PEACH Blackguard

27 posts / 0 new
Last post

A fellow player wanted me to OK his character before he brought it to table, he attached it to an email and sent it to me.  I thought I would post it up here and allow the board to take a crack at this and then show him the resulting post once we wrenched this into some sort of order.  The only constraints is that it needs to remain a Blackguard with no hybrid everything else is free game.

**throws some chum in the water**

Show


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Zomac, level 7
Human, Paladin (Blackguard)
Vice: Vice of Fury
Human Power Selection Option: Bonus At-Will Power
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Pack Outcast

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 13, DEX 15, INT 9, WIS 10, CHA 20

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 12, DEX 15, INT 9, WIS 10, CHA 17


AC: 21 Fort: 16 Ref: 19 Will: 20
HP: 71 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 17

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +9, Athletics +6, Bluff +13, Endurance +7, Intimidate +13, Thievery +8

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +3, Diplomacy +8, Dungeoneering +3, Heal +3, History +2, Insight +3, Nature +3, Perception +3, Religion +2, Stealth +3, Streetwise +8

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Pack Outcast Utility: Body of the Wolf
Paladin Attack: Dread Smite
Paladin Utility: Shroud of Shadow
Paladin Attack 1: Virtuous Strike
Paladin Attack 1: Vengeance Strike
Paladin Attack 1: Ferocious Strike
Paladin Attack 1: Majestic Halo
Paladin Utility 2: Vice's Reward
Thievery Utility 2: Fast Hands
Paladin Utility 6: Wrath of the Gods

FEATS
Level 1: Power of Arcana
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Fullblade)
Level 2: Two-Handed Weapon Expertise
Level 4: Arcane Prodigy
Level 6: Superior Reflexes

ITEMS
Fullblade x1
Plate Armor x1
Holy Symbol x1
Adventurer's Kit
====== End ======
 
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
Y U Have no magic items?
And why power of arcana?
And why Arcane Prodigy?
And do BGs get a CHA mba? 
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!
Y U Have no magic items?
And why power of arcana?
And why Arcane Prodigy?
And do BGs get a CHA mba? 

He used the human racial to grab a third at-will, Virtuous Strike, which yes is a Cha MBA.

The build is meh, but then Blackguards are meh so....
I tried looking for VS, but couldn't find it at first glance...Makes more sense now.
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!
If it helps his party is a Bravlord (focusing on granting attacks), a Ranger|Cleric (for Catch 22), an Artful Dodger Rogue and a Paladin|Fighter (Defender).

Please try to give as precise critiques / suggestions as you can so that it is more than just my voice if/when I can ask him to change something. 
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
I listed mine!
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 listed mine!



**plays along as if the person whose character this actually is**

Why not power of arcana?  So far nobody in the party has an arcana main and it will be useful.

Same with Arcane Prodigy.  You say these are bad, but what else should I get?

I don't know what magic items will be allowed, so I'm just not wearing any yet.  Is there anything I should look out for? 
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
Ok I'm sorry but I'm going to list my gripes, I'm not going to preemptively expect a response from your player.

Edit: as for Arcana, you might as well take skill focus. And frankly, with the awful INT, he's just going to be mediocre at it. 
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!
It was a dumb idea anyway, I'll go back to being that one jerk in the group who "is just playing with numbers". 
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
You can also go Tiefling and take Wrath of the Crimson Legion for a CHA MBA. This opens up some other fun racial feats as well. 

If you're really the best hope for Arcana in your party, you can go secondary INT and base initiative off CHA with Imperious Majesty.
Its not really the training in arcana that is important, but rather turning the only attack he uses into an arcane attack power.  Now that it is arcane, every time he swings (hit or miss) with it he gets a +1 bonus to attack rolls with it until the end of his next turn.

He picked up Arcane Prodigy because 1/encounter he gets +2 damage on an attack.
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
Weapon focus is way more useful though...
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!
Hey dont worry OP, I actually play Black/Sorc so here are some of my tips

Unless you have a well coordinated party, you might have trouble getting CA. Feats that help you get CA will go a long way in increasing your damage. Ferocious Strike helps, but sometimes you need CA and you need it NOW not next turn

While you are looking at you attacks...wait hold on...You are making STR attacks not CHA attacks. Blackguards almost exclusively use STR. Correct me if I am wrong, but a 10 STR for a STR based striker means you buddy wont be hitting anything, if he does he wont be dealing damage, AND his fort is embarrassing. If you send this back to your buddy and say "YEA ITS PERFECT" I can only assume it is because you hate your buddy.

If that is the case, carry on

Vice of fury...is a nice thought, but good strikers need good accuracy not just raw damage on hit. If you look through the Pali at-wills you can get as a human, you will see Valiant Strike. Valiant gets more accurate the more enemies are next to you. You wont need Virtuous because you are going to fix your STR problems! Also, why would a blackguard be follow virtues, they are all about the VICE!

Domination gives you an attack that grants temp HP. I love temp HP its got me out of many jams, and as a blackguard of Domination you can burn those temps for even more damage. See where we are going here?

Temps+CA+Valiant Strike = good...somewhere around 1d12+str+cha+burn. Get a Subtle Fullblade (if such a thing really exists) and you get even more damage. Enough that the rogue you played in your last game with ROLL IN ITS GRAVE. speaking of rogues

Did you know if you MC rogue you get a Sneak Attack? Pretty cool huh? thats 2d6 damage once per encounter, tacked on to whatever you so desire. Somewhere around 1d12+2d6+STR+CHA+Burn...not necessary but think about it

Now you buddy says he wants to be a Sorc while he is at it. Thats cool, i love Sorcs and the tanky powers they have can break many a game. However, if your friend wants to be effective at both Vice and Magic he needs to be both Strong muscled and Strong willed. Sadly, humans not neither of those. If he wants to be a sorc while he is at it, he needs to be a race that can handle all this power. Only two can really come through: Dragonborn and Vryloka. You need +2 STR and +2 CHA. At level one, can either have +20 STR/ +16CHA (after race bonus) or you can have +18 STR/+18Cha (after race bonus). If a sorc is really what they want to play then a 18/18 is what you want.

However, you wont see much traction from the sorc powers until paragon. That's 4 levels until he is truly online. Is that what you guys want? Didn't think so. You said you wanted Arcana as a skill, well, you can drop your current background for one in that has Arcana as a class skill. With the feat you save you can get toughness if you really want the extra HP...honestly it wont be necessary cause you have a party tank and a leader.

TL;DR 20STR/14CHA if you are gonna be human, 20STR/16CHA if your gonna be something cool, your going about Arcana dabbling wrong, and you should treat Pali's with more respect.
Blackguards, as designed, use STR, but blackguards CAN go exclusively CHA using Human, Tiefling or Half-Elf (past Paragon) as races.  It can help an awful lot.
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.
Is there a feature I am missing here? Cause two of his at-will attacks are going to be useless for the benefit of another at-will which wont contribute much to his striker capabilities.
You only need one at-will, as long as it's an MBA and/or usable on a charge.  Being CHA primary means you get to use your attack stat for all your extra damage, which drasmatically boosts the Blackguard's static bonuses, which is one of the few things it's actually good at.

It's not like the Blackguard's at-wills contribute much to his strikeriness anyway.  What little of that he has unique to his class comes from his extra-damage class features and from Dread Smite, which is a nice encounter power.
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.
If he's going to not raise Dex each time, he shouldn't pay up for a 15 starting Dex, but rather a 14 Dex, use one of the extra points he gets back to boost Con to 13 and then he has a free point to spend anywhere else he wants. Perhaps boost that 9 Int to 10 or steal 2 points from Wisdom to push Int up to 12?(makes him better at Arcana) - this is probably a great starting point to any conversation - "Hey, did you know you could boost one of your current stats by 1 for free?"

Also, given that the group is very close to 8th level, I'd either put a 16 or 18 into Cha pre-racial.

Power of Arcana seems fine to me.

Fullblade does not seem all that great to me. If he instead has a Rapier and Light Blade Expertise, he can use a Heavy Shield and boost AC/Reflex by 2 each while still doing roughly the same damage.
I don't really see the point of Arcane Prodigy. If you want training in arcana, may as well grab Bardic Dilettante, at least gives you a daily heal/slide. If you want damage, pick a heftier damage feat. Even just weapon focus gives +1 damage to every attack, instead of a +2 once per encounter.

Fast hands is nice on like a longtooth shifter blackguard with blood fury weapon for the quick weapon swap, but I don't see a whole lot of use for it for this build. Probably better to let the rogue deal with thievery, grab a more useful skill and a different level 2 power, maybe Virtue.

If Superior Reflexes is for first round CA, then Cunning Stalker is probably better. Between that and Pack Outcast, one way or another you're likely to have CA.
Thanks for all the responses.  I'm going to put in here the advice I would give him.

Yes with his main stat being CHA his two at-wills from Blackguard will be useless, but that leaves him with a CHA based at-will that will allow him to use it as an MBA.  If he wants to go that way it should be fine, but its going to make some of his other defenses and the Paladin dailies he picks up later rather lacking in potency with no rider.  With that in mind you can basically delete MBA/Vengeance Strike /Ferocious Strike from his list of powers.

Weapon Focus > Arcane Prodigy.
Weapon Focus > Power of Arcana as well. Although I think that Power of Sun > Weapon Focus > Power of Arcana.

As far as the CA is concerned I'm surprised nobody has thought to change from Pack Outcast to Fey Beast Tamer as that will make CA a non-issue.  Go FBT (Owlbear) to get +2 Damage and almost auto-CA at all times.  That frees up the Superior Reflexes spot (since I think it is just for the added way to get CA. 

Seeing he has Two-Handed Weapon Expertise might mean he wants to use 2handers but it also might mean he wants to make this more of a charger (hint, it should be made a charger).  The first note there would likely be to switch weapons.  Since his primary stat is Cha its hard to really set up anything for the full charge package (Str 13 for Powerful Charge, Dex 17+ Spear for surprising charge etc etc), but you can atleast pick up some decent items to go with it.  Personally if I'm not going Gouge, which I don't think this build would excell at, I would go with Mordenkraad and pick up an Avalanche Weapon.

As far as race is concerned I'm glad someone brought up Tiefling.  Tiefling would be an excellent way to go as it also helps make him a little defendery if he wants to be althought he doesn't have to go that route. 

Fast Hands also seems mostly useless and Virtue is awesome.

So I was thinking (if he stays human with close to those stats) to go with these feats:

Power of Sun
Weapon Prof (Mordenkraad)
Two-Handed Weapon Expertise
Improved Initiative
Superior Will

If he goes Tiefling:
Power of Sun -> Wrath of the Crimson Legion
Improved Initiative -> Imperious Majesty

If he flips his stats around to get 13STR/13 Wis for riders and feat qualifiers:

Superior Will -> Battle Awareness
Improved Initiative -> Powerful Charge.

Thoughts? 
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
Power of the Sun is good if you have other people who can abuse the vulnerability, or have a nova sequence that can capitalize on it, otherwise, meh.

Mordenkrad seems a bit silly, you're getting one attack per round, you want it to count. Don't want to miss. Full blade at least gives you a better chance to hit. Greatspear is a reasonable option as well, since mobility can be a challenge on a Blackguard.

And there is rarely the feat space for Powerful Charge. Hanging onto Superior Will is likely a better investment.

With a warlord in the group, improved init is probably worthwhile to increase frequency of going before the enemy.

If you're going to multiclass fighter, you're better off just going strength and hybriding fighter.
Gouge > all if you really want to be an effective charger.  Rapier is surprisingly good too, for a class which doesn;t care all that much about its [W].
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.
Gouge is best if you can swing a 17 Dex and a fighter MC. If not, I don't think it's all that much better than other options out there. If you're fighter hybrid, then a 15 dex would be sufficient to make it worthwhile for a charge, trip up, and RoB with Headsman's Chop combo. But then you're building a Str/Cha Blackguard|Fighter, and are already much much better than a pure Blackguard.
Falchion isn't too bad either with Turathi Weapon Training.
Tiefling, 20 starting Charisma post racial, imperious majesty, rapier & shield.  If not playing out these characters for very long fey beast tamer.  If playing deep into paragon or beyond try black-hearted knave with arena champion for quick and dirty double tap virtuous strike.  If at all possible, convince the player to be open to hybrids.  If it's an RP/character concept concern, executioner is a nice thematic pairing that will add a second striker mechanic to virtuous strike.

Regardless, if he sticks with Blackguard and virtuous strike, I highly recommened renaming the power to Not-So-Virtuous strike
Yea 21CHA and Ironically Virtuous Strike is much reliable then STR Dominator blackguard.

You mentioned Sorcerers. Hybrid them with Blackguards can work, but it is a rather feat starved approach. Using the concepts above we start with 21 CHA. as a hybrid blackguard, you get any pali at will of your choice. Thus you get Virtuous Strike. As a Sorcerer, you choose what bonus to get for damage, STR or DEX. Either one, you are going to want 16 in, which nets you a +8 damage to all Sorcerer attacks. For an at-will, I'd say Burning Spray, but if you want a RBA, Acid Orb is a fine choice. I will assume we want to use Dex.

You are gonna want some Armor. Hybrid Talent Paladin Armor gives you armor prof all the way to Plate. Your stock implement is a Holy Symbol. Using a Holy Symbol to use a flame thrower is kinda awesome and fits the character perfectly. You could go Arcane Impliment Prof: Heavy or Light blade but you should get Versitile Expertise so your +1 feat bonus will apply to both Impliment and Weapon attacks. Edit: If anyone knows how to make arcane impliment attacks through a spear, i would be forever grateful.

When you add magic weapons to the mix, you Sorcerer attacks should be somewhere around +11 (5+3+2+1) for 1d6+8 damage in a close blast 3 for Burning Spray. Sadly you may not combine Paladin powers with Sorcerer powers, and your looking at your first 3 feats getting used up. Also, Tieflings could not acheive 21Cha/16Dex before level 7.


Honestly Mr. Virus I think the only person who mentioned sorcerers was you and you kee going on about it... (There was as little talk of a sorc MC, but then the OP specifically states no hybrids)


As far as the weapon.  Yes I think that normally Gouge is better, but I don't see this build being effective, getting fighter or rogue and 17 dex to capitalize on how good that is.  With that in mind I just looked to weapon enchants.  Admittedly I thought it was avalanche that had the daily power and not vanguard, so that makes it much closer, but what it turns into is this (for just the weapon):

+2 at 4d6b1 on a charge
+2 at 2d6b1+1d8 on a charge + Daily power
+3 at 1d12+1d8 on a charge + Daily power

I personally like the 4d6b1 on a charge for a new player because it seems so strong for the person weilding it.  Other than that, the daily power of vanguard on a cha primary character is amazing, I would probably pick it if I was piloting the build.  
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
Hey no sorc is fine.

Also, see DPR Kings 3.0, lvl 6 Human Blackguard by ZombieJ. Pretty much exactly whats in this thread. Link to post: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22105109/DPR_King_Candidates_2.0&post_num=1409#506662581
Sign In to post comments