waste of space either.

Level 29 Daily Powers


Synopsis:


True to the notion that rogues are a teamwork-based class, all of your best capstone powers function around party cooperation. You're probably going to want Kiss of Death if you've got a good MBA. Cha-builds and ranged builds get their lead-strike on with Deathweaving Strike and Killing Storm, respectively.


Melee:



A Murder of One (MP) - 3 hits against 3 dfferent targets that are a bit stronger if you didn't miss the ones before them. Pass.

Deathweaving Strike (MP) - Given that it moves the opponent about using a slide and allows allies to get potshots in anyway (thus requiring little setup from your allies as you will bring the enemy to them), this is a great power for any Charisma-based Rogue.

Kiss of Death (MP 2) - True story: this used to be an infinite damage loop, pre-errata. it's still a sky-blue power, but I'm going to have to be a bit harsh on this one. The fact that you have to pick an single enemy (so no carry-over effects once the dude you're killing bites it) and maintain adjacency to it is a bit awkward, as forced movement or a single push reaction makes this relatively easy to foil. Set up correctly though, this is easily worth 3-4 extra attacks, each with a shot of SA damage, and that's more than sufficient for a strong showing as a daily.

Steel Nettle Rain (MP 2) - Shift your speed, then attack for solid damage. You have Encounter powers that can do this as a minor action: you deserve better as a Daily.

Throat Cut (MP 2) - Conditional targeting, and while ongoing 15 sounds nice, you can actually out-damage that with L5's Bloodbath pretty handily (and that provides an autohit). Not what you're looking for.


Ranged:



Killing Storm (MP 2) - This is a large, ally-friendly area power that makes your opponents run away (thus provoking OA's from any allies they may encounter along the way). This is a very versatile power, as it can be used as an opening salvo to shatter formations, a risk-free way to make sure the Opportunity Action the Defender gets during your turn doesn't go to waste, or a way to parade an enemy in front of your whole party if given setup. A very strong power.

Sight-Stealing Shot (MP) - Blinding and dazing can effectively neuter an opponent's offense (but it's still weaker than a stun), yet it lacks the aftereffects and overall muscle the better powers at this level have. Far from a bad choice, though.


Melee or Ranged:



Assassin's Point (PHB) - With the update clarifying what extra damage gets doubled, this power is firmly pushed into the category of powers where the multiplier on their weapon damage dice was clearly overrated.

Cagey Killer (MP) - Finally, a (save ends) stun that can be used at range! To boot, it has dazed as an aftereffect to ensure your enemy is pretty badly inconvenienced for quite some time. Probably the power of choice for Ranged Rogues at this level, because Melee has better options.

Immobilizing Strike (PHB) - A -5 penalty to saves will allow you to rely on this power a bit more than other (save ends) powers, especially with its aftereffect clause, and immobilizing is a beauty on a Ranged Rogue. A pretty solid choice for them.

Moving Target (PHB) - Though the strength of the damage and other effects dealt is very variable, the fact of the matter is that you turned something could have hit you into a guaranteed hit for your opponent, and that's good to have.

Treachery's Reward (MP 2) - Despite the fact that is has a reroll and the offering of staying hidden after the hit, the fact of the matter is that it's an only-damage power that doesn't offer as much raw damage as other options here. I wouldn't pick it.

Utility Powers




Level 2 Utility Powers


Synopsis:


Sneak in the Attack is like another minor-action attack, and will be favored as such. Tumble is your basic mobility utility, which is perfectly useful, and finds its way onto most classes for good reason.

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Adaptable Flanker (MP) - You get a turn's worth of CA against someone you weren't supposed to get CA against. Not the flashiest benefit, but it's not useless, either.

Agile Footwork (D 381) - If he ends his turn next you, you move away. It won't help you dodge an attack, but out-of-turn repositioning is nice to have, though a bit unreliable.

Arm and Edge (MP 2) - Given that thrown weapons and slings have shorter range than say, bows and crossbows, this is actually a serviceable choice, though I'm not too sure how often it'll come up.

Cunning Step (MP 2) - This is an interesting power is that it's pretty lame for the average Rogue, yet can be quite good if you're willing to pump the otherwise dump stat that is Intelligence. I'm not a fan, though.

Deadly Knowledge (MP 2) - Adding an extra stat to damage is nice, but only during a crit or when you bloody someone (and only for 1 attack) makes it decidedly less appealing, especially when the stat added is a dump stat for most Rogues.

Double Take (MP) - This can make sure some Rogues nail that key Perception check, so it can see use.

Fleeting Ghost (PHB) - Taking the movement penalty off Stealth checks is nice, and being an At-Will is even nicer. To boot, it has a great deal of out-of-combat utility. A must for certain types of Rogues, and a strong choice for everybody else. Something of note is that it is redundant for Cunning Sneaks, so if you chose that feature, look around for something else that may be of actual use to you.

Great Leap (PHB) - Making Athletics checks instead of moving may sound cool, but it really only pays off in combat when you can reliably clear a distance greater than your speed (the DC for 7 squares is 35, so it will take a while). The fact that it's an At-Will and that it will very likely see use outside of combat make up for that, though.

Hop Up (MP) - Standing up and shifting away after getting knocked on your arse is good to have, but some feats and powers let you do this At-Will as a minor action. The reason why this power is still worth talking about is because it doesn't consume actions on your turn to do it.

Lurker's Cloak (MP 2) - Given that cover and concealment already provides you with +2 to all defenses, this can certainly help you turtle up for a couple of turns. It's better if getting that cover or concealment didn't entail sacrificing the ability to attack.

Master of Deceit (PHB) - Rerolling a Bluff check can certainly save a social situation or skill challenge, as well as have some marginal combat utility (feints). Not a bad choice for most Rogues.

Quick Fingers (PHB) - Not sure when Thievery's action expenditure comes up outside of combat, and I'm even less sure of when making a Thievery check in combat will come up at all (barring your DM getting Tomb of Horrors-level trap-happy). Not sold on this one.

Reap the Rattled (MP) - It requires a rattled enemy, only grants CA for two turns, and it's a Daily? Garbage.

Sneak in the Attack (MP) - You could think of this as a +leader power, in which case its a heft chunk of damage. Or given how much damage a sneak attack actually is early in your career (particularly if you're a Brutal Scoundrel), you could, instead, put this on par with a minor action attack. That's a hell of a strong pick either way.

Sudden Leap (HotFL) - A minor action move equal to half your speed. Surprisingly handy for turns where you just need that little extra bit of move (or spent a move action to get up from prone).

Switcheroo (MP 2) - While this may not be useful all the time, you can use it all the time, and sometimes you or your ally may need it to get where you need to go. This does get a lot better if your allies take the Agile Opportunist Paragon feat, since switching places counts as a slide.

Tumble (PHB) - Shift your speed, no questions asked. A basic mobility power that has similar analogues in most other striker classes, and for good reason - because they're often powers strikers want and need the most.

Level 6 Utility Powers


Synopsis:


If you liked Tumble, retrain it for Ignoble Escape and take another good U2. Or keep both. Swift Parry is a nice dodge for a Cha-build. The rest of your good stuff are gonna be from Skill Powers.

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Blind Spot Advantage (MP 2) - Concealment against a single enemy sounds like an overly complicated way of getting CA for the average Rogue. However, it can be key for the Stealth lovers among you to get your act together even when the terrain is not conducive to your antics. Solid enough.

Chameleon (PHB) - This is a "think fast!" sort of Utility power: the most logical thing an enemy looking to kill a Rogue hiding behind something is to go look for him. This helps keep you hidden while you scramble around and look for another hiding place, and it can do so At-Will.

Ferret Out Frailty (MP) - You get CA against one enemy for one turn, or 2 turns if he's taking the Rattling penalty. Not flashy, but it does what you need it to do.

Fortuitous Dodge (MP) - A very thematic power, it can lead to some pretty funny sequences, though if the attack missed you, the odds of it tagging your opponent depend on the type of creature it is, since the attacker doesn't make another attack roll. A bit too unreliable to be a Daily IMHO.

Hidden Blade (PHH 1) - Sure it's conditional, and it only works for one attack, but CA without being target-specific leaves your options wide open, and that's got to be worth something.

Ignoble Escape (PHB) - Shift and shed a mark. It's barely a mild upgrade of Tumble back from level 2, but what's amazing at level 2 is still gonna be awesome here. Those that didn't find anything else spectacular on the U6 list and took Tumble at U2 might consider retraining into this and taking Sneak in the Attack for their U2 instead.

Mob Mentality (PHB) - A useful trick for skill challenges, especially if you're not the party face.

Nimble Climb (PHB) - So you can climb faster. In how many combats does this really come up? At least it's an At-Will, so you can use it outside of a fight (but even then, are you really measuring climb speed in an out-of-combat situation?).

Perfect Feint (MP 2) - 2 turns of CA against any adjacent enemy. This can come in very handy, as it gives you options as to who you're going to attack.

Sidestep Stance (MP) - +2 to AC against one enemy, and you can keep switching enemies. This can come in handy, though it is a bit limited.

Slip Aside (HotFL) - Given that AC is the most targeted defense, you're bound to get hit sometime, and at that point an ability to take half damage might save your skin.

Slippery Mind (PHB) - +2 to Will isn't all that and a bag of chips, but it's an Encounter power, so it's not all that bad (it IS one of the few defensive Utilities you have...).

Swift Parry (D 381) - Works against one attack, so it's no shield...but you take what you can get that ups your survivability. Those without a good charisma score should avoid.

Threatening Glare (MP) - Half damage on OA's and CA against those enemies is pretty good for Brutal Scoundrels, who are at a greater risk of getting tagged by those same enemies.

Ugly Finish (MP 2) - It may be a Daily, but a mass -2 to attacks and CA for dropping someone or landing a crit is a good power to have in my book.

Vault Position (MP) - ...Huh? +1 to Reflex on a Stance is rather marginal, and an Athletics check is nice, but not as a Daily...

Vexing Flanker (MP) - Insta-flanking for your ally. It can be useful if multiple allies are gathering to bash a single enemy (you can use this and your own turn to make sure at least 2 of them get CA).

Level 10 Utility Powers


Synopsis:


Acrobat's Escape or Counter-Step are the go-to picks here. I prefer the former.

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Acrobat's Escape (HotFL) - Whoa. This power gives you an instant bailout against a Melee opponent approaching you. An amazing power for any sort of Rogue.

Brisk Stride (MP) - +4 speed for one move and 2 turns of no difficult terrain as an Encounter power can come in handy.

Certain Freedom (PHB) - A daily for a guaranteed skill success? Not a wise investment in my book in most cases.

Close Quarters (PHB) - Always stay close to your victim, impose a big attack penalty against you, and at worst you trade your move action for his standard action (so action advantage for you). Conditional to being smaller than your opponent (and him being Large or bigger), which is not a good thing for a Daily, but at later levels almost anything qualifies anyway.

Combat Tumbleset (MP) - Another good mobility power, moving through enemy spaces while not risking OA's means you can pretty much go wherever you want, which is a good freedom to have.

Counter-Step (HotFL) - A defensive and an offensive buff for getting approached? Don't mind if I do...

Dangerous Theft (PHB) - Your DM is likely gonna have to jump through a couple of story hoops to get this power to actually see play in your game. Not recommended.

Daring Gamble (MP 2) - Limited because you likely can't coerce people to attack you and it only lasts a turn, but free CA for the whole encounter is worth finding a way to make trigger while not getting yourself in too much trouble.

Deadly Sacrifice (MP 2) - I see few Rogues as sturdy enough to take a hit for another class (Controllers or badly injured characters for the most part), and while CA and more Sneak Attack damage for the whole encounter is nice, it is a Daily, so it has its limitations.

Executioner's Mien (MP) - Every attack getting Rattling for an entire encounter can be a pretty welcome thing for a Rogue who wants to mess with opponents and live to brag about it.

Gap in the Armor (MP) - A nice "Solo-killer" style of power, since no one likes to miss their money shots in combat, especially against the tough opponents.

Nimble Fingers (HotFL) - Snatching an item of the enemy's is fluff gold, but its use is more subjective to what the target actually has on it (and is not using to whack you upside the head with). Pretty corner-case overall.

Peripheral Concealment (MP) - I get that this allows hiding any time you have some distance between yourself and everybody else, but that's not worth being a Daily.

Shadow Stride (PHB) - A decent upgrade for Fleeting Ghost for out-of-combat situations (lets you get through lighting without getting seen), except if you're a Cunning Sneak. For them, this is as obsolete as its predecessor.

Sneaky Roll (D 375) - I'd like this more if you could use it BEFORE you got hit, but you can't. Still, movement outside your turn that doesn't provoke OA's and disregards enemies being there is not all bad.

Level 16 Utility Powers


Synopsis:


This is seriously the best level for rogue utilities, which is also unfortunate in a way because there are so many things you want here. Anticipate Attack and Leaping Dodge are excellent attack-negation. Hide in Plain Sight is just sick for a ranged stealth build, and Slip From the Grasp does a lot to shake off conditions that would otherwise hose you.

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Anticipate Attack (MP) - Requires Insight, but +4 to all defenses just because every encounter can mean getting hit one less time per encounter, and it works against crowds. A most excellent alternative to Leaping Dodge.

Clever Move (MP 2) - I'm of the opinion that this doesn't let you dodge the triggering attack, so it's sort of a consolation prize for getting hammered. Solid, but nothing special.

Defensive Roll (MP) - Requires you to get missed, and though out-of-turn repositioning is nice, it's a bit too unreliable for my taste.

Denying Stance (MP) - A Stance that makes your opponent more liable to miss every time it does so. The fact that it does nothing until you're actually missed makes me not like it.

Dishonorable Tactics (MP 2) - I see no reason to take this with Hide in Plain Sight being at the same level as this power.

Foil the Lock (PHB) - While thematically awesome, in almost every case it is absolutely unnecessary. It'd probably be better if it let you disable traps at that same speed.

Grasshopper Leap (MP) - How many times do you really need an auto-20 on a skill check as your only hope of success? If you do, the problem resides with the challenge, not the Utility choice.

Hide in Plain Sight (PHB) - Hiding, meet Easy Mode. A Crossbow user with Steady Shooter finds this especially appealing.

Leaping Dodge (PHB) - Whoa. Encounter avoidance of an attack (the enemy can't OA you because it's his turn)? This is awesome! It does have limitations, though: it will provoke OA's from any other adjacent enemy, and you must be trained in Athletics to use it. Otherwise, it's beautiful.

Magpie Filch (MP) - Again, a Daily for a free action auto-success doesn't come up enough for you to need a power for it.

Opportunistic Relocation (MP) - Strictly worse that Combat Tumbleset (L10) or Ignoble Escape (L6) if you have Acrobatics (you should, by the way), and still terrible otherwise. Why is this here and not at L2, where it'd actually be worth something?

Raise the Stakes (PHB) - Requires Bluff. Monster criticals are by and large nowhere near as dangerous as player criticals (so little risk for what could be the reward), and this is especially meant for any non-Daggermsters in the audience, even if it only lasts 2 turns (make 'em count: roll as many attacks as you possibly can during that span).

Shadow Master (MP 2) - You can ignore the need for superior cover/concealment for Stealth for 2 turns per encounter. A good way to get your hiding shenanigans (and thus guarantee said shenanigans) on in more barren terrain.

Slip from the Grasp (HotFL) - This honestly deserves higher if it weren't for such a strong showing all around for utilities at this level. For many of you, Immobilize will be the bane of your existance, and this is simply a get out of jail free card, along with a free save against anything that could be saved against. I actually use this, and often, as a soft counter to stun and dominate.

Trap Master (MP 2) - Traps sometimes show up in combat encounters, so an At-Will to not have to even spend your move action cracking one open is not all bad.

Vigilant Footwork (MP) - Only covers Melee attacks, and doesn't even boost all defenses. Blegh.


Level 22 Utility Powers

Synopsis:


Eh. Chargers auto-pick Invisible Stalker. Rest of you can either take your pick of blue powers from this list, or just go back for a U16.

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Clinging Shadows (MP 2) - You get an extra turn of concealment, which guarantees you get a free shot at hiding again, apart from the obvious defensive connotations. Workable, but items can replace this power to a much greater degree than they could its predecessors.

Cloud Jump (PHB) - DOUBLE JUMP. Just like in your favorite(?) games! However, I don't believe it to be all that effective because you aren't considered to have a running start (and without it, the only way you're blowing by your normal speed is if you roll a 45 on your Athletics check or something crazy like that). A novelty, but ultimately not much beyond it.

Dazzling Acrobatics (PHB)
- A huge shift, with extra AC in case they can counter shifts with an attack. If you picked a lot of mobility powers earlier, you may not need this: if you didn't, it is a godsend.

Hide from the Light (PHB) - So after you blow your Encounter powers, you can pop this to plink away at your opponent with no chance of being seen, and the ability to happily move about invisibly and re-establish your hidden state. Powerful in the hands of any Ranged Rogue, and it can be awesome in Melee if your opponent doesn't get wise to what you're doing fast.

Indomitable Agility (MP 2) - It negates status effects, can be used to shift your speed outside your turn, AND it has no trigger to satisfy: you can pop this off whenever you need to, even as a counter to any move your opponent might have made. The thing is, its a daily, and it doesn't really save you against the big guns that would really wreck your day, so I expect better.

Invisible Stalker (HotFL) - Chargers take note. You now no longer have to work to clear any kind of charge distance, now and forever. Perma-stealth builds enjoy this a bit too, if they have other pieces together to combo with this (Phantom Chausseurs, perhaps?).

Killer's Instinct (MP 2) - Shift your speed outside your turn and gain CA vs. a Bloodied foe. This can be useful if you drop your opponent at the same time an ally bloodies one, but the trigger dampens my opinion of it.

Mountebank's Flight (MP) - This can allow you to do something your Defender likely can't, and that is respond effectively to enemy teleportation tactics. Bear in mind you're likely to take a shot to the face for stalking your opponent in this fashion, though. This is obviously better if the attacks that particular enemy is packing aren't all that fearsome, of course.

Scoundrel's Epiphany (MP) - It can be useful for story reasons, but if your DM is asking for a natural 25 on a d20 for you to be able to uncover some information, it's pretty likely you don't need it to complete the encounter in the first place, unless he's doing it just so you can use this power.

Seize the Moment (MP) - You go first without the shadow of a doubt, and you get a solid attack and speed buff for turn 1. It's a pretty cool power, but it faces some tough customers on the rest of the list.

Somersault Dodge (MP 2) - At-Will out-of-turn positioning is worth something, even though I'm not the biggest fan of the trigger, since it's after you get attacked.

Thief of Fortune (MP) - It won't help on death saves, but that's about the only thing it won't do. Not a top rating because I don't expect Rogues to miss all that much, but rerolling a crucial save (like one against a stun effect) and then slapping on a debuff can be useful.

Uncanny Aim (MP 2) - It can be awesome for Dagger wielders to extend their range for that opening salvo (think House of the Flying Daggers), but it is completely unnecessary for most Crossbow users, especially Superior Crossbow users (you likely can't even see as far as this powers extended range allows you to hit).

Unnerving Footwork (MP) - While attack debuffs are all fine and dandy, they need to end their turn adjacent to you, which makes this worthless against any opponent with Reach, which should be the norm at this level of play.

Wall Crawl (MP) - You can climb at your full speed (a bit less if you're in Hide and without Hide Specialization) without penalty. Not sure this comes up enough to merit taking this power.


Skill Powers


Class Skill Powers:


Acrobatics Powers


Level 2:



Agile Recovery
(PHB 3) - Forever changes standing up to a Minor Action. Pretty cool.


Level 6:



Dodge Step
(PHB 3) - The trigger goes off too late to avoid a hit. Unimpressive.

Graceful Maneuver
(PHB 3) - You already got this at L2, only twice as good: it's called Tumble.

Perfect Balance (PHB 3) - It provides a small speed advantage while traversing narrow or difficult terrain, and doesn't require checks. Decent.

Timely Dodge (DSH) -
Dodge an attack every encounter. This is a very competitive pick compared to your class U6 list.

Tumbling Dodge (PHB 3) - An example of a power that gets better as time goes on. Right now, you're likely getting a +2 bonus to all defenses at best (which is still good), whereas later on you'd be looking at +4 or so. Nice.


Level 10:



Drop and Roll
(PHB 3) - How often does this really come up? Not enough to occupy a Utility slot in my experience.

Familiar Footing (DSH) - Ignore difficult terrain for a full encounter. Situationally useful, I guess.

Rapid Escape (PHB 3) - The definitive answer to being grabbed; it allows you to escape as a Minor Action, grants you CA if you do escape, AND it’s an At-Will. It faces stiff competition and grabbing ain’t exactly the most common status effect under sun and moon, but this is awesome when it does come up.


Level 16:



Reflexive Dodge (PHB 3) - A solid DR ability, that comes with a shift attached.

Athletics Powers


Level 2:



Bounding Leap
(PHB 3) - A power that subs your move action for a jump that carries a bonus. Unless you optimize your Athletics check or roll very well, this is only worth it later on in your career when you can reliably clear an Athletics check equal to your speed + 1 (DC 30 for speed 5, DC 35 for speed 6, and a whopping DC 40 for speed 7). At least it’s useful out of combat...

Scrambling Climb
(PHB 3) - It's a great movement Utility if you have to climb up stuff a lot. The question is, will you? Not in most campaigns.

Crushing Escape (DSH) - Unless your campaign involves pro-wrestling, forget it. This is way too situational to be worth the power slot.


Level 6:



Mighty Sprint (PHB 3) - Speed +4 is nice. Ignoring difficult terrain is also nice. An Athletics bonus for whatever stunt you may want to pull off along the way is just gravy. This is a pretty decent pick.

Sudden Leap
(PHB 3) - Essentially, this is flanking without provoking OA's, no matter how big your opponent is, once per encounter. It can definitely see use on a Rogue.


Level 10:



Incredible Stride
(PHB 3) - Whoa. +4 speed for the encounter is a big buff. A very nice choice.

Bluff Powers


Level 2:



Battle Feint (PHB 3) - Not the flashiest thing in the world, but CA does have its uses for you.

Serpent's Tongue (D 389) - Getting a bonus after you fail can be of some usage.

False Bravado (PHB 3) - Shedding off a mark just because you want to is a solid benefit to have.


Level 6:



Confusing Blather (PHB 3) - It can potentially allow you and your allies to maneuver and disengage unmolested by your enemies. Nice.

Dirty Tricks (PHB 3) - This just seems like a lesser version of Confusing Blather to me, so just take that instead.

Fast Talk (PHB 3) - Saving you from yourself. Could be useful for those times you roll a 3 or less on a Diplomacy check, assuming you bother to train it.


Level 10:



Improvisational Arcana (PHB 3) - If you were to choose to use rituals, this has the handy effect of making sure you don't suck at them. Solid enough.

Stall Tactics (PHB 3) - It might as well say, "Once per day, your party wins initiative, no questions asked." This can set up some devastating tactical advantages for you and your allies.

Dungeoneering Powers


Level 2:



Deep Shadows (PHB 3) - Your Dungeoneering should never trump your Stealth. Ever.

Otherworldly Lore (PHB 3) - Though conditional (not only do you have to encounter an aberrant creature, you have to nail the check), it DOES hand out +4 to hit essentially for free...

Stay Back (DSH) - This power is pretty hilarious and useful for the earlier levels where you have a free hand and aren't minor-starved, as it gives you a legitimately useful thing to do with your minor action, particularly if you're a ranged build. Retrain later.


Level 6:



Eyes of the Deep Delver (PHB 3) - Blindsight for a turn, just because you can. Usually, one turn is all you need.

Dungeoneer's Guidance (DSH) - A Darkstrider with a good Wis score should be the only build that justifies this. Even then, this is still a waste of a slot.

Stonecunning (PHB 3) - There is no reason your Dungeoneering should beat your Perception by enough of a margin as to justify taking this power.


Level 10:


Insane Logic (DSH) - Only works on Aberrants, so that's basically a 'look elsewhere'

Ripples in the Air (DSH) - Sustainable tremorsense 5. I'm not a real fan of stuff that eats up minors.

Trap Sense (PHB 3) - A sweet trap-redirection ability, it’s rather conditional, which is what holds it back against pretty stiff competition.


Level 16:



Practiced Mental Defense (D 385) - Keeping allies from getting stunned or dominated is nice to have, though dazed isn't a massive improvement and this is a Daily (which means this power has its limitations).

Insight Powers


Level 2:



Anticipate Maneuver (PHB 3) - Creating CA for yourself is something that's nice to have, at the very least.

Calculated Acumen (DSH) - 
CA at range for 2 turns and learn vulnerabilities. Decently useful to have.



Level 6:



Empathic Read (PHB 3) - Saving your allies from themselves is nice, but some of you will likely be the party face, which means that you'd much rather have someone use this to your benefit.

Insightful Counter (PHB 3) - A very nice way to negate disadvantages from running into a tight spot.

Prescient Maneuver (PHB 3) - This doesn't seem like your thing at first glance, but there are characters (like Riposters) that want to stay up close and personal, and can wring some use out of it.

Conceal Psyche (DSH) - It's a serviceable enough defense against dominate and buff to will, but this is a little too situation to pack as a regular power in your lineup. By the time this starts to matter, you'll have other stuff like Slip From the Grasp anyway.

Level 10:



Insightful Comment (PHB 3) - A very nice out-of-combat power, especially because it also affects you. Can effectively put a non-combat encounter on Easy Mode.

Prescient Defense (PHB 3) - A solid defensive bonus for you when you are attacked, which helps keep you around dangerous siuations.


Level 16:


Despana's Strategem (DSH) - Are you joking me? Total trash. Did you miss Insightful Riposte?

Insightful Riposte (PHB 3) - Making an important power land can change the course of the encounter. A very strong ability, especially if your DM is more liberal with information as to how much you missed enemy AC's by or if you (or your party) have been able to land some Knowledge checks. If you missed out on this at level 16, and are considering taking Nimble Blade, you should use that feat to take Skill Power for this instead.

Intimidate Powers


Level 2:



Ominous Threat (PHB 3) - Freeing an ally from a mark while slapping on one of your own is a bit too risky for my taste.


Level 6:



Demoralize Foe (PHB 3) - A free debuff when you hit is always nice for keeping your allies up on their feet.

Everybody Move (PHB 3) - A mass push 1, no rolls required. Rearrange the battlefield, set up for yourself or allies, etc. More useful than you'd imagine.

Scatter the Cowards (DSH) - If you wanted forced movement, try Everybody Move. If you wanted to move without OAs, try Tumble. This power does two things that other powers do better, and there's pretty much never a situation where you'd want or need to do both on the same power and action.

Try the Stick (PHB 3) - Subbing Intimidate for Diplomacy every now and again can have some use on certain flavors of Rogue.


Level 10:



Snap Out of It (PHB 3) - Absolute flavor gold, and it can help you support your Leader on the saving throw department, which can be very important, especially at higher levels.

Perception Powers


Level 2:



Far Sight (PHB 3) - A nice way to pick your target without worry about what's around him.


Level 6:



Foil Ambush (DSH) - A pretty decent way to say screw you to those "make a perception check or be surprised" encounters that your DM may or may not like throwing at you first thing in the morning, and having this once/day is usually enough. This one is worth keeping in your pocket.

Guided Shot (PHB 3) - Given that Reflex is usually a whole lot worse than AC, this can turn a few misses into hits for your allies, which can help you provide some support.

Trapfinding (PHB 3) - Understandably, this can help you in certain situations.

Warning of Peril (PHB 3) - Your Passive Perception covers a huge area. Can work better for you if your Passive Perception is a strong suit.


Level 10:



Focused Sight (PHB 3) - Far Sight's big brother. A solid choice if obstacles consistently give you the blues.

Perfect Sight (PHB 3) - Should you need to see an elusive enemy for a turn, this will help you get him in your sights.

Spot Weakness (PHB 3) - Basically, treat this as a minor action attack that does 4 damage. Sounds like crap? Yep, sure is.

Uncanny Instincts (PHB 3) - While it sounds nice at first glance, your Perception shouldn't be beating your initiative.

Stealth Powers


Level 2:



Obscured Avoidance (PHB 3) - You get At-Will mark avoidance, sans the conditional requirement, later, so this has less luster for you than for most others.

Elude Senses (DSH) - Screw over enemies with Blindsight or Tremorsense, which are the bane of any permastealth build, so I can see some use there.

Level 6:



Concealed Shift (PHB 3) - Shift you when you’re missed if you have cover/concealment. Meh.

Shrouding Gloom (PHB 3) - A bit of action economy for your Stealth checks. Can be useful if you're scurrying from cover to cover or need a do-over on your last Stealth check.


Level 10:



Crowd Cover (PHB 3) - A pretty cool way to mess with enemy Ranged combatants, but it has its limitations (only works against ranged attacks, cover only provides +2 to all defenses). That said, it can be pretty cool if it does work.

Immersed in Darkness (DSH) - Invisibility on a somewhat common condition. Not all that useful to permastealth builds who can do better, and I expect slightly better out of a U10.

Persistent Tail (PHB 3) - A decent power to keep yourself out of sight, and a consistently favorite toy for permastealth builds. Great out-of-combat utility for this one too.


Level 16:



Deepening Gloom (PHB 3) - This is a nice one; making yourself invisible to the target instantly slaps on a hefty penalty for his attack, and given that this is an interrupt, it could potentially negate a hit.

Streetwise Powers


Level 2:



City Rat (PHB 3) - Your Streetwise shouldn't be beating your Stealth.

Failed Diplomacy (DSH) - Minor initiative boost with CA, and its a power bonus, so it doesn't stack with your warlord. This is basically a waste.

Nose for Trouble (PHB 3) - Your initiative check will rarely lose to your Streetwise check.

Level 6:



City Dweller (PHB 3) - Once per day is too steep a limitation for this level of power.

Slow Pursuit (PHB 3) - Rather conditional, but creating difficult terrain can help defend allies you're not standing in front of.


Level 10:



Navigate Crowds (PHB 3) - Functionally, this is a clone of Combat Tumbleset, and thus will be rated identically.

Thievery Powers


Level 2:



Fast Hands (PHB 3) - A miniature Quick-Draw Trick for anyone who’ll train in the skill. Could be useful.

Lock Tap (PHB 3) - Action economy on Thievery checks can be useful in certain situations, but I don't think those situations are all that common outside of combat, and you shouldn't be popping locks open in most fights anyway.

Quick Palm (PHB 3) - Again, action economy on a Thievery check, but for something you're more likely to need to do fast.


Level 6:



Hasty Retreat (PHB 3) - A decent emergency shift away, it could get you out of the range of a few traps' triggers, especially ones like poison needles in doorknobs and the like.

Quick Switch (PHB 3) - Though the effect doesn't cover all that much space, it could help you introduce your enemy to your Defender without an OA for either of you, which is nice.

Stolen Defense (PHB 3) - This is Anticipate Maneuver... Leader edition. You could just flank, you know.


Level 10:



Disruptive Stunt (PHB 3) - An attack debuff as part of an opportunity-free move action through an adjacent enemy's space. The movement likely won't be all that earthshaking, but a repositioning power with a free debuff can be decent.



Recommended Non-Class Skill Powers:


Arcana Powers


Level 6:


Peer Through the Void (DSH) - Blindsight til end of encounter as a stance. This matters because rogues can't gain CA while blinded, and as such this is an excellent power to keep in your toolbox as a counter.

Diplomacy Powers


Level 2:



Master Diplomat (D 389) - Rerolling Diplomacy checks ftw.

Soothing Words (PHB 3) - Essentially, you get a little extra bang for your buck on your healing surges while you rest. More on the Leader side than what you typically go for, and its benefits are not that great, anyway.


Level 6:



Haggle (PHB 3) - Redundant with Master Diplomat.

Stirring Speech (PHB 3) - Again, more on the Leader side of the spectrum than what you're typically comfortable with.


Level 10:



Befriend (PHB 3) - In skill challenges, this is a hefty boost to have. Otherwise, it's a bit marginal, but I like it as an aid for non-Charisma Rogues to be the party "face".

Cry for Mercy (PHB 3) - A very nice Leader-y power. +4 to all defenses and no OA's on movement for a Bloodied ally every encounter can be effective.

Noble Sacrifice (PHB 3) - While the spirit of helping others is nice tohave, you're not as capable of taking prolonged punishment as some members of your party are, so this is a gamble I'd rather not take.


Level 16:



Indomitable Ally (PHB 3) - Buying one more turn for your ally sounds all right to me.

Endurance Powers

Level 10:


Enter the Crucible (DSH) - Resist 10 and immunity to weakened for an encounter. This is pretty damn strong at level 10, but retrain later. 




Recommended Feats






Due to the enormous amounts of feats available for a character to take, we'll only be talking about those which I consider Black or better. I would recommend feats for Rogues be taken with the following priorities in mind:

1. Accuracy bonuses - You make your living on being accurate: reinforce that aspect of your character early and often, since you usually only get one roll per attack and it's best to make it count.

2. Damage bonuses - Once you're assured of a hit, it's time to focus on landing the hardest hit you possibly can. Abilities that grant extra attacks and other ways to get additional damage to bear on your opponent fall into this category as well.

3. Mobility enhancements - The best defense you can employ is not being there when the opponent decides to hit you, so anything that improves your ability to slip out of your opponent's grasp is very appreciated.

4. Defense bonuses - You won't be able to run from everyone forever, so you'd best be ready for when they catch you and try to whack you upside the head. Defensive bonuses are a good way to accomplish this, since you don't have quite the array of defensive utilities other Strikers have access to.

5. Miscellaneous - Once you've taken care of the priorities I've mentioned above, you pretty much have free rein as to what you should get. I do recommend at least one power-recovery feat to reuse those attacks you can set off outside your standard action.




Feats Taxes:




Feat Taxes
These are things every character needs, and are frankly going to be behind the curve if they fail to take. Thankfully, there are only two:

Expertise Feats (Multi-Source) - These are feats that give you a +1/2/3 scaling feat bonus to attack rolls. I typically take this around level 2-4. Doing damage is your job, and accuracy helps you do your job, so this shouldn't even be a question
Expertise Feats
Prime Picks
Light Blade Expertise - Default pick for all dagger and rapier users.
Master at Arms - Hand Crossbow/mixed range user go here. Avoid Crossbow Expertise because the bonus is extremely situation, and this universally raises your accuracy with all weapons in case you wanted a dagger melee option (pro-tip: you do).
Ki Focus Expertise - If you're a ranged/mix user and ended up getting proficiency in this via a theme or MC, this is a reasonable replacement to Master at Arms.
Sling Expertise - If you're a sling user, not provoking OAs is nice enough benefit package to consider taking this over Master at Arms.

Other Options
Bludgeon Expertise - If you're somehow a Ruthless Ruffian built around forced moment, sure. Usually you still want Master at Arms by virtue of keeping a ranged option handy.
Flail Expertise - Spiked Chain users only, because they wanted to do some proning.
Crossbow Expertise - As noted, take Master at Arms instead.

Improved Defenses (HotFL) - +1/2/3 scaling feat bonus to all defenses. You're basically going to want this unless you intend to pick up at least two of Superior Fortiitude, Reflex and Will. I usually end up getting this and taking Superior Will anyway, despite the redundancy, and end up taking this around paragon tier. You'll really want this some time before mid-paragon.




Heroic Tier Feats:




Class Feats



Backstabber (PHB) - Improving your Sneak Attack offers a sizable amount of extra damage which most other feats at this level can't match. One of the really easy choices for a Rogue, and one that's almost unthinkable to go without.

Blade and Buckler Duelist (D 381) - +1 AC/Ref for a feat, and better than Heavy Shield Proficiency. Though I'm honestly surprised if you even have feat space for this.

Brutal Wound (MP) - A little extra ongoing damage for dealing Sneak Attack damage. Probably only worth it at Epic (+5 ongoing damage is nothing to ignore), though.

Deadeye Slinger (MP 2) - Behold, the other feat tax for slings. With this and Sharpshooter Talent, Slings will actually have better stats than Daggers with Rogue Weapon Mastery.

Duelist's Panache (D 381) - An excellent way to compensate for the low Athletics bonus that plagues an Artful Dodger, and it can also make your Acrobatics modifier quite ridiculously large. Nice.

Improved Cunning Sneak (MP 2) - Its a lot easier to get a shift 2 than a shift 3 going on most powers. This is helps a lot for Cunning Sneaks.

Martial Ploy (MP 2) - A reroll is usually significantly better than a flat +2 bonus, though you would prefer to be the recipient of this ability rather than the source.

Opportunity Knocks (MP 2) - A very easy (though kind of risky) way for a Rogue to get his oh-so-necessary combat advantage, though it's obviously less risky for an Artful Dodger thanks to his class feature.

Reckless Scramble (MP) - This feat is a good addition to an Artful Dodger's arsenal, as they are at less risk of getting hit during a move and can always choose to not gain the benefit if that's not the case.

Risky Shift (MP 2) - Risky, indeed. You're usually not that well off granting combat advantage, though shifting extra squares really matters to Cunning Sneaks and Chargers.

Slaying Action (MP) - A hefty amount of extra damage by allowing you to Sneak Attack again after burning an AP. 

Surprising Charge (MP) - Rating assumes a rapier charger, for whom this is basically required. Everyone else can take a pass. 

Swift Footwork (MP 2) - Extra shifting on Encounters and Dailies can be ok if you have a lot of those powers, but the real point of it is that you're suppose to do this at-will, and for that you'd rather take Risky Shift.

Trap Sense (MP) - A slight bonus against finding and dodging traps can be useful in the right campaign.

Two-Fisted Shooter (MP) - This feat makes Hand Crossbows awesome almost single-handedly. Free hits on a critical and the option of dual-wielding are very sweet bonuses.

Underhanded Tactics (DMA 2009) - Starting point for a hit-debuff build.

Versatile Duelist (D 381) - You should only be here if you're running a specialized heavy blade build and you know what you're doing. If not, don't be here.


General Feats




Armor Proficiency (PHB) - The Brutal Scoundrels in the audience may want to pick up Hide armor, but that's about the end of the use of this feat.

Blindfighting Warrior (HotFK) - Helps you compensate against effect that rob you of your sight, which can be nice to have, if a bit encounter-dependent.

Cunning Stalker (HotFK) - An alternate method of obtaining combat advantage (this one gets you CA when you're alone) is a very welcome boost to have.

Deadly Draw (PHB 3) - Part of a complete perma-CA package with a slide ability such as with a Lightning weapon and Mark of Storm.

Distant Advantage (PHB 2) - Discounting Stealth, this is a prime way for Rogues to get their Sneak Attack off while sticking to a primarily Ranged style of combat, and you can always retrain it out if you get a stronger or more consistent source of CA later on.

Grounding Shot
(PHB 3) - This prevents people from messing with your shots by dropping prone, and it's even better if you have allies that like knocking people prone, like Polearm Fighters.

Improved Initiative (PHB) - Helps you go first, which is always good. Doesn't stack with Quick Draw. More important for you than for most others because of the free CA that winning initiative brings you.

Melee Training (PHB 2) - Brutal Scoundrels don't have to care, but this is pretty useful to everyone else. Also, this is required if you have a warlord or other enabling leader in your party, no ifs or buts.

Nimble Blade (PHB) - +1 to hit for a feat is always good in theory, but it's not a must-take as some would have you believe. Personally, I can't remember the last time I actually fit this into a build. Also, if you can take Skill Power for Insightful Riposte at level 16, retrain out of this.

Quick Draw
(PHB) - A sweet feat for Melee Rogues, it comes with some initiative bonuses as well as a useful (and thematic) way to get your weapon options out there.



Rapid Assault (PHB 3) - If you can get to them fast, this bonus is big enough to allow you to lay a serious hurting on your opponent.

Resilient Focus (HotFL) - +2 to all saving throws can be pretty useful.

Shield Proficiency (PHB) - +1 AC/Ref for a feat is fair, though at effectively zero cost, you could just use a Shielding Blade dagger for +1 AC. The real reason you're here is because you're pursuing a specialty build that requires the use of a (Hindering) Shield.

Silvery Glow (D 386) - Diety and energy-specific, but slightly better than Weapon Focus. Directly obsoleted by Icy Heart in paragon.

Skill Power
(PHB 3) - Rating assumes you can make the best possible pick, ie, Insightful Riposte at level 16. There are still great options before then.

Spring Step (PHB 3) - Prevents people from knocking you prone, then hovering 1 square outside your reach, forcing you to crawl and attack.

Superior Fortitude (HotFL) - A scaling bonus to Fortitude, and it throws in some resist all against ongoing damage as a bonus. That's pretty sweet.

Superior Reflexes (HotFL) - Redundancy issue with your First Strike class feature, so that's a huge downer. Much better for hybrids, or if you just didn't bother optimizing initiative.

Superior Will (HotFL) - A big bonus to Will, and a better chance to shake off dazing and stunning. This one if tempting even if you're patching your NADs with Improved Defenses.

Toughness (PHB) - More HP is nice to have, but a lot of Rogues likely won't have froom for this. Take this at level 1 and retrain at level 3. Seriously.

Two-Weapon Defense (PHB) - A +1 bonus to AC and Reflex for a feat is a pretty good deal.

Two-Weapon Fighting (PHB) - Very unexceptional by itself... until you consider the feats it opens up access to.

Vicious Advantage (PHB 3) - Easy way to get CA off of some common conditions. Retrain for Expert Sneak in paragon.

Weapon Focus (PHB) - Damage bonus, which is absolutely golden for a Striker.

Weapon Proficiency (PHB) - Eh, sure, if you really wanted a rapier without taking the background. Or a parrying dagger, I guess.

Wintertouched (PHB) - Useless until you pick up Lasting Frost, but mighty when you do. Best when retrained into or picked up right at the end of Heroic Tier.




Paragon Tier Feats:




Class Feats



Bleeding Backstab (MP) - Adding or enhancing existing ongoing damage on Daily powers. Meh, I personally wouldn't.

Deft Blade (MP 2) - Mandatory for chargers. Also good for light bladers that want to obsolete Piercing Strike, or make their RBAs better than any ranged power on their list. That's a lot of people, actually.

Disheartening Ambush (MP 2) - Slapping on a penalty to hit as a rider on any attack is well worth burning a feat and a die of Sneak Attack damage for, especially if your primary focus is on making your opponents useless.

Evasive Footwork (MP) - A decent bonus to AC, especially if you've invested in extending your shifting distance. It shines brighter at higher levels, especially for Rogues interested in charging into combat.

Expert Sneak (MP 2) - Vicious Advantage, but also works with Weakened.

Unerring Ambush (MP 2) - If you're the type that likes to put their best foot forward with regards to combat, this can be a decent pickup.


General Feats


Agile Opportunist
(PHB 2) - A nice feat to work with your Leader if he can slide you around the battlefield.

Armor Specialization (PHB) - The majority of Rogues can't take this feat (it's not available for Leather), but the ones that can will like the elimination of armor penalty that Hide armor brings as well as for the +1 AC.

Danger Sense (PHB) - Rerolling initiative every time can help save you from those bad rolls.

Defensive Advantage (PHB) - Any defensive boost you can have is pretty important for a Rogue.

Fiery Soul (HotEC) - Biggest feat bonus to damage for fire users (so, Tieflings, I guess). Fire is sort of a niche build here, which gets less than sterling review by default compared to the analogue Icy Heart.

Fleet-Footed (PHB) - +1 to speed is a pretty nice use of a feat... provided you have the room.

Heavy Blade Opportunist (PHB) - Niche feat for a niche heavy blade build. You're probably a permastealther looking to spam Deft Strike + Ghostwalker Style, or a Riposte Strike defender with a way to force OAs.

Icy Heart (HotEC) - Big feat bonus to damage for any frost user, which is most of you. This obsoletes Weapon Focus (if you use frost) and is straight up better than Silvery Glow due to fringe benefits and less restrictive religious limitations.

Lasting Frost (PHB) - This feat grants you permanent CA and +5 damage if you combine it with Wintertouched and a Frost weapon; cold resistance is a hurdle, but it can be overcome. Even better for Rogues than for most other characters because of the importance CA has for you.

Light Blade Precision (PHB) - A decent bonus to damage, especially later on in your career, where just about every enemy falls under this category.

Point-Blank Shot (PHB) - A nice way to stop enemy frontlines from hampering your shots.

Psychic Lock (PHB) - While it may seem out of place at first glance, this can combine with certain weapon properties and feats to make a Rogue an attack-penalty machine.

Repel Charge (PHB 3) - This is a very nasty way to severely hamper opposing chargers.

Reserve Maneuver
(PHB 2) - True story: most of your paragon paths actually give you Low Slash as your E11. They just require an extra feat tax, is all. And this is it.

Steady Shooter (PHB) - +3 to crossbow damage for standing still. Works beautifully for most Crossbow Rogues, especially if you invest in Hide in Plain Sight.

Two-Weapon Opening
(PHB 2) - A major factor in why Two-Weapon Fighting is even worth mentioning. Free hits on a crit? Yes, please. Daggermasters go straight here for a big DPR boost.



Epic Tier Feats:




Class Feats



Brutal Advantage (MP) - Permanently gain your Str stat as a stat to damage, forever. While this feat may not seem all that useful at first glance (since your single attack powers will apply Sneak Attack damage on a hit), it does allow you add an additional ability score modifier to every attack you make in addition to that first attack, making this a very strong burst damage feat, and thus a very strong pickup.

Lasting Advantage (MP) - Combat advantage on a crit isn't the most powerful benefit out there, but it's serviceable enough to be worth looking at.

Martial Mastery
(MP) - Last I checked, power recovery was kind of good. Especially nice for reusing those powers that don't consume your standard action to activate.

Martial Resolve
(MP) - A very good way to help yourself out of certain conditions. If you have Martial Freedom, you're probably going to retrain it into this.

Whirlwind Sneak Attack (MP) - This goes a long way to making close and area attacks more worth taking, especially if you use them as opening salvos, where First Strike will supply the combat advantage.

 
General Feats




[Weapon] Mastery
(PHB) - 19-20 crit range. Some of you might not qualify, others (daggermasters) might not care.

Blind-Fight (PHB) - Helps you deal with Invisible enemies in Melee. This is a pretty good idea, but you also have Utility powers that cover this need pretty well.

Deft Aim (PHB 3) - Having your Crossbow RBA's hit Reflex is a powerful benefit to have.

Epic Fortitude/Epic Reflexes/Epic Will
(PHB 2) - Now this is what I call defense-boosting. If you have the room for them, this is the best way you can keep yourself from getting hammered by a magical assault.

Epic Resurgence
(PHB) - A pretty sweet power recovery feat (though it is a bit too unreliable, at least for my taste). If you're a Demigod, retrain it out at Level 30; you won't need it after that.

Long Step
(PHB 3) - This feat allows you to to extend your shifting, which is fantastic for the great majority of you (read: any Rogue that's not fully invested in Ranged combat).

Superior Initiative
(PHB 3) - A nice upgrade for Improved Initiative. Prime real estate for retraining into.

Triumphant Attack
(PHB) - Encounter-long debuffs on a critical is very sweet, especially for someone like a Daggermaster. That said, Epic is a competitive time as far as feats are concerned.

Unfettered Stride
(PHB) - Ignoring difficult terrain permanently is never a bad thing to have, especially as a Rogue, and that's why this feat is very much worth the wait and investment.






Other Feats:




Racial Feats


Dragonborn

Draconic Arrogance

Drow



Drow Fighting Style - Though you probably won't partake in this fighting style all that much, not provoking OA's in Melee with your Hand Crossbow is nice.
Ruthless Hunter - Behold, the reason why Drow are the kings of Hand Crossbows. This combined with Two-Fisted Shooter and Sharpshooter Talent make the Hand Crossbow quite formidable.
Eyedark Strike - Blinding as a free action is nice to have when Cloud of Darkness or Darkfire would be hard/impossible to pull off.
Merciless Killer - While conditional, this damage bonus is simply too large to ignore. The fact that it applies regardless of whether you are in Ranged or Melee combat is just icing.
Lolth Blessed - More uses of Cloud of Darkness or Darkfire are always welcome.





Elf

Treetop Sniper - Trade +1 to hit for a big weapon dice. Fair enough.
Prime Slayer - +2 damage if you're willing to get up close and personal is a nice bonus to have.
Hawkeye Warrior - A great bonus to hit for using a great racial power.



Githzerai

Githzerai Blade Master - This feat makes you basically the only race that can justify taking Versatile Duelist.



Half-Elf

Versatile Master - Twin Strike or Eldritch Strike at will on your rogue. No reason to ever skip out on this feat, ever.



Half-Orc

Anger Unleashed (PHB 2) - A nice attack bonus when you get banged up.
Menacing Thug (MP 2) - Turning your racial power into a CA-granting Utility power is a very sweet option for a Rogue.
Savage Assault (PHB 2) - A mild defense debuff for using a racial power is a solid benefit.
Thirst for Battle (PHB 2) - A very palatable alternative to Improved Initiative for a Melee Rogue.
Ferocious Critical (PHB 2) - A very strong feat by itself, it becomes extra delicious in the hands of a Daggermaster and its improved critical rate.



Halfling

Know When to Fold (D 381) - This is actually a very strong feat, as it virtually guarantees you won't provoke OA's while bloodied. A very nice pickup.
Lost in the Crowd (PHB) - A nice feat to counteract some of the effects of getting swarmed, and as usual, the condition of the enemies being larger doesn't really bother you.
Nimble Dodge (MP 2) - Now this is an upgrade for your racial power: it turns a second chance at not getting hit into a virtual certainty that you won't. Certainly a top-caliber racial feat.
Second Step (D 381) - News flash: almost every enemy you'll fight will be bigger than you. Therefore, the condition for this is easy to fulfill, and the effect is very nice.
Deft Hurler Style - Not really a racial feat, but gets an honorable mention here. This is basically a free extra attack every encounter for Halflings.



Human

Action Surge (PHB) - Given that some Rogue Dailies are one big shot instead of a multiattack or the like, this feat is a pretty good insurance policy to nail that hit.
Stubborn Survivor (FRPG) - Save bonus stacking. Take Resilient Focus first.
Versatile Rogue (MP 2) - Picking up a class feature for a feat sounds like a good deal to me.



Pixie

Teeny Target - Defense boost, all the time.
Streak of Light Always charge with CA

Revenant

There are so many that I'm just not gonna bother. Revenant Handbook this one, please.

Tiefling



Hellfire Blood (PHB) - A nice way to make up the gap for your lower Dexterity.
Icy Clutch of Stygia (PHR: TF) - A good feat to get mileage out of the eventuality of a save against an ongoing damage effect you create, it gets even meaner if you have a way to apply that ongoing damage consistently (such as a carefully tailored power selection or the Thuranni Shadow Killer's Paragon Path feature).
Tail Slide (PHR: TF) - A nice way to move allies about while you move.
Dispater's Iron Discipline (PHR: TF) - A cool way to shake off annoying status effects.
Hellfire of Mephistopheles (PHR: TF) - Fire is your bread-and-butter strategy, so a way to beat fire resistance is pretty darn cool.
Secrets of Belial (PHR: TF) - A way to swap for any Utility power on any other class. I consider this THE reason to play a Tiefling or (or dead one).





Dragonmark Feats (EPG)



Dragonmark feats are different from other Heroic Tier feats in that you: (a) can only have one of them at a time, and (b) they usually come with an associated race, which I will be noting. Note that the feat doesn't actually force you to be of that race, so if your DM agrees, you can take this feat while being a member of another race.

Aberrant Mark of Contagion (Any) - An encounter-long penalty to saves against ongoing damage when you hit with a Daily can be pretty solid.

Mark of Finding (Human or Half-Orc) - A benefit that can be very potent for a Riposte Strike user that seeks to keep his enemy adjacent, but the Paragon Path is not for you.

Mark of Passage (Human) - A nice bonus to shifting distance, and strictly superior to Risky Shift if you can get your hands on this.

Mark of Shadow (Elf) - Remaining hidden or invisible when missing is nice (if a bit infrequent), and it opens up access to one of the best Paragon Paths in the business. Nice to have.

Mark of Storm (Half-Elf) - If you use this with Deadly Draw and Lightning weapons, you have a permanent Combat Advantage combo as a Melee Rogue. Great for them, and any who will forsake their secondary for Lyrandar Wind-Rider's extra damage.


Exotic Weapon Feats

As the name implies, these feats give you capacities beyond and above those a normal Weapon Proficiency feat would grant you (including scaling powers you can swap yours for), but they also burn up your Multiclass slot, so choose carefully.

Blowgun (D 373) - Though the weapon itself is Sneak Attack-friendly, it doesn't have the support that Crossbows and Slings have, so it's a distant third choice.

Spiked Chain Training (DMA 2009) - It gives you access to the most damaging Light Blade in the game, as well as flail support. It's very build-specific, but could work.

Combat Style Feats

For an in-depth look at Combat Style Feats, please look at the at-will power section of the guide.

Multiclass Feats
See section below.




Multiclassing





Honestly at this point, to be fully optimized by CharOp standards, every rogue needs to do this, even if only just because the MC feats themselves are a very good package. Below are a recommended selection of multiclasses you could be taking, and what added values they provide and unlock.

Assassin

Key Features:
Ki Focus proficiency, easy-CA and nova-boost with shrouds, an amazing but rules-ambigious powerswap.

Entry Feats:
Shadow Initiate
- Stealth training is wasted, but trust me, the shroud-based support is the reason you're here.
Practiced Killer - Small nova boost, Ki focus, free skill.
Acolyte of the Veil - Encounter teleport, Ki Focus, free skill.

Unlocked Feats:
Cruel Shroud - Easy-mode CA on demand 2/enc.
Inexorable Shroud - move your easy-mode CA on demand elsewhere on a kill.

Powerswaps:
Shadow Fire (E17) - A hotly debatable triple-hitter power. Take it at E23 since you already have Tumbling Strike.

Unlocked PPs/EDs:
Haha, funny joke, that.
 
Avenger

Key Features:
You're really here for the entry feat, which is double-rolls for 2 turns for a major nova-boost. Oh, and also free holy symbol.

Entry Feats:
Disciple of Divine Wrath (PHB 2) - While most of the particulars are ugly (Wisdom is not that good for most Rogues, Religion is a dumpstat skill, and Avenger power selection is questionable), but two turns' worth of double rolls on every attack is extremely nice.

Unlocked Feats:
N/A

Powerswaps:
N/A

Unlocked PPs/EDs:
Favored Soul - Gain a fly speed, for permastealthers
Zealous Assassin - Always charge with CA
 
Barbarian

Key Features:
Powerswapping for Storm/Hurricane of Blades, also to be able to take Reincarnate Champion ED.

Entry Feats:
Battle Berserker
 - This is theoretically better for MBA chargers, since its a scaling +1d8/tier to MBA damage, but it requires either you to be bloodied, or a primal power to activate, so it doesn't work nearly as reliably unless you also went for a primal powerswap.
Berserker's FuryFree action nova boost. Less finicky to use and more universally applicable

Unlocked Feats:
N/A

Powerswaps:
Storm of Blades (E13)
Hurricane of Blades
 (E27) - I shouldn't have to explain either of these.

Unlocked PPs/EDs:
Winter Fury (PP) - Turns all your untyped damage cold so you can play with frostcheese.
Reincarnate Champion (ED) - Poach racial feats for any two other races you like. Tiefling for Secrets of Belial? Pixie for Streak of Light? You got it. 
 
Cleric

Key Features:
Holy Symbol, access to Tactical Warpriest. Cheesing out with Battle Cleric's Lore if you somehow sell your DM on it.
Entry Feats:
Initate of the Faith
 - Religion training, 1/day heal, holy symbol. Pretty much expected here. The real point is that it only takes 13 Wis to qualify.
Divine Healer - Needs 15 Wis, so that's already a showstopper, but assuming you qualify, the real contention is whether getting Healer's Lore from the MC feat lets you trade it for Battle Cleric's Lore. If your DM says yes, you do whatever the hell you can to take this. Otherwise, its worthless and you take the other MC feat.

Unlocked Feats:
Radiant AdvantageFree CA by running a radiant build. Pretty respectable alternative to frost.

Powerswaps:
N/A

Unlocked PPs/EDs:
Tactical Warpriest (PP)  - One of the easiest ways to put together a Riposte Strike DPR machine.
 
Fighter

Key Features:
Oh, man, where do I even begin. As one of the best supported classes in the game, basically, all of your best PPs and feat support are going to come from here.

Entry Feats:
Battle Awareness - Requires investment in Wisdom, but this attack is likely to go off, and it grants a free skill. Nice.
Cyclone Warrior - Some big damage for one round per encounter, plus a free skill. I'd take that.
Student of the Sword - A +1 bonus to hit with a certain style of weapon and a mark after the attack is nifty (as is the free skill), but it's just not as good as the other feats.

Unlocked Feats:
Striking Resurgence - Burning your standard action on second wind just got a little more palatable.

Powerswaps:
Rain of Blows (E3) - A triple-hitting Encounter power is certainly a tasty Multiclass incentive.
Martial Supremacy (U22) - Chargers get to double-roll to hit, as an encounter power stance. Sweet.


Unlocked PPs/EDs:
Kensei (PP)
Shock Trooper (PP)
Gladiator Champion (PP)
Eternal Defender (ED) - Wield a two-handed weapon in one hand.

 
Monk

Key Features:
Ki Focus, Soaring Blade PP, Master of Moments ED. If you were thinking of coming here to get a dex-based MBA, don't bother, that's a trap.

Entry Feats:
Monastic Disciple - Ki Focus, free skill, a no-action attack that's either a minion-popper or a spot of extra control. Not bad.
Master of the Fist - Are you here because you were trying for a Dex-MBA via Piercing Palm and Internalize the Basic Kata? Because that's ridiculous, and a trap. Just suck it up and take Melee Training already.

Unlocked Feats:
N/A

Powerswaps:
Stunning Palm (D1) - Immune to stun and daze as a stance. It's good for lair assault, if nothing else.

Unlocked PPs/EDs:
Soaring Blade (PP) - Heavy Blades users only (so, Versatile Duelist required), but assuming you have at least a +1 to Con, which everyone should, the 16F basically gets you access to frostcheese and still frees up your weapon enchantment. That's honestly a very strong benefit to have considering the wealth of other damage packages available (Battlecrazed, Firewind Blade, etc).
Master of Moments (ED) - Nova specialist? Never be at a loss for action economy ever again. As a note, the 24F can now also be poached via Eternal Seeker's 30F.

Ranger

Key Features:
Powerswaps, PMC, Darkstrider.

Entry Feats:
Warrior of the Wild - Quarry for 2 turns. Unimpressive, but could have been worse.

Unlocked Feats:
Courageous Shooter - Requires Paragon MC, but getting prime shot gets you access to that entire feat tree.

Powerswaps:
Disruptive Strike (E3) - An immediate interrupt attack that negates an incoming hit for you or an ally is very nice to have.
Blade Cascade (D15) - One of the mightiest attack powers in the business, plain and simple.
Confounding Arrows (D15) - Three hits that can stun make for a very strong power.
Pounding Barrage (E17) - Three hits that can immobilize is a very powerful boost.
Five-Missile Dance (D29) - The Ranged version of Blade Cascade, and an extremely powerful capstone.

Unlocked PPs/EDs:
Darkstrider (PP)
PMC Twin Strike at will, or Dual Weapon Attack after a charge? Where do I sign?

 

Recommended/Notable Themes

 

 

 

 


Really, these are just heroic-tier analogues to Paragon Paths, and will be seen as such. An in-depth review of themes can be found by consulting the appropriate theme guide. Or if you're having trouble finding the appropriate handbook for themes, you may instead, wish to consult the guide to theme guides. Below are a small subset of themes that I find particularly valuable to a Rogue, divided by category.

 

 

Recommended Themes


Extra Attacks:

Elemental Initiate (HotEC): A free off-turn hit that sets up CA? Sweet. An extra skill as your 5F (take one that gets you a skill power you'd like, or else default to nature) and +1 Will as your 10F are also beyond expectations, as is a free Ki Focus slot, which either solves some weapon-juggling upkeep issues, or is basically some minor item-slot benefit if you can find a non-attack dependent ki focus. The competition between this and Guardian is pretty fierce, and comes entirely down to build and party composition.

Guardian (D 399)
: I've mixed feelings about this one on a Rogue. On the one hand, it is a free extra attack off-turn, but on the other hand, you are taking an extra confirmed hit on a class not intended to take a beating. The pure offensive potential of this theme's power in providing a free hit and a defender punishment can't be discounted, however, and if you play with an aggressive defender with a mark punishment that can negate attacks, this becomes better than Elemental Initiate.

 

 

 

 

 

Sohei (D 404): Yes, its only dark blue. I'm particularly tough on this one because in heroic, having no stat mod to damage (so...a D4) means pitifully little in the grand scheme of things compared to the other minor action things you'd could be doing, and by mid-paragon, you'll have 2 minor-action attacks available (Low Slash, Tumbling Strike), to the point where action-economy crunch relegates this to something you may not use til turn 3, hardly a game-changer. More importantly, minor action attacks for rogues have an important function of salvaging a turn where you might have whiffed your standard attack and wanted to still do sneak attack damage, and Sohei Flurry simply fails to deliver by virtue of requiring that you already hit. Still the theme features aren't bad with a nice U6 and 10F, and if you're a charger who also took the powerswap power (swapping your E7, never your E3) or prepared to dedicate a nova sequence around Tumbling Strike + Sohei Flurry + Standard action, this becomes better for you.


Nova Boosters

Sarifal Feywarden (D 405)Requires a non-drow Fey. This theme is all about the entry feature, which basically gives you a scaling 5/10/15 damage buff 2 turns per encounter, as a minor action (and/or it helps you and allies a little, I guess).  Obviously, you have to actually use typed attacks for this work, but on a frostcheesing multi-attack build? This is utterly sick.

Devil's Pawn (NWCS): Similar functionality to Sarifal. Minor action to drop a minion-popping auto-damage attack that really serves to inflict -2 defenses to your enemy for a nova setup. Works for your allies too, which is the nice part, but I prefer Sarifal Feywarden because a big fat damage buff seems a little bit better.


Accuracy Enhancment

Ironwrought (HotEC): Why yes, as matter of fact, I would like to ensure that I land Knockout Blow + Bloodbath combo, or a 7d8 Handspring Assault + charge again combo. Resist while bloodied is also nice for a traditionally frail class. It's a fairly paltry amount that won't really save you against bigger threats, but it does prevent you from getting punk'd by minions/ongoing damage/damage zones while you're nearly down for the count. The powerswaps are otherwise unimpressive, but man, the features are nice.

Noble Adept (DSCS): This used to be the king of themes. At least a retroactive +2 to hit, and a power point that could actually see use elsewhere on an item or boon. Compared to Harper Agent, this is more stable and reliable, but has no other features and the powerswaps aren't for you at all.

Harper Agent (NWCS): A retroactive +1d6 to hit or a free reroll for a save, more or less. The powerswaps are junk, but you actually get useful features at 5 and 10 compared to Noble Adept. Either or, I give a slight edge to Harper, but I'd really just take Ironwrought.


Tag-on Status Effects

Outlaw (D 399): A solid, no non-sense theme. The dazing entry power works at range (though only on at-wills), and the U6 is pretty solid for any build, but particularly ranged rogues.

Son of Alagondar (D 402): The other nice dazing encounter theme, with features more geared towards melee survivability. Works only on melee, but on any power (such as, say, Low Slash). Outlaw if you're ranged, Son if you're melee is a pretty safe rule of thumb to adhere to.

Mercenary (D 399): No thanks, I'd much rather take daze over prone + a little bit of damage, though proning is somewhat rare on a rogue, and this is one of a handful of ok ways for a prone-build to get off the ground.



I Can't Be Bothered to Earn CA

Pack Outcast (NWCS): Requires Human Race. Powerswaps are all trash, and the entry feature is seriously unimpressive, but you're really just here for the 5F for EZ-mode CA. CA on your own turn shouldn't really be hard to get in the first place, though, so the only people that should actually be coming here are those that are running some sort of niche (riposte) build that heavily relies off-turn CA but aren't doing Frost or Lightning combos. That's a very narrow band of qualifications.

Fey Beast Tamer (HotFW)Auto CA and some other benefit (most common: +2 damage boost) for being next to your animal companion. Really solid, really useful, especially ranged builds. This only gets dinged down to dark blue because, to paraphrase Erachima, animal companions annoy the crap out of people. Also, good luck with the surge management on that one.


MOAR DAMAGE
 

 

 

Primordial Adept (HotEC): Complete trash until level 10, at which point you get a free +2 damage to all attacks if you're a frost user. I...don't really like this one. Assuming the extra attack from Sohei did about 40 damage in epic, for example, you'd literally have to make 20 attacks in the encounter to equalize. It's not unrealistic, but at some point you realize you're bending over backwards just to try and equalize with something you could have taken instead. Take this only if you're concerned with putting out big numbers for a proof of concept DPR build, because otherwise you'll do better and have more fun with a theme that actually provides you with some tactical power.

 

 

Unseelie Agent (HotFW): Oh hey, free +1 weapon at level 1. That's about it though, as it's an otherwise unimpressive theme that quickly becomes retrain bait. This is also worth a mention because you can exploit a loophole to manifest a Blade of Winter's Mourning (proficiency via Gritty Sergeant) for a 1d10 military light blade. Its a generic magic with no enchant properties though, so you'll also want to get proficiency in a Ki Focus to use a real enchantment effect. All in all, that's an extremely specific set of things you have to do for a barely par trade, and will make your DM look at you funny - you can tell I'm not a huge fan.

Werebear/rat/wolf (D 410)With the exception of a pretty robust access to regen as a means of surge-conservation and management, this theme is largely useless until level 10. Past that point though, your hybrid form actually becomes pretty useful for a defense or speed boost (Werebear comes highly recommended for the +1 AC/Fort, and Wererat has At-will Shift 2 as its U6), and you basically gain +1d10 to all your damage forever, via use of Claw Gloves while in your hybrid form. This one's is the best in the business for steady damage boosting, but please do yourself a favor and only retrain into it past level 10.


Specialist Builds

Escaped Slave (DSCS): Cornerstone piece to an Arena Champion build. You're here because you want to be there. Oh, and the theme itself is not all that bad if you've got a good bluff score anyway.

Purple Dragon (D 407): Rogues don't really use stances, so this mostly translates to a free +1 to at-wills for people willing to use a Master's Blade. MBA-spamming chargers find this theme pretty awesome though, because that's either a free +1 to attacks, or a free replacement to a boots slot, and both at level 10.

Iron Wolf Warrrior (D 400): With the entry feat being fairly bland, you're really just paying for the right to powerswap for the E7, Wolf's Bound, which makes for an interesting tactical power combo (daze-prone, for example), or possibly even a nice nova setup for chargers. Given the competitive nature of a rogue's E7 (and post-low slash E3) list, however, most of you aren't really getting that much benefit here. Oh, and the 10F is utterly broken for Revenants.

 

 

Samurai (D 404): The initial feature only really partially works. Very rarely are you ever going to start the battle with a shift 3 that ends next to an enemy, so I write that off as mostly nonfunctional, but it has the distinct advantage of getting you out of the penalty box, and should you investing heavily in initiative boosts, you can partake in that boosted crit range with a fair amount of regularity. The U6 and U10 are also quite usable, with the U6 most likely helping you pull off a Riposte Strike catch-22.

Seeker of Illfaren (D 402): Requires Eladrin, Elf, or Half-Elf. Reroll a 1 once/enc, gain a minor bonus to perception, +2 defenses on the first turn, and never be surprised. That's a reasonable package. I can see this most useful for Elves than any other race, especially if they're going Darkstrider.

 

 

Yakuza (D 404): Surprising solid for two types of builds: 1) a perma-hidden looking to buff his OAs, and 2) a specialized Intimidatomancer. The former is extremely build specific, the latter DM-tolerance specific (but theoretically very awesome). The features and powers themselves are slightly above average (particularly the U2, which may as well be a full reroll given a rogue's traditionally high accuracy), such that this could be a very solid theme in the right hands.

 
 

 

 


 

 

 

Paragon Paths

 

 


I'm going to take the harsh approach to this again. Rogues only get two real sky-blue PPs within class. Cloaked Sniper is great for ranged crossbow users, and Daggermaster for everyone else. You might argue for Arena Champion, but that's conditional on a fairly specialized build combination. Well, that leaves everyone...who, instead, usually ends up multiclassing for something interesting. I've elected to include a handful of Non-Rogue PPs that, if not completely optimal, are at least interesting and relevant to big-leagues rogue optimization.

Rogue Paragon Paths

Arcane Trickster (MP 2) - This path appeals to a Rogue who has a significant investment in an arcane class (likely Sorcerer or Warlock, as Wizard would spread you too thin for the most part). It has some mostly unimpressive abilities that can be replicated by feats or other paths, though, so it's not the best choice you could make.

Arena Champion (D 368) - If you're looking at this PP and see a well-rounded feature package and decent powers, you're not looking at it the right way. Daring Performer + Deft Strike. Changeling Race. Add a bluff-heavy theme. Result? A free action attack machine. The specialization required for this build is the only reason its not getting the sky-blue celebrity treatment.

Blade Bravo (MP 2) - A rather risky path for the traditionally fragile Rogue, this focuses on keeping your enemy's attention on you. It can be good if you're planning on milking Riposte Strike for what it's worth, but they're frankly better off multiclassing and going off-class for their PP. This actually ends up being most relevant on a Hybrid Rogue|Fighter for an easy way to pick up generic marks.

Cat Burglar (PHB) - While the non-Action Point features here would be classified as situational on a good day (and the fact that every Goliath has one of them is almost insulting), the powers are easy to use and quite effective. A pretty serviceable choice.

Cloaked Sniper (MP) - A path made for those Rogues who favor a Crossbow, it combines a couple of useful features (which mimic feats and thus will result in having more of those left over) with some pretty nice powers to establish itself as a strong option.

Daggermaster (PHB) - Still the king. This is one of the premier Paragon Paths for a Dagger Rogue, as the greatly improved criticals make a very big impact on your damage. Due to errata making the crit range work only with rogue powers, though, chargers and Deft Blade MBA'ers can GTFO.

Daring Acrobat (MP) - While this path certainly has some nice charge-oriented goodies, it also has some features that just meander about or are just plain not that good, which makes it a rather average choice overall.

Daring Slinger (MP 2) - A Paragon Path for one of the Rogue's iconic weapons, it offers a straight-up damage bonus, as well as some nice features and powers. A good Path, especially considering that Sling support was pretty solid even without this.

Death Dealer (MP) - This Paragon Path mostly focuses on ways to keep a Rogue upright. The ways it goes about it are by handing you a source of temporary HP and some nice and spammable penalties to hit you. While that's all well and good, the THP is conditional and the rest of the path overall is very average (a nice AP feature though).

Flying-Blade Adept (MP) - This path focuses on Ranged attacks with light blades. One of the key flaws in this is that Light Blade Ranged damage is just not as good as Crossbow damage, so you're better served with that. Also, high crit means pretty little on a 1d4 damage dagger.

Gatecrasher (MOTP) - This path is focused on making you even more mobile via the gift of teleportation. It packs a decent batch of abilities, though the rather conditional features make it a bit dependent on your opposition.

Ghost of Eventide (FRPG) - This Path is rather specific; not only do you have to be FROM the Forgotten Realms, you have to be from a specific region. Apart from that, it's a Melee path that focuses on being sneaky, which is kind of hard to do. Not only that, but the powers are pretty bad overall. I wouldn't take it.

Guildmaster Thief (MP) - This path has a big money feature in that it adds a stat to a flanking ally's damage, and some nice powers to make it a nice choice if you feel that channeling your inner Leader will be the way to go as far as adding to your party's damage total goes (though this does require having another good hitter in your party for maximum effect). The AP feature is also key for a certain infinite AP-loop in combination with a Praetor Legate.

Hoard Raider (D 369) - A dragon-specific ED, and as such offers little for a Rogue not looking to loot dragon hoards, except for a decent defensive feature while in a flank.

Jack-of-all-Trades (MP 2) - This path is obviously focused on making you better at skills, so the features are pretty non-combat oriented (that said, a straight-up +2 to skills can be useful). That said, the powers are solid enough to make this an actual choice, especially a pretty awesome Daily power.

Master Infiltrator (PHB) - Barring the crit feature and the Utility, this path is standard fare or worse among most Rogues. Better for a Cunning Sneak and his Stealth shenanigans, but mostly unimpressive.

Master of Poisons (MP 2) - While this path certainly has an interesting outlook, it faces two big flaws in that the meat-and-potatoes damage bonus keys off what is a dump stat for almost the absolute majority of Rogues, and that immunity to poison is rather common. With that in mind, it's still a decent, though limited, path.

Master Spy (MP) - A path which is basically made to mess with enemy heads. It serves its purpose well, though some of the features will likely be searching for a trigger in some encounters.

Rakish Swashbuckler (MP) - A decent path for a Defender to MC into as well as for a Rogue, it provides incentives to keep your opponents marked, whether it be you or him. I'm not 100% on it given how Rogue durability typicaly goes, but it can be somewhat useful.

Raven Herald (MP) - A Path made to mess with undead (and bloodied enemies), it has Ritual Caster and radiant Sneak Attack damage as its major selling points, and the Daily is not too bad, but there's no real features that separate it from the rest.

Red Cloak (MP 2) - This Paragon Path has an interesting gimmick in that it likes to be attacked and missed even more than what is normal, as it can gain CA, free mobility, or a countershot out of the deal. Also, not wasting an immediate is nice too. However, the path faces problems in that its feature's can't be used in tandem and in that you're going to need some heavy AC investment in order to get missed enough to trigger these effects.

Shadow Assassin (PHB) - This path has some nice goodies on the features side, and though the attack powers are unimpressive, a good Utility power redeems them. All in all, a pretty good Paragon Path.

Strong-Arm Enforcer (MP) - It gives you a strong Daily power, but its favoring of a Rattling spam theme makes it more Controller-ish than other paths. Still a pretty solid choice given the proper investment, though.

Verdant Stalker (MP 2) - A decent Stealth-oriented Paragon Path, it provides a bit of reliability on Sneak Attack, some extra hiding, and some OK powers. Nothing to really get excited over here, though.

Whisperknife (MP 2) - While this PP has some nice and mean fluff, the mechanics are kind of odd (not provoking OA's while dagger tossing or granting CA while being flanked, that sort of deal). As usual, I'm really not too fond of going into full Ranged with a Light Blade, but you shouldn't be totally gimped by it.


Non-Class Paragon Paths

Darkstrider (Ranger - MP) - Remember how I kept mentioning this as the actual PP for Cunning Stalkers? Well, it is. In addition to good powers and good features, the combination of your class features and de facto play strategy effectively means you get 3+Wis extra damage to all of your attacks. Sweet.

Daring Blade (Bard - D 376) - Not a great PP per se - the powers are bland if not outright Reserve Manuver bait, the AP feature may as well not exist, and the 16F won't see the light of day, but this PP is singularly notable in the fact that if you start in paragon, you could entirely run a rogue build whose primary stat is Cha instead of Dex (which may be somewhat nonsensical until you consider the benefits it has on powers like Riposte Strike...). Works better on hybird.

Favored Soul (Avenger - DP) - The way you go to get a permanent fly speed by paragon tier. Has some very interesting applications for a perma-hidden build who wants to overcome tremorsense, or for ranged builds that just want to pewpew from afar without reprisal.

 

Ghostwalker (Monk - PHB3) - The U12 is an encounter power that gives you concealment as a stance. Cunning Sneaks out there, need I really say more?


Gladiator Champion (Fighter - DSCS) - Nothing flashy, with OK powers. But read the 16F! With a Vigilante Justice Style Riposte Striker, this is basically one of two guarenteed ways to get the DPR train rolling


Kensei (Fighter - PHB) - This one's got 'Generic Striker PP' written all over it, and as such, as become sort of the benchmark over the years for what an actual +Striker PP is suppose to be. All the features are solid, and don't mind the bad powers - the E11 is just a Reserve Manuver away from getting Low Slash as your actual encounter power.

Shock Trooper (Fighter - MP) - Yowza. The E11 is one of the best multi-attacks in the game (3-hits + daze!), the 11F is either +1/+2 damage, or lets you hang your rapier for a shortsword and a new background. And to top it all off, the 16F adds your primary stat to damage again once/round. Brutal Scoundrels with an attack-caliber Strength stat go straight here.

Traveler's Harlequin (Any MC - D 382) - How do you MC both Warlock and Assassin in order to get Shadow Walk for your Cunning Sneak? Well, this is how.

Ocular Adept (Seeker - D 394) - Bit of an oddball, especially since you had to MC Seeker to get here and thus may be running some RBA-heavy build, but the features are quite solid - an free RBA on AP, using a ranged weapon while freeing both hands, and a sick-nasty daily power.

Soaring Blade (Monk - PsP) - Con-based and Heavy Blade-centric, for those of you who prefer doing an off-the-wall build. You don't necessarily need to be a con-build though, as long as you have at least a +1 in Con, this is an elegant way to move into frostcheese, while keeping up some other useful enchantment on your weapon that exploits another high-damage mechanic (battlecrazed, perhaps).

Tactical Warpriest (Cleric - PHB) - This is the other way a Riposte Striker can go to guarentee his riposte hit. With additional value in the PP turning you into a full-fledged defender, for better or for worse.

Winter Fury (Barbarian- PrP) - Like Soaring Blade, this PP just has a mechanism to add cold to your damage for frostcheese while you free up your weapon slot to exploit another high-damage mechanic.



Racial Paragon Paths

Here, I'll be marking the race that corresponds to the Path along with the source. We'll only be concerning ourselves with the recommended Paragon Paths here, that is to say, those rated Black or higher. If it's not on the list and it's in my sources, it's not a good idea.

Abiding Reaper (Shadar-Kai - D 372) - This Paragon Path has some neat features and powers (including shutting down resistance or regeneration on an AP attack), but nothing really sets it apart as an option. Solid, but unexceptional.

Adroit Explorer (Human - PHB 2) - Some good and solid features to make your sturdier and let you use your favorite powers one more time are nice to have, and having additional action points to spend is also cool. A pretty good path for a Rogue.

Bloodfury Savage (Half-Orc - PHB 2) - The flavor parallels are rather tenuous, but this path provides plenty of extra damage to a Rogue, and there is no such thing as too much damage for a Striker.

Chameleon (Changeling - EPG) - This Paragon Path is kind of swingy. If you have an ally whose powers complement your capabilities well, it's fantastic. Otherwise, you're likely better served elsewhere. This is more of a judgment call path.

Doomspeaker (Shadar-Kai - D 372) - This Paragon Path focuses on Rattling powers, and it provides some nice goodies like receiving the effect on a miss or a heal when you drop someone with a Rattling power. However, the Rattling power list is not always appealing, and while Rogues with the proper feat can potentially make any power Rattling, that requires taking away Sneak Attack damage. Still a decent path, though.

Dread Fang (Drow - MP) - This Paragon Path has a nice collection of useful features which will probably save you a feat or two, and the power list isn't bad at all. You could do much worse than pick this one.

Halfling Quickblade (Halfling - MP) - While the features are mostly a disappointing bunch, the L16 feature and a power list with no holes in it makes this a strong choice for one of the poster child races of the Rogue class.

Halfling Scoundrel (Halfling - PHB 2) - Apart from a particularly nasty Daily power, this path doesn't have much to offer to distinguish it from its fellow racial Path, but the power is good enough to make this Path worth taking.

 

Honorable Blade (Dragonborn - PHB Races: Dragonborn) - Hey look, another PP that gives you an additive elemental conversion. Last time I checked, that was kind of awesome, and this one exceeds all expectations by making that feature available at level 11.


Moonstalker (Shifter - PHB 2) - If you focus on an array of powers that can knock prone and/or decide to favor Wisdom a bit, this path can be worth having.

Mithral Arm (Dragonborn - D 385) - Adroit Explorer, Dragonborn version. As such, the rating will also be identical, with the additional note that gaining a teleport 2 as a movement mode is one hell of a nice gateway to further optimzation.

Rrathmal (Githzerai - PHB 3) - Automatic criticals are always fun (even if it does cost a standard action), as is rolling initiative twice, so this Paragon Path definitely has some perks, and the free repositioning the Rrathmal Pursuit offers is also very nice. A decent Path overall.

Storvakal (Githzerai - D 370) - While this Paragon Path may not seem like all that great at first glance, its L11 feature can enable you to use Power Attack with no restrictions at all, which can be good with some of the more unorthodox weapons on the Rogue list.

Tiefling Hellstalker (Tiefling - MP) - A decent Paragon Path for a race with plenty of Rogue flavor, but not all that much Rogue mechanics. Probably best on a Cunning Sneak, since it pretty much makes it a mission to slip out of sight.

Warforged Juggernaut (Warforged - EPG) - Excellent support for chargers. You get extra damage on a charge along with a Push 1, which is a pretty vital entry piece to higher level optimization. A decent encounter power, a daily which is analogous to the Fighter's Rain of Steel, and an unconditional +2 to all saves round out this nice racial PP.



Special Membership Paragon Paths

These PPs require that you belong to some special club. Most of these are as easy as taking the necessary dragonmark feat, or checking a little box on your character builder, but unless explicitly legal to take, these tend to be campaign-restricted, so ask your DM.

Champion of the Vigil (Membership in the Circle of Smoke and Whispers - D390) - rating effectively assumes you're a functional Cunning Sneak permastealth build, for whom this offers a 19-20 crit range and reroll to hit on a miss, which is pretty damn awesome.

Lyrandar Wind-Rider (Mark of Storm - EPG) - While certainly unorthodox, a Rogue that invests in this route gains substantial reward in the form of accuracy and damage bonuses while wielding a Lightning weapon, which already offers a trick for eternal CA on Melee Rogues. Nice.

Thuranni Shadow Killer (Mark of Shadow - EPG) - This Paragon Path is definitely dripping with Rogue flavor, and it has a solid power selection and action point feature. A pretty nice pick, and it gets brutal if you decide to augment its already strong ability to hand out ongoing damage as a strong effective damage boost.


 

 

 

Epic Destinies

 

 

Let's be real here. Demigod and its ilk are sky blue choices, but only because the rest of the charop playerbase would probably strangle me if I hinted otherwise. Let me just make my opinions clear here: a +1 to everything and then some makes for rock solid mechanical optimization, but my god, is it boring. Your ED shouldn't necessarily just be about the stats (though if they do fit well, they get a higher rating accordingly) - it should provide a benefit truly unique and synergistic with the character build and concept you were trying to achieve. And you've been around the block for 21 levels by now, you should know what you want to do with your character at this point to make it all work.


Rogue Epic Destinies

Same deal as before applies here: Black or higher choices only. If it's not here, it's not good for you.

Champion of Prophecy (EPG) - Pretty similar to Demigod, but with an emphasis on milestones. Not quite as good IMHO, but that's a high standard to meet.

Chosen (DP) - Essentially Demigod, with some leeway as to what Utility power you get.

Darklord (D 372) - Lots of Grim Reaper flavor, but you don't really get to the meat of the issue until the capstone power, so it's kind of average.

Dark Wanderer (MP) - While this Epic Destiny is nice and flavorful, the mechanics it carries don't quite measure up. Some features won't come into play that often, and others focus too much on how cool they sound instead of how cool they should be.

Deadly Trickster (PHB) - An Epic Destiny with flavor and mechanics merged into a harmonious whole. It's almost a given that you'll qualify, and it offers you plenty of goodies, including rerolls and power recovery. You can't really go wrong with this one.

Demigod (PHB) - Arguably the best Epic Destiny for anybody, and that includes you.

Destined Scion (HotFK) - Another off-shoot from the Demigod tree, a straight-up attack and save bonus along with the two ability score bonuses make it a strong choice.

Eternal Seeker (PHB) - One of few ways to get Hurricane of Blades or Blade Cascade on your rogue, and the 30F is used to duplicate some other amazing 24F, such as from Sage of Ages or Master of Moments. This is a frankly ridiculous ED with unbridled potential.

Free Soul (D 376) - A decent Revenant-only ED to keep (save ends) effects off you, but it doesn't offer much apart from that.

Godhunter (MP) - A pretty nice ED for most Rogues, the features it offers will help you bring those really tough targets down.

Harbinger of Doom (PHB 2) - While none of the features are bad, none of them really stand out enough to separate this Epic Destiny from the pack.

Harper of Legend (D 367) - You can usually qualify without much of a hitch, and it has some cool stuff to offer you, especially related to action points. A decent choice.

Heir of Siberys (D 388) - A branch off the Demigod ED tree, this one offers a variety of effects to choose from as a Utility power. A Rogue will probably go for the powers for Finding, Scribing, or Shadow.

Hordemaster (DSCS) - An interesting spin on the classic Demigod Epic Destiny, this one has some nice Leader-y flavor and powers you could use to good effect.

Indomitable Champion (HotFL) - Essentially an expansion of the Demigod chassis, this ED offers some hefty extra HP and a bonus to NAD's, in addition to some neat defensive abilities and the traditional double stat boost.

Keeper of the Everflow (HoS) - A quality ED, it gives an ability score bump along with a variety of effects you can mix-and-match to fit the situation (and there's a good straight standby effect you can rock, too).

Martial Archetype (MP) - Well, I'm assuming you PMC'd Ranger for this. No stat bumps, but getting Pounding Barrage or Hail of Steel as an encounter power is pretty damn cool as an ED feature.

Prince of Hell (D 372) - A nice alternative for some Rogues; while it may not offer a Dexterity bonus, but most of the other features it offers are applicable and actually pretty good.

Prison of the Winds (D 371) - While you're usually looking for bonuses in places other than Constitution, everything else about this ED is simply stellar for a Rogue (and there is a niche build that likes Constitution as well). A great choice.

Punisher of the Gods (D 372) - While powerful, this Epic Destiny is a consistent headache for the designers, receiving multiple versions of errata. I can't give it a top ranking in its current incarnation, especially because I don't think it will remain constant either.

Raven Knight (D 380) - Another stellar option for a Rogue, this Epic Destiny offers almost everything you could ask for with attribute bonuses and strong powers.

Reborn Champion (D 365) - A lack of a real money feature keeps from truly playing with the big boys, but this is still a very strong choice, especially because it makes you harder to keep down.

Star-Favored Champion (MP 2) - Rating assumes you play like a normal person. If you're playing a miss-cheese build (which includes a revenant action-economy package - ask mellored) and your DM is somehow tolerant of that, then this is pure gold.

Storm Sovereign (D 372) - It has some nice toys to offer you, but overall some features don't match up as well with you as those on other Epic Destinies.

Thief of Legend (D 388) - The ability scores align perfectly with a Rogue, and though the L24 feature is purely subject to DM fiat and the L26 power is not really combat-oriented, the L30 feature is good enough to make up for most of it. A good ED or you.

Winter Sovereign (D 372) - A solid Epic Destiny overall, it gets nicer if you decide to employ Frostcheese and have a fondness for (save ends) effects, which certainly is a possibility on a Rogue.

Non-Class Epic Destinies

Eternal Defender (Fighter, MP) - Str bump, and an oversized wield feature. It would be a fairly unimpressive ED for the most part if it weren't for the fact that this is the only way to allow a rogue (who is also able to take Tunnel Stalker and use axes for rogue powers) to wield a Gouge in one hand and be a gouge-charger.

Legendary Soveriegn (Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, or Warlord, MP2) - An ok ED for the most part, the real meat is its 30F. Imagine a (Revenant) Mul Battleslave with Tumbling Strike. Win more.

Master of Moments (Any Psionic, PsP) - Never be at a lack for action economy during a nova round ever again. This is a staple ED for nova-centric builds.

Reincarnate Champion (Any Primal, PrP) - This is pretty much THE reason to MC any primal class. Poach any racial (and eventually, ALL) power you want. Any of the retroactive accuracy enhancements (Human, Deva, Elf) is effectively better than a static +1 bonus you get from a generic ED. Unlocking racial feats also has brilliant applications of their own. Gnoll so you can charge with an encounter power? Tiefling for Secrets of Belial? Pixie for Streak of Light? Endless possibilities.

Sage of Ages (Any Arcane, AP) - this would be a spectacular PP under any circumstance due to the 24F, which can basically be boiled down to a roll-twice per attack functionality, but if you're a Daggermaster, please, for the love of god, take this PP.




 



Equipment Guide



As is the norm for sections in this Handbook, if the piece of magic equipment isn't Interesting to talk about or highly rated, I won't be talking about it (especially important because this game has a colossal amount of equipment available). People interested in a more in-depth analysis of items should take a look at this amazing item guide by Armisael.

Armor

Heroic
Battle Harness (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (D 368. L4+) - Initiative and virtual Quickdraw. Pretty handy.
Bloodcut Armor (Leather, Hide) (PHB, L4+) - Good benefit, but if you have the surges to burn for this as a rogue, I'd be pretty amazed.
Flowform Armor (Cloth, Leather) (PHB 3, L4+) - A free save? Sure.
Shadowdance Armor (Cloth, Leather) (SAC, L5+) - Never provoke OAs with ranged attacks again.
Marauder's Armor (Cloth, Leather) (AV2, L7+) - Scaling AC bonus for chargers? Hell yeah.
Shadowflow Armor (Cloth, Leather) (PHB, L10+) - A bonus to Stealth checks, and concealment available once per encounter

Paragon
Armor of Dark Deeds (Leather, Hide) (AV 2, L14+) - Easiest natural entry to sustainable concealment for permastealthers
Great Cat Armor (Hide) (AV 2, L19+) - =1 to shifts, useful for chargers or permastealthers.

Other
Agile Armor (Heavy Armor), (AV, 5+) - Effectively, +AC as a static property. Get this on Ringmail.
Bloodiron Armor(Heavy Armor), (AV, 8+) - +2 AC vs someone by for hitting him.


Weapons

Heroic
Farbond Spellblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2, L2+) - Throw your...rapier?
Goblin Totem (Any) (FRPG, L2+) - Cheap Item bonus to damage for small characters. Replace after Iron armbands.
Prime Shot Weapon (Any Ranged) (AV, L2+) - A dagger counts as a ranged weapon. I like this if you aren't frostcheesing.
Rebounding (Any Ranged) (AV 2, L2+) - Redirecting a miss as an Encounter power is a solid power to have.
Vicious (Any) (PHB, L2+) - Take it if you're a Daggermaster, skip otherwise.
Frost (Any) (PHB, L3+) - Core piece to frostcheese. This is basically the standard to beat.
Rhythm Blade (Light Blade) (AV 2, L3+) - Carry this in your offhand instead of Shielding Blade if you took two weapon defense.
Vanguard Weapon (Light Blade) (AV 2, L3+) - Chargers go straight here.
Shielding Blade (Light Blade) (D 391, L4+) - +1 to AC for free. Zero excuse not to carry a +1 dagger version of this in your off-hand.
Flaming (Any) (PHB, L5+) - This weapon is OK by itself, but it's better for Tieflings, thanks to Hellfire Blood.


Lightning (Any) (PHB, L5+) - Makes Mark of Storm users very happy (obviously better for them).
Tyrant's (Any Melee) (AV, L8+) - Prone builds like this one.
Frostbrand (MME, L8+) - Mixed feelings for this one. Objectively, this is a strict upgrade to Frost that also plays nice with other energy types (this one doesn't convert everything wholesale), but its a rare, and if you're playing with rares, you kind of want better rares than this.
Kamesti Crossbow (Crossbow) (AV 2, L9+) - Retains a missed power, and eliminates the long range penalty, which is actually relevant for a handcrossbow.
Githyanki Silver Blade (Heavy Blade) (MotP, L9+) - Heavy Blade only, but your entry to Psychic combo.
Footpad's Friend (Light Blade) (AV, L10+) - Expensive as hell method of getting +Cha to your damage.
Wraithblade (Light Blade) (DMA 2009, L10+) - Kind of a trap compared to Bloodiron, but has a niche use for critfishers who use multi-damage line powers (Assassin powers, Jack of all Trades D20, etc) 

Paragon
Jagged (Axe, Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV, L12) - Improved crits? Hell yeah.
Melegaunt's Darkblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV2) - Same as Jagged, slighty more front loaded crit damage but not LFR legal.
Shadowrift Blade (Light Blade) (AV2, L12) - Another interesting one to off-hand in dagger form. The property gives you the ability to teleport on a hit - and does not require you actually hit with the weapon.
Bloodiron (Any) (AV, L13+) - Don't count on that secondary instance of crit dice to ever trigger. Still slightly better than vicious. Still doesn't compare favorably to frost in the current metagame.
Thunderbolt (Any Ranged) (AV, L13+) - You can get this on a dagger since it counts as ranged. Strictly better than Lightning Weapon.
Mindiron (Bow, Crossbow) (AV, L13+) - Rating assumes its paired with a Headband of Intellect and Psychic Lock. Key for hit debuffers.
Thundergod Weapon (Any Melee) (AV, L13+) - Chargers swap into this at level 23.
Radiant
(Any) (AV, L15+) - Look ma, no arms (slot)! Also Dragonshard of Radiance says hi.
Weapon of Summer (Heavy Blade, Du160, L15+) - I theoretically consider this to be superior to a Flaming Weapon, if it weren't for the heavy blade requirement. Specialized builds only.
Forceful Weapon (Bow, AV, L16+) - No crit dice (whatever), but push 1 as a property for bow users. Nice control factor.

Epic
Sorrowsong Blade  (Heavy Blade, E2 Module, L29) - Well, this is rather obscure, but its outright better than Githyanki Silver.

Arms


Bracers of Archery
(AV, L6/16/26) - No real reason to not wear them if you’re a Ranged Rogue.
Iron Armbands of Power
(AV, L6/16/26) - No real reason to not wear them if you’re a Melee Rogue.

Ok, we're done here.

...Just kidding. Alternative options for those getting an item bonus elsewhere:

Wrist Razors (DSCS, various) - Basically, you take this and enchant it with a benefit that's always on. At minimum, this could be +1 AC via a Shielding Blade, (and now you take a rhythm blade dagger in your offhand), a Shadowrift Blade, or even a Rubicant weapon for you teleporters.

Couters of Second Chance (AV, L5/15/25) - Daily reroll.
Bracers of Brachiation (AV, L5/15/25) - Gain a climb speed.
Rapidstrike Bracers
 (AV, L15) - Use an at-will instead of a basic attack once/enc
Trollhide Braces (AV, L19/29) - Regeneration is always a solid defensive choice.

Feet

Acrobat Boots (AV, L2) - Stand up as a minor. Cheap and easy. Most people will buy these and just stick with them for almost their entire career.
Boots of Adept Charging (AV, L2) - Shifting 1 square after a charge. Bread and butter charge kit.
Boots of the Fencing Master (AV, L7) - +1 AC/Ref very often, good item power.
Boots of Eagerness (AV, L9) - No thanks, you actually have stuff to do with your minor actions.
Phantom Chaussures (AV, L18) - Shadow Walk, the item. Cunning Sneaks love this one.
Lightstep Slippers (AV, L21) - This item provides a healthy bonus to Stealth checks, and also helps you deal with enemies that could potentially detect you even while hidden.
Boots of Caiphon (AV 2, L24) - Shift as a minor forever, +2 Ref.
Zephyr Boots (AV, L24) -Gain a fly speed.
Sandals of Avandra (AV, L25) - I'm actually less impressed by this than Boots of Caiphon. You've a movement utility that does better than this now.
Boots of Teleportation (AV) - Get them if you can afford them. That is all.

Hands

Claw Gloves (AV 2, L4) - You're here because you took a lycan theme, and this item is singlehandedly the reason why you took that ridiculous theme.
Gauntlets of Blood (AV 2, L4/14/24) - I hate 'em because they'll work less than half the time, and you'll never remember them.
Antipathy Gloves (AV, L9) - Hey look, a pixie riposter parked in your square that you can't ever shift out of. Brilliant for specific builds.
Dwarven Throwers (AV, L10) - Item bonus to thrown weapons.
Strikebacks
(AV, L10) - Basically a free MBA every encounter.
Babau Gauntlets (D408, L10) - An ok alternative to melee training, and opens up builds you'd ordinarly not be able to consider, like a Dex/Cha charger. Just know that you're facing an opportunity cost of things like Gloves of Ice or Gauntlets of Destruction.
Gloves of Ice (AV 2, L11/21) - Plays with frostcheese. Again, gold standard and all that.
Shadowdancer's Gloves
(AV 2, L11) - +1d6 damage while hidden. Tolerable on a permastealther.
Gauntlets of Destruction (PHB, L18) - Depends on the character. Chargers love this because they roll tons of damage dice. If you attack only once/turn, this is about on par with Gloves of Ice, if not a little better.

Head

Eagle Eye Goggles
(AV, L2/12/22) () - A scaling attack bonus to Ranged Basic Attacks is a pretty nice benefit to have.
Casque of Tactics (L4/14/24) (AV) - An initiative bonus is good for anyone, and swapping initiative who anyone who rolled high once per day is nice too.


Horned Helm (L6/16/26) (PHB) - Charging is a great way for Rogues to get some extra damage in.
Coif of Mindiron (L8/18/28) (AV) - Protects against an increasing array of mental conditions (albeit only against Will) as an encounter power
Headband of Intellect (L10/20/30) (AV) - A nice bonus to attacks with the Psychic keyword ( a keyword your attacks can have, courtesy of the Mindiron Crossbow).
Helm of Able Defense (AV 2) - A bonus to Will, and a bump to all defenses until you get hit is pretty good if you ask me.
Carcanet of Psychic Schism (AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.
Trickster's Mask (AV) - If you're going to be a Stealth-monger, you might want to invest in one of these.
Coif of Focus (AV) - Comes by later in your career, and burns up a Magic Item Daily, but negating Daze or Stun is awesome.
Eye of Awareness (AV) - A decent bonus to Will defense, and a huge initiative boost on top of that.

Neck

Heroic
Cloak of Distortion (AV, L4+) - Forces your enemies to get in close enough for you to engage them if you're Melee, and provide an eternal artillery v. artillery advantage if you're Ranged.


Steadfast Amulet (AV, L8+) - This prevents daze or stun. 'Nuff said.


Shadowdancer's Cloak (AV 2, L9+) - Lets you squeeze in one more potshot against an unsuspecting opponent. This is also part of the Shadowdancer's Garb item set.
Periapt of Cascading Health (D 369, L10+) - Ends one effect per encounter, no questions asked. Win.


Paragon
Assassin's Cloak (AV 2, L14+) - Reroll steath checks. Most cunning sneaks will want this and take their item bonus to stealth from another source.
Timeless Locket (AV 2, L14+) - Initiative boost, and generate a non-attack standard action as a minor. Interesting nova setup applications.
Brooch of Vitality (AV, L15+) - More HP. Is ok.
Cloak of Displacement (AV, L15+) - A nice bonus to AC and Reflex until you get hit, and a pretty cool power. Worth a look, especially for Archers.
Torc of Power Preservation (AV, L15+) - It retains Encounter powers when you use them. Need I really say more?

Rings

Remember, you can have two of these, so look out for Rings that either work well together or work well in doubles.

Ring of Giants (D 378, L13) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage, and push 2 + prone on any primal attack power you may power-swap for can come in handy.
Grace Ring of Salvation (AV2, L14) - For many, this will be their only credible defense against save-ends stuns at this point in the game.
War Ring (AV, L16) - Adds a little more 'oomph' into your criticals. I favor Ring of Giants.
Ring of Action Reversal (AV 2, L20) - A hefty bonus to initiative checks, and a sweet benefit should you miss with an Encounter power.
Ring of Tenacious Will (AV, L21) - Cha-based? Need more surges? Of course you do.
Greater Ring of Invisibility (AV 2, L23) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. Wow.
Golden Ring of Teros (AV 2, L24) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.
Ring of Guarded Will (AV 2, L25) - A nice bump to Will defense.
Shadow Band (AV, L27) - You can't really argue against +2 to all defenses as a static property. Also, perma-concealment for cunning sneaks.
Ring of Free Time (AV 2, L29) - Really, everyone should know about this ring by now. Extra minor actions, and resist 5 all day. Close to an autopick if you can afford it.

Waist

Cincture of the Dragon Spirit (AV, L6) - Intimidatomancers take note: this is an average item for everyone else, but absolutely core for them, because the rogue-version of intimidatomancers are Str-based.
Belt of Vim (AV, L8/18/28) - Generic +Fortitude item. Obsoleted by Diamond Cinctures, though you likely weren't getting the epic-tier, and the paragon tier is strictly obsoleted by a Belt of the Witch King.
Belt of Raging Endurance (D380, L9/19/29) - 1 Extra healing surge is, by itself, pretty worth it, but the belt also has an interrupt to save you damage temporarily, which is somewhat useful.
Diamond Cincture (AV 2, L10/20/30) - Easy-to-access healing, and a bonus a to Fortitude. Nice.
Belt of the Witch King (AV 2, L18) - Belt of Vim, paragon tier, but strictly better because it has a nice healing ability if you have any arcane power.
Belt of Mountain Endurance (D 365, L18) - A nice item for Brutal Scoundrels. +Str to surge value and an AP benefit, all in one package.
Belt of Titan Strength (PHB, L25) - A strong buff for one turn, and strong skill bonuses.



Miscellaneous

Ammunition - Managing one-use items is not my idea of a good time, but you can reliably afford and keep up with a lifetime's supply of ammunition for one tier lower, and they are pretty strong when used.
Ammunition

Firestorm Arrow (AV 2, L3+) - Lays down some heavy fire (pun intended). Lets you play focus fire and crowd control simultaneously.
Freezing Arrow
(AV 2, L3+) - Extra damage AND slowing? Very nice.
Lightning Arrow (AV 2, L3+) - Extra damage is awesome, though this one is a bit behind the other magical ammunition after the errata.
Surprise Bullet
(AV 2, L3+) - Free CA is a pretty nice benefit to have.
Dual Arrow (D 373, L10+) - REROLLS, you say?! Now this is what I'm taling about!

DragonshardsIf they're in your game, you'd be crazy not to use them. That is all.
Dragonshards

Eberron Shard of Lightning
(EPG, L2/12/22)- A great incentive to wield Lightning weapons.
Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth
(EPG, L2/12/22) - Incentive for wielding Flaming weapons.
Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold
(EPG, L2/12/22) - Yet another reason to like Frost weapons.
Siberys Shard of Radiance (EPG, L3/13/23) - Another selling point for the Radiant weapon.

Stones Series - These are all daily power rerolls to a specific type of attack, and are amazing to keep in your pocket if you can get your hands on them. Note: the Stone series are now all Rares
Show

Stone of Earth (AV 2, L12) - Getting another chance to land a Melee hit is sweet.
Stone of Flame (AV 2, L12) - Fire lovers want one of these around.
Stone of Light (AV 2, L12) - If you're into Radiant damage, having a do-over in your back pocket sounds like a good idea to me.
Stone of Spirit (AV 2, L12) - If you're partaking in Psychic attack support, a reroll is good stuff.
Stone of Storms (AV 2, L12) - If lightning and thunder are your elements of choice, this is good to have.
Stone of Wind (AV 2, L12) - A do-over on a Ranged attack is a nice thing to have.


Wonderous/Other Misc Items


Demonskin Tattoo (AV 2, L3/13/23) - I actually prefer this to a Backlash Tattoo. Keeping a variable resistance on hand for those specific encounters is good defensive policy and works out much better than you'd actually believe.
Power Jewel (AV, L5) - A pain-free way to recharge a low-level Encounter power, and it just so happens you're going to want to keep one of those forever anyway.
Backlash Tattoo (AV 2, L9) - A free basic attack every encounter is a nice revenge sort of ability.
Endless Quiver
(AV 2) - Endless ammo for Crossbow users. Pretty much no reason not to have this.
Elven Chain Shirt (MME, L9/19/29) - It's frankly ridiculous that this item is even in the game. Basically a must-take for light armor users, at least get the version one tier down if its too expensive.
Salve of Power (AV, L10) - Post-errata, this trades a surge for another Encounter power, which is a pretty good deal for most Strikers, even squishier ones like you.
Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381, L11) - The only way to make sure you don't miss is to not need to roll for it at all. Note: now a Rare
Solitaire (Aquamarine) (AV, L16) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.
Solitaire (Cerulean) (AV, L21) - Expensive, but getting rid of (save ends) effects this easily should be.
Solitaire (Violet) (AV, L26) - Free AP’s after a crit are awesome.


Advanced Optimization Guide



Universal Knowledge


Every rogue player should know these basic tricks of the trade.


Frostcheese
The Big Idea: Easy perma-CA combo + one of the biggest static damage boosts in the business. Unless you're doing an esoteric build, this should be your default package simply because it is the gold standard to beat.

Key Items: Frost weapon
Key Feats: Wintertouched, Lasting Frost


Optional Support: Icy Heart, Gloves of Ice, Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold.
Optional PPs: Winterfury (Barb), Soaring Blade (Monk, Heavy Blade) to replace item-dependency on Frost Weapon.


Deadly Storm
The Big Idea: Easy perma-CA combo + at-will slide control. Requires a dragonmark.

Key Items: Lightning Weapon or Ki Focus
Key Feats: Mark of Storm, Deadly Draw


Optional Support: Eberron Shard of Lightning.
Optional At-Will: Riposte Strike is a great way to slide away and prevent attacks.



Archetype Optimized Build Concepts


The three tried-and-true ways to be a good striker are a) critfishing, b) charging, and c) multi-attacking. It just so happens that the rogue has signature ways to access all three, which we discuss here.


Crit Fishing
The Big Idea: Basic critfishing, the rogue version. Rogues did this before it even got cool, and it is worth a ton of DPR even just by itself.

Key PP: Daggermaster
Key Feats: Two Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Opening.


Optional Support: Crit boosts (Ring of Giants, War Ring) and any other damage boosting package. Access to MC Avenger or Borrowed Confidence + multi-attack powers.
Optional ED: Sage of Ages for some massively awesome double-rolling.


Additional Notes: At this point in the metagame, a Bloodiron weapon, which is generally considered a strong option, is largely inferior to frostcheese in terms of raw damage. When considering damage packages, always compare against the gold standard.


Sample Builds: See below


Charging
The Big Idea: Rogues charge as competitively as any other charge-focused striker. Ridiculously powerful DPR option (DPR-king tier damage!) in heroic, and steadily increasing throughout all tiers of play.

Key Proficiency: Rapier (via background) or Shortsword + Shocktrooper PP.
Key Feats: Surprising Charge
Key Items: Charge Kit (Vanguard/Thundergod Rapier, Horned Helm, Badge of the Berserker)


optional PPs: Shocktrooper, Kensei, Warforged Juggernaut, any +Charger PP
Optional Support:Boots of Adept Charging/Boots of the Mighty Charge, Marauder's Armor


Additional Notes: DM-permitting, I prefer going Reincarnate Champion in order to access Gnoll feats to charge with an encounter power. Regardless, you should pick up a multi-attack power and use Boots of the Mighty charge to delivery a sick nova.


Sample Build: Stahl Hunden


Permahidden
The Big Idea: Permanently maintain the hidden status, being untargettable and forcing additional extra attacks via OAs. This is actually a complex configuration that deserves its own mini guide.

Step 1: Getting the combo off the ground
Key Rogue Talent: Cunning Sneak
Key Item Support: Means of gaining Concealment. My preferred methods are Phantom Chausseurs (L18) or Armor of Dark Deeds (L14+) or Shadow Band (L27), though you can also MC Assassin, take a feat, and use an enshrouding candle.


Recommended Feats: Improved Cunning sneak.
Recommended Items: Assassin's Cloak (roll twice for stealth), anything with an Item bonus to Stealth, Shadow Master Ki Focus (big damage boost).
Optional route: Take Traveler's Harlequin PP, MC both Assassin and Warlock, then take Cursed Shadows.


Step 2: Remaining hidden
Key Powers: Any power that allows movement as a separate action after the attack. Deft Strike + Ghostwalker Style or Piercing Strike + Criterion of Balic Practice. Eldtrich Strike + White Lotus Master Evasion. Note that attacks such as Gloaming Cut and Acrobatic Strike will not work, as the attack/action used to break hidden cannot be used to remain hidden.
Key Feats: Shift boosters (Risky Shift, Mark of Passage)


Step 3: Lay on the OAs
Basically, you're now have a reliable means to get hidden, and remain hidden even after attack. To really crank the DPR meter, you want to look at getting your target to provoke an OA from you.


Recommended Race: Pixie (Park on top of their square). Half-Elf or Revenant is also strong for other tricks
Recommended Theme: Yakuza (huge boost to hit and damage for a hidden-OA build)
Recommended Powers: Persistent Tail (Stealth U10)
Recommended means to re-stealth after an OA: Heavy Blade Opportunity, Opportunistic Sidestep or poach an MBA from a different source (Eldstrike + WLME, Overwhelming Strike).


Optional Items: Strikebacks or Antipathy gloves (if you're a parking-pixie)
Optional PPs: Champion of the vigil, Darkstrider


Additional Notes: Try for a way to get a fly speed, since permahidden with flight thwarts tremorsense. This combo also works much faster as a hybrid, since the quickest and earliest way to get perma-concealment.


Sample Builds: See Below


Riposte Catch-22
The Big Idea: Milk Riposte Strike for a double-attack every turn by guarenteeing that the target cannot do anything other than trigger the Riposte one way or another. Mark of Storm + Deadly Draw variant allows you to immediately negate the attack coming your way.

Key At-Will: Riposte Strike
Key Items: Frost or Lightning Weapon
Key Support Feats: Frostcheese or Mark of Storm + Deadly Draw


Recommended PPs: Tactical Warpriest or Gladiator Champion
Recommended Support Feats: vigilante Justice Style, any good Riposte augment, Mark of Finding
Recommended Race: Pixie (once again, park on their square with antipathy gloves)


Additional Notes: Antipathy Gloves with Gladiator Champion make it virtually impossible to an enemy to shift at all once adjacent to you. Consider a Feyslaughter weapon as a backup against teleporting enemies. On a Lightning build, consider forced movement boosters to ensure the interrupt negates the incoming attack with a slide.


Sample Builds: See below



The Specialists


Perhaps you're looking for something beyond the standard archetypes? For some off-the-wall build ideas here's a few notable build combos and build stubs to get you off the ground.

Arena Champion

The Big Idea: This is a very specific race/build/PP combo designed to work around the ability to use Bluff attempts in conjunction with Arena Champion's 16F in order generate a slew of basic attacks.

Note that the attack generated is any basic attack, and many of the bluffs work at range, so an RBA-based build will also work along fine.


Key Race: Changeling
Key At-Will: Deft strike
Key Feat: Daring Performer
Recommended Support: A theme or other methods of gaining additional bluff to gain CA attempts, RBA support package if you going that route


Additional Notes: Have you perhaps considered hybriding or poaching in order to gain another class' MBA/RBA? Cha-based Sorc or Warlock along with arcane support makes for an extremely potent combination. This also gateways into white lotus master evasion, for stacking a perma-hidden package into the equation as well.


Sample Builds:
Heather
Saturday Night Sorceror


Hit Penalizer

The Big Idea: Inflict a -8 hit penalty on hit at-will, all day, everyday.


Key At-Will: Deft Strike
Key Weapon: Mindiron Crossbow
Key Support Feats: Draji Palatial Practice, Disheartening Ambush, Underhanded Tactics, Psychic Lock


Additional Notes: Use a Headband of Intellect if you can. Also consider hybriding with a defender with a functional ranged mark (paladin?) and mark of warding.


Push and Slow

The Big Idea: Push 5+ and Slow for a very potent disable at-will.


Key At-Will: Piercing Strike
Key Support Feats: Raam's Maw Practice, MC Fighter, Hindering Shield
Key Support Items: Push enchancers (Gloves of Ramming, Ring of the Ram, Rushing Cleats, etc)



Additional Notes: Be a (dead) Dragonborn and pile on Draconic Arrogance to add +Str to damage yet again. Or be a Dwarf to be able to use a hammer + Overwhelming Impact to at-will daze in epic.


Ridiculous Weapons

The Big Idea: Take advantage of nontraditional Rogue weapon options for some hilarious lulz.


Key Race membership: Dwarf/Mul/Revenant Dwarf
Key Feats: Tunnel Stalker, MC Fighter


Charge Package: Eternal Defender + Gouge + Charge Kit
Daze Package: Hammer + Overwhelming Impact + Slowing mechanism



Additional Notes: These take a while to get there, but pay off something nice in epic. Consider also a Warden|Rogue/Son of Mercy chassis for the latter hammer daze build.




Sample Builds


Archetype Builds


I wouldn't call these representative, per se, but these selected builds below are some of the more colorful applications of a standard rogue archetype that set a comfortable baseline for a solid, no-nonsense rogue play. Note: the item selections associated with these builds are also very minimalist - they're well within the projected wealth for their level, but I'm very lazy when it comes to calculating item budgets, an took the minimum items necessary to get the build up and running.

The Daggermaster
Classic Rogue Daggermaster, been around since PHB1, and still good as ever. I've decided to showcase an Artful Dodger as it synergizes well with the fact that the Daggermaster has no need to keep a high Str score for weapon mastery. No AD build-specific tricks were used here, however, and obviously you can go Brutal Scoundrel and it will increase your DPR further.

Two interesting pieces here worth showcasing on the expansion to the main build are that:
1) This is a Revenant Tiefling, which gets us access to Secrets of Belial in order to poach Borrowed Confidence, for a round of double-roll crit-fishing every encounter. If you don't plan on playing this race, you can just as easily MC Swordmage instead of Bard and powerswap into Borrowed Confidence instead.
2) The selected ED here is Sage of Ages, whose 24F is essentially another double attack roll every turn for more crit-fishing glory. I highly recommend this ED for Daggermasters if they can qualify for it (requires any MC arcane).

Lv 30 Rogue/Daggermaster/Sage of Ages

Race: Revenant (Tiefling)
Rogue Tactics: Artful Dodger
Weapon Talent: Rogue Weapon Talent
Multiclass: Bard
Paragon Path: Daggermaster
Epic Destiny: Sage of Ages

Ability Scores:
L1 – Str 10, Con 12, Dex 20, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 12
L4 – Str 10, Con 12, Dex 21, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 13
L8 – Str 10, Con 12, Dex 22, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 14
L11 – Str 11, Con 13, Dex 23, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 15
L14 – Str 11, Con 13, Dex 24, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 16
L18 – Str 11, Con 13, Dex 25, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 17
L21 – Str 12, Con 14, Dex 26, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 18
L24 – Str 12, Con 14, Dex 27, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 19
L28 – Str 12, Con 14, Dex 28, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 20

Feats:
L1: Backstabber
L2: Light Blade Expertise
L4: Melee Training (Dexterity)
L6: Two-Weapon Fighting
L8: Improved Defenses
L10: Wintertouched
L11: Two-Weapon Opening
L12: Lasting Frost
L14: Superior Will
L16: Icy Heart
L18: Bardic Ritualist
L20: Two-Weapon Defense
L21: Secrets of Belial
L22: Superior Initiative
L24: Martial Mastery
L26: Epic Fortitude
L28: Epic Resurgence
L30: Epic Will

At-Will Powers:
L1 – Sly Flourish
L1 – Piercing Strike

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Dazing Strike
L3 – Low Slash
L7 – Startling Offensive
L11 – Critical Opportunity
L13 – Stunning Strike (replaces Dazing Strike)
L17 – Tumbling Strike (replaces Startling Offensive)
L23 – Steel Entrapment (replaces Stunning Strike)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Press the Advantage
L5 – Compel the Craven
L9 – Knockout
L15 – Profit from Weakness (replaces Press the Advantage)
L20 – Deep Dagger Wound
L29 – Deathweaving Strike (replaces Compel the Craven)

Utility Powers:
L2 – Agile Recover
L6 – Swift Parry
L10 – Acrobat's Escape
L12 – Meditation of the Blade
L16 – Anticipate Attack
L21 - Borrowed Confidence (Replaces Anticipate Attack)
L22 – Leaping Dodge

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Intimidate
L1 – Insight
L1 – Perception
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery
L18 - Arcana

Recommended Magic Items: 
Frost Dagger +6
Rhythm Blade Dagger +5
Cloak of Distortion +6
Starleather Armor of Dark Deeds +6
Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
Eye of Awareness (epic tier)
Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier)
Ring of Free Time (epic tier)
Ring of Tenacious Will (epic tier) 
Gloves of Ice (epic tier)
Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (epic tier)

The Eviscerator
Hardly ground-breaking, but here we take a barbarian-esque approach to striking: start with a solid baseline striker chassis and just build a set of good powers around it. As early as level 11, this build can work up a monstrous multi-attack nova via Shocking Twister + Rain of Blows.

Lv 30 Rogue/Shock Trooper/Destined Scion

Race: Half-Orc
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Weapon Talent: Rogue Weapon Talent
Multiclass: Fighter
Paragon Path: Shock Trooper
Epic Destiny: Destined Scion


Ability Scores:
L1 – Str 18, Con 11, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L4 – Str 19, Con 11, Dex 19, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L8 – Str 20, Con 11, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L11 – Str 21, Con 12, Dex 21, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L14 – Str 22, Con 12, Dex 22, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L18 – Str 23, Con 12, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L21 – Str 26, Con 13, Dex 26, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12
L24 – Str 27, Con 13, Dex 27, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12
L28 – Str 28, Con 13, Dex 28, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12


Feats:
L1: Backstabber
L2: Light Blade Expertise
L4: Nimble Blade
L6: Battle Awareness
L8: Novice Power
L10: Wintertouched
L11: Icy Heart
L12: Lasting Frost
L14: Deft Blade
L16: Improved Defenses
L18: Thirst for Battle
L20: Skill Power
L21: Brutal Advantage
L21: Light Blade Mastery (Replaces Thirst for Battle)
L22: Superior Will
L22: Martial Mastery (Replaces Skill Power)
L24: Superior Initiative
L26: Epic Will
L28: Skill Power
L30: Resilient Focus


At-Will Powers:
L1 – Acrobatic Strike
L1 – Piercing Strike
L14 - Clever Strike (replaces Piercing Strike)

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Dazing Strike
L3 – Low Slash
L7 – Startling Offensive
L11 – Shocking Twister
L13 – Darting Strike (replaces Dazing Strike)
L17 – Tumbling Strike (replaces Darting Strike)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Press the Advantage
L5 – Bloodbath
L9 – Knockout
L15 – Profit from Weakness (replaces Bloodbath)
L20 – Shocking Skewer
L29 – Kiss of Death (replaces Press the Advantage)

Utility Powers:
L2 – Sneak in the Attack
L6 – Ignoble Escape
L10 – Acrobat's Escape
L12 – Assault Footwork
L16 – Leaping Dodge
L22 – Slip From the Grasp

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Athletics
L1 – Insight
L1 – Perception
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery
L6 – Endurance


Recommended Magic Items: 
Frost Dagger +6
Shielding Blade Dagger +5
Cloak of Distortion +6
Starleather Armor of Dark Deeds +6
Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
Eye of Awareness (epic tier)
Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier)
Ring of Free Time (epic tier)
Gloves of Ice (epic tier)
Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (epic tier)



As an interesting variant, if we took Revenant (Dragonborn) as our race, we trade a point of Str mod for combo with Raam's Maw Practice + Draconic Arrogance: Piercing Strike now adds a push, and we ending up hitting vs Reflex for [W]+Statics+2xStr+2xDex mod at will.

Lv 30 Rogue/Shock Trooper/Destined Scion - DPR Variant

Race: Revenant (Dragonborn)
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Weapon Talent: Rogue Weapon Talent
Multiclass: Fighter
Paragon Path: Shock Trooper
Epic Destiny: Destined Scion


Ability Scores:
L1 – Str 16, Con 13, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L4 – Str 17, Con 13, Dex 19, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L8 – Str 18, Con 13, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L11 – Str 19, Con 14, Dex 21, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L14 – Str 20, Con 14, Dex 22, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L18 – Str 21, Con 14, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L21 – Str 24, Con 15, Dex 26, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12
L24 – Str 25, Con 15, Dex 27, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12
L28 – Str 26, Con 15, Dex 28, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12


Feats:
L1: Backstabber
L2: Light Blade Expertise
L4: Nimble Blade
L6: Battle Awareness
L8: Raam's Maw Practice
L10: Wintertouched
L11: Icy Heart
L12: Lasting Frost
L14: Draconic Arrogance
L16: Improved Defenses
L18: Improved Initiative
L20: Skill Power
L21: Brutal Advantage
L21: Light Blade Mastery (Replaces Improved Initiative)
L22: Superior Will
L22: Martial Mastery (Replaces Skill Power)
L24: Superior Initiative
L26: Epic Will
L28: Skill Power
L30: Resilient Focus


At-Will Powers:
L1 – Acrobatic Strike
L1 – Piercing Strike

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Dazing Strike
L3 – Low Slash
L7 – Startling Offensive
L11 – Shocking Twister
L13 – Darting Strike (replaces Dazing Strike)
L17 – Tumbling Strike (replaces Darting Strike)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Press the Advantage
L5 – Bloodbath
L9 – Knockout
L15 – Profit from Weakness (replaces Bloodbath)
L20 – Shocking Skewer
L29 – Kiss of Death (replaces Press the Advantage)

Utility Powers:
L2 – Sneak in the Attack
L6 – Ignoble Escape
L10 – Acrobat's Escape
L12 – Assault Footwork
L16 – Leaping Dodge
L22 – Slip From the Grasp

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Athletics
L1 – Insight
L1 – Perception
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery
L6 – Endurance


Recommended Magic Items: 
Frost Dagger +6
Shielding Blade Dagger +5
Cloak of Distortion +6
Starleather Armor of Dark Deeds +6
Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
Eye of Awareness (epic tier)
Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier)
Ring of Free Time (epic tier)
Gloves of Ice (epic tier)
Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (epic tier)



The Charger
One of my favorites ways to play a rogue, you could very easily just adapt this off of a Str/Dex Half-Orc Shocktrooper build by picking up Surprising Charge along with the charge kit. Instead, however, I've elected to showcase something slightly different, a Warforged Juggernaut. In addition to some excellent DPR (vs Ref, 8d8+7d6+2xStr), this build has a daily nova that uses Hurricane of Blades on a charge, courtesy of Boots of the Mighty Charge.

Lv30 Rogue/Warforged Juggernaut/Reincarnate Champion
 

Race: Warforged
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Weapon Talent: Rogue Weapon Talent
Multiclass: Barbarian
Background: Gritty Sergeant
Paragon Path: Warforged Juggernaut
Epic Destiny: Reincarnate Champion (Pixie, Tiefling)


L1 – Str 18, Con 13, Dex 16, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L4 – Str 19, Con 13, Dex 17, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L8 – Str 20, Con 13, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L11 – Str 21, Con 14, Dex 19, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L14 – Str 22, Con 14, Dex 20, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L18 – Str 23, Con 14, Dex 21, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L21 – Str 24, Con 15, Dex 24, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12
L24 – Str 25, Con 15, Dex 25, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12
L28 – Str 26, Con 15, Dex 26, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12


Feats:
L1: Backstabber
L2: Light Blade Expertise
L4: Surprising Charge
L6: Nimble Blade
L8: Warforged Tactics
L10: Berserker's Fury
L11: Deft Blade
L12: Novice Power
L14: Weapon Focus
L16: Improved Defenses
L18: Skill Power
L20: Superior Will
L21: Brutal Advantage
L21: Streak of Light (Replaces Skill Power)
L22: Secrets of Belial
L24: Light Blade Mastery
L26: Epic Will
L28: Reserve Manuver
L30: Epic Resurgence


At-Will Powers:
L1 – Acrobatic Strike
L1 – Piercing Strike

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Dazing Strike
L3 – Low Slash
L7 – Startling Offensive
L11 – Ruinous Onslaught
L13 – Storm of Blades (replaces Dazing Strike)
L17 – Tumbling Strike (replaces Darting Strike)
L27 – Hurricane of Blades (replaces Storm of Blades)
L28 – Startling Offensive (replaces Ruinous Onslaught)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Press the Advantage
L5 – Bloodbath
L9 – Knockout
L15 – Profit from Weakness (replaces Bloodbath)
L20 – Crag of Steel
L29 – Kiss of Death (replaces Press the Advantage)

Utility Powers:
L2 – Agile Recovery
L6 – Ignoble Escape
L10 – Acrobat's Escape
L12 – Inexorable Momentum
L16 – Leaping Dodge
L22 – Invisible Stalker
L22 – Draw Their Eyes (replaces Acrobat's Escape)

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Athletics
L1 – Insight
L1 – Perception
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery
L10 – Endurance


Recommended Magic Items: 
Thundergod Rapier +6
Shielding Blade Dagger +5
Badge of the Berserker +6
Marauder's Starleather Armor +6
Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
Horned Helm (epic tier)
Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier)
Ring of Free Time (epic tier)
Gauntlets of Destruction (paragon tier)
Boots of the Mighty Charge (heroic tier)



Does your DM allow you to play Gnolls? Because you should take Gnoll as one of your reincarnate champion races, you can be even more hardcore. Check out my build stub for [Stahl Hunden] for some more highly optimized variants.

The Riposter
Riposte Strike catch-22s may be established in a number of ways, and this showcase build makes it really simple: by MC Cleric and then taking Tactical Warpriest. One key note about this build is that it uses Lightning/Mark of Storm/Deadly Draw as its CA-generator, which gives a slide 2 on all attacks so that either of the Riposte or the mark-punishment OA can outright negate attacks. Against enemies that teleport, it swaps to a feyslaughter weapon to stuff that mode of movement.


As a variant of this, doing a frost build instead of deadly draw (same feat costs) adds another +14 DPR, which will get you over the .5 KPR mark.


Lv 30 Rogue/Shock Trooper/Destined Scion

Race: Thri-Kreen
Rogue Tactics: Brutal Scoundrel
Weapon Talent: Rogue Weapon Talent
Multiclass: Cleric
Paragon Path: Tactical Warpriest
Epic Destiny: Destined Scion


Ability Scores:
L1 – Str 18, Con 11, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L4 – Str 19, Con 11, Dex 19, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L8 – Str 20, Con 11, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10
L11 – Str 21, Con 12, Dex 21, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L14 – Str 22, Con 12, Dex 22, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L18 – Str 23, Con 12, Dex 23, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11
L21 – Str 26, Con 13, Dex 26, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12
L24 – Str 27, Con 13, Dex 27, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12
L28 – Str 28, Con 13, Dex 28, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 12


Feats:
L1: Backstabber
L2: Light Blade Expertise
L4: Nimble Blade
L6: Initiate of the Faith
L8: Mark of Storm
L10: Deadly Draw
L11: Weapon Focus (Light Blade)
L12: Vigilante Justice Style
L14: Improved Defenses
L16: Superior Will
L18: Reserve Manuver
L20: Deft Blade
L21: Light Blade Mastery
L22: Superior Initiative
L24: Martial Mastery
L26: Epic Will
L28: Skill Power
L30: Resilient Focus


At-Will Powers:
L1 – Riposte Strike
L1 – Piercing Strike

Encounter Powers:
L1 – Dazing Strike
L3 – Low Slash
L7 – Startling Offensive
L11 – Battle Cry
L13 – Darting Strike (replaces Dazing Strike)
L17 – Tumbling Strike (replaces Darting Strike)
L18 – Darting Strike (replaces Battle Cry)

Daily Powers:
L1 – Press the Advantage
L5 – Bloodbath
L9 – Knockout
L15 – Bloody Path (replaces Bloodbath)
L20 – Battle Pyres
L29 – Kiss of Death (replaces Press the Advantage)

Utility Powers:
L2 – Sneak in the Attack
L6 – Ignoble Escape
L10 – Counter Step
L12 – Battle Favor
L16 – Slip From the Grasp
L22 – Indomitable Agility

Skills:
L1 – Acrobatics
L1 – Athletics
L1 – Insight
L1 – Perception
L1 – Stealth
L1 – Thievery
L6 – Religion 


Recommended Magic Items:
Forked Lightning Ki Focus +6
Cloak of Distortion +6
Starleather Armor of Dark Deeds +6
Diamond Cincture (paragon tier)
Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier)
Eberron Shard of Lightning (epic tier)
Feyslaughter Dagger +5
Shielding Blade Dagger +5
Rushing Cleats (heroic tier)


 

Not to nitpick - but there is a typo in the name of the old handbook - it's Dirty Deeds.

But good luck. 
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
Awesomeness!! Thanks a million for wanting to take this on! One problem you could run into is probably what LDB ran into: either make the database complete, with every ability and piece of equipment from every guide all rated from Gold to Red, or only including things rated Black or better. I'd imagine a Black or Better approach is usually preferable, or the equipment section alone is going to be colossal. The implication though, is that everything has been looked at and if it's not there it's either purple or red.


You've a typo in the name of the handbook. Han didn't shoot first - he shot.
On topic, I slightly disagree with the goal of the handbook. If this only helps a player build top end, encroaching on OP rogues, well congratulations, because you'll have spelled out what most Char Oppers already know how to do. If there isn't space dedicated to solidly built rogues, and beginners then you've created something useless to all of the people who actually need it.

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

Great! Thanks for the work, as someone who wants to play a Scoundrel, I highly appreciate the effort!
As with the other updated handbooks, I'm looking foreward to this one!
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
You've a typo in the name of the handbook. Han didn't shoot first - he shot.
On topic, I slightly disagree with the goal of the handbook. If this only helps a player build top end, encroaching on OP rogues, well congratulations, because you'll have spelled out what most Char Oppers already know how to do. If there isn't space dedicated to solidly built rogues, and beginners then you've created something useless to all of the people who actually need it.



Then the entire meme is typo'd...and I can't do much about that.

So here's my stance: on building a basic, solid rogue - its really not all that hard. You take all the sky-blue and blue powers in the handbook, you take Backstabber, Light Blade Expertise, Nimble Blade, Weapon Focus (or Silvery Glow/Icy Heart), Iron Armbands, and maybe go frost package, and you've basically met your striker benchmarks at each tier without even trying. The rest of it is purely tactics, knowing when to use what in the right situation - which I do plan on addressing as well.

But what we have there is a vanilla rogue, and that stopped being interesting to me, and presumably 85% of charop, about 2 years ago. It's not about building what's gamebreaking as it is builidng something that isn't merely 'within expectation'. Charop doesn't care about a frostcheese daggermaster. Charop cares about Daggermaster that pushes 5/slows/prones with a Piercing Strike/Raam's Maw/Hindering Shield/WSG combo. Charop cares about Heather, the Arena Champion Rogue. Charop cares about DPR king-tier chargers that do 5d8+2x Str at level 2, about builds that successfully elevate Riposte Strike above that of Twin Strike, and about hit-penalty imposers that knock an enemy for -8 to hit at-will every turn, because these are the things that make rogue optimization interesting rather than trivial.

In short, its not about serving the 'greater playerbase community', as it is about what value-added contributions I as a handbook writer can make to the comprehensive knowledgebase that already exists within the community. All of the examples I've noted above are there, just not well-documented in a handbook, and I feel like I'm serving the charop community, my intended audience, well by using this as a platform of knowledge-sharing and discussion about high-end rogue optimization and tactics.
When talking about Char Oppers do you mean the people who contribute, and have their own clever builds? Or are you talking about the the large number of forum members who just hang around and read? Because those two sets have very different skill sets. Both are interested in the complex, high end builds you speak of, but the latter only becomes the former if they know how to build a good Rogue to begin with.

Threads like this only exist because people see crazy, off the wall builds like Heather, and think they can make something similar without knowing the basics of optimization (or the game).
I'm not saying don't cater to the Char Oppers who are already good at the game. But if you focus on just them then you don't have a handbook, you have a build collection. And then where do you point new posters? Not to your handbook, because it doesn't give them baseline information. So we end up needing a second Rogue handbook.

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

Would it make it easier if I said that its not really going to be lacking anything that LDB didn't already cover, but also include commentary that gives tribute to specific build combinations?

In short, I wouldn't knock the book until you see most of how the content is laid out. I think I'm being perfectly fair here.

Also, I imagine most people here are actually going to be pleased to see optimization content well and above the the core content laid out by its predecessor. I mean, I could literally copypasta the old handbook, add a themes section, update like 2 feats, and be done with - but that doesn't even begin to to scratch the depth of knowledge about chargers, riposte strike-loops, hit-penalization, and style-feat augmentation that I know charop is capable of.
When talking about Char Oppers do you mean the people who contribute, and have their own clever builds? Or are you talking about the the large number of forum members who just hang around and read? Because those two sets have very different skill sets. Both are interested in the complex, high end builds you speak of, but the latter only becomes the former if they know how to build a good Rogue to begin with.

Threads like this only exist because people see crazy, off the wall builds like Heather, and think they can make something similar without knowing the basics of optimization (or the game).
I'm not saying don't cater to the Char Oppers who are already good at the game. But if you focus on just them then you don't have a handbook, you have a build collection. And then where do you point new posters? Not to your handbook, because it doesn't give them baseline information. So we end up needing a second Rogue handbook.



You're approaching this from the wrong position. People like Bajatmerc post stupid stuff because handbooks tend to teach you what things are best to pick, but not how to make good use of them and why. People don't think about how to use Nusemnee's Atonement for a masochism loop until you show them that it can work, because non-optimizer brains are simply not yet wired to think that way. People don't realize you can use Bloodfury Gauntlet Axes to beef up a Battlecrazed Weapon because the notion of non-slot weapons is alien to them. A good handbook will, while pointing out all the CharOp tricks available to a class, make little fireworks pop behind a newbie's eyes, because he'll be enlightened by possibilities he had previously failed to consider. This is, I believe, what RenZhe is aiming for - to educate the silent majority of lurkers about the true dirty deeds a Rogue is capable of, and in the process foster high-op discussion. And I think it's a good goal, honestly.

---

On another note: the Han pic currently breaks formatting, RenZhe. Can you shrink it just a little bit? It's a really good picture, just needs some downscaling.

PS: Good luck with this. Don't feel afraid to re-rate stuff LDB got to, too. I think your readings are on-point enough to catch some things he missed, as he didn't much care for Rogues.
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).
This is, I believe, what RenZhe is aiming for - to educate the silent majority of lurkers about the true dirty deeds a Rogue is capable of, and in the process foster high-op discussion. And I think it's a good goal, honestly.


That, is indeed a good goal. I did not read that as RenZhe's intention at first, and I wanted to make sure the lurkers didn't get left behind.

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

A good handbook will, while pointing out all the CharOp tricks available to a class, make little fireworks pop behind a newbie's eyes, because he'll be enlightened by possibilities he had previously failed to consider. This is, I believe, what RenZhe is aiming for - to educate the silent majority of lurkers about the true dirty deeds a Rogue is capable of, and in the process foster high-op discussion. And I think it's a good goal, honestly.



I, as a long-time lurker, can agree that handbooks tend to make me go "wow, I didn't think of this that way!" on a regular basis. So knowing that this handbooks focuses even more on us 'noobs' makes me look forward to it that much more.
@Armisael

Thanks for the cover, bro. I couldn't have worded that better than you have. Also, I've updated the picture, is that any better for you?

@MMPech:

Thank you, I look forward to helping further your understanding of this class in as many ways as possible. Please don't be shy in giving criticism on places where you might disagree or find unhelpful - I fully expect disagreements and discussions to arise over topics, because that's how everyone ends up learning something.

Quick update:  

Themes and backgrounds are now up, which is really one of the bigger updates we needed. Backgrounds are as you'd likely expect. Themes...I suspect we have much to discuss. Have at it, charop!
Minor correction, LDB's handbook was "Dirty Deeds...Done Dirt Cheap", after the song/album of the same name.
I was so sure I fixed that until I realized I needed to fix that more betterer.
@MMPech

Agreed. I didn't have an account 'till last week.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
I dunno how I should feel about the fact that there have been more total comments about Han Solo than there are about the actual state of the guide.

Touched up the races section just a tad, most noticably adding the races from HotFW (I don't recall anything new from Elemental Chaos or BoVD). A couple of particularly optimization-rich races (Dragonborn, Dwarf/Mul, Warforged) got a small bump, while the Shade gets dropped to a full red - healing surge management is a rarely addressed issue in handbooks, and for a class as fragile as the rogue, its a particularly significant problem. A race that's down a healing surge is simply not an acceptable option for this class under any circumstance.
So far it seems good, but you haven't talked much about powers and thats where most of the discussion takes place.  Or you have and I'm just more tired than I thought.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
So far it seems good, but you haven't talked much about powers and thats where most of the discussion takes place.  Or you have and I'm just more tired than I thought.



Haven't gotten around to it because that's the part that's more or less already done (no new powers have been published since LDB's guide was previously updated), and the powers aren't going to deviate that much from the norm because you're probably still picking Low Slash at E3 and Tumbling Strike at E17.

The real value-added content comes from delving into the at-wills and their augmentation feats, which I plan to set up in similar fashion to the Cleric or Paladin handbooks with their domain feats...I'll get to it soon-ish this week.
Pixie handbook,
revenant handbook
stealth handbook.

Also might want to mention how awsome cunning sneaks are for hybriding

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.

And, especially, how awesome hybrid pixie cunning sneaks are.  Pixie warlock|rogue/assassin gets perma-stealth, now beats tremorsense!
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

Rendar 2.0, level 20
Revenant, Rogue (Scoundrel), Champion of the Vigil
Rogue Tactics Option: Cunning Sneak
Rogue Option: Scoundrel Weapon Talent
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf
Proficiency: Weapon Proficiency (Rapier)
Spellscarred, Circle of Smoke and Whispers
Gritty Sergeant (Gritty Sergeant Benefit)
Theme: Yakuza

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 13, DEX 23, INT 13, WIS 9, CHA 23

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 12, DEX 16, INT 12, WIS 8, CHA 16


AC: 35 Fort: 27 Ref: 32 Will: 30
HP: 120 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 30

TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +21, Arcana +16, Athletics +15, Bluff +21, Intimidate +23, Stealth +25, Thievery +21

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +16, Dungeoneering +9, Endurance +13, Heal +9, History +11, Insight +9, Nature +9, Perception +9, Religion +11, Streetwise +18

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Yakuza Utility: Ruthless Demonstration
Revenant Utility: Dark Reaping
Rogue Attack 1: Gloaming Cut
Rogue Attack 1: Acrobatic Strike
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Yakuza Utility 2: Life's Losing Hand
Rogue Attack 3: Low Slash
Rogue Attack 5: Bloodbath
Rogue Attack 7: Snap Shot
Rogue Attack 9: Knockout
Stealth Utility 10: Persistent Tail
Champion of the Vigil Attack 11: Remain Elusive
Champion of the Vigil Utility 12: Remain Unflinching
Rogue Utility 16: Slip from the Grasp
Rogue Attack 17: Tumbling Strike
Rogue Attack 19: Feinting Flurry
Champion of the Vigil Attack 20: Remain Vigilant

FEATS
Level 1: Half-Elf Soul
Level 2: Arcane Prodigy
Level 4: Backstabber
Level 6: Improved Cunning Sneak
Level 8: Surprising Charge
Level 10: White Lotus Evasion
Level 11: Versatile Master
Level 12: Risky Shift
Level 14: White Lotus Master Evasion
Level 16: Light Blade Expertise
Level 18: Icy Heart
Level 20: Lasting Frost

ITEMS
Sehanine's Mark of the Dark Moon (level 23)
Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (paragon tier)
Gloves of Ice (paragon tier) x1
Phantom Chaussures x1
Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) x1
Horned Helm (paragon tier) x1
Elven Chain Shirt (paragon tier)
Horreb Ritual Cube
Diamond Cincture (paragon tier) x1
Assassin's Cloak +4 x1
Blending Leather Armor +4 x1
Frost Brand Rapier +4 x1
Frost Dagger +4 x1
Ring of Giants x1
====== End ======



So Kulkor became no more; I am taking advantage of generous LFR retraining rules to make my Thief into a Scoundrel.  Plan is to grab Two Weapon Flurry at 21 (retraining Icy Heart to TWF), retaking Icy Heart at 22, Quickened Spellcasting (Eldritch Strike) at 24, and Two Weapon Opening at 26.  28 is probably Ghostly Vitality, and I have no clue about 30.


Anyway have any good ED suggestions?  The build is perma-hidden due to using White Lotus Master Evasion after an Eldritch Strike to shift 2 via Risky Shift and re-hide, so defenses are somewhat meaningless.



Anyway have any good ED suggestions?  The build is perma-hidden due to using White Lotus Master Evasion after an Eldritch Strike to shift 2 via Risky Shift and re-hide, so defenses are somewhat meaningless.

Do you hit on a 2?

No: Destined Scion (+2 to hit).
Yes: Harbringer of Doom (reroll 1's)

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.

Revenant? Arcane? Go Avangion. Ok, now fly one square directly over your enemy, permahidden, trumping tremorsense. Put that nasty Yakuza benefit to good use!

Brilliant build, btw. This is making it into the guide. The only three pieces I'd add are:

1. Arcane Admix Frost into Eldritch Strike - this frees up your frost rapier for Vanguard/Thundergod or Footpad's Friend. Keep your frost dagger for Low Slash/Tumbling Strike.
2. Retrain Risky Shift for Long Shift at epic.
3. I'd MC Binder as your arcane source. Check out some of their "when you kill someone" utilities that you could be getting once/enc, and tell me you wouldn't take that over a vanilla 6 damage.
Oh, or the one that let's you MBA as a minor on a miss.  Not sure of the pre-reqs, but that could be some heafty damage if you use the revenants minor action cheeze.

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.

You're thinking of Star-Favored Champion, but that involves you missing with an encounter power, which is 1. Not all that likely, and 2. only makes you back about 1-2 minor action attacks. The stat bump is irrelevant, and the 24F...can you actively choose not to spend a surge and heal up on a 20 DST? Because if not, that actively hinders sub-zero fighting.

Basically, by taking that ED, you trade a cut of potential accuracy (or the opportunity cost thereof) for 1-2 extra minor action attacks. That build will have 4 minor action attacks by epic, so I'm not entirely convinced if that's really justified.


Another possible consideration: Sage of Ages. Ignore everything else but the (effective) d20 reroll every turn, that makes it way good already on an expanded crit-range TWO frostfisher.
Oh, or the one that let's you MBA as a minor on a miss.  Not sure of the pre-reqs, but that could be some heafty damage if you use the revenants minor action cheeze.



This is, however, a pretty damn interesting build stub for a miss-cheese concept. Remember back when Nasty Backswing (E3, Free Action Attack, Reliable, triggered on a miss) used to be the cornerstone for a 'sucking' build?

Core pieces:
Star Favored Champion. Non-dex build with a good MBA, nonproficient nonenchanted offhand light blade.

Optional pieces:
Feat that lets you take additional actions after a charge, melee training on your dump stat (int?).
Revenant action-economy extravaganza.

1. You miss with a rogue at-will that sources dex/charge with an MBA using your dump stat.
2. You trigger Nasty Backswing. It also misses. The power recycles due to Reliable keyword.
3. You just missed with an encounter power. Have fun.
You're thinking of Star-Favored Champion, but that involves you missing with an encounter power, which is 1. Not all that likely, and 2. only makes you back about 1-2 minor action attacks. The stat bump is irrelevant, and the 24F...can you actively choose not to spend a surge and heal up on a 20 DST? Because if not, that actively hinders sub-zero fighting.

Basically, by taking that ED, you trade a cut of potential accuracy (or the opportunity cost thereof) for 1-2 extra minor action attacks. That build will have 4 minor action attacks by epic, so I'm not entirely convinced if that's really justified.


Another possible consideration: Sage of Ages. Ignore everything else but the (effective) d20 reroll every turn, that makes it way good already on an expanded crit-range TWO frostfisher.

1) You miss on purpose (with a reliable enounter power, cost a few feats).
2) Revenant can get extra actions.  1 standard, 2 moves, 3 minors + a ring of free time = 5 attacks per round.

Though it's quite cheezy and likely to be errated/DM'd away.  Which is probably the biggest reason not to.  Also a 1 trick pony, which is a bit boring.


Yes, you can choose not to surge.


Sage is a good choice too.  You could probably still use trick of knowlage to get something.

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.

Revenant can get extra actions.  1 standard, 2 moves, 3 minors + a ring of free time = 5 attacks per round.

Though it's quite cheezy and likely to be errated/DM'd away.  Which is probably the biggest reason not to.  Also a 1 trick pony, which is a bit boring.



In guides, I generally find it helpful to normal players (i.e., lurkers) to mention when things are extremely cheezy and likely to be errated/DM'd away (e.g., pre-errata KAM or unkillable revenant with 6 actions), or has a variant interpretation that may change their usefulness (e.g., paragon multiclassing)

I know players get upset when they take theoretically opted builds and then have DMs use a variant interpretation of the RAW (there are a lot more than people on these boards frequently admit) or simply houserule them away (which is common with much of the extremely cheezy options).

Mentionning these things generally helps bad situations from starting, as it encourages DM and player interaction before showing up at the table. 





Save some race space for the next book out, it comes out in May.  It adds kobolds, goblins, and svirfneblin(deep gnomes to the uninitiated) as book races rather than MM races.  Personally I think we will see shifty rogues everywhere.
I'm honestly wondering at this point if it makes more sense for the race section to be organized the way the Monk Handbook does it - ie, only the ones that are remotely good enough to care about.
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