Questions to better my Battlemind

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I am somewhat of a newbie to D&D (meaning I had never played until I started this campaign, roughly 7-8 months ago). I just wanted to get some more experienced players ideas/advice on the best way to play my Dragonborn Battlemind. here is an overview of my char.

It seems like I never get the oprotunity to use Mind Spike, but I am almost always drawing the fire from Melee monsters and a lot of range. I know I am not built to deal out mass amounts of damage, but I feel like I am somewhat lacking in assisting my party in taking down enemies. Also, since Im so high in CON, my Melee basic attack is terrible for attack of opprotunities, any suggestions on how to fix that? Also, I feel like I dont protect/defend well against area attacks. Is there some way to be better at this?

Like I said, Im fairly new to D&D and very very new to the forums (this is post 4), so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Ok, so my picture of my char. overview didnt work out.. Here is the basics in plain text..

Level 6 Dragonborn Battlemind. Wild Focus psionic study. I have dragons breath.
Final ability scores: Str 10, Con 19, Dex 12, Int 9, wis 14, Cha 17
Starting: str 10, con 16, Dex 12, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 14

AC: 24, Fort: 19, Ref:18, Will: 20
HP: 64, surges: 13, Value: 20
trained in athletics +6, Diplomacy +11, Intimidate +13 (I love to role play my guy, so i wanted high mods on diplomacy to talk to NPCs and such)

POWERS:
Wilder feature: psychic surge
Battlemind Demand
Blurred Step
Mind SPike
Wild Focus
Valiant Strike (paladin at-will, never use it because its used with Str. Bonus from amgic armor)
lvl 1: conductive defense
lvl 1: concussive spike
lvl 1: Living fortress
lvl 2 utility: psionic vigor
lvl 3: spectral legion
lvl 5: empathic feedback
lvl 6 utility: winged weapon

feats: master at arms, hurl breath (dragon breath now burst 2 within 10), Powerful breath (dragon breath uses Con now), Improved Defenses

Items: Heavy shield, +1 magic warhammer (as basic one as you can get), Scale armor with Invulnerable coat of arnd.
This is something that really comes down to how your DM plays. Mind Spike is a punishment mechanic when enemies go after your less tanky friends, but sometimes DMs play into the MMO mindset and will be like, "whelp, they all have to hit the battlemind, since he's the defender". If melee enemies never seem to go after the strikers, controllers, & leaders (especially really squishy ranged guys on your team) then maybe talk to your DM and ask why enemies would focus on you to their detriment when there are softer targets.

As to the low punishment damage, you can take Melee training (constitution) which will make the to hit bonus of your con and you get half your con mod in +damage to the attack.  Its not as good as having high strength but its better than what you've got now.
This is something that really comes down to how your DM plays. Mind Spike is a punishment mechanic when enemies go after your less tanky friends, but sometimes DMs play into the MMO mindset and will be like, "whelp, they all have to hit the battlemind, since he's the defender". If melee enemies never seem to go after the strikers, controllers, & leaders (especially really squishy ranged guys on your team) then maybe talk to your DM and ask why enemies would focus on you to their detriment when there are softer targets.

As to the low punishment damage, you can take Melee training (constitution) which will make the to hit bonus of your con and you get half your con mod in +damage to the attack.  Its not as good as having high strength but its better than what you've got now.



Thanks! Ive looked into melee training and think that would be the most useful feat for me next. I rarely ever hit on an AoO right now because my to hit bonus is so low. Also, any suggestions on how to protect allies/keep enemies from using burst or area attacks?
Quick tip: starting ability score isn't your base score, but the total after racial bonuses at lvl 1 (had me confused for a bit there).

You also don't seem to have an expertise feat. You could take bludgeon expertise +1 to hit and attacks that push enemies push them 1 square farther.

Powers wise one option is to retrain your lvl 1 daily to psionic anchor. You'd have to make an attack (the effect still happens on a miss) on them first but it lets you teleport them next to you on their turn as a free action (save ends).  Thats not super useful overall though since its a daily.

The LVL 3 at will harrier's dance lets you teleport when you get hit by ranged attacks which would let you get close to them and mark them.  Momentum swing would let you move after hitting someone to get next to someone else for much the same purpose.

LVL6 utility Psionic ambush lets you teleport next to any creature marked by you and gives you CA against it (again setting you up to hit the ranged guy). Winged Weapon lets you make your normal melee weapon attack ranged 10 for one attack which is a great way to mark someone ranged as well.

Overall though, defender punishment doesn't really work against ranged or AoE attacks. Even your battlemind with his cool powers won't get to make punishments against them most of the time. Your strikers should be focusing on any powerful leaders, controllers, and/or artillery team monster is packing and then help you cleanup the brutes and the soldiers afterward.


Awesome! thanks for all the advice. Another question if you dont mind.. each member of our party gets the same xp after fights (Im assuming this is normal), so we are all about half-way to leveling up from 6 to 7. From reading some stuff on battleminds, It seems like everyone says if you dont take the Lightning Rush at will power, youre stupid. Ive seen/read the power and it sounds really cool, minus the fact that I dont get a normal standard action my next turn (unless i use 2 augment points on it). Would you say that this power is all it is cracked up to be? what other powers at level 7 are good? And also, can i not use lightning rush if i am slowed or immobilized? or does the "move to the triggering enemy and attack them" supercede the effect hindering my movement?
The XP distribution you mentioned is what most people use. Its tough to weigh who contributes more in a battle since roles all do very different and specific things (defenders soak up hits and punish/distract, strikers deal lots of damage, controllers have lots of AoE for minions and play chess with everyone, and leaders make everyone better at their role).

In general let me suggest the more up to date battlemind charop guide.

My opinion on lvl 7 is: Lightning rush is definitely cool and if you augment 2 its about at the level of an encounter power. This would help you out with punishing enemies futher away (especially since the attack can target you as well if its an AoE). Slowed and immobilized would still affect (if it was teleport then it wouldnt) so if you are getting locked down in that way then its unuseable.

I'd really consider Forceful Reversal instead though since you gave me the impression that your DM has melee attackers forcus on you. With augment 1 you get to still take a normal turn after it (1 cheaper than the augment 2 for lightning rush) and if you do augment 2 you do just about as much damage as lightning rush but also get to prone the enemy in question.
just looked up forceful reversal. seems like it is essentially the same thing as lightning rush, except its for a creature targeting me rather than a creature targeting a friend.

Melee attackers are fairly spread out between the heroes with the exception of enemies I have marked or if i roll to intimidate certain enemies. I do like the augment 2 on lightning rush where i can make the triggering attack be against me instead of my ally though.

I know you said that there was a feat i could get to add a +1 to my forced movement attacks.. Do you know by chance if there is a feat or anything that would let me knock an enemy prone after forced movement? I love using concussive spike against enemies, soley for the fact that i can push every other enemy in the burst up to 3 (maybe 4, cant remember) squares, which typically gets them away from adjacent from my allies.

I also noticed that when i level up to seven, i dont gain an at-will, but replace one of my older at wills. Any suggestion on which attack i should get rid of?

ps, do you play a battlemind? or just very familiar with them?
Right now I have a lvl 7 human avenger and Lvl 3 human knight that I'm playing in two different campaigns. I am familar however because I almost played a battlemind instead of a knight for encounters (and thus really researched into it) and as I mentioned before one of my friends plays a battlemind in the lvl 7 campaign.  In general though I like creating and optimizing characters for a particular task. for example, My avenger was and is as much of an offtank as he is a dpr striker since when the party started we didn't have a defender and now I go for attacks that have some minor controller aspects since we don't have a dedicated controller either.

I'd lose conductive shield especially if you are going with Lightning rush over Forceful Reversal.

Featwise I know World Serpent's Grasp knocks enemies that are slowed or immbolized prone when you hit them which could be useful if other members in your party pass out these effects but you on your own wouldn't seem to benefit from it (vs. a knight who can slow with one of his lvl 1 at wills). There doesn't seem to be a general forced movement = prone feat that would fit your battlemind though. All of them are either class specific, attack specific, or weapon specific towards classes, attack powers (a lot of racial ones) or weapons you don't have.
awesome! thanks for all the insight. I really appreciate it. The thing i like about conductive defense is the fact that it targets reflex instead of will, so I have an attack that goes after reflex or AC. But overall that would probably be the best to get rid of. my other at will makes the target grant combat advantage to my other allies who are adjacent to it, which will come in handy with my party having an assassin.

I did some research and found a magical heavy shield that has a daily power that makes me the sole target of an area attack, no matter who else is in the affected zone, and the attack takes a -4 to the roll. So not particularly stellar against area attacks, but if used at the proper moment could be pretty effective.
I did some searching and asked some questions about lightning rush, and am having trouble seeing why everyone says its the best attack for me to get. I was under the impression that i could use it against every creature, but I can actually only use it once per round. What is the perks to this attack if i can only use it once per round? So im basically running across the battle-area, probably taking AoOs to go attack an enemy that is about to hit my ally, and all my attack does is damage (no mark, no forced movement, no conditions, etc) unless it is augmented. As Ive said, I am somewhat new to D&D, but am i missing something spectacular here?
Its not an amazing attack in itself compared to other lvl 7 powers that are once per encounter. Its cool because every single round you can act out of order and punish someone who's not next to you for attacking an ally. Additionally since you are the only defender who doesn't really punish on a shift away, its nice to have an extended punishment range.

I had suggested Forceful Reversal as another option though because blowing all your augment points on a low damage interrupt is kind of lame. It lets you act out of turn and it lets you act in turn at the same time for only 1 augment.

Your lvl 7 power isn't going to be as flashy as most other classes simply because its at at-will vs an encounter power but its draw and the draw of the battlemind is the ridiculous amount of at will options you get.
I did some searching and asked some questions about lightning rush, and am having trouble seeing why everyone says its the best attack for me to get. I was under the impression that i could use it against every creature, but I can actually only use it once per round. What is the perks to this attack if i can only use it once per round? So im basically running across the battle-area, probably taking AoOs to go attack an enemy that is about to hit my ally, and all my attack does is damage (no mark, no forced movement, no conditions, etc) unless it is augmented. As Ive said, I am somewhat new to D&D, but am i missing something spectacular here?



Your job as a defender is to reduce the amount of damage the party takes. This is done by encouraging the enemies to attack you instead of your squishy friends. And lightning rush is an amazing way to do this. Yes you will probably want to generally use the 2 augment option which is a little expensive at first (but it is one of the best uses of power points available) but it only gets cheaper as you get to higher level. It may not look so awesome at first, but let me explain some of the reasons why it is my favorite power in the game...

1) You can redirect the attack onto yourself (augment 2). Generally you have no control over who a monster hits. You can encourage them (with marks and mind spike) but if they decide to hit on your squishy wizard, you have no way of stopping it. With lightning rush you can force them to attack you. This by itself is pretty awesome.
2) You can use it before your first turn. Normally if an enemy acts before you do, you have no way of preventing them from attacking whoever they want (because you haven't gotten to mark yet). With lightning rush you can punish them (and/or redirect the attack) anyway. No other defender gets this.
3) You don't have to use it against a marked enemy. This can potentially allow you to maintain control/punishment over more mobs than you can mark. While you can only use one interrupt per round, the threat of mind spike and lightning rush can force bad decisions not only for your marked mobs but for your nearby enemies as well.
4) Punishment against area attacks. The trigger for lightning rush (unlike mark punishments) is NOT "an enemy makes an attack which doesn't include you as a target". The trigger is "an enemy targets one of your allies." Why is this important? It means you can use lightning rush against area attacks that include you (as long as they also include an ally of yours). One of the banes of most defenders is close blasts, since they hit everyone and they have no way to do anything about it. But with lightning rush, you do. And it gets better....
5) You can redirect blasts/burst. The rules aren't 100% clear on this but lets imagine that a monster uses a close blast 5 that would hit your entire party. That would normally suck. However, with augment 2 the monster must target you with the attack. Most DMs rule this means the monster must redirect the blast/burst to include you. With proper positioning (say you are on the opposite side of the monster from the rest of your party) you can make it so the attack only hits you instead of your entire party. Awesome.
6) You get to attack before they do. Lightning rush is an interrupt that triggers on targetting (which happens before the attack). This means you get to make your attack before they make theirs. Why is this important? The most obvious possibility is that if your attack kills the monster you have completely negated an attack. However, there are other awesome possibilities. Take feats/items/etc that allow you to push/slide a monster and suddenly you can push them out of range of their target (so their attack fails). Take something that allows you to debuff them on a hit and you can reduce the power of their attack by debuffing it before it goes off. 

Lightning rush has completely changed the way I play my battlemind. I basically don't use mind spike anymore. Really the only reason I might tell you not to take it is if your DM always attacks you anyway. In this case, take forceful reversal.
I did some searching and asked some questions about lightning rush, and am having trouble seeing why everyone says its the best attack for me to get. I was under the impression that i could use it against every creature, but I can actually only use it once per round. What is the perks to this attack if i can only use it once per round? So im basically running across the battle-area, probably taking AoOs to go attack an enemy that is about to hit my ally, and all my attack does is damage (no mark, no forced movement, no conditions, etc) unless it is augmented. As Ive said, I am somewhat new to D&D, but am i missing something spectacular here?



Your job as a defender is to reduce the amount of damage the party takes. This is done by encouraging the enemies to attack you instead of your squishy friends. And lightning rush is an amazing way to do this. Yes you will probably want to generally use the 2 augment option which is a little expensive at first (but it is one of the best uses of power points available) but it only gets cheaper as you get to higher level. It may not look so awesome at first, but let me explain some of the reasons why it is my favorite power in the game...

1) You can redirect the attack onto yourself (augment 2). Generally you have no control over who a monster hits. You can encourage them (with marks and mind spike) but if they decide to hit on your squishy wizard, you have no way of stopping it. With lightning rush you can force them to attack you. This by itself is pretty awesome.
2) You can use it before your first turn. Normally if an enemy acts before you do, you have no way of preventing them from attacking whoever they want (because you haven't gotten to mark yet). With lightning rush you can punish them (and/or redirect the attack) anyway. No other defender gets this.
3) You don't have to use it against a marked enemy. This can potentially allow you to maintain control/punishment over more mobs than you can mark. While you can only use one interrupt per round, the threat of mind spike and lightning rush can force bad decisions not only for your marked mobs but for your nearby enemies as well.
4) Punishment against area attacks. The trigger for lightning rush (unlike mark punishments) is NOT "an enemy makes an attack which doesn't include you as a target". The trigger is "an enemy targets one of your allies." Why is this important? It means you can use lightning rush against area attacks that include you (as long as they also include an ally of yours). One of the banes of most defenders is close blasts, since they hit everyone and they have no way to do anything about it. But with lightning rush, you do. And it gets better....
5) You can redirect blasts/burst. The rules aren't 100% clear on this but lets imagine that a monster uses a close blast 5 that would hit your entire party. That would normally suck. However, with augment 2 the monster must target you with the attack. Most DMs rule this means the monster must redirect the blast/burst to include you. With proper positioning (say you are on the opposite side of the monster from the rest of your party) you can make it so the attack only hits you instead of your entire party. Awesome.
6) You get to attack before they do. Lightning rush is an interrupt that triggers on targetting (which happens before the attack). This means you get to make your attack before they make theirs. Why is this important? The most obvious possibility is that if your attack kills the monster you have completely negated an attack. However, there are other awesome possibilities. Take feats/items/etc that allow you to push/slide a monster and suddenly you can push them out of range of their target (so their attack fails). Take something that allows you to debuff them on a hit and you can reduce the power of their attack by debuffing it before it goes off. 

Lightning rush has completely changed the way I play my battlemind. I basically don't use mind spike anymore. Really the only reason I might tell you not to take it is if your DM always attacks you anyway. In this case, take forceful reversal.




I just typed a full reply to this and it didnt post.. SMH.
Anyways, THanks for the info! It will be a tough decision for me, but i think it will be good because this decision can also take a part in my characters personality/motives.

A few things I'd like to run by you/get your opinion on if you dont mind..

#1. Lightning Rush seems like a completely awesome "I own all of you enemies and you will do as I wish!" type of attack... As long as it is double augmented. Without the double augment, they will still attack my ally most likely, and I miss out on my next standard action. As of right now, I only have 6 augment points. So thats using Lightning Rush 3 times to its max per encounter, and not putting augment points on any other attack. Is this fair to say/weigh when im chosing?

#2. The cleric of my party made a good point to me. He first off said basically what you have said, that Lightning Rush will ultimately help me punish enemies for going after my friends and encourage them to strike at me instead. However, my DM does like to through a bunch of attacks my way, primarily because Im always in front, my marks and Intimidating. With forceful reversal I can Interrupt and enemy attacking me, attack it first, then push it back. Obviously I would at least augment this power once so I could keep my standard next turn. But say an enemy moves his speed to get adjacent to me, attacks me, I use forceful reversal to immediately interrupt, strike him first (hopefully killing him before he can strike), and if i dont kill him, I can push him one square (or double augment pushes him CHA mod). Now since he has already moved to get to me and has already started his melee attack, if he is pushed and is now 1 square away, he is out of range to hit me with his melee attack (unless he has reach), correct? so ultimately this could save me from taking hits, which is taking damage. If i am taking less damage, the cleric can focus more on healing my other allies while I keep pushing the enemies attacking me out of range and striking them before I move them. Does this seem right to you?

Like I said, Lightning Rush is awesome with the double augment. It will help as a defender and ties into my characters personality (Ive always got my friends back. Role play or combat. And I always am willing to take the blows for them and kill anything that comes after them). Its just the thought of only being able to use it 3 times to its fullest potential, due to augment points, and not being bale to augment other attacks is a big sacrifice as well.
Yes, since its an interrupt it happens first and baring having a reach weapon he will be unable to hit you that turn.
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