Artful Dodger: suggestions/critique

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Hello, CharOp board! My build is in the spoiler tag. I'm looking for a few suggestions; specifically, for gear, feats or powers that you feel are obviously lacking or would just be awesomely fun to toss into the mix. (In particular, I have no idea what ARMOR to pursue.... she doesn't stealth, EVER. She's more a dance-into-flanking-and-stab**** kinda girl. So I've gone over armors a million times and have not yet found the one that screams at me.)

This character is built very thematically; she started out as a lightning/storm sorceress, and through the story she lost her ability to command magic, but tapped into a latent ability to stab stuff (class switch: Sorcerer to Rogue), and gradually has recovered a few bits and pieces of who she once was (multiclass Sorcerer). This game is heavily character-driven, so I'm trying to stick to the lightning/storm theme.

My primary goal is to have fun, and I will say that although she's really not min/maxed, she is a freak show full of FUN to play, and brings a lot of flavor to the game. =) She's been built thus far with the intention of going Daggermaster and wielding a Lightning Lancing Dagger, for omg-super-critty stabby fun times. The intention (later) is to pick up Two-Weapon Opening or Ambush (still undecided) - not completely in love with TWF/TWD otherwise. 

However, we JUST hit paragon and I'd love a fresh set of eyes, especially since I've never gotten a character this far! If you see anything that grabs you and says "Hey, why don't you have X for your character, that would just be awesome synergy/fun" then please let me know!

Our party consists of an incredibly tanky fighter, a super-healer artificer, a summoner wizard, and me. 

Thanks in advance! 

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Lia, level 11
Changeling, Rogue (Scoundrel), Daggermaster
Build: Trickster Rogue
Rogue Tactics Option: Artful Dodger
Rogue Option: Scoundrel Weapon Talent
Soul of Sorcery Option: Soul of Sorcery Fire
Merchant Prince (Merchant Prince Benefit)
Theme: Gladiator

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 14, CON 11, DEX 21, INT 11, WIS 13, CHA 19

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 10, DEX 16, INT 10, WIS 12, CHA 15


AC: 25 Fort: 19 Ref: 25 Will: 21
HP: 73 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 18

TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +15, Athletics +12, Insight +15, Perception +11, Stealth +15, Thievery +15

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +5, Bluff +11, Diplomacy +9, Dungeoneering +6, Endurance +5, Heal +6, History +5, Intimidate +9, Nature +6, Religion +5, Streetwise +9

POWERS
Sorcerer Attack: Seismic Shock
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Gladiator Feature: Disrupting Advance
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Disguise
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Trick
Rogue Attack 1: Deft Strike
Rogue Attack 1: Sly Flourish
Rogue Attack 1: Opening Move
Rogue Attack 1: Handspring Assault
Rogue Utility 2: Tumble
Sorcerer Attack 3: Lightning Cuts (this is from Corellon's Boon; I COULD switch it out, but generally don't, so I just added the skill to the builder so I'd have a printable card)
Rogue Attack 3: Low Slash
Gladiator Attack 5: Infuriating Challenge
Rogue Utility 6: Sidestep Stance
Rogue Attack 7: Snap Shot
Rogue Attack 9: Knockout
Rogue Utility 10: Combat Tumbleset
Daggermaster Attack 11: Critical Opportunity

FEATS
Level 2: Backstabber
Level 4: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 5: Slaying Action
Level 6: Two-Weapon Defense
Level 8: Soul of Sorcery
Level 10: Superior Implement Training (Lancing dagger)
Level 11: Deft Blade

ITEMS
Shadowdance Leather Armor +1 x1
Cloak of the Walking Wounded +1 x1
Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) x1
Rhythm Blade Dagger +1 x1
Bag of Holding
Starlight Goggles x1
Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might (level 8)
Diamond Cincture (heroic tier) x1
Dice of Auspicious Fortune
Lightning Lancing dagger +3 x1
Eberron Shard of Lightning (heroic tier)
====== End ======


Biggest thing to note, the increased crit from Daggermaster does not work on your MBA by RAW because a melee basic attack is not a rogue power. 

The lancing dagger's superior implement benefits only trigger on implement attacks which none of your attacks, outside of lightning cuts, is.  So most of your attacks, even doing lightning damage, will not trigger the extra damage nor give you the extra damage on crits unless it is a house rule.
Get weapon focus instead of the superior implement. You're not going to get implement properties off of the superior implement, so it's prettymuch a wasted feat right now. You should retrain out of it at 12 and take whatever the Elemental Chaos lightning damage Feat is. I'de suggest possibly grabbing improved defenses instead for your lvl 10 at that juncture.   
Biggest thing to note, the increased crit from Daggermaster does not work on your MBA by RAW because a melee basic attack is not a rogue power. 

The lancing dagger's superior implement benefits only trigger on implement attacks which none of your attacks, outside of lightning cuts, is.  So most of your attacks, even doing lightning damage, will not trigger the extra damage nor give you the extra damage on crits unless it is a house rule.



Oooooh I don't think my DM realized that (this build was his suggestion)! I'll run it by him and see if he desires to officially houserule it, otherwise.... yeah, that makes a difference. xD
Feats:
Light Blade Expertise is +2 to hit, +2 damage(paragontier) while you have CA (which you should). This Is Awesome.

Deft Blade only effects melee basic attacks. Neither of your atwills are Melee Basic attacks, so it only effects your opportunity attacks. Your opportunity attacks are not scary because they are STR-based (curse of the build). Melee Training (Dexterity) would give you more mileage in that regard, or save a feat and grab something better.

Any feats/items that boost Critical Damage should be considered much higher with your paragon-tier improved crit range. Devastating Critical or Two-Fisted Shooter are examples. Not the best use of a feat, persay. Especially one of the key early-paragon tier feats, but is the kind of thing I'm talking about. Two-Weapon Opening + Melee Training (Dexterity) is probably the better option, but requires two feats to be worthwhile.

Unless you face a lot of a single elemental damage type or it is for Roleplay purposes, Arcane Prodigy is generally considered a better Sorcerer Multiclass feat then Soul of Sorcery.

I see you are using an Eberron Shard, are you allowed Dragonmark feats? Lightning Weapon+Mark of Storm feat+Deadly Draw feat = battlefield control + free Combat Advantage.

Items:
Flowform Armor: Encounter Power: Make a save against an effect as a free action. (potentially before it effects you)
Battle Harness: +Initiative, faster weapon switching (don't know if you ever need a free hand to open doors/pull levers/fondle princesses mid-combat with your DM, but if he's picky with whats in your hands its a good property.)
Shadowdance Armor: You Already Have This. Snapshot while Flanking.

Babau Gauntlets are a cheaper+better way to replace every instance of Melee Training(Dexterity) mentioned earlier. Rarely will you be making multiple MBA's per round.
Unless you are married to Lightning Damage, Bloodiron Dagger makes your new and improved Crit Range bring The Pain. Not a dealbreaker if you like Lightning Weapon, but something to consider.

At-Wills:
Damage: Sly Flourish Versus Piercing Strike: Unless I am mistaken, Reflex averages 2-3 points lower then most monster's AC. This equates to +2-3 tohit. Versus the +4 damage you get now, or even the +7-8 you might eventually get in Epic, the Damage Per Round on Piercing Strike is still better then Sly Flourish. You lose a throwaway bit of damage per hit, but you hit more often. Though I admit I didn't actually run the numbers and the difference may very well be marginal.

Attacking Utility: Deft Strike Versus Clever Strike/Acrobatic Strike: For a Melee Artful Dodger, the only time I forsee using Deft Strike is if you are out of range for a move+attack, and are out of charge encounter powers. (Having at least one encounter power that can be used on a charge/pre-attack mobility is nice, but not needed.) I would take Clever Strike seeing as you only have one FlankBuddy and unless I am mistaken no form of perma-Combat Advantage. In the event that your FlankBuddy either has something in a position where it is physically impossible to get into flanking, or is dazed/blinded/any effect that prevents flanking but not attacking, Clever Strike lets you still sink into that sweet Sneak Attack damage.

If this is not a problem for you, Acrobatic Strike gives better mobility then Deft Strike, allowing you to either doubleshift+attack, shift in+attack+shift out, or attack+shift+move action away from The Baddy. Grab breaking isn't gamechanging, but welcomed.

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I see you do not have many posts on the board. Welcome, by the way. Just in case you missed it, there is also a great compendium of accumulated Char-Op knowledge in the stickied thread community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... While it has plenty of builds the thread is most useful for the class-guides, some of my suggestions ripped off from the Rogue guide, Han Shot First: A Scoundrel's Guide.

Also, other then Light Blade Expertise and rereading Deft Blade, none of my suggestions are "Rawr you are doing this wrong Rawr" things and are just suggestions. But yeah, totally get Light Blade Expertise and don't take Deft Blade.
Ok, checked with the DM, he feels his interpretation of the Lancing dagger is suitable for the game so we shall continue operating under the assumption that its bonuses apply even to my Rogue skills (with full disclaimer that Your DM May Vary).


Light Blade Expertise is +2 to hit, +2 damage(paragontier) while you have CA (which you should). This Is Awesome.



Any feats/items that boost Critical Damage should be considered much higher with your paragon-tier improved crit range. Devastating Critical or Two-Fisted Shooter are examples. Not the best use of a feat, persay. Especially one of the key early-paragon tier feats, but is the kind of thing I'm talking about. Two-Weapon Opening + Melee Training (Dexterity) is probably the better option, but requires two feats to be worthwhile.


So I'm trying to determine the value of TWD/TWF feats, currently. Would it be worthwhile to hold onto them until I can free up/acquire enough feats to make them Ridiculously OP (with TWO/MT(Dex)), or would it be more generally useful to dump these two and pick up Light Blade Expertise, Imp Def, or any other number of generally useful feats? We will be ending our game when we hit epic tier, if that weights the consideration.


Unless you face a lot of a single elemental damage type or it is for Roleplay purposes, Arcane Prodigy is generally considered a better Sorcerer Multiclass feat then Soul of Sorcery.


We have a fire-based wizard who likes to torch party members and who now leaves a zone everywhere he blows stuff up. I actually had Arcane Prodigy, and just switched it. I need the resist so I can be in melee with ANYthing without catching fire. xD


I see you are using an Eberron Shard, are you allowed Dragonmark feats? Lightning Weapon+Mark of Storm feat+Deadly Draw feat = battlefield control + free Combat Advantage.


We can have tattoos, but I think he said Dragonmarks were out - I'll have to check!


Items:
Flowform Armor: Encounter Power: Make a save against an effect as a free action. (potentially before it effects you)
Battle Harness: +Initiative, faster weapon switching (don't know if you ever need a free hand to open doors/pull levers/fondle princesses mid-combat with your DM, but if he's picky with whats in your hands its a good property.)
Shadowdance Armor: You Already Have This. Snapshot while Flanking.


I truly don't get much use out of Shadowdance (just picked up Snapshot, but generally speaking my ranged attacks are used when I'm outta range, and if not I don't mind provoking an occasional AoO since my Fighter flanking buddy generally gets to take a potshot at anybody that tries to smack me around), but I do like both those other armors - almost universally useful for my needs/playstyle. Now I have to pick just one! D=


Deft Blade only effects melee basic attacks. Neither of your atwills are Melee Basic attacks, so it only effects your opportunity attacks. Your opportunity attacks are not scary because they are STR-based (curse of the build). Melee Training (Dexterity) would give you more mileage in that regard, or save a feat and grab something better.
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Babau Gauntlets are a cheaper+better way to replace every instance of Melee Training(Dexterity) mentioned earlier. Rarely will you be making multiple MBA's per round.


O.O HOT! Yes, took Deft Blade at recommendation of the CharOp stickies, with the intention to pick up Melee Training later, and did love that I got to trade out Piercing Strike for Sly Flourish. But with such a feat-heavy build, I'd love to free up a feat for Imp Def - and at the cost of gauntlets which I don't yet have, anyway. Liking this option a lot.

Pretty married to lightning damage (a year and a half of story thus far! Gotta be true to her tale), though I agree that is a very sexy alternative.

Oooh, reading the skill suggestions, I think I might have to take another look at those. I like free CA and shifty stuff. A lot. =D

And thank you for the welcome! I have practically memorized the Dirty Deeds Rogue thread by this point, but shall check out that one too! =)

Appreciate the suggestions! =D
If I was to go pruning through your feats, the order I would remove them in would be:
(I don't suggest removing them all, and other then Deft Blade I suggest getting them back when you are less feat strapped. But if you want to add feats, this is the order I would lose your prior feats in)

Deft Blade
Slaying Action (when I rogue I generally action point when I miss. As a Daggermaster usually to reroll an attack roll of an Encounter Power or Daily.[NEVER THE DAMAGE ROLL] Gives me a second shot to apply sneak attack, especially if I'm out of minor action attacks. If you nova early in the encounter to try to tear down a creature early this is of slightly higher value)
Two-Weapon Defense
Two-Weapon Fighting, with the caveat that I would want to get TWF+TWO+SomeFormOfDexMBA back up as quickly as I could.

If I was to go adding to your feats:

Expertise
TWO, with the caveat that you have the gloves, ranked slightly lower if you gotta burn a feat on Melee Training
Improved Defenses/Weapon Focus, based on your experience of how often you are attacked. Improved Defenses probably higher so you are less likely to eat friendly fire wizard.


Good on you for getting fire resist to aid wizard blasting. Suggest the feat War Wizardry to him. He doesn't need it immediately, he also has the "Oh Gosh Paragon Tier Feats Joy" conundrum. But if he sticks to one element type with his bursts and you and the fighter both have that resistance, he can drop his controllery goodness into the melee with a controlled level of reckless abandon. Armor of Resistance(Fire) +3 would boost your resist to 10 and give you back the better Sorcerer Multiclass if none of the other armors strike you as well. (Also, just to save a compendium/glossary check just in case, it's [(Damage - resist) / 2] for half damage.)
Have the fire wizard check out war wizard's expertise as well as the afore mentioned war wizardry.  The penalties stack because they are untyped.

Look up Han Shot First.  It is the most updated rogue guide on the forums.  Lots of information in it.
I have a level 17 Artful Dodger Rogue in LFR who's AC gets up to 48 vs. opp. attacks.  I can post the build if you'd like. 
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