Virtuous Strike Blackguard/Executioner...PEACH and suggestions please.

31 posts / 0 new
Last post
blah

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Akmenos, level 1 Tiefling, Paladin (Blackguard)/Assassin (Executioner)
Vice: Vice of Fury Hybrid Paladin (Blackguard) Option: Hybrid Blackguard Reflex
Guild Attacks (Hybrid) Option: Red Scales (Hybrid)
Hybrid Assassin (Executioner) Option: Hybrid Executioner Fortitude
Occupation - Executioner (+2 to Intimidate)
Theme: Sohei  
FINAL ABILITY SCORES STR 10, CON 13, DEX 14, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 20  
STARTING ABILITY SCORES STR 10, CON 11, DEX 14, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 18    
AC: 14 Fort: 12 Ref: 13 Will: 15 HP: 26 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 6  
TRAINED SKILLS Bluff +12, Endurance +6, Intimidate +12  
UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +2, Arcana –1, Athletics +0, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +0, Heal +0, History –1, Insight +0, Nature +0, Perception +0, Religion –1, Stealth +4, Streetwise +5, Thievery +2   POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Sohei Attack: Sohei Flurry
Tiefling Racial Power: Infernal Wrath
Assassin Attack: Poisoned Dagger
Assassin Attack: Quick Lunge
Paladin Attack: Dread Smite
: Swap Daily For Poison Recipe
Paladin Attack 1: Virtuous Strike  
FEATS Level 1: Ki Focus Expertise  
ITEMS
Longsword x1
Adventurer's Kit
Leather Armor x1
Dagger x5
Carrion Crawler Brain Juice
Ki Focus x1
Poisoner's Kit
====== End ======


I dropped Wrath of the Crimson Legion because it doesn't synergize the hybrid blackguard striker feature.  As I level, feats I'm considering are Dreadhunter's Flank, Icy Clutch of Stygia, Venom Hand if I get a spiderkissed weapon?, Weapon Focus otherwise, Cunning Stalker and Superior Reflexes (not to mention Disciple of Freedom and Superior Will). Naturally Charge package works with this as its all about the Virtuous Strike spam. Group has two leaders including a Warlord so I'm not quite as concerned about  my low AC.
If you are going to want to put a charge chassis on this, you should do everything you can to up your Dex. 17 dex can be a hard marker for some characters to reach, but especially in early levels of player Surprising Charge is pretty amazing.

Paladin's Wrath is also pretty stellar.  Less stellar if you stick to Virtuous Strike (since it can already be an MBA) but it is still good for the mass-marking power.

Edit: Deleted other part.  Didn't know you could pick from Virtuous / Valiant strike if you hybrid Blackgauard.  I'm going to check it out now with that additional info.

 
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
Dex is definitely my second most important stat, should I drop my Charisma to an 18 for it though? MC rogue/fighter for surprising charge would be a good idea, have to go Light blade then though (or Spear? reach to help offset low Defenses? wait, needs to be one handed for Executioner damage ability, don't like versatile spear +2 weapon prof.).

*Edit* Mass marking when you probably are tied for the lowest AC in the party, not a good idea I'm thinking. Especially when we've got another marking defender in the party. 
Group has two leaders including a Warlord so I'm not quite as concerned about  my low AC.

No excuse for this.  One feat can give you +7 to AC. Take it. At level 1.
Yeah paladin armor proficiency for plate and shield, then grab a rapier.  Its a good build at low levels but you need to ask yourself how you plan on getting extra attacks if you plan on playing into paragon.  Black-hearted knave along with an arena feat and arena champion PP can do it, and should keep you at or above standard striker benchmarks but there's probably a better way to go about it if you're really trying to squeeze every bit of juice out of it you can.  


I'm sorry, whats the point in this Hybrid? You have **** defenses and a decent MBA. I fail to see the point of this other than an enabling liability.
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!
Hm, good point about the armor. Even just grabbing plate to two-hand a versatile weapon is worth the +1 accuracy and bonus damage to bloodied creatures at level 1 I think. For extra attacks I was planning to do Grim Blackguard (Fury) and get Slave to Fury.

Grr, I'm an accuracy nut, is it worth using a broadsword instead of a longsword until I can get bastard sword proficiency? Would give a slight edge in DPR IIRC. Sigh, grabbing a calculator.

*Edit* just saw Zelink's post. I wouldn't say the defenses are that bad (except for AC which is being corrected) but the purpose of this character is basically to be able to play decently while I'm sleep depped out of my mind so virtuous striking everything for good damage will work for me (game night is Friday and I always get woke up on Friday so I'm always exhausted).

*Further Edit*

Here's the updated summary. Also, it appears I did not recall correctly, if I did the calculations properly assuming 100% CA, the Longsword has 17.95 DPR while the Broadsword has 17.65. That doesn't account for enemy being bloodied or self being bloodied obviously. Might be worth trying to get a Bloodfury weapon later on?

Akemenos

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Akmenos, level 1
Tiefling, Paladin (Blackguard)/Assassin (Executioner)
Vice: Vice of Fury
Hybrid Paladin (Blackguard) Option: Hybrid Blackguard Reflex
Guild Attacks (Hybrid) Option: Red Scales (Hybrid)
Hybrid Assassin (Executioner) Option: Hybrid Executioner Fortitude
Hybrid Talent Option: Paladin Armor Proficiency
Occupation - Executioner (+2 to Intimidate)
Theme: Sohei
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 13, DEX 14, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 20
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 11, DEX 14, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 18
 
 
AC: 18 Fort: 12 Ref: 13 Will: 15
HP: 26 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 6
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +12, Endurance +4, Intimidate +12
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +0, Arcana –1, Athletics –2, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +0, Heal +0, History –1, Insight +0, Nature +0, Perception +0, Religion –1, Stealth +2, Streetwise +5, Thievery +0
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Sohei Attack: Sohei Flurry
Tiefling Racial Power: Infernal Wrath
Assassin Attack: Poisoned Dagger
Assassin Attack: Quick Lunge
Paladin Attack: Dread Smite
: Swap Daily For Poison Recipe
Paladin Attack 1: Virtuous Strike
 
FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
 
ITEMS
Carrion Crawler Brain Juice
Ki Focus
Plate Armor x1
Poisoner's Kit
Longsword x1
Backpack (empty)
Bedroll
Trail Rations
Waterskin
Dagger
====== End ======


We're going to be doing Halls of Undermountain. I'm actually not familiar with that one so not sure what we'll be facing.
Hm, should I put both hybrid defense options on Fortitude and patch Reflex at 4th with superior Reflexes? Cunning Stalker at second level, Expertise at 6th?
I'm sorry, whats the point in this Hybrid? You have **** defenses and a decent MBA. I fail to see the point of this other than an enabling liability.



Zelink, you are of course right in absolute terms.  However, from reading other posts you made it seems like you build for and play almost exclusively 16+.  That's simply not where most game play happens.  Most game play never leaves heroic.
I'm sorry, whats the point in this Hybrid? You have **** defenses and a decent MBA. I fail to see the point of this other than an enabling liability.



Zelink, you are of course right in absolute terms.  However, from reading other posts you made it seems like you build for and play almost exclusively 16+.  That's simply not where most game play happens.  Most game play never leaves heroic.



At low levels it is still rather meh at best.
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 do play mostly paragon up, but I've also played a lot of heroic. Warlock|Executioner seems pretty superior to me.
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 do play mostly paragon up, but I've also played a lot of heroic. Warlock|Executioner seems pretty superior to me.



Agreed.

With online play more easily accessible now, and L1 being a vast majority of games played on that platform, you'll get plenty of folks who already over-played the warlock|executioner, the surprising charge gouge wielder, and the ranger|cleric (along with other strong L1 options).  So we scramble to find other ways to put together different characters that can still shine at low levels.

 
The combination can work, though I don't think it's done well here. You _must_ guarantee combat advantage, or what's the point.

Anyhow, blackguard vs warlock/executioner - +7/+9 (2+Cha, +2 if someone is bloodied) damage with CA vs +1d6 or 2d6 (warlock) at low heroic, +8/+10 vs +2d8 at high heroic. Also note that the warlock requires multiple feats, whereas the blackguard does not, so you get quicker access to adders like surprise charge, sneak attack. +2d6 1/enc and +1d8 every attack add up quickly.

Of course, at paragon the warlock gets an extra die and has caught up on damage feats, while the blackguard doesn't scale at all, except through Charisma. The warlock gains increased defense options and another nice at-will, while the blackguard... can dip paladin for things like devout protector expertise, hero's poise. There's some things there, but the damage still lags.

Slide 1 vs Radiant & +2 saves for at-will comparison. The warlock gets some encounter powers that are standard actions. The blackguard gets to use his encounter powers to add extra damage directly (smite, hold fast); early on, that makes the blackguard work better with charge kit. 

Though I think Call of Challenge and Valorous Smite, along with a good AC, let you justify in a different direction. Especially if you can call of challenge a group then charge somewhere else, forcing provokes or damages. It's only going to be 8 or so damage * # of targets, but that's not bad for a minor action at heroic.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I think if you're going to go Blackguard hybrid, Blackguard|Fighter works better. You can turn Valiant Strike into MBA (which has a nice built in +1, and you can use it for combat challenge attacks dipping into striker bonuses), and have access to Rain of Blows and Trip Up. You can get Fey Beast for CA (which I find to be a bit too action intensive), or go human or longtooth with pack outcast and cunning stalker. Longtooth happens to give you bloodied shenanigans too for a slight bump in damage, though Human may be better to curb the feat starvation. Surprising Charge is difficult with this build though.

If you want Executioner hybrid, then Warlock does work pretty well, though it's better at paragon, when you can spread curse around faster. Those minor actions slow you down a bit in heroic.
OK, I've been rethinking this and decided a race change would be a definite improvement. I know the mini-MCs don't get a lot of love but I'm shooting for 3 interrupt attacks by level 11 (Guardian's Counter, Cutthroat Retaliation (hope to have by level 4) and the Grim Blackguard (Fury) encounter power. This version also can use the Executioner powers for utility, racial and MC power help with CA and I'm shooting for Superior Reflexes as my 2nd level feat.

This version can use the basics of the charge package (no surprising charge but HH, BotB, Vanguard Weapon and Bestial Armor, with Virtuous Strike being my primary attack I can use Bracers of Mighty Striking instead of Iron Armbands of Power).

Hm, seeing as I'm putting off LBE until level 8, might it be worth it to two-hand a versatile weapon until then or even not go light blade if I'm not getting surprising charge? +1 to damage all the time vs. when I have combat advantage seems like a possible win (especially if I'm in a situation where I feel the need to Quick Lunge AP Virtuous strike? Not really worried about planning stats for Weapon Mastery, I doubt this campaign will reach Epic. IF I can't get a Badge of the Beserker and have to buy a Lesser Badge, that could combo with HBE to fake it if I use the Versatile Heavy Blade (longsword/Bastard Sword)?

Ruk

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Ruz, level 1
Changeling, Paladin (Blackguard)/Assassin (Executioner)
Vice: Vice of Fury
Hybrid Paladin (Blackguard) Option: Hybrid Blackguard Fortitude
Guild Attacks (Hybrid) Option: Red Scales (Hybrid)
Hybrid Assassin (Executioner) Option: Hybrid Executioner Fortitude
Occupation - Hired Killer (+2 to Stealth)
Theme: Guardian
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 13, DEX 18, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 18
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 13, DEX 16, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 16
 
 
AC: 16 Fort: 13 Ref: 14 Will: 15
HP: 26 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 6
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +11, Intimidate +9, Stealth +11, Streetwise +9
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +4, Arcana –1, Athletics +0, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +0, Endurance +1, Heal +0, History –1, Insight +2, Nature +0, Perception +0, Religion –1, Thievery +4
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Guardian Attack: Guardian's Counter
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Disguise
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Trick
Assassin Attack: Poisoned Dagger
Assassin Attack: Quick Lunge
Paladin Attack: Dread Smite
: Swap Daily For Poison Recipe
Paladin Attack 1: Virtuous Strike
 
FEATS
Level 1: Cutthroat
 
ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit
Rapier x1
Leather Armor x1
Dagger x1
Carrion Crawler Brain Juice
Ki Focus x1
Poisoner's Kit
====== End ======
How about Paladin|Warlock with Mindbite Scorn and Crimson Fire? You get 2d10 extra damage vs. your Divine Challenge target, and also pick proper encounter powers.
I'm baffled why you think Cutthroat is more important than... just about any other feat relevant to your build.  I understand you want to power swap, but you can't do that until 4th anyway.
Dont forget that heavy armor drags down some of your skills.

Also, what are you trying to do with Hybrid Executioner? 
I'm baffled why I'm trying to tank strength on a character where I intend to take a strength based PP. Gah. Why can I never keep these details straight. Note that the Changeling version is in Leather due to better dex mod, gives up some AC but the racials seemed good (Cutthroat and Changeling Trick should guarantee two to three rounds of CA). Prob should do Sup Ref and expertise first 2 levels, retrain expertise to Cutthroat at 4, then regrab at 6.

Why not Warlock? Good question. I hate Arcane classes (except Hexblade, its irrational, I know but there it is).

Why Hybrid Executioner? I like both classes and I like stacking Striker effects. I am fond of trying to minimize my decision making to speed up my play. Being able to hit something almost every time for 2d8+4+2 (4 if bloodied)+1(versatile weapon, I've been trying to make them work for quite some time with mixed results) and being able to stack Dread Smite and Assassin's strike on my opening nova .

Hm, if I dragonborn or Vryloka, power of skill (I think that's the right one) Valiant Strike I could then make all my interrupt attacks strength based and still get the Executioner bonus. Valiant Strike has the +1(or more) to hit baked in so Agressive advantange at 2. Can't use the Executioner guild attacks as well for utility but that's not really the point any way. Gah, that won't work, back to Suck AC.

Jeez, I need to settle on something before Friday gets here.
Ugh...ok, here's what you can do: 

Take any Dex/Cha race, and get over the fact that you really wanted a post-racial 20 and settle for a 18/18 Dex-Cha array instead. Wear Hide for respectable striker AC. Use Valiant Strike + PoS, which Attack Finesse makes Dex-based. And all your assassin at-wills suddenly actually become usable.

So there's your baseline striker, now let's add bells and whistles. Do not MC cutthroat or powerswap away your E3, that's patently ridiculous, especially since your E3 is Fortune Spurned Smite, the only thing that even comes close to a multi-tap on the paladin list. You grab Fortune Spurned Smite, take the Misshapen theme for its encounter OA-grab, then grab a Sustaining Cloak as your neck. Multi-attack nova? Check. Interesting character? Check.

Grow this character organically and retrain later for the assassin triple-hitter powers in paragon, and you're pretty much golden.

Grow this character organically and retrain later for the assassin triple-hitter powers in paragon, and you're pretty much golden.



He's an |Executioner, as far as I can tell, this part won't be happening?

When you hybrid you can select powers from your parent class when given the choice.   

ASSASSIN'S STRIKE (HYBRID) When you can choose an encounter attack power that has a level from your hybrid classes, you can choose the hybrid version of assassin’s strike instead.

 

Ours is a world where people don't know what they want, and are willing to go through hell to get it. -Don Marquis
Hey Firebug.

RhenZe: That looks like it'd be interesting (although would have to be leather instead of Hide w/o hybrid talent) so maybe even a 20 Dex would work (although I'm pretty sure I'll go 18/18).  I'll have to try to put that together tonight.

*Edit* I don't know Mishapen theme (Dragon? I haven't been reading it for a while) or Sustaining Cloak but I'll be looking. 
Hey Firebug.

RhenZe: That looks like it'd be interesting (although would have to be leather instead of Hide w/o hybrid talent) so maybe even a 20 Dex would work (although I'm pretty sure I'll go 18/18).  I'll have to try to put that together tonight.

*Edit* I don't know Mishapen theme (Dragon? I haven't been reading it for a while) or Sustaining Cloak but I'll be looking. 

I think he's saying to buy hide prof. eventually. But that's not going to happen if you go 20 in something.

Misshapen is from Dragon 416 or 417 I think. It's not in the builder yet.
Since you're a Tiefling, I found it useful to instead of Carrion Crawler poison, go with Nitharit poison when you have the feat space for Icy Clutch of Stygia. If they fail against the ongoing damage from Nitharit, they take more ongoing damage, and whenever they save, they take modifier damage. I found early on that my DM's monsters made saves at a much higher frequency than we did, so that worked out quite well for me. Just a suggestion from my warlock|executioner.
Icy Clutch is almost never worth it, even on a pure-class Frostcheesing Blackguard.  I've played one for 4 levels, and can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times Icy Clutch has actually triggered - things usually die before the fail their save.

Unless you have ongoing damage at-will, it's just not worth the feat.
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.
Which he would if he took the poison. Apply it to your weapon at the beginning of combat and you do ongoing damage on a hit. Which includes at-wills and dailies. On a pure Blackguard, I agree, I don't think Icy Clutch would be that good. However, he could potentially take Executioner poisons, and this suggestion would only be good if he did so.
Yes.  For one encounter per day.  Woo.
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.
Should I edit the first post as we're on to like the third iteration of the character (as a Changeling)?
I don't know if it's worth it. The build actually seems to be getting worse...
Screw it, I'll play a human or gnoll scout. I know I can make that work.
Sign In to post comments