Not the usual Ardent

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I'm looking to build an Euphoric Ardent for a PbP game. Since I'll be a leader class, I want to focus on helping anyone who joins the group, but no MBA freebies. I looked at the ardent handbook, but it's over two years old, and all of the builds are polearms shenanigans or hammer builds. I'd like to do a sword and board, or use the alhulak (for flavor purposes, use a desert half-elf bio) and shield, but neither handbook is much help there. 

I am going CHA/CON, with 13 STR to pick up scale proficiency in level 1 or 2. Shield Proficiency will be 2 or 4, with an expertise rounding up the first three feats. I'll bump DEX at 14 to get scale specialization at that time, and not wait until epic. The hardest part is getting some magical items for the ardent, since all of the handbooks and builds are based on one or two things. Has anyone done  a sword and board build they could point me to as a guide? I want to use the PHB3 mantles since I've not played a psionic class, and want to jump in smootly.
I used a mixture of this build 
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...(ArdentFighterStygian_AdeptDemigod,_Spammable_Demo_Strike_that_DazesSlides) 
 
Along with this build
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Which im sure you already looked at. They both make great starting points and can be easily modidfied to fit your needs.
The flail chain of feats (Flail Expertise,Lashing Flail and Dragging Flail) along with a staggering(flail)alhulak and rushing cleats work nicely and can combo well with any strikers who may take Headsman's Chop. 
I did look at those. That is how I got the Alhulak idea. I'm not big on copying someone else's build, but using those flail feats may be important. I want to be a support to the team, and heal them when needed. But I think I can work those 3 into what I plan on doing.
You coul look to MC Bard through the Master of stories feat. This will give you an aura encounter heal that any party member can spend their minor to use. Nice action economy. Fit Wind of Sympathy and Bolstering Mantle into your build for some more nice support.
You coul look to MC Bard through the Master of stories feat. This will give you an aura encounter heal that any party member can spend their minor to use. Nice action economy. Fit Wind of Sympathy and Bolstering Mantle into your build for some more nice support.



The use of the heal from Master of Stories was updated to be Daily instead of Encounter.
Are you starting at level 1?
Are themes/backgrounds allowed?
Aside from just support are you looking to accomplish something special?
Are you starting with Magic items or are you just looking for items to keep your eye out for in the future? 
You coul look to MC Bard through the Master of stories feat. This will give you an aura encounter heal that any party member can spend their minor to use. Nice action economy. Fit Wind of Sympathy and Bolstering Mantle into your build for some more nice support.



The use of the heal from Master of Stories was updated to be Daily instead of Encounter.


Sorry, my bad. I meant it was usable for 1 encounter per day but the aura is active for the whole encounter IIRC. Exploitable by the HalfElf and Versatile Master at paragon. Still a decent heal ability that doesn't require you to use a minor if for some other reason you need it.


Are you starting at level 1?
Are themes/backgrounds allowed?
Aside from just support are you looking to accomplish something special?
Are you starting with Magic items or are you just looking for items to keep your eye out for in the future? 



Will be level 1 character. No to backgrounds/themes. If the time comes when I'm in a solo situation, I want to be able to fend off creatures to be able to heal someone back to life. So a little defender in me. I want to stay full ardent, I am not a big fan of hybrids or multi-classes. I'm getting a level1 and level 2 item for free, but I do want some ideas of good items for at least heroic tier to look for. I'm thinking of going Dwarven Armor for my level 2, and either Amulet of Protection or just a basic +1 magic Alhulak for the other.
OK.
I sort of get the Hybrid comment but the Multi class one is confusing. It's a great option for adding versatility while in no way changing the original class. Think of it as adding a minor utility power to your class and opens up a whole new world of useful feats. No martial MC means you lose out on almost all the great support for those classes. No Flail line and none of the great shield feats. If you are going to spend any time in melee you really should be looking to take the Battle awareness feat if you can or some other martial MC.
Rushing cleats, staggering flail, guardian shield and i'm sure there is more. Blood Iron scale is nice also. 
Also never take just a basic magic weapon.  There are a few options that are the same level and you may as well take one of them.
Also never take just a basic magic weapon.  There are a few options that are the same level and you may as well take one of them.


I've not seen any weapons at level 1 besides the plain magic +1. Can you tell me where some of those others are? 
OK.
I sort of get the Hybrid comment but the Multi class one is confusing. It's a great option for adding versatility while in no way changing the original class. Think of it as adding a minor utility power to your class and opens up a whole new world of useful feats. No martial MC means you lose out on almost all the great support for those classes. No Flail line and none of the great shield feats. If you are going to spend any time in melee you really should be looking to take the Battle awareness feat if you can or some other martial MC.
Rushing cleats, staggering flail, guardian shield and i'm sure there is more. Blood Iron scale is nice also. 


I already am taking 2 armor feats, plus one or 2 shield feats if I take specialization or heavy shield. I need some defense feats and accuracy feats to top my healing feats. I don't see why I would want to add a MC + the 2 flail feats and take away from my other stuff. I'm not looking for a max op character, since I'm playing it at an event or anything. 

The feats I am looking at taking are (1-20 in no order): 


  • Armor Proficiency- scale

  • flail expertise

  • impending victory (for when there's a long battle and no PPs) 

  • shield proficincy- light

  • improved defenses

  • weapon focus (is it worth taking?)

  • improved ardent surge

  • Scale Specialization (@14)

  • Elation of Fortune

  • Mantle of Caution

  • Outraged Vengeance

  • Shield Specializaton (Light?)

I have decided to go multiclass into Warlord for that extra heal per day. I want to try and pick up some fear and zone attacks for stygian adept, as it seems the best paragon path for the way I want my character to develop. He is going to start out wanting to use his powers for good, but I am leaving it open for him to go a little chaotic and almost go into a rage against enemies. People will "fear" him for more than one reason. But my feats are going to be:
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  • (1) Shield Prof- Light 

  • (2) Scale Proficiency 

  • (4) Flail Expertise 

  • (6) Impending Victory

  • (8) Student of Battle (MC warlord)

  • (10) Improved Defenses

  • (11) Armor Spec. Scale

  • (12) Improved Ardent Surge

  • (14) Elation of Fortune

  • (16) Shield Specialization

  • (18) Mantle of Caution

  • (20) Outraged Vengeance

  • (21) Endangering Outrage

  • (22) Shield Prof. -Heavy

  • (24) Epic Recovery

  • (26) Epic Reflexes

  • (28) Epic Will (or Fort if it's really low)

  • (30) Danger Sense or Long Step


I believe you can MC into cleric to get access to Battle Cleric's Lore.  That would help with those extra armor feats you have going on there.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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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 believe you can MC into cleric to get access to Battle Cleric's Lore.  That would help with those extra armor feats you have going on there.



I need to know where that is. If I can get some of the Cleric's armor, it would help alot. Too bad I won't have the WIS to MC into Cleric anyway. I want the CON/CHA Ardent, and WIS is kinda a dump stat.
I believe you can MC into cleric to get access to Battle Cleric's Lore.  That would help with those extra armor feats you have going on there.



I need to know where that is. If I can get some of the Cleric's armor, it would help alot. Too bad I won't have the WIS to MC into Cleric anyway. I want the CON/CHA Ardent, and WIS is kinda a dump stat.


If your straight building using the on-line CB it won't allow you to swap Healer's lor for Battle Cleric's lore. It only does this for Hybrids.
As far as stats go you could always go 10/16/11/8/13/16 and put your racials in CON/CHA as you no longer need the 13 STR for Scale and no need for shield prof. You would still need the 15 STR if you wanted to move up to Heavy Shield though. No 15 DEX either will stop you from getting Shield and Scale Specialization.
You could lose some off your riders and HP/Surges and go the 10/14/14/8/13/16 route as this will get you all of the above in paragon. If you plan on spending alot of time in melee and depending on your DM's love of stun/daze effects i recommend the feat Superior Will. Any class that qualifies for it should take it and Improved Defenses.
On a personal note, i feel Imp. Defenses(@11) and Expertise(@1) should be given for free along with melee training(if you are on the front lines) for those that need it.
Sorry for rammbling.

What book is Battle Cleric's Lore in, or just what it does? I do not have whatever book it is that it's in. I'm not going to be using the CB, so it's just the DM's ruling on if they'll allow it. I assume it gives me the proficiencies I need though. Should level 1 be the MC level in  this case?

And without the 2 proficiency feats, I have those slots in heroic now open for something. EZ, could you show me what changes for heroic tier (or 1-11) you'd make with those 2 gone? 1,2, and 8 will be different. ...And I think there should be some feat taxes given for free, because most builds need that little bit of extra room for feats to be solid.
Battle Cleric's Lore is from Dragon 400.  Basically it says that you can replace Healer's Lore with Battle Cleric's Lore.

Battle Cleric's Lore
You gain a +2 shield bonus to AC, and you have proficiency with scale armor.  In addtion, whenever you use a cleric healing power to allow a target to spend a healing surge, that target gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.

Scale armor prof + Shield bonus (with no shield in hand).  Kinda win. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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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
What book is Battle Cleric's Lore in, or just what it does? I do not have whatever book it is that it's in. I'm not going to be using the CB, so it's just the DM's ruling on if they'll allow it. I assume it gives me the proficiencies I need though. Should level 1 be the MC level in  this case?

And without the 2 proficiency feats, I have those slots in heroic now open for something. EZ, could you show me what changes for heroic tier (or 1-11) you'd make with those 2 gone? 1,2, and 8 will be different. ...And I think there should be some feat taxes given for free, because most builds need that little bit of extra room for feats to be solid.


Upon further inspection Battle Cleric's lore may not be viable. You would need a 15 in Wisdom in order to MC Cleric via Divine Healer. You need the Healer's Lore feature in order to swap it for Battle Cleric's Lore. This may gimp your stats too much.
Half-Elf @ 1st= 10STR/14CON/13DEX/8INT/14WIS/16CHA(+2 Con/Cha)= 10/16/13/8/14/18. Boost CHA and WIS at 4th and CHA and DEX at 8th. You could the take Divine Healer at 4th level and still qualify for your specialization feats in paragon. Probably not the most OP thing to do.
With the extra feat slots you should probably pick up Wind of sympathy or another secondwind booster.
1. Armor Prof. Scale( retrain to Divine Healer@ 4th)
2. Melee training: Charisma( retrain @11th for Lashing Flail)
4. Flai Expertise
6. Wind Of Sympathy
8. Bolstering Mantle
10. Improved Defenses
11. Versatile Master for a viable melee basic(Eldritch Strike becomes an at-will as MBA)
12. Dragging flail or Superior Will
Battle cleric Lore article  www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/d...
If doing flail tricks you could check this out for ideas.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... 

Upon further inspection Battle Cleric's lore may not be viable. You would need a 15 in Wisdom in order to MC Cleric via Divine Healer. You need the Healer's Lore feature in order to swap it for Battle Cleric's Lore. This may gimp your stats too much.
Half-Elf @ 1st= 10STR/14CON/13DEX/8INT/14WIS/16CHA(+2 Con/Cha)= 10/16/13/8/14/18. Boost CHA and WIS at 4th and CHA and DEX at 8th. You could the take Divine Healer at 4th level and still qualify for your specialization feats in paragon. Probably not the most OP thing to do.
With the extra feat slots you should probably pick up Wind of sympathy or another secondwind booster.
1. Armor Prof. Scale( retrain to Divine Healer@ 4th)
2. Melee training: Charisma( retrain @11th for Lashing Flail)
4. Flail Expertise
6. Wind Of Sympathy
8. Bolstering Mantle
10. Improved Defenses
11. Versatile Master for a viable melee basic(Eldritch Strike becomes an at-will as MBA)
12. Dragging flail or Superior Will
Battle cleric Lore article  www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/d...



I don't have to be OP, just better than normal. If I'm taking and keeping Eldritch Strike don't I need to keep Melee Training? I think that extra WIS will help on attacks that I may need that use it too. I won't need STR/INT and a 16 in CON at level 1 is pretty high for most characters. After 11, I can boost CON the rest of my campaign. I like some of the feats, and I don't know what 6 & 8 do, so I'll look them up. I think I'll take Superior Will at 12, and keep on trucking from there.

Thanks EZ & Martyr for the help so far. I may need some more before I finalize the build, which I will post with all the changes the two of you have given me. 
When you can, post a build of what you have so far and that would make it easier to make suggestions.  That way we aren't suggesting things you already have or are doing.
Eldritch Strike uses Charisma(in your case) or Con as it's attack stat. It is only useable as an encounter power through heroic so you will still want melee training for your other opportunity/MBA needs. W/ Versatile Master @11th it becomes your MBA used with Charisma.
Gotcha, that's why I keep it through the heroic tier. And here's what I have so far. I think that is all I need besides my defenses for level 1. No background/theme to list. I only have picked my powers up to level 10 so far.

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Harold Razorleaf

Euphoric Ardent
Mantle of Elation
Dilettante Power: Eldritch Strike
Paragon Path: Stygian Adept


STR-10
CON-16 (w/ racial)
DEX-13 (14 if I get a 24-pt build)
INT-8
WIS-14
CHA-18 (w/ racial)


HP: 28/14
Surges: 10
Surge Value: 7


Powers:


[AW1] Demoralizing Strike
[AW1] Energizing Strike
[E] Ardent Surge
[D1] Lingering Fury (it has fear for PP)
[E] Eldritch Strike
[U2] Invigorating Prescence (Endurance)
[AW3] Unnerving Shove
[ D5] Specter of Doubt
[U6] Mend Wounds
[AW7] Rewarding Strike (for Unnerving Shove)
[D9] Feast of Despair
[U10] Tower of Iron Will 


Feats:


[1] Armor Proficiency Scale (retrain to Divine Healer @ 4)
[2] Melee Training: CHA (retrain @11 for Lashing Flail)
[4] Flail Expertise
[6] Impending Victory (or Wind of Sympathy)
[8] Bolstering Mantle
[10] Improved Defenses
[11] Versatile Master
[12] Armor Specialization: Scale
[14] Superior Will
[16] Elation of Fortune
[18] Mantle of Caution
[20] Outraged Vengeance
[21] Endangering Outrage


Equipment:


Alhulak
Scale Armor
Backpack
Adventurer's Kit



Trained Skills:
Endurance, Streetwise, Intimidate, and Diplomacy
(Heal with MC)


 

I would suggest that instead of lashing flail at 11, you grab triple headed flail if you are going to use shield or even spiked chain if you are not going to be using a shield and want to stand behind the tank.

For clarification, you do not really need lashing flail as eldritch strike already includes a slide.  You would be better using the feat from lashing flail to either upgrade the weapon, triple headed flail is 1d10, +3 prof and spiked chain is 2d4, +3 prof with reach.

Edit: if there was a way to pick up mc fighter and dragging flail I would suggest that but don't worry too much about it. 
I think the upgrade weapon is nice. I don't know if I want more damage, or the reach weapon. I can stay out of trouble with the reach. I think level 6 may be the Shield Proficiency if I need it. I needed to fit Improved Ardent Surge in there during Paragon too. I think level 16, and push all the ones from 16-on back one feat level.

I have to see how my defenses are going to look to figure out if Shields are needed:

AC- 17+ 1/2 Lv  (10 + 7(scale) + *2 Divine Healer + (1/2) level) * at level 4
Fo- 14+ 1/2 Lv  (10 + 3 (Con) + 1 (Class) + 1/2 level)
Re- 11+ 1/2 Lv (10 + 1 (*Dex) + 1/2 level)  *2 at level 8
Wi- 15+ 1/2 Lv (10 + 4 (*Cha) + 1 (Class) + 1/2 level)  *5 at level 8

I would say they are, if my Reflex wants to not be hit. I was taking Epic Reflexes anyway, but I may need help before then. Would the +2 shield bonus from my MC stack with the +1 from light shield?
No.  They are both shield bonuses regardless of the source.  If you do triple headed flail, it would be 1d10+1 because it is versatile and you should use it two handed. The spiked chain is 2d4 with reach which is higher avg damage than the alhulak but it does not match the average damage of the THF.  Since they are both +3, you need to decide if you want reach or damage.  Those are differences. 
No.  They are both shield bonuses regardless of the source.  If you do triple headed flail, it would be 1d10+1 because it is versatile and you should use it two handed. The spiked chain is 2d4 with reach which is higher avg damage than the alhulak but it does not match the average damage of the THF.  Since they are both +3, you need to decide if you want reach or damage.  Those are differences. 



In that case I think I should take THF, since Leaders don't deal much damage usually. If there's a decent defender, he should take most of the damage anyway, or they will eat his/her wrath.
I agree with the triple headed flail. I was totally getting mixed up w/ the dragging flail. Another cool thing about the THF being versatile is if you were to ever aquire a Magic Shield you could equip it for the property and not worry about the proficiency. This would not work with the Spiked Chain.
Doesn't Versatile Master say you have to paragon MC, instead of taking a paragon path? or am I missing something?
No.  It has special features IF you paragon MC but it does not say you have to.
Spiked Chain is definitely unnecessary here. Honestly I'm not sure you even need a weapon proficiency unless you're really having a hard time coming up with feats (you shouldn't).

Also, Lingering Fury is both not a fear power and vastly inferior to Battleborn Acuity in both effect and duration.
Well, thank you mr. Pokemon for all of the negativity. I'm guessing my OP about not being an optimal build was overlooked. If I don't take Lingering Fury, I'll take implanted suggestion, to get that MBA until he saves against it; and it dazes!! The reason for the weapon proficiency was another way to fill in a gap for the melee training not being needed anymore. I don't have to take it, but the suggestion was well noted. I can find some healing feats or defense feats to fill in the gap if I really need to.

...And it's like the saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." If you aren't helping here, then you aren't doing me any good. I can read the handbooks and see what other people have said about attacks and feats. I picked Lingering Fury because I wanted to, and I'm pretty sure that's still allowed. Good day sir.
... I apologize, I didn't realize correcting you on a factual error was so outrageous. Lingering Fury is still not a fear power, which you said it was. And it's also very, very close to being strictly inferior to Battleborn Acuity. That's not a 'I prefer this power', that's just irrational stubbornness. Battleborn Acuity isn't even my favorite pick at the level, so claiming that I'm trying to create an optimal build is idiotic.
Well, thank you mr. Pokemon for all of the negativity. I'm guessing my OP about not being an optimal build was overlooked. If I don't take Lingering Fury, I'll take implanted suggestion, to get that MBA until he saves against it; and it dazes!! The reason for the weapon proficiency was another way to fill in a gap for the melee training not being needed anymore. I don't have to take it, but the suggestion was well noted. I can find some healing feats or defense feats to fill in the gap if I really need to.

...And it's like the saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." If you aren't helping here, then you aren't doing me any good. I can read the handbooks and see what other people have said about attacks and feats. I picked Lingering Fury because I wanted to, and I'm pretty sure that's still allowed. Good day sir.



Ok, then everyone who knows more than you will stop helping you. Props bro. You managed to piss off someone trying to help you. That takes mad skill. If you're going to be an arrogant ass, don't even ask for help. Save the boards the trouble.
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!
I wasn't trying to be "an arrogant ass," but I still don't see how his post was supposed to be helpful. I did re-read Lingering Fury and he was right about it not being fear. Don't know where I got that. I apologize for that one. I still can choose it if I so desire. And a unneeded weapon proficiency feat too. The others who posted were helpful and didn't just outright say that something was crap or an unneeded option. I came here because I never built a psionic class, and reading an outdated handbook only helps so much with all the errata going around. I don't find either of Sceptile's posts helpful, and they're a bit rude.

Like this:
"That's not a 'I prefer this power', that's just irrational stubbornness. Battleborn Acuity isn't even my favorite pick at the level, so claiming that I'm trying to create an optimal build is idiotic." How is choosing an attack I want and not what the norm is stubbornness? Didn't WoTC create the attack to be played by some people? And even though he wouldn't choose BA, it is one of the highest rated attacks at level 1 IIRC, making it an optimal choice by the handbook. It's not that he may not have been trying to be helpful, but the manner in which is offensive. Saying that I am choosing useless, idiotic, unnecessary feats/attacks is not helping in my book. I don't think Zelink that's how you help people. Criticism is one thing, but the negativity helps no one. I'll just PM someone I know who will help me the next time I need help then. That way I won't start an argument over the internet.
@Kn1ght- your tone was definitely off putting in response to an assumed negative post by Sceptile. That sort of response will run you afoul of 99% of these boards and shoul be toned down a bit.

@Sceptile- i agree on the spiked chain. IMHO it is inferior on a build such as this and you would want the Spiked Chain training MC feat to get the optimal use thus losing the Cleric MC and Battle Clerics Lore. I sort of agree with you about BA and Ling. Fury. Battleborn Accuity grants a larger damage buff and is not save ends but is still conditional by needing allies to be adjacent where as Lingering Fury does not, could be useful in a party with allies who would need flanking for CA. Very conditional and not as good as BA but not total trash. 
I found good use w/BA on my Ardent but Implanted Suggestion is the cream of the crop at this level.

@Zelink- i must say that your post was unneeded in this discussion altogether. Why waste your time berating the OP when his ire was not directed at you and you've not contributed one worthwhile piece of advice to the OP prior. And while i may alienate you and some others on this forum i feel i need to say it. Arrogant ass, kettle meet pot.
Well, I'm going to put all that behind me and move on.

I think I am taking Implanted Suggestion now. I don't think level 1 has any fear attacks then, and I'll make better use of IS. I do think that I have enough now though for the build to get it into a game.

Thanks to EZrider, Koshinuke, Jugulator007,  and Martyr for the help and suggestions. This should be a very good first psionic character for my first one. Laughing
I just got thrown into a wall with this build. The GM for the game I was putting this character into said  they would not let me use BCL with Divine Healer because MC into Cleric isn't really like being a Cleric. I don't think I can convince them otherwise, so I am going to have to rework the feats a bit. I guess I won't retrain Armor Prof. now, so no need for the higher WIS Score. I still need a MC for Versatile Master right? But what do I take instead that's not fighter? (I don't want a pushy ardent) Should I just leave out shields and focus on making my tough defenses tougher?

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Feats:

[1] Armor Proficiency Scale (retrain to Divine Healer @ 4) *No retrain here
[2] Melee Training: CHA (retrain @11 for Weapon Prof. (Triple Headed Flail (or Versatile Master))
[4] Flail Expertise
[6] Impending Victory ((MC-??))
[8] Bolstering Mantle
[10] Improved Defenses ((or Shield Prof.- Light))
[11] Versatile Master ((or Improved Defenses))
[12] Armor Specialization: Scale
[14] Superior Will
[16] Improved Ardent Surge
[18]Elation of Fortune
[20] Mantle of Caution
[21] Outraged Vengeance
[22] Endangering Outrage
[24] Epic Recovery
[26] Epic Reflexes
[28] Epic Fortitude 
[30] Danger Sense 

 
That sucks and seems a tad unreasonable by the DM. 

Versatile Master doen not require a MC, it has a neat feature if you Paragon MC but, you use it to turn your Dilletante power into a full at-will power at 11th.

Even if your not going to go into the "pushy" realm the Battle Awareness(fighter) MC feat is really good. You get an extra im. interupt attack, IIRC, and access to the fighter's extensive feat list. They have some good defensive shield feats.

Other useful MC options would be Master of stories(Skald/Bard) gain extra heal once per day and the skalds aura, Resourceful Leader(Warlord) AP benefits for allies on a hit or miss any time an ally spends an AP(Action Point). 

Your stats could now go 13str/16con+2/11dex/10 or 8int/8 or 10wis/16cha+2.
If i were you i would go this route
1.Armor Prof. Scale
2.Shield Prof. Light
4.Melee Training:Charisma
6.Flail Expertise
8.Wind of sympathy
10.Improved Defenses
11.Bolstering Mantle, Retrain Melee Training into Versatile Master
12.Armor Specialization
14.Superior Will
And so on. 
If you want to go with the flail, just take a 20 cha post racial, and use a heavy flail.  Both ardents I've played with spammed demo strike for all but 3 or 4 rounds over several mods YMMV.  Just not that much you can do about reflex with a build that has no dex/int/shield proficiency.  It's cheaper to mitigate the effects of being hit by a reflex attack than it is to boost to to effective levels for this kind of character.

[sblock]
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Carric, level 1
Half-Elf, Ardent
Ardent Mantle Option: Mantle of Elation
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Half-Elf Power Selection Option: Dilettante
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 16, DEX 11, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 20
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 14, DEX 11, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 18
 
 
AC: 16 Fort: 14 Ref: 10 Will: 16
HP: 28 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 7
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +10, Diplomacy +12, Endurance +7, Streetwise +10
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics –1, Arcana –1, Athletics –1, Dungeoneering +0, Heal +0, History –1, Insight +2, Intimidate +5, Nature +0, Perception +0, Religion –1, Stealth –1, Thievery –1
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Ardent Feature: Ardent Outrage
Ardent Feature: Ardent Surge
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Ardent Attack 1: Demoralizing Strike
Ardent Attack 1: Intent Laid Bare
Ardent Attack 1: Implanted Suggestion
 
FEATS
Level 1: Flail Expertise/Melee Training Charisma
 
ITEMS
Heavy flail x1
Chainmail x1
Adventurer's Kit
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Cleric MC into BCL has always been a little sketchy and it's a reasonable houserule to forbid it, IMO.