Swamp Thing: Earthforger Lifespirit Warden/Verdant Lord/Reincarnate Champion

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Swamp Thing defends by creating massive amounts of party friendly difficult terrain and pulling his enemies into it.  Enemies will be slowed or immobilized much of the time on top of that and he uses World Serpent's Grasp and several other powers that prone as well.  He's a warden that takes several feats and powers to boost his toughness and defenses for once enemies are stuck next to him. 


I will put it through the CB later on, but it works fine as is.

Thri Kreen
Life Spirit (or wildblood) Warden (mc monk)
Verdant Lord
Reincarnate Champion

Starting stats 18 11 15 8 16 10 
Final Stats 28 13 17 10 24 12
Level 21 Past Life: Dwarf
Level 24 Past Life: Githzerai 

Background: something with a nature or perception bonus.

Trained Skills: Athletics, Perception, Heal, Nature, Dungeouneering

1 Thorn Strike
1 Weight of the Earth
1 Hungry Earth
1 Form of Winters Herald
2 Erupting Font
3 Strongskin Clash
5 Rampant Forest
6 Soothing Wind (retrained at 21 for natural Terrain Understanding)
7 Sheltering Storm
9 Form of the Oak Sentinel
10 Tremor Step 

13 Drown in Mud
15 Form Of the Avalanche Unleashed
16 Cleansing Earth
17 Warden's Lure
19 Form of the Rowan Sentinel 

22 Renewal
23 Primal Rebuke
25 Form of the Entangling Spider
27 Screaming Wind Strike
29 Form of the Imperious Phoenix 

1 Light Blade Expertise
2 Monastic Disciple (eternal tide)
4 Mark of Finding
6 Terrain Advantage
8 World Serpents Grasp
10 Nimble Blade 

11 Improved Defenses
12 Sudden Roots
14 Eyes in the Back of Your Head
16 Opportunistic Withdrawal
18 LifeSpirit Healing (retrained to dwarven durability at 21) 
20 Shield Specialization (retrained to defensive advantage at 22) 

21 Primal Resurgence
22 Rapid Wild Defense
24 Zuoken’s Centering
26 Enduring Font
28 Strength Through Challenge
30 Superior Initative
Items not done yet: Rapier, Heavy Shield, Hide Armor are the base equipment.

Ways it generates difficult terrain (almost of all of which is party friendly): Hungry Earth, Form of Winter’s Herald, Stone Panoply (from level 5 on), Rampant Forest, Tremor Step, Awaken the Forest (won’t see much use since its standard action), Drown In Mud (only non-party friendly one), and at 11 every square adjacent to Swamp Thing is difficult terrain for enemies while in guardian form.

Ways Swamp Thing extends reach: action points extend reach for a round while in guardian form and several forms extend reach: Form of the Oak Sentinel, Form of the Rowan Sentinel, and Form of the Verdant lord.  Both Thorn Strike and flurry of blows have reach 2 by default, but can get to 4 with action point while in certain guardian forms (on second reading, not sure those two powers get extended since they have specific reaches already).

It has an at will that pulls and an encounter power in Eternal Tide Flurry of Blows that pulls and potentially slows multiple enemies 2 squares away from you (even farther depending on if you spent an action point in paragon and what guardian form you have going).  Has Warden’s Lure as well at 17 for some more encounter pulling.

Has CA much of the time in heroic with Terrain Advantage and practically constant CA against adjacent enemies in paragon and epic.  Ways it takes advantage of this: Mark of finding lets you shift after anyone that tries to shift away while you have CA, Nimble blade is an extra +1 to hit,  defensive advantage is a boost of 2 to ac in epic, and opportunistic withdrawl makes you not worry about OAs.  Eyes in the back of his head means even though he will be surrounded most of the time, he won't be granting CA from it.

Race is tough since for a couple of feats you need a starting 15 dex, but goliath, thrikreen, half orc, snefrneblin, or shifter would all work ok.  Githzerai works too if you don’t mind a starting 18 10 15 8 15 10 stat spread and that lets you take Zuokens Centering in paragon instead of in epic, which is an additional 4-6 surges and hit points depending on your level. 

You could switch out lifespirit with the equivalent wildblood and some wildblood powers, but the lifespirit works decently here since several of them help him handle the stickyness well and he won't be second winding much until epic.  He doesn't have any Guardian Might specfic feats except for lifespirit healing which he retrains out of fairly quickly.

Theme is earthforger since it has an encounter power that grants DR and generates difficult terrain starting at level 5 and the level 10 utility Tremor Step generates difficult terrian in an aura 2 and generates temp hitpoints.  Its other features makes second wind better and reduces forced movement.

Not much picked out for items so far, but looking for a few that let me avoid difficult terrain or give out things like forest walk since that fits the theme.  Needs a rapier, preferably one like a scorpion tail blade, vitality drinking weapon, tresspasser’s bane, frost, or something similar.  Battle standard of the tides would fit as well.

Reserved for later level by level breakdown.

Here is a level 7 version I ran through a lair assault a few days ago.  Didn't work out so well, but the build was fine.

lairassault variant

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Cha tik tik, level 7
Thri-Kreen, Warden
Build: Life Warden
Guardian Might Option: Lifespirit
Wild Hunter (+2 to Nature)
Theme: Ironwrought
STR 20, CON 10, DEX 16, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 10
STR 17, CON 10, DEX 14, INT 10, WIS 13, CHA 10
AC: 23 Fort: 21 Ref: 20 Will: 18
HP: 69 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 17
Athletics +13, Endurance +6, Nature +14, Perception +10
Acrobatics +4, Arcana +3, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering +5, Heal +5, History +3, Insight +5, Intimidate +3, Religion +3, Stealth +3, Streetwise +3, Thievery +3
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Ironwrought Attack: Inevitable Strike
Thri-Kreen Racial Power: Thri-kreen Claws
Warden Feature: Warden's Fury
Warden Feature: Warden's Grasp
Warden Attack 1: Thorn Strike
Warden Attack 1: Weight of Earth
Warden Attack 1: Warden's Sacrifice
Warden Attack 1: Form of Winter's Herald
Endurance Utility 2: Inspiring Fortitude
Warden Attack 3: Strongskin Clash
Warden Attack 5: Wellspring Strike
Warden Utility 6: Earthguard
Warden Attack 7: Sheltering Storm
Level 1: Light Blade Expertise
Level 2: World Serpent's Grasp
Level 4: Nimble Blade
Level 6: Terrain Advantage
Frost Brand Rapier +2 x1
Amulet of Physical Resolve +2 x1
Magic Hide Armor +2 x1
Adventurer's Kit
Gloves of Piercing x1
Acrobat Boots x1
Potion of Cure Light Wounds
Potion of Clarity (level 5)
Shield of Deflection Heavy Shield (heroic tier) x1
====== End ======
I just put 'Forest Walk' through the Compendium. There are three ways you can get it.

1. Forest Walk Feat. 11th level, trained in Nature. You ignore difficult terrain in encounter areas where the difficult terrain is the result of trees, underbrush, plants, or natural growth. Doesn't allow you to ignore difficult or challenging terrain. Considering you have your Feats all filled, I don't think this is the route you'll go, but I mention it because it is an option.

2. Boots of the Dryad. Level 5+ Uncommon Feet Slot item. Property gives Forest Walk, and has a daily that lets you teleport to a square adjacent to a tree, treant, or plant of your size or larger.

3. Silver Hart Clasp. Level 9+ Uncommon Neck Slot item. Properties give Forest Walk and a bonus to Stealth checks while in forests. Daily Utility Power allows you to spend a surge and end a poison effect currently affecting you (no save).

Personally, I think the Silver Hart clasp provides the best bang for your buck, but it's not available until mid-to-late Heroic.
Level 5 feature on the Outlaw theme lets you choose forests.  Can't be tracked, ignore difficult terrain.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
Candle + shadow strider?
I had the Silver hart clasp written down as my prefered neck slot item.

Outlaw theme isn't bad for this build, since it gives forest walk and has the nice dazing power for CA granting enemies.  But Earthforged gives a lot: bonus to defenses after second winding, good close burst power that gives DR and creates difficult terrain, the negating forced movement at 10, and the level 10 utiltiy power.  Plus the flavor is perfect making it an elemental and giving it primordial language.

I am going to run a heroic tier variant of this build through a lair assault tomorrow night.  It will have Form of winters herald so I don't need all the other difficult terrain stuff for just one encounter.  So it has wellspring strike at level 5 and ironwrought for the theme along with some other power tweaks which will make it tougher.  It will have light blade expertise, nimble blade, terrain advantage and worldserpents grasp as the first 4 feets.
Just tried plugging everything into the builder for you, but ran into problems at Level 13+, as I don't know what you retrain out at each level. Also, you can't take Mythic Senses, as that feat is for Minotaurs, and you are Thri-Kreen/Dwarf/Githzerai. Unless, of course, there's something I'm missing, which is possible.
My bad.  He gets every races powers at level 30, but won't count as a minotaur for feat prereqs.  I can put in superior initiative or something else instead.

I am planning for now to retrain out powers each chance I get I think.  I might retrain out rampant forest instead of form of winter's herald at 15, but that is the only one I wouldn't do in order probably.  Hopefully I will get to put it through the builder later on this week.
Overall, I like the build. I just wish it wasn't so DEX-dependant, as I'd love to make use of some of the stuff on my Dwarf Warden.
A starting dex of 12 would get you monastic disciple at paragon.  I really think that is a good multiclass for wardens with Eternal Tide, since its damaging, pulling and potentially slowing 1-3 enemies in melee 2 without having to actually hit the targets.  If I wasn't doing monk multiclass I think I would have done spiked chain training and maybe resilience of life as the second at will.

Nimble blade takes a 15 dex and defensive advantage takes 17 dex and those are the tricky ones for most wardens.  Those two are nice, but not essential.
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