Xark - Githzerai Avenger - Thoughts?

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I'm hopping into an already in progress game with some friends after a couple of years away from D&D and pretty excited about it. I inquired as to what class I should pick up to add some synergy to the party, but they're already playing multiple characters per person so the synergy is already in place. So I'm extra cannon-fire then. Avenger was suggested to me since they all hadn't played one and wanted to see one in action.

I was hoping to get a little insight into how this build looks. I've read through the Avenger Handbook so I have a bit of an idea how they work, but I strayed a little to from the recommendations to create some background turmoil having a Githzerai in the group for a group contrast of sorts.

I don't want to get too far into meta-gaming optimization data, as I'm only starting at level 8. However, I'd still like to be sort of on par with the other strikers in the group because I've played with the DM before and he is the sort to intentionally attempt a near-wipe every encounter.

Here is what I'm working with:

Githzerai Avenger

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======

Xark, level 8 Githzerai, Avenger
Build: Pursuing Avenger
Avenger's Censure Option: Censure of Pursuit

FINAL ABILITY SCORES STR 14, CON 13, DEX 18, INT 10, WIS 20, CHA 8

STARTING ABILITY SCORES STR 14, CON 13, DEX 14, INT 10, WIS 16, CHA 8

AC: 24 Fort: 18 Ref: 20 Will: 21
HP: 69 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 17

TRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +16, Perception +15, Religion +10, Stealth +14, Streetwise +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS Arcana +4, Athletics +8, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering +9, Endurance +5,
Heal +9, History +4, Insight +9, Intimidate +3, Nature +9, Thievery +8

POWERS Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Githzerai Racial Power: Iron Mind
Avenger Feature: Abjure Undead
Avenger Feature: Divine Guidance
Avenger Feature: Oath of Enmity
 
Avenger Attack 1: Overwhelming Strike
Avenger Attack 1: Radiant Vengeance
Avenger Attack 1: Whirlwind Charge
Avenger Attack 1: Aspect of Might
Avenger Utility 2: Silver Shadow
Avenger Utility 2: Distracting Flare
Avenger Attack 3: Fury's Advance
Avenger Attack 5: Executioner's Cloak
Avenger Attack 7: Blade Step

FEATS Level 1: Power of Skill
Level 2: Battle Awareness
Level 4: Invigorating Pursuit
Level 6: Unarmored Agility
Level 8: Githzerai Blade Master

ITEMS
Robe of Avoidance Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +1 x1
Holy Symbol x1
Potion of Healing
Badge of the Berserker +1 x1
Deep Wounding Fullblade +2 x1
====== End ======


Any constructive criticism? Any blatant mistakes I'm missing?

Also, I have a couple questions regarding the Oath of Enmity. Obviously it only applies the bonus 2 + Wis Mod damage towards enemies moving away from you. Does this apply only after naming the Oath (If they've moved away from you previous to this designation this round, does it count)? If it only counts after the designation, how would an Avenger operate in a melee intensive group where creatures rarely move?

Sorry for the noob questions, it's been a good long while since I've played.
Thanks for reading!

(Reposting this here, as I accidently posted in Development, not Op. )


At 7 Relentless Stride (an Encounter 3) is very very good, both because of the mobility and off turn attack.  Whirlwind Charge isn't all that useful when you have an MBA already and it can be replaced with Angelic Alacrity to get you some mobility back.

You almost certainly want Two Handed Expertise over Invigorating Pursuit.

Is there any reason for you to have 13 con?  Long term that would be better off in dex unless your stats are going to be able to change fluidly (the extra surge is tempting but not worth it).

EDIT: You seem to have your Oath and your pursuit bonus mixed up, they are two different things.  Oath operates whenever you are adjacent to no enemies other than the Oath and it makes you double roll attacks.  The pursuit damage bonus happens when someone moves away from you when they're already your oath and gives a 2+Dex damage bonus on all hits vs Oath until EonT.  Generally you want to always get your Oath and Pursuit is a handy thing you get sometimes vs controllers, artillery, or such.
The Direct Damage Sorcerer of 3.5e: The Mailman
What levels do you believe you'll play through?  How powerful is the rest of the party?

Er, Censure of Pursuit gives you a 2+Dex_Mod bonus to damage, not OoE.  And yes, it only applies when your OoE enemy moves away from you, so it only applies after you've declared your OoE target.

Remember that your OoE target remains for the encounter, or until it dies: it's not a round-by-round decision.

As to how avengers do in a melee-intensive group where monsters rarely move out of melee: As I said repeatedly in the guide: rolling twice is your striker feature.  The bonus damage will almost never be relevant.  Accuracy, and twice the chance to crit.

Come paragon, you take Painful Oath, and get back some of the damage you wish you were doing earlier.  At 8th level, you may seem underwhelming.  (At 1st, you're pretty good because no one else can really be as accurate as you are.  By 6th, other classes can be pushing similar levels of accuracy, while hitting harder because of their striker features.  At 11th, you get Painful Oath to make up some of the damage gap, and in higher levels you get to really abuse the crit-odds.  So 6-10 is pretty much the low-water-mark for being an avenger.)

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
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Well, if you want your Censure to provide an actual +damage feature, the Censure of Unity is thattaway. Other than that, it's probably dead weight.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Come paragon, you take Painful Oath, and get back some of the damage you wish you were doing earlier.  At 8th level, you may seem underwhelming.  (At 1st, you're pretty good because no one else can really be as accurate as you are.  By 6th, other classes can be pushing similar levels of accuracy, while hitting harder because of their striker features.  At 11th, you get Painful Oath to make up some of the damage gap, and in higher levels you get to really abuse the crit-odds.  So 6-10 is pretty much the low-water-mark for being an avenger.)



This is true.  Especially as a Fullblade Githzerai with d12s of high crit you want to find yourself a 19-20 critting weapon (Jagged, or more preferably Melegaunt's Darkblade for more instant damage) as soon as possible.  Add in Ardent Champion to that and you have a healthy 22% crit rate per swing or so.
The Direct Damage Sorcerer of 3.5e: The Mailman
I know battle awareness is really good for an avenger, but you might consider Monastic Disciple.  Having a centered breath flurry is a decent addition to damage and forced movement as well.

Zuoken's Centering feat in paragon lets you use wisdom for surges.  Its at least 3 more surges in paragon and will be up to about 5 extra surges in epic, plus your athletics skills/strength checks will be better.  Fluid Motion is good for avengers as well.
If you want to be charge-focused (which is a good way to play a low-level avenger), I'd switch to a vanguard weapon, which also should free up some money for items (IAoP, or just upgrade other items). You would also want Two-Handed Weapon Expertise, maybe over Battle Awareness.

I'll second what GO said: Monastic Discipline is worth a serious look. But they're both great choices.

I agree with DeAnno about power selection and your stat allocation.

Does your campaign allow themes? That would open up some goodies too.
At 7 Relentless Stride (an Encounter 3) is very very good, both because of the mobility and off turn attack.  Whirlwind Charge isn't all that useful when you have an MBA already and it can be replaced with Angelic Alacrity to get you some mobility back.

You almost certainly want Two Handed Expertise over Invigorating Pursuit.

Is there any reason for you to have 13 con?  Long term that would be better off in dex unless your stats are going to be able to change fluidly (the extra surge is tempting but not worth it).


For some reason or another i couldn't find Relentless Stride the first time around using the new web-based character builder, so I just assumed it had been errata'd away and picked another in it's place. Most the Avenger build threads are a few years old, so I wasn't certain.
( Found it now, and retrained! )
I hadn't thought about Whirlwind Charge in that way before, but I can see how it loses it's usefulness being a single MBA replacement when Power of Skill makes Overwhelming Strike a MBA replacement. 1[W] less damage, but I can repeatedly use it.

Currently Invigorating Pursuit combined with our tank's mark, makes the DC to hit me harder than our tank. So Invigorating Pursuit is sort of acting as a mechanic to coax my OoE to move away and attack someone else as it's easier to do so. Dropping Invigorating Pursuit for Two-Handed Weapon Expertise would basically be like trading a Censure of Pursuit damage bonus, for a +1 damage bonus, wouldn't it?


What levels do you believe you'll play through?  How powerful is the rest of the party?
As to how avengers do in a melee-intensive group where monsters rarely move out of melee: As I said repeatedly in the guide: rolling twice is your striker feature.  The bonus damage will almost never be relevant.  Accuracy, and twice the chance to crit.
Come paragon, you take Painful Oath, and get back some of the damage you wish you were doing earlier.  At 8th level, you may seem underwhelming.  (At 1st, you're pretty good because no one else can really be as accurate as you are.  By 6th, other classes can be pushing similar levels of accuracy, while hitting harder because of their striker features.  At 11th, you get Painful Oath to make up some of the damage gap, and in higher levels you get to really abuse the crit-odds.  So 6-10 is pretty much the low-water-mark for being an avenger.)



The current DM ( we have two that alternate DM/PC every few levels ) says that we should be moving into paragon within this leg of his campaign. So I'll have to start thinking about paragon soon, but haven't gotten that far yet. The only other striker in the adventuring group is a charge based melee ranger. However the tank is a dragonborn fighter, who actually tends to out damage him...

--------------------------

Thanks for clearing up the Censure of Pursuit questions I had, and yes I was confusing the OoE for Censure. ( O_o Derp)
..You have a charging Ranger? Ohhh boy...
..You have a charging Ranger? Ohhh boy...


He doesn't do ludacris amounts of damage, but he makes it look viable somehow. As well as entertaining. I'm not certain of what ability allows him to do so, but he hurks Javelins in at a target before he charges them, which is fun to visualize at least. Laughing

Though you can see why I wanted to rake out a little more damage from this avenger. lol
In paragon your first feat is painful oath, but then I like Tempered Iron Mind + Iron Hands for the nova rounds. (You can take both at level 12 retraining one feat)

You can charge (or move to) your oath provoking an OA, then you activate Iron Mind as a free action, and you get +WIS to damage for 2 rounds when you drop all your minor action attacks, inmediate, action point, etc.

Having a fighter in the group is very good because it means that you will use your battle awareness every battle. Dont change it for monk MC. Just tell your fighter to flank with you the bad guy.

I have a Gith Avenger named Slark Lol!
Sapphire - Swormage Dragon Guardian - Dont touch my allies build. Swordmage / Sigil Carver / Draconic incarnation The Holy Slayer - A Striker - Defender Fighter | Cleric / Barbarian - Paragon of Victory WEREBEAR BATTLEMIND: You wont go where you want. - A Battlemind (Druid) / Unbound Nomad / Topaz Crusader
I'm not certain of what ability allows him to do so, but he hurks Javelins in at a target before he charges them, which is fun to visualize at least.



He's using the old version of Throw and Stab which has been changed through errata and no longer works that way.
Maybe switching to Retribution Avenger over pursuing if its a melee focused party and you don't expect the monsters to misbehave as much?
Maybe switching to Retribution Avenger over pursuing if its a melee focused party and you don't expect the monsters to misbehave as much?


Unfortunately I've already started playing with pursuing, and locked into the play style. I'm limited to retraining and item procurement now.

Although I can definitely say that retraining to have both relentless stride and angelic alacrity will help a ton!
I'm not certain of what ability allows him to do so, but he hurks Javelins in at a target before he charges them, which is fun to visualize at least.



He's using the old version of Throw and Stab which has been changed through errata and no longer works that way.



Hurling Charge...
This is true.  Especially as a Fullblade Githzerai with d12s of high crit you want to find yourself a 19-20 critting weapon (Jagged, or more preferably Melegaunt's Darkblade for more instant damage) as soon as possible.  Add in Ardent Champion to that and you have a healthy 22% crit rate per swing or so.

I'm going to try and obtain that Melegaunt's Darkblade, though starting at lvl 8 with no money is going to make it sort of prohibitive unless I can sweet talk the DM into helping me to defeat his encounters easier. lol

Is there a something in the +1/+2 range that would work better than a Deep Wounding Fullblade +2 at this level? I took that one specifically because I figured that it would be an extra push for solo/elites at my level, and the extra two 2d12 on a crit are nice. Would love to expand the crit range though. o.O
I'm playing a paragon level Githzerai berserker (desert) as if he was an avenger. It feels very similar, and in some ways its better (easier being off-tank, better damage overall IMO). Getting power attack for free (via Storkvaal PP) is just gravy.

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