Weak hybrids

79 posts / 0 new
Last post
I know that making a hybrid is more of a hit-or-miss kind of ordeal, but every hybrid I've made before has been horrible, making me ingnore the system all together and just multiclassing. I've looked at the guide for hybrids and it's gotten me wanting to make one again. Before I do though, I need something that can actually work. Does anyone have any combinations of classes that are really effective (perhaps to the point where it does it's job better than a parent class)?
The most effective hybrid at this point probably is Cleric with a striker that needs the scale proficiency and invisible large shield inherent in Battle Cleric's Lore. That's generally a Str-Wis Longtooth Shifter Cleric|Ranger or a Str-Cha Dragonborn Barbarian|Cleric. The Cleric|Ranger will outperform a pure melee Ranger until at least mid-Paragon. The Barbarian|Cleric is simply the best Thaneborn build possible.

Another potentially better than the original hybrid combines Executioner (and its liberal hybrid striker mechanics) with another striker. My favorite is a Str-Dex Executioner|Ranger with Throw and Stab (not Twin Strike!) and Midnight Blade Student. At level 1 your go-to standard action is:

+7 vs Reflex, 1d4. THEN move 6. THEN vs second target +7 vs Reflex, 1d8+1d8+1d6+4.   

Add Manticore's Fury and Hybrid Talent (Running Attack) as you level.   
I know that making a hybrid is more of a hit-or-miss kind of ordeal, but every hybrid I've made before has been horrible, making me ingnore the system all together and just multiclassing. I've looked at the guide for hybrids and it's gotten me wanting to make one again. Before I do though, I need something that can actually work. Does anyone have any combinations of classes that are really effective (perhaps to the point where it does it's job better than a parent class)?



I'd check the hybrid handbook in my sig...

There are lots of effective hybrids. There are 3 basic rules:
Have an effective AC. If this means spending the hybrid talent feat at 1st level to get that AC, spend it. If your hybrid would have light armor and no significant bonus from Dex/Int/some other stat, avoid that.
Have 18s in your primary stats unless you know better. Try to avoid having them in the same defense - i.e. avoid Cha/Wis as an example.
Make sure you satisfy any specific requirements of class features. An example of this is Fighter - because you don't mark with non-Fighter attacks, this can be really bad. But if you gain an option that lets you mark consistently, then it can be really great.
A Str/Cha barbarian|sorcerer also works well thanks to the "free" ability to use Strength to determine AC. When you use Hybrid Talent to gain the barbarian's proficiency with hide and scaling bonus to AC and Reflex when in light armor, you'll do as well as the cleric with regard to defenses, getting better by paragon.
A Str/Cha barbarian|sorcerer also works well thanks to the "free" ability to use Strength to determine AC. When you use Hybrid Talent to gain the barbarian's proficiency with hide and scaling bonus to AC and Reflex when in light armor, you'll do as well as the cleric with regard to defenses, getting better by paragon.

I must disagree. Barbarian|Sorcerer leaves no opportunity to purchase Hybrid Talent (Feral Might). Thaneborn Triumph, Roar of Triumph, and the often outrageous Thaneborn kickers are a huge part of this package.  

I think that's dramatically overstating the usefulness of those kickers. The base barbarian usually doesn't get much benefit from them because Dexterity is needed more for a semi-decent AC. I've played this sorcerer|barbarian through heroic, and my biggest difficulty was getting through the feat taxes (Hybrid Talent, Expertise, AIP, and eventually weapon proficiency). I could cut out AIP by taking Elemental Initiate as my theme, but this is an LFR character who won't find any good ki focuses as bundles.
I have a Deva cleric/invoker hybrid (Forgotten Realms, Amaunator) and it works pretty well right now.
Actually I believe that invoker part provides some neat feats and powers, that a pure lazer cleric would also appreciate.
  
Ok, you lose some HP and a HS, since the invoker is a controller, but with Battle Clerics Lore you get scale and a shield bonus without wearing a shield, so wielding a staff as an implement is no problem. With staff expertise you'll have no OAs incoming while casting area or ranged and the Covenant of Wrath also boosts the damage of your cleric encounter and daily powers.  WIS is the Primary stat for both classes while using CHA as a "weak" secondary.

The Invokers secondary abilities are irrelevant, though you can put some points into INT (12) in order to multiclass with "learned spellcaster" at paragon in order to get ritual casting with it. Alternatively you can take the Pact Initiate that does only require CHA and such as at start WIS 20 and CHA 16. Morninglord as PP is a pretty obvious choice anyway. Sacred Flame and Hand of Radiance are your best choices for at-wills and you will do pretty good with them.
I think that's dramatically overstating the usefulness of those kickers. The base barbarian usually doesn't get much benefit from them because Dexterity is needed more for a semi-decent AC.



That's the point of Cleric - because you don't need to worry about Dexterity, you can boost Charisma instead. Having +2+Cha to hit an opponent with Storm of Blades is usually 3 nearly automatic hits.
Another potentially better than the original hybrid combines Executioner (and its liberal hybrid striker mechanics) with another striker. My favorite is a Str-Dex Executioner|Ranger with Throw and Stab (not Twin Strike!) and Midnight Blade Student. At level 1 your go-to standard action is:

+7 vs Reflex, 1d4. THEN move 6. THEN vs second target +7 vs Reflex, 1d8+1d8+1d6+4.   

Add Manticore's Fury and Hybrid Talent (Running Attack) as you level.   



That doesn't quite work like that - Midnight Blade Student modifies the power Throw & Stab, but the stab part of the power is not Throw & Stab, it is an MBA...
That doesn't quite work like that - Midnight Blade Student modifies the power Throw & Stab, but the stab part of the power is not Throw & Stab, it is an MBA...

I thought about that. I couldn't find a hard ruling either way. I considered adding the caveat "assuming that your DM interprets the power such that the feat applies to both attack rolls," but the last time I tried to do that I started a nice little flame war. 

So this time I just went ahead with Real CO Thinking(TM), which would be that the MBA is an effect of "attack[ing] an enemy with a power associated with this feat" and therefore the feat applies to it and allows rolling the MBA vs Reflex just like Deft Blade does at paragon.

I guess there was bound to be a rebuttal either way.     

That doesn't quite work like that - Midnight Blade Student modifies the power Throw & Stab, but the stab part of the power is not Throw & Stab, it is an MBA...

I thought about that. I couldn't find a hard ruling either way. I considered adding the caveat "assuming that your DM interprets the power such that the feat applies to both attack rolls," but the last time I tried to do that I started a nice little flame war. 

So this time I just went ahead with Real CO Thinking(TM), which would be that the MBA is an effect of "attack[ing] an enemy with a power associated with this feat" and therefore the feat applies to it and allows rolling the MBA vs Reflex just like Deft Blade does at paragon.

I guess there was bound to be a rebuttal either way.     




Easier to just go Executioner|Warlock for curse+finesse on Eldritch Strike, or Executioner|Blackguard for finsesse+dark menace with Virtuous Strike

Hyrbid Blackguards are pretty strong as they get most of what a blackguard does with the addition of being able to choose your At Will more freely.
I'll second that, I'm currently playing a Hybrid Blackguard/O-Assasin, using Cruel Shroud for on-demand Combat Advantage, and it works rather well.
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
I'm definitely going to have to side with the Cleric|Ranger as far as overall performance is concerned, though the good old Swordmage|Warlock and Battlemind|anything that helps pile more damage on Brutal Barrage certainly also come to mind.
Battlemind|Elemental warlock with a weapon that does the element you are attuned with.  Nothing like stacking on 5/10/15 vulernability per hit.
On creating Hybrids, a lot depends on what kind of goals that you are looking for the character to handle.  Some classes have great synergy based on what you want to do.  Take a Storm Genasi Paladin/Wizard (yes it is munchkin but tossing in a extra 1d8 for the electrical attacks and with elemental empowerment also made him a striker.)  Now that concept came about as the group I was playing with had need of a controller or defender as they were light in those areas.     While it does not get the lay on hands ability of a full paladin or the powers of a wizard with their implements, a wizard in full plate by using the hybrid talent for the armor gives it good hit points and  healing surges and a great starting AC (But no mark work mentioning).   Now with him focused on mostly up close and personal attacks (Thunderwave),  they had to get past him to get to the strikers and leaders in the back.   At second level, toss in Shield and if they got lucky to get close to your AC or reflex, +4 just made you even harder to hit for a round.  at 6th, the paladins Pure devotion just helped even more for Fort/Will. (Starting off with AC 20 at 1st level does wonders to keeping the wizard part of you alive)

Some times you have go with a combo that only has one great save but if the powers feed off of the others stat, it helps.  Take a Paladin/Cleric (Kalastar WIS/CHA) Bane uses Wisdom for the attack roll and  Charisma for the benefit (Debuff AC).    Righteous smite uses  Charisma  for the attack roll and  Wisdom for the benefit.  (giving temps)  While it does not grant an extra attack, -4 to one foes attacks and defenses from Bane is a lot more useful on a nova round than granting an extra attack.

Some times you have to sit down and look over the classes and what you want to do.  Playing a Artificer/Rogue might look neat but there stats are not in the right places.  Also look at the books for the classes and see what powers they recommend. Some already have sections  for hybrids.

So ask yourself

A. What is my role?
B. What are the others playing? (Filling in the holes is a good use for a hybrid)
C. What do I like playing? 
D. What is the DM allowing.

Sometimes the hybrid does not work out as it does not have a defined role or it is so weak that the other party members have to keep you alive.  It also does not help when it is so powerful that the others get bored with playing
I'll second that, I'm currently playing a Hybrid Blackguard/O-Assasin, using Cruel Shroud for on-demand Combat Advantage, and it works rather well.



I feel like I have to seriously question this. CA is trivial to get, and you're Hybriding two godawful strikers to...make them more godawful?
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!

Eh, I'm not going to defend it.  Let's just say that there are...circumstances at my table that prevent me from getting easy CA in any normal manner.  I don't know if you've ever played at a low-to-medium-op table, but there are combats where even flanking with any degree of reliability is a lot more work than it really needs to be.

It doesn't help that the DM doesn't have a lot of experience either, and often has knee-jerk reactions to things the players get up to.  For example, he's convinced that our Fire Elementalist Sorcerer is OP because he can deal 40 damage with an encounter power.

Let that sink in for a second.

If that's not enough, try to imagine a party where we have an archer Ranger with max Dexterity and Twin Strike who is the worst of our three Strikers.

If you can somehow believe this game exists, then you might not fall out of your chair when I tell you the DM is convinced I have the most powerful character, since I have Defender-level AC, always have CA, and deal *gasp* 1d8+11 damage with an At-Will attack.

Worse, he thinks my Assassin half is the broken part!

(Actual Quote from last night's session):  "Wait, your encounter power lets you teleport 5 squares, and attack for 2d8+2d6+11?  I thought you said Assassins were weak?!"

I've found that CharOp tends to assume that one's entire party is on the ball, and at least familiar with decent levels of optimization.  I have yet to actually play at such a table, so I tend to build characters based on...different concepts of optimization.

More actual quotes:

(Level 21 Scales of War campaign): "Wait, your Avenger has an AC of 41...in cloth?!  That can't be right."

(Heroic Tier LFR game): "Essentials is overpowered.  I mean, come on, the Knight is way better than the Fighter- nothing can even think about getting away from you!"

(Encounters, Last Season): "So this guy shows up at my table with some kind of bullshit Hybrid Cleric/Swordmage with 22 AC at first level.  That's bad enough, but when I roll a 19 to hit the Warpriest, he says he can swap places with the cleric AND get an attack!  I was like, ok, bs, but whatever, but then he tried to say that the attack doesn't even hit him!  That's when I threw his munchkin ass out of my game..."                            

"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
Thats all well and good, and I respect that, but at the same time, I wouldn't give that advice to anyone on this forum. I appreciate you spelling it out for me, and I understand now, but I think that caveat should be included before you suggest the build for anyone to play.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Metafictional, you made the point well that both your DM and the other players in your group seem to have an extremely limited grasp of the mechanical aspects of this game. For your benefit, next character with this group, you could choose an avenger or thief, both of which create their own beneficial conditions.

All your quotes just make me want to cry.
Executioner|Bard is a surprisingly effective Striker. Casting Echoing Weapon and its Greater version before you Assassin's Strike basically does the whole "one hit, one kill" concept way better than a single-class Executioner does. Plus you have the Bard's strong power arsenal at your disposal. A couple of its higher-level utilities even allow you to self-enable (Haste, Note of Aggression).

Aside from that, Paladin|Warlord/Sainted General has been a favorite of mine for quite a while.
Although god-awful on its own, a hybrid Star Pact Warlock (Binder) works well with a variety of classes: Desert Wind Monks, Assassins (O- or Executioner), Sorcerers, Vampires and Paladins. Those classes don't lose too much by hybriding (at least nothing that can't be fixed with Hybrid Talent), they can all use Warlock powers effectively (Touch of Command anyone?), and they benefit from from invisibility when they kill an enemy or when an adjacent enemy drops to zero.

You get access to Shadow Walk for easy cover (Binder|Assassins immediately take Cursed Shadow, the rest multiclasses into Assassin first), and the Dex/Cha classes have a large choice of races, with Revenant and Pixie as frontrunners.
Avenger/ Runpriest Hammer of Vengeance is supposedly a beast of a striker IIRC.
Avenger/ Runpriest Hammer of Vengeance is supposedly a beast of a striker IIRC.


Here it is.
I've been using a Blackguard/Sorcerer hybrid (Templar theme, multiclassed Assassin) quite effectively so far.

In a party full of strikers, the heavy armor and controller-like powers let me stand in as a makeshift Defender. Then, when I can get CA in melee, I drop my Dread Strike nova and hit for levels of damage no striker could scoff at.

We have the weirdest party, but we make it work.
"So this guy shows up at my table with some kind of bullshit Hybrid Cleric/Swordmage with 22 AC at first level."

This is the sort of sketchy build that prompted the OP to post. That guy should be playing a Berserker. -1 AC, but with only two primary stats and the tools to follow up on the whole "You can't hit me!" schtick.
Thats all well and good, and I respect that, but at the same time, I wouldn't give that advice to anyone on this forum. I appreciate you spelling it out for me, and I understand now, but I think that caveat should be included before you suggest the build for anyone to play.



Point taken, I guess I got carried away because I'm actually having a lot of fun playing the build (even though I know it doesn't meet any CharOp benchmarks).


Metafictional, you made the point well that both your DM and the other players in your group seem to have an extremely limited grasp of the mechanical aspects of this game. For your benefit, next character with this group, you could choose an avenger or thief, both of which create their own beneficial conditions.
All your quotes just make me want to cry.



Well, the thing is, yeah, for example, I could have made a Pixie Charger Thief and been a lot more effective as a Striker.  But then I'd have to put up with the consequences of outperforming the rest of the group.  Not worth it!

Oh and if you liked those quotes, I have more.

(From Encounters, Season 3): "Wait, you seriously just hit on a 2?!  You have to be adding something wrong."

[Me]: "5 for 20 Strength, +1 feature, +1 for half level, +1 for magic weapon, +2 power for stance, +1 for Master's Weapon property, +1 Feat, +3 proficiency, +1 charge, and +2 for Combat Advantage.  Yeah, that's +18."

"WTF, why don't you try playing for fun instead of being a munchkin all the time?"

[Me]: "......seriously?"
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
If you do not plan to go to epic, I would recommend the swordmage/avenger. Swordmages lose almost nothing, and you only lose the very iffy censure of the avenger. For hybrid talent take armor of faith.

My favorite combo of this is a Githzerai avenger|assault swordmage, grab Githzerai blade master, power of skill and hybrid talent: armor of faith. My favorite PP for this is storvokal (power attack with no hit penalty + 2-handed weapon).  Basically just be an avenger, but also get to teleport and hit people who attack your allies. A fun addition is to mc monk and get Zuoken's centering. You dump con, get almost all the benefits of a very high con, and since you have to get str up for power attack your fortitude is covered.
I've been playing a Blackguard/Sorcerer hybrid and I can't complain.

I went full STR/CHA in this build but I could have also taken more CHA powers with the Blackguard and maxed out my CHA first instead of balancing them both.

I used the Hybrid Talent Feat for the plate armor and I've been sitting pretty so far. Granted, we always use inherent enhancement bonuses in my group so I haven't had to worry about implements/weapons. I even have a shield.

I also took the Templar theme so I ended up taking a controller-subleader role when not dealing more damage. This hybrid can still pack a punch with most Sorcerer powers and the Dread Smite + Spirite of Vice with CA nova is nothing to scoff at.
Killswitch (Warlord/Artificer) is a heckuva leader in the right group (ie a group with good basic attacks).  Huge pro-active temp hps from resistive formula, nice boost to your party's initiative, 3 encounter heals if necessary (Fight On to gain the extra use of inspiring word, rousing words for a two surge heal), and using the noble theme and reorient the axis for nice battlefield rearrangement as necessary.  Combine magic weapon zaniness with enabling powers and you have a beast of a character. 

I'm currently playing a slight variant of Killswitch in an off-shoot campaign and my DM got to feel the full brunt of how effective he was in round 1 when I used a combination of our pixie rogue and deva wizard to kill one of his monsters before they got to move, and with my +1 from magic weapon, the wizard landed one of his lock-down powers on a second monster to leave us with only two things to kill.  I call the pixie rogue (played by my wife) my little patriot missile.  Extraordinarily fun and effective character to play.
Here are some of the easier classes to hybrid IME from building a lot of hybrids. 

Generally these have 2 primary stats and lots of support: cleric (great armor no matter what + weapon or implement), paladin (potential for great AC with one feat), ranger (has best base at will so you won't miss the others, ranged or melee as well).  I have heard warlock falls into this, but I have never tried it.

These miss little from hybrid and don't really need a hybrid talent feat for that class: swordmage (loses nothing in hybrid really, gets a weapliment, needs int), wizard (needs int, gets most of its strength through powers), cleric (see above), invoker (like wizard, but with wisdom),

Shaman: can dump wisdom if you need to, but needs hybrid talent feat for full effectiveness.  Besides that loses little from hybrid.

Barbarians: need strength, but have a really good set of powers as long as you can work out AC somehow.

Ones I have gotten to work cleric + ranger, monk, barbarian, avenger, warden, paladin, wizard, invoker, bard, or shaman.  Barbarian + swordmage (str/int).  Paladin + monk (dex/cha) and + Fighter (str/wis)
uhmmmm. GO, you missed the class that is the easiest to Hybrid: Warlords.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
1 primary you don't need, 2 strong and 1 weak secondary, and work OK without secondaries at all.  Yep, Warlords.

Executioner's strong too, mainly because it gets its striker feature on all MBAs - including ones from classes which can also put THEIR striker feature on them, particularly Warlocks and Blackguards.  And Avengers, I guess, though that's not a build I've actually seen.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I'm enjoying my Seeker|Exe/rogue. Really one of the few ways to make a Seeker playable. Just take all the RBAs. Tack on Deft Blade and Crimson Hunter and at lvl 13 I'm +21 v reflex doing something like 3d8+18 with a status effect every turn. My 1st round is usually 5d8+3d6+3d10+18.
A lot of these strong hybrid classes also have standout powers that just serve to seal the deal:

ASSASSIN: U6 Ghost of the Rooftops is mega-Athletics for non--Str-based classes.

CLERIC: AW1 Sonlinnor's Hammer is a Wisdom-based MBA. Free feat slots are always made of win.

RANGER: U2 Invigorating Stride is a move-action Second Wind. All Rangers are Dwarves at heart.

WARLOCK: U10 Ethereal Sidestep. You can't build a truly unhittable PC without it.
I'm enjoying my Seeker|Exe/rogue. Really one of the few ways to make a Seeker playable. Just take all the RBAs.

I'll second that that's a very vicious RBA machine. I'd like a sexier PP for it, but I have toyed with this party:

Int-Wis Animist Shaman
Str-Cha Warlord with Direct the Strike
Tiefling Illusionist Mage
Githzerai Berserker
Executioner|Seeker

Mage locked down Team Monster and painted focus-fire target for Berserker with maximized defenses. Berserker waded in and further locked down TM, painting FFT for remainder of party. Both leaders exploited the hybrid's huge RBA to destroy FFT. It's very hard for a DM to fade the focus-fire heat when 90% of the DPR is coming from 10 squares out ...
Gotta throw in the Rogue|Warlock/Assassin to the pot, nothing says "screw you, DM" like permahidden.  Especially if you make it a Pixie, then tremorsense doesn't even work, nor does having medium creatures try to bump into you.

Especially since you give up no defenses nor damage in order to do it.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
uhmmmm. GO, you missed the class that is the easiest to Hybrid: Warlords.



That's because I don't think I have ever tried to hybrid a warlord or even seen a hybrid one in play.  Those are all examples of ones I have actually made.

Except the warlock, which I have only messed around with a little inthe CB and seen others bring to the table several times.
Personally I'm looking forward to playing Mellored's Death's Gatekeeper (Cleric|Ardent) which is a gimmick, but also amazing.
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
uhmmmm. GO, you missed the class that is the easiest to Hybrid: Warlords.



That's because I don't think I have ever tried to hybrid a warlord or even seen a hybrid one in play.  Those are all examples of ones I have actually made.

Except the warlock, which I have only messed around with a little inthe CB and seen others bring to the table several times.



I played a very enjoyable Ranger|Warlord but only got him to lvl 4 before the group disbanded...
Gotta throw in the Rogue|Warlock/Assassin to the pot, nothing says "screw you, DM" like permahidden.  Especially if you make it a Pixie, then tremorsense doesn't even work, nor does having medium creatures try to bump into you.

Especially since you give up no defenses nor damage in order to do it.



Perma-hidden is ridiculously useless unless your entire party joins.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!